Q&A: Where Do You Draw the Line in Music?

*** Please Note: This post does not answer, nor does it even deal with the question above. It is not intended to. “Drawing the line in music” was the question asked me, but the question misses the point of the original post, Christian Rap Is A Lost Cause, from where the question was asked. Don’t let anybody fool you.


[From the post following]:

Christian Hip-hop has stated as it’s goal, and claims to be actively seeking, to redeem culture. No other genre of ‘Christian’ music states that goal.

Ok, let’s put this to bed already.

Yesterday, I wrote that Christian rap, or Hip-Hop, is a lost cause.

I have some outstanding readers. Some of you are just downright brilliant, and intellectually way beyond my pay grade.

Then, some of you still don’t get it.

I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense; what I mean by that is that some of you still have the same terribly widespread, bad habit of blog readers the world over – not reading the blog before commenting. Oh, many read a blog, but sometimes they read (and understand) what they think (or want to think) they are reading as opposed to what is actually being said. It happens, and this is certainly nothing new.

Well, enough is enough. Let’s make this as clear as possible, shall we?

First, let’s do this. Here are some quotes from that post that make absolutely clear why I believe Christian rap, or hip-hop is an absolute lost cause:

the goal of ‘redeeming culture’ is a lost cause. It’s a lost cause because the Bible says the culture of the world is passing away, it is dying already, and in the end, will be stone cold dead – and rap with it.

Attempting to redeem what cannot be according to Scripture. That’s a lost cause.

Hello? Is that not clear enough?

And yet, I received comments like this:

Where do you draw the line in any given culture as to what musical form is proper? I am aligned with the regulative principle as far as corporate worship is concerned. How do you determine the proper type of music in a culture foreign to yours? – Manfred

I agree with Manfred. How do you draw that line? Do you have an issue with Christian “pop style” singers or country? Those are popular in our culture. Does that make it bad? Is not a pure expression of worship and love always accepted by God? Even if the singer (or rapper) is wearing baggy pants and a sideways hat? I’m not trying to be argumentative. I’m honestly curious about your thoughts on other types of music. – lazyhippiemama

Who said anything about proper music? No one drew a line. That’s not even the point of the post, and the post was very clear. I understand, we all get defensive when it comes to things we love, even if it’s not ok. I totally understand.

Listen, the problem with (so-called) ‘Christian’ hip-hop is not whether it’s proper or not. It is not about the genre. It’s not the music style. It is not even that it’s origin comes from (indisputably) thug music.

Christian Hip-hop has stated as it’s goal, and claims to be actively seeking, to redeem culture. No other genre of ‘Christian’ music states that goal. Am I saying this clear enough now?

Listen, if you’re a Christian, and you like listening to hip-hop, more power to you. You are not a lost cause. If you love hip-hop, go in peace, enjoy, do that hippity-hop-hop thang ‘till you drop bro, yo, to your hearts desire, know what I’m sayin’ G?

It’s not about genre of music. It’s about a false teaching. The false teaching that culture can be redeemed. You don’t hear Christians who participate in country, pop, rock or whatever genre is out there making such a stupid and unbiblical claim do you? Oh, but hip-hop? Oh, you the snuff huh baby? You’re going to redeem culture, even though God says you can’t aren’t you?

No, you can’t, and you won’t. None of the hip-hop artist will ever redeem what God says cannot and will not. There must be some other motivation then, isn’t there? Uh-huh. Unless, of course, you deny God’s Word and what He has said.

John Piper and Desiring God Ministries thinks, along with Lecrae, that culture can be redeemed. That’s stupid, and I don’t mean that in the slang, good sense. It’s stupid, old-fashioned meaning.

Tripp Lee (an under-study of Lecrae) said this for himself and Reach Records:

Unfortunately, many today believe the hip hop culture is unredeemable, better left to itself. Hip-hop is rarely thought of as a culture that ought to be invaded with the truth of Jesus Christ. Truth is, there’s a desperate need of Christians who are willing to spend their lives in order to reach it and say with Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1:16).

Reach Records and Reach Life Ministries are devoted to doing just that;reaching the hip-hop culture for the glory of God… Reach Records creates music that is relevant to the culture and is packed full of biblical truth. This platform has proven to be an incredible tool, both to introduce people to Jesus Christ, as well as help others go deeper in their faith. Through our music, we have the opportunity to reach a culture that otherwise would have no interest in what we have to say… We created Reach Life Ministries, a non-profit organization which produces Christ-centered tools and resources for urban churches and ministries to provide what music is not designed to do, disciple.

Trip thinks you can redeem culture. That’s a lack of knowledge my friends. I John says otherwise. Culture has no soul to be redeemed. Culture is a reflection of a societies religion, and hip-hop reflects the world and its lust, not Christ.

Trip Lee, Lecrae, John Piper, the whole GospelCoalition gang including Thabiti Anyabwile – they all think culture can be redeemed through hip-hop music- and so do many of you. That’s a shame, primarily because it is a result of ignoring God’s Word on the subject.

What’s really happening here is that professing Christians, well-meaning perhaps, are reaching out to the world by becoming like them, using what the world is attracted to in order to proclaim the Gospel – or get rich and famous.

Motive for participating in Christian hip-hop is not my call. You wanna rap? Rap your heart out, but before you start spittin’ truth, make sure you understand this:

The culture you reach out to, cannot be saved. It will perish with the world. That’s what the Bible teaches. If you think otherwise, you’re making an excuse to do what you long and desire to do, without God’s glory in mind.

Preach the Gospel, don’t rap it. Deal with individuals, to God’s glory for Christ Jesus sake, to the best of your ability according to the grace and gifts God has given you, but please, do not propagate this false teaching that worldly culture (which is perishing and WILL perish) can be redeemed.

That would be a lie.