Monday, January 11, 2010

A Few Thoughtz: Da Truth, Tye Tribbett, and Ambassador (Pt. 2)

Peace and blessings,

I wanted to take a moment to address an issue I did not get to in my previous post. Knowing that I'm a huge hip-hop head, a friend of mine asked me if I was still going to listen to Da Truth and Ambassador's music in light of these incidents. Without giving it much thought, I immediately said yes, because I believe that they are sincere in their commitment to Christ. So unless I find out that they were "faking it" in their music, I will continue to listen to them. Upon further reflection, I realized that response was not reflective of an avid fan who's in denial, but was based on an assessment of their lyrics and the themes throughout their albums. While this assessment applies to both artists, it applies to Da Truth more than Ambassador, because I have three of the former's albums ("Moment of Truth," "The Faith," and "Open Book") and only one of the latter's ("The Thesis").

Since "Moment of Truth," there have been three themes that have consistently been woven into Da Truth's albums: (1) Pride, (2) Humility, and (3) Temptation from women. For each theme, he talks extensively about how he personally struggles with each one, and how he has to work constantly to keep them in check. Aside from the fact that he's lyrically gifted, his openness regarding his struggles in these areas is one of the reasons why I really take to his music. I doubt it's a coincidence that I struggle with those themes as well! He was doing more than telling listeners about his difficulties. He was also speaking to issues that men of God face on a consistent basis.

The concept behind Ambassador's "The Thesis" was based on his actual thesis in seminary school. In his thesis, he argued for the validity and use of hip-hop as a way to minister to people about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Therefore, his album was in many ways an audio version of his thesis. During one interlude, he addresses what he believes to be an issue within the general body of Christ (i.e., the church) that is potentially hindering the advancement of the gospel to certain people. He argues that the church should not demonize and/or be opposed to using hip-hop as a ministry tool, because hip-hop, like any other art form, can be "claimed" by God to reach those who may not know Him, or who may not be living in His will. Using the analogy of a baby taking a bath, he argues that although the baby was dirty, the only thing that is drained out is the bath water, which contains the dirt that was originally on the child. We get rid of the bath water, but not the reason for (i.e., the person in) the bath water. He contends that just as we do away with the child's dirt but not the child, we must be careful not to dismiss hip-hop as an art form and ministry tool just because a good deal of hip-hop music does not glorify God.

The same applies to the situation with these artists. It was this "don't throw the baby out with the bath water" idea that influenced my response to the situations involving Da Truth and Ambassador, and why I will continue to support their music and ministry. When things like this happen, it is important not to write off the person because of an act they committed. In other words, we should make sure that we "don't throw the person out with the sin."

As ministers of the gospel, I often wonder the extent to which these and other artists are being encouraged, supported, and lifted up in prayer. They dedicate a significant portion of their lives ministering to others during their music, and I think sometimes as fans we forget that they are human just like us, and are being "targeted" by the devil just like we are. As a result, we value them primarily in terms of what they can do for us through their music and ministry, forgetting that they too need to be ministered to and encouraged. As fans and those who support their ministry, let's remember that we're all in this together, and we all need each other to remain directed towards the things of God.

What do you think? Until next time, take care and speekonit...

1 comment:

MoMo said...

Wow, I definitely agree with your post. It is so important not to hate the sinner, while hating the sin. Many times as "regular" Christians, we want to put the "big-time/famous" Christians up on a hill and when they stumble down a bit, we like to turn our backs on them. Thats not right. Why? Because while you were scorning that other Christian for stumbling down, you actually took a step backward in your own Christian walk for not showing them the LOVE of God and being prayerful for their situation. Not saying to rejoice at their stumble or disregard it completely, but its important to still be supportive when they seek for restoration.

One of my personal problems is I find myself being more lenient towards people that I like more, and more harsh on the people whom I am not a huge fan of. For example: When i heard about Tye T., I immediately felt sorry for him and took the stance of being supportive of him and his restoration. But when "Pastor X" did a sin, I was all...OH NO! What kinda leader is that, etc etc....

so i am still working on that day by day :)