To Hip or Not to Hop – What is the Motive?

I’m working on a new posting. This one is on the use of Hip Hop in Gospel music.

Before I finish it though, I’d like to get your feedback on the matter.

Should Hip Hop be used to create a Gospel song?

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48 Responses to “To Hip or Not to Hop – What is the Motive?”

  1. Lady Jaye Says:

    i chose the last option, keeping in mind that many of the melodies of the hymns we sing today were set to the tunes of popular tavern ballads, so people could sing along – at least i read somewhere hat that is what the Wesley brothers did. It doesn’t always have to have roots in purity for God to use – where would we all be otherwise?

  2. Unashamed One Says:

    I am not a pragmatist. I don’t believe that ANY music or book or play or movie would make the Gospel more attractive to an unsaved person. The Gospel is offensive. Water it down or repackage it and it’s no longer the Gospel at all.

    Even before I was saved, I HATED HIP HOP music/rap.

    However, as a believer, I have found the lyrical theologians of the 116 Clique and shai linne (specifically) incredibly encouraging. These brothers have devoted entire albums to Paul’s epistles and the attributes of God.

    I just don’t understand why people are so violently opposed to these young mens’ use of their God-given talents to exalt Christ? I can’t speak for EVERY “Christian hip hop artist.” But I must say there are at least a faithful few. (And this opinion is not just through public perception–one of them is a member of my church where he is actively serving & leading his wife well)

    Is any style of music inherently sinful?

    Is it wrong of these men to use their platform to repudiate the sinfulness of mainstream hip hop while unapologetically exalting Christ?

    • Michael Pharr Says:

      @unashamed one: well stated. I all honesty sincere gospel rap has enriched and encouraged my theological bent and has challenged me to search the scriptures for truth. And just like with every preacher, every church & etc all are not good nor do they glorify Christ with their lyrics, those gospel rappers should be avoided but just as there are faithful preachers & bible scholars, there are faithful gospel rappers that rep Christ to the fullest.

  3. Chris Says:

    Long time reader, first time poster here . . .

    I don’t necessarily think that setting truly Christ-honoring, theologically sound lyrics to rap would be an inherently bad thing. There was (is?) a similar stance taken by Bill Gothard that syncopated rhythms (that is, music where the dominant beats are the 2nd and 4th instead of the traditional 1st and 3rd) are satanic and have no business in Christian music. He employs immense exegetical stretches in order to supplement his viewpoint – to the point of destroying his credibility – and unfortunately I think that many of the arguments against rap employ the same variety of logic.

  4. 1 L Loyd Says:

    Paul said that he became all things to all people so that some might be saved. I believe that this is meeting people where they are in showing them Jesus. If it does not insult God, it becomes a matter of personal choices. So why not?

  5. mhjones2001 Says:

    Soo far, 48% of repondents agree with you.

  6. mhjones2001 Says:

    And as a first time commenter please feel free to comment as much as you please, General Half-track.

  7. Jade Says:

    Christian rap can be used to encourage the believers. But I don’t think it will do anything in regard to the Gospel. Did any of the apostles use anything other then sound doctrine from the word of God and the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel? Did Christ say bumping beats and tights lyrics would draw men. Or did he say I, would draw all men unto me.

    Now as to Hip hop, which is registered with congress as a religion, that should answer itself. That would be like saying can I use the Muslim religion to promote the Gospel of Jesus Chirst. God forbid!

    Another good topic would be if the gospel music of today is even the gospel based on the scriptures.

    God bless.

  8. Michael Pharr Says:

    Interesting recent blog posting from Shai Linne (Christian rapper).

    http://lyricaltheology.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-can-god-use-depraved-genre.html

    (MN: I almost didn’t approve this comment. Once I do that, and y’all visit Shai Linne’s site, there won’t be much point in making the post. But heck, he says what I had to say so much better than what I had to say, that I had to post this comment. And people. make sure you check out the lyrics in Storiez. When is the last time you heard Yolanda Adams sing something with lyrics anything close to these? )

  9. GaryV Says:

    Musical style is neutral, lyrics are not. If I take the lyrics to Crosby’s “All The Way My Savior Leads Me” and rap them, do these Biblically inspired lyrics take on the corruption of secular rap? I think not.

    (MN: Hi Gary. Good to see your comment. )

    • djdesignz Says:

      I’ve heard that line (Neutrality) of reasoning.

