By Jessica Martinez, CP Reporter
Beyoncé Knowles’ pastor, Rudy Rasmus, defended the singer against Christian critics who have scrutinized her explicit lyrics and videos from her latest album.
Rasmus, who leads St. John’s United Methodist Church in downtown Houston and is a longtime friend of both Beyoncé and husband Jay Z, gave his opinion regarding the message behind Beyoncé’s music without noting whether it contradicts the purity of Christianity or not.
“I’ve answered that question many times and the answer is still the same. Beyoncé is a consummate entertainer, and an entertainer entertains. Is the entertainer’s entertainment an expression of that person’s life and reality? I don’t know. But I know when Arnold Schwarzenegger straps on a 30 caliber cannon and blows planes out of the sky, nobody asks the question, ‘Arnold why are you walking around for those 90 minutes in that suit with that 30 caliber cannon? What kind of person are you?’ I don’t think I’ve heard that question. But at the end of the day, Arnold Schwarzenegger is an entertainer,” Rasmus said, according to The Grio.
He also noted that Beyoncé “is tremendously gifted” and that “the world would void an extreme talent if we silenced her or censored her.”
During his interview, the pastor also spoke about the power couple, saying he has not given them marriage advice since officiating their wedding in 2008. Furthermore, he said the key to the longevity of their marriage is grounded on trust, respect and love.
Since Beyoncé released her self-titled album in December, Christians and non-believers alike have criticized her videos and sexually-charged lyrics on her provocative tracks, including songs titled “Blow” and “Drunk in Love.”
Among the most of explicit videos is “Partition,” in which Beyoncé cage dances for Jay Z before getting on the floor in her underwear. In the video, she sings about a sexual encounter taking place in the back seat of a car and refers to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
The artist also drew criticism earlier this year from Christians after she posted an image on her Instagram account where she is shown sitting in the center of a “Last Supper” painting, in front of Jesus’ image.
“Is nothing sacred anymore? This is clearly an act of disrespect towards Jesus Christ, whom Beyoncé covers up with her pose,” Tim Wildmon, president of American Family Association, said in a statement.
It is that precise form of criticism that Rasmus defended Beyoncé against while even noting that she has the right to earn a living through her talents.
In response, Christian author and blogger Diana Hobbs, called out Rasmus for being “wrong.”
“Unfortunately, Rasmus’ ideology omits accountability to God and ignores the call to honor central biblical virtues like modesty and the Scriptures’ admonitions against glorification of the flesh. Since when did creativity (for a Christian, at least) trump honoring the Creator? I cannot imagine God on his throne applauding or supporting all His word goes against,” Hobbs said.
But Beyonce Knowles’ pastor Rudy Rasmus praised the singer’s charitable work during a recent interview, saying she has made an impact within his ministry because of her “incredible heart.”
Beyonce attended St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston before becoming famous and now she and her family continue to donate millions to the church to help the homeless and feed the poor.
“She’s an incredible human being. Has an incredible heart and has been extremely helpful in our mission and our ministry here,” said Rasmus, reports Houston-based KHOU news. “She has a global platform and is doing some amazing work and I’m glad she’s a friend of mine.”
Rasmus has been promoting his new book, Love Period. When All Else Fails, and says Beyonce embodies the spirit of his book’s message, which is to love others unconditionally regardless of social, economic, physical, mental or racial background.
Beyonce’s $7 million dollar housing complex in Houston, which provides living spaces to 42 families, is a prime example of Rasmus’ message. In addition, the singer has joined forces with her mother, Tina, and sister, Solange, along with singers Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to help Rasmus’ non-profit organization, Bread of Life, Inc.
Rasmus, who counts Beyonce as his church’s extended family, also says his nearly 10,000-member congregation has always embraced the vision of unconditional love and acceptance, which Beyonce grew up knowing since her early days as one of the church choir’s singers.
“What we’re saying is there are literally no borders or boundaries that determine whether or not a person can be part of our extended family here,” said Rasmus.
He added, pointing to the church’s altar, “She used to sing right here. I don’t remember the song but I do remember she had long braids, tennis shoes and jeans on. A far cry from what she is today.”
Rasmus officiated Beyonce and rapper Jay Z’s 2008 wedding and when asked about recent tabloid rumors surrounding the couple’s marital issues and family disputes, including the infamous elevator altercation between Solange and Jay Z, he said he does not pay attention to them and noted, “I validate my information with a conversation with the individual.”
In past interviews, Rasmus has given his opinion on the singer’s lifestyle and at times has defended her from Christian critics. Most recently, the pastor shared his thoughts on the message behind Beyoncé’s music without noting whether it contradicts the purity of Christianity or not, since Christians have scrutinized her explicit lyrics and videos from her latest album.
“I’ve answered that question many times and the answer is still the same. Beyoncé is a consummate entertainer, and an entertainer entertains. Is the entertainer’s entertainment an expression of that person’s life and reality? I don’t know…,” said Rasmus.