J. Moss is one of the many contemporary gospel artists that also includes Tonex, Deitrick and Damita Haddon, Yolanda Adams, Virtue, Trinitee-5:7 and Mary Mary that uses glamour, glitz, celebrity, their looks etc. to increase their record sales. I suppose their equivalent on the Christian/CCM arena would be Stacie Orrico, Jaci Velasquez, Kathie Lee Gifford and Amy Grant. Make no mistake: this does include promoting sensuality and sexuality. Where secular music once revitalized itself by emulating gospel music, contemporary gospel and Christian artists now do their level best to imitate secular music. Now as modern R&B music has now degenerated to the point where it is only and constantly preoccupied with casual sex and provoking puerile emotions, emulating that means not only copying the dense syrupy musical style, but even inserting the heavy breathing, moaning and groaning, oohing and aaahing, purring, seductive singing and talking, and even the known sexual catch phrases common to this musical genre. The modern trend of gospel musicians emulating R&B music by sampling (taking portions of other songs to create your own songs) only increased this, as it is now common to take R&B, rap, and disco songs that 1. are all about sex and 2. everybody is very familiar with, so it is impossible for the person listening to the gospel lyrics being sung over the original music to not associate what the original song was about, especially since – as stated earlier – the gospel song also contains the heavy breathing and other stuff like that, only amplifies what is going on. And in addition to the way the music itself SOUNDS there is often the LOOK. If the gospel or Christian artist is physically attractive, they flaunt it. Look at the album covers, videos, concert performances and it is skin tight clothes, heavy makeup, thighs, cleavage, unbuttoned shirts etc. It is no surprise that younger Christians raised in this environment or who have recently converted to it like Heidi Montag and Carrie Prejean see nothing wrong with being lingerie models and Playboy bunnies.
So, J. Moss openly acknowledges in his interview with Gospel Pundit that his falling into sexual sin was the direct result of his cultivating his sexy image to sell records.
This was simply coming off of “We Must Praise,” being a big dawg, V2 over 100,000 [units]… this was just J being “the man.” Being told he was fine every day, being told he was sexy every single day, being told that people wanted him to be their baby’s daddy… you know? EVERY DAY. You think the R&B people have it hard? The gospel people do too.
What he leaves out is that the REASON why gospel music types endure this – or at least why it is so prominent – is because they promote themselves as celebrities and flaunt their appearances. If you play with fire, don’t be surprised when you get burnt.
He goes on:
So, I began to move further and further away from Christ, and got further and further involved with those temptations. And it led to that situation. And I have to tell you– when I get up now to talk about it, a lot of people say “J, you’re talking too much, we’ve moved on, we’re good.” And I say “nah, man. There are people out here DYING from this stuff.”
Look, I have seen J. Moss on concert. The ladies like him because of the way that he sings, the way that he and his dancers dance, and the way that he plays to them, courts them, in the audience, no different from how an R&B crooner would do. Who knows how many lonely, poorly-adjusted, or immature teenage girls are affected by it. He complains about the temptation that came as the direct result of his tempting others? He is surprised that there are all these women (plus not a few homosexual men, let’s get real about it!) who are more than willing to buy what he is selling?
The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, but I gotta get up and tell people that the wages of sin almost KILLED me, in terms of suicidal thoughts. I was plotting it out, thinking it out… all kinds of depression. I was going through the scrutiny in the media, the blogosphere, everywhere… that stuff was rough!
And when we sin, we chip away at salvation. Every time, we KILL something– we kill faith, we kill credibility, we kill relationships, we kill families… every time, we kill a piece of something.”
I am not going to deal with J. Moss’ Pentecostal “lose your salvation” doctrines except to point out that I strongly believe that the Bible teaches the doctrines of the preservation and perseverance of the saints; that one cannot lose or throw away his salvation and thereby undo the work of Jesus Christ and thereby defeat God. However, those who did believe in the “lose your salvation” doctrines, the old Wesleyan Methodists and the Pentecostal Holiness group, felt that the way to lose your salvation was personal and corporate holiness, by adhering to a strict moral and religious code and by encouraging others to do the same. But Moss is part of a generation of gospel artists that have tossed that aside in favor of causing people to fall (and according to their own doctrines “lose their salvation”) by being a source of temptation. Instead of their music, their appearance and their example being something positive that strengthens and encourages Christians, it is a snare to them: both a false image of happiness that comes through fame and wealth, and also the sensual nature of the singing, music, wardrobes and dancing.
This really is the key quote:
I realized that people who are not going to Bible class, or to church on Sunday morning, will listen to me at a concert because they love me or they love my voice. So, NOW is my chance to say “you know what? Now that I’ve got your attention, let me tell you what’s really real. Let me stop making you feel good all the time, and let me tell you what’s real.
We are not supposed to draw people with how we look or sound. We are supposed to draw people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul the apostle by his own account was not a handsome man, was not a gifted orator, and did not have a pleasant speaking voice. But he preached Jesus Christ and you saw the result. Jesus Christ Himself, despite how He is commonly depicted in movies and artwork, was a very unassuming Man by appearance: a common laborer from the despised Nazareth (“the ghetto”) surrounded by “low class” people, acting as a religious instructor despite not having attended rabbinical school, riding on a donkey etc. Many opposed and rejected Paul on account of his hard words, and many opposed and rejected Jesus Christ because of His hard sayings, associations, and human origins, including Jesus Christ’s own brothers and sisters! Even after all that he has been through, J. Moss is still planning on using the “bait and switch” technique with carnality and human pleasure, “making people feel good” as the bait. The only difference is that he is going to put more emphasis into the “switch.”
But this is what I don’t understand: Moss was already very strong with that. You go to his concerts, you watch him on TV, watch his videos, listen to his music, and the CONTENT was already very strong … a legitimate Pentecostal message that can save. (My goal here was never to attack Pentecostalism.) And Moss is not one of the many people in his genre who affects speaking in tongues or promotes prosperity/Word of Faith. Cut away from what he is doing to enhance his personal fame and album sales that dishonors Jesus Christ, and there is a very clear, discernible and strong gospel message that promotes and glorifies Jesus Christ.
And that is what J. Moss needs to stick to. He doesn’t need the “bait and switch.” He just needs to stick to a message that he fully knows and believes: Jesus Christ and Him crucified with no bells, whistles, switches, or R&B moaning and heavy breathing. Let us all pray in the Name of Jesus Christ that J. Moss does follow that direction with his music and ministry.