Email of the day

It’s been nearly seven years, and Avery’s email inbox never ceases to deliver ever new sources of bemusement. A recent gem, in its entirety:

why do quartets get away with adultery? they sing for God supposedly, who checks up on this?

I actually don’t think it’s a matter of people getting away with it, so much as it is that southern gospelites typically agree to pretend publicly that this stuff doesn’t happen, except when they don’t. But what I really like about this email is its unblinkered outrage and the straightforward assumption that someone really should be monitoring the sex lives of singers. We should all give this a good think next time we’re inclined to complain about the jobs we have.

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  1. lovelife wrote:

    Sorry to say, there’s no “adultery” committee…lol We have to remember that not EVERYONE who sings, sings for the Lord. It’s just a job to some…

  2. quartet-man wrote:

    As humans we fail, and I understand the sentiment we shouldn’t control or monitor every single moment of their lives. However, I don’t see how expecting them to live Christian lives (even though they will be imperfect) is any different than morality clauses in other lines of work and Coke telling their employees they can’t drink Pepsi, eat Lays chips, or eat at Taco Bell. (All owned by Pepsico)

  3. Hector Luna wrote:

    i bet i know who sent this e-mail in. actually, no…my guess would’ve spelled a few of those words wrong (quartets, adultery, supposedly..). but any rate, what would “southern gospel sex monitors” be paid? i’ll happily apply. i assume this would entail creating an e-mail list to give updates to all fans.

  4. Jake wrote:

    I would be curious to know who “gets away” with adultery? Undoubtedly it happens sometimes with SG singers, just as it happens in the general population, including with believers. It shouldn’t, but it does, and it brings its own share of consequences when it does.

    I’m sure if someone gets a reputation as a womanizer/adulterer, it will stop the concert invitations to the whatever group they belong to. Between that and the standards of conduct that various groups have, and it should be pretty well policed within the industry.

    If there is someone who is blatently living in an adulterous state, then it is up to whoever knows about it to contact the individual, then the group leader/owner, and finally, if the first two don’t work, let it be known. (That happens to be the model of Matthew 18, with the exception that most of us don’t know the home churches & pastors of SG group members.)

  5. darrel wrote:

    Singers are human to. Have you heard the saying. There but for the grace of God goes i.

  6. Me wrote:

    People can inquire about my sex life at any time. If you got nothing to hide, there’s no reason to be afraid of accountability.

  7. CVH wrote:

    Hmmm…the writer’s logic is interesting; an assertion that some quartets engage in adultery and get away with it; that they “supposedly” sing for God, thus creating a moral disconnect between their words and actions; and then the improbable notion that their sex lives should be monitored. I get it but…really?

    I’m sure some readers will consider me too much of a humanist on this, but like so many aspects of life, it comes down to the individual. Where do you begin? Was their conversion/born again experience/whatever you want to call it real? Did it ‘take’? Or have they always been half in/half out? Or was it good for awhile and then for whatever reasons went lukewarm or cold? Are they strong and sincere in their faith but struggling with some issue? Or are they part of that very small percentage of people who have it all together and are not wrestling with any personal demons.

    All of us fall somewhere on that spiritual continuum and, if we’re honest, we’re not even consistent from day to day. Some days it’s three steps forward, two back, some days two forward, three back. That’s life. What has always dismayed me is the misguided notion that
    “Christians”, while not perfect, are always striving to be their ‘best’, walking up that spiritual path to higher ground. That’s simply not true for many people. It’s one thing to acknowledge imperfection in a general sense; you know, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven”. It’s another to honestly admit that some days you really just don’t care.

    Because God is big enough to handle our doubt, he’s not worried about it. But everyone else is - from Aunt Blabby, who hasn’t gotten any since the Eisenhower administration to George the quiet, demure usher who secretly lusts after the hotties in the high school Sunday school class. It’s easier to pretend the issue isn’t there than to open up the can of worms of dealing with it.

    Human nature being what it is, I doubt this dichotomy will ever change. Certainly we don’t have to encourage bad behavior but we shouldn’t react with surprise when we encounter it. Because who knows? The next time it could be us.

  8. Bill Bailey wrote:

    No one gets away with sin.

  9. Olaneljonoisle wrote:

    @#4 Jake

    Matthew 18 is dealing with personal offenses. If the lead singer of a quartet were sleeping with your wife then YOU could follow Matthew 18 to try to deal with the situation.

    The NT model is to deal with sin in the CHURCH directly. When Paul was dealing with the church at Corinth he told them to deal with the people in known sin directly. He didn’t go to Corinth and talk one on one to the offender, then with a witness, then to the church.

    You may be offended by the fact of SG singers involved in any kind of sin but Matthew 18 is for an offense between two people on a personal level.

