Is profanity-filled rap music fit for Christian ears?

By Edwin Crayton/Opinion

I recently read a news report that puts rap at the top of music genres in America. About that time, I read another news item from Barna Research that reported over 73% of Americans polled said they are Christians. How does a music form that relies heavily on profanity become, basically the leading style of music in a country where most people claim to be “Christians?” The numbers suggest that a whole lot of people who say they are Christians are buying a whole lot of it? Why does it matter? To God apparently it matters a good deal, if you believe your Bible. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:29: “Let no filthy communication proceed out of your mouth.”

When he physically walked the earth, Jesus warned those he ministered to that they should be careful about what they allowed to enter into their hearts and minds. Thoughts matter. In Matthew 5:28 Jesus is quoted as teaching that just thinking about having sex with someone you are not married to is a form of adultery. The prayer he taught his followers to pray even states at some point, “lead us not into temptation.” God knows we humans are imperfect, weak beings and that we can all be lured into hurtful, even dark behavior, often by the mere suggestion, presented to us in the most attractive manner at the most opportune moment. That has been the successful longtime strategy of the Devil. James 1:14-15 reads, “But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires, he is lured away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” In other words, be careful what thoughts you allow into your heart and mind—they bear fruit. Deadly, soul crippling, rotten fruit. I know from personal experience and many mistakes. Recently, I’ve been checking out rap/hip hop. Listen to the seductive lyrics in a few popular songs. Polo G rhymes, “Uh, I won’t love a (curse word), after we (curse word), she can’t get near me. Only (curse word) I give a conversation to is Siri.” Or what about D Savage’s “Locked In”: “Robbin’ niggas if I ever go broke. I want that money and power, let’s go (hey, hey) Walked in with a m____f____roll. Hop out with that m_____f_______.” You get the basic concept here. This is routine for the category. The template for a hit seems to be: 1) Use the N word frequently. 2)Disrespect women, write lyrics that portray them as sex objects. 3) swear, swear and then swear some more. 4)Talk about sex and violence a good deal. 5)Brag and boast.

On Sundays, many teens and young college age adults sing songs of praise to God. But Mondays through Saturdays is this what their playlist probably looks like? Sure, young people always listen to rebellious music and my generation was particularly guilty. But that doesn’t make it right does it? The amount of profanity has obviously gone up and keeps escalating. Some are tempted to defensively call the profanity in rap art and free speech. In some ways, they are right. But is that also a bit of a cop out? Truth is, music is also instruction. A child’s first lessons are often songs: “This is the way, we wash our face” was once a popular lyric. Look at the verse from James (1:14) again. Notice how it warns that desire gives birth to actions? For instance, if I think about a hot, gooey cinnamon roll, before long, I can taste it on my lips. Moments later I am at the store or pastry shop buying some. In a similar way, what this music tempts me to do, I just might do. The Bible says, “you can tell a tree by the fruit that it bears.” What fruit does profanity in rap music bear? As rap has become a top music genre, profanity has become more accepted in American society. TV shows have had titles such as “Cook your a – – off.” Characters in movies routinely spit out four letter words. Social media is populated by people who cuss almost every other word. Coincidence? Is all rap or hip hop filled with profanity? Not necessarily. But profanity is the norm.

What can you do if you are Christian and are concerned about your child? Well, it is not hopeless. If you are a Christian you have divine help: God. James 1:5 reads, “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God. But the catch is, we actually have to listen to what God says. He has already made it clear in his Holy Word that profanity and vileness do not have a place in the life of a Christian believer and that they eventually harm and perhaps will destroy the soul if left unchecked. Read daily what the Holy Bible says then do what it commands: (Suggestions: 1 Corinthians 6: 18, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Matthew 5:2 8, Luke 6:46), Afterwards, take the time to teach your child to do likewise. Turn off music and entertainment content laced with profanity. The “off” button is the most helpful invention in modern communications technology because when you really get right down to it, the best way to stop profanity and filth from invading and polluting your heart and mind is to stop it from getting past your ears in the first place.

36 thoughts on “Is profanity-filled rap music fit for Christian ears?

  1. Diogenes and MEWHP , Mr. Crayton talent as a writer have been recognized for years now! He was a regular contributor to The Real Views Newspaper with I published in Natchitoches for 20 years! Too bad you guys have hijacked this forum for your attacks on one another!
    Diogenes you say Happy Memorial Day! Memorial Day is a sober time for me! I usually don’t associate happy with that date!Peace!

