Why Christians Should Listen to Macklemore || Jeff Cherry

Posted on February 5th, by Jeff Cherry in Heart. 82 comments

Why Christians Should Listen to Macklemore || Jeff Cherry

You’re asking why a “Christian” blog would recommend a hip-hop artist whose album has the parental advisory notice for explicit content, and who is currently the most outspoken artist for marriage equality?

Because it will make you a better Christian.

If being a Christian means trying to be like Jesus, and it should, then we should be aware of how we are falling short. Macklemore has a unique ability to point out the inconsistencies he sees within Christianity.

Here are some of the conclusions he’s made about God and His people:

God loves all his children is somehow forgotten
And we paraphrase a book written 3,500 years ago
 
When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service, those words aren’t anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
 
I read the Bible but I forgot the verses
The liquor store is open later than the church is
 
Open to interpretation, if you’re judging I don’t want it
I’ve got sins that scold, like my throat when I hit the bottle
And I’m sinking, that’s why I’m drinking
I need a refill far more than just once every weekend

I think the problem that Macklemore has put his finger on is that many Christians aren’t very much like Christ. We treat church like a destination rather than God’s people and Christianity like a once weekly activity, rather than a mark of newfound identity in Christ.

We’re happy to be trapped in a works-based, religious contract with God, when He has offered so much more. Because we’ve wrongly understood grace, we wrongly represent Christ. Our do better, try harder mentality forces us to look at others as competition, always trying to out do one another, or we act like uninvited referees, blowing our whistle at every mistake we see. They don’t need to hear that God will love them if…

What they need is:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. || Rom. 5:6-8

The good news is that Macklemore’s conclusions aren’t true of God:

God loves all his children is somehow forgotten
And we paraphrase a book written 3,500 years ago

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. || Jn. 3:16

When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service, those words aren’t anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” || Mark 12:29-31

I read the Bible but I forgot the verses
The liquor store is open later than the church is

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. || Heb. 4:14-16

Open to interpretation, if you’re judging I don’t want it
I’ve got sins that scold, like my throat when I hit the bottle
And I’m sinking, that’s why I’m drinking
I need a refill far more than just once every weekend

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” || Jn. 4:13-15

I’m not saying that I agree with everything Macklemore writes. I’m not saying that Macklemore should be your pastor. And I’m not making judgements about whether or not he is a Christian. I am saying that as Christians we need to understand how society sees the people of God. We need to be aware of the inconsistencies in our lives because we represent Christ and Macklemore is one of the best at highlighting our failings.

D.L. Moody said, “Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, 99 will read the Christian.” We have the privilege of giving small glimpses of what God is like to a watching world. I hope their conclusion isn’t, “But God loves all His children is somehow forgotten, and we paraphrase a book written 3,500 years ago.”


Jeff Cherry Jeff Cherry graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 2010 and now leads For the King, a college ministry in Tacoma, Washington. He's passionate about helping college students use their college experience to make Jesus famous. He enjoys programming electronic music, reading, Coca-Cola, and Seinfeld. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffcherry
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82 Responses to “Why Christians Should Listen to Macklemore || Jeff Cherry”

  1. Jenna says:

    This makes me want revival! Thanks!

    • Jay says:

      Macklemore is talented. But who’s perspective are we to hold everything to? Man’s? No! We are to hold everything to God’s word and his perspective. Ultimately everything we do should be justified by “Does it glorify God?” That same song there also mentions that gay is a decision. Obviously contradicting God’s word by challenging how he created the world.
      As a Christian. How can you say that listening to music that is explicit, with swearing and the degradation of women, glorifies God because it appeals to culture? The same logic produces that if I have sex before marriage well, and if I have good moves in bed, I am glorifying God by perfecting my craft. You are replacing God’s absolute truth, with logic. Man’s logic is fallible, God’s is not… If you had said we should listed to this song, to remind us of our failures, I would be on board with you. But we could also just read a bible…

      • James says:

        The idea isn’t that we are glorifying God by listening to Macklemore, the idea is listening to what the down and out people of society see Christians as. And frankly that’s what Macklemore represents, he’s a recovering drug addict and alcoholic who struggled to make ends meat for a long time. If he says these things about the church and about Christians, we get a feel of what others might be thinking and HOW we can glorify God by reaching out to these people. And yeah we could read a bible, but that will build us up more and leave those outcast alone. To hear from the perspective of someone who wanted to love God, but was discouraged by the church and turned to drugs and alcohol is a very important thing and can change the way we reach out.

