Last year when former Christian music singer Ray Boltz turned into a gay christian heretic, the Gospel Music Association was drawn into the controversy. In the process, its president made a startling confession to a gay newspaper.
According to OneNewsNow, when asked about Boltz’s homosexuality, The Gospel Music Association – the group which gives out the Dove Awards – told the [Washington] Blade, “We do not comment on the lifestyle choices of people in our community.” The GMA (John Styll, president pictured left) even denied that it is a religious organization!
Fast forward to 2009 and now due to a confluence of factors, the GMA is on the verge of shutting down. In my opinion that’s good news. But look at what they are doing in an attempt to save themselves. From Charisma Magazine:
Despite its $1,000 per ticket price tag, a fundraising concert for the cash-strapped Gospel Music Association (GMA) is expected to draw thousands of attendees from around the globe.
The Monday event, being billed as the “Concert of the Decade,” is to be streamed live online from Nashville, Tenn., which organizers say will make it the largest Christian concert ever to be viewed in that format.
The concert—featuring some of the industry’s leading artists including Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Kirk Franklin and Casting Crowns—is part of an effort to save the GMA, which organizes GMA Week in Nashville and hosts the Dove Awards.
A 20 percent drop in membership coupled with the economic downturn and the impact of digital sales has left the organization fighting to survive, leaders say.
Its president and CEO, John Styll, stepped down in September as part of a concentrated “re-set” of the organization that includes using more volunteers, Christian Retailing reported. A managerial position will oversee a reduced staff, said Ed Leonard, president of Daywind Music Group and new chairman of the GMA board of directors.
$1000 per ticket!? One thousand dollars to hear Amy Grant, Kirk Franklin, Michael Smith and Casting Crowns? A thousand dollars to help the silly, self promotional Dove Awards stay afloat? That’s right. The promoters hoped to raise 800k to “pay off the organization’s debts” and thus stay alive to give out more awards to the Christian celebrity crowd. The only good thing about this that the chicken yellow CEO John Styll resigned.
What’s so patently silly and grossly offensive is that the celebrity Christian entertainers who are getting the awards are wealthy enough to pay off the 800k debt without breaking a sweat. After all, they made that money off the backs of the church. If it was so important, why not save the organization since the only real purpose it served was to further their star-studded careers.
But some people showed up and did pay the money. In a follow-up story the Nashville Tenssesean reported:
“Christian and gospel music artists came together to support their own this week, raising more than $350,000 for the Gospel Music Association (GMA), the trade association for Christian music which has struggled financially in recent years.”
Its time for these phony organizations to fall over and be gone. We will all be the better for it.