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  • « Unconditional Election Quote | Main | A Work Beyond our Ability »

    A Sampling of Substantive Lyrics

    If most of you out there have a background anything like my own, you probably associate the rap/hip-hop scene with base, perverted lyrics and ungodliness in excess. That’s certainly the impression I had of rappers, at any rate – but recently I was blown away by the deep, Reformed theology in the lyrics of certain Christian rappers, whose projects can be found here. Just in case anyone is disbelieving or curious, I took the liberty to type out the lyrics to one of these songs I recently discovered. The artist is a brother named Shai Linne, and the song is called “Justified,” from Shai’s debut album, The Solus Christus Project. It’s basically a brief exposition of Romans, chapters one through three. The rest of the album has much more of the same.

    Justified

    Written and Performed by Shai Linne, on his album The Solus Christus Project

    Verse 1
    Let’s set the context, I promise you – it’s not complex
    So far, Paul has been explaining why God’s vexed
    Mad at us, His wrath is Just, we lack trust
    Blasphemous, even though we know it’s hazardous
    Chapter one, verses eighteen to thirty-two
    He talked about our great schemes and the dirt we do
    He said people refused to give God His due praise
    Suppressing the truth in their wickedness, they’re ruthless
    Therefore, God gave them over to their sinful ways
    And because of nature, we have No Excuses!
    Chapter Two’s for those who think they don’t fit in this category
    They think they’re on the path to glory – Nope, wrath & fury
    They point the guilty to hell, they’re swelled –
    Lacking humility, even though they’re filthy as well
    Needing more than a bath, Because like a greedy man who
    Hoards his cash – in the same way, they’re storing up wrath
    For the day when God’s righteous judgment is revealed
    And all see (that) their sin debt’s an infinite amount
    When no secret word, thought or deed will remain concealed
    Before God, to whom we must give account
    That’s why…

    Chorus:
    It feels so good to be JUSTIFIED!
    Either trust or die, you must decide
    Stakes is high – make the right decision
    For the Lamb whose life was given – Christ is risen
    (repeat)

    Verse 2
    As we continue, the apostle Paul is a man on a mission
    To convince you of hostile, fallen humanity’s condition
    Learn what God disperses – “hurt your pride” verses
    Romans 3:12: ‘All have turned aside, they’re worthless’
    Bound by sin, a race of hopeless slaves
    Verse 13: ‘Their throat is an open grave’
    It says that ‘they use their tongues to deceive’
    ‘The poison of vipers is under their lips’
    Look at Hip-Hop: that’s not a hard one to believe
    Cats who run with their cliques with guns on their hips
    Doesn’t it fit? Thugs found dead in clubs
    Verse fifteen: ‘their feet are swift to shed blood’
    Police end up deceased in mad hot zones
    Verse seventeen: ‘the way of peace they have not known’
    Everybody appears hard – despite the clear odds
    Verse eighteen: bottom line – “Nobody fears God’
    His Holy Word declares that we’re ALL lawbreakers, well
    That’s the explanation for this planet’s confusion
    If God didn’t intervene the fall would take us all to hell
    But Praise the Lord! He granted a solution! And…
    Chorus

    Verse 3
    Verse 21 – God’s righteousness – He manifested it!
    But that’s nothing new – it’s in the Old Testament
    It belongs to those who put their faith in Christ
    If you believe, you’re redeemed because He paid the price
    We were hostages, but then He set us free from the bondage of sin –
    So now we pay homage to Him
    Verse 24: Divine gift – JUSTIFICATION!
    The most important term in a Christian’s vocabulary
    And most believers can’t define it – that’s frustrating
    Cause understanding this helps us resist the adversary
    Christ spilled His capillaries; that’s why our Savior can’t be Mary –
    that’s a burden only the God-Man can carry!
    In Justification:
    God declares sinners to be righteous by GRACE ALONE through FAITH ALONE
    in the finished work of CHRIST ALONE – He saves His own
    He saves His own – Add anything to that, you’re in the danger zone!
    At the cross, God treated Christ as if He lived my life (what?!?!)
    I’m so perverted – that’s why He was broken and murdered
    Through faith, God treats me like I lived the perfect life of Christ
    Yo, I can’t earn it, and no I don’t deserve it, but…
    Chorus

    Posted by Nathan on November 17, 2006 04:42 PM

    Comments

    I like this Nathan, seeing you too are forward thinking as the Prophesies teach:

    Gen 48:14 And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands (for Manasseh was the firstborn).
    Gen 48:15 And he blessed Joseph and said, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day,
    Gen 48:16 the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."
    Gen 48:17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head.
    Gen 48:18 And Joseph said to his father, "Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head."
    Gen 48:19 But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations."
    Gen 48:20 So he blessed them that day, saying, "By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying, 'God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.'" Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.

