Several weeks ago, GCM Watch introduced you to the work of Brooklyn based poet and hip hop Christian lyricist J-Elijah. J-Elijah’s bold, new presence on the scene declaring freedom from homosexuality, bisexuality and the “down-low” through his poetry was deserving of a more indepth interview. The 32 year old Howard University film school grad currently attends Perfecting Faith Church and founded a ministry called Jesus Loves Me To Deliverance. We asked him what that was about and much more…
Gay Christian Movement Watch: What’s Jesus Loves Me to Deliverance all about?
J-Elijah: Jesus Loves Me to Deliverance is my Christian Hip Hop poetry ministry which emphasizes the incomparable love of Jesus Christ as the answer to freedom from sin. I got the revelation for my ministry when I watched the film, “The Passion of the Christ.” When Mary Magdalene watched Jesus Christ be crucified, she had a flashback. In John 8, when the men of the town brought the woman caught in the act of adultery before Jesus to stone her. Jesus said, “Thou who is without sin cast the first stone.” Instead of condemnation, Jesus showed her compassion. In that moment, not only did Jesus save this woman’s life, he also loved this woman with this act of intervention. He loved her so much, that his love delivered her. The compassion and love of Jesus can compel you to repent of your sin.
When other people hate on you, mock you, and ostracize you, because of mistakes or sins, Jesus loves you. Jesus can love you to your deliverance. Jesus Loves Me to Deliverance could also be considered an overcoming ministry. The answer for deliverance from the down low and homosexuality is Jesus, the love of Jesus. So my ministry is meant to empower generations to overcome homosexuality, sexual immorality, mental illness, and abuse through Jesus Christ and the
Word of God.
GCMW: Would you describe your own deliverance?
JE: My deliverance has been a process. I am overcoming. I repented of the homosexual/down low lifestyle years ago. In a moment, I chose to stop and turn away from having sex with the person I was with. I haven’t slept with another person in over 10 years. I thank the Lord for keeping me. I choose daily to follow Jesus instead of pursuing the lust of the flesh. Through resources like books,cd, dvds, and websites, I have gained so much knowledge and understanding which have aided my deliverance. Supportive friends with whom I’ve been able to be transparent with have truly made the difference. I also attended a men’s support group that dealt with overcoming sexual brokenness which was extremely beneficial and two Exodus Freedom Conferences (international conferences emphasizing liberty from homosexuality).
GCMW: Did you really want to “put your business out” for people to know your past?
JE: If not me, who? If not now, when? I believe if, we as Christians make ourselves of no reputation, we can be more effective for the Kingdom of God and nations could be delivered. One of the characteristics that I most admire is transparency. If we withhold our testimonies, how can anyone overcome? See, after all the suffering I’ve been through in my life, I wanted to do some radical stuff for Jesus, manifest the Kingdom of God, start a revolution. I believe it was necessary for me to “put my business out” so someone else could be empowered. Generations are suffering and no one wants to talk about it. How much longer can we not deal with our issues? It’s time to “prepare the way for the Lord.”
GCMW: Some Christians are opposed to hip hop/rap genre being used to represent Christ. What’s your response to that?
JE: If you want to reach today’s generation, if you truly want to be relevant, you have to use hip hop/rap as a method of evangelism. Most of today’s young people may not want to hear a whole sermon being preached to them from the pulpit, but they will listen to a hip hop cd , go to a concert, even memorize all the lyrics from their favorite songs word for word. Hip hop/rap is poetry. The Book of Psalms is poetry. It is a powerful art form. Poetry is a gift from God and he wants it to be used for His glory.
JE: I believe homosexuality is one of the last strongholds the Lord wants to break before the return of Jesus Christ. It is a sensitive issue because we know people who deal with the issue, whether it’s us, or someone in our family, our church, our community. There is so much pain with homosexuality. Either we minister from a place of condemnation or compromise. Condemnation nor compromise is not the answer but compassion. Love, compassion, and truth emphasizing the mercy and grace of God through Jesus Christ will deliver brothers and sisters from homosexuality and all of it’s shame. Everyone is not anointed to minister in this area.
GCMW: Some people think that being delivered from homosexuality is a religious fairy tale. True or false?
JE: I don’t believe it is a religious fairy tale. The Lord can definitely deliver you from homosexuality. Remember, “With God, all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27) “If any man be in Christ Jesus, He is a new creation, old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17) Now, I’m not going to front with people who are in the “lifestyle” and say that they will never have any struggle and all their temptations and attractions will all magically disappear. It can happen, but if you choose to walk away from homosexuality, it’s going to be “the fight of your life.” This will be your cross and if your same sex attractions never go away, I believe the Lord will be honored that you denied your flesh, picked up your cross, and followed Him.
GCMW: In your youtube video, “The Down Low is Devastating,” you come at it hard. Is the dl really that destructive?
JE: Definitely. As I say in the piece, devastating is the best word to describe the down low. Not only should you ask the wives, girlfriends, and children of the men on the d.l., but also ask the men themselves. Brothers on the d.l., will tell you that, honestly, it is devastating to them. Its destructive in so many ways, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
GCMW: What’s the best way for a young person to leave this [homosexuality] lifestyle behind? Like, where does he or she start?
JE: The best way to leave the lifestyle behind is to finally become dissatisfied and fed up, like, “I can’t live like this anymore. I’ve got to get out of this. I’ve got to stop this.” You’ve got to be like, “Nah, I can’t do this anymore.” Leave your partners. Don’t answer their late night phone calls, emails, etc. Refuse them and refuse yourself. Want more out of life. Know that the Lord has more for you. He’s got a purpose that is beyond your fleshly desires. The internet is a powerful resource. Look up websites and books about repenting from homosexuality. Join a support group, which I highly recommend, become part of a network that will pray for you and love you through.
GCMW: And how did you get the name J-Elijah?
JE: J-Elijah is my pseudonym for rap and poetry. When I chose my name as a lyricist, emcee, poet, I wanted to make sure it was spiritually significant. J-Elijah is based on the scriptures of Jeremiah 1:4-10 and Luke 1:13-17. God chose Jeremiah to be His mouthpiece. Before John the Baptist was born, the angel told Zachariah, his father, that John would go forward in the spirit and power of Elijah. J is short for Jeremiah and John the Baptist. Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and Elijah were chosen by The Lord of Hosts to minister repentance to their generation.