It’s Not by Chance….that MainStream success has EXPOSED the hypocrisy of millennial spirituality !
It’s not by chance that the momentum of success and Grammy nod’s of The Rapper currently known as Chance (see what we did there…) has caused so much controversy and split the room! Since post Grammy media has taken the internet hostage social media has swarmed with rumors, scandals, celebration even a gold dude that shall remain nameless but 1 name seems to have soared over them all, and were not talking about Beyoncé [crazy right]!
Chance the Rapper took home 3 out of 7 Grammys he was nominated for as well as made history due to the fact that he was the first black hip hop artist to win Best New Artist since Lauren Hill. Being an “unsigned” commodity but still able surpass music’s heavy hitters to take home 3 Grammys is a huge accomplishment !
23 year old Chancelor Johnathan Bennett recent collaborations from Kirk Franklin, Kanye West , Kelly Price, Little Wayne, 2 Chainz just to name a few has been the center of this split crowd and confusion in the genre splicing hybrid we know now as the machine that is pushing The Coloring Book’s creator!
Some of Christian Hip-Hops most notable artists have even classified Chance as their favorite “Christian Rapper ” and this is when heads roll and riots break out in the streets! [well not exactly but you get the drift.
During his recent acceptance speech he stated :
“Glory be to God. I claim this victory in the name of the Lord,” while accepting his award for best new artist. “I want to thank God for my mother and my father, who supported me since I was young, for Kirsten, for Kensli, for all of Chicago, and I want to thank God for putting amazing people in my life.”
Pretty awesome … Right…??!! Well this is where we will began to address the controversy of organized religion and its doctrine versus what “some” [Myself] have come to identify as millennial spirituality!
What is Millennial Spirituality ?
While searching for material to explain my theory I came upon a article that explains EXACTLY what I mean and it’s a Great Read explaining My Theory of Millennial Spirituality ! Short version- A theology that culminates the knowledge or belief of God or God-like deity as well as the respect of all religious practices and theory while not politically endorsing one set faith/religion as an absolute truth ! This has become more and more apparent as many have spoken out about personal experiences of why they have “left the church and how they have become “woke”!
What makes this so significant is that with all the thousands of beliefs and denominations Christianity to this day continues to be received as the most “offensive” and is most attacked among them all!
Conversations have broken out on this matter and to sum it up I paraphrased from a few of those conversations or social observations :
Enough is enough!!! The sentiments of many that have fled from the four walls of our fore fathers in the streets as a Christian with no country , an agnostic with no address, as a refugee without a sanctuary
“We want to be heard!” many have cried to a unresponsive Shepard !”
“We need examples!” From those who feel they have been led by false teachers
” You don’t have to do all that!” Has been the popular consensus from those that are tired of outdated philosophies of men dead and gone!
Over and over again the people complain and reject the propaganda ! People have denied generational theology and handed down doctrine for a more progressive Truth that is a culmination of conventional religion without conviction.
What does this have to do with the homey Chance the Rapper
Particularly nothing but with his most recent religious outburst , collaborations and grand stage success he does represent a wave that is empting pews , attacking alleged false prophets and teachers and raising more questions than answers, especially more than can be thoroughly addressed in one sitting! But I digress – Getting back to music and how Chancelor has become the face of millennial spiritual hypocrisy is a HUGE stretch but for the sake of painting the portrait he’ll have to do! (Now while perfection is a perfected work that will only be completed in death, and only God has the final say, we are not saying The Rapper is not saved, a Christian or anything, all this is to present a current body of work and trends that is considered to be igniting and fueling tensions between New Church vs Church of Old)
This comment while said in jest is exactly the confusion going on in today’s music with long time unashamed Christian Artist Lecrae defecting and disconnecting himself from CHH while also trying to elevate himself in pop culture as an artist not a Christian rapper! We’ve seen this as recently featuring a song with secular artist Ty Dolla sign for his song called “Blessings” which caused controversy because the General nature of Dolla signs music is very vulgar and totally opposite of the faith Lecrae still claims to be apart of just at a heightened and more liberal approach !
Does this mean Christians can’t do music with non believers ??? What if the music is about God? What if this song starts the road to redemption as we [christians] are commissioned to operate as ministers of reconciliation for the great commission ! (Winning souls and helping to lead people to Christ)
These are some of the arguements and questions of intent or direction for 1 artist [Lecrae] doing everything to detach himself from a culture he helped create to another artist [Chance] to be attaching himself to a culture that he has shown no COMPLETE direction of conforming to its standards while not apart still somehow reshaping the understanding of the genre to the general public!