    AND

    Psa 78:1 A Maskil of Asaph. Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
    Psa 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,
    Psa 78:3 things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.
    Psa 78:4 We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.
    Psa 78:5 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children,
    Psa 78:6 that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,
    Psa 78:7 so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;
    Psa 78:8 and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

    As a father with two boys, 16 and 13, besides daily Life with God through Jesus Christ, my heart is that they too will have the LAW ESTABLISHED in their spirits that they too might see:::>

    Rom 3:28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
    Rom 3:29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
    Rom 3:30 since God is one. He will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
    Rom 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

    michael, a father desiring the GODLY GENERATIONS TO COME FORTH!

    I believe it is a mistake to think decent lyrics justify (no pun intended) music associated with "perverted lyrics and ungodliness in excess". Music is a medium intended to carry a message. The beat, harmony, rhythmn,etc. all work together to appeal to the various base emotions in people.

    It is the postmodern mind that believes we can "contextualize" the gospel in the current ungodly culture and make it "relevant" to ungodly people. Conversely, the Scriputres speak to bringing our best before God, our firstfruits. Is hip-hip music really the best we have to offer? You can put good wine in a rotten wineskin, but you'll end up with vinegar.

    Mr. McCrory,

    Regarding contextualization...

    What about 1 Corinthians 9:19-23?

    That substantial numbers of "postmodern" individuals wrongly water down the Gospel is no argument against the legitimacy of contextualization. There is a way to carry the message of Christ clearly and culturally--while retaining its full integrity.

    While the Cross will forever remain a stumbling block to any culture, we are not thereby permitted to become cultural ostriches or elitists. While we should never tamper with the offending content of the Gospel, we should labor hard to remove unnecessary cultural and communicative barriers.

    Umm... David McCrory, what you have said is either racist or ignorant. Who are you to decide which culture, or genre of music is Godly or "the best", and which is not? I remember Jesus qualifying true worship by "Spirit & Truth", not genre. What is your standard for "the best", or a "Godly" genre? There are ungodly hymns, there is ungodly classical music, there are ungodly praise songs, there is ungodly accapella music. If one certain culture or genre is more godly than another, I'd be interested to know which one it is as well as well as your Biblical support for such an idea.

    Shai Linne's album is great, and its content, as well as style are both a source of worship for me.

    I've prayed that I have responded in a proper manner.

    God Bless!

    It strikes me as odd how people always use secular rap to form an opinion on rap itself. What if people did the same with all other genres ? We'd have no music. The TV and radio are used to convey messages of perversion and corruption. Do we knock those ? Nope. Movies are also used as tools of corruption. Do we knock those ? Nope.

    Why not just let God work and use what He uses to reach a generation ? They didn't even have music like we have today in the Bible days, so are we ALL wrong ?

    We were once dirty and trifling, but God redeemed us. Just like rap music. Just like ANYTHING. God can take what is dirty and useless, redeem it, and cause it to glorify Him! He did that with me, and He did that with all believers in Christ.

    To say that hip hop cannot be redeemed is to say that God is not God and cannot use whatever He pleases.

    Saul was dirty, killing Christians, but he was redeemed by God and became a powerful and influential tool used by God to affect His people!

    Just in case anyone wanted to hear the song, I have a copy here.

    There's not a single area of human existence that the cultural mandate of Gen. 1 doesn't extend to - including hip hop.....at least not if you take Kuyper and scripture seriously.

    David McCrory,

    I think I know where you're coming from, but I don't believe your argumentation is valid. Is rap music associated with ungodly lyrics? Yes. It has been used by depraved persons, for ungodly purposes. But all styles of music have been used by depraved persons for ungodly purposes. And all non-musical media have as well. Not to mention every other good created thing of God.