    SG singers/entertainers are a different animal, so dealing with their sinful ways is not as cut and dry. If someone has factual proof of an affair then they should go to that person to try to help them, “restore such an one” as the Bible tells us.

  10. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    You do not get away with anything with God.
    Southern Gospel is no different from your local church.
    I would suggest your pastor in your local church is constantly dealing with the same kind of situations all the time.
    It is private business thus it is none of our business.
    Same should be done in Southern Gospel.
    What good would it do if you knew everything about evrybody?
    Surely not uplifting the name of Christ!

  11. baritonebob wrote:

    I started subscribing to the Singing News in the late 1980’s. There was usually both a seasoned SGM artist and a young SGM artist-two different articles-featured each month. It was a eye opener to see how many different artists who had just recently gave their heart to God but yet they had been FT SGM performers for many years. The SN’s stopped sharing that type of information many years ago.

  12. matureman wrote:

    “why do quartets get away with adultery? they sing for God supposedly, who checks up on this?”


  13. cheeseburger wrote:

    They don’t get away with it. It may seem to some that they do, but in the long run - they suffer from it.

    I don’t think there needs to be an “adultery police” in Southern Gospel. There shouldn’t have to be. The singers ought to have enough morals about themselves to keep their pants on!!

    My biggest problem is - if your local pastor (who is delivering the Gospel) is caught cheating, his congregation usually fires him and he’s crap out of luck. Southern Gospel singers want to say they’re delivering the Gospel (and in most cases they are) but somehow they aren’t held to the same standards that you would hold your pastor to. And if that’s fine with people, more power to you.

    I’m not calling on SG singers to be perfect, but at least STOP being so deceitful. If you want to screw around on your spouse, go ahead, but STOP using the Gospel as a vehicle to do it.

    And for those of you who don’t have a problem giving your hard earned money to a bunch of folks who make a mockery of the Gospel, have at it. I - personally - would rather give my money to a country singer. At least they’re true to their music…. they might sing about drinking and screwing around, and they might do just that…. and that’s fine. But at least they’re not singing about Jesus one minute and then sleeping with a whore the next.

  14. irishlad wrote:

    The two famous Bass’ who had their young bits on the side stashed away on the West coast in the 50’s & 60’s did so simply because they could,a classic example of ‘Jack the Lad’ syndrome.The two men about town and all round good eggs were so popular with fans and thus indispensable to group management a collective blind eye was turned. Things I’m sure haven’t changed that much.

  15. irishlad wrote:

    7 CVH, your style reminds me of a guy who wrote the liner notes for one of the Imperials albums of the 70’s, was it?. I must dig it out .

  16. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    No. 1: is “it’s just a job to some…” meant as a double entendre? If it is, bravo.

    No. 7: “What has always dismayed me is the misguided notion that “Christians”, while not perfect, are always striving to be their ‘best’ walking up that spiritual path to higher ground. That’s simply not true for many people.”

    It’s called sanctification, and if it isn’t true for someone, that person likely isn’t a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Typical junk southern gospel theology. Ugh.

  17. Kyle wrote:

    The overwhelming majority of the comments here seem to imply (or flat out announce) that what gospel singers do off stage is none of our business. These same people will turn around and start yacking about “who’s cheatin’ who” as soon as a new rumor is circulated. NOW who has the double standard??

    Let me ask this question….would you want your dirty laundry aired around your workplace for everyone to see and hear? Professional Southern Gospel singers are doing their JOB. To some, it is a calling. To others, it is a passion. Then there are those to whom it is simply a job, just like many people in this world.

    Part of that job, however, is to “sell” the gospel, and many are quite good at it, but at the end of the day, it’s still just a job to them. Is that a false witness? Probably. But people still pay to see it, so why shouldn’t they keep doing it?

    Who is accountable? How about us as fans who will still go see them sing and buy their albums, knowing full well what they’re doing…..

  18. JM wrote:

    Why do politicians promise so much and deliver so little? Why do car salesmen tell you that this is the best price they can offer you? Why do people take deductions they shouldn’t take on their income tax filings? The magic answer is…they are LIARS! Throughout the whole of society, we have people who tell lies. Having travelled a bit in an SGM group some years ago, I can assure you that sin is well represented in the lives of some SGM folks. Always has been; always will be. Don’t confuse making a living with living a righteous life. Two different things entirely. Some of the most gifted and heart-tugging SGM folks I’ve known have very suspect personal lives. Fortunately, most I’ve known are wonderfully sincere and caring Christains. Always remember to keep the eyes on Christ and not on people.

