Lecrae, the Grammy nominated hip hop artist behind Mixed Tape, took a trip out of his own shoes and into those of someone who doesn't know Christ on his song "Church Clothes." The song comes from the place of someone who is living their life, doing their thing and rewarding themselves with a party for surviving the day. They see the church as a place of rules, a place of "do as I say, not as I do," a place where image is everything that is run in the name of a Savior who cares more about fashion than forgiveness.
His hope was that the song would cause those inside of the faith bubble to start talking about the hypocrisy in churches and making changes. In a press release, he said, "Many people have seen the hypocrisy and inconsistencies that have helped push them away from the church and God all together. The goal wasn't to condone this behavior or view; it was just to show the real attitude that people outside the church have. It is a personification, which is a literary and artistic tool constantly used in rap music."
Although there are some inside of the church who are left feeling like he has "lost touch with the Gospel and forsaken the name of Christ," others in ministry "get" it. Bishop Paul S. Morton said, "Thank you Lecrae for speaking on the behalf of the young people who see this. Young people outside the church see these issues looking from the outside in. We will cause them to change if they see us being real."
Minister Keisha Allen added that the song "is a clarion call to those of us who are true Believers in the Body of Christ to live a life of light so that those who live in darkness can be transformed and renewed."
Dr. Kenneith T. Whalum Jr., author of Hip-Hop Is Not Our Enemy: From A Preacher Who Keeps It Real, has also shown strong support for the song. He said, "Lecrae's scripture-infused lyrics are just what the REAL church needs in politically-correct times like these. Not only are his lyrics painfully direct, the visual images are stunning, just like the homeless people we drive by on our way to our urban cathedrals. I can already hear the shrill outcry of the self-appointed guardians of the religious status quo against what they characterize as the 'evils of hip-hop', but 'Church Clothes' is a prime example that Hip-Hop is not our enemy; HYPOCRISY is!"
- "Church Clothes" video and free download
- "Church Clothes" lyrics
- Lecrae Speaks Out (his blog about the song)
Image courtesy of: Reach Records. Used by permission.