    The answer is not to refrain from using God's good creation because it has been used badly, but to use all good media and all good created things for good purposes, as God intended.

    One could refuse to hear the blessed gospel hymns of such godly writers as Cowper and Watts because the hymnic common meter in which they wrote was widely used for raunchy love poetry in their day. One could refuse to put printed words on a page of paper, because the printed medium has been used to disseminate godless garbage. One could refuse to employ television or radio, for the same reasons. But to react in that manner is really not addressing the problem at all. We need to realize that, even though some persons use the gift of music in a pagan way, God has in fact commanded us to sing with grace in our hearts to him. I believe Shai Linne and others like him are singing the best they know how, with hearts full of grace, rejoicing at the truth of the gospel, and lifting up their voices in praise. I am confident of this, because I hear what they sing, and it is a message that no natural man can delight in, unless God has opened his heart to the gospel. And if God has done so, how could he not sing?

    Our God is a diversely, manifoldly excellent God, who lavishes upon us his gifts in great variety. Because I love coffee, I do not therefore despise tea. Because I love steak, I do not despise chicken. I hope that, because you may love more traditional varieties of worshipful music, you do not therefore despise other varieties in which your brothers are offering up their heartfelt praise to Him who is worthy.

    Just some thoughts. I appreciate your heart, but I hope you will not let your passion to keep the gospel message from being contextualized away cause you to despise other believers who love the same, non-watered-down gospel.

    Blessings from the cross,
    Nathan

    Nathan (and David):

    I believe I have found part of the reason why so many folks have their socks in a bunch over holy hip hop.

    Greg from SI's forums recently commented on my blog. This blog post originally started off as a part of a dialogue, but ended up being a full-length post. Perhaps it may open David's mind a bit and also confirm what you've said in the above post, Nathan.

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Kerry (BlackCalvinist)
    Turn your speakers up

    Guilty By Association

    So you need a new car? let your fingers take a walk
    through the business guide for the "born again" flock
    you'll be keeping all your money in the kingdom now
    and you'll only drink milk from a Christian cow
    don't you go casting your bread to keep the heathen well-fed
    line Christian pockets instead--avoid temptation

    guilty by association

    Turn the radio on to a down-home drawl
    hear a brylcream prophet with a message for y'all
    "I have found a new utensil in the devil's toolbox
    and the heads are gonna roll if Jesus rocks
    it's a worldly design! God's music should be divine!
    try buying records like mine--avoid temptation"

    guilty by association

    So you say it's of the devil and we've got no choice
    because you heard a revelation from the "still small voice?"
    if the Bible doesn't back it then it seems quite clear
    perhaps it was the devil who whispered in your ear

    It's a Telethon Tuesday for "The Gospel Club"
    "send your money in now or they're gonna pull the plug!"
    just remember this fact when they plead and beg
    When The Chicken Squawks Loudest Gonna Lay A Big Egg
    you could be smelling a crook
    you should be checking The Book
    but you'd rather listen thank look--the implication

    guilty by association


    From Steve Taylor's 1984 album "Meltdown"

    http://www.sockheaven.net/music/albums/meltdown/08.html

    G-Zus,

    I appreciate the substance of some of what you have to say, but I don't really think it's appropriate to play the "racist" card. I actually don't even know for sure if Shai Linne is black or white, and I'm sure David McCrory doesn't either. I don't think it's fair to assume that his hesitancy with a certain form of music could be for no other reason than that he's racist.

    I have nothing against the style of rapping. And the one you mentioned here is quite refreshing actually... especially in light of how most rappers lyrics are quite horrid. I did, however, post a rappers video on my blog that promotes the 2006 Rick Warren conference that is awful.

    Anyway... Amen Jenn.
    You wrote: We were once dirty and trifling, but God redeemed us. Just like rap music. Just like ANYTHING. God can take what is dirty and useless, redeem it, and cause it to glorify Him! He did that with me, and He did that with all believers in Christ.

    To say that hip hop cannot be redeemed is to say that God is not God and cannot use whatever He pleases.

    ---and you hit the nail on the head with that comment. To God be ALL the glory!!!

    Pitchford,

    Two things:

    One. What I said was directed towards his comment and how I perceived it, not against him personally. I never said he was racist.

    Two. I said that his comment was "either racist or ignorant". I was not supposing that he is a racist.
    I pray that his comment was out of ignorance rather than racism, but like you have stated I have no way of knowing and I am not about to judge which one it was.

    As for the "race card"; I am white. :-)

    God Bless!

    Oh yeah,

    Have you heard about the "revival" happening in Japan?

    yes, the national philharmonic is experiencing a revival of sorts and it's changing the national culture because of J.S.Bach!

    Masaki Suzuki is the conductor of the national philharmonic and he has discovered Bach! They are singing the Bach songs and because of it many are finding the Lord!

    Check it out!

    I think, as I said before, Shai Linne and Romans 3, Masaki Suzuki and J.S. Bach and the Apostle Paul and Mars Hill Athens, Acts 17 poetry have something in common? Yes? No?

    michael

    Most of us struggle, at some level, with the issues in this discussion. We tend to put God in a "box" that we create from the construct of our culture or subculture. Many churches today are on the decline because they feel they are doing a great good in acting as the judge of the culture instead of finding ways to speak and live the gospel to the culture. In many ways the call to walk by faith is a call to divest ourselves of our allegiance to our own comfortable subcultrue and embrace change for The Kingdom. Here's an article on this you might want to read.
    http://www.radicalcall.org/Articles/Change.htm

    David McCrory (and all),

    I have two main criticisms of your position. The first has been pointed out by others on this thread already--that is, classical/traditional music is every bit as "worldly" (of this world created by ungodly people often for ungodly reasons) as rap or rock 'n roll styles.

    The second criticism is this: you claim it is wrong to use the current culturalally popular musical styles to communicate Bible truth or to use in worshipping God. You fail to realize however, that the entire history of the church's music is one of accomodating secularly current and popular music to the Christian message.

    In this article, the author I quote gives proof that in Ambrose's day (5th century) to the Reformation era, and the 16th century Puritanism in England and America all employed traditional (worldly) musical and/or lyrical patterns for their music. The tunes of many of the traditional songs from the 16th century were later made more somber and slow in the late 17th & 18th centuries. But initially, the English Psalter's tunes were dubbed "Genevan jigs" by critics. They were lively tunes. Watts was criticized for his taking liberties with the Psalter--accomodating it to the Poetry style of his day. And Sankey and company expressly designed their hymns to appeal to the less literate working class of their day.

    Also, it is a fact with hymnody that the music (and sometimes the texts) of hymns was being updated and accomodated with each passing generation. There are many scholarly articles dealing with the changes to the music and text of hymns over the years [Indelible Grace explains a bit about this here]. Once it became inexpensive to print musical notes on paper, however, the music of the hymns became firmly established and inviolable.

    In light of the pervasive history of the Church accomodating its music to that of the culture, it is historically naive to conclude that we cannot do this today.

    Part of this errant conclusion, stems from the fact that we tend to think of the last 50 years or so as the most evil culture ever. In effect, we idolize the past as a glorious nostalgic era of Christian morality. But we forget that external show of morality does not define Christianity--the Pharisees had a corner on all of that. Even at the height of the Great Awakening, only about 10% of the population were actually regenerate, from what I have read. (Today's polls are more likely inaccurate and the legitimately born again in America is much lower than those who claim to be...)

    In reality, the climate of Rome or Corinth (or think back especially to Sodom) was far worse than that of today's San Francisco or New Orleans at its worst. Just because the culture that produced classical music did not look like today's openly sinful culture, does not mean it was not equally sinful. Remember Henry VII's seven or eight wives? And the monarchy's insistence in utilizing mistresses (think Louis XIV)? They were the elite of the day and the recipient's of much of the classical music compositions.

    Well, I have gone on long enough now. If you are interested in looking at a detailed Scriptural debate on this issue, there is one in the comments of a recent post on my blog concerning the fundamentalist blogwars over rap music recently, that Pitchford and Black Calvinist here are aware of.

    God bless you all richly in Christ,

    Bob Hayton
    Rom. 15:5-7

    I have four young adults from age 35 to 21. I would like to see what they would say about this sound and words. They always say to me. "Dad its the words, not the music." Well I will see what they think about the words. And if the format will have any effect on the power of the words.

