What do both music and religion have in common? An open door philosophy, a universal language and unity. Of course, there are conflicts that have come as a result of both, but that is mostly because humans have a tendency of fucking up the pure essence of things. Whether it is because of power trips, greed or xenophobia; it is humans that have tarnished the open door philosophies within music, religion and life in general.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
So, I felt like we needed the sequel. Last time I wrote about specific examples of some of my favourites to form a unison between the gospel and the secular. This time we are looking further into the social aspects and the ideas behind the relationship between the gospel and the secular. What can we as people learn from being served the two on the same plate, instead of as separate entries. What impact does this have in the present day? Why does the world need this?
The world needs more love. Now, I don’t have the statistics or the opinion poll results to back this statement but do I really need them? The world needs more love, that much is certain. We’re in a constant battle for equality and peace; be it in the fight for the importance of black lives, in feminism or in the many wars happening all over the world.
The genre of secular music that I am going to focus on in this article is Hip Hop (there will be R&B, Soul, Rock and such in here too because as we all know, genre is no longer one-dimensional). But Why Hip Hop? Because Hip Hop is not only a genre but a culture. It is as influential as religion (dare I say it). From its conception to the present day, it has spread like the gospel from New York to Israel. Whilst it has its origins, the culture has come to a point where it knows few social boundaries. It has a political history; a history of oppression and revolution. It has saved the lives of so many by providing them with a purpose, a means of expression and a testimony. The essence of Hip Hop is to express truth; what other genre could make an impact as great when placed side by side with gospel?
Religion and Hip Hop do not have to be mutually exclusive and can without a doubt exist in the same space without lessening the values of the other. In fact, as I have already mentioned, there is a lot of common ground between the relationship that people have with the gospel and the relationship that people have with Hip Hop. I believe that the “two heads are better than one” phrase applies here. Hip Hop can learn from the church; the church can learn from Hip Hop (I will elaborate on this in due time).
So what sort of impact might this marriage have in 2016? It weakens the binary opposition between the theists and the atheists, there’s space for the agnostics here too. It encourages unity. It approaches the human experience realistically; there is much duality in our existence and in the way that we live. Pretending as though there isn’t is extremely exhausting and that is why this is such a wholesome breath of fresh air.
“So that’s where I come from, and then when I started listening to hip hop music…”
Christianity teaches that Jesus is pure and perfect, and that we as humans are to strive to be “like him”. The expectation to be “like him” is a big one, and whilst it may be inspiring for many, it is also discouraging for many. When it all comes down to it, we’re all humans manoeuvring our way through this thing we call life. Music is for us all.
“It burns real deep, Jeremiah said it’s just like fire yeaah yeaahhh! / Since God is Love, the whole world needs more love.”
I’m going to end this here, but it isn’t over. Part three is in the works. Have you read part one?
Spread love guys x