  2. Happy Memorial Day, Everyone!
    Unlike our past President who referred to those sacrificing their lives in defense of our liberties (in front of the Arlington National Cemetery grave of the dead son of his Chief-of-Staff) as “suckers” and “losers” I honor those, including my own father buried there, who stood up for our Constitutions and the laws of the United States (not like the insurrectionists on January 6th).
    Bless those who understand the values of the United States, and don’t just wordship a piece of colored cloth and call themselves “Patriots.”

  3. Thank you Mr. Crayton, for speaking out about this issue. I agree with you completely! No one has the right to use this vulgarity- not even entertainers!

  4. Kids and young people somehow get the idea that all the words that we were taught not to say are not profanity. I was behind a car one day that had F— Y– on the back window in large letters. First I was shocked, and next the driver surprised me. I knew the young lady’s mother and grandmother, and they were both good Christian women. But the young woman was raised in a very lenient home. God gives us children to teach. So many parents seem to think it’s best to do fun things with their children on weekends, when they should be spending some time teaching their children. They aren’t learning how to live a good successful life, they are learning to go to parties, drink, get drunk, use vulgar language. I hate going to Walmart when kids are out of school. You hear the most horrible language I really would like to wash their mouths out with soap and give them a good talking to, but people who work with children have told me to ignore them, that they are just looking for shocked reactions from people. So I walk along, minding my own business, blood pressure on the rise, having to listen to these words come out of the mouths of young people. Not only is that sad, but they are teaching their siblings the same words. I detest what is happening in the world. Growing up, I was afraid of what I would get if I said the words that young people are using today. But what can we expect when children are having babies, and they don’t have a clue of the difficulties you have as a parent. Maybe it’s time the silent majority spoke up about some things, and started teaching that yes you have RIGHTS, until you ignore the fact that others should have the SAME RIGHTS to go into a store and not have to listen to your vulgar, filthy language. We have failed our young people, and I don’t know how to start trying to teach them now. It is so very sad!

    • Perhaps try being less judgmental and more “Christian” in your attitude. Love breeds love, or didn’t you get the memo?

      • By the way, I am not “Rodney.”
        Nor do I chop down magnolia trees.
        And your comments drew many chuckles from the crowd at the Mariners.

        • “Chuckles from the crowd”…
          Sounds like you are one of the Natchitoches Snobs who live by belittling others.

          My mom once told me about kids who lived in a village setting thinking they were better than those who lived in the country. Her comment was for all of their snobbish ways, they were the ones who owed the company store while her family and other rural folk raised their own food and didn’t owe anyone.

          Oh there are some of the greatest folk on earth in the city and in the country. However after moving back to the home place, I was sadly reminded of the snobs who sound like you.

      • I owe Professor nothing.. I owe you nothing. As for your last sentence, maybe it’s because you are as the article described the original Diogenes, a raving lunatic..

        I’m going to go ahead and ask you what a person who takes the screen name Diogenes would even know about the definition of love. I realize that there are different kinds of love,. I don’t think I’m being judgmental about anything. Is it because I believe children need to have boundaries, to have a parent’s love and also discipline and training by parents. If you don’t believe it’s the parent’s responsibility to discipline and love their children, I can only imagine ……….

        Are you really comfortable with that screen name. I said you sounded like the professor, and you do, and some others agreed with me. You don’t know what I know, but some things are so obvious most people know what is going on in out country today. You don’t agree, I don’t care. You are nothing to me except someone who likes to think he is important. I hope you have accomplished that, for it is important for people to feel like they are needed. Bless your heart. Sling that mud, tell us all about your friends being entertained. I do need to tell you that a lot of people reading your original comment were not really amused by you. If you haven’t read all the replies, you really should read them all.

        Are you a friend or relative of the professor. All of this sounds like something that is staged. I have felt this from the get go. Hmmm, do you hang out at the bar out there often? Do you work there, or just go out there to get drunk with your buddies? Oops, maybe should not have said that, but maybe they will get a good chuckle over that statement, at least I hope so. Let me know, would you.

