We can preserve the ministry of music by taking down the “for sale” signs over sacred music and revering the ministers, not the merchants, of music.

Pastors, church musicians, and Christian leaders are increasingly concerned about commercialism in the ministry of music. Merchandising sacred music, and gospel music in particular, has become big business. The ministry of music is for sale. The moneychangers are setting up shop in the house of God again, and people are rushing to patronize them. The problem extends into every area of sacred music.

• A certain gospel soloist refuses to accept Sunday engagements in churches that prohibit the sale of records on Sunday.

• A well-known composer who has made a great deal of money during the past half-dozen years writing songs with an explicit gospel message—songs that have been a blessing to many Christians—admits he is not a believer.

• A popular gospel musician’s fees skyrocket, not only because of inflation, but also because his booking agency takes 40 percent of his fee as commission.

• The winner of a commercial religious artist award is disqualified because of unethical procedures in soliciting votes.

• Gospel music “acts” are booked as entertainment on the show business circuit.

• Secular entertainment conglomerates diversify into the newly lucrative gospel music field by buying up control of Christian publishing and recording companies.

• Individuals are chosen for music ministries as much for their “video appeal” and radiant personalities as for their spiritual commitment and musical talent.

• Christian artists’ homes break up at an alarming rate, but Christians seem to be unconcerned about whether or not an individual’s character supports his message.


The Christian “star ...

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