What Does Macklemore’s “Same Love” Teach Christians

Same-Love-Macklemore-Ryan-LewisAfter Macklemore made it onto the scene with his hit “Thrift Shop” he later decided to make waves with a much more serious song called “Same Love.” If you haven’t heard this song yet you will want to take a few minutes to listen to it. It’s a song that Billboard has pegged as the “Gay Equality Anthem.” It’s much more than a song, it’s a statement about equality and how homosexuality is something that cannot be changed with religion or just trying not to be gay. In this song, Macklemore takes shots at Christian culture and how many people have been hateful and disrespectful towards homosexuals.

Even though I disagree with Macklemore statements in this song, I do however believe Christians shouldn’t write this song off because it’s “secular.” If you do, you will miss the opportunity to look through the window into the culture and what people in our culture believe. I believe “Same Love” teaches a lot of things Christians need to know about the culture around them. Not so they can point fingers and judge others, but so they can understand the culture God has placed them in and become missional in their approach to everything in that culture. I hope Christians listen carefully to “Same Love” and learn how to better understand and ultimately reach a culture of people that are far from God. So here are a few things this song teaches Christians about our culture:

Many in our culture see the Bible as an out-dated book that has no authority. In “Same Love,” Macklemore says, “But we paraphrase a book written 3,500 years ago. I don’t know.” The Bible is now seen in our culture has a book that old and has no authority over how we live our lives. They may agree that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but culture has evolved and now marriage can be between the same sex. Not only do they see the Bible as out-dated, but it’s just a book that contains errors. It’s not innerant so therefore has no real authority.

Many in our culture view homosexuality has a natural thing you are born with, therefore change is not necessary or even possible. It’s to this point Macklemore takes a shot at Christianity. He says, “The right-wing conservatives think it’s a decision. And you can be cured with some treatment and religion. Man-made, rewiring of a pre-disposition, playing God.” In Romans, Paul says homosexuality is “unnatural” and includes it in his description of how sinful mankind really is. But many in our culture see it as a natural thing you are born with. What I love about this line in “Same Love” where Macklemore says homosexuality can’t be cured by religion is he is right! Yes, Macklemore is right. Homosexuality, and every other sin, cannot be cured by religion. Religion cannot do anything for you except make you prideful and legalistic. However, the Gospel can change you. Christianity is a relationship with a Person based on the good news of the Gospel. Keeping a checklist and trying harder is religion and Macklemore is dead on is saying that can’t change you. But the Gospel has the power to change someone. That’s what Macklemore and many in our culture are missing. Take a look at this incredible story of a former lesbian who talks about this idea of change in regards to “Same Love.”

Many in our culture believe in religious pluralism. Religious pluralism is the idea that all religion and faith-based systems are equal. Not only are they equal, but they all lead to the same place. No matter what religion you decide to believe in, it up to you because at the end of the day they will all lead to God. In “Same Love” Macklemore says, “Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one. Strip away the fear. Underneath it’s all the same love. About time that we raised up.” Even though  Awhile back I shared a talk with our middle school students about the idea that Jesus is the only way. Click here to read a summary of that talk or click here to listen to the audio of the whole talk.

Many people in our culture support homosexuality even though they are not gay. About half way through the song Macklemore drops an interesting line where he says, “I might not be the same, but that’s not important. No freedom till we’re equal, damn right I support it.” This is very important for Christians to understand. In our culture, homosexuals are not the only ones crying out for their equal rights. Even non-homsexuals support their lifestyle, belief, and rights. Don’t assume that because some is not gay they don’t support that lifestyle.

I hope Christians take time to listen to popular songs that come out in our culture. You don’t have to agree with them or even like the, but take a moment and listen to learn about the culture around you. Doing so will help you better understand who you are called to reach and how the Gospel communicates best in the culture.

Published by Austin McCann

Austin is the student ministries director at Redemption Chapel in Stow, OH. He has a BA from Piedmont International University and a Master of Arts in Religion with a Christian leadership focus from Liberty University School of Divinity. Austin enjoys reading, writing, playing basketball and golf, and spending time with his family.

Join the Conversation


  1. Good thoughts Austin. Similar to Walt Mueller’s belief that we have to be informed about our culture to know how to engage others.

