Yeah, save some for tonight. Save a little
bit for tonight. What’s going on Liberty? How’re y’all doing? Yeah, man! All right.
Get it out your system, because I only got about 30 minutes, so I can’t be calming y’all
down every 5 minutes. Get it out your system. What’s going on? How’re y’all doing? Y’all
good? We got seniors in here, any seniors? All right! Seniors! Man, I’m praying for y’all
because its hard out there man. It is hard out there.
I got a friend, my friend, you know graduated from school. Did great in school; but got
out and has not been able to secure a job. So he’s been hustling and struggling and he
came to me the other day and he was like, “Lecrae I found a gig and I think its going
to work out.” I said, “Cool man. I’m excited for you. He’s like well don’t be excited just
yet its kinda weird, and I was like what do you mean its kinda weird and he’s like well
I’m working at the zoo.” And I was like you know times are hard it’s
cool I get it, it’s cool. You know you gotta do what you gotta do man, you know. It’s a
stepping stone. You’re on your way. You know what I’m saying to being an engineer. It’s
a trajectory. You got stepping stones. But he said, no, Lecrae, it’s a little different
than what you understand see…let me break it down to you. I get to the zoo for this
job and the manager says listen bro’ it’s not quite what you think it is. Um what we
need you to do, we need you to actually put on an ape costume because our apes are sick
and kinda get in there and dance around for the kids. You’re pretty far away they’re not
going to be able to tell that you’re not a real ape, but it’s just kind of a makeshift
thing right now. So my guy was like look, man I’m broke I’ve
got these student loans. Shoutout to Fannie May. And I need a job. So he goes ahead and
he says I’m doing it. So he’s in it, he’s putting on his ape costume. You know first
couple days he’s like you know trying to get into it not really feeling it but after a
while he starts really getting into it. He’s feeling it. He’s like you know I’m pretty
good at being an ape, man. This is not bad. He’s doing tricks, he’s swinging from stuff
and the kids are clapping, they’re loving what he’s doing. But then he gets a little
too into it and he swung himself into the lion’s den. It’s crazy. So he swings himself
into the lion’s den and he realizes what he’s doing. He’s in the lion’s den and he starts
screaming HELP! HELP ME! In full ape garb. So…that was weird. And, um…then he really
freaked out cuz the lion started running toward him and he’s screaming louder PLEASE, PLEASE
HELP ME! And the lion said, man, if you don’t shut up, we both going to lose our jobs, man.
It’s real, it’s hard out there. It’s hard out there, seniors. It is a tough world. So
you know, I’m praying for y’all. I don’t want to see y’all at the zoo. Um. No, anyway, uh.
That’s really not a true story, I’m sorry. I had to, but um listen, I’m encouraged to
be here because you know y’all are students and you are going to engage the real world,
and hopefully you won’t have a job such as that but you will have a job where you will
have to engage people, and from my understanding there’s a lot of people here who are not necessarily
going into the pastorate or going to be full time missionaries or so on and so forth.
You guys are entering, um different fields – business world, the legal world, the medical
world – and that’s an amazing thing. What we tend to see happen is that you get into
the real world and there’s no campus Bible studies, there’s no outreaches, there’s no,
everybody having prayer at midnight and getting together. It’s real out there, and so what
tends to happen with Christians; they say, man, I have this split life. I go to church
on Sunday and I am involved in my little community group but then during the week for 8 hours
a day I’m working and I just feel like, “Lord, am I doing something wrong? Am I selling out?
Maybe I should quit my job and move to a foreign country to be a missionary.”
