This article is based upon my own observations as a bible teacher, rapper, and Christian. As God continues to save more individuals from their former lifestyles devoted to sin, some who are from the urban communities have found a way to express their hearts through Christian rap. I believe that the arguments that have gotten louder in recent years over how Christian rap should be used have some very poignant points from the varying sides of the discussion. And while some choose to lean hard one way or the other, you have some like myself who see merit in all the views and I am personally convinced that when you look at it all together there is an overarching truth.
What is that truth? That Jesus Christ is the savior of mankind given to us from the Father in Heaven by His own grace. Because of this, we are all to praise Him for His mercy and His love. But as students of scripture, it is clear that there are varying degrees of the giftings from the Holy Spirit as it is written in Ephesians 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” Paul even spoke this of himself in 2 Timothy 1:11 “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”
As we can see ‘some’ are meant to be teachers and pastors and Paul himself said he was a preacher (which sometimes is synonymous with evangelist), an apostle and a teacher. Not all men get these gifts but all who are saved are responsible to testify of the good works of God and to tell men about repentance in Jesus Christ. I hear some of my brethren who are overtly theological with their rap as if they’re standing before seminary students. I hear those who are more testimonial and thankful to God for saving them out of their wretched situations, and those who are more like worship leaders in the church service where their music is all about singing about the overall glory and majesty of who God is. I find that it is all necessary, and sometimes certain brethren are very skilled at one and not the other.
But there are a few who actually seem to do all three very well. Whatever the case, I am not convinced that Christian rap itself is a mandate from Heaven for men to be strictly teachers, pastors or evangelists in their music. More often than not, I find men of simple and humble stature who just want to use the rap platform they love to entertain their brethren with a message that gives God glory. Some don’t want to admit that Christian rap itself is for the church first and for those outside of the church second, and in my opinion that’s fine.
Now, you have those who choose to make their mission with the music to be to the outside world first and the church second and that’s okay too. That is a man’s right, but I would say that any Christian rapper or fan who points fingers at those who aren’t overtly theological in their delivery of the message in their music, but doesn’t point to those men to be promoting sin in their music to be very cautious because those same individuals wouldn’t sit in church service and say that the choir has to sing every song as a deep theological message of the Gospel.
The same rappers will attend church services with their families faithfully and will claim that the music that is used to give God glory sometimes even encourages them and helps their spirit focus on God. Please do not judge the next man’s servant lest you be found to be lacking. Always encourage your brothers to glorify God and to promote the atoning work of Christ in their music. Nothing more, nothing less, because if this is purely gospel, then whoever feels that’s what their music is should not be selling it for money, in my opinion, because Christ, his apostles nor any of the ancient prophets did so. If you make money, be quiet, please, and just let me enjoy and be entertained by your music that I bought. God bless.