Music artistry reaches people in ways that other forms of expression cannot. It’s why Christian artists who have a national platform have both opportunity and an incredible responsibility.
Today’s social media makes everything public. I find it funny when those employing it complain about unwanted responses. It’s a two-way street. Social media amplifies your voice and your feedback.
Recently, Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae posted the following defensive message on Facebook:
I’m a Christ follower.
I’m politically agnostic.
I don’t endorse abortion.
I hate racism and classism.
I’m not ashamed of my faith.
I’m not a Marxist.
I love my culture and heritage.
I don’t subscribe to American Churchianity.
I believe in the Bible.
I’m more complex than what I do for a living.
I’m not obligated to qualify these statements for strangers on the internet.
I’m not challenging whether Lecrae is a Christ follower, so I’ll start with the ridiculous “I’m politically agnostic” assertion. First of all, being “politically agnostic” isn’t really even a thing. Even if it were, is it something that Christians should embrace? Secondly, as someone with brown skin, I’m forever grateful that slavery abolitionists weren’t “politically agnostic.” They realized that the spiritual can move the political toward the moral. Lecrae knows this, too, but wants to project something very different on social media than his actions show in real life.
His participation in a clearly one-sided December 14th election rally in Atlanta for radically pro-abortion, pro-LGBT, anti-religious liberty (now Senators) Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff didn’t show agnosticism but a devotion. I know, I know, I know. Lecrae claims he didn’t know it wasn’t a bipartisan event. He claims he didn’t know, 15 minutes into the event when he performed, that it was a Democrat election rally (rooted in race and class division, by the way). Not sure how the lectern adorned with a Warnock-Ossoff banner and a sea of Warnock-Ossoff placards didn’t tip him off. We’re supposed to be uber-aware of every minute possibility of “racial bias” and “racism” in everything at all times, according to “anti-racist” Lecrae, but he didn’t see the big ole signs all around him? That’s Willful Blindness Privilege.
Then there’s his soft declaration: “I don’t endorse abortion.” What does that even mean? That’s not exactly an impassioned stand against injustice. “I don’t endorse domestic abuse.” “I don’t endorse sex-trafficking.” “I don’t endorse slavery.” These wouldn’t convey any core conviction. Making it worse is the juxtaposition of his abortion “stance” with his next statement: “I hate racism and classism.” Those are things to hate, but abortion is something not to endorse? I hate racism, sexism, classism, and many other isms as well. I’m not afraid to articulate those deep-seated beliefs. I’m anti-abortion. I hate the evil of abortion. I despise the exploitation of women by a predatory abortion industry. Abortion destroys those made in the image of God. This is how I describe my opposition to abortion. Perhaps the lack of conviction in his statement (tragic since he is post-abortive) is an extension of the hypocrisy that marks it.
Lecrae, who has erased his Twitter and Instagram feeds of posts prior to March 2020, has repeatedly celebrated photo ops with (only) Democrat politicians, praising the late John Lewis, Obama, Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams — all radically pro-abortion. In fact, on Inauguration Day this year, the “politically agnostic” Lecrae tweeted: “Feels good to be on the right side of history.” He continued: “Which of course is the anti-racism, pro-life from womb to the tomb, care for the marginalized, anti-Christian nationalism, anti-abuse of power side.”
I’m not sure what election he’s referring to.
Similarly, he feels he has to defend charges of Marxism while openly supporting a Marxist-founded #BlackLivesMatter movement led by organizations whose rhetoric is firmly rooted in (deeply racist) Critical Race Theory birthed from Marxist-created Critical Theory. President Biden has immediately employed Critical Race Theory into his administration. Of course, that started with selecting a Vice President simply based on the color of her skin. (So long to MLK’s character-over-color exhortation.) He reversed Trump’s ban on federal agencies using CRT in “diversity training” and injected it into his January 20th Executive Order on “Advancing Racial Equity.” But this is, supposedly, the right side of history?
“I’m always so confused with people who think anti-racism = being political. Racism is more than an intent to discriminate. It can also be unconscious bias and structural inequality. Jesus is anti-racist,” Lecrae tweeted last July during a summer of political upheaval caused by #BlackLivesMatter protests that wreaked havoc in cities across the country. The nationwide demonstrations and riotous violence caused $2 billion worth of damage, netting $90 million for the Black Lives Matter Global Network. So-called “Anti-racism” is deeply political. Denying that is like pretending water is dry.
Look. I’m not going to argue every single point in Lecrae’s Facebook post, but my point is own up. Own your worldview. Don’t mask it with euphemisms. Don’t pretend you don’t support pro-abortion Democrat political candidates who refuse to defend the most marginalized. Don’t pretend that “nationalism” is a problem while constantly denigrating America isn't. And after a year of COVID fresh in our collective minds, don’t pretend that abuse of power isn’t a bipartisan thing.
Then there’s that last statement. Isn’t 99.9999% of his entire audience “strangers on the internet”? Dissonance is so much easier when it’s never challenged.
Well, this “stranger on the internet” is a Christ follower, too. I pray that my online words always match my real-world actions.
Ryan Bomberger is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of The Radiance Foundation. He is happily married to his best friend, Bethany, who is the Executive Director of Radiance. They are adoptive parents with four awesome kiddos. Ryan is an Emmy Award-winning creative professional, factivist, international public speaker and author of NOT EQUAL: CIVIL RIGHTS GONE WRONG. He loves illuminating that every human life has purpose.