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 whom 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 for 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 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 am interested in planting a Family Integrated Church in East County San Diego
- My children are home schooled 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 for 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”.
To be clear, it does not bother me that you do not like, listen to, or understand Hip Hop. That is a simple difference in our respective preferences. The problem arose when you turned your preference into a doctrine—and when you used your culturally built palette as a gavel to judge whether another group’s culturally built palette is acceptable or not. This is textbook ethnocentricity. This is uncalled for, since we’re not talking about missionaries embedded in a pagan culture trying to save children from being eaten by their parents. We are talking about style, tempo, timbre, syncopation, and dissonance. We are talking about the difference of two subcultures that exist within our American culture. Most importantly, we are talking about one part of the body of Christ attacking another part of the body of Christ.
Uh-oh, Uh-oh, It’s Panel Time!
In your opening statement you claim to be “very against reformed rap”. If this was all that you had said, there wouldn’t be much to talk about. I have no problem with you not liking or listening to Hip Hop, and even being against it. The problem came when you began using your opinion as God’s opinion. God himself does not explicitly say he is opposed to Hip Hop, nor is there anything that can be found in scripture to support that He is. If there was, I am confident that you or any of the other panelists would have brought it up. You cannot import personal opinions into scripture and then turn them into a biblical mandate.
I agree with you that “words aren’t enough” and that “God cares about how we deliver the message”. Amen and amen! I would add that God doesn’t just care about how we deliver the message; God cares about everything!
Back to delivery—God is creative. His usage of several authors over several years via several methods to communicate with us is breathtaking. What I am having trouble with is—once again—the jump from your statement to Hip Hop being the ‘wrong’ delivery. Give me something to study and think about. Besides your own preference and opinion, what is the criterion for an acceptable delivery and an unacceptable delivery method? Do you have an example of a style of music that is acceptable to deliver words musically?
You stated that the two purposes of songs is to 1) instruct and admonish and 2) praise and worship God—I don’t necessarily disagree—but can you point me to some passages I could study to support your claim? Does this disqualify classical and other instrumental forms of music?
You went on to state that the emphasis needs to be on the words. If this is true, then Hip Hop may actually be one of the best vessels. But again, using this reasoning, it sounds as if classical would be disqualified.
Perhaps the most problematic statement you made was that “the focus is no longer on the words” with Hip Hop. The opposite is true. This would be similar to saying that Hip Hop is rooted in suburban lifestyle. Now of course you can find Hip Hop that is about suburban lifestyle, and you can find emcees that do not focus on words, but those exceptions do not rewrite history.
When you said “music should be about helping us to remember concepts” are you suggesting this or are you making a truth claim? The use of the word ‘should’ followed by the statement that “Rap is not a good tool as a memory aid,” makes it unclear. Because if it’s just a suggestion, then whether or not Hip Hop is good for memorizing wouldn’t be biblical grounds for dismissing it all together. Like the paragraph above, this is another incorrect statement.
I would agree that music can be helpful to remember concepts, which is why my wife and I utilize music to catechize our Children and help them memorize scripture. I am unable to cross the bridge from a suggestion to a definition. Nor does it work to establish Hip Hop as biblical or unbiblical.
At this point, I am ready for you to reveal your epistemology. How do you know what you know about Hip Hop? How do you know Hip Hop is not about the words? How do you know Hip Hop is not a good memory aid? Finally, how do you know Hip Hop “is about drawing attention to the rapper and how he [or she] is a special person”? How do you know that “in the end, [Hip Hop] is always about the rapper, even if the words are correct”? If the words are correct how does the song point to the emcee? If that is possible, then it is also possible for a preacher to say things that are true, and make it about themselves.
The elephant in the living room is that you and your colleagues—as intelligent as you are—do not know anything about Hip Hop. It is frustrating to hear you speak about it with the confidence of an expert.
I appreciate your anecdote of Martin Lloyd Jones, and I agree that “good preaching needs to move the attention away from [the preacher]”. Like Hip Hop (or any genre), preaching (or any public speaking) is not free from the temptation to feed the ego of the person doing the communicating. If this disqualifies Hip Hop, it also disqualifies all music, as well all public speaking. On the flipside, if at least one Hip Hop song moves the attention away from the emcee, then that song is ‘acceptable’.
My hope for you is that you will become like the guy in your story who was listening to Martin Lloyd Jones and give God-honoring Hip Hop at least seventy five minutes of your time. But I don’t think it would take you that long to realize that there is a kind of rap that glorifies God, even if the music isn’t to your taste.
You stated that music is a medium of communication and God does care about both what we say, and how we say it. To that I say, amen. This is precisely why a well written, God-honoring Hip Hop song is sometimes the perfect remedy used by the Holy Spirit to save a dying soul—or can be the perfect vehicle to draw ones thoughts nearer to God.
