NQC & Ashcroft: Dividing An Invisible Line
Since I’m probably one of the only bloggers that hasn’t commented on John Ashcroft being at NQC at some point, and I have received a couple of e-mails regarding my opinion (like mine would really matter, but I’m humbled to share…because everyone has an opinion), I’ve decided to comment, albeit briefly.
Politics do matter in southern gospel. Politics do matter in the church. However, just because they do matter, doesn’t mean they should matter in every facet. There are some issues that stretch way beyond the political stratosphere that should matter to Christians, and some we take too far. That being said, you don’t have to include political affiliations to present the Gospel or to present music. The Gospel is for those who despise abortion, the innocent who have been aborted, those who have had abortions, and those who perform the abortions. In ministry, I’d rather have people asking my thoughts on how to study the Word more fully, or “did Judas really repent?” than hearing questions about bailouts, defending our borders, and “don’t ask, don’t tell”. I’d much rather preach Christ from a pulpit than politics. Even though God put Christ on that cross, and he willingly went, God also used the intermingling of politics and religion to make the way for Christ to be put on that cross. So the line isn’t always so straight. American politics aren’t any different than the Roman empire and Pharisees. They’re both human point of views, depending on failed and flawed humans to be leaders and national saviors. And it revolves around money and power. For anyone wondering, I’m not a liberal. And for anyone else wondering, I do sometimes have to stand up for political objectives in a church setting. It can be separated to a certain extent. And then you have to stand. I have to come to a point where I realize these things may affect my children and their children. And because I’m not fully glorified, my mind isn’t always on “God’s gonna work out the politics”. I mean He is…but probably not the way I would. How much more do I have to endure, LORD?
But to make a profit in southern gospel, political ideals will most times draw more of a crowd than a dynamite preacher (unless said dynamite preacher writes a book about politics), at least to the fans who don’t know any better. America is obsessed with having political input, whether they know anything about politics or not. Hire a politician to speak at NQC. Money in the bank. It obviously creates attention. Some will not like it, but the vast majority could care less. And the board members hear people like us discussing it. I am. You have a voice. If it disturbs you, don’t go.
Regarding Ashcroft, I have no qualms about it. I don’t see him overtly pushing any political agenda on NQC goers who wouldn’t already agree on most of the things he would probably say. How big of a risk is it? The majority of NQC attenders are registered Conservative Republicans. The Mike Huckabee party seemed to garner a lot of attention. If it’s making $ in the long run, go for it. Nothing wrong with making some change to ensure you have a NQC in 2015. If the board members would have the guts to axe The Dixie Melody Boys from the main-stage, they would probably have a reason to believe that a guy like Ashcroft or a gal like Palin would only help attendance and attention.
I’ll listen to Ashcroft. I promise you that I will. But truth be known, I’d rather hear David Phelps sing “He’s Alive” watch Peg kick off a shoe, or Gerald Wolfe sing “O Holy Night” (yeah, I said it). Only because I don’t think Ashcroft is going to say anything new that I haven’t already heard. What I actually want is for him to make some controversial statements that we’ll be talking about in September 2012. That might put a dent in something. And maybe next year, NQC can bring in a conservative southern democrat. Or maybe a more neutral, Bill O’Reilly or grassroots politician, Ron Paul that will create a controversy, no matter what political party is around. That would be a circus… and I don’t think NQC is going that route, so in the end, it’s not really a big deal. Ashcroft will not deter the music or the message of the music. It’s an interesting, conservative politician who happens to like gospel music, whom people will listen to when speaking. In that vein, it sounds like a pretty good idea to me.