38) Unpayable Activities | Dr. Cyril Guerette (Part 1)

"Why should I do it if I don't get money for it?" Sometimes this question is valid - sometimes it can cause us to miss out on richer relationships. This week, Mark explores his aftermath of fully coming to grips with the idea of founding a community with nothing monetary to gain from it. Then he reflects on how other relationships tend to be driven subconsciously by money. What if we start turning down money when it's offered and allow something deeper to flourish in exchange?

Then Mark sits down with Dr. Cyril Guerette - Pastor with FreeChurch Toronto, Professor at Heritage Seminary, and rapper ILL SEER with PropheticPoetic. They talk about his growing up in Sarnia and falling in love with language and theology, they talk about Cyril's "come to Jesus" moment, they talk about his time at Cambridge University in England and the influences on his spirituality and theology there, and they talk about prophetic words in hip-hop, the importance of semiology, and when and how art might imitate life and life might imitate art in music and lyrics.

Join us for Part 2 next week as the conversation turn more specifically to pastoring, FreeChurch, church, and Cyril's work as ILL SEER.

Recorded on location at Marche Brookfield Place.


Follow Up This Week's Guest

Watch ILL SEER's latest music video on Rapzilla's YouTube channel.

Catch everything ILL SEER related on YouTube.

Explore ILL SEER at PropheticPoetic.

Check out FreeChurch's website.


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Notable Quotes from Dr. Cyril Guerette 

"I think for me it comes down to: my theology and my semiology – how language and God relate to each other. For me they go together. Obviously, theologically we call Christ the Word and so there's this whole idea of language – even language being a part of who God is, right? -  his own internal conversation. And so for me, right off the bat theology is intricately connected to language."

"Does rhyme have an intrinsic theology to it? There's different ways of thinking about that. if you came from a more Calvinist/predestination position you could say okay, well, rhyme was inscribed to the universe so there might be certain patterns and things that might be almost encoded there…  But then if you came maybe from a more Arminian side – openness – wel, there's something about language where this is where freedom exists where you can play with language and so this is the place where humanity can bring this creation together and we been given this gift of naming the animals and so now I can use this theologically. And so I just think it's such a rich place and for me hip-hop just hit my soul when I was young. I didn't quite see the connection when I was young – I just loved hip-hop and loved theology, and then they started coming together."

"I think the problem with church is that it's easy to compartmentalize. That's one of my critiques of Christianity is we help the children create masks....   And society teaches us to create those, right? And I think sometimes we are programmed to create them. Because in a sense if you can make everyone's schizophrenic, they can not be as effective as Christians because you can separate the two worlds. So you're swearing at the playground and you go home – 'That was just off; that never happened.' 'Why...?' 'That's a different me.'"

"There's definitely hip-hop songs that are classics where the person is saying 'I, I, I,' but it's a character – and they're writing about it in this way. But it's a downfall [narrative]. And then sometimes there is something about hip-hop where people recognize that some [artists] are going to have their real life and then their persona."


Next Week's Episode 39

Dr. Cyril Guerette (Ill Seer): Pastor, Rapper, Professor (Part 2)