Guest Post by Brian Davis: Brian is a Christian Hip Hop Artist who goes by the name God’s Servant. Brian is currently a church-planting intern with at Imago Dei Church in Raleigh and is planning to plant in Philadelphia. Brian also completed the internship at Capitol Hill Baptist Church.
Like many, I was shocked by the recently released panel from the NCFIC on “Reformed Rap”. I wanted to chime in on the dialogue and offer some thoughts- both as an individual that is sympathetic to the panelists’ theological bent, as well as one who is a Hip-hopper culturally. There seems to be a lack of people who identify with both worlds, so I figured I would cast my lot in the pile. I hope it is helpful to the conversation.
I do want to preface by saying that I think these brothers are probably very godly men. While I haven’t heard of all of them, I have heard of some of them and their reputations are those of men who love the Lord, His Word and His church. My response is aimed at interacting with the thoughts they shared, not to make statements about the men themselves. I am sure this video is not reflective of the state of their godliness or the best barometer at assessing their lives–lives which are probably marked with decades of faithfulness to our Lord. I want to honor these men in the Lord, thank them for caring about the glory of God and share my thoughts to hopefully aid in future discussion towards unity in the body.
With that being said, I can’t help but lament how careless these brothers were in their language, and how revealing it is of a cultural elitism that is far too welcomed in Christianity and made at home by some of our leaders. When speaking of Christian maturity, we do not bring up the prevalence of the fruit of the Spirit in peoples lives, or their rootedness in the Word of God and how firmly they cling to the gospel. Rather, we reference sideways hats, music styles and earrings, as if that is somehow a good measurement of maturity from God’s point of view? Where is that in the bible?! We would all do well to do as these brothers suggest- adhere to every word we find in Scripture to ensure our worship is acceptable to God. However, the converse of such an admonishment is that we must be equally careful not to add to God’s Word in our efforts for purity in worship. By neglecting the former we end up like Nadab and Abihu; by neglecting the latter we end up like the Pharisees.
In an attempt to respond to some of the principles presented in the panel, I thought I would take a slightly different approach. Rather than going argument for argument (there have been several responses done in that format), I thought I would select a few key issues surrounding the conversation and try to interact with them. It seems to me that the issue in this debate (which is no new debate at all) is the mishandling of the bible, the confusion surrounding culture and the clouding of the glory of God.
1. The Mishandling of the Bible
The words of the psalmist echo in my mind here, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your Word” (Psalm 119:9). What a comfort this is! The Bible is a blade to cut through all speculation with a two-sided edge. On the one edge, it cuts down the careless heart that recklessly wanders into the presence of a Holy God. On the other edge, it cuts away the legalistic heart that would require something of a worshipper that God does not require in His Word. Some of the biggest straw men arguments that I hear lobbied against Christian Hip-Hop accuses those within the culture with phrases like “worldliness”, fleshy/flesh feeding, carnal, immature, etc, Now, while this sounds very God honoring and considerate (and I believe the brothers who make these accusations intend to be), it lacks exegetical integrity and hermeneutical care as it rips biblical phrases out of their contexts and seeks to apply them in ways that cannot be biblically sustained. For instance, to insinuate, as this recent panel did, that Christian Hip Hop is bad because God doesn’t just care about what’s being said but how it is being said and that anyone who holds to the sufficiency of Scripture should agree… is quite simply, ridiculous.
In light of yesterday’s Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage, we thought it would be helpful to repost Dr. Moore’s answer on this topic from a recent interview.
The ERLC has provided a helpful bulletin insert for churches to use. This insert will walk your people through how to respond to the Supreme Court decisions in a gospel-centered way.
Dr. Moore has also responded with a helpful blog titled “How Should Same-Sex Marriage Change the Church’s Witness?” Check it out by following this link:
B21 Panel Sponsors
An event like we hosted last Tuesday is not easy, nor cheap to pull off! Every year we have had generous support from many key entities. We wanted to take a minute to thank and highlight those who have helped us sponsor this year’s Baptist21 Panel at the SBC. We absolutely COULD NOT do this without these organizations!
A huge THANK YOU to the following:
We encourage you to click on their links, explore the services and ministries they offer, and support these ministries that serve the Kingdom well.
If you love books as much as I do, and if you’re going to be in Houston for the SBC, then don’t miss the Baptist21 Panel. Register here, and you won’t just get lunch and learn from key leaders about the pressing issues in the SBC, but you will also get 9 BOOKS!!!
Everyone will receive 9 of the following books:
That is a $140 value for the price of lunch and a panel! Don’t miss out! Register now!
B21 has hosted a panel & luncheon at the SBC meeting for the last 5 years. During that time, many who have not been able to attend the annual meeting have indicated to us that they wish they could watch the panel even though they aren’t at the convention. So…
We are excited to announce that this year’s B21 Panel June 11th at 11:30AM at the annual SBC meeting will be broadcast LIVE by Lifeway’s Ministry Grid. To sign up to watch the event click here.
Even if you aren’t able to make it to Houston, you can still watch the panel and learn from Mohler, Akin, Platt, Carter, and Moore on hot topic issues.
If you will be in Houston at the SBC, then register here to attend the panel, eat lunch with us, and receive a bunch of books.
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