And they wrestle with this sense of guilt, this sense of struggle. And they’re trying
to recapture their college days. Well in college, man, you know you got all the time in the
world! So you can do things and engage and be around stuff and go to a million Bible
studies and do all this type of stuff all the time, whereas when you enter the workforce
it’s a little bit different. And so people wrestle with this split. It’s:
I’ve got two different lives and I’m going in two different directions. And this split
is not a new thing, right? What people call it is a sacred/secular divide. They say, well,
I have my secular life, then I have my sacred life, right? Well did you go to school all
this time and study for these tests and pass these classes just so you could get a good
job? Just so you can pay tithes and offerings and just so you can give money to different
ministries? Is that the only point of your work? And that’s
what a lot of Christians feel. Like, man, I’m working, but you know, hopefully, I’ll
get some time and do some church stuff, some God stuff. And I want to talk about breaking
that split. I want to talk about breaking that secular/sacred
divide and there’s three things that I think are beneficial for anybody. And one of those
things is engaging the city and the people. Right? Engage, all right? Wherever you work,
engage. Right? Engaging the city, the culture, the people. Engage the culture.
Another thing is love. Love the people, love the city, love the culture. Engage and love.
And the last thing is rehabilitate, right? Rehabilitate the culture, the city, the workplace.
So engage, love, and rehabilitate. Those are three things that I think are crucial to break
this sacred/secular divide that happens in a lot of our lives.
There’s a young guy. You know I tell this story often and he went to…grew up, got
saved in his school ministry, like high school ministry or what not. Became a Christian,
became a solid leader, went to college, much like you all…was involved in the Bible studies
doing all these things and was this campus leader and you know, and it was a great thing.
Now he wanted to go into full time ministry. And his advisors, when he was in high school,
said, man, your aptitude is off the charts! You should be a lawyer.
And so he’s feeling a little depressed, he’s like, man, a lawyer? But I want to serve God!
But, you know, he realized he just wasn’t cut out for the foreign mission field and
he really didn’t want to be a pastor necessarily. So he was kind of like, man! So he pursues
law, he goes to college, pursues law but he’s fine for a little while. But then after a
while he starts getting to his serious classes in law school all of his time is dedicated
to studying law. And he feels like he’s selling out because
he’s not as involved in the ministry things that he was involved in before. And he found
himself feeling stressed out and like a sell-out. Then he became a lawyer. And he was really
depressed then because he was like, man, I barely have any time to do anything except
go to church on Sunday. I feel like my whole life is law.
God, I’m depressed. I feel like I’ve let you down. I feel like my life isn’t counting for
anything. And that was his real struggle. And what he had was that sacred/secular divide.
He thought his work was secular, and his church was sacred. But let me tell you a story about
a guy in the Bible. His name is Daniel. I like Daniel. Daniel’s my dawg. It’s cool,
he’s my dawg. When I see him in heaven I’ll be like Daniel! My dawg. What? Its real.
Anyway, so I like Daniel. All right, let me tell you little bit about what happened with
Daniel. So in Daniel Chapter 2, there’s a king: King Nebuchadnezzar. Right. King Neb
had these dreams. Crazy dreams, right? Like skinny cows and fat cows. It’s crazy, like
wild dream. Freaks him out! Dream freaks him out, because back then, you know, dreams are
very important. He’s freaking out! He’s like, what do these
dreams mean? He says, listen, I want you to round up all the wisest dudes and all my magicians
and sorcerers, and I need them to tell me what my dream means. He says, “Come in here;
tell me my dream.” Nobody can tell him his dream. He says, basically, off with all your
heads. Now, he can do that, he’s a king. Daniel was
one of his advisors and in this time period interpreting a dream would be seen as a pagan
practice, an evil thing right? But Daniel says well the earth is the Lord’s and everything
thereof, so let me go to God because God can interpret anything. Right?
So Daniel goes to God, God gives him a revelation on what this dream is. Daniel goes to the
king, he interprets the dream, the king is like unbelievable! This is amazing! I would
like to make you my chief advisor. Now Daniel didn’t say, “Whoah whoah whoah!
You’re an evil king, evil empire, that’s a secular job, being your advisor. I think I
want to go into the ministry and just advise the priests in Israel.” He didn’t say that.
