Recently there's been a bit of a dust up over comments made by some panelists at a "Worship of God Conference". It has been to my great disappointment, that Scott Aniol has doubled down on his position, attempting to argue that the Bible supports his position that rap is not glorifying to God. It has also been incredibly disappointing to see so many Christians agreeing with him.
The biggest mistake critics of rap are making is thinking that asserting an opinion is the same as making an argument. Just because you think that rap is “not good music” or is not “glorifying God with excellence” does not mean you have actually shown, from reason and Scripture, that is objectively true of rap. I can say that hymns are “not good music” (I actually really enjoy hymns), but that does not mean it’s factual or even biblical, it’s just an opinion.
Christians really need to heed Jesus’ words to the Pharisees in Matthew 15 about elevating man’s traditions to being equal with the commands of God. Your view of a given music style is not equal to God’s word, and leveraging passages about worship being excellent as if they somehow support your opinion is reckless eisegesis.
Here’s the uncomfortable reality for most of the people criticizing, dismissing, and denouncing rap. You’re allowing a cultural-ethno-geocentric bias to keep you from having enough grace for a style of music outside of your taste and context. This undermines a Gospel for all peoples and is a poor representation of a gracious Father who calls us to love our enemies. If we are to love our enemies, how much more should we love our brothers and sisters and have the grace to allow for musical differences?
Think of the variety of music styles across the globe, and you’re going to single out rap as “not good music” and “not glorifying to God”? Expect the charge of racist when you single out a style of music with a history and context that is culturally derived from a specific race. If the shoe were on the other foot, and black Christians were saying that rap and gospel were the only appropriate forms of music, you’d start to understand why racism is a legitimate accusation.