Why Hip-hop An excerpt from the forth-coming book The Truth Behind Hip Hop by: G. Craige Lewis
To understand this book, we must first explain what Hip-hop really is. Hip-hop is not music! It is not a genre; it is not a specific sound or art form. Hip-hop is not rap either, but it is a religion/culture or a belief system that was birthed out of a desire to manifest one’s self in a society that was deemed unfair to African-American’s in the early 1970′s. Because of the negative environments and social situations that plagued the black race at the time, Afrika Bambataa and others created a way of temporarily overcoming these social obstacles by partying, making music, and believing in one’s self and one’s own power. These parties were called Hip-Hop parties and they were viewed at the time as opportunity to preach a newfound doctrine of self-worship and hate for the establishment (the white race). Hip-Hop targeted rap music and used music to preach a message that empowered the black race as “true god’s” and made Jesus Christ the “white man’s religion”. Hip-Hop taught the youth at the time, and still teaches indirectly, that you can be who you want to be in the sense of not being what people want you to be. That has a certain truth to it, but if taken the wrong way, it turns into rebellion against basic laws and truths that govern our society as a whole. Hip-Hop began to change the very appearance of its followers by creating a look, a way of governing yourself, and a language that should be spoken. What this created was a subculture of our American culture, and it caused our youth to go against the basic pattern of society and manifest their own will regardless of what it cost them socially and spiritually.
I guess you can say that if all you see is what you see, then you will believe that’s all there is to be. By growing up in impoverished neighborhoods and ghettos, many of our black youth began to believe that their role models needed to be found among their peers. They would see pimps making all kinds of money, so they would emulate the pimp by dressing like him, talking like him, and pretending to be him. They would see thugs and gangsters going in and out of prison, so they would begin to walk like them, dress like them, and emulate them. Well, Hip-Hop was birthed out of poverty and in the streets of NY where the in thing was selling drugs, pimping, and going in and out of prison. So our young boys began to emulate the look of thugs and gangsters because there were no real positive role models among them to emulate. Our young girls would begin dressing like the whores or the loose women they would see on a day-to-day basis. What Bambataa and his entourage did was glorify the street life and make being in the streets and of the streets acceptable. Instead of pointing the youth to the work force, the business world, higher education, or entrepreneurship, they would make the thug, the gangster, or the pimp the one that should be representing our people. Sure they taught self-respect and self worth, but they did if from the wrong level. Instead of pulling the youth of this nation up, they just made those that were down the mark to reach for. In other words, they made society seem unfair to the black man, and in many cases it still is. But instead of being able to succeed through normal avenues, the black man would have to turn to other means of success like entertainment, Hip-Hop was the way to get the black man notoriety and show that the lower income black people of America had a voice. Hip-Hop was then used to describe a way of living, not just music. There are television commercials that run today on BET and MTV that state, “Hip-Hop is not music, it’s a way of life,” and “you don’t do Hip-hop, you are Hip-hop!” This clearly tells us what the agenda of true Hip-Hoppers is. It’s a manifestation of a belief system that governs the behavior of its followers.
With that said, we come to the question, why hip-hop?
Hip-hop was needed to give an identity to the youth of America that seemed to not have a voice. Hip-hop was created to be the voice of those that felt they were denied opportunity and fairness by our society. They believed that the white man was to blame for the social and economical deficits that plagued the black race. They believed that we as a black race should not subscribe to the white man’s laws or his religion. Afrika Bambataa began to infuse the doctrine of self-worship and black supremacy into rap music and thus, created the religion of Hip-hop. Hip-hop then became not only a voice of the people, but a religion that preached a doctrine that is contrary to the Bible. The doctrine of Hip-hop says that the black man is God and Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, but he is in fact the white man’s god. These teaching started out as straight forward messages that were preached over beats and rhymes, but later evolved into silent practices that would manifest outwardly in the behavior, clothes, and language of the culture. Now Hip-hop has literally changed the face of our nation. It has caused our youth to lower their standards and set their sights on themselves and their own feelings rather than taking the harder road to success. They now see what is acceptable or fashionable to our society as being “weak or wak.” Hip-hop has turned our young boys into thugs and our young girls into young whores. It has caused marijuana and other illegal substances to become acceptable among our youth and is stopping our people from achieving real success. Whether we want to admit it or not we must adhere to the fact that we live in a society that promotes educated, properly dressed, well-mannered men and women. Hip-hop, however, tells our youth that it’s okay to wear your clothes like a criminal, or dress like a bum. It’s okay to look evil and talk in slang as long as you stay true to the culture of Hip-hop. But the real scary part is that many want the church of God to accept Hip-hop as a way to reach they youth that are already in it
The truth is in the name.
