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Friday, February 3, 2012

ARTICLE: Christian Rapper vs Rapper That Is Christian

Culled from

"I'm not a christian rapper, I'm a rapper that is christian." Have you heard this before? I have, in fact I say it all the time. It seems as if it is the same statement only transposed, however to myself and many other lyricists, it makes a world of difference. Now let me explain myself... I am a devout christian. I have my falls, shortcomings and trials just like anyone else. I'm not perfect, but one thing that stands strong is my undeniable belief in Jesus Christ. I believe that He is the Son of God and He is the only way to salvation. I live my life as a progressive effort to grow more and more in His image. So the topic at hand isn't about a person's allegiance to Christ.

The topic at hand is simply a very simple matter. This has nothing to do with one's salvation, it has to do with one's CONTENT. I don't want to refer to myself as a Christian rapper because I don't always rap about Christ or the Christian lifestyle. My lyrics are not bible filled and spilling over with theology. I don't do an altar call in every song and I'll admit, all of my music is not designed to "win the lost". One thing about me is I have a strong desire to minister. To stand before broken people and share my testimony, preach the word of God, pour my heart out, feel their pain, totally and transparently open myself and be an evangelistic vessel...WITHOUT MUSIC.

My music is my self expression, my communicative tool between me and this world. My music is a combination of what I experience in life, past, present and future. My music is a summation of who I am, what I've done, what I've seen, how I feel etc. I don't make music for others, I make music for God and myself. Don't get me wrong, I will definitely use music to minister to others. I have, will and continue to use it for that, but don't judge me if it is not my primary purpose.Now that may sound selfish, but you have to understand music is an art and lifestyle. Music CAN BE a tool to win others to Christ, and it most certainly can be an evangelistic tool.

However just because someone doesn't use it in that manner, doesn't mean they are "worldly" Here is an example: Sports can also be looked at as an outlet of self expression. How many men/women just go to the court to play ball and let off some steam? Or maybe just to think, or even to relax? This is your self expression. Now is your intent to go out and evangelize and win souls to Christ? Sometimes, yes, but not all the time. However while you are out there, circumstances may arise that present the opportunity to share your faith with someone.

I doubt Tebow is actually playing football to win souls, however through his tool of self expression, he is able to present his faith. The artist that paints a picture of beauty may make no reference whatsoever to Christ in that painting, yet that doesn't make him less of a Christian. Again, this is his outlet of self expression, and though he doesn't paint pictures of crosses all the time, that doesn't mean Christ isn't in his life.I have said this before, and I will say it again...WE MUST HAVE DISCERNMENT! Anyone that is actively and truthfully pursuing a relationship with God, is undoubtedly, undeniably going to produce fruit. Some produce at different paces and speeds, yet you WILL see and hear the fruit of their pursuit. That is completely unavoidable.

For example if you listen to my first songs as a christian rapper years ago, you will definitely hear some stuff that isn't Christ-like. Immature, prideful lyrics with very little passion for Christ. Fast forward a few years and now my faith is very evident and I've matured some. I haven't arrived, but hey, I've grown...a lot! Now if my music sounded the same now as it did years ago, then there would be some problems. I don't understand the deal with listening to one song by someone and asking the question "Where is Christ in this?" How can you come to that summation by listening to one song? How can you rule someone out as a believer because you didn't hear the name of Jesus or any bible references in that song?

Now if you listen to a whole album by an artist and their faith was NEVER made clear, then I would definitely do some investigating and check this person's credibility as a christian. Below is part one of a video interview with Sho Baraka. He is explaining the reason he left Reach as well he is discussing the topic I've just spoken on. In my own opinion, I comprehend that Sho is saying Christians need to step out of the church and into the world in order to represent Christ in the world. I completely agree with that and support that 100%. However I do believe that one must have a very FIRM foundation in Christ with the support of a team of believers before this can be done.

In all honesty, even Jesus was prepared for 33 years before he left the church and went into the world to represent His Father. I think some artists may be doing this prematurely so that is why they get sucked back up by the ways of this world. I personally don't know Sho's level of spiritual relationship with the Father, nor will I assume it. I respect the level of transparency and honesty he displays in his music and I support his decision and the reasons behind it. I know at this point when leaving the "church realm" and entering into the world to rep Christ, you will either sink or swim....I pray Sho walks on water

Sho Baraka Explains Why He Left Reach Records (Part 1)

Sho Baraka Explains Why He Left Reach Records (Part 2)
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