Holy Hip-Hop Illustrated, Part 1

Much has been written in recent days about whether there is such a thing as music that is unacceptable for worship. Opinions are surprisingly divided among those who claim the title fundamentalist. As I’ve thought it over, some old news items (aka “olds items”?) have come to mind as illustrations. The first illustrates the “lighten up, it’s all good” position:

Offering “holy hip-hop” as an offering to God makes about as much sense to me as this.

(CNN covered the “unusual spectacle” here. Their words, not mine.)


21 Responses

  1. I can’t find the link but we don’t want to forget the banging on trash cans that qualified as “worship” at the latest SBC convention.

  2. Makes me want to moon walk!

  3. What a blessing!

  4. Ok, this is slightly off topic but I’m curious to know what your take is on using hip-hop, rock, country, ect. as an evangelism tool outside of the church walls? Do you view it as the same as using it in worship (i.e. not acceptable)?

  5. Hi, Jason.

    My short answer: yes. Some of the reasons would differ (e.g. my rejection of the idea that the Gospel needs a man-made platform) and some would be the same (e.g. that the medium is inappropriate for the message). My concern is not really about whether something takes place inside or outside of “the church walls,” especially since the church I pastor has no building, and thus no walls.

  6. I’m not trying to be difficult, just pleasantly contrarian for the sake of edification: but precluding worship (for now) what is particulary sensual about that dance? For example, if the Pope was looking at it as pure art form, what is wrong with it? My daughter and I watched it and I was as amazed as she was! My head is hard enough to spin on marble, but I still can’t do it. When I look at that skillful dancing it has no more meaning to me than skill on display.

    Now shoot me.

  7. Hey, Bob. You don’t have to try to be difficult. You’re just good at it. In fact, you’re as good at being difficult as that guy is at spinning on his head.


  8. Ahhhh…youth. It reminds me of eighth grade. We would grab our squares of cardboard and try out some of those same moves while listening to Michael Jackson. Little did I know that I was preparing for a life of worship. I was just trying to impress the chicks.

    I am sure that my status just sky-rocketed in the eyes of many of you.

  9. Most 30 somethings were influenced by the Michael Jackson era. Doing the worm, moon walking, and break dancing just looked “cool” at the time. Sure, some memories came back from junior high while I watched the video. And you must admit that these men could do some amazing stunts (a one armed hop!?). Apart from the music, I would personally not have a problem with what these men were doing. Was their dancing sensual? I don’t think so. Was the music? I say, yes.

    Perhaps the point of even bringing up this video is that the pope, like many evangelicals, didn’t say anything against it. They have no problem bringing sensual music into the church. That I believe is the problem—not the spinning and hopping.

  10. Chris,

    Do you know of any churches who use “break dancing” in church? I would not allow break dancing in my church (if i had one) simply because God does not command us to “dance” (as in Waltz, break dance, litergiucal dance, etc.) in church.


  11. Hi, Matthew.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at. But it probably has happened; hula has. And frankly, since Josh Harris is the one who pushed Allen back into hip-hop after his conversion, I’ve wondered what his advice to a converted belly dancer will be. Yikes. (I’m kidding…I hope.)

    At any rate, God doesn’t command us to rap in church, either. Am I missing your point?

  12. Andrew wrote: “we would … try out some of those same moves…”

    If those moves included spinning on top of your head, like in the Pope video, then that would explain a lot…. :)

  13. Furthermore, I can’t imagine how Andrew impersonating Michael Jackson would impress the chicks. (???????)

  14. Actually, it wasn’t the dancing that impressed the young ladies, it was my parachute pants and vans. I may not have been a very good break dancer, but I sure looked good.

  15. Parachute pants & vans. Precious memories. LOL.

    Actually, it was probably the sense of humor. Very good.

    BTW, how’s the church plant?

    A note from the moderator: we have reached our “Andy” quota on this thread with 3 already commenting. Any others will have to wait for another thread. I apologize for the inconvenience.

  16. Chris,

    The church plant is going well. Thank you for asking. Please keep us in your prayers. I will be praying for your services this Sunday.


    I am assuming that you are, once again, referring to the fact that I am balding on the top. Before you do so again, I feel it is my responsibility to remind you that when a group of young people said the very same thing about Elisha some bears tore them up. And while at least most of the time I would not want for that to happen to you, you have been duly warned.

    Say “hello” to everybody at Grace for me.

  17. Yikes, I’m old! I remember (sadly) leisure suits (I had a green one), and disco! Thankfully, BOTH went the way of the dinosaur, and I hope they never return!

  18. Andrew, you make me laugh. Parachute pants! That’s funny. How many zippers did you have?

  19. Andy,

    I had completely forgotten about how many zippers those pants had. That is hilarious. Even a lot of the shirts in the 80’s had zippers. Between my braces and all of those zippers, it’s a wonder I was never struck by lightning.

  20. The sad thing is that my teen age neighbor started wearing lots of zippers. Talk about Deja vu.

  21. Chris,
    The first question was just mere inquisitiveness. I was wondering if you had heard of any instances of break dance being used. As far as, “rap” in church. I would not have rap in my congregational service because the congregation (in most cases) could not “sing” it together.

    Anyways, as far as the fact that God has not commanded us to “rap” in church, neither has God commanded us to sing English rhymed 3-4, but we do. Some things are inconsequential. For instance, God commands us to sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (I would probably take the second two to refer merely to human compositions, NOT as hymns in the modern sense of the word), but He does not give us a book of music to sing those songs to. Therefore, we must use discretion and use other Biblical principles to decide what to sing; however, I think it would be wrong to legislate our decisions as commandments.

    For instance, your church may not be very well educated and could not do well with certain lofty, high brow hymns, whereas my church might. Anyways…I’ll leave now…I have a Greek exam tomorrow morning.

    Soli Deo Gloria

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