Disclaimer: I'm not writing this to judge. And I know some people will disagree with me, but that’s life (Galatians 1:10). Before you come for me though, please make sure you read what I wrote and not what you think I meant.
This blog was hard for me to write.
I really wanted to defend Beyoncé, which is weird because I don’t usually stan for her like that. I’ve always respected her commitment to her craft, but am definitely not part of the Beyhive.
But in this case I wanted to defend her because artistically, Black Is King is FIRE. Genius. And I don’t use those terms lightly.
The level of artistic excellence, beauty, inspiration, and cultural diversity was absolutely stunning. Not only musically, but there were cinematic moments that literally took my breath away.
To see this real life adaptation of The Lion King, told through music and fashion, uplifting African culture and speaking empowerment over the entire Black race was awe-inspiring.
And as a Black, brown-skinned woman living in America who often feels put down by Eurocentric beauty standards, I teared up during the song, “Brown-Skinned Girl.”
When it comes to art, cultural relevance, and excellence, Black Is King is phenomenal. I can tell Beyonce poured her whole heart into it and if I ever met her, the first thing I’d say is, “thank you.”
Which makes it really hard to say this but...
Black Is King is also demonic teaching, wrapped in gorgeous packaging.
Demonic - of, relating to, or suggestive of a demon. (Merriam Webster)
Demonic doesn’t mean uninspiring or necessarily “bad” as we would say. The Rich Young Ruler was a “good” person by our standards but chose Satan over giving up everything to follow Jesus (Mark 10:17-22).
Demonic also doesn’t mean ugly or running around with red horns and a suit. Satan was the most beautiful angel in Heaven, and even now, he masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:12-15).
A demon’s purpose is steal, kill, and destroy everything God has for you (John 10:10). So demonic would be anything that contributes to that purpose.
With Black Is King, Beyonce, as one of the world’s biggest influencers made it more attractive to abandon the Gospel of Jesus in favor of traditional African religions - specifically the practice of voodoo and worship of their gods - at a time in America when it’s especially attractive to do so.
This is a problem because the Bible says:
No one who practices witchcraft and follows a gospel or "good news" other than the one in the Bible will go to Heaven. That’s not my opinion, the “white man’s Christianity,” or me being “anti-African.” It’s Biblical Scripture.
Some people called Black Is King demonic simply for highlighting an African culture that’s foreign to them. For that, they’re wrong. But that’s not why I’m saying it.
African religions and African people are not mutually exclusive.
The man who helped Jesus carry his cross was African (Matthew 27:32). The Ethiopian Eunuch, who was baptized in the name of Jesus and historians believe brought the Gospel to Ethiopia, was African (Acts 8:34-39).
There were absolutely African Christians long before the American slave trade. And even African religions that aren’t Christian have similar foundational beliefs.
But the difference between Christianity and other religions, both African and not, is Jesus. So as I’m disagreeing with a traditionally African religion, that’s not me being anti-African or even anti-Beyonce. That’s me disagreeing with anything that disagrees with the Bible, regardless of where it comes from.
Jesus is God. Period. (John 1:1-3)
The idolatry in Black Is King doesn’t start with symbolism from other religions, the prominent voodoo, or the glorification of their deities. It starts with the title that grammatically puts “Black” in the place of Jesus instead of just royalty. At one point she looked down at her son and said, “You are the living word.” Actually no, that’s Jesus (John 1:14).
This is a subtle but monumental change that we’ve seen before in the phrase, “love is love,” vs. “God is love.” We cannot do the same thing by putting “Black” in place of Jesus. That is idolatry.
Culture is not Scripture. And it will not save us.
Yes, Black people came from a royal heritage that isn’t recognized or celebrated enough. And it should be, by us and others. I completely agree with that narrative in the film, and am grateful for it.
But that is an earthly heritage, and earthly Kingship. The bigger truth is that the only way we can be royalty in eternity is to be born into God’s royal family through Jesus.
Flesh gives birth to flesh and so we were born Black because our earthly family is Black. But Spirit gives birth to Spirit. So if we want to live past this life, being spiritually born through Jesus is the only way (John 3:5-7).
Now of course if it was only a grammar change then no big deal. But throughout the film, Beyonce sings about us being part of something bigger and the good news of returning to God, completely leaving out Jesus!
It’d be one thing if it wasn’t religious at all because a lot of things leave Jesus out. But this film replaced Him while calling other fake gods by name and giving a starring role to a witch doctor.
This is a big deal because:
Now did I expect Beyonce to show up, preach the Gospel, and denounce all other gods? No, of course not. But she replaced Jesus entirely and intentionally pointed people to gods, goddesses, and religion that can't save them.
Remember, the purpose of a demon is to steal, kill, and destroy what God has for us by any means necessary. And unfortunately, whatever Beyonce’s personal beliefs are, she bought right into that in making this film.
Both for the sake of her own salvation, peace, and joy, and also because the Kingdom of God needs people who are excellent at what they do and are also willing to submit themselves to the Scriptures.
The same ability that Beyonce had to have us all Googling gods and different religions we didn’t know anything about is the same ability she could have to get millions of people to give Jesus and the Bible a whole-hearted try. Especially at such a painful time when many people are searching for more.
To those who think I’m being harsh, I’m sorry and that’s not my intention. I’m just here trying to share what the Scriptures say in a loving and gently way. These are not my words but God’s, which is why I'm referencing so many Scriptures (please read them in context for more clarity).
To people who think I’m narrow minded, please don’t mistake a narrow belief for a narrow mind. I see and understand a wide variety of beliefs, and why people choose to believe them. I’ve also chosen to believe what Jesus says about the narrow road (Matthew 7:13-14). A narrow mind and a narrow belief are not the same thing.
And to anyone - Christians included - who wants to watch the film and appreciate it for what it is, go for it. Black Is King is not any more demonic than many other things we watch every day that glorify an ungodly lifestyle. God doesn’t see any difference between praying to Oshun or Mary, watching Beyonce or Taylor Swift.
If it violates your conscience, don’t watch it (Romans 14:14). But if your conscience is clear, watch it and take it for the good:
You can follow the Bible, believe Jesus is the only way, not support the pagan symbolism in the film, and still appreciate the beauty and cultural relevance displayed.
But it is crucial that you realize exactly what you’re looking at, guard your heart, and make sure you’re solid on the fact that Jesus is who He says He is: Lord and the ONLY way to God (John 4:25-26, Matthew 7:15-21).
I love you and God bless.