Lecrae Divorcing “White Evangelicalism”
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28, ESV)
Christianity began as a unified religion, bringing people from different tribes and tongues together into one. From the earliest of days, racial segregation or division was seen as a grievous evil that tacitly denied the very Gospel itself.
After Jesus fell under the weight of his cross, it was carried up to Golgotha by an African (Mark 15:21). Jesus left his disciples with a command to go into Samaria (a region often shunned because of its mixed ethnicity) and then into the uttermost parts of the world (Acts 1:8). The first non-Judean convert recorded in Scripture was an African from Ethiopia (Acts 8:27). The first Gentile church was planted by African missionaries (Acts 11:20). The Jerusalem council assertively rebuffed the Judaizers who didn’t want Christianity to spread beyond their own race (Acts 15). The Apostle Paul rebuffed Peter to his face, when Peter was showing favoritism and bias towards Jews over Gentiles (Galatians 2:11).
Since the time of Moses, when Miriam and Aaron were punished for challenging his authority and opposing his marriage to an African woman (Numbers 12:1), the religion of God’s Covenant people was foreshadowed and fulfilled as one that would join all tribes, tongues and nations into one (Revelation 7:9).
Juxtaposed to the racial unity cemented in the Gospel is the intentional friction between races popularized in Cultural Marxism that was founded in the twentieth century. Beginning in 1919, Cultural Marxism came into thought when the classical Marxist scheme did not work in Western Civilization in the post WWI era, as predicted by classical Marxists. Two Marxist philosophers, Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary, theorized that Marxism didn’t take root in the West because “Western culture and Christianity” had buffeted the philosophy, along with the mortal enemy of Marxism – upward economic mobility.
Cultural – rather than economic – Marxism became the strategy to cause class division in America. This was intentionally created by members of what is called “the Frankfurt School” (which included Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Wilhelm Reich, Eric Fromm and Herbert Marcuse) argued that culture was not a part of Marx’s original idea regarding society’s “superstructure,” and was an important variable in the over-all Marxist experiment. They argued that the working class would not revolt against the “bourgeoisie” in places where the poor could become rich. So then, the Frankfurt School intellectual leader, Herbert Marcuse, argued that Marxist ideology should enlist a cultural contingent; chiefly a coalition of blacks, students, feminists and homosexuals (link).
You might know “Cultural Marxism” by another name – multiculturalism. The notion is simple: Instead of viewing humanity as one race with a blending melting pot of individual cultures, this philosophy views an unblended (and largely incompatible) “mosaic” of individual and competing cultures or races. The result is simple…racial division and disharmony.
Perhaps nowhere this is better seen in the microcosm of American evangelicalism than in the attitudes projected by Christian hip-hop artist, Lecrae.
Lecrae Devaugn Moore is president and co-founder of Reach Records, and has released seven studio albums. He doesn’t consider his work as “Christian rap,” but as rap that “reflects” his Christianity. He has received widespread acclaim both inside and outside of Christian circles, but over time, it seems as though Lecrae has been less and less distinctively Christian. Since joining the Obama Administration’s Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Lecrae has spoken out more and more about “social injustice” and identity religion/politics. Most recently, Lecrae did an interview at a women’s podcast called “Truth’s Table” and discussed his departure from “White Evangelicalism.”
To summarize the podcast episode, which you can listen to at the hyperlink above, Lecrae says that he is “loosening ties with White Evangelicalism” and refers to it as a “divorce.” The reason for divorcing his white brethren? Some have spoken out against Lecrae’s outspoken activism regarding social injustice, which they see as divisive or misguided. For Lecrae, that is enough to sever his ties with the Universal Church, or at least those characterized by their Caucasian ethnicity.
Lecrae also said that his audiences which might regularly number around 3,000 attendees have shrunk to 300 because of his “outspoken criticism of racial inequality, evangelicalism and its alignment with Donald Trump in 2016” (link). His divorce from White Evangelicalism is partially due, he claims, to his surprise that not everyone agreed with him that the cop-beating thug, Michael Brown, was wrongfully shot. For Lecrae, this began his journey into a racial rather than religious identity.
Lecrae writes in his new song, “Facts”…
‘I will not oblige your colonised way of faith
My Messiah died for the world, not just USA
…They say, “‘Crae, you so divisive, shouldn’t be a black church”
I say, “Do the math, segregation started that first!”
Hey, you want unity? Then read a eulogy
Kill the power that exists up under you and over me’
This “colonized way of faith” that Lecrae refers to is “White Evangelicalism.” This is the same “White Evangelicalism” that eagerly promoted Lecrae, publicized his music, attended his concerts, and financially supported his music.
Lecrae said in the interview, “If I turn my back on white evangelicalism, who am I? If we disagree on . . . Black Lives and social justice, and I’m not getting pats on the back from John Piper, then who am I now? … For years that had been what was shaping my identity. …If I’m not the evangelical darling, who is Lecrae?…What if they get upset? What if they don’t like me. It took blood on the ground for me to say, ‘I don’t care what you think. People are dying.”‘
John Piper – one of the most popular leaders in the New Calvinism movement – quickly took to the Desiring God blog to say he was thankful for Lecrae’s “racial identity development work.” Racial Identity Development work is also known as…cultural Marxism.
For more information on New Calvinism, listen to this lecture by JD Hall and book by ES Williams. For problems regarding Piper’s theology, read ES Williams’ other book, Christian Hedonism? A Biblical Example of John Piper’s Teaching. For more posts about Lecrae, click here.