Lecrae is a Grammy award-winning hip hop artist, entrepreneur, activist, and New York Times best-selling author, but above all, he is a devoted follower of Jesus. He is internationally respected for his socially responsible advocacy work, from mental health awareness and suicide prevention to racial justice and police brutality awareness. His newest book, entitled I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion but Found My Faith, releases Oct. 13 from Zondervan. Lecrae lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and three children.
Key Questions for Lecrae
-In your book you say there was a difference between how the Black church and the white church each related to you as an artist. Can you explain what that was like?
-How did you start to process the reality of systemic racism?
-How did you work toward caring about God’s voice above all other voices?
-What is your hope for unity in the church and what does that look like?
Key Quotes from Lecrae
“I think there were some well-meaning and well-intentioned white pastors and leaders who did not realize that they were participating in what felt like a colonizing of sorts.”
“Initially, you feel a sense of inferiority to a lot of white leaders and pastors, and that’s just something that a lot of minorities feel because there aren’t very many books by theologians of color that you can reference, especially when you’re in certain sections of evangelicalism. And so all the major voices and influencers are white men.”
“I began a journey of collecting a group of different voices of color…and reading their books and their materials and my perspective started evolving and growing because I was seeing things I related to and resonated with, but I didn’t have language for it. And these people were putting language to the things that I was thinking.”
“First, [systemic racism] is just trauma, it’s traumatizing. And then it bubbles over to, ‘I want to say something.’ And then you say something about it and you’re shamed for saying something. And you center yourself around the people who are shaming you, instead of the people who need to be uplifted and you find yourself apologizing for telling the truth.”
“For me, I began to believe that if God’s people were pushing back on me so hard, then it must be that either—because I don’t know another theological pathway—either A) they are right and I’m crazy or B) there’s no God and all of this is a hoax. The option C) that they were wrong was never in my mind…I really had to take some time and seek the Scriptures and develop a Biblical framework for what I was experiencing.”
“Disciples are learners, and as you learn, you’re going to make mistakes…but you make mistakes in the process of trying to follow Jesus. And so for me, I just knew I needed to follow the convictions as I saw them.”
“I had to begin to say, ‘All right, Jesus was rejected, so rejection is coming.’ And I had to understand that the church as I saw it was not above persecuting me.”