Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Honoring Mothers Through the Arts

Has There EVER Been a Holy Culture?

"There has to be an engagement of hip-hop that doesn't just treat hip-hop
as an enemy." - Efrem Smith, The Hip Hop Church

Let me frame this post around this... if you don't believe anything I say, put your opinions to rest for a while and read a book!  Here are a few authors you can begin with, Efrem Smith, Phil Jackson, John Teter, Ralph C. Watkins, Nelson George or Tommy Kyllonen.  

I've been involved in Gospel / Holy Hip Hop for almost 20 years now.  I've been an artist, event coordinator, ministry leader, cd outlet owner, writer, editor and now pastor who is part of the culture.  Like KRS-One said, "I am hip-hop."

Some say that hip-hop was created by the devil.  That it is an evil culture.  That it is rooted in demonic influences.  Many have made a name for themselves by saying that God doesn't embrace things that have a corrupt origin. What they fail to recognize is that there is not ONE SINGLE CULTURE on this planet that was not birthed from pagan beliefs.  Read up on the origins of various cultures of Europe...Jesus wasn't a part of the equation.  Our own American culture was born out of paganism and slavery.  Even the Jewish culture had it's origins in paganism and what we've come to know as satanic rituals.  Like my friend T. C. said the other day, "Haven't they heard of Ur?" 

Using this logic, "you can't be a part of anything that was created in evil," I wouldn't be able to enjoy the culture of my island.  I wouldn't be able to even use my people's language.  You cannot go on using this logic...because it's flawed.  And I haven't even mentioned how the devil is the creator of nothing!!!  He doesn't create, he usurps and twists things around in order to steal what was never his in the first place. 

I am extremely concerned when I hear those who claim to be a part of the culture use these very terms to describe it.  EVERY culture on the planet comes out of a non-Christian world view only hear "evil" ascribed to the hip-hop culture.  Why is that the case when again, using this flawed logic, you could drop the "evil" tag on everything...yet we only hear it slapped on to the hip-hop culture?  

A few years ago a friend shared a conversation he had with a Christian rapper.  This rapper had been ministering for years and now refused to use the term hip-hop but only used the word "rap" to describe anything he did.  He was also using some rock music for some of his songs because "hip-hop is not of God."  The conversation ended when my friend asked this rapper, "I guess you never heard of sex, drugs and rock and roll, huh?"

Stop slapping the demonic tag onto things you're afraid of!  Many times, when we see something happening in our world, instead of addressing it, we as a church shy away from it.  We demonize it because we don’t really understand it.  We become stagnant and comfortable with our church folks and forget about those in our own communities who are dying.  For years the church has ignored the hip-hop culture.  Let's engage in conversations with respect, love and humility, but let's also engage in conversations with the understanding and real belief "that we've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23.  I thank God that He is the only judge, that no one I know can judge me because I'd be in hell already because I am hip-hop!