To the 116 Family,
We wanted to take the time to address some concerns that we have received on a variety of Reach Records artwork. Like many platforms in the hip-hop genre, we too have been accused of connections to shadow organizations, such as the Illuminati. While the purpose of this letter isn’t to walk through each piece of artwork, what we did feel is necessary is to affirm our mission to all of you.
We want to be upfront and transparent when we say that the artistic directions we take are not a result of some mysterious occult group or made with ill-intentions. Many times the choices we make for a particular album design have deeper redemptive, Biblical themes. Other times, they are purely aesthetic choices. The Bible helps us think through these issues as we see how God created the world we live in. Genesis 2:9 tells us, “And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” Scripture tells us that God is intentional about making trees, not just for functional use, food, but also for aesthetic enjoyment. The drawing of an eye, a skull, etc. are all good things that God is ultimately responsible for designing and are not made evil because of their association to evil. The world’s perversion of these things does not overcome the good intent of God’s craftsmanship. They work off of borrowed capital and should not have the final say on the things God has made.
There is no doubt many temptations wait for anyone seeking to influence culture and be a light to the world. Over the last 10 years, we have gone from doing concerts for 15 kids at boys and girls clubs to tens of thousands in sold out arenas. We have hustled boxes of CD’s out of the trunks of our cars and now have global distribution. At each moment along the journey, we know that the enemy is waiting to derail us from following Jesus and making our lives about Him.
Our hope and prayer is that you would understand how hard we labor over the steps we take. Knowing our capacity to sin and go astray has caused us to dig in deep. We wish you could see all the artists working through Scripture together before shows, struggling to make the night about the Lord and not about them. Or that you could see the many hours that have been spent dissecting the moves we make. What are our motives? Are we growing cynical? Have our hearts become cold to seeing God at work? These are all questions that roll around the office and in phone calls, texts and emails. Know that we are all connected to community and accountability in our lives through friends, churches, and even as a staff. Decisions are not made flippantly and we wrestle internally, pushing back on each other constantly. We seek wisdom, pray though decisions, and know that we must answer to God at the end of it all.
The mission of Reach has always been the Music of a Movement. A movement of the Unashamed around the world who are living out their faith in whatever place God has them, from janitors to preachers. We will not be perfect, we will make mistakes and change directions, but the ship isn’t floating aimlessly around the sea. Moves are made on purpose with prayer and honest discussion. Thank you for walking with us and caring enough to speak up. This year is our most intense ever and we can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store. Continue to live unashamedly of God’s good news before a watching world.
Article By: Katie from Reach Records
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