Why are so many Christians confused about Chance the Rapper?
His music is saturated biblical statements.
“The Book don’t end with Malachi…” — Chance The Rapper, How Great, Coloring Book
“Hit Jericho with a buzzer beater to end a quarter,
Watch brick and mortar fall like dripping water, ugh!” — Chance The Rapper, Blessings, Coloring Book
“I get my word from the sermon,
I do not talk to the serpent” — Chance The Rapper, All We Got, Coloring Book
His appearance yesterday at the 2017 Grammy’s was as Doxological as it gets.
“Glory be to God. I claim this victory in the name of the Lord,” — Chance The Rapper as he received his Grammy for Best New Artist
“Ya better stand up right now and stop playing, I’m worshiping my God. He’s powerful, merciful, worthy,” — Chance The Rapper while he performed at the Grammy’s
It is very clear that this guy knows his Bible. He was influenced by his Grandma who loves the Lord (see Sunday Candy, Coloring Book). His mother and father support him, and encourage him to remain independent in his music career. Former President Obama had him attend and perform at the White House. He is very involved in his hometown of Chicago. Most recently, he won 3 Grammy’s.
So why isn’t he booked for every conference known to man? Probably because he is not your typical Christian. His sin is as public as every decision Trump has ever made. His language is vulgar, he experiments with drugs, and he is trying to figure out if he should marry his baby’s momma. Chance isn’t your cookie cutter Christian. He does not hide his sin, nor does he care what you think.
As a pastor, in an urban context, this is both normal and common. Many of my friends love Jesus, but their faith looks so much different than mine. There is a subculture that is rising today, of people who want to be like Jesus, but a Jesus that exists outside of doctrinal lines. They believe doctrine is unnecessary to preach the Gospel. Chance is one of these people. He still loves Jesus, but the application of what he believes looks a lot different than what is expected of him.
In reading God’s Word recently, I realized one thing. I can not be that way. I can not look at John 1:1 and separate Jesus from Doctrine. “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God.” If Jesus, is the Word, and the Word has birthed Doctrine, I have no right to separate them. I can not say “I too can be like Jesus, but not abide in His Word”. I need to live in the balance of both being like Jesus and putting into action the words in black as much as the words in red.
So what do we do when someone you like, or friends you love, have a faith that looks different than yours? Do you isolate yourself? Do you continue to love on them? Do you sever ties? Sometimes the greatest impact you have is amongst those who are greatly different than you, but it may take a long time to see the fruit of those friendships. You be you. Make people recognize how much you love Jesus both by what you say and what you do.
Paul told young Timothy
“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” Be as much like Jesus as you possibly can. 1 Timothy 4:16