Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lil’ Wayne, Christianity, and Super Mario

You laugh now (at the title of the blog), but wait until you’re done, maybe you’ll here the echoes of this poor lost man in the back of your own head and find it a little bit harder to swallow.

So probably a person who is becoming one of my greatest friends and I were talking tonight about hip hop, like real hip hop. We have this love of the music and culture in common. I’m not talking about women degrading, n word dropping, ignorant ranting and raving about how gangster you are stuff we call rap, I’m talking hip hop, graffiti, break dancing, spinning, and rapping over abstract beats to express a deeper inner thought or acting as a social activist through rhythm. That’s the hip hop we were talking about. I must admit I do have my one guilty pleasure though. I like Lil’ Wayne, most of all I like when he is on a track as a featured artist rather than the main guy. His voice is unique and he is really innovative. My friend always tells me how stupid he is though and always says that he is high or drunk in every interview. Curious enough to attempt defending my own liking of this artist, I look up a video on youtube and come across a little jewel that just hurt to watch.

This interviewer is asking Wayne about how he grew up to which he responds, “I was signed to a record deal at eleven, so there was no real growing up for me.” Then naturally the interviewer ask Wayne about New Orleans after Katrina (Lil’ Wayne is from New Orleans) to which he responds, “I don’t know nothing about them people, I don’t know nothing outside of just doing me and this music, so don’t ask me about other people or what’s going on, I don’t even know what’s going on in this city (as he points out the window of the hotel they were doing the interview in). All I know is that I believe in God and that If I die, it don’t matter because I believe in God.” Then the interview cuts to a short clip of a concert Wayne was doing where he is pumping the crowd up with things like, “put your motha efening middle finga the air,” and then says, “I know three things,” so the crowd goes wild encouraging his response, “One, I believe in God, Two Without Him I wouldn’t be a damn thing, and Three without Him I wouldn’t be $hi+.” The crowd goes crazy after this. Then it shows several other clips of him asking girls in the audience if they would like to participate in procreation with him later after the show and all kind of ungodly things.

This made me sad. Why? Well, he inferred he was a Christian and as I take a look around a good majority of what America calls Christian I see similar things. Then I think about this whole word, “Christian.” Where did it come from. Well according to Acts the followers were first called Christians at Antioch. This wasn’t a cool name some cutting edge youth made up though, this was a slap in the face to those who followed Jesus Christ. It was a mockery of them being little Christs. I can hear the criticism now, “you don’t even have your own identity, you just act like this guy named Jesus Christ, so you are just like a bunch of little Christs running around!” Seemingly, you are just a bunch of little Christ running around just like the last guy we killed, you don’t matter… Ouch. But what a great honor it was to wear this scarlet letter! They were acting just like Christ acted and thus were censured for it. So when I hear interviews like Lil’ Wayne’s and look around at the current state of 80% of Americans who claim to be Christians, I see that Christians aren’t very Christian at all. I’ll say that again, Christians actually aren’t all that Christian anymore now are they? If the original mockers were to look at our following of Jesus, I don’t think we’d be mocked at all because we don’t act just like a little Christ, we don’t stand out, there isn’t much of a change in us.

I think about Nicodemus and how hard of a concept rebirth was for him to grasp. I think we have this same problem, but it is less of an intellectual comprehension and more of a failure to comprehend practically. The average American who claims to be Christian treats it much like Lil’ Wayne. This Christian thing is like steroids that athletes use or a mushroom Super Mario gets on the first level. This Jesus thing doesn’t require change, but just gives us more power so we can continue to go through life just as if nothing has changed. It’s a power up card to pull out of our back pockets in times of our choosing. So should we be so sure of ourselves to say that we know what will happen when we die? I think not, without being born again one cannot enter the Kingdom of God. I ask you this…take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, is my Christianity a steroid to help through life, a nice shiny thing to carry around or is it a direct representation of the change that God has had on my heart? Has little Wayne spoken for us all? Will we allow comments and thoughts like these to just float around and represent Christianity much longer? Is that what Jesus really died for, just a bunch of people to say one thing and be able to do another? I don’t think so…

Know this…I don’t write from the perspective of a perfect person in any way. I write because I think a lot and have been given a great ability to write and express things verbally. I pray I can escape this mediocre, back pocket religious, steroid ritual of average American Christianity and stand for something worth dying for, true, Biblical Christianity, the kind that flips your heart upside down and thus changes your entire world and everything in it. May you find this Christianity and only visit this old idea of Christianity in the grave yards of history.

4 comments:

  1. AMEN!

    Lil Wayne is paid to "talk the talk" but as a follower of Christ he does not speak for me.

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  2. This is really good. Yeah he believes in God, but so does the devil and all the demons.

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  3. Wow, this was very good. It makes me sad when people only look to God when they are in hard times. I try very hard to walk with God every step of the way. Im not perfect but Im trying to make it in heaven at the end of my walk. Lil Wayne is troubled. I pray for people like that. This was a very good article thanks

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