There is a new move in our nation called Holy Hip-hop. It’s a knock-off version of true Hip-hop but it is getting very popular among Youth Pastors and churches that do not effectively know how to reach the youth of their communities.
Instead of fasting, praying, and seeking God for his Spirit to draw hearts that truly want to repent, they turn to Holy Hip-hop, which will speak the language, promote the look and appeal of the culture, and then add the message of Christ to it? See, the Holy Hip-hopper believes that they can reach real Hip-hoppers by being Hip-hoppers–just Holy ones. They believe they are an alternative to the real Hip-hop, so that when you give your life to Christ, you can still be represented by a Holy version of Hip-hop. They also believe that Hip-hop can be Holy because God changed you or me from our sinful state into Holy people.
When I was not in Christ, I was a thief and a crook. Now that I am saved, am I a Holy Crook? I guess next the gothic culture is going to have a bootleg, Holy version of the real thing eventually (as crazy as it seems someone may already be doing this). Can’t you just see the kids in your youth group wearing black, black nail polish, tattoos and piercings everywhere, and looking like walking dead people? Then the Holy Gothic recording artist/minister comes in and validates them. He will look like Marilyn Manson, sounds like Marilyn Manson and dresses like Marilyn Manson, but he will sing about Christ. Will this reach the Youth? Will these youth be transformed by the power of God and begin to look and act like NEW CREATURES? No, they will continue to live and look like the culture that had them spiritually bound in the first place. These methods always look good on the surface and can be justified by quoting, “ I become all things to all men…” Ok lets become a part of the pornographic culture to reach the pornographers. This is ridiculous. To reach the gothic culture or any other subculture you must ask the real question. “Why are they Gothic?
In the case of the creation of the Gothic culture: first there was Heavy Metal Music. Then those in the occult began to use this particular subculture of the music to push their agenda. The spirit of witchcraft began to be released through the satanic artist who made the music. Understand that when a Satan worshipping musician plays music he gives spirits of darkness a vessel to work through. Through an evolution of the genre and the culture the gothic spirit manifested and those that wanted to rebel and be outcast of their mainstream culture subscribed to it—this formed the subculture of Goth! They began to emulate the rebellion and gave the spirit of evil and darkness another place to manifest. Whether you believe it or not the devil uses music as a vehicle to transfer spirits. For the intellectual fundamentalist who don’t subscribe to evil spirits and the devil, let me ask you how is it that you teach that the spirit of God Operates through your music, but you don’t believe that evil spirits can operate through secular music? Doesn’t even the Bible teach the fight that we are fighting isn’t flesh and blood?
Eph. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
I don’t think that any fundamentalist would deny that we are in a spiritual wrestling match, but they want to the fight only on the natural level, when the word of God clearly states that we are in a spiritual battle with spiritual beings. It is remarkable to me that even the secular music industry understands the transfer of spirits in music while the Christian Artist (denies that anything like this exist).
Notice the term spiritual wickedness in Eph 6:12.
What would the term spiritual wickedness be referring to? Maybe it is referring to the mixing of the sacred with the secular! Could it be referencing Holy (spiritual) Hip-hop (wickedness)?