        • I am sad for the anger in your text. As I stated, you seem quite judgmental with little charity for anyone. Attempting to insult me isn’t even funny anymore but registers a person wrapped in self-righteous indignation against a world clearly beyond their understanding and unwilling or unable to admit when they are wrong:
          “I owe Professor nothing.. I owe you nothing. As for your last sentence, maybe it’s because you are as the article described the original Diogenes, a raving lunatic..”
          It seems to me that the only one raving in this forum likes to refer to themselves with an suggestive S & M pseudonym, clearly reflecting a rather odd perspective on the world.
          “Are you a friend or relative of the professor. All of this sounds like something that is staged. I have felt this from the get go. Hmmm, do you hang out at the bar out there often? Do you work there, or just go out there to get drunk with your buddies?”
          I’m sorry to have upset you so much. Perhaps a little more tolerance would help check your blood pressure.

          • I do believe that you really don’t know what you are talking about. I have not hated on anyone, I have only had two liberal thinkers on here who try to shut me up. You took a comment about vulgar music and turned it against the former President. Hate and the race card are all you libs know how to say when you don’t have anything to say that makes sense. Are you bragging that you hang out at the Mariner? Is that supposed to impress me? News Flash: IT DOSEN’T! There are other people who have agreed that you could be the professor, and we all know the professor did not like me at all. Which is one of the reasons you are associated with the great writer in some way. Tell me, does he tell you how you should write your hateful comments. You see when he couldn’t say anything to counter an argument, he corrected our writing. Or on occasion as he did this week, he threatened to take someone to court and sue. Now you come up with some S&M malarkey. Can’t you do better than that. As for my tolerance, you don’t know me, you don’t know anything about me, except that I don’t like filthy language. I guess you failed to read the other comments to see that I’m only one person who doesn’t like that. You say I’m not tolerant, and I know I hate children learning these vile words. Since you are hung ho on me and tolerance, I’m willing to say you are very tolerant, heck you might even laugh when you hear children say these words. I do know that you must have a mind that lives closer to Satan than to God, as you keep harping on some imagined S&M whatever that I supposedly use as a screen name. You are sounding more and more like your screen name with each comment. Trust me there are more important things in this world that need my time than answering your insults that have nothing to do with the article that was written. So insult away, I can only hope Diogenes disappears the same way the professor did. Oh I do have a question for you. Since you seem to be on an S&M roll, have you bought Joe Biden’s daughter’s book that tells about how she got into crazy stuff and had a relationship with her father. Now I have no idea if it’s true or not, but I understand she went into great detail about showers with you hero. Now I suggest you go on your way and leave me alone. Do something more than copy and paste, the try to put you spin on someone else’s words. I know you used one of Randy’s favorite sayings against me, or was that one the professor dished out during earlier debates. Whoever it was from, you weren’t original in that comment either. Farewell, old man, using the name of an old philosopher who people of the day called a raving lunatic because of the things he did. I find it humorous that you chose that name, and I know you had a good reason for doing it. Im done with the likes of you, you really bore me with your attempts at sophisticated humor. It doesn’t work for you, trues me.

          • Dear MeWhip (I do like your S & M name),
            NPJ doesn’t (FYI: this is how the word is spelled) allow me to directly reply to your impressively confused and deranged flow of ideas recently submitted in response to my clear and reasoned comments, so I will post here.
            Again, I am not “Rodney” nor “The Professor” nor someone who cuts down magnolia trees (that claim is just awfully weird, but not surprising coming from you). Why you continue to insist on your delusion is most puzzling. Since you are too petty to apologize to “Rodney” and “The Professor” for unjustly linking them to my contributions to this forum, I must do so on your behalf:
            Ahem . . . Dear Mr. Rodney and Mr. The Professor, I am deeply sorry you have been innocently yanked into a discussion quite contrary to your own desires. Sometimes passions override simple decency and the lack of manners of some contributors prevents them from admitting mistakes and taking responsibility for them. However, since I was the target of the misguided onslaught, I beg you to excuse the sputtering attacks of those “not playing with a full deck” as the phrase goes. Perhaps the peace of the Lord will subdue the intensity of those with too much time on their hands, and all God’s children may rest free of the mindless vitriol disrupting their composure. I am sorry some individuals are too closed-minded to admit their mistakes; perhaps they may apologize and repent at a future date. Until then, you have my deepest apologies. Best wishes, Diogenes. P.S. From the content of these attacks on your characters, you both must be pretty intelligent to provoke such irrational responses from our S & M girl.