        • Jay says:

          Reading the lyrics can give you that perspective. But listening to it consistently does nothing but perpetuate sin. This is ONE SONG by Macklemore, the author is insinuating we listen to MACKLEMORE, no “SAME LOVE”. Listening to Macklemore is CLEARLY not the way to remind ourselves of these things if it comes at the cost of the influence of all of Macklemore’s music. Remember the author did not say “Why Christians Should Listen to Same Love”…

        • Anonymous says:

          i love you right now!

        • Anonymous says:

          I totally agree with this. It’s very important that we believe in God but not by making those who haven’t heard of him feel excluded. Macklemore is really talented and because, more or less, most people can listen to him, his words speak for the ones who wanted to find God but couldn’t because of the church.

      • Rob says:

        It’s been scientifically proven that homosexuality is genetically predisposed. Why would God create gays if he didn’t want them to exist? Either he approves, or he doesn’t exist.

        • Haley says:

          God exists. He hates the ACT of homosexuality,but He doesn’t “hate f*g$” (as some “Christians” have made posters saying He does). He did send His Son to die for everyone. He loves everyone and wishes to invite everyone into His kingdom. Whether someone is gay or a murderer, God loves them the same and manifest that love through an invitation to His kingdom. Sin angers God, but when the people His Son Jesus died for turn their back on Him, God isn’t angry, just sorrowful. So if someone who is gay is shown God’s love rejects it, then God releases him/her to their own sin. God does exist and He does care. And I think I’ma step off my little soapbox here.

          • Anonymous says:

            ew

          • Anonymous says:

            “homosexuality” can’t be reduced to an “act”. It encompasses everything from who you fall in love with, and want a family with, to how you identify with and relate to the world. Its intrinsic to who a person *is*, not what he or she does in the bedroom.

            For the record, for all the conversations I see about same-sex marriage, I have seen very few that acknowledge the point that marriage and family are about LOVE, not sex–if someone just wanted sex and not a stable loving relationship then marriage would be irrelevant to them. Besides, none of us knows what ANY couple does in the privacy of the own bedroom; for all any of us know, many married same sex couples could be effectively celibate.

          • Brit says:

            Jesus lived among the world, he loved the sinner but hated the sin, if he were here today you’d better believe he’d be hanging out with people like Macklemore. Whether or not being gay is predispositions or not is not the issue, it’s loving ALL people REGARDLESS. Jesus didn’t say “no I’m not going to love you because you stole that piece of gum in the third grade” because to him sin is sin, but instead he took it all yon himself in hopes that everyone could look past it and just see the good in people whether they were deserving or not.

          • Anonymous says:

            exactly!he doesn’t hate the sinner he hates the sin and talking about the song same love we should do the same. we aren’t supposed to encourage homosexuality but we should never hate or judge the people that are
            homosexuals thats why i was so confused about how christians should vote about gay marriage but luckily i didnt have to choose because im only 14. i probably would have voted for it to be legal because i think that they should have free will and if we are going to illegalize it because its a sin then we also have to illegalize lying and disrespecting your parents and hating anyone in any way etc sorry to go off on a tangent but i wanted to put my opinion somewhere on here

        • A Follower of The Way says:

          Science doesn’t prove anything, it disproves previous theories that were once held the basis for understanding unexplained phenomenons. This and the fact that your statement shows no supporting evidence allows me to question why you can make such a statement. I am a psychology major and have done ample research on the physiological functioning and structure of the brain, which at no time did I ever come across research that claimed homosexuality is genetically based. All the data on the issue support a nature vs nurture basis for issues of homosexuality and others similar to it, an example would be alcoholism. Whoever reads the statement above and then reads mine please be smarter and more informed before making claims that are surface level excuses to dismiss God as a ruling authority over life. God clearly does not approve of homosexuality, but this does not warrant humanity to ridicule and torment those who are homosexual. I have a good friend who came out many years ago and my approach is one of love, I live my life with him in it. I display my character and demonstrate the good God has done in my life. I do not support him being hay but I still care for him, I let God work through me to do the rest. I see the impact it has had on my friend and look forward to the day where he chooses God over his own fleshly desires, which someone who has a predisposition towards alcohol must do aswell; to choose God over his desires. I have met many individuals who were homosexual and later on in their life came to God, only to now be happily married with children.

