A Calling to Redeem Rap Music


By Emma Green

“We don’t challenge any heresy in the church!” John Perkins declared at a recent meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. “We don’t challenge the ugliness and dehumanization of rap in our community because it makes money for rappers.”

In the evangelical world, the 84-year-old minister and civil-rights activist is treated as a prophetic figure. Younger pastors refer to him as their hero, and the Christian rock band Switchfoot even wrote a song in his honor. Church leaders had gathered to discuss the “the gospel and racial reconciliation”—a longtime struggle for the Southern Baptists, a denomination that split off from other American Baptists in 1845 so that its ordained members could still own slaves. Of the many challenges to contemporary race relations in the church, Perkins said, one of the most pernicious is rap music.

“Somebody’s gonna say to me, you’ve got Christian rap, like they think that I’m a fool. I understand that,” he said. “You’ve got to challenge immorality—that’s the whole idea, especially if it’s pathological.”

Read the rest of Emma Green’s article from The Atlantic, HERE.

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