Perhaps the most successful “gospel crossover” act since Kirk Franklin, the award-winning duo Mary Mary is having a banner year. Erica Campbell recently gave birth to her third child, Tina is pregnant with her fourth, their WE TV reality show was just picked up for a second season, and their eighth album, Go Get It, dropped last month. They were also nominated for two Grammys, hired new management, and were invited to perform at the Essence Music Festival for the first time next month.

It’s fitting, then, that the lead single from their new album is called “Go Get It.” They’re definitely out here seizing opportunities. And many of those opportunities would not have been available to them, had they not “crossed over” and earned spots on mainstream R&B/urban radio. Though most gospel listeners don’t get as up in arms about that as they used to, say, thirty years ago, when the Clark Sisters released “You Brought the Sunshine,” with its reggae-lite beat inspired by Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster,” Mary Mary still experiences the occasional old-fashioned churchy side-eye when their melodies or wardrobes seem to skirt a little too close to the secular edge.

Their reality series has provided more insight into their personal lives. Their bickering and endorsement of pole-dance workouts left some churchgoers cold, while others found their candor and concern for their body image, their health, and their sexiness to be refreshing. Regardless of your thoughts on Mary Mary, it’s interesting how discussions about them highlight some Christians’ ideas about what is and is not an “acceptable public image.” The sisters Campbell often said as much, whenever their sister and stylist Goo pulled outfits for their appearances. They had to dress with an eye to modesty, because it was expected.

Are you a Mary Mary fan? How do you feel about hearing gospel music in “non-traditional places” (like the club)? Should gospel artists have to look a certain way to be considered an “acceptable representation” of church or Christian life–and if so, what should that “gospel artist look” entail? And finally, what do you think of Mary Mary’s new single, “Go Get It?” If you haven’t heard it, check it out below:

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  • Lutezenia Turner

    I have loved Mary Mary since they first came out. I love their reality show even more. Their love for family is great. I like the fact that they are willing to show their lives both professionally and personally. I am looking forward to the second season of the show. Zaya is so cute. Both Erica nad Tina are always keeping it real. I love their music, their style, and humility. You can’t please everybody so keep doing what the Lord has shown to do in your way. I am a fan for life.

  • Tiffanie

    When you’re truly living in submission to Christ, you ARE different from everyone else.

    Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

    One of the major highlights of the show for you is not that Tina and Erica glorifies God, but that they show their “human side”. Have you considered that a major problem with the church is that many can not see the difference between Christians and everyone else? Perhaps we’re so desperate to appeal to the world and show the world that we’re just like them that they see no incentive to come to Christ. We have to be careful not to measure one’s works by what makes us feel good emotionally or how people respond to us, but rather by what God says about the matter. Do Christians hurt, laugh, have sexual desires and so on? Absolutely. But we don’t make a spectable of those things in an effort to draw people into the body of Christ. Instead, we put the spotlight on Christ. The Bible says that it’s “the gospel of Christ” that is the power of God unto salvation Rom 1:16, not our “human side.” A lot of us Christians have forgotten that and have abandoned sharing the Gospel others for fear that they won’t like it. Then, we wonder why we lack the power to draw others not to church membership, but into the body of Christ. Please do not be overly consumed with what everybody else thinks–your concern ought to be what does God thinks. It’s all about Him–not anybody else’s feelings or perceptions of us. I guarantee you, when that is your focus, it’s as if you’re a lit match in a dark room. People WILL be drawn to the light. That’s not to say that EVERYBODY’s going to get with you, or that they will get with you right away. In fact, you’re likely to get a few extra haters…it comes with the territory.

    John 15:18-19 18 If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

  • Tiffanie

    I understand what you’re saying, but your understanding of God’s Word is a bit skewed.

    You ask how living a good life can be wordly.
    You can live your entire life doing “good”–you can stop drinking, stop hittin’ the clubs, practice abstinence from sex, preach to the masses, give offerings, help people in hospitals, even heal the sick–and still not be in the will of Christ.

    “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23

    Too often, many people will live a life that is “good” in their own eyes without fully comprehending what it means to live good in the sight of God. They will do what THEY think is right without truly considering what God says is right. God only accepts that which is birth by His Holy Spirit, not that which is birth by our own will power and good intentions. The truth is, God doesn’t want OUR goodness–scripture tells us that our righteousness are like filthy rags. All He wants is our submission to Him. This is why we die daily. This is why our prayer should be, “Not my will, Lord, but Your will.” Does that mean we have to give up everything we like and never have fun? Consider this: Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He’s not requiring us to change who we are. All He is requiring of us is submission to Him and He will perform the change within us. He will become Righteousness in us so that we don’t have to work so hard to do (or “perform”) good.

    You say, “So I think as Christians we start throwing around scriptures not in love but sometimes in the spirit of judgment and condemnation” The thing is, when it comes to the standards of God, what you “think” doesn’t matter, I think doesn’t matter, either–all that matters is what God thinks. This is why we “throw the scriptures around” as you say–because we’re showing that we’re not just talking based on emotions or human reason but based on the Word of God. We have to value His Word more than our own feelings, more than our own intellect–THAT’S worhip. Concerning judging, it’s said that in the churchworld, there two extremes: (1) those who are judgemental and condemn others because they aren’t living right, and (2) those who pat you on the back and pretend that it doesn’t matter. BOTH are wrong. Nevertheless, there are so many scriptures that admonishes us to use righteous judgement, which does, infact, edify the body of Christ. The key, though, is using RIGHTEOUS judgement–i.e. not proclaiming our own judgement (our opinions), but rather God’s judgement (truth). Jesus exemplifies this in John 5:30 when he says, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

    You also say, “you can’t even conceive what good life is because your mind is not Gods mind… Right?” Wrong–

    1 Cor 2:12-16 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.”

    Jeremish 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”–Often times, people will say, “Follow your heart.” But clearly, we can’t trust our heart. And so, we have to be careful not to let our feelings and emotions dictate our judgements. Made4praise never said that Tina and Erica weren’t saved. But that’s not to say that they haven’t havn’t done things in error. You yourself asked the question, “Do you know these ladies?” If you ask yourself that same question, your answer would probably be no, and you would have to at least consider that some of their works may have been done in the spirit of error. The important question is, by who’s standard are you measuring? We can’t allow how much we like Tina and Erica outwiegh righteous judgement. Again, it doesn’t matter what’s your opinion, my opinion, Tina or Erica’s opinion, Oprah and T.D. Jakes opinion, Pastor’s opinion, Clutch Magazine’s opinion, or anybody else’s opinion on this thread–God’s truth outwieghs all our opinions. Seek truth in all matters and exercise righteous judgement(I’m not just speaking to you, I’m speaking to myself, as well).

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