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s like saying why did god create humans if they are just gonna die anyway, read the book of truth bro…

      • Jenn says:

        Just a minor correction for you! In “Same Love”, Macklemore does not say that gay is a decision.
        The lyrics are “Right-winged Conservatives think it’s a decision and you can be cured by some treatment and religion.”

      • max says:

        Yes what you have commented may be correct but you are also wrong. The writer is saying to listen to the song to realize how Christians tend to point fingers at one another and try to show how they are a better christian than the other. As a Christian myself, it is in human behavior to do so. But when you say you can just read the bible rather than listen to music is an ignorant thing to say.

        1. Jesus never spoke a word of same sex marriage so you are wrong there.
        2. The Old Testament explains rules but it also states: it is sinful to eat shellfish, wear clothes woven with different fabrics, and eating pork is sinful.
        3. The New Testament refers to male prostitution, molestation or promiscuity NOT same sex relationships. Paul may have spoken against homosexuality but he says that 1. a woman should be silent and never assume authority over man. SO as a Christian I’m sure you don’t follow that; at least I dont.

        On the topic of same sex marriage, The Bible defines marriage as one man-many women, one man many wives, a rapist and his victim, and conquering soldier and female prisoner of war. I’m 100% positive you do not agree with that so I do not see why same sex marriage is bad.

        And to be honest you obviously know absolutely nothing about Macklemore’s music. Yes he uses terrible language, but besides the language his music actually points out the issues and flaws that people are too ignorant to see.

        • DBK says:

          There’s a difference between the Old and New Testament. The Old Testament was BEFORE Jesus came to Earth and died for our sins. For an example, a person who strikes their parents was punishable by death during the time of the OT. There were more rules and restrictions during the OT, but God made the ultimate sacrifice by sacrificing his One and Only son to die for us- this changed everything. As Christians, we are are not required to follow the OT rules about diet, warfare, feast days, etc. When Christ came, a new covenant was created between God and man; this did not abolish the OT laws and rules but the NT became a radical understanding of the OT’s true intents.

      • Anonymous says:

        Macklemore doesn’t degrade women. He comments on how society accepts a convention that women should adhere to. He speaks openly against how the genre of Hip Hop has been tainted and overly sexualized. “Ah, I’m not more or less conscious the rappers rappin’ about strippers up on a pole, popping these interviews are obnoxious, saying ‘that it’s poetry, you’re so well spoken,’ stop it.”
        Macklemore is social commentator, and while some of his opinions (as you mentioned pre-marital sex) do not align with God’s teaching, God calls us to love and embrace all that is good and true in the world. Macklemore speaks truth, maybe his worldview is different than yours, but he is observant and unashamed.
        If we ignore people like Macklemore who are obviously fighting against the current of mainstream society, searching for answers to life’s big existential questions, we are discouraging the good that has found it’s way into Macklemore through all his pain and problems and how he’s overcome them. Macklemore is a searcher, he is examining himself and society through his music. The Mack opening up about his drug problems and his ensuing sobriety is something that God loves. It is inspiring and it goes against what the rest of society is encouraging people to do. Macklemore is the only Hip Hop artist who has any kind of national success that does not encourage kids to smoke weed, drink bottles of cough syrup and go to strip clubs. He’s implying: “Hey look I’ve made these mistakes, dont’ fall for what I did.” He is an admirable, genuine human being.
        In conclusion Jay, you have missed the author’s entire point. Jeff Cherry is stating that at the very least Macklemore’s music is a good way for Christians to see how they are misrepresenting themselves. Jeff is not saying that you have to like the messages that the Mack is presenting, he’s saying that Macklemore helps us examine ourselves as followers of Jesus Christ.

      • Anonymous says:

        1. He says Christians believe its a decision.
        2. That was the worst logical conclusion I have ever read. Please don’t jump to outrageous conclusions and please don’t be that ignorant Christian who knows nothing about the world because he keeps his nose stuck in his bible when sometimes God talks to us and reveals Himself in other places.
        3. And if logic is fallible (which it’s not) then stop usin your argument based off of logic because its honestly laughable. I just can with this.

