Kirk Franklin’s Comments on Rance Allen Project “Religiously Haughty”

“Something About the Name Jesus”
The Rance Allen Group featuring Kirk Franklin.
From the Tyscot LP The Live Experience
Tyscot Records 2004

First of all, don’t get me wrong: I admire and respect the ministries of the Rance Allen Group and Kirk Franklin, and particularly these artists’ musical innovations that took gospel to new heights in the 1970s and 1990s respectively. Both artists have made, and continue to make, compelling gospel music.

What I’m not pleased about is Kirk Franklin’s heartfelt but seemingly inappropriate spoken introduction to the live recorded performance of “Something about the Name Jesus” on the Rance Allen Group’s The Live Experience.

“We’re living in a day and time when being politically correct is popular,” remarks Franklin at the outset of the song. “We’re living in a day and time when everybody says the name God, but nobody wants to say the name Jesus. We don’t want to offend the Muslims, we don’t want to offend the Jews, we don’t want to offend the Arabs, and so therefore we crucify Him of flesh. But I want you to know that there will come a time when every Muslim, when every Buddhist, when every Jew will have to get down on their knees and have to confess that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.”

And right there, Franklin offended. Muslims, Buddhists and Jews have their own deities who are as sacred to them as Jesus is to Christians. Everyone is entitled to believe that he or she will kneel at the feet of his or her own deity on the last day. To suggest that Christians will have the last word smacks of religious haughtiness, and could easily be misinterpreted by some as a “My religion is right and yours is wrong” comment.

I sincerely doubt that this is what Rance Allen and Kirk Franklin had in mind when they produced the recording, because they are both fine men of God and good people, but that is how it can be interpreted. These comments were not necessary for an otherwise fine gospel song.

My point is we have enough misunderstanding and miscommunication between religions at this time in world history. Gospel music, a music based on love and compassion, should not contribute to the confusion. Rather, gospel music should be part of the solution, bringing people of all nations and creeds together instead of polarizing everyone further.

About Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.

12 comments

  1. “But I want you to know that there will come a time when every Muslim, when every Buddhist, when every Jew will have to get down on their knees and have to confess that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.”

    Kirk is right! That’s what the Bible promises!

    “To suggest that Christians will have the last word smacks of religious haughtiness, and could easily be misinterpreted by some as a “My religion is right and yours is wrong” comment.”

    Yes, only one religion can be the truth!

    “I sincerely doubt that this is what Rance Allen and Kirk Franklin had in mind when they produced the recording, because they are both fine men of God…”

    I think you don’t know Kirk or God very well… Because Kirk is a man of God he has to preach the truth! And the truth is always offending…

    So read the bible, believe in Jesus Christ as your savior and repent from your political correctness!

  2. That’s right. My boy kirk is only speaking the truth. It’s all good.

  3. Philippians 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

  4. How can you be a christian & be affended by what kirk said? Does his comment line up with scripture? Yes phillipians… read your bible… kirk seems like he did. SOMETHING ABOUT THE NAME ( JESUS )

  5. I mean no disrespect to you, Anonymous, but my answer to you is yes, absolutely I can be a Christian and be offended when my neighbor’s religion is treated with disrespect publicly.

    If your neighbor, with whom you have disagreements, is humiliated and disrespected in public, would you not feel offense and want to speak out in his defense? I would hope that as a Christian, you would.

  6. BLESSEDbyTHEEBEST

    …what u have mistaken with your sensitive flesh is that this is not about “religion”…it’s about GOD who is much bigger than religion regretfully u mixed up the two just as the media does!!..:(

    My point is “INCREDIBLE GOD DESERVES INCREDIBLE PRAISE!”

  7. Why wouldnt anyone want to BELIEVE in Jesus Christ???

  8. I’ve witnessed the spirit of jesus, of God. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But the truth will be revealed one day. Have a blessed day.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. There Is Something about the Name Jesus, though, right? But even more than the name, there is something about Jesus himself, the One who said, for those who hadn’t been “hearing” him:

    “I’ll say it again–it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

    Isn’t it interesting that these lines are not in the published lyrics? He gave his testimony where he knew it would be best received, among fundamentalist Christians. But I imagine he didn’t want to lose the sales, royalties, endorsements, fans he would’ve lost if he put the following words in print: “We don’t want to offend the Muslims, we don’t want to offend the Jews, we don’t want to offend the Arabs, and so therefore we crucify Him of flesh.” Not only do more moderate Christians not want to “offend” against people of other faiths, we wince in pain when other Christians do. Maybe it’s because that’s where this sentiment that only Christians have it “right” comes from. What but a deep wound makes anyone drawn toward the fundamentalist demand, which is apparently the exclusive love, attention and favor of Our Father, to the exclusions of our mothers, daughters, sisters, brothers, aunties, uncles, cousins, well just everybody else on the planet, …for all eternity?!!!

    More importantly, Jesus was the embodiment of political correctedness. That’s why the Romans killed him. It’s why somebody killed Martin Luther King, Jr. 46 years ago. “The Good News Was Meant for All Men”

    They stood with all people who yearned to be free of the empire. All people. And they taught us that the basket of unquestioned privilege holds the biggest collection of sins.

    When I meet Jesus, I fully expect him to be showing me the most amazing love I’ve ever known. And I know he’s going to show that same love to the person to my left, and the person to my right, the person in front of me, and the person behind me. Etc. And I imagine he’s going to say, “Yehudit, it’s good to see you. You took yourself on a real journey, right? You probably want to get some rest, but before you go see your room, let me introduce you to our brother, Mohammad, peace be upon him.”

    So, I’m not going to stop questioning privilege. And I will never, ever, believe that only people who call themselves Christians have my God’s favor.

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