Daniel took the job. The reason why he took the job is because
he saw it as a beneficial role. He was now able to advise the king with Godly wisdom,
from God’s perspective. Daniel didn’t say, ah I gotta take this secular job. Daniel said
there’s no division between sacred and secular. This job is my ministry. This is where I am
serving God. Right? As I advise the king, I’m advising him from God’s perspective. And
so the job, in and of itself, was Daniel’s ministry.
He broke the secular/sacred divide. He didn’t have this mentality that said you know, there’s
a duality between secular work and sacred work. He saw all work is sacred. You know
why? Because he had what we would call a “biblical worldview.” Say that with me: biblical worldview.
All right, that means you see the world through the lenses of the scriptures. That’s what
a biblical worldview is. Let me tell you a little something about a biblical worldview,
ok. There’s been a study. Y’all laughing? Something funny? I got something
in my nose? Are we cool? Ok, just checking. Um let me tell you something about a biblical
worldview all right. Here’s some statistics. Funny.
Four percent of all Americans have a biblical worldview. Four percent! Four percent of Americans
see life through the lens of scripture. Four percent! Now I know what you’re thinking.
You go to this Christian school, so clearly you see things from the biblical perspective.
Well let me give you another statistic. Ten percent of all Christians see life through
a biblical lens. It’s real, rap. Thirty-eight percent of American adults believe the Bible,
including the Old Testament, was written decades after Jesus died. Thirty-three percent did
not know Isaiah was in the Old Testament. Forty-nine percent believe the Bible teaches
that money is the root of all evil. Some of you are like, it is right? That’s
what it says….No, it says “the love of money.” Just read it. Twelve percent. This is my favorite,
my favorite statistic. Twelve percent believe that Joan of arc was Noah’s wife.
We got to do better Christians! We got to do better. Now most of us tend to have bifocals.
We tend to see the world with a split. There’s sacred and there’s secular, right? That’s
how we see the world. We have this split as we look at the world. But how did this happen,
this great divide right? Like we all do it. We all see it. I grew up, the way I grew up,
I didn’t necessarily grow up in church, but the times when we would go we would ride to
church, and on the way to church we would listen to the Christian music. But as soon
as church was over, we could listen to whatever we wanted to. And it was kind of like, how come we can do
that? My mom was like, because church is over. It’s back to this life. Funniest thing is
my homeboy, Chris. Me and Chris, we would ride around doing all kinds of stupid stuff,
stuff we didn’t have any business doing. As we were riding around being two young, dumb
teenagers, every time we would pass a church Chris would turn down the radio which was
cussing out everybody and their momma and talking about all kind of misogyny and drugs.
And then when we passed the church he would turn it back up.
And I’d be like, what? What are you doing man? He’s like man we gotta respect the Lord,
man! So apparently God only cares about this part of his world. He doesn’t care about any
other parts of the street, just the part of the street where the church is at. But that’s
this divide that we had. I remember being in church with guys and something would slip
out of their mouth, a cuss word or something and I’d be like man, c’mon man, we in church,
man. Don’t say that. And this mentality has run rampant with us…that there’s a place
for that and there’s a place for this. Non-believers picked it up from us. Respect
the house of the Lord. Well, the earth is the Lord’s and everything thereof. Respect
the earth of the Lord, right? That’s how Daniel saw the world.
So what we don’t understand is that we live fragmented lives. All right? Church and family,
rarely speak to our work and our public life. I’ll be one way here and another way there.
We’re just doing religious things and that’s what the world is doing as well, they’re following
our pattern of religion. They want to clean themselves up because they think that will
get them to God, instead of understanding everything belongs to God.
It’s not about, “Don’t do this here and don’t do that there.” And so what a lot of us fail
to realize is that Christianity is total truth. It’s not just religious truth. Most Christians
think Christianity is the truth about salvation or sanctification. We don’t realize Christianity
is the truth about everything! It’s the truth about politics. It’s the truth about marriage.
It’s the truth about economics. It’s the truth about television. It’s the truth about media.
Christianity is the truth about everything. And so we’ve limited things to certain categories.
