BET's blackface gospel show back again


I hate this show. Honestly I do. I think it is a clown act, a minstrel blackface stage act. That’s right, BET’s American-idolesque rip off is putting on the ritz even as we speak.

I don’t know how gcmwatch got on BET’s mailing list, but I got the giddy promo email and it kind of set me off. From Zabrina Horton, BET communcations manager:

As I’m sure you would attest, gospel music is bigger than ever, with songs beloved by generations and sung by arguably the best singers in the world. I am writing to ensure that you’re aware of the return of BET’s gospel singing competition, SUNDAY BEST. Hosted by gospel giant Kirk Franklin, and judged by Grammy Award-winning gospel artists BeBe Winans and Erica and Tina Campbell of gospel duo Mary Mary, the high-octane series travels the country visiting storefront churches, parishes and mega-churches to find gospel’s next superstar. The finalists will be coached by famed musical artists, both gospel and secular, as they compete to win the SUNDAY BEST title.
In its first season, SUNDAY BEST was among the network’s top primetime series, having averaged more than 1.8 million viewers per week. Crystal Aiken of Tacoma , Washington was awarded with a national recording contract with Zomba Gospel and drove away with a Toyota Camry and a $300,000 Tide “Loads of Hope” prize package to support her community.
Whether it is the 18-year-old prodigy or the 55-year-old late bloomer, everyone will get a chance to show their SUNDAY BEST, with contestants and special guest artists each week showcasing some of the world’s most talented performers. As gospel music’s cross-over appeal continues to expand more and more around the globe, I invite you to spread the word and celebrate the return of SUNDAY BEST.”


Why is BET so happy? They can pimp the minstrels and get more money. Cha-ching! Very easy!  Ms Horton practically drools over that aspect. Gospel music is “bigger than ever”, its a “prime time show”, it has “cross over appeal”, the contestants will be coached by gospel and secular singers (wow!),  winners will get a car, money, and loads of Tide, and of course a “gospel giant” like Kirk Franklin will be there to play out his silly Ryan Seacrest imitation.  Wow.  Arent you excited?

 There are several reasons this show is hemlock:

1. Gospel is controlled and defined by a completely secular entity whose sole motivation is money.
2. The sole motivation allows anyone to falsely represent what the music of the gospel is.
3. The show is nothing more than a performance, something antithetical to true gift sharing which is congruent with the written word.
4. They trick silly gospel fans with catch phrases like ” this is ministry” and “we’re reaching the youth”.
5. It dumbs God’s gifts to the church down to the lowest common denominator.
6. Winners will be subjected to the poisoned influence of unrepentant homosexuals in the gospel music industry, thus ensuring more of the same asinine drivel being passed off as gospel music.

Last year’s winner Crystal Aikin, no sooner than she collected her winners ribbon headed off to “minister” at a homosexual church dedication in Atlanta. She and her manager claimed anointed ignorance among other things.


20 thoughts on “BET's blackface gospel show back again

  1. I can’t stand this mess either. The only thing worse than this to me is their “BET Celebration of Flesh I Mean Gospel” show. Instead of doing something original, the body settles for the world’s sloppy seconds yet again.

  2. I agree you Pastor Foster. I saw this show last year and one of the contestant was obvious trying to get some exposure for her R&B career. She was not SAVED and am not being judgemental but she wasn’t. The bible says in Matt 7:16 you should know them by their fruits and she didnt have any fruits of the spirit. She wore tight outfits and on one episode came out wearing belt with the bucket saying the word “Sexy” on it. Yet, Erica and Tina tried to criticize one female contestant for dressing to modest but didnt say one thing to the worldly girl. I guess Eric and Tina didnt say anything to her because their jeans were just as tight. I guess Eric and Tina felt compassion for her because they let that girl stick around for several more episodes. It seemed to me the contestants who were really saved and anointed got cut and the ones who didnt have any anointing and didnt have any personal relationship with God was allowed to stay around. I was like were is the discernment!

    I think BET has really gotten away from what really drew many people to it in the early BET days. Their programing is very “runchy” with sterotypical shows which illuminates African Americans and our religious faiths. I am not a big fan of Kirk Franklin neither, when I attend Sherman Allen church he would always show up on Sunday nights services every now again out of the blue by himself. I guess that answers why he was struggling with porn.

