STREET GOSPEL 101
Using Holy Hip Hop To Reach the Children, Youth and Adults:
A Practical Guide Grounded in Scripture From the Holy Hip Hop Music Alliance
Author: The Seventh Knight Edited By: Da Preachin Puerto Rican
Man created Hip Hop, true. But, just like paper was invented by man to put the Word of God on it and made "Holy" to be used for His Purpose, Hip Hop can also be Holy" and be used for God's Purpose also (1 Cor 10:31). The Ark of The Covenant, though made by man, was just an ark until God made it "Holy". It was so "Holy" that anyone who touched it without permission was struck dead by God; please see 1 Chronicles 13:5-13. Verse 7 within that text throws out "the beat of a drum is evil" theory.
In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus Christ gives His disciples The Great Commission to Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. As disciples of Christ, we are to share the gospel and make disciples of men. God has also given us guidance that we are to share the gospel message regardless of race, culture, or gender, according to Romans 3:29, Rom 1:16. The Apostle Paul gives us the prime example of how he became all things to all men that by all means he might win some, according to 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. In Acts 17:16-34, Paul shows how he used the existing culture of the people to preach to them Christ.
If it's for God's Purpose then God makes it "Holy". Starting in the late 70’s, in the Bronx New York, some of Hip Hop’s pioneers include DJ Cool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Cold Crush brothers, Sugar Hill Gang, Funky Four Plus One, and many more. Even these pioneers, were influenced by the likes of Gil Scott-Heron, Marvin Gaye, and more. Hip Hop came about as a means of revolting against what was popular music at the time. Even Cab Calloway was doing "hip-hop" back in the 1930's in the form of Jazz and BeBop! It was intended to voice our feelings whether spiritual or otherwise in a way that was, shall we say, was "unconventional" at the time. Certain traditionalists believed that it would never last because it lacked substance and marketability.
Rap music from its inception has always had lyrics that were encoded to reach those who were in the streets of urban America. Even the slave songs, which by the way had God (Holy) and "rap" in them), expressed spiritual and physical themes. No different than those who were in slavery cried out to GOD from their hearts in a musical form that was relative to their culture, so too does the Hip Hop Culture cry out. Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” Ephesians 4:29 says, Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
Let’s look at a passage of scripture from 1 Corinthians 8:1-13. Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him. Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for who Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. What does this mean? It means that the "food itself" is not considered unholy. It's only unholy, when the idol worshippers who specifically prepare the food to worship their false gods influence you! The same goes for music.
Again, we ask you. Can GOD take something that was unholy and make it holy? This time, let's use a "someone" instead of a "something”: Saul witnessed and approved of the stoning of "Stephen" a man full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:54-60). That same "Saul" became "Paul" and wrote two thirds of the New Testament. How could this be possible, if the power of God to transform is not supreme? God can be worshipped in many ways to include using "Hip Hop" to do so (1 Cor 10:31, Col 3:17), just as God used Paul to preach and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You know the verse "the love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Tim 6:10) well nothing is wrong with the money itself, is it? Money in itself is not evil but it can be used for evil purposes. Just look at how some people operate with it. Money can also be used for "holy" purposes like building the church, giving to those that need it from the "benevolence fund" amongst other things. The same can be said for "Hip Hop." It can be used for evil or it can be used for righteousness. Jesus said that himself earlier in Matthew 12:34-37: For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good person brings good things out of a treasure of good things; a bad person brings bad things out of a treasure of bad things. "You can be sure that on the Judgment Day you will have to give account of every useless word you have ever spoken. Your words will be used to judge you-to declare you either innocent or guilty."
