American Gospel singer, Kirk Franklin, left his day job for a short moment to give rap a try.
The 16 time Grammy winner was invited to the booth by BET for their 2022 Hip-Hop Award show. He went in with a lot of confidence, declaring that the Holy Spirit was the Ghost Writer for his holy rhymes. However thousands of Christians around the world have criticised his performance, calling it ‘public blasphemy’.
The reason his 16 bars has stirred up this debate is because in one of the bars Kirk Franklin said,
“The Lion and the lamb will bow down to the G.O.A.T”
In Hip-Hop slang, G.O.A.T stands for Greatest of All Time, it’s an acronym often used by rappers and athletes to celebrate themselves or their peers. Since the word became mainstream in the early 2000s it has been used as an honorary title, producing an on-going debate about which rapper is really the greatest.
But despite it’s culture context, for Christians, Kirk Franklin’s bars are not biblically sound. In Christianity Jesus is the Lion of Judah and He is the Lamb that was slain (See more in Revelation 5:5-6). With this knowledge many people have found it utterly offensive that Kirk Franklin would suggest that the Lion and and the Lamb will bow down to the G.O.A.T. For many Christians the goat symbolizes the devil. In the Gospel of Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus tells a parable of the Sheep and the Goats, in this passage the goats experience eternal judgment and the sheep enter eternal life.
After the strong backlash, the American Gospel singer explained the meaning behind his lyrics saying that:
“In hip-hop, who’s the G.O.A.T (greatest of all times) is always a discussion. So I used lion and lamb metaphorically to say that everyone who thinks they’re the best will someday have to bow down to the best, meaning Jesus who is the ultimate greatest of all time. It’s hyperbole not theology”.