ATLANTA — The congregation of El Elyon International Church in Atlanta, Georgia is reportedly taking issue with their pastor, Mason Betha, who they accuse of living a double life as a vile rapper.
Betha is known as Ma$e in the hip-hop world, where he became a platinum-selling artist in the 1990’s until he decided to leave rap to become a minister. However, Betha recently returned to the hip-hop scene, and some members of his congregation are concerned that he has returned to his old ways.
“[T]hey believe Mase is living a double life, spending as much time in the studio with hardcore rappers as in the church,” TMZ reports. “And they say his messages from the pulpit drip in hypocrisy, because what he raps about is exactly the opposite.”
Ma$e was recently featured on the song Tricky Situation, performed by Remo the Hitmaker, which speaks of the dilemma of having a relationship with a woman who is already engaged.
“I get the honeymoon, you marry her” Ma$e raps in his guest appearance, referring to having sexual relations with the woman. “Too bad I never keep my word.”
However, in his role as pastor of El Elyon International Church, Betha delivers messages about being faithful in marriage. His book series What Do You Do After I Do? is touted as a teaching tool where “Mason and Twyla Betha share keys to build a marriage that will last a lifetime.” Betha also offered marriage counseling at his church for struggling couples.
But reports state that while teaching about marital matters, Betha “secretly” filed for divorce in January after 12 years of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences.” He later withdrew the proceedings a month later. Members of the congregation state that they had no idea about plans to divorce, and are reportedly angry about the matter.
“There’s talk now about refusing to fund the church,” TMZ reports, “[T]hat’s how bad things have become.”
Reaction the matter has been mixed.
“Ma$e, he the pioneer of da game. Now you got haters tryin’ to bring him down. Oh no, he ain’t gonna get pulled down,” one commenter wrote. “He’s a man of God and his game is based on truth. Truth from our Father, Lord Jesus Christ. You haters can hate, but only those who believe shall receive everlasting life. Can I get an amen?”
“He’s gonna learn the hard way what it means to try to make a mockery of God and put a stumbling block before impressionable people,” another wrote. “While none of us are perfect, he needs to release himself from his position so that others don’t get hurt or foolishly thinks this is okay.”