“…But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” - Rom. 5:20b
The quote above lies at the heart of what philosophy for this work. Believe that because God is Sovereign, the machinations of the evil one have been and will always be wanton. In other words, God always wins. God is not afraid of Satan. God is not powerless against Satan. On the contrary, Satan is just as any other created being before God—woefully inept and already defeated.
With this in mind, allow me to be direct about my beliefs on this subject. Wherever we see Satan at work, we can trust that the work of God is more powerful, more fruitful and longer-lasting. God always wins. Satan is a deceiver and destroyer, but God ALWAYS wins. I hope that’s clear enough. Now as this relates to media and entertainment, some people like to think of certain forms of media as “Satan’s territory.” Just remember though that whenever you find yourself on "Satan's territory" just remember that God owns the land. Satan pays rent.
Let me be clear, I do believe that there are forms of media that are perverted, but I think we tend to give more credence and emphasis to those things that are perverted rather than to those things that are wholesome and uplifting. For example, the presence of pornography doesn’t make the internet a perverted place. As a matter of fact, I’ll contend that despite the proliferation of porn, the internet is still an invaluable too for inspiration, education and empowerment.
So let’s take it a step further and talk about music in general and rap music in particular. I believe that in secular music, we can see artists wrestling with some of life’s most profoundly complex questions. We see them seeking the answers to life, death, social ills, fame, fortune, brokenness, loneliness and more. This is sacred territory. Now, engagement in these kinds of questions do not guarantee that one will arrive at a biblically sound or morally honorable solution/conclusion. Nevertheless, I believe that exploring these areas we are interfacing the divine. And…where sin abounds, grace always abounds so much more.
Now, there’s another verse in Romans that I think speaks further to this issue. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith“ (Rom. 12:3 KJV).
Now the verse is fairly complex and this space is not fitted for a complete explication/interpretation of it. Nevertheless, I want to focus on that last part of it. God has granted to every man a measure of faith. In other words, God has given spiritual insight to every individual. Now, this insight must be valued, cherished and cultivated in order to grow. Nevertheless, insight has indeed been given to each one.
I believe when rappers write songs that deal directly with Christian/biblical concepts, I believe it is that measure of faith working itself out. I’m not speaking about a person who “was raised in a religious environment.” I’m speaking about the innate yearning for transcendence and meaning that is goes beyond attending VBS and Sunday School with grandma. Everyone desires meaning and significance to grapple with the complex issues in life and the world. People choose to deal with that angst in different ways. Nevertheless, I believe we all wrestle with it.
I believe that are all on the same journey, just at varying stages of it. We all desire meaning and transcendence. We all want to peace and happiness. We are all trying to find our way back home.