Posted by: Apostolic Oneness Pentecostals | May 1, 2010

Kim Burrell Going Secular?????

You know I like to keep you informed in regards to current gospel music and artist endeavors so here is whats being said in regards to Kim Burrell. Words such as “secular” and “non-gospel” and “inspirational” and “mainstream” are floating around her new album endeavors as a gospel artist. After doing much research, I see there are numerous websites for Kim Burrell however this one (click here) sticks out the most.  If you’re not familiar with who Kim Burrell is, here is what Wikipedia has to say about her.

Kimberly Burrell Wiley  is an American gospel singer from Houston, Texas. She calls her musical style jazz gospel. Though she is comparatively new to the gospel music industry, having only performed since 1995, she has quickly become one of the most influential voices in the genre, often named as “this generation’s Ella Fitzgerald”. Kim Burrell is assistant pastor at Jericho City Church of God in Christ where Supt. Brian Nelson is senior pastor.

Here are some more facts. The Church Of God In Christ Music Department has issued a formal statement in writing concerning her music endeavors written by Dr. Judith McAllister  President of the International Music Department of the Church Of God In Christ. As you know, COGIC is a Trinitarian Pentecostal Holiness movement headquartered out of Memphis, TN.

Now that I’ve given you all the facts, the purpose of this post is really NOT about Kim Burrell. It is about an article that I read by Gerard Bonner who is an Associate Editor at In his article, he wrote some very mis-guided things that have to do with secular vs gospel (keep in mind, this is his opinion however I was not able to post a reply to his editorial) so I decided to post one here in hopes to shed some TRUTH on how we as Saints of God are to conduct ourselves as believers while here on earth. The writings in bold will come directly from his editorial.

For as long as there has been recorded music, there has been the age old debate within the faith community. Can a believer be effective singing “secular” music?

The answer is very simple my dear brothers and sisters. NO! A believer cannot be effective singing secular music. I will let the Bible speak for itself. Turn with me to Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” There is no possible way that I can be a Holy Ghost filled believer baptised in Jesus Name and sing both gospel and secular and expect to be an effective witness of the risen Christ. You must choose one or the other.

There are many who make the argument that our gifts were designed to glorify God, with the suggestion that the ONLY way to do that musically is to sing gospel or Christian based, vertical music. If that inference is indeed true, then that principle should be universal across every line of work. Every doctor should only work in Christian hospitals and serve Christian patients. Every carpenter should only construct buildings that will house the worship of God. Following this principle, believers should only purchase “Christian” products or support “Christian” ventures.

If you have been musically gifted by God, who else are you suppose to “glorify”? Surely it’s not man. Now man can be edified by your musical talents however the sole purpose of edification is to bring you and the listener of your music to glorify God. Again, I’ll let the Bible speak for itself. Turn with me to 1 Peter 4:10-11 “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (NIV) Now, you went on further to discuss secular jobs such as being a doctor, carpenter (which might I add Jesus was a carpenter) 

God made people in His image to help oversee His creation. He wants people to manage the world.(Gen 1:26-30) He gives humankind the authority to cultivate and develop earth, to use it to meet their needs, to expose its natural wonders and to cooperate with its natural laws.

Every Christian, through his job, can help accomplish God’s purposes when they use their God-given talents, skills and opportunities. God wants all Christians to bring Him glory by using the gifts He gave them to care for and manage His creation. Every Christian is a partner in God‘s work.

The true issue here is not the genre you sing but the message that you live.

You are partially true. You do need to “live the message” however the bible is very particular about the songs that one is supposed to sing. Lets read Ephesians 5:19 which says “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,” (NIV)

With that being said coupled with my stance on true holiness, I must admonish all gospel artist of today to be obedient to 2 Corinthians 6:17 which says to “Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD.” (NIV) You can use your God-given talent to draw souls to Christ WITHOUT compromising by stating that you are now going to sing “secular” or “non gospel” songs. When you start to sing songs that are “non gospel” you take the GOOD out of the GOOD NEWS that the gospel represents.

I admonish every believer that has the gift of singing to not bow down to the ways of the world but instead, sing songs that are going to glorify God and compel souls to come to Christ.


