Christian Hip-Hop Responds to Mainstream Music’s New Gospel (Part 2)
TIM TRUDEAU (answers 3 & 4).
Rapzilla: Why do you think Christian artists who dabble in “non-Christian” music get blasted for their “lack of faith” or “treason” against Christianity?
Trudeau: Christians cannibalize their own. I don’t know why, and I actually hate it. I think it stems from idolatry. They idolize fame or wisdom. They idolize celebrities more than a wise Christian leader. In other words, the world’s opinion trumps the Church’s opinion. Furthermore, I think those that call themselves Christians don’t necessarily understand what it means to be a Christian. This is evidence that the Church hasn’t been doing a good job defining what it really means to be a Christian, or more specifically the Gospel. As soon as a Christian artist does something that doesn’t fit into our distorted view of what it means to be a Christian, we go after them.
When a Christian artist, who has faithfully recorded and released music that most would agree is Christian for a long time, ends up doing a song that doesn’t fit nicely into a nice little Christian compartment — what we are used to — or he or she collaborates with an artist who may not be found in the Bible bookstore, we essentially excommunicate him or her. That’s one extreme.
The other end of the extreme is what we do with general market artists who have historically released a plethora of sewage infested music. When we hear them say something slightly spiritual, we praise them like they just wrote the world’s biggest and best biblical commentary. We immediately put them on a pedestal. That’s not just happening in music. Look at all of these D-list actors who become A-List Evangelical leaders almost overnight. They start showing up on Christian television and flyers for “Easter” Sunday services before we even know what they really believe.
If the world sees us doing that, why wouldn’t they do the same — or worse? If Christians don’t take themselves or the Gospel serious, why should the world?
Rapzilla: Do non-Christian artists make better Christian art than the Christians do? Explain.
Trudeau: No. Not even close. Currently, the stuff that is most noticed is the stuff with the most money behind it. The stuff with the most money behind it is rarely the best art that Christians have to offer.
The Bible bookstore and all its tchotchkes exist because there is money to be made off Christian counterfeits. Are Beanie Babies popular? Check out our Bible Babies! You like popular branded T-Shirts? We got you! We’ll make it look JUST like it, but then we’ll create a biblical pun out of it. Somehow this Christian gag-gift culture has bled over into music. Now we have Christian’s making music to sound like Artist A or Artist B. This is what causes people to say that Christian art (or music) sucks. When I hear someone say that Christian music sucks, I immediately know that they are underexposed or just plain lazy. Sorry Bono, you just haven’t dug in the crates long enough (or ever) to have an opinion.
For most of history, the church was leading in the arts. It was commissioning and financing things that are still being studied today. Without the Church, much of the art that we admire and learn about wouldn’t exist.
To my original point, we need more (actual) Christians setting trends, rather than grabbing their opinion from a worldly blog and never fact-checking for him or herself.
What do you think of everyone’s thoughts? Is there someone you agree with more or someone you disagree with? Be sure to check out part two here featuring comments from Datin, Promise, Speech Thomas, and more.