The Church Cannot fit in the Club
The year 2007 marked a beginning or rather an entrance into church of a culture that had not existed before. A group of then young men sang a song that some church leaders considered ‘controversial’. The controversy arose from not only the lyrics of the song, but how the song was done, the people that did it and the kind of clothes they wore. This marked the migration of church music from ‘Praise and Worship’ to ‘Performance’. People no longer sang after them, but with them. The performance was no longer restricted to churches but even in pubs too. They started moving to schools and caused ‘chaos’ especially so in Girls’ Schools. They wore dread locks, something that was considered unacceptable in conservative Christian circles. The group was Gospel Fathers; the Song was Fundi wa Mbao
Back in 2010, an article appeared in one of the local dailies of how the church “has become the new hang out in town.” That article seemed to suggest that the church has become casual. People dress the way they want, and sing some songs that are not necessarily glorifying God in their services. The pastors wear blings, and fashionable clothing as opposed to the suits and the dog collars. This, the pastors say, was to be relevant and acceptable to the youth. The author had an interesting perspective.
Then there was the birth of Gospel celebrities that seemed to live their celebrity lifestyle perhaps better than their secular counterparts as Steve Muendo would put it. They were created and fueled more by the Gospel awards that caught and have continued to celebrate musicians in this country.
The birth of congregations that did not mind playing some secular music during church services to ‘attract the non-believers’ did not help the situation. As a matter of fact, one of those congregations is said to have played one of Michael Jackson songs, Thriller, as a tribute after his death. There seemed to be a casualness that subtly but slowly permeated the church. Some conservative churches did not tolerate the new entrants, they chased them out because of what most of them thought was too liberal.
The exposés that followed that not very long ago by, sadly non-believers, about some con-men who call themselves preachers and con not-so-innocent Kenyans of money by performing fake miracles only added salt to injury. The church appeared to have lost the salt. It was no longer salty again.
A while ago, not so long ago, a journalist did an article called “Get the church out of the club” that got me thinking. What church was he talking about? Is the church in the club? What would it be doing there? And how did it get there? You see, the above brief history of how the ‘church’ has evolved is a good insight as to what the church is and is not. is the church referred to in this article the Church of Christ?
The words, church, Gospel, preacher, pastor, have been misused and misrepresented. What am I talking about? You see, not everyone who claims to preach, is a preacher of the Gospel. Not everyone who claims to sing Gospel music is a Gospel musician neither is all music that claims to be Gospel is Gospel. Don’t stop reading. Hold on there.
The likes that have been exposed are con men and they should be prosecuted for obtaining money falsely, for stealing in broad daylight. The police should have them arrested. You see, they cannot succeed if they do not have a people who are equally greedy and want instant answers to prayers and want to get rich quickly. It is a scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours story. And there are many of them of them out there. They do not represent the Church.
You see, we have stooped so low until the non-believers can tell that we are doing the wrong thing. We should be covering ourselves in shame! Our gospel artists are spending time in clubs singing and entertaining the drunkards in the name of preaching. Others are participating in such secular events that you can hardly tell the difference even sharing stages with their secular counterparts. Are they representing the church? May be, no. How about those who are doing collabos with those who are not Christians? Is that the stand of the Church? I don’t think so. How about the new comedies, that seem to mock the church implying that some of the things they do happen in church? Are those the things the Church of Christ is doing?
So what did this gifted writer talk about when he said, Get the church out of the club? If all this is NOT church, then who is the church, or what is the church?
Look out for Part Two ….