A Rapper Today Won’t Keep The Doctrine Away
When you said that some Hip Hop is more doctrinally dense than some of your songs, I again find myself saying “Amen!”—at least to the first part, since I am not sure what your songs are and therefore cannot compare. The important part is that we agree that Hip Hop has the ability to be doctrinally dense. This means we can set aside the lyrics and focus solely on the music. Unfortunately, none of you have given biblical criteria to determine what is holy and not holy about musical compositions.
I agree that scripture has been given to us in literary art forms such as 'narrative' (Eminem), 'poetry' (Saul Williams) and 'parable' (Slick Rick). Where I disagree is when you stated those forms should woodenly govern our art forms. The doctrine is Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura) not Scripture Literary Art Forms Alone. Utilizing the literary art forms found in the Bible as a reference for the art forms that you want to create is important and opens up more possibilities than you seem to believe. I believe that biblical literary art forms actually pave the way for well crafted Hip Hop. In fact, the Old Testament contains everything we need to produce the best Hip Hop in the world.
I am not prepared to agree or disagree that “very few will disagree with the cultural milieu” that Hip Hop grew out of. I can tell you that I would be more comfortable hearing what the history or purpose of Hip Hop is from an insider or expert. However, if you are correct—that we are unable to use Hip Hop because of what it was intended for—and this is the basis on whether we’re qualifying or disqualifying something as a proper vehicle to worship God then a lot more than just Hip Hop is in trouble.
Organic Music: No GMO. No Pesticides. No sin.
It sounds like you are arguing that a certain style has somehow been preserved or protected from the fall. Back in Genesis 3, we learn that sin infected everything—even the “stuff” that has made it to your acceptable list.
You mentioned that you’ve only heard one defense from these unspecified emcees to justify the usage of Hip Hop, and that was for the purpose of redeeming Hip Hop. There are more. I would love to have you and your colleagues discuss this with folks outside of your circle.
You claim that when something is redeemed, there is a fundamental change. Besides the lyrics becoming “doctrinally dense”—which I would classify as a fundamental change—what else are you looking to change? What is Hip Hop supposed to turn into after it has been allegedly redeemed? I have a few ideas. Just curious what yours are.
The picture that is starting to develop for me is a person who was born and raised in the United States and has never left the country. One day CNN shoves a microphone in this person’s face and asks them to speak on the cuisine in China. The person immediately begins unloading all of the information they have acquired from a few trips to Panda Express.
Finally, I wanted to say thank you for at least referring to Hip Hop as an actual art form, and not reducing it to something less—simply because you don’t understand it or don’t agree with it. Believe it or not, little things like that can go a long way for a discussion like this.
Do Not Be Confused By This Verse
Romans 12:2 does not disqualify Hip Hop. I will stop there and trust you are able to discern good and bad hermeneutics. Perhaps the verse that follows right after may be more appropriate for our conversation:
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.—Romans 12:3
A supernaturally provided understanding of the doctrines of grace does not produce arrogance. It humbles the individual into a better understanding of their own depravity, which exalts Christ and the cross.
I assume we would agree that Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder because that would mean beauty is subjective. I assume that we would agree that God is the standard for beauty, meaning there is a biblical standard. The problem was when you used your subjective opinion—or personal preference—to determine that Hip Hop was not an “art form”. If you believe you have a biblical basis for your stance, you certainly didn’t use it during your contribution to the panel discussion. Worst of all, was when you started name calling like some shrill rapper. Actually it reminded me of the worst that Hip Hop has to offer.
You made several blanket statements about myself and some very close friends as well as countless other people you have never meet. Rather than defend myself or an entire group of people, I’d rather ask you some questions:
- We think we're serving God and we're not
- How do you know what we are thinking?
- How do you know we are not serving God?
- What is serving our own flesh?
- How do you know we are doing this?
- What is caving into the world?
- How do you know we are doing this?
- What are we disobeying?
- Why are we cowards?
- How do you know this?
- What fight needs to be engaged?
- What does engaging in this fight look like?
- How do you know we are not willing?
- What is making friends with the world?
- The Bible says we were once enemies of God, but we were reconciled through Jesus, How does one work towards being an enemy?
- How do you know we are doing this?
- What is following the world?
- What is changing the world and confronting it?
- What is a cowardly way?
- How do you know we are doing this?
In my personal experience, Hip Hop puts the Christian on the frontlines. It’s not for the faint of heart. No seriously, there have been times that some of us have felt our lives were in danger. I don’t want to put words in your mouth but it sounds like you are saying that you and the other panelists are not cowards and that you, have some music and other art forms that you could bring to Compton or The Bronx that would confront and turn those cities towards Jesus. Do you have examples of this—and music that would do this? If you haven’t already, do you plan to send people out to make disciples in urban areas?
In your opening remark you stated, “I agree with everything that has been said.”
Do you agree that thousands of people whom you never met and never talked to are disobedient cowards?
I would like to know what kind of “upbringing” your children have and how you think embracing doctrinally dense Hip Hop would negatively impact them. Also you mentioned that you would use the arguments that you had heard thus far with your kids if they show interest in Hip Hop. This is disappointing; with all due respect there were no sound biblical arguments. If they do exist, they were not brought up during this discussion, at all. If they exist, I suggest you use those instead with your children to help them think well.