      So conversely one can remove the lyrics from the song “Celebration of the Goat” by the group Necrophobic or “It’s Getting Hot In Here” by Nelly and replace them with Crosby’s “All The Way My Savior Leads Me” and that somehow changes the initial “characteristics” surrounding the original song?

      I’ve wondered, is it really just a matter of changing the lyrics to make the music from the above songs… Biblically compatible? Is it really that simple?

      I Ain’t Nobody!

      • GaryV Says:

        Yes, in fact. If you strip the lyrics from the most vile song and replace them with Godly lyrics it changes the song essentially. It’s an unBiblical concept to suggest that music somehow has corruption irrevocably attached to it. Can you support that position from Scripture, or are we supposed to believe it because someone claims it is so? I read much in Scripture about the inherent power of WORDS, but am at a loss to recall anywhere Scripture claims that music created by corrupt individuals retains the corruption of that individual or culture. I’m willing to be persuaded Biblically of course, and therefore I await your case using chapter and verse in context.

        • djdesignz Says:

          Grace and Peace!

          From my asking a question, you surmised that my position is that music somehow has irrevocable corruption attached to it?

          That is not my position, I’m just not convinced that simply changing lyrics, which you stated as fact and expect us to believe because you claim it is so, makes the most vilest songs acceptable.

          I Ain’t Nobody!

        • GaryV Says:

          Apologies DJ………my comments were directed toward Jade. The quote tags confused me.

  10. Jade Says:

    Christian rapper and holy hip hoper is not the same. There is nothing wrong with christian rap. Let’s just not get it twisted and believe that it can bring people to Christ better than Christ himself.

    But if we use the argument above for hip hop, then why not apply it Hinduism along with the demonic spirit kundalini that it brings. Chrisitans who practice it can call themselves holy hindus. How about the new age religion? Whelp…that has already infiltrated the church through the emergent church. Its being branded “new” spiritually. What has that done for the done for the “church”? It obviously hasnt been “redeemed”.

    Hip hop is a religion, plain and simple. And to try and “redeem” something that makes the black man God and teaches self worship through many different avenues (sex, drugs, mammon) is not of God. And let’s also take a look at the , “holy” hip hop artists themselves. Log on to rapzilla and tell me why are “holy” (holy means dedicated or consecrated to God) hip hop artist working with secular producers and performing at secular concerts with foul artists (wu tang clan and odd future!, Signing with Akon!, etc). It seems like the ones doing the redeeming or ransoming are the secular artists who are stealing the holy hip hoppers away.

    The argument to me is also faulty cause lets apply that to pornography and homosexuality. Which is also very rampant within the hip hop community. How can you redeem those two? Aren’t you supposed to leave all that behind to FOLLOW, Christ or do you embrace it and claim it for Christ? Holy homosexuals? Eddie Long who helped to bring triple HHH into the church secretly tried that route. How did that go? Homosexuality is rampant in the church. We definitely don’t need to be wasting time redeeming something that is destroying our children through imoral lifestyles.

    Google “hip hop is a lifestyle” and you will see that it is not something you do, ie rapping. It is a culture and a lifestyle in of itself. Where in the bible does he tell us to redeem a lifestyle?

    I thank God for the Holy Spirit, grace and peace and love to you All.

    God bless.

    • djdesignz Says:

      Wow… He that has an ear, let him hear! 🙂

      Grace and peace to you.

      I Ain’t Nobody!

    • GaryV Says:

      False dichotomy and logical fallacy. Pornography and hosexuality are inherently evil as the Bible states clearly. You’ve yet to show that music is inherently and irredeemably evil. Until you can do so Scripturally, your argument is a strawman.

      Your contention that hip hop music by necessity requires anyone who employs it to live as a degenerate is untenable as well. If we carry your contention to its logical conclusion, then Luther must have been a degenerate drunk since he used tavern music in writing his hymns, since you claim that music cannot be redeemed from the worldly origin and lifestyle from which it sprang.

      Songs composed by God hating drunkards sung by God hating drunkards among those whose lives are dominated by Satan and alcohol and whose lifestyles are every bit as vile as anything seen today in the hip hop community could never be used to glorify God, right? And Luther, by using such music, MUST have been an active partaker in that lifestyle according to your theory.

