Erica Campbell from Mary Mary is gearing up for the release of her new album and celebrating her first Grammy nomination as a solo artist. But instead of enjoying this exciting time in her career, the gospel songstress is under attack by many of her loyal fans for being too sexy in a new promo shot.
Although 41-year-old Campbell is covered from neck to calf in the controversial white body-conscious dress, some critics say she doesn’t took holy enough.
“THIS IS NOT OKAY. Yes, you are a beautiful, curvy woman…but NO MA’AM YOU ARE SINGING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. Saints…smh COME ON,” wrote one preacher, who goes by Apostle Stacey Woods on Facebook.
Gospel site A Toast 2 Wealth chimed in, “The sexy attire takes any man or woman’s mind off God and onto other things that aren’t godly.”
But not all of the comments were negative. Lisa Holloway said, “I think people, especially Christians, are too uptight. It’s nothing wrong with being a Christian and portraying sex appeal.”
Pastor Woods took to American Preachers to elaborate on her strong feelings. Read her full message below, then weigh in. Do you see anything wrong with Erica Campbell’s album cover photo?
#1 The intent of my posting was not to attack Erica at all. I do not know Erica, have never met her, and NEVER passed judgment or even commented about her salvation, her relationship with God, her vocal contributions to the Gospel Music Industry, or her personal character. Yet, this article started off quoting MY comment as an attack. I expressed my concerns on my fb page that started out as a casual “lighthearted” discussion, but later exploded into comments that were so disrespectful they had to be removed. It’s interesting that the same Christians that will defend a dress, WILL CURSE OUT A PREACHER who expressed concern. We had a discussion that included over 300+ comments by those that both agreed and disagreed and most of those comments remain. #2 The article did not mention the gender of “the preacher” and most of the readers here assumed that it was a man, therefore, assumptions were made that it was a dogmatic, legalistic, lust-filled MAN who could not control his own sinful desires and therefore found criticism in Erica. Although it makes for “juicy discussion” it’s not the truth. The truth is, I am a woman, single, very content in my own plus sized figure. I do not desire or lust for this woman or ANY women, as I am a woman of God who is waiting on my mate, THE MAN OF GOD. #3 The comments here have blamed THIS as “why they don’t attend church, what’s wrong with the church, why they hate church folks…etc. when SURELY there are “deeper issues.”So, if (IF) understanding is desired, here is my take.My intent was this:
1. I want women of God to represent the KINGDOM without feeling as though they must become a sex symbol. THE WORLD sells sex, THE KINGDOM SHOULD PROMOTE JESUS.
2. Gospel music is MINISTRY, not just an art form or a genre of music.
3. We compel men to come through our love for Jesus, but when we wear things that are distracting, the message is somehow lost and it becomes abut US and not about Him.
4. I’ve seen TOO MANY…TOO MANY people dress inappropriately in ministry and THIS was only ONE example.While what I stated was seen as an attack, nobody saw the numerous videos that have been released to promote healthy self-esteem, beauty tips, fashion tips, or even the women’s conferences that did REAL outreach…providing clothing, shoes, and most importantly, JESUS.If a leader can not say that certain behaviors in the church are inappropriate, WHO CAN? Are we all suppose to close our eyes as gospel artist with revealing outfits sing about Jesus but bounce all over the stage in ways that can only be compared to the club? Are we just supposed to hush up about it and pray? Why not say to little girls that want to grow up to be JUST LIKE THEM, there is a better way to represent ourselves as women of God, and that was simply a bad wardrobe choice?
Let it be known, I am NOT jealous, envious, or lustful. I am a woman of God, curvy too, that will say that I desire to see us represent Jesus in a way that exudes HOLINESS and not sexiness. It was wrong when OTHERS did it too, and now its spreading through the industry as THE NEW STANDARD. OF COURSE there are greater issues to discuss, and greater ministry to engage in, but let’s stay on this one for a moment since we all took a glance at the picture and the article and shared our thoughts. Then, let’s continue/start doing the work of the church.
I would pray that my words would not be seen as an ATTACK, gossip, pettiness, or even judgment from someone who has nothing better to do but to criticize clothing choices, but as a plea with the Body of Christ, a body that seems to be slipping further and further away from HOLINESS and into worldliness. Everything we do is to now attract the world, when all we had to do was LIFT UP JESUS. However hear my plea, let’s PUT GOD BACK IN GOSPEL, AND HOLINESS BACK INTO THE CHURCH. It’s time to take a stand. GOD…AND ONLY GOD can see the heart, but let’s also focus on what is seen on the OUTSIDE and work on that too, while God is working on the heart.
Help is scheduled to drop on March 25, 2013.
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