An open letter to Scott Brown, Dan Horn, Scott Aniol, Geoff Botkin, Joel Beeke, Jason Dohm, and Joe Morecraft.
Father God, use my brain and my fingers to communicate with your children in a way that honors You. Help me to keep my personal preferences and theological biases at bay. Cause me to respond in love and not in a hypocritical or sinful way. I desire to approach these men—who I believe are my brothers—with a love and graciousness that can only be found supernaturally through you. Give myself and those who were hurt the strength and perspective to forgive the gentlemen who have re-opened painful wounds with their words and most importantly with the perceived hateful tone in which their words were delivered. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Dear Brothers in Christ,
The primary goal of my letter here is to offer a gracious response to your arguments. I believe that your comments on the NCFIC panel were wrong and I hope that this will lead us to a more edifying discussion across—socially constructed or not—cultural lines.
But first, let me start by saying—thank you! I have a great deal of respect for those of you on the panel that I’ve personally heard, read, and watched—and most of all had the privilege to learn from. My assumption is that those of you that I am not familiar with deserve a similar amount of respect and gratitude for also faithfully imparting Godly wisdom to others over the years.
Through yours and other closely affiliated ministries I have a lot to be thankful for:
- I have gained a broader view of history strengthening my trust in God’s providence
- I have learned to search scriptures before blindly following today’s Church practices
- I have developed a heart to lead my family in worship and Godly instruction
- I have gained a better understanding of masculinity and enjoy passing that onto my two sons
- I have developed an appreciation for femininity and look forward to raising my two daughters
- I have sharpened my economic principles and gospel-centered entrepreneurship
It may sound like I am bragging, but I am actually attempting to honor you and your efforts. The only thing to brag about is our God who has used you and your colleagues—despite our now very clear differences—to grow my family, one that is far outside of your circle geographically and socially.
Before I begin responding, I would like to disclose the following information up front to eliminate any perceived trump cards:
- I have owned a Christian hip-hop record label since 1997
- I have recorded and produced several Christian hip-hop songs
- I currently distribute and market several Christian hip-hop artists and labels
- I have the same basic theology as these panelists
- I prefer Hymns over Contemporary Worship (notice the word prefer)
- I currently distribute and market a son of one of the panelists
- I have considered planting a family-integrated church in San Diego
- My children are homeschooled and attend Classical classes
The Sufficiency of Scripture
I was shocked by how you handled this discussion for two reasons. First, because those inside the Family Integrated movement know firsthand what it is like to be on the receiving end of this kind of ridicule. Especially by outsiders who use broad sweeping criticisms while lumping everyone in your movement into one single caricature. For example, the usage of the recent fall of Doug Phillips as a way to invalidate your entire movement (to which I responded). Or articles such as this one in the Christian Post that claim all of you are idol worshippers. Secondly, I was surprised by the complete absence of “Sola Scriptura” which you teach regularly and something I have seen you exercise and discern well in the past.
With all due respect—although the Bible was mentioned—it was not clearly utilized in this discussions framework.
There are only two ways in which to approach every single issue. Whether the issue is abortion, youth group, marriage, or in this case hip-hop—what does God say, and what does man say? When we want to know what God says, we go to His word.
The sufficiency of scripture means that the Bible—God’s word—is the final authority on all issues. This doctrine understands that if the Bible does not speak directly about an issue (i.e. Computers, Birth Control, and Contact Lenses) it does not mean the Bible doesn’t have a position. It also does not mean that omission equals opposition. This doctrine also allows for freedom to land in different spots on issues much like Calvin and Luther. These two were quite different, perhaps as different as you are from a “Reformed Rapper”.