Why I don’t listen to Christian Music anymore….

When I graduated from High School in 1986, I was sought a spiritual connection, a way to to know what path I needed to take in my life.  At that time, I was planning on being a choir director, my love of singing and music match only by the arrogant belief that I was damn good.

In that year, First Call came out with “Undivided” and my love of acappella met my love of Christian music.  I devoured their music and followed them, buying every single release.  When Melodie Tunney left the group, I was leery, not sure if the group would continue the beautiful tones and arrangements that I adored.

Enter Marabeth Jordan.

And I fell in love with her tone, her energy and the song “Don’t you worry about a thing” which I’d never heard before.  She was young, she was amazing and the next CD only got better.

It was “Sacred Journey” released in 1993 that I wore out again and again.  Songs that brought me closer to God, that gave me hope.  Songs I still love today.

When it all came crashing down in 1994 with the revelation that Marabeth Jordan was pregnant due to an adulterous affair with Michael English, I watched something absolutely appalling happen that leaves a bad taste in my mouth for the Christian Music community and its ministries.

Marabeth Jordan was vilified.  So was Michael English.  But guess who still has a career in Christian Music?  You got it.  Michael English.  He is forgiven, using his affair and his drug use as a “testimony” basically dragging Marabeth through the mud every time.  Never a fan of English, I was saddened and angered by his ability to shed Marabeth with no thought at all.  Listening to his testimony is painful and frustrating to me since there is little record of Marabeth’s struggle.

It takes a bit of Googling, but information is there that Marabeth suffered a miscarriage of the baby she’d created with Michael English.  There is no record of this devastating period of her life.  She is essentially erased from CCM history with no links for her name and no page for her contributions.

Could Marabeth Jordan come back and make it as an artist?   Probably not.  Women in Christian Music have a tougher row to hoe.  The only person I’ve even seen continue to have a career was  Amy Grant and SHE left her husband for the man she committed adultery with.  The Christian Music community is divided over her especially as evidenced by comments made on any YouTube offering by Grant.

So it’s understandable that Marabeth would want to stay under the radar and no draw attention to herself.  She’s apparently went back to being a back up singer for other artists.  What happened with her marriage and what happened to her relationship with the other members of First Call is not really known.

In my mind, it was a bunch of hypocrisy.  Marabeth was a part of something special and sacred.  There seems to have been no forgiveness in the people who continued to condemn her.  The people who continue to condemn her today.  I don’t know where she is today or what she’s doing, but I hope that she’s recovered from the dark period that took her out of the public eye.  As someone who has been cheated on, I know that forgiveness is a growing, amazing thing.  It saved me from spiraling into hate and keep love alive.  Honestly, I think it’s people who have survived something this horrific who understand the true love of God.

Marabeth Jordan sang many of these songs deep in a struggle that I understand and I have failed too. I found forgiveness for myself and for others. She is, and always will be, part of a very spiritual period in my life, a time that was accompanied by her harmony in First Call.


Filed under My Music Obsession

17 responses to “Why I don’t listen to Christian Music anymore….

  1. Hi, I discovered this article while searching Marabeth Jordan (I loved First Call), and you mentioned not knowing what happened to her. She’s an artist and looks to be doing quite well now, which was a huge relief for me to see. Her website is marabethquin.com.

  2. You’re welcome! 🙂 I just followed you on the twitters, I’m @JosephRemiB. @MarabethQuinArt is there, too..mostly art tweets.

  3. p_ny

    You’re so right

    I’dont speak english, so my answer wil be bad written. Sorry about that.
    If you understand spanish, i can write in spanish very well.

    Anyway, i think the same about the hypocrisy of the christian music universe. I LOVED FIRS CALL, i had a cassette in spanish and i was singing all day when i was a child.
    The explanation about that hypocrisy is that some times the people who gets involved in music ministries just want be famous or they are not prepared to fame.

    Michael English life is not a good testimony. isn’t edify anyone.

    BUT i still listening christian music, because I LOVED JESUS and i need singing him.
    JESUSCHRIST is not like Michael English, he’s not a good show, he’s not a famous singer, HE is the most lovely person you can meet. Give him a new chance. You spiritual life can be renewed.

