To Hip or Not to Hop – What is the Motive? (Pt 2)

Thank you all both for responding to the poll and for your comments. One of the things I most enjoy is reading and participating in the conversations that happen in response to a posting. The hip-hop posting has generated a lot of comments; and a lot of passion.  And some times a lot of talking past each other.

So, to hip or not to hop?

A more focussed question is “Can the genre of hip-hop be redeemed?”

Let me present a few things to you, and ask a few questions before I give my answer.

A man spends his younger years torturing and murdering Christians in the name of his religion. He studies hard to learn all about his religion and uses the power of the state and his religious organization to attain his objectives. He is one of the most accomplished and well known men in his culture and he uses that talent to persecute, imprison, and kill Christians. Can this man be redeemed?

Another man is spiteful, down right hateful. When God gives him a on an errand, he refuses to go, purely because he so hates the people God directed him to. He wants to see his enemies destroyed by God, not brought into a relationship with Him. He doesn’t want to present a message of repentance to them at all. Can this man be redeemed?

A woman is a prostitute among the heathen. She hawks her…um…”wares” every day in the city. She has spent years as a idol worshipper offering sacrifices to false gods. Can she (not her prostitution or the idol worship) be redeemed?

A man has spent the last twenty-one years rejecting God, shaking his fist at Him, spitting on the cross His Son died upon. He has committed adultery, – if not physically, then at least in his heart. He has refused to forgive people. He has lied, cheated and stolen. He was selfish, vain, arrogant, petty and more than willing to take advantage of other people. Can this man be redeemed?

Fortunately, the last one could be, and was redeemed. That last man was me.  Did God redeem the vanity, the arrogance, the stealing and the cheating?  No.  Did he redeem the cheater?  Yes.

The woman? That was Rahab, the harlot in Jericho. She was used by God to help the spies escape. And she became the great-grandmother of David. Got her name listed in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11:13.  And if she (not her prostitution) had not been redeemed, who would be the great-great-multi-great grandmother of Jesus?

Jonah, the spiteful fellow, was used to turn an entire city to God, saving them from destruction. And even in his anger at God’s display of mercy, was comforted and trained by God. He was redeemed.

And I’m sure by now you have guessed that the young persecutor is none other than Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus. He, who was steeped in legalism, was redeemed as was his training, and God graciously used him and that which had been used against the church to write such letters as Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians.

Now listen to and read the lyrics from a song by Yolanda Adams.

I would suggest this song, the one by Yolanda, is useless. It serves no purpose other than make people feel good about being religious. And the style, if you will, sounds like something you would hear in a club. But I suggest it’s the lyrics that make the song an insult to God, not the style of the song.  I happen to like club music, just not some of the lyrics (such as they are).

Can God redeem the hip-hop genre? Give a listen and read the lyrics to the following song using the hip-hop style.

What is inherently evil in this song? Is there anything inherently evil in the Adams song?

And just as a bonus for reading this to the end, here is a bonus song by Shai Linne, done in the hip-hop genre.

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9 Responses to “To Hip or Not to Hop – What is the Motive? (Pt 2)”

  1. djdesignz Says:

    Grace & Peace!

    Aren’t examples like this subjective? One can choose a myriad of songs, tear apart the lyrics and ascribe the song as having no value. At the same time, one can find many who will find the same song a blessing and ascribe worth to it. (MN: Somewhat subjective. And yes, I did choose a really bad example of the “other” side. But I don’t believe it changes the premise of the redemption of

    Your examples of redemption are people. Then you seem to apply that redemption to a “thing” so to speak, namely the genre of Hip Hop. I’m not sure I understand what that means. (MN: It means that something that was used for evil can also be turned to use for the glory of God. God does the very same thing in the Bible. Exodus 34:20 talks about redeeming a donkey [a thing]. The donkey was to be used for one purpose. By redeeming it, the donkey can now be used for another purpose. In Leviticus 27:11 we see the same thing: An animal placed before the priests for sacrifice [destruction], can be redeemed, and used for another purpose. My point here is that redemption holds in it the idea of taking something intended for one purpose (good or bad) and using it for another. Humans, when they are born again, are redeemed. We were going to destruction, but through God’s grace we have another use. The silver, used to form an idol, was melted down (redeemed) and used to make the utensils in the temple. )

