The New York Times wrote that Houston "possesses one of her generation's most powerful gospel-trained voices, but she eschews many of the churchier mannerisms of her forerunners. She uses ornamental gospel phrasing only sparingly, and instead of projecting an earthy, tearful vulnerability, communicates cool self-assurance and strength, building pop ballads to majestic, sustained peaks of intensity."
This critique of Whitney Houston’s music and persona by the New York Times is a classic example of how unwary Christians open themselves to the heathenish influences of people of the world. The Lord Jesus Christ warned us to try the spirit operating in anyone we as Christians make friends with and to assess influences around us in the ordinary course of our daily living. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1John 4:1. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4.
Paraphrased, the New York Times is saying that Whitney Houston though trained and brought up from youth in the gospel environment has since abandoned her spiritual roots and eschewed Christian mannerisms, depending on her creative prowess to power her rise to super stardom. It went or goes on to state that such every day proclamations like “Praise God,” “Glory be to God,” “Jesus is Lord,” etc have been all but banished from her vocabulary and everyday language; and that her strength and talent are sufficient, so she has no need to project any tearful weakness. Instead she relies on her cool self assurance and confidence to earn her a place of great respectability as a musical icon, powering herself to great heights of outstanding achievement as a superstar.
This type of fellowship between a child of God and the Flesh and the World has never been good news to the Christian. It is a fellowship generally known as unequal yoking that every Christian should flee from, before it spins a demonic web of destruction for him. The use of everyday epithets that form part and parcel of the Christian psyche is to be encouraged only if such proclamations are in absolute agreement with what is carried inside of the person so speaking. For a born again Christian who is a repository of the presence and power of The Holy Spirit, such use of “churchier mannerisms” and “ornamental gospel phrasing” as applied by the New York Times here comes very highly recommended. The Christian should not bother with the views and opinions of people who do not necessarily share our beliefs and reverence for God and His Christ. Their views and opinions are of no consequence whatsoever. This drumming is of the devil and no Christian would dance to such drumming and tunes.
Furthermore, at a point or the peak of her unfortunate, misplaced romance with narcotic substances, Whitney sang I LOOK TO YOU in which she sang out her heart to God Almighty. Check out the video. She built every attention on her creator, singing her total dependence on Him, seeking for His strength in her weakness. The song is an exemplification of how the Christian YOUTH must strategize in the on - going struggle with the forces of evil that threaten to overwhelm us daily as we continue in the race we are called to run for Jesus Christ. I have no doubt in my mind that Whitney Houston meant every word she sang in this masterpiece of a psalm, very much in the class of David’s psalms of repentance before his God. And as he, David saw mercy and forgiveness in the eyes of our merciful God who has promised us such a great act of GRACE when we show true contrition for our straying from Him, so also has Whitney, whose spirit is now in the warm embrace of Jesus Christ, because of her sincere repentance and dependence on Him.
Christian youths are encouraged to place Christ in a position of great respect and reverence in all things they do. Superstardom in the mold of the great martyrs of Christ like PAUL, PETER, JOHN, STEPHEN, etc is still possible today. A cardinal prerequisite is to avoid unnecessary friendship with the world. 16 “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world….. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” John 17: 16 and 24. Superstardom in your chosen field of endeavors is good to covet. Problems come when Christ is excluded.
Showing weakness is nothing to be ashamed of because when Christ wept for His friend Lazarus who died, He merely reaffirmed that showing weakness in the right way and under the right circumstances is perfectly in order.“Jesus wept.” John 11:35. May the soul of Whitney Houston find deep joy in its further experiencing in God Almighty and His Christ, in Jesus’ name. AMEN.