Worship collective Maverick City and Dante Bowe have parted ways after his behaviour was deemed to be “inconsistent” with their “core values and beliefs”. Here writer Lauren Windle suggests that the hype around this story does not match the behaviour.


Source: Reuters

Is it just me or have we all just launched ourselves on the “How dare Dante Bowe do this to us?” bandwagon? I hadn’t heard of the singer until last week when he was dropped from celebrated worship collective Maverick City for his behaviour. I read the headline and my heart sank. “Here we go again,” I thought. Another influential Christian man acting in a horrific and damaging way. What’s this one done? Stolen from the church? Embezzeled? Or just the classic cheated on his wife with a member of the congregation? I clicked on the link with my heart in my mouth… 

Oh wait. What? He danced on a party bus to a song with sexual lyrics. I was sure I’d missed the real juice so I kept digging. Turns out he had also expressed support for the career (not romantic life) of a gay rapper. I thought: “Alright, I can see how this is ruffling feathers, but did it add up to career ending and public shaming? I shouldn’t have thought so…” Like a bloodhound, I kept on the case and dug about some more (i.e. went onto the second page of Google). And there it was. Sat there in the light of day. It was “speculation”. 

I don’t think any of us can say we’ve never danced to a song includes lyrics promoting a non-Christian lifestyle.

There is gossip, oops sorry “speculation”, that there may be some other unspecified bad behaviour afoot. But at present all we know is the video of him dancing. Here’s some stuff I want to say loud and clear; Maverick City is entitled to stop working with someone and they will know Dante and the situation far better than we do. Also, he may have done more inappropriate things - but we don’t know that so I think we need to stop acting as though he’s committed a grave sin.

Media outlets are reporting that he showed support for the career of gay rapper Little Nas X. Regardless of your position on sex-same relationships, Jesus showed love and welcome to everyone. I believe people of all lifestyles should be embraced by Christians and shown the love of Christ in the hope that it will transform them and their lives. What surprises me is that none of these outlets have mentioned that Little Nas X recorded a music video where he was giving the devil a lap-dance in hell. I think that is a far more worrying indication of his head-space than his sexual orientation and does give genuine pause for thought when it comes to Dante’s vocal admiration for the artist. 

 I don’t think it’s an action that means Dante should join the “disgraced Christian leaders” hall of fame.

Now on to the dancing. This I don’t think is ideal. I think it’s a party lifestyle that shouldn’t be encouraged. I think it’s behaviour that should be addressed with a conversation. I don’t think it’s an action that means Dante should join the “disgraced Christian leaders” hall of fame. I don’t think any of us can say we’ve never danced to a song including lyrics promoting a non-Christian lifestyle. Presumably we should all leave a wedding dancefloor and solemnly walk to the side-lines to sit in prayer if “If you like Piña Coladas” came on, as its a song about a married couple trying to cheat on each other.

The drinking and dancing to sexual songs isn’t a brilliant example, but I just struggle to see how the actions warrant the response they’ve had. It’s a lapse in judgement, not a massive scandal. Our faith leaders and people in the public eye are called to set a good example, and perhaps he fell short of that on this occasion. He’s apologised and is taking time out and that’s exactly what we’d want him to do. I think we can all back off now and put down the stones.