    Pastor Foster, God has really open my eyes to many things since all this clergy sex abuse at Allen’s church. I realize pastor that God isn’t all this “Catch 22” mess that some many people are being taught today blindly. We’re taught to plant monetary “seeds”, name it and claim it, run around the church 5x, and toxic stuff like that. When all you have to do is just use the same faith where by your saved. The bible says if you have the faith as a grain of muster seed, and we all have that amount of faith because it’s the same faith in which we are saved by.

    I thank God for opening my eyes and I really feel it’s now my responsibility to educate other peope so they dont get caught up in these religious traps and misteachings. The problem Pastor Foster is people dont have the proper relationship with Christ. Many people know OF Christ, but they dont know Him. Let me say that again, Many people KNOW OF Christ but they DON’T know HIM and that’s a big differnce. I’ll give an Example; I know of Michael Jordan because of sports reports and news media, but I dont know Michael Jordan personally. So it’s the same thing with Christ, people now of Him from what Grandma and C-E-M sunday services they occassionally attend, but they dont really have a personal relationship with Christ.

    Every now and then if I wake up early I see “Bishop Bernard Jordan” on BET and I asked God why does BET allow this clown on thieir network and TV period talking about he’s the “Master Prophet”. I thought Jesus was the Master Prophet. You know what the Lord told me by the Holyspirit? The spirit told me the reason why Bishop Jordan comes on that early because alot of vulnerable black folks who can’t sleep, and who are searching for a “WORD” are up at those early morning hours. Christians who aren’t strong in the word and spiritually lost are up at those hours. You notice Bishop Jordan isn’t on TBN or Daystar, but I suppose also because Bishop Jordan pays BET good money they dont care about his poison he’s preaching. I watched the Jim Jones documentary a couple of months ago on CNN Special report, and what was so alarming was the number of African American who followed JimJones. Some of the survivors of Jim Jones said they followed him because his preaching was exciting and on another level like nothing they’ve ever heard before. Now I would have left Jim Jones personally when he told us we dont need to read the bible anymroe because God is speaking through him. Some many of our black people are so gullible when it comes to church.

    I say this in clusion. BET is just another tool used by Satan to make secular people think they can straddle the fence, and to make Christians think we can still live worldy and still make it in. The bibles says in I Peter 5:8, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

    God bless, sorry for being so long winded. I enjoy your blog.

  3. Thanks vrr, thats a very good word. I watched just enough last year to know this was a rotten show. And I remember the girl with the word “sexy” on her belt and like you said M/M said NOTHING about that NOT representing Christ. Of course they couldnt and we know why.

    Its just time for us to stop taking all the junk being shoveled out just because the word “gospel” is attached to it. I refuse to spend one dime on this trash nor will I support any of the people who are pushing this mess. AND they can expect me to be very vocal in my opposition to it.

    Be blessed, I enjoy your comments.

  4. I agree with everyone here. I do not have cable myself, but I remember seeing a clip of this show during a visit with my aunt and uncle in MD a couple of years ago. I had stepped down from the music ministry six months prior to that point, having been exposed to all manner of debauchery pretty much on plane with what Sunday Best represents. Relentless attention paid to everything (image, sound, etc.) and its ugly results (competition, back-biting, overall acrid behavior towards anyone not part of the “clique”) was fostered in these settings with no regard towards the Gospel. Being that this “program” is showcased to and in the church for national exposure, the behaviors inherent in too many black church settings will be made that much worse. This is an ultimate of example of NOT attempting to “Christianize” something secular.

    As for BET’s financial interest in “gospel music,” that is not surprising, being that this is but a part of the overall secular media industry’s expansion of their corporate portfolio. Radio One and Clear Channel are the best examples of this, having created 24 hour “gospel” radio stations all over the country, whose music is just as devoid of God’s message as what’s parodied on Sunday Best. The legitimacy for such is solidified with the appearances and involvement of Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, Kirk Franklin and others that either host shows on those stations or otherwise do appearances on secular radio shows i.e. The Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Steve Harvey Morning Show. Other peripheral events include the “One Love ‘Gospel’ Cruise” where other “gospel artists” jump the bandwagon to each get their piece of the profits. With each scenario, there is no promotion of Christ, just their own enterprise; and yes, with too many black church-goers failing to see the difference. We are seeing the after-effects of such; all the more reason to be in the Word, and not parading ourselves to the world in exchange for a few moments of attention.