  19. melvin klaudt wrote:

    In the bible there were two daughters getting their father drunk and then going to bed with him. Then there was David, Samson and many more. Before there was the popularity of SGM in many churches, there was the preacher/piano/organ player relationships. Many of these came to light, many didn’t. For whatever reason God made a woman beautiful stepped back and admired His handiwork. Many men cannot look upon a woman and adore it like a rose without wanting to pluck it. What I need to do is admire and not pluck and not worry about the plucker.

  20. irishlad wrote:

    19.. Pluckers…very apt.

  21. quartet-man wrote:

    I am back to elaborate a little. I am not saying that there should be a police that airs dirty laundry or that fans have a right not know. However, I believe the performers should be held to Biblical standards. Not in the way that they are expected to be perfect, but they should strive to be as God desires. The group owners have every right to have expectations on behaviors. Companies do it all of the time for far less reason. A company I worked for before the church stated that things we did outside of there that could affect their image was grounds for dismissal. I can’t recall if specified, but I figured they had not only illegal things in mind (say stealing and the like), but things in the public eye like attendance at certain public events and possibly even unpopular stances. They might have even included political things. I really don’t know. The gist is that they reserved the right to fire us if something we did in their opinion reflected poorly on the company and its image.

    I believe it all comes down to the person’s history and frame of mind. Although I hated it at the time, I am glad that Michael English wasn’t able to continue on after his affair because now having read his book, I see that he wasn’t ready. However, on the opposite side, I am thrilled he has been able to come back. So, my problem isn’t with those who fall, but those who continually fall the same way and who don’t care.

    I suppose too it depends on how the group represents themselves. If they get up on stage and pretend one thing and then do another, yes I have a problem with that. I can enjoy secular acts. What I can’t stand is hypocrisy. If acts are going to behave this way, but want to sing the gospel, then at least be honest. Then again, they know they will lose the lion’s share of their audience if they do.

  22. Kyle wrote:

    Here, I can solve this problem right here and now. Gospel artists should be held to the same exact standard that which we hold ourselves. If you can’t measure up yourself, then work on getting your own life in order before going after someone else.


  23. Ode wrote:

    neat euphemism :D It’s highly difficult for plucker-owners not to worry about the said object, that’s often self-propelled and takes orders from none. David had enough wives,so logic has it, a perfect night out ‘d be spent football-with-boys-pizza-beer, yet he goes out and finds more trouble on his plucker.

    But if a faithful God servant had zipper malfunctions,what to say about small country boy tenor,who suddenly gotten in a limelight and is flirted with by horny cougers and photo-opt seeking homeschooled girls alike?

  24. JM wrote:

    #21 - Quartet-Man / Parts of your agruement are well taken. Today, I find myself in charge of Personnel for a firm. We are headquartered in an “employee at will” state; simply stated, this means we reserve the right to terminate anyone’s employment, at anytime, for any or no reason. However, I will say that we stipulate in our policies that there are certain types of behavior which are frowned upon and may lead to the employee being discharged. But in SGM, many folks I’ve known who play “fast and loose” with moral issues are owners of or stakeholders in the groups. In most cases, this is bad business and will expose a SGM group to being pilloried and run out of town on a rail…but, not in every case! Some “greats” in the SGM business who have passed on in the last ten plus years were rumored or known to be “quite colorful” in their road warrior days. However, as they aged and their wild ways became less appealing than a solid and dependable home life, they were allowed to age gracefully and were even reverred within the SGM community. Sin is always an issue between God and man; however, between man and man, sin is sometimes minimized, forgotten or even justified. Sing, write, preach or pray…but someday, we will all answer for our behaviors…good or bad!

  25. Ode wrote:

    #7 yeap, I personally know a guy who is finally “not struggling with personal demons and got it all together”- just went to his funeral on Tue. Excellent post ,CVH. Sanctification is a lifelong process,indeed. It’s tempting for all of us to be judges of other’s faith, yet *careful* is the key here.. ;) so “faith” of the judge himself doesnt fall on the wrong side of his own yardstick.

  26. carl wrote:

    Funny how the hormonal sins get most of the press.

    In the music industry there must be a very fine line between “healthy competition” and the sin of “greed”, to say nothing of “pride,” “envy,” and maybe a little “gluttony” now and again. I myself publically confess sloth.

    Anyhow, I’m thankful I haven’t been called to be on the committee that monitors that stuff.

  27. CVH wrote:

    irishlad #15 - I’ll bet you’re thinking of Bob Benson? If so, that would be quite a compliment.

