What’s the big deal about what Kirk Franklin did?

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So, Kirk Franklin curses his son out (that’s an understatement). His son records him and posts it on social media. While he guessed correctly, why did Kerrion think that exposing his father would matter? This is why.

Kirk Franklin, like many other Christians who enjoy the limelight of celebrity, has implicitly made an agreement with the Christian community to be a living sacrifice. He has elected, in exchange for the place he is allowed to hold in people’s minds, the ability to be held up as a person who can be imitated like Paul urges his readers to imitate him (1 Cor. 4: 15-17, 1 Cor 11:1, Phil 3:17, Phi; 4:9, 2 Thess 3:7-9, 2 Tim 3:10-11). When a person fails to hold up their end of the deal, ironically the list of the injured parties goes beyond the Christian community.

When David sins with Bathsheba, Nathan explains to David that, “by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt” (2 Sam 12:14). God disciplines David for his behavior. Like David, actions like that of Kirk Franklin, give people cause to dismiss or show irreverence to the Lord. It can weaken the understanding a seeker can have of God. Consequently, it is more the fear of God than people that those who choose to accept the most public visible rungs should consider because God Himself has a vested interest in protecting His reputation.

Interestingly, Kirk Franklin’s case highlights a frequently misunderstood aspect of the Christian life. Christians sin. Too often we don a cloak of perfection that God never asked us to wear. We mask our struggles so that when they are revealed, people seem to think there is an incongruency when in fact the Christian life embodies the dichotomy of the fallen person who has given herself over to be made new. We are the transformation in process. If anyone can claim being on the spectrum it is the Christian who is experiencing the sanctifying power or the life healing power of God. We are the bad becoming good and both in the same body.

Consequently, the issue with Kirk Franklin is not that he is a Christian undergoing the cleansing process. The issue is that his celebrity intimates that he wants to enjoy a place in Christendom that is reserved for those who can point to their lives as examples of God’s goodness, without doing the hard work of surrendering to God to be an example of the good. How good does one have to be? Not sinless, but above reproach. Meaning, regardless of the contention Kirk Franklin has with his son, he should be, “temperate, self-controlled, respectable … an able teacher … not violent, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money (1 Tim 3:2,3). These are the expectation of a leader in a similar position of a Kirk Franklin who so boldly leads people in worship before the throne of God.

To be fair, Kerrion played his part as an irreverent son. Even as adults were are called to honor, not obey, our parents (Mark 7:10-13). I have heard people take up for Kirk Franklin’s son. One Influencer proudly shared that when she was growing up, she realized how wrong adults were. I agree that adults are flawed people. However, I also know that, as an adult who now has a relationship with Jesus, I can look back and realize that my 15-year-old me wasn’t as right as I thought I was. I have a feeling that this Influencer can maintain her feelings of correctness so smugly because as an unbeliever, there are many things the eyes of our spirit are closed to. I can tell there are incorrect things this Influencer’s adult self are unaware of as she parades around on her channel in her underwear. If she can’t see her current errors, I doubt she can see passed them to see how wrong she was when she was growing up either. Nevertheless, her comments addressed and justified Kerrion, who lived with his father’s duplicity and his actions aimed to wound. He may live to regret what he did.

How wrong was Kirk Franklin’s son for exposing him? About as wrong as Kirk Franklin was for having something like this to expose. Kirk Franklin has apologized. Let him repent in peace.

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