Hip-hop/Spirituality/Freethinking. Speaking for all underdogs!
Jay-Z: “Life Starts When the Church Ends!"
If you haven’t listened to “Part I” of this vlog (Jay-Z, Know-The-Ledge: Jesus Can’t Save You), by all means, listen to it!
To make Christians feel comfortable about their savior, I’ll concede in the erroneous naming of the Hebrew Anointed One. For the sake of argument, we’ll call the Jewish prophet, whose real name was Yahshua Hammashiah, Jesus Christ. For the simplicity of the simple ones, we’ll act like his name was Jesus and he is that blond-haired, blue-eyed androgynous Cretan on your mama’s living room wall—the white guy who looks like he never came home from Woodstock.
There! Are you happy now? In the words of rapper Remy Ma, “Shesus Khryst!” Of course, anyone who's read a book or two on the subject knows Jesus looked nothing like the picture above; a blond, blue-eyed caucasian-persuasion (white man), living and preaching on the East African Tectonic Plate in the land of Palestine. The original Hebrews/Jews/Israelites of the Bible were black people! And Jesus was from that same lineage; a "Jew" of the tribe of Judah. Facts!
Now let’s get back to Jay-Z’s song, “Empire State of Mind” where Jay-Z raps, “Jesus Can’t Save You. Life begins when the Church ends.” This one rap line has got Christians miffed and mummified! They are calling Jay-Z a Luciferian and a devil worshipper—accusing him of dabbling in the occult and secret societies. With one line, Jay-Z has upended hip-hop Christians!
Adding to the Jay-Z "Luciferian/devil worshipper" noises was Jay-Z playing into the devil worshipper stereotype by wearing a hoodie with the famous words of Aleister Crowley, the famed author, "Occultist," and magician. His mantra was, "DO WHAT THOU WILT." Many people of the scary Christian ilk have viewed Crowley as a Satanist, because, indeed, he dabbled in magic and the esoteric (hidden secrets), but Jay-Z must've done his homework and came to the realization that Aleister Crowley was simply a "freethinker" with aberrant ideas on self-autonomy, thus, "Do what thou wilt."
(Rapper Jay-Z with an "Occult" saying on his sweater.)
First, there were the Christian hip-hop heads, many who did video blogs back in 2009 where they went on a rant about, “How dare Jay-Z say that about Jesus and the church!” I remember seeing some spoken-word artist slamming Jay-Z, while his audience egged him on—applauding at his great command of words and oratory expressions—cosigning this dude with the darkness of their religious upbringing. It all sounded very eloquent. He gave a brilliant recitation on the greatness of Christ and Christianity, and through innuendo and extrapolation, asked why Christians don’t take physical action (as in murder) against people who disrespect Christianity (like he thinks Jay-Z did), by questioning why Christians allow their religion to be dissed when (some) Muslims kill when someone disses their religion.
The shit was getting out of hand! I was thinking, "Hold on! Stop the presses!"
The problem is that we have not known the historical Jesus—the human, the man, the baby born of mother and father. We have been taught that Jesus walked on water, turned water into wine, healed the sick, raised the dead, and died and rose on the third day. We are taught that he was a miracle-worker, sent among men (and women) to save us from our sins.
And a miracle-worker he was! But there is a method to working miracles and it starts with faith and belief. Without these two components, not even Jesus can do miracles! What Jay-Z was really conveying in his song is that these “good girls gone bad” (as the song says) have left the spirituality and religiosity of their upbringing, therefore Jesus can’t save them. They are so enamored with the shiny lights of the big city and all of its seductions that they are unsalvageable, unredeemable, and corrupted. They have lost their way! He could’ve easily said, “Allah can’t save you!” but he was speaking to the religious upbringing in the West—Christianity. It’s all about CONTEXT people! Jay-Z was more on point with Christian theology than the average Christian and I’ll prove it as we go along. But first, let’s review the lyrics in question. They are:
“Lights is blinding, girls need blinders… the side lines is blind with casualties, who sip the lite casually, then gradually become worse, don’t bite the apple Eve, caught up in the in-crowd, Mommy took a bus trip and now she got her bust out, everybody ride her, just like a bus route, Hail Mary to the city you’re a Virgin, and Jesus can’t save you, life starts when the church ends.”
In Christian jargon, Jay-Z gives us metaphor, which we can all relate to; “Don’t bite the apple Eve.” Even the most ignorant Christian can readily understand that he is referring to temptation, sin and going against the ways of the Creator. Eve, who is represented as the wayward woman in this song is being warned that the lights of the big city will seduce her to evil, but she gets caught up in the licentiousness of the city to the point where Jay-Z finally tells her, “Jesus Can’t Save You.” This woman has become a harlot (whore) in Babylon! Jay-Z tells us that her busts (breasts) are out and everybody rides (fucks) her like a bus route.
Everything Jay-Z rapped about in 2009 is on showcase in 2021 through Social media sites like Instagram and Fans Only. "Eve"... women calling themselves Instagram models and showing the world their "shame." (nudity).
“Jesus can’t save her!” Why? Because she’s lost her faith/belief in Christ! Jesus will only save, heal and work miracles on them that believe! And clearly, this woman in Jay-Z's song does not believe!
Jay-Z rapping, "Jesus can't save you"... to those of us who study the Bible is rooted in scripture. For in fact, Jesus could not save some people when he was on earth! Did you know that Jesus could not work miracles in some people’s lives? Did you know that no amount of “Abracadabra” worked on some of those stubborn 1st century Jews? Did you know that Jesus’s “magic-wand/gooba dust” didn’t work on everybody he tried to help? Really doe!
