Artists: Reconcile, Corey Paul, F.O.E.
Free download here.
Photos from behind the shoot:
There’s a incorrect popular idea in masculine culture ,and especially even Christianity, that the practice and idea of submission is primarily the responsibility of the woman. The usual themes I see on Twitter, Facebook, college campuses, Sunday mornings, Wednesday night Bible studies, etc., go something like this:
Let’s look at the story of a famous King and see how the popular idea of submission matches up.
So there was a man who God called to preach to a city called Nineveh; his name was Jonah. After a crazy journey to get there, he finally preaches to the city of Nineveh to repent – to turn away from their sin and turn to God. This was the King of that city’s response:
6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water,8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”
The city of Nineveh was horrible, very much like the terrorist culture of Al Qaeda. They were known for torturing folk, pillaging other nations, and the worship of various false gods. The King of this city literally ran all of these things. He was the head. Nineveh was his world, or so he thought. However, peep the text and let’s peep what he does in light of the message Jonah preached:
1. Arose from his throne
The King of this mighty nation, the ruler of everything around Him, this man of renown and power, arose from his throne. This man had a seat of authority, influence, wealth, power, women, you name it. But in response to God, the King got off of his throne. This points to the fact that he was willing to give all of what he had up to be in alignment with what God’s desires were for him.
2. Removed his robe
The robe of the King was a public display of his position. This is who he was. Folk saw this Kings robe and knew who he was. This was his identity. Again though, this man was willing to give up who he found himself to be, as well as who others found Him to be in response to God.
3. Put on sackcloth and sat in ashes
Even without knowing the Bible, The King was able to understand God’s will to such an extent that He was willing to take off “everything” and put on nothing. In this realization, the King was able to put on humility- and to sit in humility. All in response to a message from God.
So we know what submission is, but the question is how do we do this? It’s hard to get off the throne of your own herd, take off your identity that the world gives you, and then sit in humility. I dare say it’s impossible. So how do we do it? Quick verse and we’ll wrap up part 1…
Philippians 4:12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
The answer is Jesus. We need Him for us to submit … that means we repent -turn away from our sins and turn to Him, to believe in His work on His Cross where he paid the debt of sin against God that we owe. Through Him we can do this thing men. Next time we’re going to talk about another King who submitted so that we can really unpack this thing even further.
grace and peace.
“After the show, after the set, after the music stops, what’s next? Are we just writing songs or are we concerned with uniting a people to follow the great commission of Christ”
In one of Lecrae’s hits, “After the Music Stops,” he poses this question only to answer it later on in the song by saying “the importance of the show’s not to excite these folks but to make God’s truth relevant, ignite these folks.”
These convicting yet inspiring lyrics build up to the often overlooked importance of discipleship, an aspect of ministry we cannot neglect. I knew what being discipled had meant to my life, but I had yet to find out the impact I could make through discipleship on someone else’s life until I met Airwin Ward. Airwin is a young man out of Houston’s 3rd Ward community. I had the pleasure of sitting and talking with him. We talked casually about his past and his lifestyle before making a serious commitment to Christ. He portrayed a lifestyle filled with, as he put it, “things 15 and 16 year old boys had no business doin.”
So what changed for the Houston teen? He began to be discipled by one of Houston’s own gospel hip hop rapper’s, Ronnie ‘Reconcile’ Lillard. Ronnie has taken it upon himself to spend weekends with Airwin. And he doesn’t just verbally tell him right from wrong and occasionally spoon feed him the gospel, he actually does life with Airwin and shows him actively how to live a lifestyle rooted in Christ.
I asked Airwin what life on life leadership in Christ looked like as opposed to the leadership he received outside of Christ. He replied:
“I was the high on Saturday in church by Sunday type of guy. Ronnie taught me I could worship and live for God all day every day. I realize now that my lifestyle is a choice. I can choose to live free and be fulfilled. Before I had brothers who showed me things that were real, but still fake. Now I see what’s really real. Ronnie uses the truths of the Bible to lead me. “
Witnessing the transformation of Airwin has deeply impacted me. I’m filled with so much joy as I see this new life emerging and evolving. It inspires and motivates me. And although I’ll never be a rapper, I do believe that we all have to come to a point in our lives when we ask ourselves-what’s the importance of the show? After the music stops, at the end of the day, I got my salvation, so what’s next?
