On Anointed Albums

Is it nothing more than a public relations move to describe an album as “anointed”?

What, exactly, does the word “anoint” mean? The primary definition, of course, is “to put oil on during a religious ceremony as a sign of sanctification or consecration.” But the secondary definition is “to consecrate.” (“Consecrate,” of course, means “to make or declare sacred; set apart or dedicate to the service of God.”)

Theoretically, at least, the statement that an album is anointed simply means that it is “set apart or dedicated to the service of God.” I have a feeling that even my more cynical readers would have no problem with a statement to that effect. Many albums in Gospel Music are set apart and dedicated to the service of God.

In practice, the term is often used in this subculture to mean that the artist recording the project felt God’s presence in a more real way than normal when recording a project or a song. That is the sort of thing that some would say could not happen. But who is to underestimate the power of God?

Of course, the performer feeling God’s touch does not necessarily translate into the listener feeling God’s touch. (I did not know that Tracy Stuffle’s narration on the song “I Don’t Regret a Mile” was the highlight of the Perrys’ Happy Goodmans album until I read a story to that effect.) Also, God can move a listener with something that has become a matter of routine to the performer. I have been deeply moved by various performers’ renditions of their songs, but it is quite possible that in some of those cases the performers were worn out from a long tour and had their minds elsewhere. So unlike the first pertinent definition of anointed, which is objective, this definition is essentially subjective–something that is based on each person’s reaction.

Granted, when someone expresses their emotional reaction to hearing or performing a song, it might come across as insincere or controversial if others were not touched in the same way. But to me at least, denying that someone could possibly have had the emotional reaction they claim to have had (especially without any evidence to back it up) seems to be somewhat cynical.

God is alive and well, and still touches songs, their performers, and those who hear them. Without His touch, all we could do would be historical re-enactment of the glory days when God used Southern Gospel music.

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8 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I really dislike the use of that word when it applies to a song, a CD, a person. . .

    It’s easy to say that a CD contains 14 songs and it is 45 minutes and 12 seconds long. These things are measurable. However, being “anointed” is not something that can be measured. It’s a “feeling” and I may not get the same “feeling” as someone else when I hear a particular piece of music. Does that mean I am “less anointed” than someone else? I think the term is thrown about in a very careless manner.

    One thing I will say: Daniel, you are one of the few people that write about “anointment” that actually spell the word correctly! LOL!

  2. Why, thank you! 😀

    In my post, I made the point the second pertinent definition of “anointed” (the definition we are both using here) is subjective. Some people will have a certain emotional reaction to a song, and others will not.

    While it is easy for me to say that I did not have a certain emotional reaction to a song, I would be very hesitant to extrapolate my experience onto others and say that they could not have had the experience they claim to have had.

  3. It seems to me that the term is used more as a “buzzword” in the past few years. Many artists produced recordings that were as moving (and maybe moreso) than some today, yet they were not described as “anointed”. I attribute the inordinate overuse of this term to the Charismatic, P&W, songs-on-the-wall, stand with your arms upraised for 30 minutes, etc movement.

  4. I think it is a shame that as Christians we cannot use the term anointed without ridicule from fellow Christians. As a Christian we are all anointed (set apart for service) and as such we should not ridicule the use of the word when describing a project or person in their work for the Lord.

    I would prefer an anointed project over one that was not!

    Good response Daniel!

  5. Thanks!

  6. I didn’t intend to “ridicule” but I do think that the term is used as a “buzzword” instead of as it should be used.

    Frankly, Susan, I think the word is used to cover up the “sins” of lack of preparation. Feel free to disagree with me, but you won’t convince me otherwise.

  7. John, I never thought I would try to convince you otherwise, nor would I even try. **smile**

    However, I believe that the “sins” of lack of preparation are in the ear of the beholder or listener as it is.

  8. I agree that it is all in the eye or ear of the beholder. Some groups and some songs move people in alot of different ways. Take for instance EH & SSQ, the only thing I feel from listening to them is “entertained”, but, that doesn’t mean others are not blessed by listening to them. I do believe that some people sing and preach under the anointing, while others do not, but, it also comes back to me and whether I am expecting a blessing or not.