Love him or hate him, Eminem is one of the best rappers/artists out there today.

Yes, his lyrics are extremely offensive, brutal, vulgar, sexist, and hurtful.  And he is definitely not someone you want your kids emulating.

Yet, even in the midst of all those things, his music is making an impact on our culture. Not only is he extremely talented, but his music is also ridiculously honest and raw.  His lyrics are stories of struggle, brokenness, hurt, and longing.  These all have to do with the human condition; which is why, in my opinion, he sells so many albums.

People relate because he is telling many of their own stories.

Am I giving him too much credit? …Maybe.  But there is something going on in his music that causes people to connect.  I am not saying we should condone this type of behavior, but I am saying we must LISTEN.

It is in the listening that we become learners, and when we become learners we can be light.

Did you get that?

LISTENING —-> LEARNING —-> LIGHT

If the church doesn’t become LIGHT in the darkness we will lose our core identity.  It is the mandate of God that the Church stand at the crossroads of Heaven and Hell and fight for the souls of men and women who are in the darkness.

If we won’t, who will?

Christ came to seek and save that which was lost.  He has given us this same ministry.  Let us take this cause, becoming listeners, learners, and light.

Let me give you example of what it might look like to exegete the culture:

Take the song “I Need a Doctor” by Eminem and Dr. Dre [the clean version of course] and listen to it.

It is a strong song about friendship, loyalty, devotion, weakness, strength, struggle, pain, betrayal, loss, etc.  It is also a song about never giving up on a friend, no matter the situation.  He is saying that NO MATTER THE COST, HE WILL NEVER LEAVE OR FORSAKE HIS FRIEND.

This is also s a redemptive song about the individual who has been beaten down by life, but now they are getting back up with the help of a friend.

And yes, there are also attributes that are evil and revengeful.

Yet, at the core of this song humanity is reflected as the lyrics paint an honest picture of the state of our culture.

It would not be hard to incorporate this into a conversation, a blog, a bible study, a sermon, or even worship.  The struggle isn’t necessarily ‘can we relate it to what we are doing’, it is more ‘will we’?  Will we risk “Christians” criticizing us or maybe even removing fellowship in order to reach people far from God?  People who are more inclined to listen to Eminem than they are to darken the doors of a church.

I struggle with this as much as the next person.  I want to isolate myself and my family from this world, but that isn’t the calling.  The calling is mission.  The essence of the Church is mission.  We must stand at the crossroads and communicate the gospel in the most effective way possible so that people might be saved and transformed by Christ.

Today, how could you listen more, learn more, and ultimately be the light in this dark world?

Please send any hate email to donotbother@yahoo.com

-Daniel