  28. quartet-man wrote:

    Kyle, the standards are God’s not man’s. I don’t want someone to try to live up to my expectations, I want them to live up to God’s. I don’t want them to emulate me because I have my own imperfections.
    Now I don’t mean by that that I am doing the things that are being spoken about, I’m not. But I certainly have my own struggles like anyone else. I don’t mean to say that I have different standards for others than I do myself. I try to go by God’s standards myself even though I certainly fail at times.
    So, there is a difference in expecting more from someone else than ourselves versus expecting the same from all of us, but knowing we won’t always get it right.

    Now, I don’t say that there should be a committee overseeing how someone is living their lives. As a church music director I know I wouldn’t want someone telling me what all I have done that isn’t 100% Christ-like. Now, I am not talking about people doing it in love to help me to be better. I am talking about those who are the morality police as spoken about.
    I know what a lot of my faults are and it is a process sometimes.

    I will say this, as great as the pastor is, he is human too. So is the secretary. So is the custodian. So are the Youth directors. We could even get into choir members, Sunday School teachers, heads and members of committees. Those in the congregation….

    I think once again it comes back to what people are striving for. If a person is striving to be more Christ-like and gets back up after they fall, cool. If they are lion’s in sheep’s clothing and are simply taking advantage or willfully living a life contrary to scriptures, they should probably find something else to do.

    We are called to represent Christ and although we fail and although we fall far from the mark that God expects, we should strive to represent as best we can. I realize it is a fine line (no pun intended).

    Once again, I am not saying that we as ticket buyers have a right to know everything a member does. I suppose we have the right to buy tickets or not depending on how we perceive the artists are living their lives, but I think that is dangerous in some ways because appearances can be deceiving and like more than one of us said, we all have things that are less than we should be. But, right or wrong, we do have the right to do that.

    I think the morality bit is better served by being watched by the group leaders. If they have enough evidence of their blatantly and continually living wrong lives, they have to decide as those entrusted in that position on what is the best course of action. I give Daniel Riley props in that department. From what I understand, some of the membership changes have been just that. He has handled them quietly and honorably even though at times I think the communication end to the fans haven’t always been the best (I am not talking about whys or hows, but just communicating a change has been made and what they plan next if known). But that is a whole other subject.

    P.S. I haven’t ever refused to go to a concert based on what I feel that performer has done wrong, nor do I look at them that way. I take them at face value until evidence is shown and leave the rest up to God.

  29. quartet-man wrote:

    Okay, even after all that I need to say a few more things. I got interrupted while typing and then had to take care of a few things.

    1. My point about standards is like Guy Penrod partially made on the GVB reunion DVD. If we only let people perform or preach who are perfect, only one person could do those things and it isn’t us. However, we simply cannot water down God’s standards because we fail at some of them. Nor should we look down on some who fall short in some ways that we don’t while glossing over our own. But, even if we do know our own and work on them and yet still not be there yet, we should still tell what God’s standards are (even those we know we fall short on). Not in a superior way, but in a way that communicates God’s word.

    As far as my comment that if they are willfully living lives contrary they should probably find something else to do. Let me elaborate, I am not talking daily things where some days they just really screw up. I am talking continually with no intention on changing and no sorrow. Sometimes they can continue on and work through things, but once again it depends on if they seeking or not.

    When I started this, I thought there was one more thing, but it escapes me. :D Maybe it was that sometimes we can judge a situation and be wrong. We might see a married man hugging a woman who isn’t his wife and presume one thing when in reality it could be someone in pain and the singer is trying to help. We could see someone with a big plate of food and think they are gluttons when they are taking the food to someone else or sharing. We might see a married woman kiss the cheek of someone who isn’t her husband but not realize it is a brother. These are extreme examples perhaps, but it just demonstrates that we might not be seeing what we think we are. So, I am not comfortable in presuming I know what someone’s walk is.

  30. Jeff Crews wrote:

    One thing that needs to be understood is Gospel Music’s rise to fame in the 1950’s in context. Jake Hess said that they were musicians and stars. People could see them on tv, hear them on radio, buy their records, and then the groups would come to the people’s home towns. Sinatra nor Hank Williams were playing New Albany, Mississippi, but the Statesmen / Blackwoods were. They were the only stars these folks got to meet and interact with, and there was opportunity galore for sexual impropriety. In the sixties, The Goodmans and others brought in a decidedly ministerial approach to Gospel music, and in fairness to the old quartet boys, a lot of them saw the error in their ways and turned from it. Some famously did not. So that is where our music comes from. In today’s world, Gospel singers don’t have sold out Friday Saturday Sunday shows in auditoriums (except Gaither). They play churches, ministering to people, offering testimonies, and really encouraging people to invest in their ministry through attendance at concerts, record sales, etc. When they are revealed to be something other than what they are selling themselves to be, that is a problem. At least in the 50’s, most everybody saw these guys as singers who sang a specific genre of music, entertainers no different than country, pop singers of the day. It shouldn’t have been okay then, and it sure shouldn’t be okay now. Group managers should follow the lead of Jake Hess when he formed the Imperials. Their rule was, it didn’t matter how well you sang, if you got caught with your pants down, you were fired, and you got to tell your wife in front of the other guys why you were let go. Adultery of course, is no worse than any other sin , to God, but it does have much more devastating earthly consequences. It also is unlike telling a lie to cover your butt when you are surprised by a question, or other quick negligences. Adultery is the most public evidence of moral bankruptcy. First, you must be so in love with yourself that you think the needs of your wife, children, church, family, community should take a back seat to your sexual whims. Secondly, you must decide to follow lust into an actual conversation. Third, you must knowingly commit an act that you know will have devastating effects on you and all you love if it is revealed. Fourth, you must lie to cover it up and conceal it. It IS different than other sins in that regard. Martin Cook, Jake Hess, and others have it right. It is unacceptable, no matter how well you sing, or how uneasy an explanation of your departure in the singing news will sound.