        • Austin says:

          Also since people tend to fuck up what they’ve heard the Bible isn’t necessarily all true, we could have misinterpreted some things God told us or have forgotten parts when it was written in the Bible, as it was written many years after the had become old men, or was it after they’d died? Anyway it wasn’t fresh after they saw Jesus ascend it was years after vocal teachings and persecution by the Romans, so there’s a lot of bullshit in the Bible

          • Philip says:

            Austin, what you said actually just adds more validity to the bible. God said He would preserve His word and He has.

            Romans 1:18-32

            18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

            19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

            20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

            21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

            22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

            23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

            24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

            25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

            26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

            27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

            28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

            29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

            30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

            31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

            32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

      • Katie says:

        The author has quoted two different songs, and Macklemore never says that homosexuality is a choice. In fact, he states that it is not. “Right-winged conservatives think it’s a decision. That you can be cured with some treatment and religion. A man-made rewiring of a predisposition.” I think that loving everybody glorifies God, because, after all, doesn’t He love us all the same?

      • Anonymous says:

        Incorrect, your prejudice blinds you from the lessons the very church proclaims. The song explains that being gay is not ones’s choice, so as Christians we show acceptance and be advocates of equality. Pope Francis said it himself; that who are we to judge other people’s sexuality, regardless of whether you disapprove of gay marriage, or acts of homosexuality. Also, you seem to forget that god himself did not write the bible, it was the common man. Therefor do not say that you hold to god’s perspective alone because his very word (the bible) is told through the perspectives of flawed, ignorant humans just like us. We must be open to new ideology regarding the church’s teachings, in order to alleviate our faith and come closer to god. After
        all, while we must refer to the bible to identify our base values and circles of faith, it’s specific detail is not always relevant to modern day situations. For the record, Macklemores songs have no content that degrades women; tgats what sets him apart from most rappers.Peace. Same love.

      • Brenda says:

        I would just like to mention that Macklemore’s (and Ryan Lewis, which is involved in some of the lyrics on their album, as well as all of its production) music does not include “degradation of women.” I don’t know what songs of his you have been listening to, but as an avid fan (and a feminist), I can assure you that I have listened to all of the songs, paid attention to and analyzed the lyrics, and have never observed that. All I have observed is that Ben “Macklemore” Haggerty is a humble, loving, strong, family-oriented, and hard-working individual that has overcome a lot in his life. He has overcome addiction to drugs, alcoholism, infidelity, career failure, and so much more. He is not your typical rapper/artist. Today, he is a successful, independent music artist that loves his craft and lives for the art. And through his art, the message I get is to love and accept everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or monetary means; and to live and enjoy it via healthy means (no drugs or alcohol), regardless of who’s watching. This is a rapper that does not glorify women, drugs, alcohol, or money. He is one of a few…

        All in all, no disrespect is intended, but if you don’t know what you’re talking about, please don’t. And if you insist on doing so, at least do some research first. At the very least, take 1 minute of your time, and Google his lyrics, and learn not just about his music, but about him as an individual.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m a Chistian, and I completely agree with most of his lyrics. Sheltered Christian teens often times think they have it all figured out,because you don’t know what it means to have your face held to the fire. That moment when you realize that even the elders are corrupt. Macklemore may be tryin to cut through the hypocrisy of Christianity, but again, I agree with almost all of his statements. I think if Christian took all the time they put into building up their excellent facade, into learning how to love EVERYONE WITHOUT JUDGEMENT then we’d be getting somewhere.

    • Jack says:

      He didn’t say it glorified god he said it pointed out the flaws which it did

    • macklemorefan says:

      you do realise macklemore’s an atheist right?

  2. Jordan says:

    “If being a Christian means trying to be like Jesus, and it should…” I have an issue with this. The essence of being a follower of Jesus is not about TRYING to be like anything. Our righteous works are that of filthy rags when done as a striving work- even if done for the kingdom. Anyone, believer or not, can TRY to be like Jesus – and many do – but that is not the deciding factor of salvation. The gospel very clearly depicts that no man is capable of living like Jesus- and the crazy part is, we are not condemned by this. Rather, the gospel of Jesus is that of DEPENDENCE. We can forgive on our own, but it doesn’t last- so we depend on Jesus to enable His own forgiveness through us. We can not love selflessly our own, but we can DEPEND on Jesus and rely on His ability to love through us- with His OWN SPIRIT.