We say, oh! this is this, and this is that. This is secular! This is sacred! Instead of
saying, wait a minute, God, doesn’t everything belong to you? And aren’t we here as a product
of redemption to go out and redeem culture and redeem things?
Not saying we’re going to make this world a utopian place, but I am saying we’re here
to demonstrate the power of Jesus in our lives in the culture. And so what I want to talk
about is a couple things real quick. There’s the good, there’s the bad, and there’s the
redeemable. All right, let’s talk about the good.
What is good? All right. This whole great divide, it came about when the Greeks thought
that matter, stuff like this microphone, was evil, because it preexisted God. And instead
of understanding that God is the creator, like I said in Psalm 24, the earth is the
Lord’s and everything it contains. So nothing is inherently evil. Right? Humanity
is evil. We’re the ones that mess up stuff. And so Genesis 1 repeats over and over again…God
made it and it is good. God made it and it is good. God made it and it is good. So things
are good. Paul, in 1 Timothy 4:4: everything created by God is good and nothing is to be
rejected if received with thanksgiving. It is good. Dancing is good. Movies are good.
That’s right. And any married people in here know…sex is good. Right? Things are good,
but we demonize them in culture. We say, oh ,no, no, no those are bad.
Those are bad things. All right. We’ve even gone on so far to say secular is bad. Secular
is just the absence of an overt religious thing. Right, like an insurance jingle is
secular, but that doesn’t mean its bad. And we’ve said that things that are spiritual
or religious are good. Well, that’s not always the case.
There are some people that worship cows; it doesn’t mean it’s good. If your religion is
to worship cows…it’s not good. So right, these things are good. And that’s what Daniel
was saying. He was saying you know what, dreams are good. Dream interpretation is good; it’s
been used for evil practices, but it belongs to God and so we’re going to take it back.
And God, let’s interpret dreams for your glory, instead of doing it for the glory of man.
So when you get a job you say Lord, let me do this for your glory. This job is good.
All right? This very same lawyer that I was talking about earlier began to understand:
wait a minute, law is good and all this time I’m spending in law I can really begin to
change the face of what law looks like. I can be a lawyer that tells the truth. When
people want to get divorced, I can step in the gap and try to help them understand that
they’ve made a covenant before God. Right? Like I can use this as my ministry in so many
ways. I don’t have to have this split and say well this is my secular job, but here’s
my ministry job. I can see everything that I’m doing as honorable to the Lord and good.
Well what’s bad then, Lecrae? Some stuff has gotta be bad. Well, let me explain. When creation
fell it’s because humanity fell. It’s not like the earth lied. It wasn’t like the trees
ate the fruit and was like ahh sorry Adam, we messed it up for you bro’. Adam did it.
Humanity fell. So we’re bad. It’s called the consequence of authority.
If I don’t clean my house, and I don’t brush my teeth, and I don’t wear deodorant it’s
nobody’s fault but mine. All right? I messed up. So when you look at my house and you’re
like that’s haunted. No its not. It’s just I haven’t touched it in 6 years.
The house isn’t bad. It’s the consequence of authority. I was in charge and I jacked
it up. Humanity is bad. Humanity’s hearts are fallen. It’s not the music that’s the
problem; it’s the heart of the person that is creating the music. So let’s not demonize
the music in and of itself. Let’s not demonize movies in and of themselves.
It all goes back to the heart of man. That’s what’s bad. Right, well what we like to do
is we like to demonize things. I was wearing a skull on my shirt one day and this kid was
like Lecrae you’re in the Illuminati! I knew it. I knew it. They got you.
And I was like why do you say that? He said you’re wearing a skull on your shirt. That’s
evil. I was like, it is? ‘Cause I got a skull in my head; I hope that one’s not evil. Right?
We’ve taken things, and we’ve deemed them as evil when it’s really just the hearts of
men that have made these things seem like they’re evil.