    I will put this under study.

    Charles

    I believe some "contextualzation" is going to happen. If nothing else, we wear modern clothing to church, not 1st century robes. Old hymns were at one time, not old, but new hymns. What I'm suggesting is that there were times when Christianity influnenced culture much more so than today. Many of the great songs of the church historically were born out of a time when, in general, Christian morals and influence more strongly guided the culture.

    This doesn't mean we should not be about redeeming the culture around us (regarding the refenence to Kuyper). But at the same time, until we begin to see the fruit of the gospel once again taking hold in the hearts and the lives of the culture, borrowing from a culture that rejects Christ and injecting that into the church is not my idea of redeeming it.

    As R.C. Sproul teaches, beauty is not subjective. It is objective. The asthetic value of certain types of music is greater than others. Is the hymn "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" asthetically superior to "Shine Jesus Shine"? I certainly hope everyone would think so. The world will be listening to composers such as Bach, Mendolssen(sp), Beethoveen, Bliss,etc. (of which many old hymns are set to) until the end of time. The asthetic value of this genre of music is superior to the pop-culture music of today which will come and one day go, while others will not.

    My contention is that the Scriptures teach us to bring our best into the presence of God. My contention is that much of the music being produced in the church today (not merely hip-hop) is culturally inferoier) to that of times past. Some of it is very good. Let us not squabble about it, let us be about writing and producing the best music we can, not simply "baptizing" the pop-culture into the church. The answer isn't to merely keep singing the great old music, it should be to do that AND to make more of it.

    Finally, G-Zus when you say someone's comment is racist, you are implying the person making the comment is racist. If someone bakes a cake, you don't not call the person making it the baker. I would ask you to please define what you mean by "racist"? And is my preferring one type of music over against another a form of racism to you? Are you suggesting "hip-hop" music is limited to one race of people, presumably black? I see many different races of people singing hip-hop. So what exactly about my comment would be racist in your opinion?

    David,

    You state that aesthetically superior music should only be employed. So shouldn't we then just use the absolute best of the best? Can we ever not use a pipe organ? Can we ever not have a symphonic orchestra?

    Which Bible passage dictates that Eurocentric/Western music is inherently more beautiful than other cultural music styles? Is it more beautiful than the Jewish popular music of Bible times? Would David have danced to Handel or Bach?

    We are to play skillfully, but we need to utilize music that is consistent with who we are. We need to employ music that as art can communicate effectively. Are we to forbid those who can't sing "on key" from participating in coorporate worship because they leave much to be desired as far as aesthetics goes?

    We should seek to have aesthetically beautiful and excellently crafted music in all the different genres we employ.

    My car is broke down today, and I am to leave on a trip tomorrow, so I may not have much time to interact further here. Let me encourage you to read this article, as it addresses many of my concerns.

    I have no problem, David, with you purposing to just employ the music you think is best. But to suggest that the Bible is so clear on this that we should forbid other music styles from use or censure those who do (I am not convinced you would actually do this, mind you, but it is what is compelling me to interact here) is to go beyond the bounds of Scripture and needlessly divide the body of Christ, in my opinion.

    May God help us all to discern His will in this matter. And may Rom. 15:5-7 reign among us who share "like precious faith".

    For God's glory,

    Bob Hayton

    Bob,

    Thank you for stating so clearly the very thoughts I was thinking!

    Bob, thank you for your intellectual and cordial discourse. I believe your comments reflect a solid understanding of the subject matter. And as a result, I find that I agree with much of what your saying. For instance when you say,

    "We are to play skillfully, but we need to utilize music that is consistent with who we are."

    This is a very sound statement which accurately reflects my own view. I certainly prefer "Eurocentric/Western music" because I am a "Eurocentric/Western." As we approach Thanksgiving we might remember this nation was founded by Eurocentric/Westerner's. So my taste, preferences and culture natually develop from there. The Christian faith, as it once manifested itself here in this nation, was at one time distinctly Eurocentric/Western. And it is from there that I come.

    The America of today is nothing like that. We are said to embrace diversity but we really don't. We don't value cultural and ethnic diversity, we are seeking to destroy though complete alamagation. And that cheats everyone. We serve a triune God.Therefore, we have to remember what it means to live in the world yet not be of it. Worldy influences, regardless of the cultural it flows from, is not conducive for building a Godly nation.

