Okay. I’ve been aware of a few things on the radar recently that I have purposefully not said anything about, mostly because I’ve had a few large things on my plate as of late…and I simply haven’t cared enough to weigh in on some stuff. I’ve heard about the Janet Mefferd issue with Mark Driscoll and plagiarism, but I’ve only commented on Facebook (and probably said far too much there already). I’ve heard about the Michael Brown kerfuffle with Grace to You, but I’ve only made a few comments on Facebook as well. I’ve finally heard about the whole the whole reformed rap thing, and I admit that I’ve watched the video and I’ve heard the discussion on reformed rap hosted by Alpha and Omega Ministries, but I haven’t read any of the comments online until tonight (I’m slowly catching up on what I’ve missed in the last month). I read and recommend my readers read the overviews given by Joe Carter and Brent Hobbs. I then read the “apologies” by some of the National Council for Family Integrated Churches panel members:
1. I read the apology from Scott Brown, the mediator of the Q & A…though some people may want to read just how subtle and nuanced he was in 2012 when he reviewed the newest album from TobyMac. What was that about drinking urine and eating cattle dung? Yup. Subtle.
2. I couldn’t find any sort of retraction by Dan Horn.
3, I read the”I like to restate that I don’t know what I’m talking about” commentary written by Scot Aniol where he linked to his series about how a specific musical style is inherently nonredeemable.
4. I read the somewhat unconvincing apology (“when I said ‘you’re a coward’ I really meant ‘you’re a hero’. Sorry about the confusion…”) written by Geoff Botkin over at the Western Academy of Arts and Sciences.
5. I read the short but appropriate apology written by Joel Beeke.
6. I couldn’t find any sort of retraction by Jason Dohm.
7. I couldn’t find any sort of retraction by Joe Morecraft.
I’m not really going to weigh in and toss out a whole series of interactions with their comments or apologies outside of the short jabs I’ve already taken (as well as what follows). I’d just like to ask a simple question:
Since when did the category of “stupid” disappear from our collective vocabulary?
Are we so politically correct that we think all opinions are equally valid and nobody says/does anything actually stupid anymore?
Not stupid as in “he seems to have the i.q. of a boiled prune” but stupid as in “he simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about and should have shut up about that”. I mean, honestly. Some people actually say stupid things and get rightly called out for it. Some people have stupid ideas (and most likely take my disagreement as a compliment). Some people also are generally smart folks who, for whatever reason, have a moment of temporary insanity and just say things that are overtly stupid. I happen to do that daily, much to my ongoing frustration.
I don’t care who you are or how educated you are: nobody can have an informed opinion on everything, and I’m guessing that next to nobody at the NCFIC is actually familiar with the nuances of reformed rap music; the only artist that was even mentioned was not a reformed rapper. Does anyone honestly think that any of those guys are familiar with the different strains of Christian rap music if the topic is “reformed rap” and someone brings up TobyMac or they start talking about music in worship?
Who thinks TobyMac is really even a rapper in the first place?
Who is ever suggesting that we replace the worship teams with a DJ?
Let’s just face it.
On this specific issue, that whole panel was just stupid.
The didn’t know what they were talking about and it was as plain as day. None of them could find the reformed rapper in the following image:
I’m not advocating tossing any of them under the bus, or suggesting that the NCFIC is generally characterized by stupidity, or anything like that. I’m wondering as to when it was no longer an option to simply roll your eyes, chalk up a comment to stupidity, and for the simple sake of extending grace to someone ignore a comment, let love cover up an offense, and move on? Who knows why they said what they said…but who really cares? I’m guessing that it’s because they simply hate rap music, they conflated their personal preferences with the teaching of scripture, and they said something stupid.
It wasn’t the first time that has happened to anyone and it certainly won’t be the last. You can bank on it.
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “Rap is the source of problems in church! The solution is dancing!” Unger