LifeWay Christian bookstore, one of the biggest retailer in Christian products in the US, is no longer carrying the latest album by Sho Baraka. They are also not selling Amy Grant's latest Christas album released late last year, and they are also removing Jen Hatmaker's books. So, if you are looking for these products, don't bother searching for them in your local Lifeway Christian bookstore.
The reason why the retailer is not carrying Sho Baraka's latest CD The Narrative is because one of the songs mentions the word "penis." "Like any retailer, LifeWay has a responsibility not to carry resources with content our customers consider inappropriate. After receiving complaints about some language in The Narrative CD, LifeWay decided to no longer carry it," said Carol Pipes, communications director for LifeWay.
Although the Southern Baptist retailer once praised the album for its content because it conveys a "Gospel worldview," they stopped carrying the album after receiving complaints about the language in the final song, "Piano Break, 33 A.D." where Baraka speaks of his past life:
"I was an insecure boy who just thought he was a genius
But always pissed off, that's because I thought with my penis
It's all strategic, I'm just asking us the reason
Share my faith on the track, I'm just exorcising demons."
But Sho Baraka is not the only artist who have been sidelined by the bookstore. Veteran artist Amy Grant, who has had #1 Christian hits like "El Shaddai" and "Hope Set High," will also not see her latest Christmas album Tennessee Christmas in stores. Manager Jennifer Cooke said in an opinion piece for the Washington Post that LifeWay's decided not to carry the title because there was not enough Christian content on the disc. Other than two traditional carols, the festive record contains secular songs.
Meanwhile, writer Jen Hatmaker's 650-word Facebook message, saying that she has decided to affirm same-sex relationships has led LifeWay Christian Resources to pull her books from its stores. The bestselling author said she still loves the readers "who are angry or shocked or confused" by her news, and reminded followers on both sides of the issue that the LGBT community is paying attention to their response.
The Southern Baptist chain stated Thursday that the author's statements "contradict LifeWay's doctrinal guidelines," and it has discontinued selling her books in its 185 stores or online. Spokesman Marty King said: "In the past, LifeWay Christian Resources published several resources with Jen Hatmaker. In a recent interview, she voiced significant changes in her theology of human sexuality and the meaning and definition of marriage-changes which contradict LifeWay's doctrinal guidelines."