Does Billy Graham Listen to Rap?

Try to imagine 95-year-old Billy Graham sitting on a rocking chair in his log cabin tapping his foot while listening to rap music. It now appears this has actually happened.

Furthermore, Billy must have actually approved of at least one rapper, Lecrae, or else he wouldn’t have included him in his Final Sermon–one that has already reached tens of millions via video and is likely to become recognized as the powerful and complete gospel message of his long and famous life. It’s a must-see. It’s called, The Cross.

Does Billy Graham listen to rap? Yes. But this begs an even bigger question: Does God listen to rap?

Well. Does He? Because if He does, there are a lot of implications for those of us who tend to normalize Christianity into the limited range of categories with which we are personally familiar and comfortable.

Does God listen to rap? If you, like me, would be inclined to answer, No way! you’ll be challenged and blessed by reading the brand new book from Cruciform Press, Does God Listen to Rap? Christians and the World’s Most Controversial Music.

This short book is more than just an apologetic for rap music, it’s a biblical way to think about how Christians can be in the world yet not of the world, and how they can express themselves to the glory of God.

It’s written by a pastor, husband, and father of three, who moonlights as a Christian rap artist called Voice.

He’s also the author of Education or Imitation? Bible Interpretation for Dummies Like You and Me (soon to be re-released as From Me-ology to Theology: What Jesus Taught Us about Bible Interpretation).


  • Jay_the_Optimist

    Does God listen to rap? Here is a rhyme from Lecrae that I always put at the end of my playlist when I run. Lecrae breaks it down with Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Job, Paul . . . Calvin. I’m sure you can find your own favorites in there. Read it and decide for yourself whether God listens to rap.

    The Lucky Ones by Lecrae

    [Verse 1 (Lecrae):]
    Under the sun, I found we were left to drown
    Evil abounds, weight is pullin’ us down
    No sight or sound, impaired to His care
    Chasing after the wind, running after the air
    Deserving of desertion, servants of destruction
    And everyday we taste of a grace that we’re unconcerned with
    My sin I should be burned with, I’m guilty, filthy, and stained
    But He became a curse, drank my cup and took my pain
    And for that he reigns, through faith I’m changed
    And I don’t have a reason why he loosened up my chains
    I don’t believe in luck; I believe in Grace
    But they say we’re lucky cause we seen His face
    And we heard Him call us, and He heard our answer
    And He gives us second chances when we throw our hands up
    So weary and broken, hopin’ His arms will be open
    Unconditional love has got us locked into His focus
    (I guess we the lucky ones, huh?)


    [Verse 2 (Lecrae):]

    You’re greater than my shame, guilt, my doubt, and my past
    Fortunate to trust in you cause I’ve doubted your plans
    I’ve questioned your ways, every question I raised
    Is foolishness compared to mountains, the wind, and the waves
    You’re so mindful of us, we rise from the dust
    You love these cheating, beating hearts and these eyes full of lust
    Gave us power to fight it, though we cower in quiet
    We have the faith to start a riot; how can we deny it?
    Fire inside us that you kindle when it starts to dwindle
    And simply put I’m sinful so your love is essential
    I don’t believe in luck, no, I believe in Grace
    But they say we lucky cause we seen your face
    Lord, we heard you call us, You heard our answer
    And you give us second chances when we throw our hands up
    I’m weary and broken, but your arms will be open
    Unconditional love has got us locked into your focus

  • singing428

    I happen to agree with Jim. If God loves everyone inspite of our differences (he created us this way), then it would stand to reason God enjoys any joyful noise made unto Him. I have had this discussion with my husband many times. We cannot just assume that only praise and worship music will catch everyone’s ear. In order to reach the masses many different genre’s of music exist. From praise and worship to Christian screamo, God hears it all.

  • lori

    My son lives in Atlanta and owns a little accounting business that handles all of Lecrae’s finances. They meet regularly to discuss all kinds of things. I can tell you that Lecrae is a humble God fearing young man who lives his life in an upright manner, ALWAYS. He is totally committed to reflecting God’s love, compassion and forgiveness for all who will listen, through his music. The rap is just a vehicle for displaying the message.

    • Bob Bevington

      Wow. Thanks for that insight Lori. Encouraging to know Lecrae is the real deal! “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.”

  • JimErin Bossler

    This is another one of those issues that remind me of Psalm 96. “Sing to the Lord a new song”… But what’s interesting is that the whole Psalm is telling us “what” to sing, and none of that stuff is new:

    -bless His name
    -tell of His salvation
    -declare glory for what He’s done
    -ascribing worthiness to the Lord
    -etc., etc.

    So the concept of a “new song” might make much of the fact that God uses new ways to reveal Himself, and He doesn’t change… yesterday, today and forever. So whether or not you think rap applies here, the believer studying Psalm 96 has to, at least, come to establish what the word “new” means. I read nothing definitive other than the psalm is celebrating something specific in history that God did, causing people to respond to Him in a new way.