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World of difference between secular and gospel Music
25/01/2014 00:00:00
by Learnmore Zuze
ED govt legitimacy & the church’s role
2017 and the prophetic in retrospect
Of human worship in politics & religion
Lacoste presidency: prophecies fall flat
Clerics! Please plead the cause of the poor
Angel’s underwear prophecy a new low
Political prophecies that failed dismally
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Prophets: Africa’s major pull-back factor
Zuze: There is nothing spiritual about soccer
Chiriseri death: a look at avenging spirits
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Twin evils wrought by today's prophet
Zim’s problems more political than spiritual
Theatrics ruin prophets’ image
Zuze: Mawarire a rare breed of the clergy
The falsity of evolutionism/atheism
False prophecies of recent times
Prophets: $1,500 for ‘salvation session’
Atheism no smarter than Christianity
What prosperity teachers won't tell you
Easter has no bearing on Christianity
Obituary: Magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini
Fallacy of Deliverance and Healing schools
Riches gospel: A subtle kind of occultism
Violence is a reproach to any people
Gumbura: Will this wound heal?
‘Munoti-dako’: The curse of technology
Warriors: No room for error in Prophecy
The trouble with miracle movements
Keep the vulgar out of the church
The classic definition of a fool
Mandela: No point talking to the dead
Christianity is not gullibility
The devil garbs the Christian garment

MUSIC is arguably the most popular art form in the universe; it knows no racial or national boundaries. Zimbabwe is home to a lot of musical talent too. Conversely, I recall the early 90s when the Kanda Bongo Man-inspired rhumba music wave swept across the country threatening to supersede the local genres in popularity. With music, one does not need to understand the language to fall in love with a song. Music is blessed in that it reaches out to millions in record time. The highly despised piracy has even made music more accessible. Music is power.

Today there are many words and phrases that have become an integral part of everyday language courtesy of music. Zimbabweans often talk of the “January Disease” to refer to the cash crunch that normally bites people in the first month of the year courtesy of the late Paul Matavire’s song. The term “Mai Nga” (Freddy Manjalima song) has come to be associated with mistresses commonly known as “small houses”. Though offensive, the term “Mahobho” has become the “official” title for a security guard prior to Tanga Sando’s song of yesteryear. Most love birds are referred to as “Solo naMutsai” courtesy of Jonah Moyo’s hit of years gone by. Such is the stupendous power of music. It weaves into language; it creates a language of its own.

This important quality of music of integrating into everyday language calls upon Gospel artists to exercise chameleonic caution when they pen songs. Many secular musicians have fiddled with controversial ideas in their music. For instance, the youthful outfit of Extra Large sang a song which promotes promiscuity namely “Amai Linda” (Power F.M banned the song.) This song glorifies adultery. Again, Sulumani Chimbetu sang “Sean Timba” a song which some critics claim fans violence. An emerging artist Jacob Moyana is riding on the wave of controversy by his vulgar-laced song titled “Tinouya Munotidako”. Maskiri has had a whole album banned from radio due to explicit lyrics.

Now, such controversy is often forgivable and even tolerated in secular music but the same cannot be said for Gospel music. Gospel music cannot be sung anyhow; a world of difference exists. There is need for absolute accuracy. Gospel is music that is extracted from a Source (Bible) and it has to be in complete sync with the Source. Gospel music concerns the salvation of souls- it’s no different from preaching. Imagine a preacher who goes to the pulpit and starts teaching error. People will be quick to realize and even condemn.


However, error is not easily picked when introduced through song. Error that is taught through music is difficult - almost impossible - to detect. This is largely attributable to the melody and the masking beat. However, there is total need for Gospel musicians to exercise exactness so that they do not promote error. The danger exists (because of the power of music) that error may end up becoming an integral part of the Gospel truth for some people. Most people today erroneously think that the dead go to heaven and this lie has been peddled through various songs despite the Bible clearly stating that, “… the dead know nothing.”(Ecclesiastes 9:5)

Because of space, I will pick a few Gospel songs in which I believe care should have been taken. Matthias Mhere is one artist who is doing well for himself in Gospel music. One of his popular songs is “Terera”; a song liked by both Christians and politicians. The song is accompanied by a strong danceable beat and pays tribute to the apostles of old. It encourages the new Christian to take heed when the older ones are admonishing. The lyrics are, “Patakabva Ijipita, rwendo takatangawo zvakanaka, tikabva tapinda murenje, ndimo makatangirawo nyaya.Vana vakabarwa murenje ndivo vakashungurudza Moses.” (The exodus begun well when we left Egypt but trouble came when we got into the desert where the children born in the desert tormented Moses.)

This is but one example of an inaccuracy in presenting the Word. The actual people who tormented Moses where the old guard who told him that, “If only we had died … in Egypt! There we sat round pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted but you have brought us out into this desert to starve … to death. (Exodus 16:3). The children born in the desert could not have known how life was like in captivity.

Another Gospel artist has nicely repackaged the old hymn (Mai Maria Mumureverere) into a mellow tune. Again, this song distorts scripture: Mary cannot mediate for anyone to God. “There is only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ-Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Today’s People forget that the people they eagerly idolize are fellow mortals who will also stand Judgment. Another song which is simply an extension of the erroneous wealth gospel is Sebastian Magacha’s “Ridza Bhosvo”. Though entertaining in beat, the song is a regurgitation of wealth sermons which emphasize defeating earthly troubles without addressing the critical spiritual troubles.

A whole lot of Gospel music now has very little depth but has simply become a regurgitation of the mushrooming ‘wealth’ sermons which in most cases do not reflect the true Gospel. Most contemporary Gospel musicians are guilty of presenting the Gospel as a tool for bashing “haters”. Fungisayi Mashavave was fiercely attacked for her song, “Vapei mazuva” in which she urges God to give more life to her “haters” so that they could see more of her success. Some people felt the assertion is not in tandem with Christianity which emphasizes that enemies should be loved sincerely without wishing to hurt them more with our successes (Matt 5:44).

Conspiracy theories even exist that promoters are giving more lucrative beats and focus on Gospel musicians who seem to have gone with the tide of earthly riches ahead of those whose sing the accurate Gospel of repentance from sin. Whether this is true remains to be seen. However, you would find that the true Gospel is not, and has never been, about earthly riches but about the salvation of the souls hence the need for Gospel musicians to be accurate in the word they preach as this is a matter of life and death.

Remember this is the last hour.

Learnmore Zuze can be reached at lastawa77@gmail.com

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