Shortly after I got saved, I was still listening to secular rap music. God was still doing a lot of sanctification in my heart and this was one area I hadn’t given up. Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t show you all of your sin at once?
It was an early school morning and I picked up my friend at her house then headed to school. She was a very strong Christian. Her dad was a pastor her whole life and she grew up in the church. She had been walking with the Lord for many years.
I had the Inland Empires “hottest music” (99.1 KGGI) blaring in the car. My friend jumped in the car and off we went. I noticed that she was abnormally quiet. Then all of a sudden – in the voice that she uses when something is seriously wrong – she put her hand on the dial and turned the music down.
She looked at me and said, “Trish, why do you listen to this?”
“Hmmm…I just really like the beat.” I explained.
“Well, do you listen to the words?” She inquired.
“Well, I’m not sure. I just really like the beat.” I assured her.
“Then, how come you know all the words?” She questioned.
“I have a challenge for you, Trish.”
“I want you to listen to nothing but Christian music for a week straight and listen to the words. Pay attention to them. I know you might not like the beat but just listen to the words and see how they glorify God. Are you up for that?” She asked.
“It’s a deal.” We both smiled.
From that point forward I have listened to God-honoring music. My eyes were opened to how worldly the songs were that I soaking my self in. I’m so glad that God uses friends in our lives to sharpen us.
The sound of a song is important but the most important thing for me now is the lyrics. What is it that the artist is communicating? And is it theologically sound? Does it honor God or does it glorify man? We have to ask these questions even if we are tuned into a Christian station. Not all Christian stations play music that are biblically sound. Does it have depth to it or is it like eating chips for dinner instead of a nice steak and green beans on the side with a baked potato covered with butter and sour cream. The chips don’t satisfy. They are empty calories. They have no real substance. Much of the music today is fluff. Imagine eating cotton candy for dinner. It might taste good at first but give it a few minutes and you’re certain to have a stomach ache. You get the point.
Music that is the most packed with theological truth will unfortunately not be found on your local Christian radio station. They aren’t playing it. Instead you have to find out about it by word of mouth or by going online. And it’s not the genre of music you’d expect. It’s not rock music, or classical. I’m not talking about hymns or anything like that…it’s rap!
That’s how I found out about Shai Linne. Someone at church told me about a song called “Tesify” and I emailed Shai Linne’s management group because I liked the song so much and wanted to use it on my witnessing videos and his label gave me permission to use it. You can see the video here and hear the song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxfxS_JHC2w)
Maybe you don’t care for rap or perhaps you can’t stand it. And then again, there might be those of you that love it. I’d encourage you to put your presuppositions aside and listen to this song. Someone recently sent it to me. Then I sent it to my husband and it was blaring in the house. I even think Baby Sue liked it (by the way, she is still alive and doing well - praise be to God).
I thank God for new upcoming rap artists that have very strong theological convictions and are producing songs with incredibly creative lyrics. Just imagine if you memorized one of the songs – you’d have a lot of sound doctrine in your head.