"Some men become proud and insolent because they ride a fine horse, wear a feather in their hat or are dressed in a fine suit of clothes. Who does not see the folly of this? If there be any glory in such things, the glory belongs to the horse, the bird and the tailor."
St. Francis de Sales.
It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, i.e. copying someone is flattering because it shows you want to be like that person.[i] The Gospel Hip Hop/Rap Artist Industry seems then to be flattering the secular Hip Hop/Rap Industry in its' pursuit of awards. Gospel Hip Hop/Rap Awards ceremonies are cropping up all over the world. And, it would appear that following the world and not the word of God is what they are doing. So the question begs, is this right or wrong of them?
At first blush the answer seemed simple when viewed through the lens of this quotation of Charles Caleb Colton. [ii]But, whenever we consider a saying, wives' tale, or adage it is imperative that we also consider the character of it's' source. In this case, history records that this church abandoning Vicar Colton's "performance at church related function was erratic…. at times conscientious and brilliant while at other times cursory and indulgent. He left …church service."[iii] His pastimes included collecting wines and paintings, and partridge shooting for sport. Additionally, he gambled away his fortune and depending on his immediate family for means. Colton, in the end, committed suicide.
With this knowledge what at first appeared clear cut became murky and as usual it was incumbent to the light of scripture upon this dilemma. It was only then that the answer became understandable. What answer? The yes answer. Yes Gospel Hip Hop/Rap Artist should participate in gospel hip hop/rap award ceremonies and seculars as well if they were to invite them. Why? Now there is the true question that opens up the knowledge that man not only needs praise but that others should deliver it to him.
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
Commendable work must be commended by those who know the artist as well as those who do not. When a Gospel Hip Hop/Rap Artist's light shines before men and his preach and teaching are sound and seen, not to be seen per se, so that the artist may applaud himself but to praise his God then he must be praised. Thus, the awards ceremonies that seek to praise those artists/ministers who have done a praiseworthy job give adhere to this passage giving praise to which praise is due...
It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
Thankfully these awards ceremonies on take place once a year. However, if Gospel Hip Hop/Rap Artist is searching them out they will find the award not glory but vainglory [iv] Honey is good and I love it with fried chicken a biscuit or two. But, too much of that same honey that is actually good to and for me in moderation can make me sick unto death in excess. Over and again I heard and often expressed to others, everything that is good to you is not good for you. Now, I must add and everything that is good for you may not be good to you in excess. These are some of the rules of the road in this life to help us avoid some of the potholes.
Just like with the honey Gospel Hip Hop/Rap Artist must never be greedy for glory, seeking it; and chasing men's applause and trying to make themselves popular (so, how do you make a living if you are not popular? People who don't know you, won't book you, etc…. does that mean Gospel Hip Hop/Rap Artist should not promote or have a promoter for their message?) . The artist that is prayerful will be led by God to the places and people he should minister to on both sides of the production spectrum from co-laborers, rappers, producers, promoters, labels, crews, to churches, arenas, clubs, streets, stadiums. The journey must remain true to both its form and function: preaching and teaching. And, take it from an old hand, the Lord has led from boarder to boarder and coast to coast to find the truth of his truth concerning faith. With food and clothes, be content.
40 years in the wilderness the children of Israel wandered and their clothes never grew old and their feet never swelled. Yeah but they didn't get to buy anything new, and fly, and tight and straight. If a Gospel Hip Hop/Artist considers these priorities he should hit his knees until his right mind comes back to him because he has lost it. And, do you know what a tremendous blessing it is to have your health?! God will see to it that you get what is due you from men in this time now and in the future.
I Timothy 5:17
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.
The people you feed and care for that are true saints of God will give you double honor i.e. respect and remuneration (money). This verse was not written singularly to pastors or it would have said pastors. Instead the writer chose the word elders as in oldest ones among you. And, those who rule are those who are put up as the Church of God in Christ called it in my early years of preaching. When my ruling elders in the church decided I was fully ready and possessed the gifts and graces to preach and teach from the pulpit at 16 years old, knowing I would be ruling over them all as reprehensive of the Kingdom of God and would be building there faith by preaching the great stories of the Gospel and Teaching the timeless principals for living therein.
Have you ever met someone chronologically young, but far beyond intellectually? This is the sophistication we seek in the Gospel Hip Hop/Rap Artists of our day. As well, this is the one we not only want to give a plaque, certificate or trophy. This is the one we want to praise, give glory and honor with respect and remuneration (money). So, unlike the secular awards programs that for the most part do not give out money to their winners let this mark our difference and it will make up for all the non-paying gigs our dedicated Gospel Hip Hop/Rap Artists performed ministered.
If you would like a more personal study on paying Gospel Hip Hop/Rap Artist or any other Bible Study topic feel free to contact me directly at the listed email address. Also, if you would like to get a weeks worth of topics covered on my radio show, blogs, and vlogs email me for my free newsletter. Until next time, may the Lord bless and keep you, may he make his face shine upon you and gracious unto you, may the Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you peace.