    There doesn’t appear to be examples of the redeemed individuals you cited, turning around and using the “culture” they were redeemed in as tool or effort to redeemed others lost in that culture. (MN: Paul did exactly that. He preached to the Jews and used his “Jewishness” to communicate with them. He appealed to them from the Old Testament. He spoke to them from Judaism. Galatians contains large portions of an appeal to Jews. How would he be able to communicate this short of the culture he was intimately familiar with? But my point here is not that he used the culture. That is where Jay keeps getting crossed up. I’m not saying that hip-hop can be used to go and redeem the participants in the hip-hop culture. Using hip-hop makes makes the Gospel no less offensive to the unsaved hip-hopper than reading straight from the Bible.)

    I’m certainly one who believes that there is value in what the redeemed of Hip Hop culture create musically. (MN: That’s fine. But I’m not not saying they have to contribute in another genre. ) I support and have supported many artists from inception. But just like every other genre in Christendom, there are issues and weaknesses it will never overcome. (MN: So…who’s disgreeing with you? Anything used by humans will be subject to human weaknesses, as will the humans. )

    I certainly don’t subscribe to the belief (as some do) that without the genre of Hip Hop, a lost generation would never be reached. (MN: And neither do I. After all, it is the power of the Gospel (not the medium) unto salvation. )

    I Ain’t Nobody!

  2. djdesignz Says:

    Thanks for your responses and clarifications.

    I guess the point I was trying to make with regard to the individuals using culture, was they didn’t see the need to redeem a “genre” as a platform or tool in their efforts, to reach those lost in the culture they themselves were redeemed from.

    I don’t believe Paul used his craft as a tent-maker to create a sub-culture by rallying all the tent-makers or created a following called Reformed-Judaizers in order to reach the lost, exalt Christ and further the message of the Gospel… But I do get the principle of redemption as you’ve explained and appreciate your explanation!

    It’s refreshing to hear one who recognizes weaknesses the genre of Hip Hop has as an evangelistic tool, meaning it can save nor redeem anyone.

    May grace abound to you!

    I Ain’t Nobody!

    (MN: thank you, sir. )

  3. 1Thessalonians521 Says:

    You said “The woman? That was Rahab, the harlot in Jericho. She was used by God to help the spies escape. And she became the great-grandmother of David. Got her name listed in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11:13. And if she (not her prostitution) had not been redeemed, who would be the great-great-multi-great
    grandmother of Jesus?” But, given the laws dealing with taking a captive as a wife (Numbers 31:17-18; Deuteronomy 21:10-23; Deuteronomy 23:17), Salmon’s wife Rachab (Matthew 1:5) was not Rahab the harlot. As a harlot, Rahab would have been deemed unclean and Salmon (his father Nahshon died in the wilderness before crossing the river Jordan) would not have taken her as a wife. (MN: Sorry, but this seems like something of an assumption. Are you not stating the very thing you are trying to demonstrate? So which Rahab was it? Were there more than two Rahabs? Which Rahab is the Rahab discussed in Hebrews, the one described as Rahab the Harlot? Who said she was a captive? Had she not recognized God as God? And she even acted on her faith [by which she was justified - just like Abraham]. Besides, later on Joshua says:

    25 However, Rahab the harlot and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for bshe hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

    Remember, the rules of engagement were different at Jericho. They were told to take no prisoners, with a very specfic exception – Rahab. And remember, Boaz married a woman who was originally an outsider. You know, Ruth the Gentile.