The real problem with the Goth kids is spiritual! If you deal with the spirit of rebellion in them, they would abandon Goth all together. This is the same with Hip-hop! Notice that Goth is not a type of music but it is a way of life. If Hip-hop is teaching rebellion and is a spiritual problem, then why join forces with it? Why try to redeem something that was birthed out of lack, poverty, rebellion, and ethnocentricity? Why not allow God to gift you supernaturally to deal with the spirit in the youth that is pulling them to Hip-hop in the first place? I would not allow a person that is pierced all up, tattooed all over, and dressed in black with dark makeup and a scary countenance to get up before my youth and teach them anything. They are representing rebellion and they are validating rebellion in the lives of the youth. Well, I refuse to allow a man that looks thugged-out, gangstered-up, or a girl that is dressed “hoochie-fied” and whorish to get up and validate the Hip-hop lifestyle in my church. Many of our youth cannot get decent jobs or even finish school because they refuse to change their look for our society. They want to look gangster and thugged-out like the Hip-hop artists they see, but those artists are paid for looking like that, and our kids can’t get ahead looking like them. And now, there are Christian versions of these thugs and gangsters? They want to come to your church, dressed like a hoodlum, and get up before your youth to preach and rap? They want to give props to Hip-hop and bring this foul belief system into your church to validate the rebellion that already exists among your youth. They want to show your young boys that wearing big diamond earrings, “doo-rags”, and baseball caps over wave caps is okay for church service. Did you ever notice that the Holy hip-hoppers always give “props” to Hip-hop not Holy Hip-hop? Even at some of their concerts they have the youth chanting “Hip- Hop! Hip-hop!” Not “Holy hip-hop! Holy Hip-hop! I guess holy hip-hop has too many syllables. I ask you— is it holy for the Holy Hip-hoppers to show your young boys that throwing up gang signs and pulling up your pants all day because they are sagging so low is acceptable to God. Do we believe that the established church should not have anything to say about? Even public schools know that they cannot allow the culture of hip-hop to take over and maintain order in an institution of learning. Every school district I know of has rules against the many elements of Hip-Hop. They won’t allow the music, the bandannas, the sagging, the “hoochie-mama outfits,” doo-rags, jerseys, or hats. So is the church supposed to have lower standards than the public school? I thought we were the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Wake up people! Can’t you see what’s going on? If Hip-hop was birthed through poverty, idolatry, and ignorance, then why is it being used by Christians to reach youth? Shouldn’t we reach out to them with an example of how the power of God changes a person rather than how your insides can change, but it does not affect the outside? A gang member wears a rag to symbolize where he belongs. A prisoner wears his pants sagging to show that he has no belt or that he is a homosexual lover to someone. A prostitute dresses revealing and in tight clothes to show that she is a whore and will sell you some. If God wants to change any one of them, will he use their own kind to reach them? I mean, would he use a Holy gang member? A saved thug or would he use a woman that dresses like a whore to reach the prostitute? This does not make sense. Where is the change? Wouldn’t it be more effective to have a person that once dressed like a whore, a gang member, or a prisoner to show the change that God made to their appearance by changing theirs first? Let’s get real. I guess so many of our churches are so desperate for the attention of their youth that they will allow a Gospel Gangster, A Holy Hoodlum, or even a Preachin’ PIMP to come and give their youth some tight beats and rhymes.
But the wise man wins the soul right?
Prov. 11:30 “…and he that winneth souls wise.”
There is a big difference in that question and this scripture. This scripture is not saying that we should be wise and cleaver in coming up with ways to attract people to God. It’s basically stating a fact. If you win souls, you are wise. If you obey God, walk in his way, and allow his Spirit to operate through you, you will win souls and thus, you were wise. But we tend to make the scripture to mean that if we think up ways to reach people and use craftiness in doing it, then we are wise! The Bible is clear in 2 Corinthians 4 about using craftiness and handling the Word of God deceitfully.
2Cor. 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
We cannot pretend we’re one thing to get people’s attention and then show them that we are another thing. In other words, you can’t use the actual music of the “real” hip-hop and the religion of Hip-hop to get the youth’s attention so you can minister to them. The only reason they are drawn to this culture, in the first place is because of its supernatural pull and how it agrees with their lifestyle. If there is such a thing as Holy Hip-hop, then why is the World’s version just plain Hip-hop? Why don’t they call what they are doing Secular Hip-hop or Gangster Hip-hop? To them, it’s just Hip-hop because they are the original. But the church is the counterfeit and has to change the definition of the word to be a part of it. The name suggests that to make it Holy is to make is non-authentic or to make it something that it is not. This is because Hip-hop was created for the world. For someone in the church to amend it and add the prefix Holy to it suggest that it’s not original and is a knock off version of what it was created to be. Sure God made everything and he made music. He is the creator, but we are manufacturers. We take the talent, material, and elements that God gave us and we manufacture from his creations. There was no Hip-hop in the Garden of Eden, but there were raw materials that man could use to create it.
Many Holy Hip-hoppers try to use the following scripture to justify using hip-hop:
Col. 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
It must be understood that just because something is in existence does not mean that God created it and sanctions it. Child pornography exists yet God didn’t create it neither does he use it in any way. When we talk about music and culture we are talking about something that was manufactured using the raw materials and talents that God created. So, in that sense, sure God created everything. But many things that are manufactured by man, God does not want credited back to him.