    Calling others to TRY to be righteous only sets people up for failure and creates religious nut heads. and when one succeeds at righteousness, it leads to self praise and pride. Depend on Jesus. It’s all about Him. Let His own goodness flow through you. Not your own counterfeit and failing goodness.

    • jeff bethke says:

      I think you totally missed the point bro lol Jeff Cherry clearly understands the gospel and articulates it here. That sentence is not about salvation but about sanctification which is essentially us lining up more and more with the image of jesus day by day. Don’t swing from one side of the pendulum to the other. It’s pretty clear he’s not talking about salvation here. He’s just saying in a practical day to day basis we should look like jesus. Which PS the term “Christian” literally means “little christ” which essentially means imitating & being like Jesus.

      • Jordan says:

        Alright man. I understand what the point is. It just seems that so many people are trying to act like Jesus for all the wrong reasons. There are so many that find a false sense of security in righteous acts which are not even an outflow of a heart dedicated to the glory of Jesus. I understand for the true believer that there is an element of striving and putting yourself in line with the word of God and making your actions and choices reflect the KING- but from my own experience, that way of thinking just leads to so much religiosity. Idk.. just didn’t sit right the way it was put. Thanks for the response

    • John says:

      Jordan,

      I can’t help but think of 1 Peter 2:21 in response, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” Christ lived the life we were all supposed to live before the fall, righteous, pure and perfect. I would think God wants us to strive to be like his Son, knowing that we will mess up, but that we are already considered righteous through Jesus.

  3. amber says:

    Thank you to Jeff Bethke for posting this out on facebook. I’ve listened to Macklemore in the past and thought some of these same things you mention here. I did not; however, think of them in terms of what i can do about it. It was more of a yep.. that’s how the lost world sees us. Thank you for putting it into perspective and extending the challenge. I like the idea of showing the love of God to a lost world. Praying that I can be that person. Thanks again for the post.

  4. Kelsey says:

    This makes me feel awful about having just bought a ticket to his concert. I honestly didn’t know what he sang when I bought the ticket. I decided to go because all my friends were going. Thank you for this post.

    • Aric says:

      This should make you happy you bought the ticket.
      Macklemore is broken just like the rest of us, he expresses it in his music. So he points out some of the things that might be wrong with church.
      Isn’t that reason to support and love him and everyone else?

      • Kelsey says:

        I guess it made me feel bad because if you put garbage in it will surely show and that is what will come out. I don’t want to put garbage into my mind and body.

        • Rory says:

          That’s not necessarily true. Discernment- something believers have in the Spirit- can help you know which parts of art you hang on to and influence you, and which you let go.

          Also, macklemore’s art isn’t “garbage” just because he expresses beliefs that are different from yours or perhaps even mistaken. His songs are excellent and are important both as art and as prophetic messages about the way many people perceive Christians. He’s worth hearing.

      • Philip says:

        No. Support a man who has a Pro-gay agenda? As a Christian ( I will assume you are one) that would be foolish to aprove and knowingly support a artists who propgates a sin such as homosexuality just for the sake of “being loving”.

        Loving someone doesn/t mean you have to agree with them or approve ro support. It may actually mean you have to tell them the truth that might break them, only to share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to by Gods grace mend thier heart and create them new.

        Only God has the power to change a person. Even a homosexual. Its a sin, its a choice, and its damning to hell for the unbeliever.

        Waking someone up in the middle of the night a disturbing them and thier family from sleep to let them know thier house is on fire is not a loving thing to do?

        Stand on truth. God is the only real truth.

        If you don’t stand on that you stand for and on nothing.

  5. Christian says:

    Why cant you just tell the world exactly what is wrong with it without using the explicit content? I cant help but think that Philippians 4:8 is telling me to do otherwise! I dont need to hear all of the things Macklemore has to say for me to know that the world is broken. Thats just my opinion. I see what you are trying to do here but to me explaining how we are failing and tell us to go listen to things that are not pure, admirable, or praiseworthy.

    • James Roads says:

      Christian,
      The problem in my opinion is the church isn’t listening just talking, Jesus said the sick need a physician and a good doctor will tell you to listen to your patient to treat them effectively. Also if God can speak through an ass to get his point across to a stubborn prophet then maybe he will use a secular song writer to get our attention. I am not in any way calling Mackelmore an ass I am just saying God will use any means he wants to get his word out so yes we might want to open our ears and see if God is saying something to us and then measure it using Gods word as the measuring stick.
      James Roads

      • Philip says:

        Strongly disagree.

