Everyone loves music. Some love a specific genre and others have a mix of genres that they enjoy. For me it’s Hiphop. The whole idea of Hiphop as a culture is synonymous with my Christian beliefs.
“Hip means to know
It’s a form of intelligence
To be hip is to be up-date and relevant
Hop is a form of movement
You can’t just observe a hop
You got to hop up and do it
Hip and Hop is more than music
Hip is the knowledge
Hop is the movement
Hip and Hop is intelligent movement
Or relevant movement
We selling the music.”
With that definition, the question of whether current Hiphop is really Hiphop is debatable. However, my mission here is to address the issue of secular music.
I have looked up the definition of both secular and gospel music. As clear as they might be, people usually refer to secular music as anything that’s not Christian related (by that we mean praising God).
That as a definition is not that bad to the ear until you realize that a lot of Christians frown upon secular music as if it’s pure evil.
I am not here to change views but to offer my perspective on the subject.
I love Hiphop music. I love the beats, rhythms, rhyme, lyrics and skill at which artists go at their craft. Is the content good? Not really. A lot of what is being rapped or sung about for a long time is nonsense. There are however great songs and also truth within some of the nonsense that’s out there.
I find the “don’t listen to secular music agenda” flawed on a number of levels. We live in a world surrounded by good and evil. It’s our job to discern which is which and take decisions that will bring out the best in us.
I am not saying go to a prostitute for advise but if she is giving advise, there is a possibility that it’s good advise. Just because she is a prostitite doesn’t mean she can’t do good.
It’s the same with music. You listen with a discerning ear. I must point out that not everyone can be in the presence of music and discern. If that’s how you are, establish safe zones and stick to it.
Christians are not supposed to judge but there seems to be a lot of judging that is done by us. We fail to see the good in people. Majority of the time I feel that’s how secular music is seen.
As an artist and a Christian I see Hiphop artist, Lecrae as a role model. I agree with his stance on not being labeled as a Christian artist. I don’t like being labeled as Christian artist. It restricts who views your art. As an advocate for good music (and by that I mean good clean music) I believe it should be consumed with no filters.
People should take in the art and be moved by it enough to question why the artist did what they did. What inspires them? What moves them? This becomes an opportunity to reveal Christianity and more importantly Truth.
I don’t have any qualms with artists that call themselves Christian artists. My only issue is that majority of their consumers are Christians. This is not bad, if that’s who the art is targeted towards. However, if your goal is to reach the masses then one must reconsider how they will take the message if it is wrapped as a Christian message.
People want hope and inspiration. They want the truth. Christianity has all this and more but how it’s presented makes a lot of difference. The reason why we Christians are tasked with spreading God’s love is because we are sinners. Sometimes we act as if we don’t know what that was like. People need to relate with us in order to see the light. It’s also not always instantaneous.
Secular music has its good sides and bad but so does gospel music. A good chunk of gospel music is awesome but there are some songs labeled gospel that are questionable.
I have always found the song Hero, by Mariah Carey to be gospel in essence. Though it’s tagged secular. People will even view Mariah as a secular artist. I would drop labels and just call her an artist and encourage her to make more songs like Hero to draw people towards God.
“There’s a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don’t have to be afraid
Of what you are
There’s an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away
And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you”
Lyrics to Hero by Mariah Carey
With words like these, how can we view this song as secular. God is not mentioned in the song but it doesn’t mean God is not in the song. God is in all of us. When we allow Him to shine through us His glory is evident.
Allow God to work through you. Keep it One HONDRED!