Gospel music is flourishing in secular Paris. A recent article by BBC Magazine carries a wonderful quote from one of the pioneers, Linda Lee Hopkins (pictured above) who has been facing pressure to compromise :
"They want you to compromise sometimes. They want gospel because they think it's radio music - especially the songs from Sister Act...I tell them, 'That is not gospel. They are secular songs adapted for the film.' So if they tell me, 'I want you to sing gospel, but don't mention Jesus.' It's like He's my life, I cannot not mention Him...Wanting gospel music without the gospels, without Jesus, without the Lord, is like wanting cake without the flour.."
It is yet another lesson that God will always find ways to reach those he has called to himself. France may not be ready for preachers but they appear ready for gospel music. So he is using gospel to reach them. Now wouldn't it be wonderful if evangelical churches in other parts of the world can get behind such a development and actually support it, instead of just relying on "moat and bailey" castle methods? Forgive my medieval analogy, but often the Church is too rigid in these areas and not as flexible in adapting to the culture for Christ. We are not to willing to be all things to all people so that by all possible means we may save some. Which is very wrong because that is not a gospel centred approach to evangelism, it is church clubbing! Incidentally, I can see gospel hip hop having an impact in a country like France, but I have not kept in touch with any developments in that area!