      I await the special pleading logical fallacy surely to follow, by which you will claim that hip hop is somehow more evil a lifestyle than the world of violent, thieving, murdering, God hating drunkard lifestyle and music of Luther’s day. People are no more or less evil today than then. The only difference in either case comes purely from the restraining influence or allowance of a Soveriegn God.

      • Jade Says:

        Most of the above has NO correlation with what I wrote. You are COMPLETELY ignoring the FACT that HIP HOP IS A REGISTERED RELIGION.

        You will receive No pleading from me sir. If you choose to move forward and ignore that fact, then that is between you and God.

        You want scripture then lets go to 1 Kings 18:

        And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”

        This is not about opinion, this is about the word of God and as the above mentioned you cannot serve God and Satan.

        Hip hop is a rebellious spirit born out of poverty and lack of fathers. It goes against all that our Father in heaven represents. This was done on purpose by SATAN.

        I never said music in and of iself was evil, show me where I did sir. And what does this Luther you speak of in a tavern have to do with anything I said. I am not seeing the correlation between homosexual lifestyle, a tavern nor a tavern and hip being a religion and a life style. Christianity is a specific religion, and we have been given a mandate of a certain lifestyle by the word of God, any one who does otherwise is not a true Christian.

        Hip hop like all FALSE RELIGIONS, that practice witchcraft, (pharmakeia aka drugs) self worship, and worship of other gods, (mammon the list goes on and on) have a DEGENERATE lifestyle as repercussion of such sin.

        I have time and time again said that there is nothing wrong with Christian rapping. But to sit here and justify using a RELIGION that proclaims the black man as God is beyond belief.

        Now as to specifics on music, many secular artists of today have admitted to doing seances and other forms of withcraft to make their music. I do not believe that is redeemable MUSIC. I don’t know luther nor his specific music, i just know
        the bible.

        I apologize for any errors, I need a keyboard.

        God Bless.

        • Jade Says:

          Check this out, it even has a blasphemous section on the Son of God.

          http://templeofhiphop.org/

          Oh and don’t forget this btw.

          http://live.drjays.com/index.php/2010/06/01/templeofhiphop/

          You can keep trying to “redeem” hip hop but it doesn’t want to be redeemed.

          (MN: This is interesting. I hope you are simply not understanding what some are saying. No one is suggesting the Hip-hop culture can be redeemed. No one is suggesting the hip-hop lyrics can be redeemed. No one is suggesting the supposed hip-hop bible, philosophy, or hipology can be redeemed anymore than prostitution, alcoholism, pornography, or homosexuality can be redeemed. However, an alcoholic, a prostitute, a homosexual, and a pornographer can be redeemed. Those who were used for evil can now be used for God.

          There is a difference between the culture and the genre. Or are you suggesting that if a Hindu, raised in India, becomes a follower of Christ, he must turn from the style of music he has grown up with? Perhaps, once he gets saved, he should only sing Puritan songs, or maybe songs from England in the 1800s. Should a Nigerian not sing in a style that matches his culture, using words that glorify his Savior? Or should he only sing songs by Maranatha Music? Or perhaps, once a Muslim turns to Christ, his singing should sound nothing like the culture around him. Instead, perhaps he should only sing stuff like “A Mighty Fortress” as written by Martin Luther. The American indian? Well, he should only sing along the style of “Standing on the Promises.” Right? Or animist Polynesians? Should they only sing “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” as traditionally done by the Black church?

          How do you demonstrate that a GENRE, not a philosophy, is inherently evil. Should a former Rastafarian not use the GENRE to praise God? On what do you base this?

          Some genres may not lend themselves to the gospel too well (I would have difficulty singing praises to God with a Blues style presentation. But that’s because I would have a hard time not hearing B. B. King wailing that “the thrill is gone.”)

  11. djdesignz Says:

    Hip Hop has the same problem that every music genre in christendom has… an ability to create/make one an idol! Because ultimately, that’s what the “entertainment” system/industry is designed to do.

    There is a direct correlation with mass success/appeal and idolatry. There are methodologies that for the most part, are often followed and employed in order to elevate oneself above the “fray” so to speak. And because these methodologies aren’t often seen or viewed as “sinful” (because our spirituality is the last place we’ll look for self deception, that’s why the greatest enemy of Truth is truth! -Selah), we fail to recognize the subtleness by which they push us off course.

