But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
Matt. 12:25 (NKJV)
What’s good family! I would like to quickly share some truth that I believe will encourage us as members of the Body of Christ to coexist in harmony despite our differences, as this was the heart of our Master Jesus Christ. If we as the Body operate as a unit, explosive growth of the Kingdom will be inevitable.
I must however admit that as a Christian artist and leader I do experience obstacles that make working and fellowshipping with fellow brothers and sisters pretty challenging. These include differences in ethnicity and culture, doctrines and creeds, ministry philosophies…. you name it. However our identity is found in Christ alone and the brotherly love we have for one another should drive us to look past our differences.
I have in the past years (especially recently) been both grieved and disgusted to see Christian leaders, preachers and artists using their God given platforms to attack one another because of these differences. This has many times been done in the name of “Glorifying Christ” or “leading people to the truth”. I would like to use some examples to take us home.
Division Amongst Church Leaders
After my conversion to Christ in 2007, I remember that one of the first things I noticed was how “Prosperity Preachers” were severely attached from pulpits by ministers with different views on the topic.As a young believer this did shake my faith a bit, and challenged me dig deeper in the Scriptures. However I couldn’t help but notice that the biggest victims of such attacks were televangelists, while the greatest attacks came from smaller community churches (I am making no assumptions about their motives).
I also noticed that less popular preachers gained much notoriety in a short space of time by attacking popular preachers and artists, which eventually translated into high YouTube views and DVD sales. Again, I would like to leave it there and make no assumptions about their motives. All of this has led to Christians following examples of their leaders, by attacking other ministers and even writing off fellow brothers and sisters as “False Believers” and “False Teachers” due to these difference.
The War amongst Christian Rappers
I have also witnessed a lot of politics and tension within the Christian music industry. However, I am a Hip Hop fan so I would like to address my concerns about division and tension among Christian Rap artists.
Over the last two decades there has been tremendous growth in this genre, as well as fruits and testimonies of countless lives being impacted and changed by it. On the other hand along with the growth there has been an increase of drama, tension and conflicts amongst the artists within the genre. Looking at the reasons for this, it all boiled down to mainly differences in ministry philosophies. Today songs are being made by Christian rappers attacking one another and attacking preachers.
This again has caused division amongst the fans and followers of the artists, as well as negative stirs on social media that confuses the average God seeker. This almost reminds me of the “Beefs” and Hip Hop “Battles” I witness in my early teens between the likes of Nas and Jay-Z.
My question would be, if unity is God’s will for His Kingdom, how can we remain united despite our differences? First of all I would like to admit and confess that I have made terrible mistakes in this area. I have misjudged, verbally attacked and criticized artists and ministers with different views and philosophies, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit lead me to repentance. I am forever grateful for God’s grace and mercy.
The remedy for this issue is found in Matthew 18:15-17. If a brother sins (whether a leader or artist) go and address the issue to him directly. If he doesn’t repent, address it in the presence in the presence of other brothers. If that doesn’t work, address the issue in public. A lot of damage in the Body is caused by many of us being hasty to choose option 3 without addressing the matter personally.
In this day and age we are privileged to address the issue telephonically, via email, whatsapp and many other media. If you are short on airtime or data, you can always ask somebody to sponsor you. In all that we do let us keep unity in mind.