    And if I understand it, Rachab is simply the Greek version of Rahab. )

  4. 1Thessalonians521 Says:

    First off, an Israelite marrying an outsider like Ruth the Moabitess is allowed according to the scriptures given; however, marrying a whore is not. Secondly, Rahab the harlot and her family being allowed to live among the Jews does not mean she married a Jew. Thirdly, are you saying that Matthew and James (contemporaries), and the writer of Hebrews used different Greek words for the same Hebrew word (Strong’s G4477 – Rhachab translated Rachab in Matthew 1:5; but, Strong’s G4460 – Rhaab translated Rahab in Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25)? Notice, in both Hebrews and James she is specifically identified as “the harlot.” Or, is it more probable that since another reference to Rachab is not in the Bible, Rachab was assumed to be a variant of Rahab? Besides, are you saying that the harlot from Jericho was the only woman ever named Rahab? It seems that Matthew isn’t talking about Rahab of Jericho but of an other, unknown Rahab. Notwithstanding, the period of judges lasted 450 years after Joshua’s death (Acts 13:20). Given that Salmon’s father Nahshon died before they crossed the Jordan, Salmon was either a child (less than 20 years) or an adult when Jericho was captured. In either case, even if he lived for 120 years, his son Boaz for 120, and his grandson Obed for 120, that still falls short of 450 years (Obed’s son Jesse was a contemporary of Samuel’s).

    After all that has been said, since Rachab (Strong’s H7343) is the correct Hebrew word for Rahab, Matthew used the Greek word for that Hebrew word; whereas, the others used the Greek for the Hebrew word Rahab (Strong’s H7294) which is why they added “the harlot” to differentiate it from Rahab the city (Psalm 87:4; Psalm 89:10; Isaiah 51:9). So, I’ve actually convinced myself that Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31, and James 2:25 are indeed referring to the same woman. … Prove all things.

    (MN: Anybody care to respond? )

  5. DPoole Says:

    God is into redeeming people, not cultures like hip-hop. Music was never used as a tool for evangelism in the scriptures, (MN:and no place do I suggest it should be) the foolishness of preaching was, and still is to this day. A person can be redeemed despite the culture they belonged to, but God redeems men and women, and they change the culture through Godly influence, they don’t conform to it. What “holy” hip-hoppers do is conform to the culture by rapping, sagging their pants, and imitating the mannerisms of thug ‘swagger”. That’s not holiness.

    (MN: Just to make sure it’s clear:
    1. No one is saying God redeems hip-hop culture
    B. No one is saying God redeems hip-hop culture
    iii.No one is saying God redeems hip-hop culture
    four: No one is saying God redeems hip-hop culture.

    Any other questions? )

    • Unashamed One Says:

      I’m sorry, but rapping (just the act in & of itself) is “conforming to a culture”? is singing contemporary christian music conforming to pop culture? is singing gospel music conforming to r & b culture? what about the spoken word events that are all the rage now?

      i’d say that CAN be the case, and too often it is, but i don’t think you’re being fair in lumping all Christian rappers into the same heap. why condemn these brothers w/out listening to their message first?

      also, i only listen to a handful, but i have NEVER seen a “holy hip hopper” sag his pants or “imitate the mannerisms of thug ‘swagger’.” and i’ve been to multiple concerts & met a few.

      you said “they change the culture through Godly influence” that is EXACTLY what many Christian rappers are endeavoring to do. they condemn the SINFULNESS that pervades it (including materialism, sagging pants & thug mentality).

    • Annemarie Says:

      I agree with Cris, God is God and He doesn’t need our help. Who knows how things would have turned out if Rebecca and Sarah had let God carry out His plan and everyone involved would not have had the hardship that ensued. Doesn’t the Bible tell us that God’s plans are not our plans? Who are we to think that we can do things better than Him?And were all those mentioned in responses like: Rehab, etc. all God’s people at the time that they may have lied, etc.? God sometimes winks at people’s ignorance or if they don’t know better.

      (MN: So you think things didn’t turn out the way God wanted it to turn out? How in the world do you come to that conclusion if you really think God is sovereign and totally in control of events? God used Rebecca and Sarah’s fallen natures and bad behavior to accomplish his will. Think about it – the Jewish leaders (hating on the Christ) and the Roman leaders (not wanting to get involved) allowed the Sone of God to be crucified. What if they had done what they were supposed to do? Then no one would have killed our Lord and Savior. But is that a good thing? Or maybe if Adam and Eve had not been disobedient, then Jesus would never have had to die to begin with. Ah, but then God would not be able to show His glory and grace in saving the worthless humans like me. )

      • Conversion Says:

        MN: That is beautiful… A worthless human like me too.. ” Thank you Jesus for saving me a worthless sinner an evil human being… Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretched like me I once was lost but now I am found was blind but now I see!! Jesus can to seek and save those who are lost… Now I know what that song really means!!! Annemarie: I bet you think you are a good person??