  31. Randy wrote:

    If someone started an adultery patrol, then it would give justification to start patrols of all sins, including a gossip patrol which would shut this website down. Excuse me, commenters, but I believe you have something in your eye. Well, it looks like a 2×4…

  32. irishlad wrote:

    30, I think you call that the Human Condition, most if not all on this’d blog call it Sin, and I think that’s where I differ.

  33. Wade wrote:

    Was fired about 6 mos ago from a First Baptist type church. I was a REAL STRETCH for them as I perform in clubs. SOMETIMES I hate it sometimes it is fun. But am conflicted about it SOMETIMES…sometimes when it is a clean show & I get to work with real pros it is REALLY FUN!!!

    People think I am crazy because while getting ready I usually listen to Gold City, The Oaks & The WHO!! :-)

    I look at what I do as an actor. I would gladly play a murderer on TV or a play. I have played the guy going to hell in more than a few Church SHOWS!!! Because nobody else would on about 1/2 the productions.

    But ppl have a hard time separating the 2 as we see how even a local celebrity is treated. Much less some craziness we see with people like Charlie Sheen. I have what I thought to be a good friend who thought because of some jokes that where done on stage that is was REAL about me!! THAT was an eye opener.

    All the while I WORSHIP!!! I am glad I can use my talent for God. I cry more often than ppl would think at a great song, a touching story or for a person in need.

    I SIN A LOT!!! I lust in my heart much, even in church (WOMEN SHOW UP ALL DRESSED UP, LOOKING & SMELLING GOOD) I try not to… I do not mean to, I do not wake up Sunday Am thinkin’ let’s go check out the Babes. But DADGUM!!! I do not want to take them away from there husbands. I have never even dated a woman from church. But SOMETIMES I really am admiring them & appreciating all the work they do to look like that. Just did a charity event & found out how hard it is to walk in those heals & look that good!!! So I do not consider my self a OOGER!!! I don’t stare!!! But how are you supposed to turn that off???

    But back to my original point!!! I was fired about six mos ago from a church by the music minster who said I was not fit enough to minister from the platform!!! I was stunned, because I knew he frequented an Oriental Massage SPA!!! I was like Dude are you serious… he hung up on me!!!

  34. SteveSmith wrote:

    That was probably the most real post I have read from you Wade. Thank you for your honesty.

  35. Bones wrote:

    Get the deisel sniffers on adultry patrol!

  36. hello wrote:

    To #13 cheeseburger.. I find it interesting that you’re so quick to refer to the women that these “quartet men” involved themselves with as whores. As far as i’m concerned, i think that some of these men are nothing but manwhores themselves. If your going to label the women they’re involved with, it’s only fair that you label the men too.

  37. irishlad wrote:

    No one can deny the cacophony of our age.
    All about us are the sounds of discord and dissonance.
    You don’t have to listen for them-
    they are just there……..
    So listen-
    to streams and trees
    to little girls and “good mornings”
    to poems ansd songs and pictures
    to the faintest sound of song within your deepest being and
    “follow the man with the music”
    Yes indeed CVH, that was Bob Benson taken from the European distributers Key Records album Follow the man with the music. I have a felling the Heartwarming cover might have been different?

  38. Wayne Kerr wrote:

    Ok, here is a scene for you all to ponder upon. I recently booked a part-time quartet for a function. After the advertising was running, I was contacted by an individual who explained to me that one of the members of the group was a registered sex offender. I checked it out and sure enough the guy is listed in his home county sheriff’s website as an offender.
    I contacted the group and asked them about it and they didn’t deny it, but felt they had no obligation to let promoters/pastors know about this member. I cancelled their appointment.
    So I guess I would ask the question, “Should groups with registered sex offenders be required to inform the promoter that he/she is in the group?”.