        God doesn’t need a artist such as Macklemore to “get His word out” by using songs that actually go againsts His own very natuer. You got to be kidding me. I hope you are not a Christian.

        He has His saints. The ones who have put their trust in Jesus. Those are the only ones saved and actually equipted with the Holy Spirit to giev Gods wisdom and knowledge and true love. Not a ungererate man still in his unsaved natural state.

        Sorry friend.

  6. Ryan says:

    Macklemore has a lot of skill. He has good flow, but the lyrics that I’ve read of his thus far, such as those in Same Love, are terrible and destructive despite being well rhymed. He fits the label of “authentic” and I’m guessing he’s been church burned. But that doesn’t automatically make his music beneficial.

    Maybe we can learn from his view on the church, but many of his statements about God in his music are simply lies, and it scares me that people may be fooled by them. If you’re going to listen, listen to shoot down the misconceptions and falsehoods. But as a Christian who wants people to be saved in truth and a correct understanding of God’s word, I think it’s wrong to support someone who stands for a lot of what Macklemore does.

    I hope the Jeffs and For The King as an organization is careful to check themselves before publicly supporting artists like Macklemore. I know you don’t want to be responsible for encouraging someone into listening and believing lies of any kind, regardless of the music they’re set to.

    • Crystal Hill says:

      I completely agree with Ryan. I think believers can assess and potentially learn from an unbelievers view or perception of Christians and the church but I don’t see how that means we should condone and support his music. I say this not because he is ‘secular’ but because it is clear that a lot of his songs contain lyrics that are contrary to God’s word. Encouraging believers to listen to him could cause them to stumble or end up believing lies as Ryan said. And although I appreciate you lining up his lyrics with scripture, I did not see any biblical basis that supports what you are encouraging Christians to do.

    • A.C. says:

      The point is not encouraging Christians to support artists like Macklemore. The point is encouraging Christians to listen to the criticism the world has about the church in order to check ourselves and see that as a body we are not always acting as reflections of God. The point is to love people like Macklemore despite his actions and beliefs. The title of the article itself is a “hook;” a way to get people curious enough to actually read the entire thing. Listening to a small portion of Macklemore’s lyrics regarding his views on Christianity is merely an example of the overarching point: Listen, learn, love, grow.

      • Anonymous says:

        No we not always perfect so we cant exactly in Gods image. We were made in Gods image but,we are not exactly like him.we all SIN! so doesn’t mean we have to act perfect all the time.

    • jeff bethke says:

      im just echo’ing what AC said. The article wasn’t endorsing or encouraging anyone to “support” macklemore. It’s point was that we need to listen to the cries & the criticism of the world to the church if we are going to get anywhere fruitful.

  7. j says:

    Macklemore is publicly supporting homosexuality. The video has little if nothing to do with the church. He has a video of gay men kissing and your boy Jeff is praising him for it?

    Let’s be serious. A dope line or two doesn’t justify praise above what his underlying message is. Open your eyes man.

    • Eric says:

      I completely agree. While I understand the argument for the need to see and understand the world’s point of view on Christianity, I do not believe filling your mind with worldly notions and perversion is a god thing AT ALL.
      As Christians we are called to be faithful to Him and be set apart from the world so we will shine like “lights on a hill” Matt. 5:16. If we listen to this stuff we will eventually begin to digest it and conform our own beliefs to the ones of Macklemore.
      In Romans 12, we are told to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds”. Listening to this music is harmful to Christians, not helpful.

      • jeff bethke says:

        who said praising? The article doesn’t talk about that at all. It talks about how we can heed his critiques from an outsider’s perspective.

        • Eric says:

          I don’t agree that he praises Macklemore’s lyrics in this article. His point is valid in that we need to acknowledge the way we are viewed by the world as Christians. However, the title does say why Christians “should” listen to Macklemore. My concern would be that followers of Jesus, especially young believers, listen to his stuff and fill their minds with unwholesome content cause this article condones listening to it.

          • steve says:

            @Jeff Bethke, you did a great job summarizing your thought from the title you used “why Christians should listen to Macklemore” in that you introduced his version of the church scene for us to consider how we BEHAVE as christians. If all those that blogged would really listen to your article instead of just “hearing” with their own zeal to shoot down what was said they would have picked up on “HOW” to be a better christian. Using Moody’s phrase “out of 100 people, 1 will read the bible,99 will read the christian” is exactly why I believe you wrote the article!! The way you tied the title to the thought was perfect. Keep it up. LETS BE THINKERS, CHRISTIANS!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s just reiterate something that Max said on March 27th. Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. And also, the author of this article said very little about “Same Love”

  8. [...] Here are some of the conclusions he’s made about God and His people:”(Read more click here) [...]

  9. The message is greater than the title, Don’t get caught up in the title but understand the message of the post. I believe the post was saying “You can strengthen your witness by not ignoring culture but learning from it and engaging in it. When I say engaging I mean correcting it when it’s wrong and being humble enough to say “wow we dropped the ball on this one” when it’s right. No one is saying you gotta love and agree with what Macklemore says. Macklemore made some observations that we have to own up to and he also made some statements that were not biblical. Jeff Cherry did a great Job at modeling how we should learn and engage culture and not be scared of it.

  10. Brittany says:

    Great message!

    For those of you so up in arms about the title and what not you should remember that Jesus spend a lot of time of fellowship with the “vilest” of sinners… Prostitutes, tax collectors, etc. People believed Jesus was a drunkard because of the people he hung out with. And his purpose in spending time with them was to build a relationship and share the Gospel. To me that is far “worse” than listening to/reading the lyrics to an explicit song in order to gain insight about some people’s problems with the church. Jesus is the perfect example that sometimes we have to go against the societal norms (even those within the church) for the sake of the Gospel.

  11. Dan says:

    It’s not the world that’s lost it’s Christianity.

  12. kyle says:

    When has highlight ones failures a good thing?

    I find this article just scratching the surface. Besides skipping of how his explicit content might have negative effect that cancels out any good. Doesn’t anyone in the Church already know or failings?

    When you talk about the Church, adulters, hypocrites, homosexuals, liars, and murders. Your not only talking about me and your talking about people I love and know personally. Trust me I don’t need to be reminded how people in the Church have hurt me I feel it often enough. As far as myself to quote Larry Norman “everybody knows my sin
    they bring it up in conversation
    again and again”

    I can personally give my testimony on how have focused on the Church’s shortcomings and missed what God is doing.

  13. Sydney says:

    I also wrote an article about this, and I love this article. I think he’s exactly right. I am a Christian, and I love Macklemore. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you can’t see other people’s point of views. We need to be able to see other people’s point of views- otherwise how are we ever going to help anyone if we can’t see where they are coming from?
    Jeff, you were on point with this. Great job.

  14. Ben says:

    Really enjoyed the article. I have been listening to Macklemore a lot lately and am realizing there are a lot of things Christians can take from his music.
    As Christians we shouldn’t be in the business of writing anyone off. It is important that we take the time to hear what they say and listen. Not everyone can handle the swearing and thats ok. Macklemore is not for everyone, but that doesn’t mean no one should listen to him. If I was a recovering addict from anything Macklemore has truth that would be helpful.

  15. BreneePeople says:

    If you are truly trying to be like Christ, then you would not wear earrings, have tattoos or put up a Christmas tree for the Christmas season. The Bible says not to have anything on your Bible that would harm it. Doesn’t piercing your ears and tattooing your body harm it? Yes! The Bible also says not worship any idols. When we put up a Christmas tree, aren’t we worshiping that by singing songs with Christs name in them?People need to truly read and research the Bible before they trash talk it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, okay first off your the one who really needs to research the context of what you are saying. In the bible where it says that tattoos and piercings are a sin, that time period was full of marking skin for acts of pagan worship and idolatry. Doing it for those reasons is definitely a sin. But just getting a nose piercing or a simple ear piercing or a bible verse tattooed on your wrist is not a bad thing. Christmas trees aren’t idols either unless you are actually worshiping it and putting it above Jesus Christ. Singing songs with Christ’s name in them like Holy Night and Hark the Harold Angels Sing are not worshiping the Christmas tree. I have no idea where you got that.