It’s what you call structure and direction. God structures something, humanity directs
it in a completely different way. If I had a butcher knife just like this you’d be like,
“horror movie! Psycho! He’s a killer! Run!” But God made the metal and the ore for us
to make these knives and all I have to do is take this knife and use it to carve a turkey
and feed the homeless. Right. It’s not evil. It’s the heart of man that decides to use
it for evil purposes. It’s not bad. Your job in the real world does not necessarily
have to be bad. How are you going to have a redeemed heart and enter into that field
and redeem and rehabilitate the culture around you? That’s the challenge! That’s the struggle!
So again like I said, it’s the consequence of authority. Well what’s redeemable right?
Obviously some stuff we have to reject. Like you don’t just say, oh, you can redeem anything,
if that’s the case right. No, obviously there’s some things we have
to reject. Right? Prostitution. Prostitution isn’t something we redeem, but what we have
seen is a sinful heart has directed a gift of love and physical intimacy and use it for
an evil purpose. And so the redeemed picture of what’s happening there is a marriage where
two people have intimacy. So we don’t go out and say man we’re going to be prostitutes
for Jesus. No. That’s not what I’m saying. There’s some stuff you reject, but you have
to ultimately look at what did God create and how is this being directed by the hearts
of humanity in a way that’s evil? Right. God made, gave us the intellect and the mindset
to do all these things: to make movies, to be doctors. But we use them in ways that either
don’t glorify him or do glorify him. And my challenge to you is that you would
use your vocations to glorify God. And so how does it look? Well this is what Genesis
tells you…it says be fruitful and mulitply. What does it mean to be fruitful and multiply?
That means just have a bunch of kids. I got three, but it’s cool. Be fruitful. Have families.
Build churches. Build schools. Build cities. Start governments. That’s what being fruitful
means. And subdue the earth. What does it mean to
subdue the earth? That means harness the natural world, take control of the resources that
are right in front of you, right? It’s planting crops, it’s buiding things, it’s designing
computers, it’s composing music, and it’s doing it in such a way that it honors God.
It glorifies God. Doesn’t mean that you put a cross on your
computer software so people will know you love Jesus. It means you just do a great job
at it so it can serve people and that glorifies God. It doesn’t mean that every song you write
is going to have the gospel spelled out, it just means that you’re going to operate from
a Christian perspective and paint a picture that honors God.
You’re going to tell the truth about it. Right? So redeem things, again, I’m just going to
go back to what I said initially. If you want to really practice this you have to engage
people, engage culture. You have to love people, love culture. And you have to rehabilitate.
You got to see yourself as a rehabilitator. In terms of engaging…this is loving the
people around you, loving the language and understanding it. I grew up loving hip hop
and you know when I became a Christian I didn’t know any “christianese.” Lady asked me…are
you saved? I was like what the heck are you talking about? Saved? What does this mean,
saved? I save the game on the videogame. I don’t know what you’re talking about.
And I didn’t understand and so I became a Christian and here I am with my tattoos and
my earrings and my love for hip hop, but I love Jesus now. It wasn’t that some guy who
was just like me, “Yo yo yo! It’s about Jesus, son.” That’s not what happened. It was, it
was a blonde haired, blue eyed guy from Kentucky who said, “I don’t know anything about you
but I know Jesus, and I want to learn ‘you’ and understand where you’re coming from.”
This brother sat and watched “Boyz in the Hood” and “Menace II Society” with me one
day just to understand what in the world was going on with me. That’s engaging! He was
engaging me. He was understanding where I came from. He wasn’t just saying, “That’s
… oh, I can’t do it!” Right? He didn’t have to do that. Loving, loving the people around
you right. This is not being disgusted with your city or the stuff you see and saying
ahh! It’s saying, “Man! I love these people and I want to reach them! I love these people
at my job and I want to help.” When Paul walked in the book of Acts, when
he walked in the city he said his spirit was provoked by the sin and he was moved to do
something about it. And that’s what I would hope you would do. As you enter the workforce
your spirit may be provoked, but you’re moved to do something about it.
