ANAHEIM, California — If you ask Christian hip-hop artist Kevin Elijah Burgess, aka "KB," the Church is going to have to confront the blind spots that it has preferred to ignore if real racial reconciliation is to happen.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Burgess said that for real racial reconciliation in America to occur and for the Church to become a prophetic voice on the matter, two things are going to have to happen.
"One is confession. There is no repentance without confession. I think there needs to be a particular emphasis on the reality that the Church is as segregated as it has always been," said the 28-year-old native of St. Petersburg, Florida, just before he took the stage before 37,000 people at SoCal Harvest in Angel Stadium on Saturday.
Although it's different today, in that there are no physical signs forbidding certain races from entering places, "if we're honest and will weep over the statistics, the events [happening in society] are largely monolithic in terms of ethnicity, and the same things apply to the Church," Burgess explained.
But race relations, he is quick to add, is a two-way street.
Noting that his own church had to do this, KB said: "We need to look at our all black church and we need to say, 'that's a problem.' And I would encourage my white brothers and sisters, as gently as I can very straightforward, that we need to look at our all-white church, our all-white industry or all-white festival or whatever it is and say: 'This is not what God wanted.'"
"And if we can arrive to that and say that this is an issue, because it is an issue to God, Heaven is not going to be a place that has a north and south side. It is our responsibility to do whatever it takes to reflect the Kingdom of God on Earth. So let's go after it, and when that happens, we'll see some things change."
He further asserted that many of the divisions are not rooted in contempt.
"It's not out of hatred or animosity; it's a blind spot. But what typically happens is that when you press on blind spots is that you find that in a lot of ways we liked the blind spot. It was good that you didn't have to deal with that which you didn't see. But like driving on the road, you can't ignore a blind spot if there's a car there. And there is a car there," KB said.
From there, Christians can converse, pool resources, relate to each other, forgive, and then build a place that mirrors Heaven.
KB is encouraged by what God is doing in many segments of the Body of Christ. At a recent council meeting of the Gospel Coalition that he attended, he was amazed at how many discussions emphasized examining issues that have been overlooked for too long.
KB, who signed with Reach Records in 2010, said he sees his genre doing great things for the Kingdom of God because of its unique storytelling power.
"Those who are conscious of the needs of humanity realize that there are few greater tools than hip-hop to grab somebody's attention. I mean, you think about movies, what are the soundtracks? You know there may be no rappers acting in the movie but in terms of what do they use to drive home the message of why you should watch this film, it has its roots in hip-hop," KB said.
"So, as people's hearts are broken over the issues of humanity that God is absolutely involved in and cares about, they can't help but use that medium to express that which will be a solvent or a balm or a peace to the hurting people around us. I think every artist deep down wants their music, even if their the most ratchet, profane dude you can imagine, deep down he wants people to hear his music and feel better about themselves and the world. And artists like myself take that seriously," he said.