Lecrae Talks of ‘Sleepless Nights,’ Criticism in Refusing Sacred-Secular Divide
By Nicola Menzie, Christian Post Reporter
May 29, 2013|12:23 pm
“There’s always somebody saying one or the other about me,” said Moore, typically referred to by his first name, commenting on being called “too Christian” or “too pagan.” The married father added that he has “definitely had some sleepless nights and some long conversations” in trying to balance his faith and career as a hip-hop artist.
The subject was raised by Eric Geiger, vice president of LifeWay Christian Resources, in an interview with Lecrae broadcast online Monday on Ed Stetzer’s “The Exchange,” a program featuring in-depth conversations with Christian leaders.
“As far as the world is concerned, it’s mostly pre-conceived ideas of what I’m about. So they haven’t really investigated enough to know how Christian it is or what it is that’s gonna happen,” the Atlanta rapper added.
“On the Christian side, there’s a sense of like, ‘See, Lecrae is falling off, he’s getting worldly. I heard him do this song, he’s performing at this place …,'” he explained, giving examples of the kind of criticism he might receive on social media.
Having spoken numerous times on the subject of overcoming the concept some have of a secular-sacred divide — the belief that Christians should avoid certain secular areas and activities — Lecrae shared with Geiger that his model for ministry is the Apostle Paul and his ministry activities as recorded in the Bible.
“I’m a big fan of just looking at Paul in Acts and him in the marketplace, but in the synagogue as well. Him mixing it up out there in the culture and knowing who their modern-day poets were and their speakers and philosophers and being able to integrate their ideals and values in his talks as he tries to preach Christ to them,” said Lecrae.
The 33-year-old rapper believes he, and other Christians, can impact culture simply by being engaged and demonstrating what “redemption has done” in a Christian’s life, instead of creating sub-cultures or living life in a bubble.
The conversation also touched on a comment Lecrae previously made in response to whether he views himself as a Christian rapper: “I am a Christian. I am a rapper. But Christian is my faith, not my genre.”
Saying he knows such a statement “goes against the grain of cultural Christianity,” Lecrae told Geiger: “We have to be careful with terms like ‘Christian’ and ‘Gospel.'”
He suggested that limiting those labels to simply a genre of music does a “disservice” to the Christian message of salvation in Jesus Christ.
“Christian is an identifying mark. It says I identify myself with Christ, I’m a follower of Christ,” he emphasized. “I’d rather you not put the tag or the label ‘Christian’ on me (simply) because I say so.”
The rapper added that he welcomes the title “Christian” being applied to him if his character warrants it, but not simply because of the type of music he creates.
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EX Editors Feedback: ” In Apostle Paul’s day Athens was considered to be like some what of a modern day Entertainment/Music Industry. History dates back to the origin of theaters, music halls, the worship of Dionysus and other gods. Now in accordance with the Acts of the Apostles (17) Paul, Silas, Timothy didn’t entertain or perform in this (industry) to evangelize the people nor did they put on performances to draw people. Just think had he encouraged the disciples to tattoo themselves, be enamored (all in photos) with theater actors, philosophers, poets and pagans.
Nevertheless, the scriptures never suggested that Paul used any of his talents or artistic abilities in Athens to influence or manipulate the Athenians to believe the Gospel. The scriptures were very clear on how Paul and others evangelized. No wonder folks can’t sleep. They are deceiving themselves into think a book written by Francis A. Schaeffer is sacred. Therefore if sacred means set apart and secular means without or disconnected from God. Then maybe we’re confused. This is what happens when folks books have more value than the scriptures. Totally confusion.
Today we have made every excuse known to man for why and how we should evangelize (without) the Holy Spirit. For some reason we think if we drop “Christian” titles, whisper about Jesus every now and then in our music, and mimic ‘popular culture’ we are becoming all things to all men to win them. These are the “Acts of Parrots” and not the Apostles. Can you image Paul in the music halls of Greece trying to emulate the pagans in order to reach them? He knew about their poets but He evangelized not entertained. Paul caused division and they resented him for preaching Christ. If Lecrae stop sambo’ing and jigaboo’ing and boldly declare CHRIST and the entire Gospel (Luke 3). BET will no longer take your managers calls. The Industry will stop booking you.
“Church I’ve made it, I’m on BET, MTV, I’m on the radio, TV, representing Christ?! Download my music, I got a mix-tape coming out, did you see my latest interview I did in Vibe, get your tickets, vote for me, the lord is using me, see how humble I am, for my glory!!”
If Jesus were physically here today, he wouldn’t be looking for BET’s platform for an opportunity to be seen and socially accepted. But the employees would quit their jobs and come looking for him. While many will argue being an entertainer is real job. But in order to find success in the industry you have to promote you and stay relevant to please your fanatics. Artist have to give their fanatics what they want. If you can’t please them, they will fire you. They will stop buying or downloading your art. So when its your livelihood, if your not careful compromise will acknowledge you and you’ll make Christ smaller as your platform gets LARGER. This is why HE can’t be promoted alongside your selfish ambitions. Seeking accepts from the world is the last thing a believer should be considering when it comes to carrying the gospel.
Today art has become Idolatry in the hearts of this generation. It has become our god, and if its not painted in a beat or a microphone we don’t want it. So if you think ministry can only come from your ability to perform and entertain, then keep reading Francis A. Schaeffer’s books. Ask Al Green, he’ll testify.
Covetousness, Idolatry, Selfish Ambition & the Pride of Life. (1John 2:15-17 , Gal. 1:10, Luke 6:26, John 15:19, John 7:7 ) This is what happens when your ambitions, naive and led by your own desires. The world sees you as needy and wanting to be liked by them. You become them to lose them. Has Thomas Dorsey’s plight taught us anything? If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” We really need to be praying for Lecrae and others like him who are deceiving themselves into thinking they are doing God of favor by replacing the work of the Holy Spirit. So many young people are being mislead thinking they are doing something innovative and new. (Eccl. 1:9). “God is using me to draw the world!” “My concerts are packed out and folks are being saved!” When many of these events are full of church kids and wayward preacher kids. The world, Hipphop’s subculture ain’t checking for “Jesus” music, it doesn’t sale unless it sounds like “the world”. It can’t be too “preachy” they won’t download it. An Atheist will tell you that.
Conclusion: The end game is Cd sales. That’s all the industry is concern with. They love the talent but could careless about what you believe. Come on folks the scriptures are clear. This is not a judgment against Lecrae personally, but a documentation. Everything we’ve been preaching against is coming around full circle. The lines have been draw in the sand and many people are being deceived, because they want to. They have made the artist the demigod and they worship music more than the God of Gods. ( March 17 on Facebook Lecrae was enagaging a fanatic as she started to question his ministry. In short he responded by saying,
“My mission hasn’t changed, my message hasn’t changed. My music has and rightly so.” Well, I thought your message and mission was apart of your music? Something’s changed.
S/n: The INDUSTRY is fascinated with the compromise rather than the Christ. Once again, we owe it to this brother to sincerely pray for him. He will never find acceptance in the Industry, we’ve lost too many like him.
TROJAN HORSE – PRIDE OF LIFE Coming 2013