  39. quartet-man wrote:

    I do think we are arguing two things here. I concentrated more on expecting members to live the life, which I still agree with. Then there is the argument that there needs to be a police force who oversees and enforces it. With that, I think the group owner needs to do what’s best. I am not referring to their kicking members out the first time they do something wrong, but more a train of thought of the member or overview on how they live.

    #38 Wayne, I absolutely do. There are kids at concerts. You were out advertising money and work and if something had happened at the concert, or you continued, it would have reflected badly on you. Now I will say that it is my understanding that some people are accused of such things and innocent or that some of the ways of getting on such list although bad, isn’t quite what it sounds like. (For instance having consensual sex with a 17 year old a few days away from being 18 (or for that matter who lies about their age) isn’t the same as molesting an 8 year old.)

    I also believe God con forgive the person no matter what they did, but one has to deal with the consequences at times, and that is one way. People are going to suspect them, or be careful around them, or not want them around. So, you had a right to know. If there are details of the story that explain it, you can be told that. You can be given the name of the victim and contact them if the situation were more like the 17 year old in my made up example above. It just seems to me that if they are on that list and have stipulations on what they can do, that it shouldn’t matter if it is out of state or not. The reasons for being on there were apparently seen as enough to warrant being on there and the safeguards seemed important enough, so they should carry over state lines.

    I had heard of someone through a friend of mine who was on a sexual offender’s registry and although I didn’t know the story, my friend said it wasn’t like it sounded. For all I know they were falsely accused. I also know a few former classmates who were on there. One at least was from a guy with his (former?) girlfriend / live in lover. So, although what he tried to do or whatever was wrong, it isn’t the same as his stalking strangers in an alley IMHO. Make no mistake, it was still wrong, but I do think some are worse than others although I am not saying that many or most shouldn’t be on the list. I guess it depends on what the offenses are and the other circumstances.

  40. Wayne Kerr wrote:

    I wasn’t sure if the accusations were true or not so I searched the public records. There were more than one offences against a child under the age of twelve, and the offender spent about seven years in prison. What I can’t understand is that according to his registration, he is required to list his home address, work address, and even the make/model of his vehicles but there is no stipulations regarding singing in a gospel group. I just can’t imagine why the group owner and other members (all of which are aware of his record) choose to have him in the group.

    I also agree that God can forgive, but I also believe in consequences for certain actions.

  41. cheeseburger wrote:

    #36 - not a problem. Label away.

  42. quartet-man wrote:

    #40 Wayne I agree and your extra info is telling. I suppose the group owner / members might be trying to show forgiveness and figure he has served his time and (hopefully) repented. That might be admirable, but I think they need to disclose this to people instead of trying to play a shell game. The other option might be that the person is talented and they are using that as a reason and ignoring the other.

    Now, I am all about God forgiving, people getting other chances, not holding one’s past against them (past meaning they have repented and aren’t still doing it). But, sometimes the consequences are still there. God doesn’t remove them. I understand how awkward it would be to tell everyone (for the group members and the one who did it). However, sneaking around in a case like this is bad and could cause great harm. In most cases I would say let someone’s past stay hidden unless they want to tell about being delivered, but in this case I think they need to give full disclosure (especially since the law dictates as much).

  43. NG wrote:

    #37 Irishlad: Benson’s writings you cite are on the back cover of the Heartwarming album called “Follow the Man with the Music.” Front cover has two pictures of the group and the song listings.

    Although Benson is not credited, I assume he also wrote the liner notes for the 1972 album “The Imperials.”

    Writing about the songs on the album by pop music songwriters, he says:

    “His song is being copied
    His message is being plagarized
    because it has always been His message
    these things have always been his concern.”

  44. steph wrote:

    I actually find that e-mail very funny. It reminds of the days of “The Scarlet Letter.”

  45. steph wrote:

    Who was sleeping around anyway? Man, I never figure this stuff out!

  46. steph wrote:

    #33 - Wade you rock!
    Sometimes I dress in clothes that are too big because I don’t want men at church checking me out.

  47. irishlad wrote:

    43 Thanks for that NG. That particular album(FMM)was marketed completely differently over here,in fact,next to ‘Believe It’ it has one of the best Imps covers I’ve seen. As stated before I don’t think it’s the same as the US version.

  48. Wade wrote:

    Thanks Steve!!

  49. NG wrote:

    Irishlad: Here’s a link to photos of the front and back of the Heartwarming version of the Follow the Man album.

  50. CVH wrote:

    irishlad and NG: good stuff and thanks for the link to the cover, NG. I was going to post that but you beat me to it.

