Christian rapper Shai Linne of Lamp Mode Recordings released a song Friday that calls out prosperity gospel preachers by name, including Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, and the entire Trinity Broadcasting Network.
“I ain’t really trying to start beef, but some who claim to be part of his sheep got some sharp teeth,” he raps in “Fal$e Teacher$” (play below) before pointing to Matthew 7:16.
Go to 2:30 in song to hear the list
The song is on Linne’s upcoming album Lyrical Theology Part 1, and has riled up the Christian blogosphere, especially as the song names 12 pastors followed by “is a false teacher!” to a catchy beat.
In a video on Lamp Mode’s YouTube channel (see below), Linne explained he didn’t write the song to cause controversy, but to address an issue in the American church now spreading overseas. He said he addressed the issue with fellow rapper Timothy Brindle in a 2003 song called “Faulty Doctrine” and wanted to write another song as the movement has grown, especially in African countries like Malawi, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.
The song has now prompted a response from Paula White’s son and manager Brad Knight, who said “The Bible instructs us Christians how to handle faults in Matthew 18:15-17. Telling us to go to one another with our grievances. Instead, you have chosen to air your grievances to an audience that will already agree with you. Are you really doing right and protecting the sheep?” Knight asked in what was a lengthy response to the song.
The rapper Linne goes on to explain,
“You have these rallies where literally over 100,000 people will come to hear these guys talk about prosperity,” Linne told Wade-O Radio. “The people who are coming are impoverished like crazy and they’re buying into it thinking that this false theology is going to be their way out of poverty. They figure, ‘Hey, it must work because it’s working for these guys in America.’”
Linne said he tried to be careful in his approach, as he realized many true believers follow these preachers, but at the same time, he wanted to speak the truth about men and women who are preaching a false gospel. He recognized that people would be upset with his lyrics of the song, but “God forbid that for the love of some fans, I keep quiet and watch them die with their blood on my hands.”
He calls out preachers who claim faith is an avenue to wealth, “treating Jesus like a lottery ticket,” and speak only of the blessings, rather than the need to suffer. He also raps that even if some of the things they preach are true “they’re only proof that Satan comes as an angel of light.”
Linne said in the video interview that while preparing to write the song, he listened to recent teachings from the pastors mentioned and found a pattern: The preachers would reference a bible passage, speak about the good things God wants for His people, which he noticed “always centered on self as though God existed for us, not the other way around.” Then they would work up the crowd to an emotional frenzy and ask them to donate money, claiming that by “sowing this seed” God would multiply their giving.
“Do you wanna know what all false teachers have in common? It’s called self-ism, the fastest growing religion / They just dress it up and call it Christian,” he raps in the song.
John Piper, who the Houston Chronicle calls “every reformed rapper’s favorite pastor,” tweeted a link to Linne’s video and wrote “My, my, Shai, this is good.”
Listen to the song above to hear Linne’s full list of False Teachers. Do you agree with him? Comments can be left below.