Christon Gray’s anticipated CD, “School of Roses” recently was released and has been receiving very positive reviews….even from yours truly! For those of you who frequent my Facebook page, Twitter feed or listen to my radio show, you know my theological position regarding collaborations, worldliness and clear sin issues and how I desire holiness not just among my fellow brethren, but in my own life as well. Some of you may even assume or have adopted the perception that I disdain all CHH/CCM artists and that unless the name of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the gospel, etc. is explicitly expressed or engraved in every song an artist produces that they’re my enemy and war is declared on such artist(s) until they comply to the preferences stated above. Nothing can be further from the truth.
First, let me say this as clearly and succinctly as I possibly can….I love my brothers and sisters in Christ! Nothing by God’s grace will ever change that. I can’t have hatred or animosity towards my brothers and sisters in Christ and have love for God at the same time. Such thinking is antithetical to true biblical Christianity (1 Jn. 4:20). Second, I strive never to make my preference the precept or standard for other believers to subscribe to or follow when it pertains to amoral issues or matters of conscience. That too is unbiblical and displays a pharisaical spirit and seeks only to put others in bondage rather than allow them to experience the liberty and freedom Christ has provided for them (Rom. 14:10; Gal. 5:1).
Now, with that said, allow me to share with you why I like Christon Gray’s latest CD “School of Roses’. Aside from the God-given talent he has and his lyrical ability to bless the body of Christ whether in rhyme flow or in rhythmic runs on any track, that’s not the reason why I like this project. It’s also not because his CD possesses implications of a Christian worldview with songs like “Wanna” or “Lady Gray (Easy to Love)” versus songs like “Duplicate” from his earlier works which communicate just the opposite.
The reason I like (and publicly support) this album is the same reason why I would support any album done by a Christian and that is this: Christon Gray’s album neither contained nor featured ANY unsaved artist or producers on his album! In order words, NO UNGODLY COLLABS! In my opinion that speaks volumes for him as a Christian artist who experiences the pressure one undergoes wanting to produce really good music, but at the same time not wanting to compromise the gospel for the sake of worldly recognition.
For some of you, this means nothing. You’re probably saying, “Who cares? As long as it’s good music, who cares who’s collaborating with whom?” If this is your sentiment, then this blog is addressed to you with the hope that after reading it you would prayerfully and humbly examine the Scriptures for yourself to see what’s being said is true and be willing to jettison your view and embrace what the Bible teaches—that Christians are forbidden to partner or collaborate with secular/unsaved artists in business or ministry and to refuse to submit to such a command is sin and a direct violation of God’s written Word. Before I give biblical reasons why collaborating with unbelievers is sin, let’s define our terms.
Webster’s Dictionary defines “collaboration” as follows, “To work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something.” Similarly, The Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament describes how the word “bound [heterozygeo]” is used in 2 Cor. 6:14.
“To be wrongly or poorly matched in an association—‘to be mismatched, to be wrongly matched. ‘Do not be wrongly matched with unbelievers’ 2 Cor 6:14. It is often necessary to indicate somewhat more precisely the manner in which one may be wrongly matched with others. Accordingly, one can translate 2 Cor 6:14 as ‘do not attempt to work together with those who are unbelievers’ or ‘do not become partners with those who do not believe.’1”
The New Living Translation echoes the same definition as well.
Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner (mine) with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil*? How can a believer be a partner (mine) with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God (2 Cor. 6:14-16).2
If Christians are called “children of light” (Eph. 5:8), “sons & daughters of God” (2 Cor. 6:18), “sheep” (Jn. 10:27), “God’s elect” (Rom. 8:33), “beloved” (1 Jn. 4:1) and a “holy nation” (1 Pet. 2:9), then what biblical justification do we have to partner/collaborate with those whose father is the Devil (Jn. 8:44), who are called children of the Devil (1 Jn. 3:10) and who do not have the Holy Spirit indwelling them according to Scripture (Rom. 8:9; cf. Psa. 19:9b; Rom. 3:4a)? Are we wiser than the Almighty, Omniscient God of the universe to know what is best for us more than Him? To think so is absolutely absurd!
Some try to equate collaborating with unbelievers in music and ministry as just “work” and use biblical characters such as Joseph and Daniel to support their premise. But such thinking doesn’t square with Scripture. Both Joseph and Daniel were slaves taken into captivity and were to submit to their masters as long as they weren’t told to violate God’s Law or their conscience and when laws or practices would cause them to sin against God, they humbly disobeyed. Working for someone is totally different than working with someone. The former denotes submission to authority, while the latter, syncretism and partnership.
Some go as far to presuppose that Jesus would collaborate with the unsaved because He ate with them. But eating a meal with unbelievers versus partnering or collaborating with them are two totally opposite paradigms. Eating with sinners isn’t sinful, but joining ourselves with them in business, music or ministry pursuits is. Also, neither Jesus nor His disciples ever partnered with the unsaved in any ministry endeavor to accomplish a common agenda or goal in Scripture—which is what it means to “collaborate” with someone. To assume Jesus or His disciples would have done so is presumption and eisegesis (importing one’s interpretation into Scripture instead of exporting the meaning of Scripture from the Scripture) Light and darkness can never coexist.
So why do Christian artists still choose to partner and collaborate with secular/unsaved artists when our Lord clearly teaches that the world will hate those who follow Him (Jn. 15:18-19)? Are they doing it for evangelistic purposes? In light of the conspicuous teaching of Scripture previously stated, I would say no. Some are immature and new in the faith and are only mimicking what those who are supposed to be more mature than them are doing. But I believe most professing Christians who practice such things have succumbed to pragmatism and worldliness and have spiraled downward into carnality so bad, that their life and worldview are indistinguishable from their unsaved counterparts.
This is why B.S.A.C. (Biblically Sound Artists Coalition) is needed and important in the body of Christ today. As Christians, we zealously desire to see the glory of God displayed in our music, ministries and business. These desires can and must be achieved without the assistance of those who represent the kingdom of darkness. B.S.A.C. is not against other Christian artists. Nor have we adopted an “Us versus Them” mindset either. What we are against are unbiblical attitudes of thinking (i.e. strongholds; 2 Cor. 10:4-5) that have taken captive the hearts and minds of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Scripture teaches us that we have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). If that is true (and it is), then why are professing believers clamoring for the world’s acceptance? Why are we campaigning for unbelievers to help us produce our music when greater is He who is in us than he that is in the world (1 Jn. 4:4)? Instead of trying to collaborate with what is carnal and corrupt, maybe it’s time for the church to cry out to God in earnest prayer for consecrated creativity that only the Creator of the universe can produce (Psa. 24:3-6). Selah