Ain’t Gonna Play Sun City Baptist Church

In 1985 a group of popular musical acts calling themselves Artists United Against Apartheid released the song Sun City. Sun City was a resort in the internationally unrecognized and nominally independent state of Bophuthatswana, which was created by South Africa 1977 as a part of its system of apartheid. Despite the lucrative opportunities available to bands who would perform shows at the resort, Artists United Against Apartheid declared boldy: “I ain’t gonna play Sun City.”

For Artists United Against Apartheid, there was no paycheck worth entertaining the patrons of Sun City, a resort created for wealthy whites to enjoy themselves while their black neighbors suffered under one of most oppressive governments in the world. South Africa has since ended its system of apartheid, but there are still many venues at which conscientious musicians should refuse to play. Sadly, the most prominent one can turn out to be their own local church.

Contempory worship services have developed from expressions of corporate worship to overproduced concerts, dark rooms full of fog, illuminated by spotlights. The songs sung are generated from a money-driven evangelical industrial complex that is dominated by some of the most heretical organizations in the world. Organizations such as Hillsong, Elevation, and Bethel Church Redding all have their own musical enterprises. Having gotten rich from using false teaching to tickle the ears of whomever will listen, the leaders of these organizations have further enriched themselves by producing church music. This music has found its way into local churches everywhere…

And you are expected to sing it.

If you participate in the music ministry in your local church does it prick your conscience to play this music? Does it bother you to foist Steven Furtick’s lyrics upon your fellow church members? If so, will you tell your music ministry “I ain’t gonna play Sun City Baptist Church”. I mean, if Bono and Steve Van Zandt can excercise a musical conscience, can’t you?

Be assured that your refusal to sing and play these songs at church won’t stop others from doing so. Artists Against United didn’t shut down that resort. Superstars like Elton John, Dolly Parton, and Queen still played Sun City. If you refuse to sing and play songs from evil organizations at your church, somebody else might take your place. But don’t you want to stand before God one day and say, “I couldn’t stop others but, Lord, I loved your church enough to stop doing that.”

No, no, no. I ain’t gonna play Sun City Baptist Church.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

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Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant