He brought a scrutiny and a critical eye to a sinfully secular hip hop culture, and a very loose and unaccountable Christian hip hop genre.
Even though Craig Lewis and Ex Ministries are fueled by a poor understanding of hip hop, culture, and God’s redemptive purposes, they still exposed things that were true and not addressed in both the secular and Christian genres.
The most obvious way that Craig Lewis gained initial credibility with people in the church was he rightfully exposes and frowns upon the intense godlessness of mainstream hip hop culture. Stevie Wonder can see that hip hop is an offense to the holy God, and too many Christians seem to be in love with, or at least not offended by, the grand world secular hip hop. In addition to rightfully exposing secular hip hop, He places Christian hip hop on blast for its many shortcomings. I have to admit that there are many things that I agree with, but his basic premise is faulty and unscriptural. Christian hip hop is not only reasonable, but biblical since God is reconciling all things to himself (Col 1:20). Of course he is not reconciling Satan or demons, but hip hop is wrongly accused of being inherently demonic. Hip hop, at its core is founded on a set of amoral artist expressions. I do not have time to unpack this now but I am releasing a book defending this issue.
He fueled a pre-existing skepticism and antagonism towards hip hop and it’s infiltration in the church.
Many people who were already opposed to hip hop and who had little or no desire to see it saved and conformed to Christ’s standards, took Lewis’ unfounded, incorrect assertions and saw them as confirmation for the distaste that they already had for the culture. While they had every right to dislike where hip hop is and what it is primarily doing, they should have allowed the Scriptures to give them a vision of hip hop no longer in rebellion to, but submitted to Christ.
Those of us who desired to teach the church about the Truth about Hip Hop were indigenous to the culture, so we looked too much like the culprits for them to trust our ability to view and report on hip hop biblically.
Unfortunately our external appearance betrayed us and made parents and pastors unreceptive to us. They could not see themselves as students to a group of teachers who looked like us. Consequently when a man that looked like the preachers that they have no problems receiving from, came with a message that further incriminated hip hop—they were all in. When we would offer seminars and workshops about hip hop, no one except the kids would come (many of them were forced). When Craig Lewis came with a message that hip hop was demonic and Christian hip hop was an oxymoron, then bishops, deacons, ministers, grandmothers, grandfathers—everyone showed up.
Craig Lewis and Ex Ministries simplify the remedy to the hip hop dilemma by getting rid of it, rather than skillfully, prayerfully, biblically, and missionally going to work to evangelize hip hop.
To engage hip hop culture and see salvation come out of it, the church would have to do what they do when reaching any foreign group that needs the gospel. They would have to send people to live among the target group. They would not send someone who knew a little Bible, but hated the target people group. They wouldn’t even send a missionary that loved but didn’t understand the people. They would train the missionary to learn the language and culture of the people, and then send them to lovingly work among the people group for the glory and advancement of Jesus Christ.
Rather than trusting indigenous Christian hip hop missionaries to work among the hip hop community, the new fad is to buy Craig Lewis’ DVD and then declare hip hop culture to be off of God’s redemption list. Sad, but true.
Craig Lewis’ powerful stories about casting out demons and people surrendering weapons and burning CDs is far more appealing than the sometimes more hidden miracle of conversion.
Craig Lewis’s DVD, and his stories, and his sermons, are full of dramatic stories and funny tales, and powerful testimonies. I will not try to judge the veracity of these, but I will say that every hip hopper that is genuinely in Christ is a miracle. Now some of us, in the still of the night, were converted from darkness to light; some in the quietness of their soul trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior and without any fireworks crossed over from death to life. Since Cross Movement has not had any encounters that make for a good action flick, some churches are not as turned on by the humble work that God is doing through his powerful message of the cross (Rm. 1:16). Help us Lord for when we are weak—you are strong.
Hip hop apart from Jesus Christ is so wicked that it is easy to believe that it is an invention of Satan, and Christian hip hop is so similar to the culture that it’s easy to dismiss it along with the secular version.
For certain Satan, who is the prince of the power of the air and has demons who are at work in the sons of disobedience, is active in hip hop but that does not make him owner or sovereign of hip hop. Satan is at work even among God’s people and he by no means is our Lord. But often people would like to credit the worst of human behavior to the devil because we forget about how wicked the natural man is. Hip hop is full of natural men and the sinfulness of hip hop is not due to a demonic origin, but rather an unredeemed humanity. Sure Satan’s uncontested influence in hip hop makes matters even worse, but that is precisely why God wants to demonstrate through Christians who culturally have visible hip- hopness, what hip hop would look like if He controlled it, rather than Satan and the natural humanity.
When Christian hip hop values and practices the same sins as the unredeemed culture, we then become a target for those who already despise our differences. My advice to my brothers and sisters in Christ who have detectable hip hop cultural distinctive is that we reduce the chance of people despising us by displaying beefy Christianity. Like Paul says, “…in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” (1Tim 4:12).
Craig Lewis brought the churches focus to one of the most necessary subjects of our times—hip hop.
Sadly Lewis and company are a poor and unreliable source that many seem to believe because they are either unaware or skeptical of the more credible sources in the Christian community, but God still used them to bring the church’s focus to something that the church needs to understand—hip hop. Sociologists use hip hop to describe an era that was ushered in after the Civil Rights Era. The Hip Hop Era is the era that several generations will have found themselves in the midst of, and missions has often not been the churches response to this new generation. The church ought to dispatch indigenous Christian workers to the culture of hip hop, and this would require more than rap concerts. It would mean launching an intergenerational and multicultural missionary campaign to present Jesus and the life-changing gospel to a world that is plugged into hip hop like an I.V.
In a nutshell, the things that he did do, has made people forget about or not care about the damage he is doing. Some good can come out of his campaign, but there are more reliable sources on the matter. There are examples of Christian hip hop (not just Christian rap) that are pleasing and useful to the Lord. The hip hop community is a ripe field for harvest, and we know that God will continue to snatch people out of the worldly hip hop circles and place them in his body. That doesn’t mean that they will come to church in the suit, but it does mean that they will be the church, fully robed in the righteous garments of Christ. Pray for us as we seek to be exemplary Christians, and win the love and support of our Christian family. It’s bad enough that the world does not want us. Imaging if God’s elect does not want us either.
I believe G Lewis has done an awesome job in showing us how Christians can’t be a part of The Hip Hop Culture. Hip Hop is a registered religion and we can’t used a religion to promote another religion. God is a jealous God! At the end of the day we have to realize our true intent of making this so-called “Holy Hip Hop” because there is no such thing as Holy Hip Hop. Some people just want to be famous and rich. We have to ask God to question our hearts about this. G Lewis didn’t duped anything… he is preaching the truth with the Holy Spirit.
There may be a religion called Hip Hip, but there is a culture that is called Hip Hop. Religion and culture are not synonymous . So, please define what exactly is the registered religion of Hip Hop. What are the beliefs of that religion. Religion has beliefs that come along with it. Nothing in the article claimed to redeem anti-Christian beliefs. I’m quite sure that the religion of Hip Hop is not what Amba has in view in his article. He made no mention of redeeming a religion. He made mention of redeeming people within a CULTURE or redeeming the culture. He made mention of these redeemed people within the culture of Hip Hop bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
Amba wrote, ”
My advice to my brothers and sisters in Christ who have detectable hip
hop cultural distinctive is that we reduce the chance of people
despising us by displaying beefy Christianity. Like Paul says, “…in
speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of
those who believe (1Tim 4:12).”
One cannot fulfill the the doing of the advice given in the above while worshiping the “religion” of Hip Hop. So, it is obvious in the context of what the Ambassador has written, that “religion” is NOT what he is attempting to redeem. The fact that there is a registered religion called Hip Hop is beside the point. He is dealing with culture – not religion.
Religion is such a bad word when taken out of it’s proper context! Read James 1: 17-27, truth be told a peoples culture, way of life or belief system is birthed out of their spiritual stance. ( convictions) So one’s spiritual alignment or religious beliefs are synonymous with their culture, It’s like G.M having their mission statement, by-laws and rules and regulations in place and not abiding by their own convictions, which has everything to do with their culture or belief system, might be overkill! But I hope your getting the picture. God told the children of Israel to come out from among them and be ye seperate saith The Lord and I shall be your God and ye shall be my sons and daughters. Talking about the other nations with their pagan worship of other gods! So why are we defending, participating and embracing hip hop sub-culture which is anti-christ, believe’s they are gods and it is a registered religion! Ask Krs 1, who is one of the founders. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 1Tim 2:5&6 Can we serve 2 masters? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John14:6. Bro. Cecil C.II
Note: No one has the power to redeem anyone! Only but by the redeeming power of Jesus! Titus 2:14
I agree that he isn’t well trained on hip hop but at the same time we can’t ignore the signs he points out in his sermons it’s just far too much for it to be merely a coincidence I do and not only does he take it from history perspective he backs it all up with scripture I have seen and experienced some of the things he preaches about. Sorry but experience is the best teacher
Also remember god doesn’t conform to the standards of the world so there is no exemplary Christians period. Either you follow the word or you don’t there is no in between
Timothy Titus Daugett please can you tell me how Hip-Hop has benefited you? because only those that have benefited from this diabolic sub-culture at the expense of innocent simple folks talk like you do!
Do not be deceived evil communication corrupts good manners 1cor 15:33 and what’s Holy about Hip hop?
We Christians who pray and seek for the way forward from our God knows what crage lewis is revealing is very true. Study the book of revelations very well. Also ask God to open your mind to these end time tricks of the devil. You are were saying crage is making a living from lies. Dont you think you also wana make a living by writing books against what he says. A word to the wise is enough. Seek for the answers from the lord. The bible has every info you need to verify what crage preach about. Look in there and study it too.not only crage has these revelations.lots of prophets also have different once which will blow your mind. What about those ones.
It amazes me how so many are quick to embrace a culture they like and seek to “Christianize” it to appease there conscience. The KKK is a culture can we have Holy white supremacy? The adult industry is a culture can we have Holy porn? This is the exact same thing Catholicism does and has done to appease the pagans they sought to convert. Incorporate their practices and “culture” by putting a Christian spin on it. No one hates the people who practices Hip Hop but we can and should hate the worldly culture they practice. We are admonished “Love not the world neither the things of the world. If any man loves the world then the love of the Father is not in them”.
WOW! Minister Lewis is RIGHT!! What I love about it is he is scripture based. Anytime you have a problem with what he is saying go to the WORD and stop trying to make the WORD conform to what you would like it to be! We as Christians are CONFORMING to the world to try and save the world. This is not what Jesus did! He saved Zacchaeus without having to become a TAX COLLECTOR! Saved SAUL without having to kill Christians, and Saul knew his way was not right so he conformed to GOD took on a NAME CHANGE and was a new creature! We are so caught up in trying to create new ways to draw people to Christ. He said if you lift me up I will do all the drawing. He does not need us feeding his sheep the ways of the world but that’s what is going on. All we are teaching people with this Holy Hip Hop is that you don’t have to come out of the World to be saved praise the Lord! The TRUTH hurts, but one thing about it, if we accept it and build on it and move on we will understand by and by!!
m agast at the several instances of false accusing that seems evident in this tome, by a brother in the LORD whom I’ve appreciated over a decade and a half: the primary one being the untenable and cruel assertion that G. Craig Lewis “hates” hip-hoppers; and another bring thatGod wants to reconcile hip-hop.
No, God is interested in restoring all things to Himself, yet that figurative language ought not be so thinly stretched, so as to purport that God’s redemptive plan has as its objective, the salvation of hip-hop, nor rock or classical or goth per se.
Rather, God’s reconciling the world unto Himself through faith in the shed blood of Christ has as its core, the spread of the gospel to every people — rich and poor, free and bond, and of every nation and tongue. God hasn’t targeted hip-hop for salvation, but the spirits, souls and bodies — of people He created.
No, not so much their cultural identities, with their respective art, music, dress, and dialectic preferences. Those sociological aspects are indeed impacted by the transformation of the believing and obedient hearts of God’s people, as a result of the sanctifying work of the Spirit of God, through sound preaching and teaching of God’s word, in the process of character development unto Christlikeness —
That clear, unmistakable identification with Christ in thinking, attitude of the mind, in word and in the lifestyle of doing good out of a loving and obedient heart toward God is whst the Lord is after, not the preservation of any cultural preference.
Nother misguided assertion in the blog pist above, is the editorialized notion that hip-hop is a most important issue G. Craig Lewis has called the church’s attention to.
That view may well be the outcome of a seeming exalted view of hip-hop.
Rather, and more particularly, Bro. Lewis has unmistakably called the church’s attention to matters it has either slothfully and in a number of cases, defiantly marginalized and that is on several fronts:
The preeminence of Christ; the authority of Scripture; God’s call to holiness for those that are redeemed through His Only-begotten — and accordingly, the need for discernment and obedience to our Lord, by being in practice, separated from the love of world, the flesh and the devil, in pure devotion to God, calling the world to His standard for righteousness (– rather than attempting to mimic the world in the name of evangelism).
A healthy question to ask ourselves here, is whether or not many have a love for hip-hop — its entertainment-industrial complex and cultural identifiers — that overshadows our need for holiness and reaching the world for Christ, even outside of their indigenous hip-hop zone — to the end that they would malign by slandering, those crying out for holiness in the church, relative to cultural and media influences that would exalt wickedness and sefish pride.
Hip Hop. It’s all about rebellion. Why would a Christian call himself a rebel? This was the meaning of Nimrod’s name. We all know what he did. All false religions lead to his rebellious act at the Tower of Babylon.
GOD said that HE is the preeminence in our lives, another tool of the devil to block people from knowing the truth.
The Responses before me are well stated. Check out Scripture. G Craig has rightly divided the scriptures, applied them properly, and is bold enough and loving enough to educate the Body of Christ. Too many parents have failed for too long. It’s time we play catch up and cry out to God for forgiveness and stop taking our cues from the world. We are HIS people and the SHEEP of HIS pasture. It’s not just the real truth about hip hop, the Lord has given G Craig a platform to teach truth about all the worldliness we see confessing Christians participating in and trying to justify it by hanging his name on it. We have turned the word “Gospel” into a by product of the music entertainment.
What I love about G Crais is that I had already seen through the Word of God every real truth message that he brings, because I am a student of Scripture since 10 years old and the Holy Spirit is not a just the greatest teacher we could ever have, he is consistent in his teachings and therefore, G Crais is only affirming what you can already know for yourself if you study the word and live by the Word.
Unfortunately, too many Church folks really love this World and the things that are in this world because the love of the Father is not in them, Therewith lies the whole problem. Fornicating with Babylon!!! Check out Revelation 16 – 17. My prayer is that the lost recognize themselves as I did, and repent before it is everlasting too late. The Enemy (Satan), comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
Sorry for the misspelling of the name and any other misspelled word. Should be “Craige”.
RELIGION is the true separator of Gods creation.