I have to be honest when I first heard that rapper Snoop Dogg was going to do a gospel album, I was perplexed and concerned. On one hand, I was perplexed because I was asking myself why a secular artist doing a gospel album? On the other hand, I did not want to be judgmental and limit the power of God in using any vessel.
I believe many times as Christians we limit God and really do not understand the magnitude of his power. The bible does say He, being God, will take foolish things and confound the wise. In this case, can we be the one being confound? In understanding the power of God, He has no limitation. If God can use a jackass, a rooster, a cross, and even me, He can also use Snoop Dogg.
In his album, he talks about what Christ has done in and for his life. He has not taken over a church and does not go on the preaching circuit. He just expresses his praises. Is it possible that God is using Snoop to cry out because we who go to church 24/7 are not doing it enough?
There is an audience who would never hear a preacher but because they know Snoop Dogg, they will hear him, which is why I think he titled his album Bible of Love. Is it possible that God looked on some of the hypocrisy of the church and laid his hand on Snoop to bring the gospel of Jesus to a dying world? God does have jokes – just look at ourselves.
On another, anyone who watched Marvel’s Black Panther was deeply inspired to start a conversation between Africa and Black America. It’s a discussion that has not been talked about in depth or talked about in reference that even though the colonist took us from Africa, it was our own who gave us to the colonist.
Due to this movie, we are now having a great discussion on our past, present and hopefully brighter future. We cannot deny that there is a connection between Black Panther and Black America. As we look at Snoop Dogg and many secular African American artists, most of them have a church background. We cannot deny a connection between the secular and gospel church.
Motown and other record labels for sure took people out of the church and gave them a secular microphone. Some examples include the great Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Sam Cook, Faith Evans, and even Little Richard falls amongst the countless others who received their formal training in the church.
Some of the secular artist with gospel training left the church due to hypocrisy and the abuse by both pastor and the church. Many pastors merchandise their gifts and talents for their selfish profits and by doing such, they forgot about their soul and spirit.
As colonist in Black Panther took the best out of Wakanda for their profit, some modern day preachers have done the same. In essence, as God used Black Panther to revive Black Americans, it’s possible that God is using Snoop Dogg to revive the church and revive people who were once in the church to come back to church. But I like to take it deeper. They can’t come back to the same foolishness, games and manipulation. And we must invite them to the saving and powerful grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
If anything, Snoop Dogg will galvanize secular artists to come back to the church as Black Panther galvanized Black Americans to come back to thinking about Africa.
Let’s be honest, Christians have listened to secular songs that probably included Snoop’s “Drop It Like it Hot,” “Sexual Eruption,” and “Gin and Juice.” It’s time to dismantle judgement and prioritize love over genre differences. As Afro-Americans are diaspora (the dispersion of any people from their original homeland) from Africa, many secular artists are diaspora from the church. It’s time to be reconnect and come back home.
T. Charles Brantley, Ph.D is a Christian counselor, relationship expert, and author of 22 nationally published books. For more information, follow Dr. Brantley at Facebook.com/Strong.Marriages and visit DrTCBrantley.com.