Mark 6:5-6 says, “And he [Jesus] could do no mighty works [miracles], save [except] that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marveled [was trippin’] because of their unbelief [in the power of miracles].” WOW! Most of you never read that scripture! Most of you never knew that Jesus had hella time trying to work miracles in some folks’ lives! Read the whole chapter and when you get to verses five and six they will read just as I’m giving them to you!
Why is it that Jesus “could do no mighty works?” Because the people didn’t BELIEVE! Just like the woman in Jay-Z’s song! Jesus can’t save you if you have no belief! Jesus can’t save you if you don’t want to be saved! As I’ve stated, a miracle happens as a result of faith and belief.
So the question of Jay-Z’s alleged blasphemy is put into proper perspective. Jay-Z telling this woman that Jesus couldn’t save her is based on her non-belief—her profligate lifestyle—her “Jezebel” sexual urges—her willingness to make mammon (materialism) her god (no man or woman can serve two masters)—her longing for the seductions of the serpent’s apple (i.e. All of life’s evil temptations).
Jesus said, “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Luke 11:9-10).
How can Jesus save this woman when she hasn’t asked to be saved? How can Jesus save this woman when she has not knocked? How can this woman be saved when she has not seeked salvation? It is not that Jesus can’t save her! She has to want to be saved! She has to return to her spiritual center—listen to her inner voice—take heed to her Consciousness (the God in her!) or as Jay-Z rapped, this “girl needs blinders” to keep on the straight and narrow path of righteousness. God says, “Return unto me and I will return unto you!” (Malachi 3:7)
Again, “salvific” (salvation) opportunity comes as a result of a person making the first step towards God. So it is written, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)
Jay-Z spoke truth no matter how offensive it may have come across. This should teach us that we need to step our biblical studies game up—even many of these preachers who’ve jump on the “Jay-Z is Lucifer bandwagon.”
What does Jay-Z mean when he raps, “Life begins when the Church ends?” This is what I think he means. The “church,” since Time Immemorial, has held captive, the minds and hearts and pockets of the masses. The “church” is a metaphor for all religion! The “church” has been the worst criminal on earth, instigating and taking part in such heinous crimes as The Inquisition, the Crusades, the (Muslim) Campaigns, the raping and pillaging of Africa by the sword of Islam, the African Slave Trade by the hands of Muslims, Christians and Jews, the annihilation of the Indigenous Population in the Western Hemisphere—so-called Indians—the second-class citizenry of women and the condemning to hell of same gender-loving people (gays). The “church” has raised and raped whole lands—giving the people “religion” and heaven, while stealing the natural resources of oil, gold and other precious metals along with the land. The “church” has bloodstained hands! No religion is without fault!
And so, real life... real living will only start when the need for a physical building is abolished; the church, synagogue, temple, tabernacle and mosque! Be gone! "Life starts when the church ends!"Jay-Z rapped. Abolish all organized religion and find the "God" in YOU!
Again, the “church” is the catchphrase for all organized religion. All religion is man-made! God did not create Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, etc., etc., etc.! Man created those titles, which further divided humanity from the oneness with the Creator. As Karl Marx so aptly put it, “Religion is the opium of the people.” Opium is a painkiller, a sedative used in heroin, a drug that induces people to become walking zombies—non-entities. Marx believed in a world free of religion and wrote of a utopian world where the condition which causes the need for religions is no longer. He called religion the, “illusionary happiness of the masses.”
This need to extinguish “religion,” which separates people and nations is echoed by The Beatles’ singer John Lennon, who wrote “Imagine” where he sang:
“Imagine… Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too.
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace.
You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one.”
Just think how great the world would be if people weren’t killing in the name of a god or a religion! How grand and utopian a world it would be indeed!
The great African-Hebrew scholar Yosef ben-Yohannon wrote, “Religion is the deification of a people’s culture.” He believes that every culture and society makes “god” out of their culture and nationality, thus you get “my religion is true, yours is false!” And as long as we think that our particular brand of religion is the definitive truth, we, the “church” is enslaving the rest of humanity with our close-mindedness.
The “church” has committed grievous sins in the sight of the Almighty! The church is all organized religion—Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc. All religion has been an abomination before God.
Televangelist, Pastor John Hagee, in a televised sermon said, “Last year when the Pope asked the world’s forgiveness for what the Church had done in its past, it was courageous and it was necessary, because there’s a black, black page in the history of the Church that must be forgiven. The theology of the Roman Church led to the Holocaust!”
How can the people be free to live when their minds are shackled by the confines of organized religion? Call Jay-Z what you want—devil worshipper, Luciferian, freemason—he spoke truth! Is it not unimaginable that the “devil/Satan” is the author of our purported religions? Is it not impossible that every religion is the handiwork of the devil, put in place to divide, separate and keep people killing one another in their bogus truths? Could it be possible that the real truths of the universe are shrouded in secrecy in these secret societies, which are shared but by a few?
In a hip-hop landscape where rappers are giving us corny lyricism and Step-N-Fetchit dance crazes (think Stanky Leg, Ricky Bobby, Crank Dat/Superman), it is refreshing that a
rapper lyricist inspires some of us to think outside of the religious box of Christianity. Certainly, this is what Jay-Z has done. Jay-Z is not the first to be called a devil-worshipper! He is in a class of esoteric (secret) thinkers that date back to the Egyptian Mystery System, the Greek Philosophers, the Christian Knights Templars, the Islamic Assassins, the Freemasons, the Shriners, the Illuminati, the Druids, the Rosicrucians, the Ku Klux Klan, who, by the way, got its name from the Masonic word for “circle”—Kuklos or closed circle of same-thinking men—all the way down to our present college fraternities and sororities, who engage in some form of secrecy.
Hip-hop heads! Stop being shook by Jay-Z’s lyrics! Pick up a book and Know-the-ledge!