          • When did this thread become a vessel in which to attack another person, and not speak of what was written. I have tried to stay on track, and have written of my feelings on the vulgar language we have been subjected to on a daily basis, whether it’s in the music or on the streets of our fair city. But your main goal is attacking me, and for what reason? I have stated my thoughts on this matter and you come back with remarks that have nothing to do with the subject, only words attacking me. I don’t know your purpose here other than to do what some people love to do, twist things said by others and cause a disruption in peace in the lives of others. I agree with what Mr. Creighton says, and the remarks I’m reading from Diogenes and Thomas Paine are only concerning me and what I believe, which is the same as Mr. Creighton and others believe. So I have to wonder, why just attack me, and only me. Why would you possibly believe that my screen name is for a sexual perversion? I think that is something that is in your mind, Diogenes, for no one else has ever thought that. Also, Why on earth would you ever think that you had any kind of authority to write a letter of apology to someone on my behalf. You don’t have that right, and you will never have the right to speak on my behalf.

            You wrote, “As for myself, I find so-called “Christian” music really obnoxious, packed with “I’m saved” and “God loves me, me, me! (And screw you, you unsaved heathen)” So much self-impressed arrogance without much attention to “Love thy neighbor” and “Love your enemies.” I guess when you are busy praising yourself, there is little time for the Sermon on the Mount.” I find that offensive and I’m sure others do also, and I can only guess that they don’t want to have to fight against you if they speak out against it. Basically, you are a typical extreme liberal and can only attack because you don’t know how to argue a point. Then you do your best to make someone feel like they are wrong in speaking up for decency in song, or in what some say in public. I say, we are not wrong in not wanting to see or hear the words that are offensive to us. If you believe it’s ok, then you are part of the problem. I have not spoken in hate filled words, I have only said that we are losing the battle with demanding decency in public places. You have said we should deal with it, in essence. Why are you right and me wrong. I don’t listen to the music that was written about, but how do you miss hearing it when cars drive down the streets blaring the music so loudly that you have no choice but to hear it. Personally I’m tired of being told that I have to believe in some of your liberal views, then you thinking you have the right to cram it down our throats if we argue against your belief. We all know what the two of you think of me, now can we get on to discussing the issue brought up by Mr. Crayton. I have had my say, and now I’m done.

            Mr. Crayton, you wrote an article that I believe in, no matter what some have tried to turn this into.

          • Dear MeWhip,
            I apologized on your behalf because your rude attack on Mr. Rodney and Mr. The Professor was totally inaccurate and uncalled for and you are too arrogant to admit you were wrong and be accountable for it.
            Your complaint about being forced to listen to loud music as a car radio blares down the street is justified, but some of us are just as annoyed when subjected to loud “Christian” music or Country music or any other noise inflicted under similar circumstances. Your real issue, however, seems to be with the content of music you don’t happen to like or understand. And, believe it or not, many are offended by your high and mighty judgmental dismissiveness of it. But I guess you are always right and everyone who disagrees with you is wrong, and must be an “extreme liberal” (I doubt you even know what a “liberal’ is and just parrot slogans from Fox News and other right-wing commentators–they are fortunate to have an army of unthinking supplicants mouthing their talking points). Your attitudes and anger must make you difficult to live with; ask your friends and relatives about how they perceive you. The fact that you keep reacting to my clearly provocative posts instead of just stifling your obviously impulsive reactions means you are not very reflective of how you come across.
            Enjoy your barbeque, and try not to get so bent out of shape over trivial matters.
            God loves you, so I guess I should too.

    • So true. I am concerned about trying to speak to someone we don’t know in a store or at a eatery about their foul language. Call me a wimp, but I’m afraid we would just stir up more strife. However, should I have a young child with me I would not want them to hear such filth.

      Home is where the instruction should begin but sadly as you stated, it does not. Our world seems to be spiraling out of control. I once said, give me a child from the crib and let me begin teaching them the right way to live. Then my task as a teacher would and could be so much more beneficial.

    • D’ey do, Sista.
      Read all the comments applauding the article about a music form they don’t appreciate, but are so quick to condemn.
      As for myself, I find so-called “Christian” music really obnoxious, packed with “I’m saved” and “God loves me, me, me! (And screw you, you unsaved heathen)” So much self-impressed arrogance without much attention to “Love thy neighbor” and “Love your enemies.” I guess when you are busy praising yourself, there is little time for the Sermon on the Mount.