    An artist has the desire to fulfill their musical “calling”. Maybe they were a lost soul now redeemed or maybe they were raised as a Believer. They employ their stage-name and create a persona or brand. They push hard to be heard or recognized for their biblical lyrical content and christian sensiblities, by further employing these industry methodologies.

    Now they’re listing their Billboard and iTunes numbers as proof/validation of their “ministry” and popularity until finally, they’ve reached the pinnacle of paganism by being nominated for a Dove or God forbid… a Grammy! Then these nominations become part of their lexicon… 4 time Dove nominee/winner or 2 time Grammy nominee/winner as these past accomplishments/successes often become the driving forces in their music creation/ministry.

    Certainly doesn’t apply to all involved in Hip Hop or Christian Music “Mindustry”, but it does for the vast majority. One could also apply the same reasoning to the Pulpit-Pimps who use methodologies from the “worlds” systems to conquer and maintain their kingdoms.

    I chose the last bullet as applicable.

    I Ain’t Nobody!

  12. mhjones2001 Says:

    I hadn’t considered some of the information in some of your comments. Keep them coming. It’s obviously having an impact with the readers as well.

  13. mhjones2001 Says:

    Asked another way: Is the Hip Hop genre an appropriate one for hymns? And what makes a “hymn” a “hymn”? Age? Melody? Structure? Are the current batch of songs hymns? Are Yoland Adams’ works to be considered hymns? Mahalia Jackson made a fair amount of money and garnered a fair amount of fame singing songs. Were those hymns?

    Again, what makes a hymn a hymn?

    • Jade Says:

      A lot of this garbage, pardon my language, called gospel is not gospel. It’s not sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. A hymn is supposed to give adoration and praise to God. I have never listened to Mahilia music. I suppose I am to young. Buy I would say a perfect hymn is the song of Moses in Exodus and Revelation.

  14. GaryV Says:

    Mel has it right. DJ is mixing categories. Hip hop MUSIC is simply a genre of MUSIC with particular structural characteristics, NOT a degenerate lifestyle. NOT a religion. NOT a culture.

    Here is the definition of music. Please point out the parts that mention it as a culture, religion, lifestyle, inherent good or evil…..

    mu·sic   [myoo-zik] Show IPA
    noun
    1.
    an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color.
    2.
    the tones or sounds employed, occurring in single line (melody) or multiple lines (harmony), and sounded or to be sounded by one or more voices or instruments, or both.
    3.
    musical work or compositions for singing or playing.
    4.
    the written or printed score of a musical composition.
    5.
    such scores collectively.

    Music is simply time, rhythm, meter, and harmony in mathematical structure. Period. The question at hand is whether the mathematical structure associated with hip hop is irrevocably, irredeemably and intrinsically evil, and whether adherence to that structure musically means that you MUST adhere to a degenerate lifestyle and religion, as DJ claims.

    There is his essential claim writ concisely. Judge its merits for yourself. Can you put Gospel lyrics into the mathematical music structure associated with Rock and not live like Mick Jagger and worship Satan?? I guess not.

    Can you put Gospel lyrics into the mathematical music structure associated with the Blues and not live like Robert Johnson and sell your soul to the devil?? I guess not.

    Can you put Gospel lyrics into the mathematical music structure associated with Country and not keep a full set of teeth or feel an overwhelming compulsion to wear overalls and take up playing banjo on the front porch of a shack? I guess not.

    Reductio ad absurdum. It’s a beautiful thing.

    • GaryV Says:

      Again, sorry DJ, addressing Jade here.

    • Jade Says:

      How can you say hip hop is not a religion nor a life style nor a culture. (MN: I didn’t say hip-hop is not a lifestyle. Neither did GaryV. I didn’t say hip-hop is not a culture. Neither did GaryV. I didn’t say the United Nations didn’t recognize hip-hop as a religion, as founded by krs One. I’m really having difficulty understanding why you keep trying to put those words in our mouths. ) This simply trying and seperate the music from its demonic creator. (MN: And no one is trying to separate the music (specifically the lyrics) from their creators, demonic or not. Should we not sing songs made famous by James Cleveland since he was a child molester who ruined dozens of lives? ) ) The founders themselves say it is all of that and it has been registered as one. (MN: Are you saying that a specific style of music – not lyrics, but style or genre is demonic? The very beat? )

      That’s like roman catholics who try and say they don’t believe in Praying to Mary and purgatory, but the pope himself believes it! (MN: Actually, it would be like saying Gregorian chants, designed to sing accurately about grace, and teach the truth in the words are evil. And I would disagree with the statement. A Gregorian chant STYLE is not evil in and of itself, even though it was and is practiced by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church uses it to reinforce error. But that’s their use of it. )

      My post below entails more.

