Music and movie awards provide a powerful pulpit for those with a passion to preach, and the Grammy’s are a good example. In 2014, Macklemore, a rapper from Seattle, belted out the following sermon from the double-platinum award winning song, Same Love:
No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it's all the same love
The context of the performance was a celebration of gay marriage, and the television producers managed to squeeze in a marriage ceremony for thirty three couples (homosexual and heterosexual) to drive home the message: it’s the same love!
Macklemore is a talented performer. He captivated the congregation at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, as well as millions of people around the world. I admire his passion. I appreciate his sincerity. I’m sure many people around the world are still humming and singing this song – without thinking about it – and I want to applaud his insight on a couple of critical issues.
Macklemore is right: No law is going to change us!
History makes it hard to hide the limitations of external rules and regulations. Guidelines are good and essential for civility in society, but they don’t overcome our fundamental failings. That’s why newspaper headlines in the present mirror those of the past.
Macklemore is right: whatever God you believe in, we come from the same one!
Some read the rap as “whatever God you believe in, we believe in the same one,” but that’s not what it says. “Whatever God you believe in, we come from the same one.” This is very different (whatever he meant to say) and very important. Our belief about God doesn’t determine the truth about God. We may believe in the wrong one, but this will not change the fact we came from the right one.
Finally, Macklemore gets this one wrong: All love is the same love!
Different people draw different boundaries. The object of our affection can vary wildly (in terms of gender, age, species and form) but there is a common denominator. When love is a direct expression of our feelings we are the source of moral authority, and the beloved is not loved for its own sake but only as a means to satisfy selfish ends.
All love is not the same love, and this love is the wrong love.
Instead of looking within, the God of the Bible says we must look to him. Jesus demonstrated love that is selfless, sacrificial and experienced supernaturally when we choose to trust in the power of his life, death and resurrection. This is God’s love, it comes with biblical boundaries, and it means placing our faith in him as opposed to following our feelings. All love is not the same love. Christ’s love is the only love that can save us - and it will change us from the inside-out.
Author and speaker.