Then later in Matthew 15:10-20 Then Jesus called the crowd to him and said to them, "Listen and understand! It is not what goes into your mouth that makes you ritually unclean; rather, what comes out of it makes you unclean." Then the disciples came to him and said, "Do you know that the Pharisees had their feelings hurt by what you said?" "Every plant which my Father in heaven did not plant will be pulled up," answered Jesus. "Don't worry about them! They are blind leaders of the blind; and when one blind man leads another, both fall into a ditch." Peter spoke up, "Explain this saying to us." Jesus said to them, "You are still no more intelligent than the others. Don't you understand? Anything that goes into your mouth goes into your stomach and then on out of your body. But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these are the things that make you ritually unclean. For from your heart come the evil ideas which lead you to kill, commit adultery, and do other immoral things; to rob, lie, and slander others. These are the things that make you unclean. But to eat without washing your hands as they say you should-this doesn't make you unclean."
In Genesis 3:14-19 So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
In Exodus 3:1-10 One day while Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, he led the flock across the desert and came to Sinai, the holy mountain. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him as a flame coming from the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire but that it was not burning up. "This is strange," he thought. "Why isn't the bush burning up? I will go closer and see." When the Lord saw that Moses was coming closer, he called to him from the middle of the bush and said, "Moses! Moses!" He answered, "Yes, here I am." God said, "Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on "holy ground." I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." So Moses covered his face, because he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord said, "I have seen how cruelly my people are being treated in Egypt; I have heard them cry out to be rescued from their slave drivers. I know all about their sufferings, and so I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians and to bring them out of Egypt to a spacious land, one which is rich and fertile and in which the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites now live. I have indeed heard the cry of my people, and I see how the Egyptians are oppressing them. Now I am sending you to the king of Egypt so that you can lead my people out of his country."
What can we conclude from this? THE EARTH WAS CURSED BY GOD AS RESULT OF SATAN'S ACTION AND ADAM'S SIN, AND YET GOD MADE A PART OF THE EARTH "HOLY" TO CALL MOSES!! He told Moses to "take the sandals off your feet for the place in which you stand is HOLY GROUND!" (Exodus 3:5) If God can make a "part" of the "Cursed Earth" "Holy," then are we, as Christians, doubting what our "Father" can do?" Would we dare to say that God can speak through a donkey, but not through Hip Hop? Of Course Not! Just like with any information, we have to be careful of how we interpret it (2 Tim 2:15). Remember, Satan can make what seems "right" wrong and what seems "wrong" hidden.
Hip Hop can be Holy to serve Our Master, Jesus Christ. Music is neither good nor bad in itself but it depends on what the purpose of it is for by the individual. How it's used determines it's value; whether it's used for God or whether it's use for Satan. The word "Holy" in the Bible means to "separate or set apart for God's use or for special use." Hip Hop is a music genre. It has no "intrinsic" qualities of good or bad. You and I both know that the words to songs carry the major part of their value. I say major because the music also make a contribution to the message of the song. The basic formula for music is Lyrics + Melody = A Song.
The Bible says in John 6:63, The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. The spirit that is influencing a person when he/she creates the lyrics or music is the key to being holy. Then, the spirit that is influencing the person doing the song determines the power that is released in the selection. So the music genre is not as much the issue as the spirit that influences the creation of the material.
What is most important is that one seek The Father and find out what HIS will is according to scripture (Acts 17:11). Find a quiet place with no distractions and read the word, and meditate on it until you get understanding, and seek spiritual counsel from mature believers who are knowledgeable in GOD’s word (Proverbs 4:7, 11:14). This synopsis is presented with scripture as the guidance and the Holy Spirit as the counsel (Heb 4:12, John 16:13). Just because it's not the “traditional method” doesn't mean that Ministers of the Gospel can't use this method to spread the Word of God (Mat 28:18-20).
It's not the music that's the enemy. It's the presentation of the fruit. If the masses are continually fed "sour lemons" then the demand for lemons will continue because it's what they are "used" to and have become dependent on. If you turn those same sour lemons into "lemonade” (pressed and sweetened by the Word of GOD), then the masses will gain a new taste and this is what the enemy fears.
GOD has made Hip Hop Holy! Now use it to establish His Kingdom in the Earth and win them back one at a time – James 5:20 – Amen.