    Bob wrote the liner notes for nearly every record Benson released from the early ’70s to the early ’80s. Everything from The Hemphills to Doug Oldham to The Speers to The Imperials to The Downings to The Archers. He was particularly well-known as a speaker in the Nazarene Church and authored several popular inspirational books. His writing style was breezy and reflective with a touch of irony and humor.

    Of course this was back in the days when Benson was privately-owned and the staff was small; Bob MacKenzie produced virtually every record until he left in ‘75, Bill Grine was their main photographer and Bob McConnell did the design work. When Paragon bought them out in 1980 things became more impersonal and ‘corporate’. Bob dealt with cancer for a number of years before dying in (I think) 1986. He was one of the good guys.

  51. Ode wrote:

    :-/ thats silly goyishe kop for you! Hushing FL college professor’s blog, or even locking down the church lobby or concert hall where gossipers tend to congregate, won’t measurably affect gossip levels.

    To make gossipcontrol squad earn their upkeep you shut down the source, a.k.a the SG elderly listeners (as my rabbi says “if evolution really works how come we elderly only have one mouth?”). While bloody and fan-base eliminating, this fecund idea stops the sin altogether.

    On a serious note- closed mouth gathers no foot,I agree with your “let them screw around in peace and not talk about it”, Randy. But some posters here disagree, and I see their point as valid, too…

  52. Ode wrote:

    :D Wade,I dont know what “1st Baptist type” means, but based on your description a christian girl shoudnt go to such dirty joint; it promotes, as Soli Deo Gloria eloguently said, “typical ugly southern gospel theology” of LOOKING LIKE you are believer, not BEING one.

    “Religion is not for pussies”as song has it.Shake it off,I see why God doesnt want one to be a part of them.
    Yeshua -Jesus- was also reprimanded by assholes in FirstBaptist (circa around 30 AD)for being a drunkard and glutton, hanging out with a bad crowd of mostly whores (looks like any whore is a Virgin Mary in comparison to your former music director)

    I feel disquisted reading such accounts.No wonder “southern baptist” and “Bible Belt” are swear words for the rest of the USA ;) some bad cases give the rest of the south a bad name

  53. irishlad wrote:

    I take it all back NG.. exact same cover & much obliged for the link.
    CVH I was just about to put out a personal plea to your good self for a short bio on BB, I was so intruged by him…so thanks. A Nazarene eh?..mmm.

  54. Bones wrote:

    Bob Benson had such a wonderful spirit about him. We could make you cry even if you didn;t want to cry. “Laughter in the walls”.

  55. irishlad wrote:

    CVH, futher to my ‘mmm..Nazarene eh?’ comment, we have a small number of Church of the Nazarene congregations in N.Ireland and I note that they emerged from the Wesleyan Holiness movement. This becomes interesting when you describe Bob Benson as being one of the ‘good guys’, in sofar that living an almost perfect life through involuntary sin can be achieved with the help of a special second dose of Grace is what the Holiness teachings are all about. I wonder was that Bob’s secret? In walking his talk he had reached that rarified place that you decribe in your original post as ‘a small percentage of people who have it all together’. Funny how an album cover brought us full circle to the core of this thread.

  56. CVH wrote:

    irishlad - yeah, it was his father John T. who founded the company in 1902, publishing songbooks, etc. It wasn’t specifically a Nazarene publishing house (like Lillenas) and got into recordings in the mid ’60s. The Imperials did their early records on Heartwarming (although there might have been one before they signed). In fact, I think the company helped them out buying their first bus.

    Bob was a reluctant businessman; his real skill was with people. That made him a wonderful writer and communicator but he was never a hard-nosed company president. He always seemed amused that he was president of what was then one of the two largest Christian publishing houses/record companies. It didn’t change him though; he was witty and philosophical until the end. You can still find his books at or on Amazon. I’d suggest “In Quest of the Shared Life” or “Laughter in the Walls” or “Something’s Going On Here”. He also appears on a live recording with the group Bridge (Jim Van Hook’s group before he went inside) from about 1981; they do some songs and there are three or four segments where he speaks. Soft-spoken, slow…but full of wisdom.

  57. CVH wrote:

    irishlad - just read your second post #55 - yeah, there were Nazarene pastors in Bob’s family and he was an ordained elder. I never heard him speak or read anything that promoted that aspect of Nazarene teaching, kind of like a Pentecostal who doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit - they’re there, but let’s not make that our focus. I think that was part of his gifting - he was able to just relate well to a wide swath of people.

