Quit your job. I need you, the reader of this article, to quit your job. Tell your employer that you can no longer “sit in the seat of the scornful,” cannot mix light and dark, and can’t work with secular people. You have no prospects of a job but now you can breathe easy because you are no longer unequally yoked with unbelievers. Reread all these sentences out loud. Do you see how foolish that sounds? In my opinion that’s what some people sound like complaining about Christian artists working with “secular” people.
Dee-1 just dropped a remix of his song “Against Us” featuring heavy hitter rappers Big K.R.I.T and Lupe Fiasco, and of course some people are upset. For some, there has long been an unwritten rule in CHH about doing collaborations with those who don’t believe in Jesus. It’s a rule a lot of people don’t really abide by and to be honest it seems like only the fans of CHH have a problem with it, a lot of artists have worked and are working with those who aren’t of the faith. We are really good about dying on hills that don’t really matter much and people look at us like we are crazy and it’s only hurting the Kingdom.
When one asks a person who is against “secular” collaborations why, they often go to the Bible. “How can the two walk together unless they agree” in Amos 3:3 is often quoted as justification. However, as a lot of Christians are aware, we are notorious for pulling one scripture out of context and using it to instruct people in how they should live. That particular chapter was dealing with once again how Israel messed up and God was going judge them (again). Commentaries seem to point to verse three and say that many prophets had tried to warn the Israelite’s of their sins but they wouldn’t listen but they all came in line with what God had been trying to say to them. Another scripture used against working with “secular” artists is 2nd Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” This scripture is as interesting and people can take it many ways, so we’ll just let it be for now.
If we go by the logic of many that says you can’t do music with nonbelievers, but let’s apply that to all of life. Is the food you eat made on a “Christian” farm, shipped on a “Christian” truck, delivered to a “Christian” grocery store? The answer is probably not. In 1st Corinthians about a year before Paul wrote 2nd Corinthians he says this in 5:9-13 that he wrote for the church to stay away from sexually immoral people but he didn’t mean the sexually immoral of the world. “Since then you would need to go out of the world” so Paul understood this world is so ingrained in sin it is impossible to truly escape it physically. Paul then went on to say that he was speaking about staying away from the sexually immoral in the church.
On the subject of secular collaborations many take issue because artists are doing “ministry” with the ungodly, but if all of life is ministry and worship what about the rest of us? All of us with our book clubs, jobs, hobbies, friends, projects, and social gatherings are interacting at some point with the ungodly. We all do “ministry” with those who don’t believe, but we hold artists to a higher standard. To be honest, we don’t know what conversations are being had, what prayers are being prayed, before cats jump on songs with Christians. For those concerned that young kids will be exposed to secular artists I have bad news for you: a lot of your children are already familiar with the music you don’t want them to hear. Back in the early 2000s when I was in school, I knew about music from Ludacris, Ying Yang Twins, and a bunch of the other stuff I wasn’t supposed to know anything about, and it wasn’t because I snuck and listened to it. Children at school sang it, the bus driver played it, heard in passing on the radio, there’s no escaping stuff like that all the way. We want people who may not be living right to come to church to get saved but we don’t want to do music with them? The Bible speaks of rocks crying out if we don’t sing to the Lord, why not let “secular” folks do something positive and sing or rap to the Lord? The collabs are giving these artists an opportunity to do something they probably wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. I don’t see what the big deal is as Christian music in general has a history of allowing unbelievers to hop on songs and make a joyful noise to the Lord or just make clean music. Some of these artists are excited to get on a song with us and really respect what we do, even though they themselves may feel like they can’t do it for whatever reason. We don’t know what’s going on backstage or off the mic, so let’s just pray for those brave enough to do these collaborations and pray that God get the glory out of it.