After Macklemore made it onto the scene with his hit “Thrift Shop” he later decided to make waves with a much more serious song called “Same Love.” If you haven’t heard this song yet you will want to take a few minutes to listen to it. It’s a song that Billboard has pegged as the “Gay Equality Anthem.” It’s much more than a song, it’s a statement about equality and how homosexuality is something that cannot be changed with religion or just trying not to be gay. In this song, Macklemore takes shots at Christian culture and how many people have been hateful and disrespectful towards homosexuals.
Even though I disagree with Macklemore statements in this song, I do however believe Christians shouldn’t write this song off because it’s “secular.” If you do, you will miss the opportunity to look through the window into the culture and what people in our culture believe. I believe “Same Love” teaches a lot of things Christians need to know about the culture around them. Not so they can point fingers and judge others, but so they can understand the culture God has placed them in and become missional in their approach to everything in that culture. I hope Christians listen carefully to “Same Love” and learn how to better understand and ultimately reach a culture of people that are far from God. So here are a few things this song teaches Christians about our culture:
Many in our culture see the Bible as an out-dated book that has no authority. In “Same Love,” Macklemore says, “But we paraphrase a book written 3,500 years ago. I don’t know.” The Bible is now seen in our culture has a book that old and has no authority over how we live our lives. They may agree that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but culture has evolved and now marriage can be between the same sex. Not only do they see the Bible as out-dated, but it’s just a book that contains errors. It’s not innerant so therefore has no real authority.
Many in our culture view homosexuality has a natural thing you are born with, therefore change is not necessary or even possible. It’s to this point Macklemore takes a shot at Christianity. He says, “The right-wing conservatives think it’s a decision. And you can be cured with some treatment and religion. Man-made, rewiring of a pre-disposition, playing God.” In Romans, Paul says homosexuality is “unnatural” and includes it in his description of how sinful mankind really is. But many in our culture see it as a natural thing you are born with. What I love about this line in “Same Love” where Macklemore says homosexuality can’t be cured by religion is he is right! Yes, Macklemore is right. Homosexuality, and every other sin, cannot be cured by religion. Religion cannot do anything for you except make you prideful and legalistic. However, the Gospel can change you. Christianity is a relationship with a Person based on the good news of the Gospel. Keeping a checklist and trying harder is religion and Macklemore is dead on is saying that can’t change you. But the Gospel has the power to change someone. That’s what Macklemore and many in our culture are missing. Take a look at this incredible story of a former lesbian who talks about this idea of change in regards to “Same Love.”
Many in our culture believe in religious pluralism. Religious pluralism is the idea that all religion and faith-based systems are equal. Not only are they equal, but they all lead to the same place. No matter what religion you decide to believe in, it up to you because at the end of the day they will all lead to God. In “Same Love” Macklemore says, “Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one. Strip away the fear. Underneath it’s all the same love. About time that we raised up.” Even though Awhile back I shared a talk with our middle school students about the idea that Jesus is the only way. Click here to read a summary of that talk or click here to listen to the audio of the whole talk.
Many people in our culture support homosexuality even though they are not gay. About half way through the song Macklemore drops an interesting line where he says, “I might not be the same, but that’s not important. No freedom till we’re equal, damn right I support it.” This is very important for Christians to understand. In our culture, homosexuals are not the only ones crying out for their equal rights. Even non-homsexuals support their lifestyle, belief, and rights. Don’t assume that because some is not gay they don’t support that lifestyle.
I hope Christians take time to listen to popular songs that come out in our culture. You don’t have to agree with them or even like the, but take a moment and listen to learn about the culture around you. Doing so will help you better understand who you are called to reach and how the Gospel communicates best in the culture.