Allow me to preface this by stating that I am a Christian who owns three Eminem records. That should tell you everything you need to know about me.

I saw a post on Facebook today which linked to a rumour article which claimed that high-profile hip hop artist Eminem had become a born-again Christian. I felt compelled to write a short opinion piece about this, focusing not so much on the conjecture as to the state of his faith, but more on some of the issues surrounding this rumour article.

First of all, and I am apologising in advance for sounding like a complete internet snob (and jerk in general) here, it does not surprise me that this was posted on the Facebook social network.  When you are 'friends' with a lot of Christians on this particularly vanilla and mainstream network, you see stuff like this posted all the time. Some groups of friends are more susceptible to posting things like this than others. For example, I have a few American Christian friends, and it seems like Christianity as a 'religion' is a lot more 'tribalistic' in the United States. 

I'm trying not to offend anyone here, but you see a lot more 'Like this if you love Jesus' posts from American friends, for instance. From an outsider perspective, it seems that, because Christianity is still an acceptable religion across certain parts of the US, it's a lot easier to be a 'Sunday Christian' there, especially if you can boost your Christianity mid-week by posting urging others to vote 'NO' on gay marriage or 'YES' on prayer in schools and other such arguably pointless causes.  And every now and again, a rumour will surface regarding a certain high-profile celebrity's faith (Marshall Mathers is certainly not the first…), and it will be shared and re-posted as if to 'boost morale' within Christian circles, i.e. if X is a Christian then it must be cool. I realise this is not always the case and that some people are genuinely concerned about the souls of famous celebrities, more than just whether or not they are 'in your tribe' or not, but from reading comments on these Facebook posts I'd hazard an educated guess that these people are not in the majority.

The things that really intrigued me upon reading this article, which merely hints at a rumour regarding the rapper's faith (as if it's anybody's business what anybody else believes or doesn't), was not only the way in which the article was written, but the followup comments from other Facebook sharers. 

Firstly, the article is no better than a 'Tom Cruise might believe in aliens' story. He might, he might not. We will never know for sure because we aren't him, but moreover whether he does or not shouldn't matter to anyone who doesn't know him personally. The article also insinuates that Mathers was a Christian at one time, but then 'sold his soul' to popular music, as if appearing on MTV can somehow affect the status of your eternal hope. 

Now I'm not naive; I realise that whilst the likes of Katy Perry and Marcus Mumford have professed faith in the past, they're not currently talking about their Saviour on primetime TV. Does that mean they are no longer saved? Of course not. Is it possible to meet Jesus, decide to follow Him and then fall away? Well that's a discussion for another day. And let's not forget that everybody's personal faith is their own business and nobody else's. At the end of the day, it's down to the conversation between them and God as to whether dressing in a revealing manner or dropping the F bomb in lyrics is what He planned for their lives.

Secondly, the Facebook comments - well let's just take a look at some of them:

This person prays blessings upon Marshall. That's nice of her. She also prays he's 'turned from the dark ways of the entertainment industry'. I'd love to know what these 'dark ways' are. She sounds like a 1970s tract that I recall reading once:  

Seriously, give that whole tract a read - it's as frightening as it is funny. Let's look at another:

A 'total turn around'. I'd love to know what she thinks he's been guilty of, or what evidence she has that he hasn't been a practising Christian for many years now. Or is she saying that if you've appeared on MTV you can't be right with God? These are the kind of moralistic self-righteous statements that put Christians so far out-of-whack with reality and the rest of the world. So thanks for that. And finally:

I had to read this a good number of times before I understood the gist of it, but I'm not here to insult this person's grammatical knowledge. The sentiment is the same, and is equally flawed. What do these people believe he (and others like him) are guilty of? If it's the lyrics, they're just words. Even if you are offended by them, this doesn't necessarily mean that God is. If it's the sentiment behind the words, remember that this is a performance and, just as we haven't tried Tom Hardy in a court of law for blowing up a football stadium and trapping all of Gotham City PD underground, we must also remember that actors and musicians alike are merely playing a part, so if Marshall raps that he's got a girl tied up in the boot of his car and then accidentally drives them both off a cliff, it doesn't mean that it actually happened, nor does it mean he's a 'bad role model' to kids etc.

I am only posting this short piece because, as a Christian, I get a bit fed up sometimes of other 'Christians' who constantly bring those of us who are striving to live by God's Word every day down to the level where we're all just a bunch of automatons who believe the Bible tells us that any woman who shaves her head should be stoned and any man who swears on TV can't possibly be a Christian. I've done my best not to say anything out of a place of pride or hatred (and probably haven't done the best job), but the one sentiment I'd like any Christians reading this to take away would be this:


If you are going to re-blog an article about another person (because let's not forget, 'celebrities' have been scientifically proven to share 98% of our human DNA…), why not stop to think about why you are posting, who is going to be affected by your decision, and is that affect going to be positive or negative?

If Eminem is a Christian, that's great for him. I can't wait to party in Heaven with him, Prince, Bono and the Edge, Marcus Mumford, Katy Perry, Chuck Norris, Alice Cooper, Johnny Cash, Rev. Run and Bob Dylan. But does it really matter to me or anybody else? Probably not as much as it matters to God.