“Snoop! Why We NEED To Judge.”
It has been an interesting week. Calvin Broadus Sr., a.k.a. Snoop Dog, released his new project, Bible of Love, and it broke the internet. From gangsta rap to gospel music? It was a recipe for controversy. Snoop is an icon.
- Since his debut album in 1992, Doggy Style, Snoop has sold over 32 million albums worldwide.
- His name is practically synonymous with weed. In 2015 he launched, Leafs by Snoop and became the first major celebrity to brand and market a line of legal marijuana products.
- Acknowledged pimp, player, and convicted drug dealer, he has been a poster child for the excesses of popular culture.
These days Snoop is more the business mogul, game show host, and doting father, but his legend lives.
Full disclosure? I’ve never been a Snoop fan. Motown fans like me still don’t think the words rap and music go together. Just sayin. But I was excited when I heard that Snoop had converted to Christianity. God can redeem anything and use anybody. He has proved that through the likes of David, Solomon, the Apostle Paul, and frankly…you!
I got the album. Album was good, not great. Lyrics ranged from light to questionable, but that really didn’t bother me. Why? Because I assumed it was coming from a new Christian not a seasoned theologian.
I’ve said this before and it bears repeating. Snoop professes Christianity. If Snoop is a fraud, he’s in good company, because all of us are frauds from time to time. There’s grace for that. I assume he’s sincere, as I do with all new-believers. He needs to be taught and mentored.
Those who are close to him need to disciple him. They need to teach him the word of God, and how to make his actions line up with his confession. But here’s the thing. We don’t do him a favor by giving him a pass. My fear is it’s already happening. His greatest danger might be his Christian “friends.”
The Favorite Verse of a Fallen Generation
It is said that the favorite bible verse today is no longer John 3:16, but Matthew 7:1, “ Judge not that you be not judged.” Follow any post about Snoop or any other controversial new believer and you can’t get away from that verse and the comments. “Leave him alone!” “ Stay out of his business.” “Who are you to judge?” Its sounds so progressive. It sounds so loving. It’s not.
The problem with Matthew 7:1 is that it’s generally taken out of context. The issue there is not Should you judge, but How should you judge! In fact, the passage teaches valuable lessons on how Christians should judge correctly. That passage and others teach that it’s wrong to judge motives, but it’s a Christian responsibility to judge or evaluate words and actions. Because if we don’t, there will never be genuine growth or discipleship in the body of Christ. Real love constructively and confidentially confronts me.
Loving Snoop Dog To Death
This is an age that values tolerance over truth. An age suspicious of absolutes. It’s a spiritual age but not a religious age. It’s an Oprah age. A mystic age. It’s uncomfortable with religious expectations and accountability. That is a recipe for disaster for new believers, especially new believers like Snoop. New believers need the support of a loving community that teaches them to discern truth from error- inside them and around them.
And that is the very reason Christians are encouraged to judge, to measure, to weigh the evidence.
- Jesus commends “right judgement” in John 7:24.
- Romans 16:17 encourages Christians to “mark” or judge those who cause divisions in the church.
- I Corinthians 2:15 says, “ But he that is spiritual judges all things…”
Young Christians need mature Christians to speak the truth to them in love, Ephesian 4:15. They need loving, honest evaluation from mature believers to help them reach their spiritual potential. And celebrities need direct, honest, confidential discipline more than others. They probably rarely get it.
Snoop has already demonstrated a willingness to shift from one religious idea to another. In 2009 he joined the Nation of Islam. In 2012 he converted to Rastafarianism and changed his name to Snoop Lion. In 2013 members of the Rastafarian movement criticized Snoop for not living up to his beliefs. Snoop’s response was his beliefs were personal and “not up for outside judgement.” Not true. Only God can perfectly judge our hearts, but Snoop needs mature believers to judge him, to discipline him, in the context of a loving relationship, so he can grow.
Critical or Charitable Judgement
There are two basic types of judgement, critical and charitable. Critical judgement is the judgment of the stereotype: superior, insensitive, hurtful and harmful. But all Christians need charitable judgement if they want to grow. Judgement that looks to help and not hurt.
- Charitable judgement reads actions and not motives.
- Charitable judgement builds up, not tears down.
- Charitable judgement is based on principle and not preference.
- Charitable judgment is quick to cover and not expose.
- Charitable judgement removes the log in my eye, before the splinter in yours.
That’s the kind of judgement that Snoop needs and so do we. A judgement that brings out your full potential. A judgement that can save you from one of your greatest enemies. Yourself.
But that’s what I think. What about you?