It’s a question that Ronnie has answered not just with words, but with actions. Ronnie isn’t just a friendly face that checks up on Airwin every once in a while. As Airwin puts it “Ronnie has become a brother from another mother …
And I mean that seriously when I say it, because he really is my brother.” As one of Houston’s hottest up and coming rappers, I believe Ronnie’s legacy will not be defined by a record and will not be confined to a stage. His legacy will be defined by the words of life that he breathed into the lives of those he touched on and off the stage. As part of his legacy he’s passed on an everlasting record that you can leave on replay for a lifetime. It’s the gospel of Jesus Christ. And if you ask me that album is epic.
To lean more about Ronnie’s ministry go to www.frontlinemovement.org
and to scoop the free download of his EP hit up http://reconcile.bandcamp.com/album/burn-this-city-ep
CAUTION: This blog may make you upset, but the ultimate aim is for you to see love in a possibly very different way.
I hear and read this quite a bit from my female peers. In loving curiosity, I have asked why these women would say that and it always goes back to a broken relationship with a guy, always. More specifically, this stance on love usually stems from a broken relationship in which sex was involved. You know, the guy and gal did the do and then for one reason or another, the guy left the relationship. The guy usually gets it in under some pretense of marital insinuation, and the girl is broken by the prince that never was. And while there is a large contingent of males young and old who harbor harsh opinions towards these women, they have neglected the fact that they own a large bit of the blame.
Onan wanted to get what Onan wanted, which was a nut (yeah I’m sorry, it sounds bad…but that’s what the text says). Onan just used Tamar as a receptacle for his selfishness. When it came down to actually planting a part of himself inside of this woman, he pulled out. He didn’t want to cultivate, he wanted to copulate. This wasn’t love-making, this was extended masturbation. His act of wickedness was being selfish, and not loving this woman.
For too long we’ve followed in the marks of Onan, acting out of pure selfishness. We don’t want offspring, we want to get it in and get out. We’re not looking to produce, we’re looking to pollute. Thankfully, Jesus Christ died for this wickedness. The Bible says “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:8).” You see, Jesus Christ went all the way in for some folk who didn’t deserve it. He didn’t look for pleasure in self-preservation, He saw pleasure in being obedient to God and honoring Him. He looked beyond Himself. He died on a Cross, not because He was wicked, but because we were wicked. After paying for the sin of all those who believe on the filthy cross, He was buried, He sowed His seed (which was Himself) into the ground. And He didn’t pull out early. He stayed in the Earth for three days. That seed did not lay dormant, it rose in new life. This new life represented the life that would be given to the millions upon millions of people who would place their faith in Jesus Christ. You see, His seed was not wasted, it went on to produce the biggest family ever. The family of God. And there are people born (again) from this seed all the time. I’m one of them.
That’s love. That’s the kind of love we are called to live in and through and share to others men. Love that looks beyond ourselves and chiefly aims to honor God.
grace and peace.
*Hey fam, this is a series on Biblical masculinity. It’s been a while, so if you missed the introduction this series called “Bruh, Man Up”, peep it here: http://www.thecitygoodhope.org/?p=2798
Candis and I were talking and she pointed me to a certain text that really troubled me (Yes I can admit the Bible bothers me sometimes, but that’s for another blog). This was the text:
Deuteronomy 22:23-27 23If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her,24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.25But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die.26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor,27 because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.
These verses bothered me y’all, no lie. It seems pretty… extreme, but then the Holy Spirit revealed some things to me (thanks for the Bible reading tips Emike). From reading the text I’m going to make some logical, non-leaping assumptions.
1. From looking at verse 24, there is a righteous assumption made by God that if the woman had cried out in the city, the men would have acted.
2. From looking at verse 27, men are expected by God to be those who seek justice in direct and confrontational action.
The text makes a differentiation between the city and the country. In today’s context, even the areas we consider rural would be cities back then. The country at that time meant a largely uninhabited area, primarily uninhabited by men. In today’s culture, everywhere we go we are in a city.
The text illustrates a literal screaming out from women for help from danger, hurt and harm caused by men. Today women also scream out this way, but they also are screaming out through bitterness, long threads of “indirects” on twitter, ranting Facebook statuses, and/or inappropriate twitter and facebook avatar pictures. Women today are still crying out, and as we have asserted, they have been crying out all in the cities-there is nowhere else to cry out.
The expectation God places on men is one of justice seeker. In the text, the men were called to rescue the women from getting abused by men. This means the men had to stand up, confront the attacker and possibly strike him repeatedly, maybe even kill him for the sake of the women in danger.
Now, we know there are plenty of scorn and broken women in the cities. If one walked outside of thier house/dorm/apartment or even got on any social media, or turned on The View for 3 minutes, they are aware of this reality. Again, women are crying out and they are doing it in the cities. If this is true, then why are so few men stepping up for justice sake and stopping the abuse? Well, if I were to be honest from personal observation, it’s because most men are the abusers, and by definition won’t tell on themselves, and many more are cowards deciding to not “do the most” and “mind their own business”, all the while injustice is happening.
Hold on, before you x-out of this blog upset thinking I’m male bashing, hear me out ( and if you haven’t x’d out already, good for you!).
In the recent words of a known speaker and ministry leader, “there is an epidemic going on around college campuses” and the rest of the cities. The epidemic isn’t “men running around getting girls pregnant and leaving them alone”; it’s sin! Sin produces cowardice. Sin doesn’t confront, sin cosigns. Sin doesn’t correct, sin cowers. It’s this sin that has our males (who call themselves men) acting this way in common society. Most of the men in a very real way are much like the man in the picture above.
I want us to see what God has called man to do, how we have fallen, and the state we are in. The answer may surprise you, but it may not.
We gotta look to Jesus.
From reading Deuteronomy 22:23-27, we can see there is a victim/abuser relationship in place and that there is to be a person who is to rescue the one abused, in the name of justice and love out of the position they are in.
See, we all (men included) were abused and manipulated by sin. We cried out, but the difference is we enjoyed it, we were all following sin, indwelt by demons and loving the mess we are in [Ephesians 2:1-3]. According to the Law, in Deuteronomy, we were to die along with the abuser because we were dishonorable and cheated on God, but in love and grace God stepped in and beat back then abuser sin, nay God crushed what was abusing us. Yet instead of killing us along with the abuser, God in perfect justice punished Himself as if He was the unfaithful one.
He punished Himself on our behalf in the GodMan Jesus Christ on a feces and urine covered Cross, delivering perfect love and justice.
Men have to look towards this fact (not philosophy or idea), change their minds about their sin and believe in Jesus. In that new life likeness, man is changed! Only from there can they move from abusers and cowards to advocates of Godliness and confronters of injustice.
Grace and Peace,
No lie, I stay on social media, perhaps a bit too much. Whilst perusing the various facebook updates and tweets, I often will see complaints from women concerning “trifling ni**as”, updates and tweets from men justifying their behavior, and then and still even more women applauding these men for their behavior. So needless to say there’s a lot of confusion out there as to what really being a man is. In this series we’re going to see what manhood is, and yes reader, I’m sure you’ve read or heard at least 405 other sources about what being a real man is, but I can tell you the answer in this series won’t be self-improvement, money, extenze (that’s a sex pill if you didn’t know), a workout plan or education.
To open this series up, let’s start with
Genesis 3:7 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, Where are you?
Giving context to the verse:
Adam and Eve were living and ruling in the Garden of Eden but disaster struck, Eve was deceived and ate the forbidden fruit, committing the one sin in existence for mankind at the time. Though it was Eve who initially sinned, God holds Adam responsible. Adam was the man and was created first to lead and cultivate (Genesis 1:15-16). Though this was His role when God asks Adam what went down in Genesis 3, his response is less than admirable. He blames God and then throws Eve under the bus.
The hard thing I don’t believe Adam understood was that though he did not commit the initial wrong, he was called to take responsibility. Men, does this sound familiar? How often do we as the one called to lead and serve fail to do so, blaming others for our failure, including God? I can speak for myself and say there are many times where I want to blame-shift, not realizing that my call is higher, to be a servant leader in my community, my friendships, and when the time comes, my marriage.
Let’s peep what the 2nd Adam (Jesus) did. Although our shortcomings were not His fault, He took responsibility for them. How? On His Cross. He absorbed all the wrath due to us as the man, the leader, our Savior. (Romans 5:8) Men, we are called to live this way, taking the responsibility for something that isn’t our fault (yes I know that sounds foreign!). Often times this will hurt, but the answer for us as males is to submit to the only real Man, Christ Jesus. Let’s give up our small ideas of manhood and pick up what the Bible has for us as manhood (the Cross).
This is just an intro though!
We’ll be tackling these other subjects and their relation to this thing we call manhood:
Concerning this series, like the Apostle Paul said “Roll with me as I roll with Christ” 1 Cor 11:1 (NGV), I think you’ll like it!
Grace and Peace.
This is a favorite clip of mine by a man of God by the name Matt Chandler.
There are many of us who secretly feel unworthy to be in relationship with God. Many of us feel because of our past (or current) mistakes, that we’re just too dirty to come to an immeasurably clean God and dare ask for a relationship. The Good News is that this immeasurably clean God came down and took your filth and gave you His cleanliness, if you realize you need Him and believe He can save you! Peep the vid and comment!
Now grab some incense…maybe some rose petals, get some chocolate and play this video.
Canton Jones in the song’s hook says, “you’re cute but not cute enough for my salvation” he also says “see ain’t nobody worth me goin’ to hell.”
This is not a slug against CJ, I enjoy (some) of his music, but the theology here is horribly incorrect.
Much like the people in Corinthians, even though they were presently doing things that don’t merit folk getting into heaven, that is not who they were. Verse 11 says they were justified in Christ. Again, these people did what they were accused of, but that doesn’t make them what they were accused of.
Justification means that not only were you forgiven of what you did wrong, but you were given goodness. The goodness of who? Well the goodness of Jesus Christ my friend. 😉 <– (that’s a sexy wink)
Maybe an example of what Justification is?
Okay, so let’s say you’re in debt. Like…1,000,342,435,398,534 dollars in debt. You’ll never be able to pay it off and that’s a big deal because if you can’t pay it off..then well… you’ll die. So you get a call and your bank tells you someone has payed your debt, all of it is gone. So now your at 0 dollars. Good right? Yeah! So you’re hopping around happy that someone had paid off all this cash for you, but then the bank says that the same person has put
951,356,363,345,565,989,989,645,456,546,045 dollars in your account. So not only has your debt been paid, but you’ve been given unlimited riches! So now, your a quad-gabillion-zillionaire!! With all of these riches, do you think you would go eat in the sewer, play in the mud, or drink box wine? Of course not! That doesn’t match the identity you are now in with the riches you have been given!
So the issue isn’t that having sex outside of marriage will threaten your salvation, but more so that sex outside of marriage doesn’t match the identity you now have with what (or should I say who) you have been given. You don’t do those things because you simply don’t do them. One wouldn’t ask Bill Gates why he doesn’t eat out of the trashcan, he’s rich case closed. And if one did happen to see Bill Gates eating out of the trashcan what would they say, that he’s poor? No! He may be acting like he’s poor, or maybe he simply forgot all the riches he has. Let us not run and do things out of the identity we have been given. Let us remember the cross of Christ who “suffered all the stripes for the lawless types” – (Shai Linne). He died for us then gave us His perfection so that we are made perfect in the eyes of God while still being perfected/sanctified.
Please remember: there’s nothing you can do to beat/smash/becky/etc. on your salvation.
According to Matt Chandler from the Village Church, Christians look at the world through a number of lenses:
• People who look through a Religious lens think that God gets obedience from you from bearing on your guilt and shame and crushing you into submission.
• People who look at the world through the Gospel lens see that God frees you up to love and walk in the joy of obedience by bearing your guilt and shame Himself.
Even though I knew it was a free gift God gave me, I realized that I was feeling guilty and that the guilt was not of God. I was living my life like any Muslim, Hindu, or other religious person who thought that the way to God was through checking off things on a spiritual to-do list.
When I committed a “big” sin [insert the big sin for a young man, lol] I found myself running away from God like Adam in the garden and I knew that something was wrong. Christ was my Savior and Lord, but I wasn’t enjoying my freedom. I had too many rules, too many things that I could or could not do. Most of them were not in the Bible. I could not go to clubs. I could not party. I could not drink. I could not listen to this music or that music. I had not really examined why I wasn’t doing these things. I didn’t do those things because I observed that most church folk didn’t do them. There was a joy missing from my life that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
When Jesus says that he who the Son sets free is free indeed, I didn’t feel that way (John 8:36). In my heart, I knew that I had the wrong perspective.
My problem was that I was too focused on getting myself together and doing things out of duty. It was soulless, joyless work. I knew that God wanted my heart to be in what I did. He wants a cheerful giver. He wants people to love Him and do things out of love. (I Cor. 13, I John 4). I was doing some of the things out of a sense of obligation.
How is this love possible? I began to see that I needed to spend quality time with the Lord. Not just a quiet time where I fell asleep with my head buried in the bible, but real quality time, where I really try to communicate with God. The more we spend quality time with God, He is able to transform our mind. Rather than focus on my to-do list, I focus now on Jesus Christ and getting to know Him. As He transforms me, I feel His love more and more and I am able to love others as He does. As I commune with Him, I am able to follow and walk by the Spirit of God.
Now, I understand that I don’t have to carry a spiritual to-do list. Because when you truly love God and his people, you won’t steal from them, you won’t sleep with somebody who is not your wife, and you won’t lie against another person. What was hard for you because it was an obligation is now easy for you because you are now doing it out of love. And when I do sin (which is quite often) I can quickly and confidently go to him and confess what I have done, knowing that it is only by the grace given to me by God that I have access to him anyway. God desires to change my heart and through changing my heart, my behavior follows. Kinfolk, do you feel free?
(To be continued)
So Jay releases a video for the song “On to the Next One”, with more occult references and more dark elements than his previous video “Run This Town.” At 3:39 of the video, there is a cross between 2 bullets. Here is what I feel about the video:
It’s a ploy for attention
Jay-Z is looking for attention from anyone who will give it to him and his music. I’m sure that the Internet will be buzzing about how his video contains Masonic and demonic symbolism and how he is worshiping the devil. Whether it’s intentional or not, I’m praying for him and I hope that he will repent and live for Jesus.
It’s a wake-up call for Christians to stand up for what they believe in.
My opinion is that Christians who are “private,” meaning you wouldn’t know by hanging with them, are usually not Christians at all. Be that as it may, if somebody like Jay-Z can so boldly represent what he believes (himself) and disrespect whom we believe (Jesus), why can’t we. Why can’t I openly say what I believe, without worrying about what somebody is going to say about me? I am ashamed that I have been worried about somebody’s perception of me believing in Christ, when somebody overseas is taking a bullet to the head for his union with Christ.
It’s a wake-up call for Christians to stop trying to be the world
Most of us are sitting on our do-nothings and trying our best to blend in with our surroundings. First of all it’s foolish of us to believe that our hiding would fool the devil or anybody else around us. Wherever you are Christ is. He is in you. You are in him. The Christ I know couldn’t hide in a desert. Matthew 4. He sure can’t be hidden in an office cubicle, classroom, or department store. So stop hiding, be the light God has called you to be. Matthew 5:14. If you see an ill or injustice, call it out – expose it. MLK did. Gandhi did. Jesus did and he continues to! Be like your big brother.
It’s a wake up call for Christians to pray for the world.
Now you have a few choices in response to Jay. You can hide and pretend that it never happened and that he is still your favorite rapper. You can bash him and pretend that he was never your favorite rapper. You can say he is not your favorite rapper, decide not to bash him, and just vow that you will never listen to this type of music again. Or you can resolve to pray for his soul that he would come to know Jesus as his Savior, because the same hell that you were saved from Jay-Z can be saved from too. I like the last one because the first one is cowardly, the second one is self-righteous, and the third one is what most good clean church-going people do anyway. But the fourth one is what God calls us to do — pray for people’s salvation. And if you are able to meet Jay-Z or communicate with him, share the love of Christ. There is nothing that he can do that will separate him from the love of Christ if he would repent from his sins and trust in Jesus. Jay-Z, the real Hova loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. Trust him!
You can’t kill Jesus. He’s already been through that.
Ironically, Satan thought killing Jesus was a good idea years ago and all it ended up doing was helping his mission. I Corinthians 2:8. Jesus came to earth to primarily die for the sins of the world. In his dying, Jesus absorbed the wrath of God, the sins of man, and the cruelty of men. When he died, he died to never die again. On the third day from his death, He got up from his grave by the power of the Holy Spirit. So trying to kill someone or put a bullet in someone who has beat death won’t work. I’m not going to worry about a graven image of Jesus between two pieces. He is not a concept, an idea, or a piece of jewelry. He is the King that will live forever.