Popular rapper Jay-Z released a song called “lucifer” right away with a name like that, I get a little on edge. What is this song going to be about? And preparing myself for the worst, as if I was about hear Jay-Z worship the devil I turned on the song and read the lyrics.
As it turns out the song is about one of his fiends being killed in an accident. One part of the song caught my attention though:
“I got dreams of holding a Nine milla
To Bobs killer
Asking him “why?” as my eyes fill up
These days I can’t wake up with a dry pillow
Gone but not forgotten Holmes I still feel ya
So… curse the day that birthed the bastard
Who caused your Church mass
Reverse the crash
Reverse the blast
And reverse the car
Reverse the day, and there you are
Lord forgive him we all have sinned
But Bobs a good dude please let him in
And if you feel in my heart that I long for revenge
Please blame it on the sun of the mourning
Jay-Z raps about taking revenge on his friends killer and there is a lot of emotion behind this as he says he cries every night. But then he says “Lord forgive him we all have sinned, but Bobs a good dude please let him in.” I just thought to myself how often is it that after someone days we pray for their salvation. But that person had their whole life to change, had their whole life to be in relationship with God. Now after they’re gone it’s too late.
If Jesus had come only to judge sinners and either grant them eternal paradise or eternal damnation then maybe that prayer would make sense.
But Jesus didn’t come to judge. The reason he came to earth wasn’t so he could have the authority to judge people. Can he do that? Yes. Will people get judged? Yes. But is that WHY Jesus came? No.
Jesus came so that the relationship between the trinity and humans could be restored. He came so that redemption was possible. He came so that we can experience the intimate love of God.
So although Jay-Z’s prayer in this song is the prayer of many others, he missed the point.
Jesus didn’t come to judge, he came to love and to restore.
Church. According to the Bible the church is to be the bride of Christ.
But has tradition and human theology distorted the message of the church?
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song “Church” ft. Geo says,
“The word of our God is manipulated and twisted by the same system
That is infiltrated and falsely interpreted Jesus”
Macklemore is fairly known for his “thinking rap”,
that is rapping about ideas that are being seen in culture.
Much of the message of this song is how church isn’t connecting with people.
When you look at Jesus’ ministry in the Bible it is all about connecting with people.
Yet here in Macklemore’s Song he talks about how the Pastor speaks words but it never connects.
He also says how talking to God is like talking in Morse Code.
Has the church’s traditions over complicated the message Jesus brought?
The message that says that God loves the world so much that he created us just so we could experience his love.
The message that says before we were ever created God had prethought us and made a way that we could be in relationship with him?
A message of hope and love.
Maybe the church needs to rethink how they’re doing ministry.
Maybe the church needs to rethink the message they’re sending.
Maybe we as a church need to make the message of Jesus clear.
Maybe the church needs to start being the church.
It’s no secret that Lady Gaga tends to be eccentric with her style and her performances which always causes quite the scene. Lady Gaga’s song Judas was no exception. In 2011 Lady Gaga released her song Judas. Just so you can get a taste of what the song is here are a couple lines from the song.
“When he comes to me I am ready
I’ll wash his feet with my hair if he needs
Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain
Even after three times he betrays me…
I’m just a Holy Fool, oh baby he’s so cruel
But I’m still in love with Judas, baby…
I wanna love you,
But something’s pulling me away from you
Jesus is my virtue,
Judas is the demon I cling to
I cling to…”
These are just clips from the song. My first reaction after hearing this was a little freaked out. It definitely sounds blasphemous to me. But that’s Lady Gaga for you, always flirting with the line but never fully committing to the “dark side”. Or that is how it seems to me. But at the same time for someone who started out in church, she appears to have gone off the deep end.
When watching the music video you can’t help but see the battle between choosing good (Jesus) or choosing evil (Judas). Lady Gaga even says “I wanna love you, but somethings pulling me away” how many Christians can relate to that? They desire to love God and live in a way that is pleasing to him but fail daily. Even Paul says in his letter to the Romans, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.” (Romans 7:15-17) This is a very really battle in everyone’s life. For those who are Christians you have to choose daily to live as a sacrifice for God. Sacrifices are not always easy. Sometimes it’s really tough, the choice to live for God doesn’t always come naturally. Instead we have to battle against our fleshly desires. And sometimes we fail, even though we desire to serve God, sometimes we screw up. But in those moments thats when we must turn to God and ask him for help because it is only him by the work of Holy Spirit in us that makes us good.
Although the song may come across as slightly blasphemous maybe Lady Gaga is just expressing the very real fight that everyone faces every single day.
In the summer of 2013 Kanye West, an influential hip hop artist released his sixth studio album. This album was called Yeezus. Following the release of his album Kanye went on tour. Kanye presented himself as this ‘Yeezus’ character. As a part of Kanye’s performance another actor came on stage portraying Jesus. To which Kanye says, “White Jesus is that you?” and this led into Kanye’s performance of his 2004 hit song, ‘Jesus Walks’.
Following the beginning of his tour in an interview Kanye explains that his reason for bringing ‘Jesus’ into his performance was to show his audience, “You can have a relationship with Jesus. That you can talk to Jesus…”
As a common bystander I was shocked. You hear artists proclaim that they are Christians all the time yet there is really no evidence to back that up. It’s empty words. So forgive me for being a little skeptical about Kanye and his reasoning for bringing “Jesus” into his performance.
I like what Kanye had to say, We can have a relationship with Jesus, we can talk with Jesus, he’s there for us to start a relationship with at every moment of everyday. What Kanye had to say was the truth. But if all he has is words… does he really believe what he is saying.
Now I’m not about to judge his heart or character. I’m not about to try and claim that he is a christian or isn’t a christian. Thats not for me to say. I don’t know Kanye I don’t know what his life is like outside of the spotlight. But I do know that in order for your words to mean anything your actions need to follow up.
So I like what Kanye had to say, “You can have a relationship with Jesus. That you can talk to Jesus…” but as a fellow Christian I know that time with Jesus changes our character. If you are actively participating in a relationship with the Almighty God who created the heavens and the earth, you’re going to come out a different person than you went in. So if Kanye is proclaiming to be a Christian and believes in having a relationship with God, that’s awesome. I desire for everyone to have a relationship with God, I just pray his actions display what his words proclaim.