  58. irishlad wrote:

    56 Thanks CVH for those book titles, i’ll endeavour to track some of them down,whatever is available.

  59. irishlad wrote:

    56 CVH.You mentioned “Van Hook’s group before he went inside”;now over here to go “inside” means to go to jail,surely you didn’t mean that? :)

  60. Wade wrote:

    Steph… bet they still check ya out!!! :-) Received an offline message alerting me of your wardrobe comment & he siad you looked good in a gunny sack!!! ;-)

  61. CVH wrote:

    #59 irishlad - no, Jim never spent time in jail…that I know of :) He was involved in music writing and getting into publishing in the late ’70s when he formed Bridge. His original company was Brentwood Music. He later had several roles in the whole Benson/Brentwood/
    Zomba mishmash in the ’80s and ’90s. For awhile he was a dean at Belmont University’s music business program. I think he’s semi-retired now but still has some connection to Word. BTW, found a link to the record I was talking about… Now, let’s talk about the ones who DID go to jail…

  62. irishlad wrote:

    61 That female Dixie Echoes tinkler of the ivories did a fair stretch in the slammer thanks to her insatiable love of money, which, unfortunately manifested itself in a particularly callous display of inhumanity toward a so called close friend. Mon Dieu, with friends like that who the Hell needs enemies :/

  63. melvin klaudt wrote:

    #62 - I don’t think that’s fair to the Dixie Echoes which are two and three generations removed.

  64. Ode wrote:

    63 - but dear, it’s unfair to the band how exactly? Dixie Echoes are using her as a sin excuse now- “dammit,boys, I just cant keep straight, that pianist jailbird set us off on the wrong foot”? ;)

    Many among sg fans are 0 generations removed from segregationalists, and as far as possible from Adam n Eve. “Unfair”? Yeah, betcha Ode and Melvin would’ve stayed sinless in the garden, and that putz messed it for all humanity.

    Unless you are subscribing to the old churchy mentaility of turd polishing to keep the image “clean”? Its 2011, that model doesnt work anymore

  65. melvin klaudt wrote:

    63-Yup I know, 2011 abolishes all previous criteria of Christ centered love. Let’s all just roll around in a big ball of flesh in 2011.

  66. irishlad wrote:

    64 Putz…..i love it Ode :) ( what’s it mean Btw?)

  67. Wade wrote:

    irishLaddy… you are such a pot stirrer… I LOVE IT!!!

  68. Ode wrote:

    65,:) Covering up past sins to fake a sugarcoated image is not Christ-centered love, and it usually backfires. Many seem to love this technique, that’s why SB didnt apologize for their racism/support of slavery until all the way 1995, it was argued as unnecessary and image-destroying “we are generations removed from it, why bother?”
    If a band or ministry exists for 50 y or more, like yours, for sure it had at least one thief, or a tailchaser,or a junkie,or an ungodly bastard preacher, or, if one were to claim “none of those”, then at least a liar ;)

    While on the subject,I meant to sincerely compliment the incredible native am. costumes that your lovely family used to perform in, as I see on videos. Who made those,may I ask? Your mother or someone on her side of the family maybe? They were just so perfect for the stage, and overall very cool!

  69. Ode wrote:

    66 :) One who tends to overestimate his competence and knows just enough to be dangerous, yet is being combatively active in causing variety of problems.

    It’s Yiddish, lang. of german origin,and sole reason my grandparents had a lifetime of marital bliss. It was her native tongue, but papa spoke a semitic hebrew, so they couldnt understand each other for 49 lucky years, untill sweet welcomed death freed grandpa from this sheer happiness.

  70. irishlad wrote:

    Thanks for the 69 Ode ;)…and 68 was one of the best posts i’ve read from anyone- full stop,or as you guys say period.

  71. melvin klaudt wrote:

    68, I’m sure that all of us have made mistakes. Some small in the eyes of man and some large in the eyes of man. However, God in his infinite process of justice just says, “Repent and I will bury your sins in the depths of the sea, never to be remembered against you again”. I just can’t understand, so-called religious, deep sea diving. In my later years, I have nothing to hide. I want everything placed on top of the table. That is why when I have something to say, I will sign my name to it, not with pride, but with a transparent full disclosure process. I only have to answer to myself and my Creator. I believe you and I, Ode, could have some interesting one on one conversations.

  72. Ode wrote:

    :) Irishlads are charming.

    71 Mel,sweetheart,religious deep diving for sins is vital on all levels, otherwise we are deemed to repeat them.
    If christians weren’t creating a stink exposing sins,learning from past mistakes, but sweeping it all under the rug,your brown civil-rightless ass would still be stuck on reservations and mine in a ghetto (or, in worse case, in the ground, right below the respective locations)

    We will always disagree on this, so let’s give it a rest. You are undoubtedly a rascal, but I still like you;)

  73. Tjeerd wrote:

    I agree with Bill Baily (8).
    Nobody gets away with sin……especially me.

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