I know you are probably asking yourself, “Why don’t they just call it Christian Rap and leave out the Hip-hop part? The answer: because, they can’t. Christian rap does not mimic the secular industry enough. Now if you are going to be a Christian version of the Wu-tang Clan, then you have to effectively mimic them. You can’t just rap and make beats, but you have to dress like them, move around on stage like them, and look like them. This is where Hip-hop comes in. Hip-hop keeps the looks, the flare and the flavor in the performance so that they can effectively emulate the secular version of themselves. When a Christian rap group does not want to be associated with Hip-hop in any way, then they don’t emulate secular artists. They can have their own style, their own flavor and their own God given creativity, and not depend on Hip-hop to dictate to them what they should be like. Hip-hop is the spirit that brings authenticity to the Holy Hip-hopper. Without it, they can’t be like their worldly heroes of Hip-hop. They will have to give credit to God alone and can no longer pay tribute to Hip-hop. Thus, it puts them out of the loop and they must stand on their own. They cannot sell a lot of CD’s; they won’t get the dove or GMA awards. They won’t stand out without Hip-hop because the people they say they are reaching will only respect their God if Hip-hop is used to bring him to them. In many of their raps, they make Hip-hop equal to God and make Hip-hop and the Gospel a “team”. Since when did Hip-hop become equals with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Hip-hop denounces Christ! But I guess when you call it “Holy Hip-hop” Christ can be equal to Hip-hop and they can work together to reach the world like Kanye West states in his blockbuster hit song “Jesus Walks”. Why call it Holy Hip-hop and not believe in the gifts of the Holy Ghost? The Holy Ghost will draw the sinner, but many Holy Hip-hop rappers deny the gifts and do not deal with the spirit realm concerning Hip-hop and the world. They don’t cast out demons, they don’t believe in divine healing and many don’t even believe in the baptism of the Holy Ghost! So, what do they leave the youth with that they are trying to reach?? Beats, rhymes, and positive lyrics rather than negative ones. They are an alternative, with no authenticity. Sure, the kids are drawn by the beats and the “Hip-hop” because that’s where they are. Kanye West is packing out church altars when he makes his appeal for salvation, even thought his music promotes sin, sex, and violence. How is he any different than a Holy Hip-hopper? They are both using Hip-hop to reach the youth right? His is positive right? The one thing I can appreciate about Kanye West is that he is true to what he does. He is not trying to change Hip-hop into something Holy. He knows that it’s all just Hip-hop! Only the church is foolish enough to bring this demonic culture in and call it just music. Real Hip-hoppers know that music has little to do with it. It’s the enemy’s agenda. Even KRS-ONE knew that the only way to get the knowledge of self and his “black man is God” teachings into the church was to use Holy Hip-hop! He was one of the founding fathers of Hip-hop, so he is an advocate of Holy Hip-hop and any other form of worship thru Hip-hop. He says that all religions can worship through Hip-hop because Hip-hop is like Christ! To the real Hip-hopper, it’s Christ-like because to them, no man cometh to the father but through a mixture of their beliefs and Hip-hop! Even Da’ Truth said in his CD, “Hip-hop and the Gospel, what a dynamic team!” Does the Gospel need Hip-hop?
These same artists will be the first to deny that the gifts of God are in operation in the church. So they can’t understand the spirit behind Hip-hop because they don’t even have faith in the Spirit behind the gifts of God! But what about the kids that are possessed by demons, bound by spiritual issues, or sick and need to be healed? Can a fundamentalist rapper, that denies the very power of the Holy Ghost, be effective in this situation?? Giving them beats and rhymes will not do it.
Effective youth ministries don’t need gimmicks.
Youth pastors and youth ministers wake up! If you need Hip-hop to reach your youth, then you are not an effective youth minister! If you need to give the youth what they want instead of what they need, then you are no better than an irresponsible parent that spoils their child. If you have to keep having Hip-hop lock-ins, Concerts and Praise Dance festivals, field trips, food and candy to keep your youth interested in your youth ministry, then you need to reevaluate whether or not God has truly called you to be a youth minister. Maybe you missed your call of being an amusement park attendant, or a babysitter. A truly effective youth minister can preach the word of God and cause the youth to go out and win other youth. When a youth ministry is really effective, they are able to grow based on the Word of God being preached and not on gimmicks, fun times, or music. Youth desire the supernatural power of God just like adults. But when you have a carnal youth leader that cannot manifest the power of God and deal with demons, spirits, and witchcraft, then the youth will need fun and activities to stay interested. If you are not able to give them a true move of God in your youth ministry, then you have to compete with the world! You will have to give them what the world is giving them. If there are parties and dances happening at their schools, you will have to have one the same night, but stamp Jesus on it. If there are concerts and Hip-hop clubs happening around you, you will have to have concerts and clubs with a Jesus stamp. You will always be lead by the world and in direct competition with the world. Hip-hop will become your nemesis and rather than beating it by the power of the Holy Ghost transforming and moving through your youth ministry, you will have to join it because it’s easier than seeking a real move of God. The beats will take the place of the spirit of God. The Holy Hip-hoppers will come in and promote themselves by looking the part, acting the part, and promoting the real Hip-hoppers that they stole their style from. Then the kids will yell and scream, and come to the altar because of the beats. But they will leave the service, only to get into their cars or go home and listen to the real thing. And as long as they continue to listen to the real Hip-hoppers and secular artists, the Holy Hip-hop will be a fill in for them. Since they can’t have Usher and Lil’ Jon in the church, then they will take the Cross Movement or Lil’ Irocc for now.