How did this happen!!
Well quick explanation -chance is very talented, amazing performer, huge smile most of the time and fastly emerging as the hottest artists of 2016/2017! While a lot of his content is about drug use, threats to labels hating on him, sexual references but he also talks about God a few times and honors God in award speeches and the crowd goes wild!!
This is where we get down and dirty!
Fame has confounded believers and is a desire for most people on the planet! Everybody can admit to doing atleast 1 acceptance speech in the Mirror [no comment] which is perfectly fine and not sinful! [sike it’s sinful !!! Off with their heads and kick them in that hole that everyone was kicked into in 300!! Oops I’m joking and I digress)
The issue is how low the standard becomes when money and noterity comes into play in a culture that has voiced a desire for Pure Examples and credible teachers with the intergrity in their walks to deserve a following of young believers ! The luke warm pastor/teacher and disconnect is the reason millenials have left the church right?? Well why was this Grammy speech so over spiritualized as a win for Christianity instead of a win for Chance and up and coming independents now that the Grammy board is lifting some past restrictions for music that would have not allowed artists without official albums released?
If a Godly message with charisma is valued why didn’t Da T.R.U.T.H, Ambassador, or Social Club nominated ? If thought provoking punchlines and versatile content was desired why wasn’t Sho Baraka , Eshon Burgundy, or Tone Spain in the conversation ? [Honestly I can go on and on but for sake of time I’ll stop at just a few]
One could concluded that his edge actually came from the fact that his content was unbalanced which meant it catered to a secular audience first and foremost and by mentioning God and exposing his religious roots helped ease the conscience of Christian listeners that already indulged in secular music anyway. So in return by saying JESUS and having some of the gospel industry’s biggest names and voices join him on stage is the best of both worlds, you get the gritty uncensored commentary while the religious stanzas are only designed to charge emotions and never challenge convictions or previous desires remain vague and non confrontational !
As he rocks out in front of hundreds while being seen by millions he’s fearless he’s free and has the world in that moment in the palm of his hand! A feeling we can all say is why instead of jumping into bed we spend extra time working on our craft, studying for that degree, pushing for that promotion ! How great would it be to be able to do whatever you want without anyone “bible bashing you” or telling you that you can’t do this, or can’t do that!
What if you could literally do whatever you wanted and still could become rich and famous would it matter if God was really pleased ? Even if you went to heaven no matter what ….would you change any of your ways or would you just do you and give God praise !
Now it’s no way to know exactly what being a Christian definitively requires outside of standing on scripture or standing on faith/grace and hoping or believing for the best if you decided to move to the beat of your own drum and do away with your grandparents religious customs and traditions !
Some even say their tired of walking the line of doctrine and ancient theology which is completely understandable (denying yourself and living for God is extremely hard, rewarding, but hard!)
Who are these Christians to say that you have to do it the way the Bible says if Jesus died for all our sins anyway??
Now Have Christians stood on Truth in the most elegant forms….. not always ! Have Christians miss used scripture and hurt people…. absolutely ! Have certain Sins been heavily broadcasted while others ignored….. ![one can definitely say that but with all that being said this still only speaks for a minority of experiences]
Do you feel as if all you hear about is what you CANT do and never the perks of giving your life and lifestyle to God??
Is holiness really necessary ?
To answer that question I will ask one. If every decision you make is soley on yourself and own understanding or what feels right , not scripture no religion or pastor trying to tell you what to do ….. are you willing to take that Chance on your eternity ?
Our prayers aren’t only directed at one celebrity but to all people famous or not, as Christ has instructed believers to! To respect and to love and share the good news with! While understanding that not all will accept the gospel and some will only accept portions , we are to be patient and pray for those and be a light ! I write this to challenge the crusade to be world renown instead of walking in your purpose whether it puts you on television or it places you in front of only one person whose life won’t ever be the same because they met you! Money , fame, awards are All amazing things but at the same time they aren’t validation or the only scale for being apart of something big or of actual effectiveness !
You don’t have to appeal to everyone to be great and you don’t have to water down or settle to get your message through, but you will have to decide what is more important ? Your legacy or Likes? Your message or money? Your conscience or contracts?
Stand true to what you believe in, whether it will fill a stadium or couldn’t even fill a classroom….. Stand for something Bigger than you and don’t conform !
Peace and Love!