  15. Jade Says:

    Hello!

    This is to answer the blog host/owner aka moderator
    question of if I’m misunderstanding. From what I see, I believe there is a misunderstanding in which, there is seems to be, somehow a disconnect of a religion from its culture. Which I am compelled by the word of God and his Holy Spirit to reject.

    Hinduism is a religion, and once a person who is India gets saved they need to reject Hinduism. This DOES NOT entail that person rejecting their INDIAN culture, but they should not go around calling themselves Holy Hindus, nor should they continue to practice the Hindu religion and redeem it for Christ. Indians have a certain type of music. They can sing worship songs to their music and still give honor to God. But don’t call it Holy Hindu and certainly don’t take a song that was sung to the Hindu goddess Kali (go ahead and look her up if have you want) and then change the words to make it about Jesus, God forbid!!!

    Hip hop is a religion, the music is just a way it’s context is relayed. Yet why go and call a specific religion, Holy. When you put the holy in front yet put the religion behind it, you have in effect removed Christ getting glory or credit for it. Instead this FALSE RELIGION gets all the Glory for it (i read an article about lecrae going to africa, the site gave credit to lecrae and hip hop, not Jesus for what he was doing).

    Where in the bible has God taken a religion and the wicked sub culture it creates and made it his? When God called Abraham, he called him away from his family. Abraham for whatever reason still took Lot, and we see how they went. That to me is an example of what happens when you don’t leave all God told you to leave behind.

    Ok now lets look at Rastafarian. Rastafarian is a religion. Predominately in the Caribbean namely jamaica. If a Jamaican was to get saved that does not mean they leave their culture behind. But they do indeed need to leave the Rastafarian RELIGION behind. The Caribbean has a specific type of music, melodies and beats. And it can definitely be used to give Glory to God. But don’t call Rastafarian music, Holy Rastafarian and don’t take the music that was used and slip Jesus name in there somewhere. Like it has already been done, and which is why so many are confused if they are truly Christian or not, NOT.

    You asked on what do I base this. I base this On Exodus 34:11-16

    11 Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I am driving out from before you the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. 12 Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst. 13 But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images 14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), 15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods and make sacrifice to their gods, and one of them invites you and you eat of his sacrifice, 16 and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods and make your sons play the harlot with their gods.

    God wanted his people to have no parts with the other religions, period.

    • Jade Says:

      Also, Nigerian is not a religion. (MN: No. But Animism, often a big part of the culture, is. )

      And I am going to say this one last time.

      HIP HOP IS A REGISTERED RELIGION, REGISTERED WITH CONGRESS! And I read also with the UN.

      *singing*. Y’all don’t hear meeeeeee.

      And if you ask me, seems God didn’t want his people to have nothing to do with the wicked people’s culture either. (MN: So now that you are saved, you don’t have anything to do with American culture? )

      *singing*. Y’all don’t hear meeeeeee.

      Grace and peace and with a true love from God, God bless.

    • mhjones2001 Says:

      Hinduism is a religion. But the style of music they use in worship is not a religion. I could just as easily use it (the style) to sing praises to God. Islam is a religion. But the various music styles are not. I could just as easily use the style to sing praises to the one true God from the tops of the minarets. The rasta genre is appearing more and more in Christian songs. The one I am most familiar with is “Lord I Praise Your Name On High.”

      You keep talking past what is being said. I suspect we are in violent agreement, if you would just pay attention.

  16. GaryV Says:

    ‘Round and ’round we go. Music, again, is simply notes arranged in a mathematical structure. It’s inanimate. Neither good nor evil. Use of a particular arrangement of notes to sing to a pagan deity doesn’t make the notes evil, nor the mathematical structure. It’s neutral. It’s a tool that can be USED for good or evil depending upon the one using it, but it’s not intrinsically either good OR evil.

    It’s like money. It’s neither good nor evil. It’s inanimate. Neutral. It can be used for either good or evil, but its use for one or the other doesn’t render it intrinsically so.