  2. So thankful to have you at CCC, Austin! Thanks for sharing your reflections and thinking deeply about your own walk with God and the culture, as well as mentoring the next generation so that they can do the same!

  3. I just wanted to say that, as a teenager, I have noticed all of your statements about the culture right now are true. Hating or condemning homosexuality has become taboo, especially among teenagers. It’s become cool to defend gays, and the kids in my school support gay-rights even though they are not gay themselves.

    1. I’m glad you are looking into to culture and keeping a pulse on it even as a teenager. However, let me point out something you mentioned in your comment that I disagree with. You said, “Hating or condemning homosexuality has become taboo, especially among teenagers.” Hating and condemning should be taboo and Christians should NEVER hate or condemn homosexuals. Homosexuality is a sin, just like stealing or gossiping. Homosexuals are people who struggle with sin, just like we as believer do too! We should love them, befriend them, and respect them, but be honest about sin (theirs and ours) and apply the Gospel to both them and us. We are all in need of the Gospel. You can love and respect the person while hating their sin.


  4. I felt quite disturbed after watching the performance of Same Love at the VMAs, the way Macklemore was preaching about equal rights to such a wide audience. I have listened to that song many times (it is well-written if I may say so myself), and I do understand where the equal rights supporters are coming from, but this just kind of tipped me over the edge. I absolutely agree with your stand and thank you so much for sharing your piece! I think that just the way some Christians pick certain verses to argue against homosexuality, the equal rights supporters do the same in highlighting the Christians who bash them, so this whole affair gets really messy and our bible ends up on the losing end.

    I’m from Singapore (it’s in Asia), so the equal rights activity here thankfully is rather low, but a lot of my friends are all right and extremely accepting of homosexuality. I sometimes feel bad for the homosexuals as I will never be able to relate to them, although I know this isn’t exactly the ‘right’ way for a Christian to think…

    I’m confused about my stand in the whole ‘equal rights’ battle that’s raging on everywhere right now, anyone feels the same way?

    God bless!

    Faith Choo
    16, Singapore

  5. I do not learn anything from Macklemore’s lyrics except reverse bigotry. He hates Christians and others. He needs prayer.

    1. We all need prayer. From what we can tell, Macklemore isn’t a believer and is in need of the same Gospel that redeemed us. Even though I don’t agree with what he says in his music, I learn from it in the sense that it helps me see where our culture stands and how our culture is shaping the world around us. If I hope to engage those around me with the Gospel I need to be informed and educated in their culture.


  6. I personally liked “Same Love”. Yes Mackemore did say that many Christians preach hate, but it’s true! I think he was stating the truth many Christians preach hate weather you as a Christian do it or not other Christians do. Personally I liked the part where it mentions that you can’t change your sexual orientation. Because you can’t! I’m assuming many of you reading this are heaturosexual and you could not change and become homosexual. That’s because God made you in his image. He does not intend or want you to change, the same with homosexuals. God made them that way. As Mackemore says even though we don’t all worship the same God we all come from the same one. In other words only one of the different gods different people believe in only one is real. That god (In my case that god is God the father almighty, but others may believe it is Allah or something else) is what we all have in common. We all are his children and he loves all his children no matter what their sexual orientation is. The last part of the song is vital to its message “love is patient, love is kind.” I should not have to explain that. So, really the message of the song is really it’s all the same love no matter who it’s between and we can’t change the way God made us.

    1. Hi Nina,

      Thanks for taking the time to read this post and sharing your thoughts. It’s obvious we come from two different view points on the nature of homosexuality, exclusivity of God, and even the image of God. These different view points lead us to very different outcomes. I do agree that many Christians preach hate. I wish they wouldn’t. All I can do is strive to be a Christian who loves and cares for those around me, even those who may disagree with me. However, I can still love and care for people and believe their claims and ideas are incorrect. I firmly believe, because of God’s revelation (both natural revelation and special revelation – the Bible) that there is only one way to the one true God and that’s through belief in His Son Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. You obviously disagree with that point from your comments. The idea of someone being born a homosexual to me is a tough one. However, God has designed marriage to be between one man and one woman. That’s the design He set up in creation (we see that in Genesis 1 and 2). Homosexuality is rooted in our sin nature and desire to do what we want and feel instead of submitting to God’s rule and reign in our lives. Again, this is a point you disagree with. We may not agree but I do thank you for sharing your thoughts.


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