Pop Culture

We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

Lecrae is not a Christian rapper. He’s said this time and time again since about 2012. For many in the Church, however, this has been a tough proclamation to grasp. But it’s high time we finally accept it.  It’s time for those of us who have been clinging to him to let him go and instead embrace the fact that Lecrae is free to do and be called whatever he wishes. If removing the “Christian” label from his identity is what he really wants to do, I say we fall all the way back and let him do it. After all, as he once said, “If I was a plumber, I wouldn’t say ‘I’m a Christian plumber’”. Touché! I can totally respect that perspective.

But here’s the thing: Lecrae previously indicated his music wasn’t merely his vocation. He treated it like his ministry. On numerous occasions he claimed his ultimate goal was to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His favorite Bible verse, Romans 1:16, and many of his songs presented him to be one who was unashamed of the Gospel. He said he would tell the world about Jesus EVERYWHERE he’d go. So what does he really mean by, “I’m not a Gospel rapper” and “My music isn’t Christian” when he, himself, once told the Church AND the world:

““That’s why it’s Christ in my rhymes
That’s why it’s Christ all the time
See my whole world is built around Him
He’s the life in my lines”
 

— Lecrae, "Don't Wast Your Life" (2008)

That’s how he introduced himself to us. So, as I prepare to fall back on the kid and officially bid the new Lecrae adieu, I wanted to at least express where many of his original fans are coming from that he might understand why it’s taken us so long to accept his new direction - a direction he might call "growth" yet so many of us discern is regression or "falling away". 

We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

According to Lecrae, the “Christian” label is a hindrance to his “ministry” (sorry, his “career”). It blocks him from taking his ministry (I mean his music) to the world - a world that wouldn’t typically buy a Christian record. To ensure he reaches the most souls possible, he doesn’t wish to be confined to any category - especially not “Christian”.  But he readily confesses he’s “authentic to hip-hop”.  He says this is why he’s more comfortable around “Sway over Hillsong” and why he’s able to “befriend the Kendrick Lamars and the Chance the Rappers” of the world.  

We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

Since Ferguson, Lecrae’s been much more vocal about racial injustice, and he’s taken some heat for that. In recent interviews he’s implied this backlash has come because American Christians are just too privileged to “get it”. According to him, the American Christian culture sees a black man speaking on such matters as being “too black”.

But as a Black Christian, I’ve have to interject and say, NO, my brotha! That is NOT the heart of the issue.

We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

Lecrae has a song, a book, merch and did a whole tour on being “unashamed”. And while he’s crossed over into the secular music world, my understanding he’s still part of the 116 Clique (referring to Romans 1:16). Nevertheless, every time he does an interview or public appearance and someone asks him a direct,  faith-related question, he swerves and hits folks with the #KanyeShrug. 

We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

With intimate ties to the Church and the world, Lecrae has been introducing the Body to much deception and stumbling blocks as of late. Whether intentional or out of sheer naiveté, a man who has worked this hard to cross over for the sake of impacting lives hasn't been as careful as he should be with how he moves. As I said in the intro to this piece, Lecrae is free to do whatever he wants wants. After all, he has free will. However, as a professing Christian he is accountable to God first, but ALSO the Body of Christ. And while he has Christian liberty, that liberty is limited by love - love for God, fellow Believers and even unbelievers. Whatever any Christian does has to be filtered through how it would honor God then how it would be most beneficial to their own walk with God as well as how it might impact the faith walk of others. 

We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

Lecrae is not a Christian rapper. He is a rapper who professes to be a Christian who happens to compromise a lot. He’s shown us this time and time again since about 2012. For many in the Church, however, this has been a tough reality to grasp. But it’s high time we finally open our eyes and accept it.

He’s giving off strong signs of being a lukewarm Believer and this, unfortunately stands to negatively impact all who look up to him. This doesn’t mean he lacks sincerity in what he does believe.  It doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe in God. It means he’s lacks full commitment and loyalty to God and His truth because he’s still also devoted in the world.  

Why the Bible Needs a Place in Modern American Society: Ironic Lessons from the Huffington Post and Keith Burton

Why the Bible Needs a Place in Modern American Society: Ironic Lessons from the Huffington Post and Keith Burton

Huffington Post Religion recently published a piece entitled "The Bible Has No Place in Modern American Society: Sobering Lessons from Donald Trump and Kim Burrell". But as the author, Keith Burton, attempts to argue why the Bible is a "dangerous book" that needs to be "delegitimized" in America, he inadvertently makes a case for the VERY reason the Bible is so necessary for us today. Read on as I highlight the various follies and ironies that Burton (and the Huffington Post) present to (unintentionally) undermine their own case.   

Positive Thinking is False Thinking...and a Few Thoughts on Joel Osteen's Latest Book

Positive Thinking is False Thinking...and a Few Thoughts on Joel Osteen's Latest Book

The power of "positive thinking" is a popular concept, and it seems to fit right at home in the Church. This is perhaps why some many mega pastors have authored best-selling books and preached international sermons on the topic.  But my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ need to know that the concept of "positive thinking" is hogwash that cannot be entertained by disciples of Jesus Christ!  (I mean that with as much sugar as my personality will allow.)  Joel Osteen preaches it. Joyce Meyer preaches it. I've heard several other heavy hitters in the faith community preach it, and while it sounds great,  positive thinking is false thinking.  It isn't of God and there's nothing Biblical about it. 

Questions from My Gay Friends: Part 2- What About Gay Christians?

Questions from My Gay Friends: Part 2- What About Gay Christians?

As homosexuality and same-sex marriage are embraced in the mainstream, the question is decreasingly whether either is wrong. Instead, there is growing concern over when Christians will finally, en masse, get with the times and open the Church’s doors to same-sex wedding ceremonies and gay pastors.

In a previous post ,“Questions from my Gay Friends: Do You Eat Shellfish”, I attempted to answer one of the most most prevalent, albeit scornful, questions posed by those seeking to challenge the Christian belief that homosexuality is a sin. Thus, as a Christian AND a loud, proud shellfish connoisseur, I felt it my duty - nay, my OBLIGATION - to address that question with the utmost urgency!

I honestly enjoyed writing that piece and believe, by the grace of God, I was able to offer a thoughtful answer to one of the most infamous trump cards used in the "Homosexuality vs Christianity" debate.

But I'm also aware that some questions truly do come from a sincere place, and I believe those inquiries deserve to be directly addressed. There are LGBT-identifying Christian men and women who may feel overlooked as each side attempts to trump the other with its ideologies. I’ve decided to dedicate this post to them.

 

I Love Le'Andria Johnson. BUT...

I Love Le'Andria Johnson. BUT...

The much-anticipated Oxygen series, Preachers of Atlanta aired last night and judging from the Twittersphere, it was quite a roller coaster ride.  Unfortunately, I’ve not yet had the opportunity to watch it, which is ironic because I did so much cheerleading for Pastor Canton Jones, whom I interviewed in preparation for the series premiere.

But I did watch this video last night. I stumbled upon it as I was conducting research on Pastor Le’Andria Johnson. Le’Andria, of all of the Pastors from the cast, seemed to be the subject of most people’s ire. I couldn’t help but be intrigued.