The Problem with Lecrae

[Please note: The “I Am Second” campaign is not the focus point of this post. In fact, neither is Lecrae…read on-and pay attention]

Lecrae, notable hip-hop artist in his respected genre, has a problem, but it is not unique. In fact, I have the same problem, and so do you.

This is not an argument or debate about Christian hip-hop. Let’s make that clear. Lecrae has reminded me, us, of something very important, and I am thankful. I would prefer you read this knowing that I desire men to be drawn to Christ. So with that in mind….

I am not a hip-hop fan of any kind. That’s true. No apologies. I don’t like it. I don’t ‘roll’ that way. It has no appeal to me whatsoever. I think it is worldly thug music, and an attempt to make the Gospel acceptable to the world by using worldly entertainment. I also think that those who habitually listen to it are in a state of worldly compromise. In other words, there is pride of self involved….somewhere. That may sound harsh, and you may not like it, but then again, I’m not one to be politically correct, or kissing the hind end of popular culture.

Quite frankly, the world and the Gospel will never be friends. If the world loves you, it’s because you are just like the world, and that is a damning position to hold. James 4:4. Check it.

Some of you reading this, however, do like it. I don’t hold that against you and, I trust that you would respect my position as a pastor-teacher as well, even if you disagree with it.

As a minister, my calling is not to point men to Christian hip-hop, but to Christ.

Lecrae, notable hip-hop artist in his respected genre, has a problem, but it is not unique. In fact, I have the same problem, and so do you. [Insert cool, latest hip-hop vernacular here]. In other words, this is not just about Lecrae. It’s about me and you as well.

Here’s the thing.

Lecrae says in his video “I am second”, putting Christ as first above all, at least according to one of his latest videos, which I’ve posted below. With all that is positive to say about Lecrae’s ministry, there remains a serious spiritual problem, although it may not be readily seen. You see, as Christians, we quickly proclaim Christ above all, yet in our hearts, even unconsciously, we also place ourselves just below Him, and that’s not a healthy spiritual state to be in. Romans 12:3.

Second? Really? Three persons in the Trinity, and we see ourselves as ‘second’? Come now, let us spank us together.

The fact is that when we easily proclaim “Christ is first, and I’m second” it sounds Christian, humble, right, yet we are actually ignoring the clear teaching of God’s Word. Yes, Christ is above all in prominence, but you (we) are not ‘second’ by any stretch of the imagination, and therein lies the problem:

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3

Now, this being true, if we considered even one person other than ourselves as more significant, we would not rank second, but third, wouldn’t we? But, that’s not yet good enough because there are more true Christians out there than you can shake a stick at. That alone pushes you (and me) further down the list doesn’t it?

Listen my friends. This passage in Philippians is a solid rebuke to us all, including myself, when we put Christ first, and ourselves ‘second’, so to speak. It’s actually a prideful, arrogant thought isn’t it? We are not second. If God has given us grace to see ourselves as we truly are, we should see ourselves so far down the list that we barely register at all.

Jesus Christ, He is the one who has died and carried away our sins; He is the one Who is worthy of praise, all praise, and all glory, and you and I nothing, absolutely nothing.

The problem, in my opinion, with Christian hip-hop is that there is an attempted sharing of glory with Jesus. Yet He will not share His glory with another. And the problem is not just found in Christian hip-hop, it is found in every one of us who name the Name of Christ.

It is pride. It is self-exaltation, and it is sin. It is a sin not found only in hip-hop, but in street preachers, and pastors, and Christians in every position in life. May God give us grace to mortify it and obey Him when He says to consider all as more significant than ourselves.

My name is Joel, and I am not second.