You better believe when they get home, they will desire the real deal. Do not get me wrong; if it is Christian Rap or Gospel Rap, then it does not compare itself with the world’s artists because there is no Hip-hop involved with it. If a person considers himself a Holy Hip-hoppers or say they are using Hip-hop, then they are comparing themselves to something that is in the world.
Holy Hip-hoppers are not the real thing and will only go to make the real Hip-hop more powerful. This makes KRS-One’s prophecy about Hip-hop true because he stated that all religions could worship through Hip-hop! He believes that the religion of Hip-hop and the belief in the black man being God is essential in worshipping the true god of this planet. He says that Hip-hop must be reckoned with by all people of color and must be used by every religion to effectively reach our people. This is putting Hip-hop equal with God and saying that in order to get to God, you must use Hip-hop! He even came out with a Holy Hip-hop CD to preach this doctrine and used Holy Hip-hoppers T-Bone and BB Jay on it for validation! So, it appears that the Holy Hip-hop movement is fulfilling the prophecy of Hip-hop’s founders by making it a necessary tool for effective ministry. The only tool necessary for effective ministry is the preaching of the Gospel and the drawing of the Holy Ghost. I know this may sound foolish to many but it is called “foolishness of preaching.”
1Cor. 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. We have thousands of saved and hip-hop-free teen-agers who will attest to this truth.
Hip-hop is not music
Only the church considers Hip-hop a music style or genre. But to it’s creators and any real Hip-hopper, is considered a religion, a belief system, a sub-culture, or a “way of life”. P. Diddy stated on a talk show, when asked what the difference between Hip Hop and rap was, “Rap is the music, but Hip Hop is my life….as a matter of fact, Hip Hop is life! Christians only call hip-hop a music form in efforts to get it accepted in the church and the lives of believers. This mask is what the enemy is using to deceive the church into embracing this religion and get it in the lives of our youth and accepted by the leadership of the church. Hip-hop was founded in the streets as a voice for the people that felt they had no voice. But when Christ comes in the picture, he becomes the voice, yet Holy Hip-hoppers still want to hang-on to the streets and the street behavior because they feel it legitimizes them and their efforts to prosper off the church. Many of their songs are still gangster oriented, thug promoting and carry the street mentality, which only further promotes the agenda of the Hip-hopper in its original form. Saying Hip-hop is Holy is like saying whatever you were before Christ is still who you are, just with salvation. Only a fundamentalist believer could buy into this. Anyone that is born of God and filled with the Holy Ghost knows that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature!” Old things are past away. The old behaviors that reflected your negative upbringing are behind you and you begin to walk in the newness of life. The old gang related attire is thrown away and now you dress differently. The old gang signs and vulgar language you spoke is changed to a new way of talking. You don’t continue to mimic the demonic lifestyle you once lived when you were in the streets, but you begin to grow and change. And it’s this change that occurs when you are filled with the Spirit of God. So, why are Holy Hip-hoppers continually promoting the streets to reach the streets? Why don’t they show the real Hip-hoppers that God can produce change in you? Why don’t they show progress and promote the fact that they are no longer Hip-hoppers, but they are believers that are set apart and conformed into the image of Christ? When God saved Saul on the road to Damascus, he did not make Paul a Holy Pharisees! Paul left that religious culture and became a believer. He preached to the Pharisees, not as a Pharisee, but as a believer and thus, many were converted. It took God taking him out, teaching and preparing him for 14 years, and removing the Pharisees “way of life” from him to make him effective. It’s when people see the change in others, that they see that change is possible for them. But when we try to reach them by becoming like them, we forfeit the very ability to show them that change is possible. People of God, understand that Holy Hip-hop is a ridiculous push to make money from the real Hip-hop! It’s a sub culture of a sub culture and God does not need it. If you must use your ideas to reach youth, then you don’t have the power of God operating through you. Anyone can make beats and rhymes and attract youth. Kanye West is doing a good job of having altar calls and using Hip-hop to preach his messages. What’s the difference between Kanye West and a Holy Hip-hopper? If beats and rhymes are needed to reach the youth, then stop bringing these “wanna-be” Holy Hip-hoppers to your churches and get the real thing. Get Kanye West and DMX to come and draw a crowd at the alter. They are able to get the youth up front and have alter prayers. They are able to minister Christ to the youth just as effectively as the imitation Hip-hoppers (Holy Hip-hoppers.) If Hip-hop is to be used, then don’t you think God will use the real Hip-hoppers rather than the imitation ones? Hip-hop is of the devil and Holy Hip-hop is a joke. God needs Holy Hip-hoppers as much as he needs Kanye West or DMX. Now if these artist only promoted themselves as Entertainers they might be able to get away with some of there antics, but they claim to be ministers and Preachers of the Gospel. Yet if they can’t cast out devils and do what the apostles did, then what good are they? Many may argue with the validity of this scripture but listen to what the Bible says:
Mark 16:17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils… And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.
