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Patrick Hampton / Jul. 1, 2019

Hip-Hop Over Hymnals?

Snoop Dogg? What happened to the black church at the BET Awards?

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” —1 John 4:1

Entertainment headlines spread like wildfire after Snoop Dogg took home a BET Award for…

Wait for it…

BEST Gospel Song.

If there were ever a participation trophy for Christian music, this would be it, awarded to none other than America’s “weed whisperer.”

The award-winning song, “Blessing Me,” is featured on the rapper’s first gospel album, “Bible of Love,” which was released in March 2018. Snoop’s gospel track beat 13-time Grammy award winner Kirk Franklin and Grammy award-winning Erica Campbell — two superstars of Urban Gospel. Astounding.

But wait — before you start applauding “Uncle Snoop” for turning his life around and taking home this victory… Only two months later, Snoop set a Guinness World Record for a 132-gallon “gin and juice.”

So where is the discernment from the black church? Is our desperation to the culture such that we allow anyone to sell us anything, including so-called religious music? And while no person on Earth is free of sin — gospel singers included — still the messenger is just as important as the message.

Open your Bible and you’ll find more than 100 verses mentioned regarding false prophets. Yet hundreds of black Christians in the BET Awards audience dismissed Snoop’s brazen advocacy for marijuana use and extensive history of drug-related run-ins with law enforcement throughout his 25-plus-year rap career. All because he’s producing religious music now.

Perhaps Snoop Dogg truly has converted to Christianity, and my hope is that this foray into Gospel music is one that is transformative for him. The rapper has had a history of soul searching in the past. Snoop was once Rastafari and was understood, according to one source, to be a supporter of the Nation of Islam. His search for faith is not unlike any other person’s pursuit for the truth. However, a world record for gin and juice isn’t becoming of an award-winning Gospel musician. To praise a Christian music track made by a rapper who continues to live contrary to the Word is just as bad.

I’ve already heard dozens of justifications for Snoop’s lifestyle, saying that marijuana was made by God and therefore it’s okay to smoke it, and that anyone can be called by our Lord God at any time. Today it’s as if anything goes in the church so long as members (and tithes) keep pouring in.

Ultimately, this BET Award confirms to me one thing; that the black community — once known as one of the most religious groups in America — has sold out to secularism. For what? Ratings? Woo factor? Likes? Perhaps the black Christian community figures something has to draw this new generation of “believers” in. Now it’s hip-hop over hymnals.

Call me judgmental. I call it discerning of the spirit. Because I know this one fact: The Kingdom of Heaven is not a revolving door that allows anything and everything in. Anyone can call themselves a messenger of God (by way of Gospel music or as a minister). But the real test of faith is a track record of doing right by Him.

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