Saturday, January 27, 2007

Thoughts on last night's service for youth in Atlanta, GA: Is Hip Hop Dead?

I have already started putting together this morning some thoughts and recommendations for not only our church based upon our attendance, participation, and observations of the youth service last night, but for other churches worldwide as well.

I heard many of the same sentiments expressed by older saints weeks ago within my own church family in Austell, GA.

The service last night was great and one clear message that rang like a bell to me is that the younger saints between the ages of 22 to 45 within the African-American church really have to step up and make themselves heard at all times.  They have to take a more active role within the lives of youth within the kingdom of God.

These child-bearing years have more natural energy but have not always been there for the youth.  The previous generations of such saints were the ones who took advantage of desegregation and equal employment opportunities but did not always look back to help someone in a less fortunate situation.

Hip hop is not really the enemy as failure to "train up a child in the way that they should go" is.  The Scripture must not be falsely restricted to personal responsibility but expanded to include church responsibility as well.

Everything within earth was created by God and without Him was nothing made.  There are no evil notes on any keyboard, drum set, or guitar string.  Only through not including God within every aspect of life does perversion begin to grow. 

There is no power other than God.  Yes, satan exists but he is devoid of power unless he is GIVEN power by someone.

Freewill is still more powerful than the enemy's devices and this is where he only "appears" to be empowered.

One young sister broke down last night and said something that included "leaving us out here on our own" when the need for change (regarding their consumption and meditation upon the undeniable, negative lyrical content of some popular hip hop artists) was brought to their attention.

Most youth within the black church simply have not been taught.  They were either left alone or ignored by older saints who falsely thought that children have no mission within the kingdom of God when the older saints were ignored as youth themselves as well.

The generational curse being repeated and is clearly within range of being broken is that we (older saints now possessing power within congregations) were ignored and overlooked and not heard and we turned out ok, so why should things change?

It is like having someone who has been abused grow up and still endorse the abusive system without recognizing the impact upon their own children when they were always saying that they wanted their children to "have a better life than I did" or "I had it harder than you have it now".  The same goes for hazing within college campuses and alumni chapters regardless of what is said.  Hazing reduces the possibility and power of Rev. King's "I Have A Dream" prophetic vision.

We must also recognize the trends, impact, and lifestyles of today's baby boomers as well because there are societal problems and not just problems within the church.

Many African-American baby boomers have simply overcompensated for the lack of love and personal attention within their own childhoods and falsely believed and acted upon the thoughts that material things would make up for their absence within their children's lives or make the critical difference in the child's positive growth and development.

They have not appreciated simply their own overcoming lack, difficulties, and obstacles by the mercy of God.  They have not always clearly seen how far God has brought us all as a people and not just as a generation.

It is not enough to be a responsible church member to be able to bring home a paycheck to raise your own children even though there have been more than enough of us who chose not to for reasons right and wrong (when unjust pressures of society did not make things easier).

We have the solution in the form of the Gospel of Jesus Christ while all of us need to publish and spread the Gospel as we never have before.

A theoretical-only Christianity is not going to cut it either.  Christianity that can be applied, tested, even questioned, and still proven eternal and true must be revealed and shared.

Even when one tries to test whether Jesus is really the Son of God, your decision must come as that He is simply because if He is not, then why does the need for argument or debate still exists?  Time clearly has crowned Him Lord of Lords because all of us (even the agnostics and atheists) cannot stop talking about Him:)

Those of us who believe and live and walk upon our faith are simply more empowered and emboldened because we make ourselves more available to Him and His power.  Our relationship with Him expands opportunities versus restricting them and this is what the nonbelievers fail to see.

The fruit does not fall far from the tree and I know that after last night, our work has really just begun.

Roll up your sleeves and let's start throwing some blows for the glory of God instead of being reactive.

Alonia (, I salute your efforts and look forward to being there next week (next 2 Friday nights at 7 p.m at Greater Bethany Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA) and other services just to witness the transformation.  I know that I am going to share the events worldwide as well as within our church in Austell, GA.

There are clearly more of us than there are of the enemy.


Roney Smith

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