  16. Anonymous says:

    No offense to anyone on here, but a lot of your comments seem really closed minded. The author of this article was just expressing that macklemore’s music shows a point of view from someone who isn’t as “Christian” like everyone on here. I’m personally a huge fan of his. Yes, you could read the Bible instead of listening to his music, but personally the way he uses God in his songs in so many ways are amazing. And yeah, he does cuss in his songs, but how any times do you hear it at work or school? It’s not like you’re the one saying it. Plus, I’ve noticed a lot of Christians use the Bible to agree with what they think instead of how it really is. So you can’t really use the Bible as an example for everything because its paraphrased and mistranslated and it was written in the way PEOPLE wanted it to say. I think Christians should definitely listen to his music because honestly God blessed him with a talent to tell stories in his music. He may cuss, but he isn’t out there telling kids to go rob banks, do drugs, or get drunk. He’s telling them to do the exact opposite.

  17. Jessi says:

    I graduated from APU in 2011! Just thought I’d let you know that your words really blessed me today.

  18. Andrea Fenell says:

    i believe the lyric about god loving all his children is forgotten, isnt a comment about god, its a comment about the church. the snotty people that are better believing its their job to condem and judge the sinners, whatever their sin is.

  19. macklemore isn’t that great of a rapper. he makes a point, but if you care to look at the other things he does on his songs. there isn’t anything particular of substance. no, i’m fine without macklemore because i haven’t forgotten that we are supposed to build up our churches by mentoring and discipling. christian rappers and emcees do a pretty solid job on it. has anyone of you listened to swoope or the dozens of others that do hip hop and jesus?

    i honestly disbelieve that i should listen to macklemore. if it has to require someone not from our team to tell us what we’re doing wrong, then we got something entirely wrong with our team. clearly other believers aren’t telling some that they’re not serving as good ambassadors and witnesses of Jesus.

    bottom line is cleanup on aisle 4. iron sharpens iron. good night.

  20. A.E. says:

    I stumbled on this post by accident. I am not a Christian.

    How such hateful, and homophobic comments can come from the mind of those who claim to be filled with the Holy Spirit of the one true God is astonishing.

    Everyone missed the point of the article. Macklemore is spot-on with his perceptions of Christians. The proof is right here. Someone wrote an article that said, “This is how the world views Christians, maybe we should do something about it” and all you Christians did is respond with condemning “fags” and fighting amongst yourselves.

    There is no love among you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am so sorry that “Christians” are acting that way and I apoligize on their behalf although I shouldn’t need to. Us as Christians, yes I am one, need to be examples of Christ. I don’t agree with homosexuality or gay marriage, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them and treat them just like everyone else that I know.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Next thing you know Christians are going to be saying “Why Christians should listen to Jay-Z”

  22. Anonymous says:

    Just because someone calls himself a Christian doesn’t mean he is one. Also, the church is not a building you go to, christians are the church (body of Christ).

  23. Juliet says:

    I was taught; “let he who iis wiithout siin be the fiirst to cast the stone”..he iis a siinner…so who iis he (and everyone who judges us) to say that us as Chriistians are wrong iin the way we’re living?!. We are well aware of the problems of the world…and We CHOSE to liive our liives accordiing to the word of God!

  24. Kenny Gulley says:

    Mmm yes, then we have ‘Same Love’ that mocks the Bible

  25. Anonymous says:

    I like the edited versions.

  26. […] Why Christians Should Listen to Macklemore […]

  27. Bonnie says:

    First off, homosexuality is not scientifically proven to be part of someone’s DNA. It is a choice. There is no proof to weather you are born gay or not. I personally don’t believe that God would create people in his own image and then create people who would be born as something He doesn’t approve of. Yes, Christian’s are ALWAYS given a bad rep because so many of us are judgmental and hypocritical. We are supposed to love the people, that doesn’t mean that we as Christians or even Jesus for that matter approves of homosexuality.

  28. Sarah Dalton says:

    I have been thinking this same thing for a while now but I have not been able to put it into words. You totally put it perfectly.

  29. Jacob Wall says:

    I appreciate the article, well done. At the same time I think that you are missing a lot. Macklemore actually has made references to be a Christian a few times (http://www.interviewmagazine.com/music/macklemore-ryan-lewis-the-heist/). While he does miss the idea of all scripture being theopneustos, a lot of his music gives credit to God. At the end of the day I don’t agree with all of his music but he does inspire thought, and who knows maybe that thought will put someone on the road to Christ.

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