“This is America” But It Ain’t the Church

ChurchMag | 5/16/2018 | Phil Schneider
penaert (Posted by) Level 3
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Have you seen the music video for Childish Gambino’s “This is America?”

The fact that the video has over 100 million views on YouTube suggest that you’ve at least heard of it.

Violence - Profane - Language - Movie - Number

If you haven’t watched you, you need to. Be warned that it does contain violence and some profane language, but I’m guessing that you’ve probably watched a superhero movie or any number of shows on A&E.

Before we go too much further, let me be clear what this post isn’t:

Breakdown - Symbolism - Video - YouTube

It’s not a breakdown of the symbolism contained in the video. You can find a million of those in YouTube.

It’s not a discussion of the racial, social, political, and economic themes in the video. You can find that here.


So, if that’s what this post isn’t, what is it?

It’s a wake-up call to the Church about the desert of creativity we’re stuck in. I’ve written about this before, but clearly, the message isn’t getting through to you, the Church, even myself. So, let’s try it all again.

Christians - Christian - Organizations - Creativity - Work

There are several Christians and Christian organizations that are fostering creativity and producing creative work, but with nearly 2.4 billion people claiming some adherence to Christianity, shouldn’t we have a lot more to show for ourselves? We claim to serve the God of the Universe, the Creator, whose world, though tainted by sin, still amazes us. We claim to have been redeemed by God as part of an intricately weaved magnum opus narrative that spans millennia.

And yet we’re still caught off guard by the artistry of one rapper? I can’t share most of Childish Gambino’s oeuvre with you because it’s so profane, but trust me on this: his wordplay is off the charts. It’s a merging of complex metaphors and rhymes, filtered through the cracked lens of hip-hop’s overt sexual arrogance and glorified profanity. Simply put: he’s...
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