    Christianity develops within cultural contexts. Cultural context vary depending upon different factors among people including but not limited to ethnic and cultural development. And these are not value judgments, they are facts. True diversity within the body of Christ is only achived when we see the value of these diffrences. When it comes to music, I'd never expect a Christian church in Zaire to use a pipe organ and sing strickly out of the Trinity Hymnal. That would be to abondon the culture and heritage of that people, and the church that dwells within them. Conversely, for a Eurocentric/Western church (and nation) to abandon the great musical heritage it has, is to deride itself of the very same thing.

    I would make this observation.

    We are four parts according to Scripture.

    We are pnuema, spirit.
    We are psuche, soul.
    We are soma, body.
    We house it all in the SARX, flesh.

    It seems to me that ways of ministering with instruments and songs, poetry, prose to music is cultural but hey, I am native american and we gather around a drum and pound pound pound, trying to "CONNECT" to the heartbeat of life.

    It seems to me, it's "who" you are connected too that makes the music and the words relevant in our broad diverse society.

    Just as we have been called to make proper distinction between Law and Gospel, so we need to with the "calling" interpret the "who" behind the music and musicians.

    Having been to Japan many times, I find it remarkable that the Holy Ghost makes no distinctions, He simply is using a Japanese discovery of Centuries old music and musicians. The impact is changing the culture and the desire of the flesh of the Japanese. Is it grand? No not yet.

    The Holy Ghost is using Masaaki Suzuki and J.S. Bach to turn that culture. I am reminded of the comment made to a British General who had just sunk an American ship and then asked the American captain if he was ready to surrender? NO, HE REPLIES, I HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO FIGHT. History records the Americans went on to win.

    Hip Hop, not my favorite sort of enjoyment has by this article from Nathan given me a new interest and understanding IN/OF the Ways of God, which just completely shut me down and cause me to marvel and rejoice in God's manifold wisdom!


    Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
    Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
    Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
    Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
    Eph 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

    It seems to me that ALL CHRISTIAN maturity is to bring us to this, manifesting the "manifold" wisdom of God appropriately.

    Everything we do is to beacon the COMING CHRIST to those that sit in darkness offering to them His forgiveness of sins too.

    Mat 4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
    Mat 4:13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali:
    Mat 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying,
    Mat 4:15 The land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
    Mat 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
    Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

    What does the ministration of hip hop music do with the Words of Romans 3? Does it appeal to the sarx/flesh, the soma/body, the psuche/soul or the pnuema/spirit?

    If it only reaches and satisfies the SARX/FLESH, one might want to bring correction, reproofs, instructions, admonitions to those musicians so that they administer the True Grace to something deeper within the hearers?

    Body/soma life is Christianity on earth in all generations.

    We all have souls/psuches and we by Holy Ghost discipline are to train the soul.

    We all have spirits/pnuemas and as we know, the flesh and spirit fight like cats and dogs, aaah, saints and sinners continually!

    Nathan, what a great drawing out of your readers hereon. This topic has a nerve to it!

    michael

    David,

    One last time before leaving for Thanksgiving.

    Thanks for the gracious response. I understand your view.

    I would conclude that today in America we have a true mix of cultures and as such we should communicate therein. The great Eurocentric music of the past is mostly past for the average joe on the street. He does not connect with that music anymore. This is a reality with which we must deal with.

    I would be against simply taking an "accomodation" approach. It is not about getting people in the door through music. But redeemed average joes are going to employ the music styles they know in their songs of new praise to God.

    I have been round and round alot on this issue lately (check my blog for example), so I don't want to drag on this discussion here forever. Anyway, this is my basic point of view.

    Thanks,

    Bob

    Western culture is in many ways, Christian culture. We know the Church had it roots in Rome and spread from there through the rest of Europe over the past 2000 years. Euro/Western thought was converted to and founded upon Christianity. No other nation/culture has, as of yet, been under this godly influence for as long. So in a sense, Euro/Western culture is the most "mature" New Testament, Christian culture we have.