It’s not enough to reach the youth and get their attention with your beats and rhymes. It’s not enough, as the Cross Movement says, to “make Hip-hop and the Gospel a team”. Music was never used in the Bible to win souls or reach people for God. It’s was always the truth of the Word being preached that brought men to repentance. Moreover, for a thugged-out, gangster looking rapper to stand before your youth and declare he is ministering will only promote the look, the behavior, and the spirit of Hip-hop, which we are working so hard to defeat in the body of Christ. We don’t need our boys looking like thugs. We don’t need our girls dressed like whores. We don’t need Holy Hip-hoppers promoting the beats of the world, the clothing lines of these godless rappers, or the spirit of rebellion and deception.
Ok let’s look at an obvious contradiction of Holy Hip-hop. Many holy-hoppers wear the clothes of artist who publicly oppose God. For instance, if a Holy-hopper wears Roca-wear he is promoting “Jay-Z” who has a song on an underground album that says “murder, murder, Jesus” Now, why would any Christian want to wear anything that promoted someone who claims they are “Jay-hova” and openly mocks Jesus?
We need some youth pastors and youth ministers that can minister the word of God so effectively, that the gifts of the spirit of God will draw the youth and change their hearts. This will cause them to pull the gang gear off and dress like they should so they can go into any cultural circle and prosper. This will cause them to put off the old man and allow God to create a new identity in them so they can show the world the power of God has changed them. This will keep them from being pulled back into the world because they are trying so hard to fit in with the world to make the world comfortable rather than being a new creature and reaching men by their example of change.
Would a crack addict want another crack addict ministering to them? Would that be effective to use the crack lifestyle to minister to because it speaks the language? To effectively minister to a crack head you need to exemplify the change by walking it and showing it. The crack addict has a spiritual problem and needs the spirit of God to change them. Sure you can get their attention by pretending to be a crack addict, but will that help them? Shouldn’t you be redeemed and looking like you are no longer a crack addict? The power is not in you relating to them by your appearance, but the power is in your testimony! That’s how you overcome. Not showing them that you can be a Holy crack addict and still walk like, look like, and act like them, but now you are Holy with it. The same applies to the Hip-hop religion/culture. Coming out of it is the key, not changing it so that you can keep your fix.
The truth makes you free. Not music, not a song, not beats! It’s the truth! Why are we using gimmicks to reach the youth? Why can’t we preach an effective word of truth to them without using a culture that is their stronghold in the first place? It’s like we are using the very thing that was a struggle for them to reach them? Don’t you know that if the music is there problem, then the music cannot be their answer? That will continue to lead them back to music instead of Christ. Then they won’t hear unless music is involved.
Why not call it Holy Hip-hop I?