  5. I do not have cable TV. Haven’t for years. However I happened to be at someone’s house last year when the program came on. I got really angry at point 4, people claiming outreach, ministry and all the other contrived catch phrases they use to sound like Christians. I’m glad my money isnt paying for that nonsense.

    Interestingly enough when Fred Price was a new Christian he had gone to Jim Jones’ church. As a babe in Christ he had enough sense to get out of dodge when the man said not to read the Bible.

  6. Gospel music? says who? The name itself is a secular marketing tactic – it makes morons feel good about being “godly” when in fact the real gospel contains texts they wouldn’t recognize if it was attached to their foreheads.

    Any true believer knows obscene when they see it, and they’ll also know “crap” when they hear it. It is no wonder Satan was the “big dog” of music…indeed it has a “power” to move people – either in true worship or utter idolatry.

  7. I’ve heard of the program, but have never watched it since I don’t have cable TV; so this is all “news” to me in a way.

    I have enjoyed some of Mary Mary’s, BeBe (and CeCe) Winans and Kirk Franklin’s music in the past. I’m not into them much nowadays; it’s just where I am, I suppose. I used to “eat, sleep, and drink” Gospel music and related genres (contemporary christian, praise and worship, etc.). Over time, it has all gotten “old” to me and doesn’t hold the same passion and excitement that it used to. I have been questioning the Lord as to why that is. For the last few years, I have purchased Gospel/Christian CD’s and DVD’s just to “keep current,” but for the most part, they are still IN THE WRAPPER!” And if I do open one and manage to play it, it’s usually just that one time, and I never play it again. I have been listening to the old stuff lately from back in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, some 90’s stuff, too. It may sound like I’m “stuck in the past,” but that is not the case; it’s just that what’s in the present and in the future doesn’t seem to be “all that.” I’ve happened upon a few good worship songs of late, but overall, musically I’m just uninterested, I’m sorry to say. I suppose it’s just time for each of us to move into our own “worship zone” and have one-on-one worship with the “Audience of One.” Besides, how can we compete when we’re singing unto the Lord? When it comes to the Stellar and Dove Awards, shouldn’t EVERYBODY win? How can we say the “best vocalist” or “song of the year” when anything that set to music to glorify God is “song of the year” as far as God is concerned? Should Christians even have such award programs that serve to foster competition, jealousy, and even anger (from some of the stories I’ve heard)? It makes me wonder. Thanks GCMW/Pastor Foster for keeping your spiritual “ear to the ground” and “standing as a watchman in the tower” so that we can know what’s coming and take appropriate actions. God bless.

  8. Wow..this is really sad! I guess it is a good thing being up here in Canada, I have never seen this show.

    Very disappointed in Mary Mary….heck, I am disappointed in them all…..where is the Holiness? Where is the Lord Jesus in all this????


  9. BET has always been a hot mess owned by the world. That show is a disaster and did BB Winans come out of the closet too? God doesn’t need to have his songs and his singers show-cased in this way. This is NOT of God

  10. What’s worse is for all the giants – sheer icons – in this musical realm (e.g. Mahalia, John P. Kee, Timothy Wright, Mighty Clouds and Albertina, just to name a few) are now relegated to cheap parlor tricks by failed R&B acts who want to resurrect a career.

    Ever seen someone stop doing CDs and then mysteriously appear on Gospel radio and “Dr.” Bobby Jones love fest?

    Or what about the opposite scenario?

    BeBe and CeCe quit finding success, so they rocked it mainstream. Kirk Franklin dumped his “family” and began the art of spoken word (which by the way, still isn’t singing).

    Gospel music is a mere shadow of what it used to be, and BET reminds us every time this poo is hurled against the wall.

    Thanks BET, for reminded the entire Gospel and Christian community why belief in God has become so lukewarm.

    Much respect.

  11. BeBe “out of the closet?” Is someone implying something here? Some have even been suspicious of his appearance, healthwise. He’s in my prayers.

