Christian artist Lecrae recently encouraged Christians to embrace those who come from different cultural backgrounds and asserted that division occurs when people are unwilling to develop relationships with those who are different from them.
"America is full of different cultures, yet it baffles me when people with cultural differences, who rarely interact with each other on deep levels, have so much commentary on the others' cultural perspective," he wrote.
Lecrae used himself as an example, explaining that he does not have any Moroccan friends and could not imagine trying to understand their cultural outlook on the world without first establishing a meaningful relationship with them.
Conversely, the "Say I Won't" singer revealed that he gained insight on the culture of Native Americans after he spent several months traveling in their lands, making friends with them, and hearing about their perspectives.
He continued, "Division is to be expected when people aren't developing meaningful relationships with others outside their culture. Everyone who lives in America (or is Christian for that matter) does not see everything the same. But if you find yourself upset at someone's outlook...that may need to be the very person you build a relationship with."
Last month, Lecrae penned an op-ed for Billboard.com where he discussed racial reconciliation in light of the June shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine black people were killed 21-year-old Dylann Roof.
While Lecrae praised the families of the victims for forgiving the shooter, he encouraged the church to be more assertive in addressing the deeper racial tensions which led to tragedy.
"Let's not simply encourage the oppressed to be calm and act peacefully," he said. "Let us in the words of Isaiah 1:17, 'Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression."
He also addressed the spiritual battle raging indiscriminately within all of humanity.
"There is a great antagonist, and it does not have black or white skin," he continued. "It is the brokenness of humanity. May a love that miraculously mends our brokenness be the protagonist."
Lecrae, who is signed with his own independent label, Reach Records, gained nationwide attention after his album, "Anomaly," topped Billboard and sold 88,000 copies in week one. In addition to four Dove awards, the rapper also is the first hip hop artist to win the Grammy Best Gospel Album in 2013. He also won another Grammy in 2015 for for his song "Messengers."
Lecrae's massive success partially stems from his shying away from the Christian music stereotype. In an interview with the Atlantic, the rapper, whose lyrics focus on issues including slavery, adultery, and abortion, clarified that he is not a "Christian rapper," but a rapper who happens to be a Christian.
"I think listeners like to be challenged from time to time," Lecrae said. "We're creative, we are innovative. I think our music should reflect that. I think when people listen to my music it's a reflection of who we are. We're human beings. We're made in God's image. We're creative, purposeful beings and I want my music to reflect that reality."