Book Review - Revelations of a God-Made Man

A Former Record Charting Rap Star is Now Rapping for the Lord.
by Robin M. Caldwell

Ma$e, the rapper is dead.

In the prologue of Revelations: There's a Light After the Lime (Pocket Books), you will find a formal obituary that ends with his cause of death, Jesus Christ. Ma$e died of supernatural causes and has been resurrected as Pastor Mason Betha.

In April 1999, Ma$e was riding high on the record charts and living a decadent existence as a superstar entertainer. However, after a night of illicit sex, his bedmate suggested they'd attend church. Reluctantly, he consented and was one of the first people at the altar to accept Jesus into his heart. According to this long awaited memoir, folks were on their cell phones in the middle of the service sending the word out-"Ma$e got saved!"

The transformation from Ma$e to Pastor Mason Betha was not overnight. However, once he committed to serving the Lord, Betha did not look back. The book's cover photos of Betha convey a serene man with the clear eyes of redemption.

You don't have to be a hip-hop connoisseur or know Ma$e from Nas to enjoy this deeply personal testimony of "filthy rags" to God's glorious riches. There's even a little something for stargazers who thrive on knowing the details of the lives of celebrities. Betha namedrops without telling all on his subjects. It is with respect and integrity that he shares those incidences from his past that serve to illustrate the transforming power of God.

Revelations is sincere. Pastor Betha with the help of Karen Hunter doesn't waste your time or insult your intelligence downplaying his past sinfulness or his current struggles to walk the straight and narrow. With great candor, he shares a past of paying for multiple abortions; his love for gambling, wild sex and drugs; and a meteoric rise to superstardom as music impresario, Sean "Puffy" Combs' prot?g?. He was, literally, an overnight sensation. Yet, it is with equal candor and humility that Betha shares the struggle he's had with departing with the remnants of that life.

Written creatively with excerpts from his sermon "Hell is Not Full" dispersed between chapters; Revelations would be an excellent teaching tool for youth and young adult leaders of this Joshua Generation. Young men would hear concrete and sound reasons for respecting their bodies and women. Betha is strong on male ownership and accountability: "The devil didn't do it. You did it. He may have made things available, tempted you with an opportunity, but he can't make you do anything."

The words of wisdom he imparts to young women on giving their all to God and not to a man come straight from the renewed heart of a former womanizer and exploiter. "When you love somebody-even in a worldly love-you do things for them that you wouldn't normally do. So why can't you do the same for Christ? Trust God."

Currently, Pastor Betha presides over Saving A Nation Endangered (S.A.N.E) Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. His mission is to preach the gospel to the same people who were influenced by Ma$e. It is his desire to be as influential for the cause of Christ as he was for the enemy.

In one notable passage, Betha paints his picture of an ideal church, where Lil' Kim and Nas head the singles ministry; Puffy is choir director; Jay-Z is an evangelist and DMX is an assistant pastor over the jail ministry. "That's not even farfetched with the God that I serve," he states.

And, you believe him.

Revelations is a rarity in the genre of Christian memoirs. It is exciting and the simplicity of the language makes it an easy and compelling read. Mason Betha does a superb job of relating his love for Christ and articulating the "real life" difficulty of walking the walk.

If Revelations doesn't make you shout "amen," it will make you wince, "ouch." Pastor Mason Betha is definitely reflective of this new era of leaders who are not ashamed of the Gospel.

Rejoice! Ma$e is dead. Pastor Mason Betha has overcome him. Amen.

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