    If I recall, I read on the Web a few years ago that Kirk Franklin was sued by God’s Property and several members of “The Family;” which probably explains why there is no more “Family.” The articles may be archived somewhere on the Web still.

  12. Let me add the new show, BET’s “106 and Gospel” for the young people. If you muted the TV, there would be NO WAY you could tell that they were “lifting up Jesus.”

  13. There is a similar effort in Canada, don’t know if its still going on.

    Some Fitzroy guy in Toronto was trying to emulate the BET gospel format and put on his own Gospel-Idol type of contest.

    I didn’t attend the show, but from the advertising it looked like the same tacky mess.

    Of course black folks lined up to participate.

    My questions are these: where do gospel singers go for proper training?

    Who gives them a biblical foundation in how to be a proessional gospel artist?

    Who are the respectable role models that are worthy of being mentors?

    Honestly…who is teaching a healthy, Godly approach to music ministry at the professional level?

  14. JJ, maybe we can get some good Canadian bloggers to start speaking out up there. Do you think they would send the Royal Mounties after you if you had a blog like this?

  15. I think the worst thing that happened to gospel music was when it was “discovered” by the mainstream recording industry. Soundscan gave record companies the ability to accuratelty track sales and they discovered that all those mom and pop record companies that produced most of the gospel music were moving a lot more product than anybody thought. Add to that Kirk Franklin’s meteoric rise in popularity and you had in essence the recipe for the perfect storm. It’s so bad now that I don’t listen to very much gospel radio anymore. The straw that broke the camel’s back? When I heard the Clear Channel gospel affiliate playing Jill Scott’s “Living My Life Like It’s Golden”! And this descent into madness continues full steam ahead with the proliferation of “praise teams”, that ironically enough don’t lead “praise” they merely perform while the congregation watches their gyrations and endless singing of “7-11” songs. As in, the same words over and over again until the people are bludgeoned into submission. Whew!! Rant over…..great post GCM, keep up the good work!

  16. GCM,
    Ya, they’d bring the Mounties out for sure! ha ha

    Honestly Pastor Foster, how are the sincere aspiring gospel artists supposed to learn how to be in the industry while doing it God’s way?


  17. E Craige Lewis (sp) latest podcast is on the BET’s in celebration of Gospel or as he calls it in celebration of garbage. It was actually quite informative. Several years ago I stopped listening to gospel and ccm. But I couldn’t put a finger on why. Then I bought Handel’s “Messiah Oratorio”. I’m am not saying that the best music is string music or baroque or written 300 years ago. But the one thing the “Messiah Oratorio” can’t be accused of is scriptural deficiency. It is scripture saturated. And that is when I realized that most music today is so lacking in scripture or they twist it. They don’t sing about the nature of God– instead they sing about what they think of God or about how it is their time to get what is their’s, their wealth, inheritance, etc. Perhaps the problem is alot of Christian singers are bibically ignorant/illiterate.

  18. Yes, Donna, with limited regard to style and form the church MUST return to the concept of sacred music. This CRAP the gospel music industry is churning out is in most cases unfit for a worship service, theologically weak or wrong and tainted with entertainment. The concept of music being an aid to worship GOD or support the theology of the church has to be reinstated. So much of this so-called gospel music is Lucerferian in nature; in my opinnion.
    The lust for recognition via awards (DOVE, STELLAR, GRAMMY), etc., is an ungodly popularity contest; as is this BET contest. Of course the judges will critique the contestants based on their marketability as entertainers. The LORD told His people Israel that they should make a difference between the clean and the unclean the holy and the unholy. This command needs to be replaced today. I ama responsible for the music ministry in my church and I refuse to teach or sing a song simply because it is poular on Top 40 Gospel Radio. A song MUST glorify GOD, support Biblical Theology or give a clear testimony of His greatness or I will not use it. Those in the “industry” have to consider whether or not a song will sell. Fact is, its about the money first and perhaps some “inspiration” may result. A crossover hit with out the clear message of the cross can never bring glory to GOD or save ultimately. What a raggedy hot garbagey mess.

  19. i competed to be on the show this year. i have dealt with ssa in my life. i am just now coming to terms with how the world views the church and gospel music artists — thanks to this site and some youtubes i never knew were out there.

    please don’t ever take this site down.

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