It seems that an increasing number of hiphop and gansta rap stars are including Christianity and God in their work more than ever these days…

With Stormzy composing “Blinded By Your Grace” and other Christian rap artists such as Jahaziel actually rejecting their Christian faith and making no secret about it, it is more important than ever that we search carefully the words we are presented with in these new songs emerging from the secular camps.
 
As in Jahaziel’s case, it may be that the allure of the gangsta lifestyle outweighed the burden of the cross he would have had to carry should he have pursued his faith throughout all areas of his life.
And so it is with Stormzy… he has been known to spout extremely vulgar language and publicly insult leading figures, including the Prime Minister recently. A stark contrast to his outpouring of faith in song.
 
So as the buying and perhaps adoringly appreciative Christian public, where do we draw the line? And where does Stormzy stand?
 
In the end, scripture and the Truth it proclaims is absolute. If it is not, then everything else we believe is also fluid and therefore open to speculation and destructive intellectual dissection. To quote C.S. Lewis: “Either the Bible is of cosmic importance, or it is of no importance at all. One thing it cannot be, is moderately important.”
 
I came across a well known christian song regularly sung in Churches by a respected world-renowned Christian composer which had a glaring untruth in it’s last verse, which I did not spot for several months. So convinced I was that it was a simple typo, I changed just one letter in one word to correct the doctrinal error. But when checking the artist’s own website resources, the error was still there. It’s probably a mistake.
My point is, that quite often we can be so dazzled by good beats and melodies that they gloss over doctrinal errors and untruths, which are then sung with fervour in worship. The trusting worshipers end up singing something fundamentally untrue without realising it.
 
At my first Church, one of the early pastors of the assembly when making a visit to an anniversary celebration of the same Church once remarked, that when music plays such a big part in Christian worship – and it is Spirit filled worship – the devil knows he cannot stop it. So what he does is infect the worship music with small untruths that we end up believing: He knows that we are not so careful checking the lyrics of the songs we are presented with as we are with the sermons that leaves the pastor’s mouth. We take for granted that the words on the big screen are unquestioningly kosher. He cannot stop us from worshiping, so he makes it unnacceptable to God by sowing untruth in the lyrical content.
In this manner, he gets into the Churches “by the back door”.
 
I am still amazed and perplexed that music, as a subject of Christian interest, is almost never preached on in our assemblies, despite taking up huge resources and ministry input into the body of Christ. It ought to be a regular topic, as it clearly matters a great deal. It is also worthy of note that as believers when we come to faith, we are delivered from all kinds of things, but never the influence of the music we listened to as unbelievers. When we have accepted into our deepest innermost being the words and ethics of the music artists and everything they represent, would it not be prudent for ministers to speak to us about this in the first days of our walk with Christ?
After all, up until this point we have spent our lives listening to “another gospel”.

The apparent surfacing of Christian gospel music in the mainstream may well be welcome. However, the body of Christ that is His Church has an obligation to check and scrutinise the messages we are presented with in rap and song, using the Scriptures as the definitive plumbline. It does not matter who the artist is or the reputation they have, scripture is the lens through which all lyric must be viewed.

St. Paul said that it is only by the Spirit that someone can proclaim ‘Jesus is Lord’
(1Cor.12:3).
For the record, throughout the entire and lengthy lyric sheet for “Blinded By Your Grace”, the name of Jesus is not mentioned once. But I will leave this for the readers to ponder for themselves.

So where is Stormzy et al in their faith? How often must we overlook the foul language and personal insults witnessed and heard regularly from this genre of music whilst at the same time professing a belief in God? How do we align the professions of faith from the artists with the other unsavoury proclamations that eminate from the same mouths with scriptures like Proverbs 18:21 and James 3:10? How will our church elders possibly advise us? Can they?
Given the power and influence the artists have over the listening younger generations, did they ever think at any stage to take advice from a senior pastor as to how best to present and deliver their odes to God?

 
No doubt the web will be filled with a plethora of comments which will ask more questions than will be answered, but it should be the mainstay of scriptural discipline for everyone to search scripture, and pay attention to Stormzy and his friends, for their sakes as well as ours.