It doesn’t mean come into your office putting a bible on the table and wearing a t-shirt
that says ask me about Jesus every day. I’m not saying that’s wrong. I’m just saying like
that’s the extent of what we think “engaging” looks like. I’m talking about being helpful,
I’m talking about doing your job well. I’m talking about loving people. I’m talking about
engaging them, asking them questions, getting to know where they’re from. Getting to know
what they love. Enjoying stuff that they enjoy. Reading the books that they read even if you’re
like …. “Ahhh, I don’t like this book.” But understanding why. At least read the book
review. I never read “50 Shades of Grey.” I read the review. I know enough to know y’all
shouldn’t be reading that book. I don’t think it’s good. It’s my opinion. It’s my opinion.
So, I got the mic, you don’t. I can say what I want to say. Just saying.
And then “rehabilitating.” God gives us this cultural mandate to subdue the earth. We’re
called to build this alternative city. What does it look like when we have healthy families,
when we have biblical views on business and economics and law and politics? We’ve redeemed
them instead of letting Satan, the prince of power just drain the life out of them.
These things belong to God. Economics belongs to God. Politics belong to God. Family belongs
to God. Medical science belongs to God. God created science. So we go into culture and
say this is not yours, Satan. This is not your, world, flesh.
This belongs to God, and I’m a representative of this kingdom. Here to demonstrate what
it looks like when a redeemed person enters the workplace and says this belongs to my
God. That’s what I want from you all. That’s what I want to see you do…is to engage.
Christians, we’re so scared of culture. Christians remind me sometimes. We remind,
we’re like kids who don’t know how to fight. You ever see a kid who doesn’t know how to
fight and he has to fight one day? You either run like eheah or you just say hmmm. We don’t
know how to fight. Right, but the kids who know how to fight are like what you got man,
put em up, put em up, c’mon what you got? And I want that to be us as Christians who
know how to engage culture, who are not afraid. We tend to say oh it’s bad in the city let’s
move to the suburbs, start a suburban church and have a suburban group and help each other
out and say it’s really bad over there and they’re on their way up there so maybe we
have to move further out. I live in Atlanta where there’s all kinds
of crazy stuff going on. All right I’m going to shut y’all up. Look, I ain’t got but 4
minutes left. Y’all gotta be quiet. But I live in this city right where there’s
all kinds of crazy stuff and I’m not running from it. People are like, “Lecrae what’re
you doing hanging out with these rappers man?” Engaging them! Meeting them where they are,
loving them and trying to see Jesus rehabilitate them. And that’s what your role and your responsibility
is in culture. Don’t run from it, all right? Look at Daniel.
Daniel put himself on the line. He went and interpreted these dreams by the power of God.
God did it. He not only saves himself, he saves all these pagan magicians and sorcerers
and he becomes an advisor to the king. I didn’t have any example of what it looked
like when Jesus gets a hold of somebody from the urban culture. I had me. I was the best
piece of evidence I knew that Jesus could change anybody. He changed me. Jesus Christ’s
blood was spilled for the redemption of humanity. The Bible says you are his workmanship created
for the things that he has pre-planned, the good works he’s pre-planned. You are his workmanship.
The Greek word there is poiema. You are his poiema.
That means his poem. A poem articulates the heart, the mind, and the character of the
writer. You are a representation of God’s heart, mind, and character in this world.
You are his workmanship. His blood was spilled out for your redemption and you are a picture
of that redemption in this culture. So wherever you are, you demonstrate what redemption looks
like. You take law, you take politics, you take
science, you take medicine, and you redeem them for the glory of God. You use them for
his glorious honor. That’s what you’re here for. His blood purchased this world, and it
belongs to him. If there are not Christians involved in every
aspect of this culture, in this society, there’s no representation of God there. There’s no
visibility that God owns this. Satan does not own this world. It belongs to God.
He has used you as his ambassadors to make known his kingdom come, his will be done.
God bless y’all.