    A dollar used to purchase the implements to worship satan can then wind up in the coffers of a church dedicated to the work of Christ. A series of musical notes arranged in a particular structure can be filled with blasphemous words or hymns to Christ. The particular genre, sequence, rhythm, timing of the notes is meaningless. Neutral. Simply a vessel to be filled and used by either evil or Godly men, but never intrinsically good or evil in themselves.

    • Jade Says:

      Urban beats and melodies are not evil. But to try and slap holy unto an unholy religion and then dedicate it to God, and say its just a genre when its not, is not pleasing in his sight. You cannot mix the sacred with the profane.

      Urban beats, notes, cymbals, percussions, piano playing, drum beating, and whatever else Is not congruent to hip hop.

    • djdesignz Says:

      To make a point… It’s simply Scrabble:

      T u h o y e D s v e l e i l o v

    • djdesignz Says:

      Grace and Peace!

      In my post above this one I placed a series of letters. When you look at these letters, (T u h o y e D s v e l e i l o v) they seem to just be jumble, they don’t make any coherent sense. But if I rearrange them, (The Devil loves you) the alphabetical letters in and of themselves are neutral until they are arranged in some form that is communicable, understandable and able to express ideas.

      Music notes (like alphabetical letters) are neutral until they are arranged in some form that is communicable, understandable and able to express ideas.

      My question is… if alphabetical letters are neutral until formed coherently to express ideas, and the ideas expressed (words) aren’t considered neutral, how is it then, that music notes which are neutral until formed coherently to express ideas, the ideas expressed (music) are considered neutral?

      (MN: For starters, a melody doesn’t in and of itself communicate an idea. It’s the words [the lyrics] that communicate the information, the idea. I can take melody and add the words “A mighty fortress is our God.” This is a moral song. Or I could take the exact same melody and add the words “We drink because we like the haze!” Putting notes together create a melody. The melody communicates neither morality nor immorality.

      What you add to the melody (words or even images) determines the morality of the result. A hymn is okay. But a video of a stripper pole-dancing to “I’ll Fly Away!” (sorry for creating that image, ladies and gentlement) is of doubtful morality. Same song, new, additional content. It’s not the melody (the arrangement of the notes) that determines the morality of the arrangement. It’s the addition of (that’s right) words, those arrangements of letters you spoke of, that make for morality or immorality.

      You are mixing arguments. Random letter arrangements aren’t really the same as a melody with no lyrics. The information is in the arrangemnet of letters just as the information is in the lyrics to a song.

      See if you can find a song called “Angel in the Morning.” IT’s a nice soft melody. Nothing hard. Nothing bump and grindy. YOu could listen to the instrumetal version all day long and not get distracted. However, if you look at the lyrics, it’s about a woman talking about sleeping with a guy and how he should think about her in the morning. Melody is fine. Lyrics are terrible. Melody doesn’t contain morality. Lyrics do. )

      I Ain’t Nobody!

    • djdesignz Says:

      May God continually be glorified!

      (MN: DJ – I likely am going to cut you off from this particular posting. You are repeating yourself and making the same fallacious argument. You seem to be saying that the intent of the composer determines whether or not the melody is moral or immoral. If you can demonstrate that to me, you may continue to comment on this posting. If not, you are pretty much done, but just for this posting, you will be done – just for this posting. Sorry.

      “For starters, a melody doesn’t in and of itself communicate an idea.”

      Music is an art of sound in time that expresses ideas! Music is a compositional idea that not only contains a melody, but can incorporate rhythm, harmony and color to present a full picture (and this is the most pertinent part) of the COMPOSERS idea.

      mu·sic   [myoo-zik] Show IPA
      noun
      1.
      an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color.
      2.
      the tones or sounds employed, occurring in single line (melody) or multiple lines (harmony), and sounded or to be sounded by one or more voices or instruments, or both.

      “You are mixing arguments. Random letter arrangements aren’t really the same as a melody with no lyrics. The information is in the arrangemnet of letters just as the information is in the lyrics to a song.”

      I don’t think I have. The comparison I’m making is not between random letter arrangements and a melody with no lyrics, I’m comparing random letter arrangements with random note (which is to music what letters are to words… building blocks) arrangements. The information is IN the arrangement of the letters just as the information is IN the arrangement of the notes.

      (MN: That’s my point. The comparison is not a valid one. You are comparing apples to oranges.<strong>)

      “It’s not the melody (the arrangement of the notes) that determines the morality of the arrangement. It’s the addition of (that’s right) words, those arrangements of letters you spoke of, that make for morality or immorality.”