  5. I really like your template:
    ” 1) Use the N word frequently. 2)Disrespect women, write lyrics that portray them as sex objects. 3) swear, swear and then swear some more. 4)Talk about sex and violence a good deal. 5)Brag and boast.”
    Reminds me a lot of many rightwing Republicans, particularly our last President.
    Great job!

    • Just like some people to always take a good article and turn it to politics or race. Congratulations, Diogenes. By the way, I think this must be a perfect name for you. Diogenes, the original one was described as a raving lunatic.

      By the way, be careful where you point fingers. I do believe there is information out the about the Biden family. Of course it’s kept quiet, because Republicans are not quite the bullies the liberals have shown them selves to be. What a great shape our poor country is in since your frail, often forget man won the office. It’s not even been 6 months, and things are a mess, and I shutter to think of what it will be like after a year. Then I wonder what your words will be, oh never mind, I know how you people are.

      • If only you knew as much as you pretend.
        I am not “Rodney.”
        Nor do I chop down magnolia trees.
        “Better to be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
        You really owe him an apology.
        And why does your moniker remind me of some S & M entertainment?

        • MEWHP is Natchitoches own Marjorie Taylor Greene.

          Spouts hatred and then tells everyone else how they should apologize.

          Her rationalization skills are legendary!

          • Hey pain, I’m not the one offending everyone with what I write. If I want to defend the homeowners you insult, I will do so with great pleasure. If that angers you, again I do so with great pleasure.

          • What are you doing here Pain. Just had to be a fool on another column, showing your ignorance and insulting good people who live in the country on one column, then having absolutely nothing to really say here. You just had to let people know what you think of me. Let me remind you, go back and read what other people wrote about the way you insulted them, and you will know that I’m not the only one who thinks you are rude, insulting and obnoxious. When you have nothing to say about the article, you really should stay away from your keyboard. Now would you like to tell us what you think of the vulgar language in songs. It is also being used by many children and young teens. But the guy who uses the name Diogenes, who was labeled a raving lunatic back in the day, and even has a mental illness named after him, seems to be ok with all those words. I know you would get a laugh out of what you find online about Diogenes, so you should do the research, and I’m sure you too will be wondering, why would someone choose that name.

          • Thanks for the information on MeWhip. I only recently started posting here and was caught off-guard by the confused accusations coming from her. She probably thinks you and I are the same person as well. I don’t know who is responsible for her, but I do hope she isn’t a danger to anyone. Perhaps she just needs a hug.

          • Marjorie,
            Oh bless your heart,

            I believe in public decency. People have the right to listen to any kind of music they want. I don’t think it is right to play your music so load that others have to hear it. That’s just common decency.

            It is very clear you have no interest in and tolerance for anyone who believes differently than yourself.

            You claim I insulted people by calling roads pig trails.

            Oh well, you rationalize your opinions and can’t see the hate in your rants.

  6. Thank God for you writing your article. There are far too many people out there who aren’t teaching their children how wrong the things of the world are. And by the time those children grow up they don’t want to hear about God and Jesus and salvation. But thanks to you and others like you the word is being spread. And so called Christians are reminded that their might need to examine themselves a little bit better. Again, thank you.

  7. Not only in music do we hear profanity. Try taking your kids to the city park on E. 5th St. when the guys are playing basketball. There should be a separate facility to accommodate older teens and men to play their sport instead of having a basketball court in the middle of the walking path where older people enjoy walking and children are playing. The goal was taken down at one time because a kid was hurt by an adult playing ball. In time it will happen again . Imagine being knocked down by a young man throwing a basketball!!!
    Not to mention a little child at play getting hit in the head….. City would most certainly be sued!!

  8. Edwin,
    I completely agree. When I look back on some of the music I listened to in the ’80s, I am appalled at the lyrics. The profanity and vulgar lyrics can lead to the desensitization of the listener. It is a very slippery slope.
    Ephesians 4:29

  9. Thank you, thank you! My kids are grown, but I have grandchildren, and great grandchildren that I pray for daily. I could not have said this any better!

  10. Excellent article. I enjoyed reading it. Keep them coming and dont back down ever.

  11. Excellent commentary. Couldn’t have added or deleted a single word. Kudos to you for speaking our.

  12. I completely agree! Thank you for standing up for what you believe is true. We should all follow your lead.

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