If Hip-hop can be holy, then why don’t the Holy Hip-hoppers refer to it as Holy Hip-hop in their songs? For example, Da TRUTH says in one of his songs that “Hip-hop and the Gospel, a dynamic team!” Now we know if they are on the same team that would make them similar. The word tells us, “How can 2 walk together, unless they agree?” And it also says, “How can bitter and sweet come from the same fountain?” So, obviously he is referring to Holy Hip-hop in this statement. But it is clear that he did not call it that. If it is Holy Hip-hop that he is doing, then why not just say that? Also, Phanatic of the Cross Movement gives thanks to Hip-hop on his album credits. Why didn’t he thank Holy Hip-hop? And why do they make youth chant “Hip-hop” over and over at their concerts instead of chanting “Holy Hip-hop?” It is very evident that there is a hidden agenda either by the Holy Hip-hoppers or the real Hip-hoppers. Either way, Hip-hop is definitely not music, so with that said, what are they chanting? Are they chanting Hip-Hop because it’s a way of life? Jesus said he is the way, the truth and the life! Are they chanting it because it’s a worldly culture? God said to Love not the world, neither the things of the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the father is not in him! Surely the Cross Movement and others love the Father in the sense of God is their ultimate leader. However, if they embrace the culture that does not love God… If they embrace a way of life that does not recognize his Son as the Christ… If they pull the youth of the Kingdom out of freedom and back into the bondage of a belief system, that serves itself, then they are no different than a secular artist that denies righteous living and preaches Jesus! This makes way for Kanye West and the Destiny’s Child who claim Christ and yet promote the world and worldliness. What is the difference? You struggle to bring your youth out of the culture and into a new way of governing themselves. Thug free, “gangster-free,” “hoochie-free,” and then a Holy Hip-hopper invites themselves to your ministry only to put Hip-hop right back into them? They move like a Hip-hopper, they dress like a Hip-hopper, and they go against the grain of the authority of your house. They make the adult worship look silly and irrelevant to your youth. They make the adult worship service boring by comparison. They have all the same elements of the world and they awaken the old man’s self-glorying. They cause the youth to again desire what they had before they come to Christ. They put Hip-hop right back at the forefront of their lifestyle and tell them it’s okay to embrace a subculture of our American culture rather than embracing the counterculture of Christianity. They taunt the suit-wearing preachers and make the normal church service seem non-effective when it comes to youth ministry. . The youth cannot relate to the adults and the adults cannot relate to the children. Then, chaos is born and the enemy finds his way in the middle of both groups. The church then becomes a haven of confusion and the devil can keep the youth chasing the world and adults staying their distance because they do not “understand” the spirit behind the youth’s distance. All the while, the Holy Hip-hoppers are selling CD’s and getting engagements! Turning every major youth function into a big party complete with the flavor of the world and the spirit of rebellion. Gangs signs going up during concerts, crotch grabbing knock-off rappers begin to emulate what they saw on BET and MTV while injecting small portions of real Hip-hop in their music and their chants. The youth come to the altar because they are drawn to an opportunity to stamp Christ on their lifestyle rather than Christ calling them out of Hip-hop. They are not new creature, but they are an old creature with an upgrade!
They go home and struggle with secular music and Christian music. Demons plague their bedrooms and their alone times because there was no real deliverance offered at the festival they attended. The power of the Holy Ghost is denied by the fundamentalist rappers that entertained your youth and all they received was a “church” version of the real deal Hip-hop they are possessed by. They continue to party and hang with sinners. Their lifestyle is only reflective of Christ when they come together to worship, but even then, they are worshipping through a worldly vice called Hip-hop. They are trying to get sweet liquids out of a bitter source. All the while, Afrika Bambataa, KRSONE, and the other founding fathers of Hip-hop are saying to the church “Job well done!” Now Hip-hop is necessary to get people to God, therefore it is equal to God!
I guess the scariest part of a Holy Hip Hopper coming to minister to a youth group is the fundamentalists belief system. Holy Hip Hoppers like The Cross Movement and Da TRUTH do not believe in casting out devils, speaking in tongues, or even hearing God speak other than through the Bible! They do not reveal these beliefs to the leadership of the church if they are booked, but they do teach their beliefs in their lyrics (hmmm, sounds familiar?) They teach that God does not speak to men other than through the Bible. They teach that the gifts of the Spirit are not relevant to these times but were only in operation during the New Testament period. Now, isn’t this a contradiction? Example: A pastor of a church has the gifts operating in his ministry, and speaks of God giving him visions, words of knowledge, prophecies, etc. But at the youth concert or service, these fundamental Holy Hip Hoppers are hiding a secret. The secret is, that they don’t believe what the pastor has been preaching!! They come in and “tolerate” the teachings of the pastors just to get on the stage of the youth ministry. But what is going on in the spirit realm is a “form” of godliness, but a denial of the power! Why don’t they stand up for their true beliefs and let these pastor and youth leaders know their stand on the Holy Ghost operating? How can they effectively change the lives of the youth without the power of the Holy Ghost in operation? If they deny the gifts, then what do that have to offer other than fancy words and beats? Pastors, youth leaders, parents, etc. BEWARE and understand that this is not right! If they don’t believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit then they should not go to perform at churches where the gifts are in operation or accepted! They are coming in and changing the very belief system of the youth while defying leadership and having a hidden agenda. This can be very dangerous because it will make the adult worship of that church look silly and ineffective because these Holy Hip Hoppers have come in and taken a stand against it in their music. If and when a ministry invites them, then it represents the approval of the leadership, thus, the point is made without discussion. And the end of it will be the youth’s confusion and misunderstanding of why these types of groups are invited in yet they do not follow the beliefs of their ministry. This is confusion and is not of God.
