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.