    This is not by chance, but by the providential hand of God. As the Holy Spirit grew men and women in the faith, it became manifest in their lives. This is not to romantize the West. They have had their downfalls. But other "cultures" have not grown up under such kind providence. Should cultural influences that are in this sense "inferior" (not under 2000 yrs of Christian influence) be allowed to dictate such things as form and style, particually as it comes to the things of God (i.e. music)?

    The Euro/Western culture is very much the work of the Spirit, even though we have squandered it. American pop-culture today certainly doesn't carry the Christian influences Western culture has historically. But are we to discount the work of God providentally and historically moving to grow Western thought towards Him? By allowing American pop-culture (or any other "underaged" culture) to take precendent in the life of the Church, particually here in a "western" nation is, I believe, to undermine God's work on behalf of the Church by compromising it and replacing it with an immature and ungodly one.

    I didn't read all the comments so maybe someone has brought this Scripture to light but if not here it is:
    Philippians 1:15-18
    "Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice."

    Now Paul is rejoicing in one thing: Christ is being preached and preached accurately. I hate rap music myself, but the words I read in that song are "Christ being preached" and if Paul accepted the selfish, ambitious person who was preaching Christ in an accurate way, then I certainly am not going to tell these rappers that they are from Satan. Even IF(and this is just an example because I think they write this music sincerely)they are making their music just for a profit...Christ is being preached accurately!

    David,
    Using your example...
    If a person bakes one cake, I would not call them a baker. If someone makes one racist comment, I would not call them racist. Now, I did say the comment was either racist, or ignorant. This is how I perceived your comment. I did not even call your statement racist.

    Your statement was not perceived by me as simply "preferring one style over another", but rather condemning hip hop by calling it ungodly.

    As for hip hop being of only one race. That's not what I meant. In my experience much of the negativity towards hip hop has it's root in racism. Again I never said you were racist. And I never said your statement was racist.

    The cultural pride of Americans in the Church just sickens me. Especially "upper class" American churchianity that seeks to appeal to upper class business men and women because they have the money. Ick, I want to puke even as I write this.

    G-Zus you write,

    "If a person bakes one cake, I would not call them a baker."

    To this I'd reply by saying your denying objective truth. If I bake a cake I am de facto the "baker" of that cake. You cant't have it any other way. Likewise, you fail to worm your way out of accusing my of writing a racist comment, and therefore by the very nature of the comment consider me a racist. The damage is already done. You said if someone made one "racist" comment you wouldn't call them as racist. Well, I made a one comment, and you immediately said my comment was either "racist or ignorant". So you did exactly what you said you wouldn't do.

    I am not alone in my assessment of your statement in that "Pitchford" thought it contained accusations of racism as well. If you are not willing to back up your accusations against me, and prove I'm a racist or that my comments are racistly motivated, I ask you to please retrack your previous comment against me.

    David,

    I understand your concern with the clear insinuation of racism, with no evidence or reason for the charge. I think you have established your point very clearly that the comment in question was ill-grounded, and that no one has any legitimate basis for such an accusation.

    G-Zus,

    You have had plenty of opportunity now to qualifiy and defend your original statement.

    All,

    From now on, no more comments on this particular controversy will be posted. If you have further comments on the original article, the question of hip-hop as a vehicle of worship, etc., feel free to continue the discussion.

    Blessings from the Cross,
    Nathan

    Check out Shai Linne's listener's guide for his song "Justified" where he expounds on three categories: Musical, Lyrical, & Theological.

    http://lampmode.com/listen_justified.htm

    He has done the same thing for every song on his album. Check them out; very edifying.

    God Bless!

    I don't have any dislike for rap that is doctrinally sound. But I think that most, and I hope all, would agree with me in saying that rap should not be used in worship where the whole congregation participates. I do have a bit of reluctancy to use rap and other types of music for certain activities in a service, but I have no biblical basis for saying that Christians can never use it whithin certain contexts.

    Although, I think that Christian rap may perhaps sound odd to unbelievers if your intention is to have them hear it. I know that in my days as an unbeliever, if I wanted to hear rap, I did not go searching for Christian rap. And let's be honest, one of the reasons rap gets listeners is because of the crude lyrics of many.

    Also, I think that it's important that those who do Christian rap to not adopt the type of behavior, attire, and vocabulary of the infamous rappers like Snoop Dog or Fifty Cent (did I spell this correctly). I think it is embarrasing to see "Christian rappers" that look like gangsters from my home, South Central L.A.