  1. I am so sorry but I totally disagree. we say.. to drink wine is wrong… But we know that Jesus drank wine… many people thought that it was wrong for Jesus to associate himself with unbelievers.. sit with them, go to their homes, eat with them. but He did and did not condem them but loved on them and they were drawn by His LOVE. as for music… The Songs of Solomon in the Bible display many intimate love songs that express love between a man and a woman…. many gospel artist sing songs about things they most dont even live themselves… it all boils down to the heart.. if I sing a song about sexual abuse or any number of pains and encourage them, or sing about the beautiful love i have for my child, mother or husband… I dont believe that God is displeased with this! God gave us the gift to sing, write, enjoy life and write and sing about it… in the singing and honoring of the love for my husband.. God is glorified because He is pleased with this. if the Gospel/Music world was so effective.. why are soo many people COMPLETELY turned off from it…singing in great anointing but mean as snakes!!!! please, it comes down to the heart! when you make love to your wife.. do you play worship music..hymns…? I DO NOT believe that God is no please with music that celebrates love.. the “saints” call it secular.. or non gospel… forget the titles and labels… I could use scriptures to help my argument as well …. just as you did… I simply dont agree. you pray for Kim instead of writing these opinions with scriptures that help your argument. and trust and know that she is getting ready to reach people that wouldn’t step foot in your church…just pray for her… just as God told peter to get up and eat.. and he refused because He couldnt understand why he should do something out of the box and associate with gentiles… let God be God and judge… it could very well be possible that you are sincerely wrong.


    • Melissa!

      Well Said!!!!!!

  2. I feel if we are to be upset with Kim for whatever she is trying to do with this album, then we should also be upset with Fred Hammond for singing on commercials for various products. We must aslo be mad at Kirk Franklin, Tye Tribbett, and Mary Mary for using “secular” beats, hooks, and samples in their songs…And let’s get upset with Yolanda Adams for singing “Sweet Thang” at the Chaka Khan tribute years ago. And let’s get upset about certain individuals in the ministry teaming up with rappers for their albums (a la Eddie Long).

    All I’m saying is, if we are to be mad, upset or whatever at least do so across the board.

  3. The last time I checked it was the word that saved folks not these worldly gimmicks. They want to go out into the world and say that God is in it but that is not true. Instead of the church affecting the world, the world is affecting the church. The effect of this is destroying the true apostolic doctrine.
    * Yes Mary Mary is wrong
    * Yes Kirk Franklin is wrong
    * Yes Tye Tribbett is wrong
    * Yes Yolanda Adams is wrong

  4. Praise the Lord!!

    I think what it really boils down to is if you are really saved (the bible way) and do you really want to serve the Lord and be on the Lords side. Fame and Fortune of this world does not get you to the next life (eternal), alot of these so called saved Gospel Singers are not truley saved the according to the Apostolic Doctrine so to them they are just doing what ever with the mentality that God gave me this voice to sing and it doesn’t matter what I sing (for some) as long as I make people happy, if you don’t understand, truely understand God and know him then you won’t understand your purpose (whay you are here). Its praying time, because we cannot allow the world into the Church no matter what, and if its slowly coming in then we have to pray and rebuke and bind that spirit, so that the Church can prevail.

    On The Lords Side,

  5. If God be lifted up, he will draw all men. In my opinion, the secular music in no way shape or form brings glory to God. Neither are their lives reflecting righteousness.

    With all the gospel artists in the industry, why do they feel the need to get secular artists to help them with their projects? Hmmm….

    I find that the gospel artists are forever saying the church has hurt the non-believers and that is the reasons they don’t come to church. PLEASE!! In my opinion that is an excuse to rationalize what you want to do. Serving Christ has strict guidelines and they aren’t going to change no matter what kind of spin you put on it. The body of Christ has allowed artisst to come into the gosepl and make a mockery! Hence Hammer, Mase just to name a few. Came straight to the pulpit without any training etc. Where are they now? I believe that this was allowed because of their celebrity status. We can’t draw the world being like them. When will we stand against the popular vote and stand on the beliefs of the Bible and God’s call to righteousness?

    When it’s all said and done everyone has their own opinions and beliefs. The Bible declares that we should save ourselves from this untoward generation. As for me and my house we will continue to serve the Lord. If that means not being popular, then so be it. Everything’s going down but the word of God!

  6. I agree with this. We want to be like our Lord Jesus. He wants us to praise him in spirit and in truth. How can we be holy if we listen to music that is not for God. We are filling up our minds with the things of this world and wanted what they all want. We have to be the salt of the world, be different in every way. We have to want to be like Him.

    May God Bless you always.

  7. I have to agree with some of the other commenters here. Theoretically, we shouldn’t judge what other people do, and who is to say that her heart is not with the Lord anymore because her endeavors drifted a bit? Outright blasphemy should be condemned, but overall if she once did only gospel music and wanted to switch to only jazz or blues, let’s hold off on picking up the stones.

    And what are the songs she wants to sing? We have to evaluate the content. “We Are the World” is a non-gospel song, but should Quincy Jones be admonished for that?

    Now maybe if she wanted to take not-nice pictures for a living, we could pick up the stones. 🙂

  8. Its amazing how you give scriptures showing that this or that is inappropriate and its always called condeming or judging. It’s neither, GOD’S word says it and that’s more than enough. If it were the case, a preacher, teacher or anyone else who adheres to the voice of the LORD and tells the congregation, thus saith the LORD, are judging. Not so! And you wonder why only few will enter in??? So much compromise. Get right or get left! ACTS 2:38 IS THE ONLY WAY!


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