I had a conversation with a friend awhile ago about Christian artists collaborating with secular artists in their music. Secular, meaning people who do not talk about Christ or Christian beliefs and values in their music.
This friend and I agreed to disagree a little, only because I already had a preconceived notion about how Christians should interact with non-believers. However, he said something so powerful that completely shattered that notion.
He said, “we as Christians can’t expect to spread the message of Jesus Christ to non-believers if we continue to have a holy huddle.”
A holy huddle?
I thought, “WOW, that’s so good.”
For a long time, I think I misunderstood the meaning of the phrase “we are IN the world, but not OF the world.” I heard the phrase all my life growing up in church and to my very limited understanding, this made me think I am a totally different breed than the non-believers around me, so I must “separate” myself to prove that point.
Now I understand what that phrase actually means. We (Christians) live in this world physically, but we do not follow this world’s values or participate in the sinful activities this world promotes. We are to be a light to those in darkness. But I learned this does not mean cut everyone off who is not a Christian. This does not mean I can only talk to people who are believers. This does not mean I can only interact with Christians and this certainly does not mean I am better than someone who is not a Christian. It simply means I am called to a different standard. A higher standard. The standard GOD set in place no matter what society says is “okay.”
So as I was studying my bible, I came across a scripture in Luke that made me feel some type of way. In Luke 5:30, the Pharisees are complaining. Mind you, the Pharisees were a group of religious people who basically thought they were superior because they were well versed in religious law. They followed very strict rules and customs and acted so righteous, but their hearts were very far from Christ. They looked good and “holy” on the outside, but the inside was so filthy.
In these verses, Jesus is invited to Levi’s (the disciple later named Matthew) home for a banquet as the guest of honor. Other guests were invited to the banquet as well, and I’m assuming they weren’t the “holiest” of people. Levi (Matthew) was a tax collector, and tax collectors were not looked highly upon in that time. So at this banquet, in verse 30, the Pharisees ask Jesus, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?”
At first, I thought this question was repulsive. I was like, how in the world are the Pharisees asking such a rude question. Jesus literally went IN on these dudes in Matthew 23 (READ IT) and they got the nerve to be asking this crazy question. But then I realized the Pharisees symbolized ME, back when I so ignorantly thought being a Christian made me “better than” the people around me. I used to think the same things about people like:
- She doesn’t know how to dress modestly, so she must be a hoe. Let me stay away from her.
- He listens to trap music, so he clearly doesn’t know Jesus.
- All they like to do is drink and smoke every weekend, they are on their way straight the hell.
Then I would judge people who hung out with them. Basically asking the same question as the Pharisees, why in the world are you hanging with this trash? Smh. I thank God for growth.
But the most powerful part about these verses is Jesus’ response. I love to think about the bible in modern day terms and concepts, so I can relate. So when I read Jesus’ response, I was like dang Jesus just threw shade at these dudes AGAIN. hahaha. But really Jesus did nothing but state the truth.
In Luke 5: 31-32 Jesus answered, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”
I was like BOOM! Got em!
You see, Jesus didn’t come to condemn a world of sinners, he came to save a world of sinners. He doesn’t cater the ones who think they have it all together, he caters to the ones who know they are in desperate need of a savior.
Little did the Pharisee’s know, they were the “sickest” of people! They desperately needed a doctor—- Jesus! Jesus sat down and ate with the tax collectors and prostitutes not because he was a part of their world, but because he was the LIGHT of it. And we are called to be the same.
How can we shine our light if we only share it with those who already know about it? We’re ineffective when we act “holier than thou” and refuse to leave the four walls of our churches. We are ineffective when we keep what we know about Christ to ourselves because we are afraid to go have dinner and converse with a prostitute fearing how it’ll make us look.
The artist my friend and I were talking about in the beginning of the article was Andy Mineo (pictured left), who happens to be my favorite Christian rapper. He opened up a concert for hip-hop artist Fetty Wap (pictured right), most known for his hit song “Trap Queen.” Go ahead and look up up the lyrics to that song and we’ll be on the same page hahaha.
I was shocked at first, because I was always taught Christian artists and secular artists are not supposed to mix. Then I found out Andy did one of HIS songs at the concert. One of his gospel message rap songs, and that is so powerful to me. He went into a concert and shed the light of Jesus Christ to people who were otherwise there to hear darkness. Andy probably reached souls by refusing to stay in his “holy huddle.”
Andy is in this world and he knows music is a powerful tool that can reach many people. So he’s an artist, a lyricists, and a poet which are all part of being in this world. However, he is not OF this world, meaning his music echoes a different message, the message of the gospel. As a Christian, he is held to a different standard, but the key is, he doesn’t isolate it. He broke out from that holy huddle, and lit up a secular stage, with the light of Jesus Christ.
I challenge all Christians to get comfortable with talking about Christ to people who don’t necessarily look like you or believe what you believe. Go have dinner with an atheist and answer their questions. The only thing I would caution is making sure you’re strong enough to not be persuaded by sin.
Other than that, what’s stopping you from leaving your holy huddle?