We Just Lost One: Bye Lecrae

The “Christian” Label Compromise

Embed from Getty Images

According to Lecrae, the “Christian” label is a hindrance to his “ministry” (sorry, his “career”). It blocks him from taking the Gospel 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.  

Image: Lecrae,  Twitter  (2011)

Image: Lecrae, Twitter (2011)

But who you’re more comfortable around and who you befriend stems from who you are as a person, not the music genre under which your album is sold. He could have been comfortable around and made friends with those guys with or without selling albums as a “Christian artist”, especially if it was his goal to reach them for the purposes of discipleship.  Kirk Franklin claims to have been discipling Kanye West and they’re supposedly good buddies (I have thoughts on this). But Kirk is still known as a Gospel (slash) Christian artist.

Moreover, the world began to catch wind of Lecrae BEFORE he went into overdrive to ditch the “Christian” genre. The music industry gave the man a Grammy on national television before millions while still seeing him as a “Christian rapper” (his 2013 Grammy was for Best Gospel album). So this whole Christian-label-hinders-reach-to-share-the-Gospel excuse is extremely disingenuous, if not wholly deceptive.

It always has been. I’m just sad so many professed Christians fell for it and still are.

In "Indwelling Sin" Lecrae personifies the desires of his flesh, which seeks to lead Lecrae into temptation at every turn. "Indwelling Sin" appears on Lecrae's 3rd studio album,  Reb el. Excerpt of lyrics reprinted under Fair Use.

In "Indwelling Sin" Lecrae personifies the desires of his flesh, which seeks to lead Lecrae into temptation at every turn. "Indwelling Sin" appears on Lecrae's 3rd studio album, Rebel. Excerpt of lyrics reprinted under Fair Use.

Church, keep in mind that the Apostle Paul didn't say, "I can't reach the Romans with the Gospel because they label me a "Christian". That makes absolutely no sense! Paul OWNED his faith (label and ALL) so much that he was PERSECUTED for it! Nevertheless, he shared the Gospel anyway; even during his work as a tentmaker; even during his times in PRISON! (One doesn’t get more hindered from sharing his faith than being locked up for sharing his faith.)  The Lord is on the side of truth. If we speak it, HE will make sure it gets to whom it needs to reach. And His word is clear that, our gifts will make room for us (Proverbs 18:16). I happen to believe Lecrae’s earlier work is WHY he gained the platform he now enjoys.  We don't have to rely on human ingenuity to ensure we reach those who wouldn't typically want to hear the truth. That's what lukewarm prosperity preaching megachurches do! They entertain and water down the word, lest folks wouldn't want to come to church. They compromise to get people into the sanctuary, meanwhile neglecting to give the people what they need when they get there.

Sharing the Gospel is not about what people may or may not want to hear. It's about saying it ANYWAY that the Holy Spirit may do His work. Paul preached the Gospel to top Roman GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS while under HOUSE ARREST...some received it; some didn't (Acts 28:17-31). And Paul was aware that not all would receive it. But that didn't discourage him. That wasn’t his focus. His focus was to simply speak the truth. Paul preached the Gospel to the very guards who held him in prison for preaching the Gospel! Now PAUL was hindered, yet even still he was free and truly unashamed.

So whatever it is we’ve been dealing with from Lecrae all these years has absolutely nothing to do with what he’s being labeled. If his focus is truly to share the Gospel, he can do just that. A label nor its assumed  “hindrance” should have stirred up this much concern.