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Hip and Hop and the Heidelberg Catechism: Part 2

 

By Reginald Smith

 

In 1563, King Frederick III asked two young theologians—Zacharias Ursinus and Casper Olevianus—to write a biblically based tool that could be used by preachers and teachers. According to the preface, the purpose of this catechism was to educate young people about the Word of God so that they could live in accordance with it. Ursinus and Olevianus were called to translate a fledgling new faith for their generation.

Centuries later, I was following a trusted path to get sound theology into my young people and speak to their hopes and fears. Most of them proudly wore T-shirts featuring the late rapper, Tupac Shakur, to youth meetings and mission trips. Shakur, who was shot and killed in 1996, has been the prophet of the hip-hop soul. Why do young urban people—and some adults—continue to listen to him? In his book Holler If You Hear Me, theologian Michael Eric Dyson quotes Shakur in a prison interview: “‘I’m just trying to speak about things that affect me and about the things that affect our community.’” Shakur told the truth about life as it is. I needed a text that was bold and honest enough to do the same. The Heidelberg Catechism—unafraid to tell it like it is—was the right document.

 

Salvation is at the center of everything. In a world where young people are constantly looking for love in all the wrong places, seeking redemption by dreaming of becoming the next TikTok sensation or YouTube influencer, or dying too young, this catechism can speak to the tired, thirsty souls seeking to sip on some of this gospel juice.  

 

SALVATION:   DELIVERANCE

Lord’s Day 5

Q & A 12       DOES GOD HAVE A LAYAWAY PLAN FOR ME?

God is HOLY and sin cannot exist in his presence; so the price for sin has to be paid in full, either by ourselves or by someone else.

 

13        DO I HAVE ENOUGH TO COVER THE COST?

                                    Not even close, in fact our guilt increases every minute, every day.

 

14        CAN YOU PAY MY WAY?

                                    No, I’m sinful too.

                    

15        WHO’S YOUR TICKET OUT OF HELL?

                                    The price has to be paid by someone who is completely human, and completely God.                  

 

Worship ideas:

            -a game where people accumulate tokens, and then find out that tokens are negative points, compare accumulated negative points to the accumulation of guilt which prevents us from paying the price for sin.

            -write GUILT, have students call out what it means to them, make lists

            -the skit about the prisoner about to be executed 

            -a demonstration that just as light cannot stand darkness, God cannot allow sin.

 

 

SALVATION:   ATONEMENT

Lord’s Day 6

Q & A 16        WHAT’S A TRUE DELIVERER?

                                                A human being who has never sinned.

                                               

                                    17        WILL ANY GOD DO FOR ME?

Only a TRUE GOD could bear the punishment for every single sin of every single person from the beginning of time; and restore me to a real relationship with God.

 

                                    18        WHO’S MY DAWG?

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who came to me to set me free and make me right with God.

 

                                    19        HOW WILL THIS REVOLUTION BE TELEVISED?

                                                We know from the Bible.

 

SALVATION:   FAITH

 Lord's Day 7

 Q & A 20                    CHRIST OR ADAM? YOU MAKE THE CALL.

IF EVERYONE IS CONDEMNED BECAUSE OF ADAM, THEN IS EVERYONE SAVED BECAUSE OF CHRIST?

No, only people who put their faith in Christ will be saved.

 

John 3:16      God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.

John 3:36      Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life. Anyone who says no to the Son will not have life. God's anger remains on him.

 

21        CAN I GET A WITNESS?

True faith is knowing who God says he is in the Bible, and being absolutely certain that it is true.

John 17:3      And what is eternal life? It is knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Heb. 11:1-3    Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see.  That is what the people of long ago were praised for.
We have faith. So we understand that everything was made when God commanded it. That's why we believe that what we see was not made out of what could be seen.

 

22        DO I HAVE TO BELIEVE IN GOD?

                                    If you are a Christian, you must believe everything God promises us in the Bible.

 

           

IDEAS:

Things we put our trust in - 

Trust building activities such as falling back into someone’s arms

 

SALVATION:   TRINITY

Lord’s Day 8

Q & A 24        DOES GOD KNOW HOW TO RAP?

These are the bottom-line beliefs God gave us in the Bible:

            I believe in God, the Father almighty,

            creator of heaven and earth.

 

            I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

            who was conceived by the Holy Spirit

            and born of the virgin Mary.

            He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

            was crucified, died, and was buried;

            he descended to hell.

            The third day he rose again from the dead.

            He ascended to heaven

            and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.

            From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

 

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting. Amen

 

25        HOW GOD SPEAKS HIS GAME TO US.

            He shows himself to us as one God in three persons:

                        God the Father, our Creator;

                        God the Son, our Deliverer;

                        God the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier

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