      I contend that it is the arrangement of the notes that make it moral or immoral even without lyrics because the question is… What is the creators intent? Looking objectively, that is the determining factor in its morality! (MN: On what do you base this. If I have never heard the words to a song, and I don’t know the motives of the creator of the melody, you are saying the motives the composer has makes the melody immoral? Unless you can demonstrate this, from the Bible, as I said earlier, you’re done on this posting. )

      To say that music is amoral takes away ones ability to objectively examine the worth of a piece of music. (MN: Worth has nothing to do with morality. “Sugar, Sugar” by the Archies is a worthless song. It is hardly immoral. ) To test it’s spiritual worthiness so to speak and determine if it should be offered up to God! As Priests, isn’t what’s offered to God our responsibility? Oh thats right, we don’t consider ourselves Priests (MN: Don’t put words in people’s mouths. But the sacrifice I offer is my life and all I do (Romans 12:1,2) ) , but “pragmatists” or “celebrated personalities” who claim/celebrate that through our music/ministry we bring many souls into the Kingdom and into the presence of God because for us, the end results always justify the means.

      The sad thing is, God is saying the same thing today that He said in Amos 5:21-23:
      21 “I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies. 22 Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. 23 Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.”

      WARNING (Sarcasm to follow)
      Because in Christendom… anything goes today! You wanna spit “lyrical theology” over that super hot track by the latest secular artist… you can drop it like it’s hot for Jesus! Just make sure your lyrics are well crafted and oh yea… “biblically dope”.

      Does it make a difference if the lyrics are bibilical, but the “Believers” life doesn’t coincide with what the Bible teaches? Oh, I forgot that we have that “spare-ritual discernment” that gives us the ability to recognize the “real” from the fake. Yet, we’re “spare-ritually” incapable of discerning that the track to “Drop It Like It’s Hot” isn’t WORTHY for a Child of God to sing over, spit on or create a mixtape with. What are we doing!!? Oh wait a minute, it’s called “redeeming” the track! Take the most vilest music, change the lyrics and what the pagans used to celebrate their paganisms becomes God’s new tool!
      (END of sarcasm… sorry for the rant)

      The reality is, the track “Drop It Like It’s Hot” could be considered strange fire and through the law of incremental progression, this is what happens when you say anything goes! You end up asking, how in the heck did we get here? I don’t know, but it’s all good for Jesus!

      Leviticus 10:1-3 1 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. 2 So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. 3 And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.’ ” So Aaron held his peace.

      This is God’s warning for all priests/pragmatists (celebrated personalities) who offer profane/strange fire: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.’ (Leviticus 10:3)

      Isn’t it the Priests responsibility and obligation before God to recognize the differences between the profane and the holy? Too many are being glorified by the people for doing their work, (but calling it His work) and attaching His (God’s) name to it. God and man can not be glorified in the same place.

      Jus my thoughts! (MN: But not particularly cogent ones. You were really all over the place on this one. )

      I Ain’t Nobody!

  17. Jade Says:

    I guess we will just have to agree to diagree. I believe that once you have attached HIP HOP to the music, which is not even necessary, because you will still have urban beats and melodies WHICH THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH, you have indeed dedicated the song NOT unto God. Also you may not have specifically said that hip hop is not a religion, but in my eyes to try and detach the music and simply make it a genre is doing such. (MN: So if I am understanding you, you object to the use of the descriptor “hip-hop” in referring to the music type. Let’s see if I can explain what your are saying. Let’s say the homosexual “culture” had a particular type or style of music that is closely associated with them. Maybe we can call it Gay Tech. It has a very specific “design” in the music. When you hear some, you know it’s Gay Tech. You would have a problem if someone decided to bring “Gay Tech” into the church. Obviously the style is not evil in and of itself. But do we really want to associate the church with something like Gay Tech? The very name ties it to an ungodly and profane lifestyle. In the same way, your difficulty is using the TERM hip-hop to refer to the style being used by the singers since like the “Gay” lifestyle, hip-hop is a lifestyle. Is that about right? )

    I notice a lot of this trying to go on though. Muslims trying to say they are muslim christians and use both the bible and the koran. NO these rappers are not doing that but why even put the name holy and hip hop together. the bible says to shun all appearances of evil.

    You cannot serve two masters you will love one or hate the other. And most of these people start out right, but their love for HIP HOP ends up triumphing over their love for God.