    This is my belief like it or not.There is nothing Christian about rap, or rock, or country,put biblical words to it if you want it still smells of the world.That serpent in the garden is so subtil, and whisper things in mans mind to undermind holiness and GOD's word, and Satan wants man to be carnal and worldly..I wonder those who make these so-called rap,and christian rock music, What are their motives , what is their daily prayer life like or do they really have one, How close are they to God? Do they want to be seen and heard.God doesnt call people to worldliness,He said come out from among them..True inspired song.. is music that gives God praise and worship, with no hint of man or worldliness, with lyrics that are understood..Why do people insist on mixing Christian things with worldly things? Why? Why? Probably because of pride, people want to be known, and heard, they want to increase themselves,They want riches..Seek the Lord early spend time in prayer daily, Be sure that God is first, draw near to him, cry out to him with all your heart, Die daily to self, carry the cross,let go of your expectations, your desires and seek only God's will, And when you draw close to the Lord you will see, that this world and its ways are clearly, temporal and dung, and its the spiritual things that count, and if you walk in the spirit you will not fullfill the lust of the flesh..And those old ways, and those old spiritual songs will really touch your heart, and you will be able to fill the spirit of God..

    Mark,

    Is it very Christian to assert with arrogant confidence, "This is my belief like it or not," without any scriptures to back up your "belief"? Is it Christian to assume without any basis that Shai's prayer life is not genuine (or even existent)? Is it even reasonable, given the doctrinally substantive nature of his lyrics, which of themselves speak of Spirit-dependent study of the scriptures?

    I have seen much graciousness, humility, and Christ-centered exegesis from Shai. I have seen none from you. So it is no difficult call for me to discern who really has "drawn close to the Lord," and who really does understand that "this world and its ways are clearly, temporal and dung, and its the spiritual things that count, and if you walk in the spirit you will not fullfill the lust of the flesh
    ...".

    I think you should probably examine your own heart before making judgments about other believers, with no scriptural bases to support your contentions.

    My wife and I heard about Shai Linne on the Way of the Master radio show a while back. It was right around the time we were saved and we found it tremendously rich in some of the theology we had been learning as we came to the realization of our need for the Savior.

    We continue to enjoy his music and music from similar hip-hop artists to this day, and I love the fact that much of the lyrics are so profound and actually expositted right from scripture.

    There is a downside, we've found it tough to "settle" for some of the less-rich music available by the Christian music industry that we might have previously enjoyed prior to our conversion. The lovey dovey chorus songs get a bit old and familiar. Can anyone recommend some theologically rich music from artists/genres other than hip-hop (and obviously beautiful traditional hymns)?

    Tommy B,

    I would also recommend sovereign grace music as contemporary, theologically-rich and cross-centered music.

    Check them out here:

    http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/category.aspx?categoryID=5

    Thank you so much. I've already purchased a dozen or so songs. I look forward to buying more when I have time to check em out.

    Wow! David (McCrory), it has been a long time since I have come up against such ignorance in terms of the delivery of the gospel and theological messages.

    No, I do not think you are racist. However, I think that G-Zus was right in suggesting you may be ignorant. I don't mean to be inflammatory, just want to point out the truth here. It is strange, too, that no one has commented on the idea of Euro/Western supremacy that reeks of culturally bent theology.

    How can you say that the other newer cultures are "inferior" - even if you put it in quotations we can still understand the mindset behind your words. Are we God's chosen people? Is that what you would suggest? I see no biblical basis for your assumptions in terms of this discussion.

    Anyways, rap/hip-hop is an art form, much like painting, sculpture, classical orchestration, and more. If you think otherwise it may be because of some narrow-minded thinking processes that have developed from learned patterns in your life.

    God calls us to go out and make disciples and these young men (black or not, I couldn't care less), are doing God's work in an awesome way. Maybe I don't dig the music as much, but that does not give me any basis for writing it off. And trust me, I know this genre of Christian music more than many of my theological leaning would (which would be Reformed Charismatic).

    Anyways, I hope that the Lord is with all of you who have taken the time to discuss! God bless, and I hope I have answered back to you, David, in the most civil way possible.

    Cheers, from Canada,

    Josh

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