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Rap star challenges the church

Lecrae wearing a blue football letterman sweater publicity photo for Reach Records (Credit: Reach Records)Lecrae Moore never met his father.  He started taking drugs at the age of 16, joined a gang, and eventually became a drug dealer.  Friends invited him to church, where he prayed for God to get him out of his lifestyle.  He was driving on a highway when he turned too quickly, rolling his car and crushing the roof and windshield.  He had no seatbelt but was completely uninjured.  His miraculous survival convinced him to become a Christian.

He soon became a rap and "hip-hop" artist, started his own label, and founded ReachLife Ministries "to equip urban leaders with tools that help to bridge the gap between biblical truth and the urban context."  He has been nominated for a Grammy and has won two Dove Awards.  Tim Tebow, Jeremy Lin, and Masters champion Bubba Watson have endorsed his lyrics.

Speaking at a church leaders' conference in California last Thursday, he claimed that "there is a sacred-secular divide that hinders us from impacting culture."  What does he mean?

Lecrae explained: "We are great at talking about salvation and sanctification.  We are clueless when it comes to art, ethics, science, and culture.  Christianity is the whole truth about everything.  It's how we deal with politics.  It's how we deal with science.  It's how we deal with TV and art."  However, "we just demonize everything.  If it doesn't fit in the category of sanctification or salvation it's just evil... Relativism and secular humanism permeates the world that we live in.  How do we engage this culture?  How do we raise up people to engage this culture?"

Here's why we don't: "The reason why the church typically doesn't engage culture is because we are scared of it.  We're scared it's going to somehow jump on us and corrupt us.  We're scared it's going to somehow mess up our good thing.  So we consistently move further and further away from the corruption, further and further away from the crime, further and further away from the post-modernity, further and further away from the relativism and secular humanism and we want to go to a safe place with people just like you.  We want to be comfortable."

What's the answer?  "Let's demonstrate what Jesus has done in us so the world may see a new way, God's way, Jesus' way... Jesus redeems us and we desire to go to the world and demonstrate that so that others can see what redemption looks like."

Is he right?  Is Satan working to keep our salt in the saltshaker (Matthew 5:13)?  Let's get more personal: did you pray for a non-Christian by name yesterday?  Will you right now?  Will you ask Jesus to use you today to show someone "what redemption looks like"?



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