Take a Look at What Hip Hop Has Done to Bishop Long?
African American Seminaries and Churches Say They Must Embrace Christian Hip Hop For Next Generation
Originally posted: Nov. 12, 2011
We are always flabbergasted by this mentality that Christian Hip Hop, Rap, etc., is becoming the norm in America’s churches, especially the black church. We can’t see how hip hop and rap in the church will bring young people to Christ. They may be introduced to Him but to seriously live by the bible and live righteously as He intended, we’re not seeing this. Many may not agree but bringing something ‘from the world’ into the church and intending to make it ‘godly’ does not work. Sorry we have to use this analogy but if being a Christian gay is wrong, then how is Christian rap/hip hop right? Again, this is trying to make a wrong right when the wrong must be rebuked and repented and the embracing of a new godly being is the only true way to God.
We know many people just don’t understand why hip hop should not have a place in the church but while the church has invited other things in, this is just another invitation to Satan. “Come on in, Lucifer. Have a seat and take over” is essentially the concept. The church has embraced so much of the outside world for many, many reasons (mainly for money) that has nothing to do with God and we are continually looking to imitate the world when God never said to do so. In fact, we are suppose to ‘show a difference’ not conform to these new age philosophies.
Read recent report:
“If we’re going to take young people seriously, we have no choice,” said Alton B. Pollard III, dean of the Howard University School of Divinity.
Howard University recently had their annual convocation featured the rocking beat of Christian hip-hop artists Da’ T.R.U.T.H. and Sean Simmonds, and professors are using spoken word — poetry performed as social commentary — to examine the New Testament.
“In order to be relevant, in order to do youth ministry, you can’t do ministry without engaging hip-hop,” said Maisha Handy, who has taught a course on hip-hop and Christian education for two years at Atlanta’s Interdenominational Theological Center.
Howard’s Pollard concedes that seminaries “have come a little late to the dance,” but says its better to embrace hip-hop rather than be intimidated by it. And though some might cringe at the genre’s misogynistic, violent and drug-related undertones, it’s not all that different from the church’s initial reaction to jazz or the blues.
“Some artists do definitely exhibit egregious behavior and that behavior should never be condoned,” said Joshua Wright, a sociologist at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, speaking at a hip-hop panel at Howard. “But this does not make all hip-hop artists devil worshippers.”
Wright pointed to Christian hip-hop artists — self-described “misfits” who are caught between two worlds — as an example of how hip-hop can be harnessed for good.
Michael Eric Dyson, a Georgetown University scholar who teaches a class on hip-hop superstar Jay-Z, said religious critics of hip-hop need to look at their own leaders.
“As much as you want to dog a rapper and steamroll his or her lyrics, steamroll some sermons, too, of the bishops and the imams and the rabbis,” said Dyson, who was headed to a concert featuring Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Dyson spoke in an open collar, and advocates say dressing down is just one way some churches can indicate an openness to hip-hop culture.
“Maybe we need some fitted caps on Sunday,” said the Rev. Willie J. Thompson, Jr., an assistant pastor of a Presbyterian congregation in Springdale, Md., who helped coordinate Howard’s Christian hip-hop concert. “Maybe we need to dress down. Maybe we need to change some of the things that we’ve become accustomed to.”
Question: Do you think there’s a place for the hip hopper in heaven? Forget what we think, do you think God approves hip hop and rap in the church? Is He pleased?
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