Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fundamentalism Associating with Syncretistic, Pagan Profanity

A blogroll contributor for SharperIron (SI), a professing fundamentalist web-blog and forum, is promoting hip-hop and rap music (I warn you about the lewdness of this link, blaspheming our blessed Lord). Even though SharperIron does not endorse everything that's said among their blogroll participants (in this case paleoevangelical, Ben Wright), this promotion of rap and hip-hop has not led to any kind of negative assessment, objection, or sanction from SI for this blatant advocacy for rap or hip-hop. The impression is that rap and hip-hop are not cause for separation within fundamentalism. It seems that the most recent position of many fundamentalists, if not all evangelicals, is that music is amoral. This point has been furthered by the inclusion of this post, whose author is also a part of the Southern Baptist Convention.

This particular hip-hop and rap has "Christian words," that is, some kind of biblical theme to the lyrics. The idea is that the alliance of the "Christian words" with the profane medium will somehow sanctify the rap or hip-hop. The reality is the opposite. The scurrilous, vulgar medium defiles the words. The collusion of the words and the medium adulterates the content. The combination creates a false worship, something pagan and barbaric, that is unacceptable to God. The medium gives people the wrong message about God, dragging God, the one and true, holy, Almighty God through the filth of this salacious medium. These professing conservative evangelicals take the name of the Lord and reduce it to the degradation of the medium.

These professing "conservative evangelicals," Mark Dever and Ben Wright, among others, produce this pollution to the name of our loving, majestic, and pristine God. SI remains indifferent to it. I have read no one that has criticized the exhibition and hyping of this abominable work, with the brief exception of Scott Aniol, who commented that he shouldn't be surprised, even though he was. We are to take, I surmise, that it met his disapproval. For this very light disapproval, Ben Wright found it necessary to take a jab at Aniol in response. Wright implies that this filthiness would further the cause of biblical ecclesiology.

This activity illustrates the woeful lack of discernment in evangelicalism and fundamentalism. It also depicts the recent evaluation of the loss of manhood in America, as seen in the fear of opposing rap and hip-hop as ungodly. These people anticipate the charge of racism that will likely follow (as if music, the notes on a page and instrumentation, have anything to do with skin color). Many are afraid of being ignorantly perceived as intolerant or bigoted.

Side Note: I was talking with my wife about this post. I played her a little of the hip hop/rap. When I did, her face twisted up in dislike and disbelief. I stopped it about 15 seconds in. She said, "Even if I was an unsaved person, I wouldn't want my children to listen to this. It's not just wicked. It promotes stupidity." I agree. It doesn't just blaspheme God and break down godly living. It sounds mentally retarded. Jesus grew in wisdom. This will diminish that.


John Cereghin said...

That's why I gave up on SharperIron long ago. The majority of the posters and bloggers there have little in the way of spiritual discernment. What passes for "Fundamentalism" there is nothing like the Fundamentalism I was introduced to in the mid-1980s.

Michael M said...

Dawg, why u dis my rap maaaan. why u dis yo bro maaan.

As I hope you know I'm only kidding, then it could be latent reaction to certain jarring events recently. it messed up my diction.

peace out.

JSA said...

I used to attend a black baptist church in the inner city, and the pastor's sermon would often sound a lot like street rap. He would use rhyme and rhythm when speaking, and often there would be parts where the deacons and pastor would shout things back and forth. When things really got going, the congregants would sometimes clap in time to the speech, and every now and then there would be back-and-forth between pastor and congregants. You know, "preach it brother", etc. Rap and hip hop arose out of this street preacher culture.

I've also seen revivalist preachers who sounded a lot like Robert Duvall in the opening scenes of "The Apostle". I've always thought those guys were a lot like rappers.

OTOH, I had a similar reaction to you when someone showed me a KRE8TOR music video the other day. These "Christian Rappers" are very far removed from the street preachers I used to know, and closely mimic gangster rap. It just sounds completely wrong. Gangster rap music expresses a certain thing, and that thing is not really compatible with Christian worship.

d4v34x said...

Since you don't link Ben's actual article, I'll quote his entire reference to the song:

"Scott Aniol is surprised that 9Marks has collaborated with Christian hip-hop artists. I'm not sure if he's surprised that rappers beat most fundamentalists to biblical ecclesiology. They'd do well to grasp and apply the biblical truth contained in this song, even if it means they have to read the words on paper[.]"

A couple things:

1. That's hardly much of a dig at Scott.
2. I don't read that so much as advocacy for the actual rapping as advocacy for the ecclessiology contained therein.
3. Now at fundamentalists he indeed took a mighty dig. Possibly deserved, but I haven't read the lyrics yet.
4. How come you didn't rush to poor Kipling's defense? I actually emailed him with questions on that one. Not that I certainly disagreed with him, but it did seem random.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks John.
Thanks Mike.

I don't think rap and hip hop came out of that preacher culture. The preaching follows the rap and hip hop culture. I'm talking about the culture, not specifically rap and hip-hop, but the culture from which they come.

I didn't link it because I don't want to encourage his take.

Then your numbers:
1. It's enough of a dig.
2. He's defending it, promoting it.
3. Somehow, I guess, the fundamentalists he criticizes, the ones who don't like that music, have a worse ecclesiology than he? I don't think so.
4. Who is Kipling? Besides the English novelist.


JSA said...

Kent; I agree 100%. If anything, that preacher culture has been corrupted by the other culture, which is tragic.

d4v34x said...

Bro B. Sir Rudyard it is. He's the author of "If...", that poem he denounces in the same post.

That part of my comment was tongue in cheek.


"Anomaly is the first album ever to reach #1 on both the Billboard 200 and Top Gospel Albums."

I think that speaks volumes...