    We use to love holy hip hop. When it first started not many knew about it and we were into it. We gave away our CDs to others and just buy another. We even started a blog on it, trying to spread the word about it. But when we started to see a change in so many of the artists we listened to and how they were working with fully persuaded HIP HOP artists (meaning they live what hip hop really is) we decided to take a step back and see what was really going on. WE prayed hard and asked God to help us and did our research, and we even noticed that we were slowly but surely moving away from the unadulterated truth of God, into some mamby pamby lets just all get along, God can use anything or anyone Christianity. Yes God can redeem people, but he redeems them out of those things. And yes God can use anything, but does he WANT to is the real question. We seem to forget we are serving a HOLY and RIGHTEOUS GOD. My, how the fear of God has changed.We have since shut down the blog and repented. That was almost 3 years ago, and so many worse things and changes have happened since.

    I am sure there are still some holy hip hoppers who love God. But you can’t fool with something as evil and degenerate as hip hop and not get burned, burned by SATAN that is. Especially when God has sent so many prophets, I mean TRUE, REAL PROPHETS, Holy men of God, whose words have not fallen to the ground. Not these prospserity false prophets, to warn them.

    I don’t listen to Yolanda Adams, in my opinion, she like so many of these people are in it for fame not God. And I don’t listen to nor would I ever listen to the false rev Clevend. I have thrown out lots of Gospel artists CDs. I am an equal oppurtunity throw your music outer. And yes all the HOLY HIP HOP CDs are gone. We only still have those who never claimed hip hop, which is not much, and if we here about them doing it. it will be gone too.

    I am not even yet 30 years old, i will be soon though, I am also unlearned, no degrees, phds, just a high school graduate. But I do have the Holy Spirit, by Gods Grace alone. And that alone has sufficed me in all this.

    I see you used Paul as an example. But did he continue to say he was a Pharisee after God redeemed him from it? Did he go around saying he was a Holy Pharisee? I think not. Just a few things to think about. I know for a fact that he redeemed us from HIP HOP, including Holy HIP HOP.

    God bless you and I hope that you will seek God diligently on this thing like we did. Seek unbiasedly…PEACE OUT.

    • Jade Says:

      That is a very simple break down of it. But it’s much deeper than that. There is a whole spritual aspect to it as well. I pray God reveal it ALL to you. Because there is no way my lowly self could even begin to explain that part. Also, bear in mind that when Christian rap first came on the scene it was just that, Christian rap. But in order to be more relevant and accepted by the mainstream audience,it was suddenly called holy hip hop. I personally saw it shift in the natural as well as in the spiritual after that. There is definitely, DEFINITELY spiritual side to hip hop.

      God bless.

      • Jade Says:

        Btw I don’t know what gay tech is. Is it the same as plain techno? God forbid someone calls it holy gay tech…smh.

        • mhjones2001 Says:

          “Gay Tech” Is just something I made up. It was an effort to illustrate what you were saying by sort of recreating your objection for something labled “Gay” rather than “hip-hop.” Hope it wasn’t to confusing.

  18. Jade Says:

    Jade said this posting was to me only. So I killed it.

    To Jade: At least you are consistent. I can appreciate that.

    Melvin

  19. GaryV Says:

    Yet another logical fallacy, the category error. We’re talking about music, not lyrics. Had you read my initial post you would have seen that you just made and confirmed my point. I said that the MUSICAL STRUCTURE is neutral, and that it’s the LYRICS that imbue a song with meaning. Therefore, one could take precisely the same musical arrangement with evil lyrics and substitute Godly lyrics because the NOTES themselves are neutral. Therefore, the musical arrangement of notes that define Hip Hop can indeed be used to glorify God, since it’s the WORDS not the NOTES that have power, as Scripture states repeatedly that WORDS are either good or evil, not any specific mathematical arrangement of musical notes.

    Mel comprehended it immediately, and his response is precisely on point. I’m not certain how much more simply it can be communicated.

  20. aaron Says:

    Hey Sir, before you write your post, would you listen to this project I just downloaded. It is the best (Sound Doctrine) rap cd this year. The artist is Jovan Mackenzy. You can listen and download entire cd for free. Let me know what you think of his project, thanks. http://midwestnoise.com/jovan/

    (MN: You might also try the fellow I mentioned, Shai Linne. )

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