Bruce James Coleman / Blog

Why The Church Don't Support Christian Rap

“Why can’t we call it Christian rap instead of using the word “hip hop”. People are being persuaded that God is cool with Christian rap, but not with Christian hip hop. The argument goes, “Rap is just music, and hip hop is sinful culture, so God will accept Christianized music, but he will not have anything to do with a sinful culture.” This is more than an issue of semantics; this is an issue of Christian perspective. Whether we are dealing with music or a culture, God can transform it and get glory from it. The transformation of music is as simple as redirecting the music to reflect and promote God’s mindset through the lyrics and goal of the song. The transformation of culture requires the transformation of people because people are at the heart of culture. This process is much more complicated which is probably why many people would rather not even deal with this part. When it’s music—“just change the words.” When dealing with culture you’ve got to change the heart, and this something that only God can do. However he does it through people and that is where you and I come in. The church has to decide whether or not to throw the culture out with the sins, or address the sins in order to see a change in the culture. Christian Rap vs. Christian Hip Hop Within the church, the term hip hop is becoming taboo. Even using the term “Christian hip hop” is taboo for some. When people express a desire to substitute the term rap for hip hop I always find this interesting since both terms, rap and hip hop, were coined by the secular world. So if both things and both terms have a secular origin, why are we struggling between which one a Christian can and cannot “Christianize.” Something fishy is going on, and it seems to me that the same people that clearly hate or dislike hip hop, apparently like rap. They can kick hip hop to the curb but they want to hold on to their rap. Since they don’t want to ruin their chances of enjoying Christian rap they convince people that God is not opposed to Christian rap. While they say this, they insist that he is opposed to Christian hip hop. Now we know that secular rap and secular hip hop are both godless. We also know that some Christian rap and rappers are godless as well. So how is it that we keep hearing some Christians say that we can keep rap if it is submitted to Christ, but hip hop can’t even be submitted to Christ? THE TRUTH ABOUT RAP AND HIP HOP You say, “Rap is just music, but hip hop is a sinful culture (way of life).” You are right about both things, but many of you refuse to believe that sin is not inherent to the original agenda of hip hop (that can be fully defended another time). Hip hop originally was just a combination of four platforms of expression, capable of serving whoever got the crowd’s attention. Like money—money is not evil, but it simply magnifies the abilities of the one in control of it. In the hands of terrorist money can be used to fund diabolical acts, in the hands of the church it can be used to carry out the Great Commission. Likewise, hip hop (a more comprehensive way of expressing yourself) as well as rap (a single format for expressing yourself) can be used to carry out the agenda of Satan or Jesus. Another thing that many of you refuse to believe (no matter how many times you hear it), is that hip hop can be distinguished from the sinful acts committed by or in the name of hip hop. Listen to this statement by Africa Bambatta, one of the original organizers of hip hop affairs: