This past Sunday, I sat down to watch the Grammy’s. Being a huge music fan, I look forward to the ‘biggest night” in music. It started with an overtly sexy performance by Beyonce and Jay-Z, followed by a occult-ish performance from Katy Perry, and culminating with a musical number/marriage ceremony for 34 couples (straight, gay, and lesbian) performed by Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Queen Latifah, and Madonna.
The song performed during the ceremony was entitled “Same Love”, a song written and recorded by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (who won the Best New Artist Grammy). They wrote the song in support of gay marriage. The song contains very damaging lyrics to the church’s reaction to this very controversial issue. On some lyrics I cringe. On some lyrics I nod in affirmation at the truth of his words.
Here’s the thing: I am a big fan of Macklemore! Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are independent artists that made an incredible hip hop album that willingly talks about thrift stores and gay marriage. No one in the hip hop industry talks about thrift stores and gay marriage. Those are career-killing topics in the hip-hop world where credibility is key. Yes, I don’t agree with everything that Macklemore raps about. But I like that he is willing to discuss controversial topics and feels free to share his opinion.
Should I expect Macklemore to view the world exactly as I do?
Jesus didn’t. That wasn’t Jesus’ mission. In fact, he knew that he himself was bringing a radical worldview to very religious society. In a message to his disciples, he reminds them:
“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. John 16:1-3 ESV
Jesus didn’t come to assimilate people into his way of thinking. He came to transform them. He came to save. He came with grace.
But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. John 16:4 ESV
He came with grace for Macklemore, Maddonna, and me. I pray that we all would remember the mission: Salvation…not assimilation. I pray that Macklemore…and all the artists that performed at the Grammys will experience the true transformation that only Jesus can provide.