  6. BigLee71 Says:

    First of all dear brother, I have looked at your site for about three years and enjoy it. Second, it is You Tube channels and websites like yours (if you had a You Tube channel by the way, I would totally subscribe) that have inspired me to read the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) from Genesis to Revelation, which I have been working on since 2011, as my job keeps me busy working swing shifts. Honestly, from the beginning, I enjoy a variety of Christian music.
    Over the last three years, I have begun to critique what passes for ‘Christian’ music as well as what passes for ‘Christian’ television. I believe we can all agree that it’s the preached or taught message of the gospel, i.e. why Jesus had to rescue fallen mankind from sin, and not music, regardless of genre, that saves us. If I had I known that years ago, I would have given an unsaved co-worker a tract instead of a ‘holy hip hop’ tape as a tract. I believe music can be used in church services, contrary to some denominations, to give the Lord glory, and to praise and worship Him. Some so called ‘gospel’ artists care more about multi-million dollar record deals than winning souls. If that’s the case, why don’t they sing uncensored music for the world’s pleasure? Some have attempted to do that very thing, whether they rap or sing. People like Nuwine and Tonex for example left the gospel aspect of their music to ‘go secular’. They got little respect from the ‘mainstream’ music industry and were basically ‘disowned’ by the Christian listeners, although some ‘fans’ received them back. As a result, I hear very little of either artist nowadays. Who could forget about Ma$e, the Bad Boy rapper, turned pastor, turned ‘good boy’ rapper, turned Bad Boy rapper? You see so called ‘Christian’ artists aren’t really Christian to begin with if it appears they don’t know what they want to be. They’re just double minded and unstable (James 1:8; 4:8).
    I said that to say this, any musician, singer, songwriter, or ‘minister’ of music, who professes to be a Christian, should first BE a Christian, not simply religious. If you’re religious, then all you believe in is CHURCH-ianity not Biblical CHRIST-ianity. And your music will reflect that perspective. Instead of using the music to confront sin, exhort disciples to keep seeking the Lord, stay in their Bibles, pray and live right, the artists, some but not all of them, sing humanistic songs with no meaning other than to feel good about being religious. Artists similar to these guys should change their perspective, as well as their hearts before God, and get grounded in the truth of the Scriptures. If they would do that, then the music, whether it’s traditional or ‘new school’ Urban gospel, CCM (Contemporary Christian Music), Christian rap, metal, country, techno, ‘rhythm and praise’ or whatever would reflect the new heart/perspective. I believe that there will always be critics of what constitutes Christian music. But I also believe this is more a matter of preference than maturity. If your gospel music or preaching is humanistic, then however mature you or others might think you are as a Christian, you’re a humanistic Christian because by making your own happiness your god, this is what you consider to be living the Christian life. In this sense, maturity doesn’t equal wisdom. True wisdom comes from God and is received by a disciple who wants to please God. The more they do what the word says (James 1:22), the more mature they become. If a conservatively dressed person attends an independent fundamental Baptist church, reads only the 1611 KJV, and only sings out of a hymnal, are they closer to God because of it? Will they be given the V.I.P treatment going into Heaven instead of the one who goes to the nondenominational church and dresses like they’re going to the nightclub? Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks upon the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). It doesn’t matter ultimately what type of Christian music we listen to as long as it moves our spirits (not the flesh) to live for the Lord and seek after Him. Believe it or not, it was listening to a ‘Gospel Gangstaz’ tape one day in 1995 that made me want to renew my devotion to Jesus Christ, throw away my secular music and get into my Bible more. I’m sure I may have my own critics for posting this but that’s okay, people have always talked crazy about me.

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