  4. She sings a Song with her son

    So sad to see this waste of talent…
    I feel her pain…

  5. The baby Jesus is in that bathwater you threw out.

  6. BL

    I completely disagree with you, Michael English’s testimony is very powerful. I have read his book and heard his testimony – never once does he drag Marabeth’s name through the mud. This was two people who made a mistake, who were both in Christian music. Both have come to terms with the mistake and moved on. Unfortunately its mostly the Christians who won’t let them forget the mistake. Both are incredible singers. I have all of his albums and am more willing to purchase his albums because of all he has been through and has continued to persevere.

    • J. Allen

      I do so agree with the fact the people who so readily carry the name of Christ are not so willing to offer the forgiveness that He does. I remember the scandal well. I have friends that suffered through with the ones involved both along side and suffered their own rapids by association. Michael English has struggled with his faults and failures but I never heard him drag Marabeth through the mud in any way, shape or form. Marabeth actually chose to pull back and move forward in the way she did. Now I won’t say that her choice wasn’t affected by the way people are so ready to judge but she herself pulled back. I think its her choice and I can’t say that I think she needed to go through it in the public eye. Its really none of our business. Now in regard to the double standard that you seem to perceive when it comes to women v/s men, I am certain you are right about that in many circumstances but in this case its just not true. Sandy Patti would be another that experienced scandal privately and years later confessed to it and no one seemed to mind.
      I guess when it comes to bearing your soul, people want to hear our stories once everything is cleared up, not while we are going through the muck.
      It is a sad way that we treat each other.

    • Nina Champion

      I totally agree with you. You can’t forgive one and not the other. Haven’t read or heard mud slinging. Both were wrong,both forgiven, let’s move on.

      • VanPastorMan

        Has Marabeth repented? Michael has and was forgiven by God and the Christian community. I hope she has but have not heard she has.

  7. Stephson Bagwell

    Hello, I do believe the people should be restored back. after their hearts are right with God no one should judge them. I listened to this group with absolute amazement my heart goes out to them even though this was many many years ago I could still feel the anointing on them it saddens my heart to see such beautiful Talent that God gave being hidden I would love to encourage it said he reaches down so much further then we can ever reach up

  8. Carl

    I realize this thread is old, but wanted to reply anyway. “Undivided” was one of my favorite songs back then, but at the time, I don’t think I was aware of any scandal. It’s very sad, but honestly, I always felt such pride from Michael English that I didn’t like him. At all. But ALL of us have sinned (whether sexual or not), and we should always be willing to forgive.

  9. Craig A. Olson

    If you rely on humans to set the standards of God in order to verify your faith in Him, you will fail EVERY time. We are told several times in God’s Word not to trust humans but instead to trust God. The saints trust God, but most believers trust humanity. That’s why most believers make up the apostasy which God is happy to crush. Study God’s Word for more information.

  10. Eddie

    Sacred Journey is one of my all-time favorite albums. I still listen to it weekly.

    I do understand your point. It seems like everyone was offered mercy except for Marabeth. The favoritism still shocks me all these years later.

  11. Withheld

    I completely agree with the author. My manager called me at home and warned me about four days before the story broke in the media that it was coming and I was grief-stricken. Anyone who claims Marabeth didn’t “repent but Michael English did” doesn’t know a thing; they only think they do. The author is right: Marabeth will have that scarlet A on her chest from now on, while Michael… well, enough said. There’s no point in talking about him.

  12. Mom that loves Christian music

    I have NEVER liked Michael English. He was cocky and always wanted and still does to be the center of it all. Something that bothers me is that you put all Christian singers into a mold. Just because he did this and hasn’t asked forgiveness, doesn’t mean all singers are like this. Christian music isn’t based on just one person. There are a lot of hypocrites in the church and people that hurt others. Don’t let him be a stumbling block to music you enjoy and have found encouragement through.

  13. Major Allen Espy

    Bible-god has done far worse things than Marabeth and Michael English. Read the Old Testament.

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