Qualified for your ministry?
Everyone is not ready to minister to a crowd of people. Just because you were a worldly hip-hop artist does not make your talent kingdom transferable. There needs to be a time when you sit and allow God to get the filthy lucre out of you. If you used the stage for evil, then you don’t need to change partners on the stage, but you need to get off the stage and allow God to build you up. Rap is entertainment, not ministry. Even though there is a level of ministry found in Christian music, it’s the beat and the melody that’s the draw. So, when it’s time to draw men to Christ, the music should not be used to do it, but the Spirit of God will do it through an effective preacher. Stop the music, stop the dancing, stop all forms of flesh satisfying, and give the Word of God. Give it to them pure and filled with the power of the Holy Ghost. Truth will make men free. Sure Christian entertainment is good, but not when it promotes a religion that is against truth.
If you deny the power of God, then you must use a vice or a vehicle to get their attention. It means that you cannot use the gifts you have, but you have to use your talents. When people are drawn by talent, then their emotions are ministered to, not their spirit. The music will prick the soulish realm, but not change the heart. That is why the youth in our churches are so perverse and sin sick. They have the all the same things the world has (dance parties for God, the latest dances to gospel music, hip-hop that is called Holy, and the sin of the world). This is because the music is entertainment and not ministry. Ministry does not need music. Music is for helps, not a vehicle for saving souls. If music was intended for “ministry”, then why didn’t Jesus use it? Why didn’t the disciples use it? Why wasn’t it named in the five-fold ministry? Why did God purposely omit the mention of it in the ministry? The answer: because it is not made for reaching the lost. It is entertainment! Sure it can set the stage for ministry and usher in God’s presence, but when was the last time you felt God’s presence with loud beats and rappers up looking like thugs and killers calling what they are doing Holy? If it’s holy, then why can’t his presence be invoked through it? It’s because a lot of the Holy Hip Hoppers talk more about themselves and the power they have rather than God. They talk about their looks, their abilities, and their style when they should be talking about the Lord! But this selfishness is what fuels Hip Hop, so it has to bleed over into the knockoff version Holy Hip Hop right? These guys are trying to sell CD’s. It’s time to stop being echoes and start being true voices. Stop being copies and be God’s originals. Let’s bring the Holy Ghost back and start reaching the youth with the gifts instead of our ideas! Let’s stop trying to find a profitable way to reach people and start preaching heaven and hell again. This generation does not need the World wrapped in a different package. They need CHANGE!. Stop acting like Pro Wings and start being Nikes! If you are a Christian rapper, then be one. But if you are a Hip-hopper, then stop trying to stamp Christ on it and just be what you are! Stop being a knock off and get out of the church and live through the culture/religion of it. You can’t take parts of it, but you have to eat it all. Why Hip-hop? I’ll tell you why. You need Hip-hop because that’s the only way you can get the youth’s attention. We are seeing 100′s of thousands saved each year, and we use no music at all! It’s the power of God and influence of peers that will win them, not music!
Ultimately I believe that Holy Hip-hop is a substitute for the Holy Ghost. What Holy-hopper needs the Holy Ghost? The Bible says that no man comes to Christ except the Father draws him. But according to one Cross-Movement song:
“… hip-hops the key it’s like some cheese to rats; and they’ll come if your beats are raw…
Obviously, they are depending on the beats to draw men to Christ. Also there is no need for deliverance with Holy- Hip-hop because you will stay in the same culture and do basically the same thing you did, the only difference is that you will do it for Jesus. I can see the day when this line of thinking leads to “Holy strip-clubs”. “I used to strip for the devil now I strip for Jesus.” I might be wrong but I don’t think I have ever heard a Holy-hopper tell youth to throwaway their worldly hip-hop CD’s, or to pull of their gang paraphernalia. This is what the Holy Ghost would say if he were in charge of the concert but since Holy Hip-hop has been substituted nothing of this sort would be either said or inferred.