I would like to praise you for recognizing that arrogance and indifference had permeated the panel. Thank you for encouraging your panel-mates to consider their tone and approach with people. Thank you for encouraging them to use compassion when approaching people from a culture none of you “relate to at all”.
Breaking Bad Slowly
Throughout the discussion it seemed to be implied that making or listening to Hip Hop was a sin. So much so, that I actually thought I heard you say the word sin. Thankfully, you (or your social media manager) confirmed via FaceBook that the word ‘sin’ was in fact not used. Instead you said you would “take someone in and try to break this in slowly”. I still have reservations about the language that was used throughout the panel. First of all, what are we trying to break someone of? We’re not talking about living in an unrepentant rebellious state, living with someone you’re not married to, or dealing drugs to children—we’re talking about a Christian who is creating doctrinally dense Hip Hop songs (or listening to them). Why would you disciple someone out of that? What exactly is it that you would disciple them into—a different style of music? Is there a list of music and art forms that are acceptable both for your Children and for those whom you are discipling?
Perhaps in addition to being the only panelist who has ever had TobyMac on your iPod, you may also be the only panelist who has ever had an iPod—furthermore, the only panelist who listens to “popular music”.
I am troubled with your momentary preoccupation on TobyMac. Now say what you want about his music (preference), but as long as he isn’t propagating a heretical gospel, I do not see the point of bringing him up or continually pointing out his wrinkles. Ephesians 4:29 comes to mind:
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Time To Throw In The Rap Towel
It appears as if you are saying that TobyMac should no longer “rap” because he is 50 and has wrinkles. Is this a universal law, or your own preference? By the way, TobyMac just turned 49 last month so that makes him one year older than Dr. Dre and KRS One. Not to be too technical, but since you hinged your entire argument around Toby’s need to stop, it’s important to point out that… well… He did… years ago in fact. He has made an incredible transition as well. He has mastered what everyone in the entertainment industry seeks, known as longevity. Those of us inside this culture knew of his transition, and this is just further proof that people who knew the least about a subject were the ones talking.
Your perceived disgust with TobyMac seems misplaced. While I do not have a deep personal friendship with TobyMac, several people I am close to do. The non-musical attacks I have heard—such as your claim that he is immature or isn’t pulling anyone into manhood—never match the picture that is painted by people who actually know him. In fact it has been the opposite. I see a mature Christian man who is an excellent husband, father, leader and boss-man. However, I can’t confirm or deny that—and neither can you—certainly not based on age, skin condition, or attire.
I think it’s important to mention that a backwards hat is not a sign of immaturity. Additionally, a suit is not a sign of maturity. There are men who wear suits that are passive and irresponsible. There are men who wear suits that waste money on vices and beat their wives. There are men who wear baseball caps—even backwards—who are mature responsible men. Men that are leading and discipling… And no, I’m not just talking about a Major League catcher.
In other words, we’ve moved from musical preference to wardrobe preference. Once again a preference has been turned into a doctrine—the doctrine of Business Casual. This doctrine states that a collared shirt and slacks is right, holy and good—while a T-Shirt, Basketball Shorts and a Baseball cap are a sign of immaturity—around here we simply call that laundry day.
You asked if 50 year old men in the Church are supposed to extend a hand down to the younger men of the Church to pull them up into Christian manhood. To that, I would say, yes please and amen! I would also say that wearing a hat—forward or backward—is the least of our worries. We’re in the middle of a manhood crisis, and we need men to lead the next generation in such a way that the generation after will be impacted and follow suit. This is going to take hearts and minds turned towards Jesus, not towards the top of a head.
If you are correct when you say 'wearing a hat backwards and rapping is not pulling younger men into manhood—I simply ask you to please offer me more than your preference or experience as evidence—namely something from God’s word.
You started off speaking for the entire panel by saying that no one was saying there is only one kind of music that can worship God and can be sung in Church, for example Country or Classical. To me this is both a relief, and confusing. By the way since you brought it up—are either Country or Classical acceptable?
It’s a relief because I would agree that there is not a certain kind of music from a certain era or people group that is acceptable. It’s confusing because, this is exactly what has been implied the whole discussion—minus one helpful detail—the kind of music that is acceptable?
This entire discussion has been around why Hip Hop is not the—or one of the—acceptable form(s), but not once has anyone on the panel mentioned what is the acceptable form. Sometimes it’s easier to understand what something is, by first understanding what something is not—but in this case it has become more difficult. Honestly, it sounds like everything has been disqualified.
The closest anyone got to explaining what is acceptable is when you mention that your Church has a 'great' Hymnal. Which one? But even your great Hymnal contains inappropriate songs by your own standards—which I will list below. By the way, how did those unacceptable songs get past the men who put together such a great Hymnal?
'Tis The Syncretism
I appreciate when you summarized everyone’s position, including your own, as “some forms of music cannot be separated from the culture out of which they come”.
While still not a biblical case, it is a tangible thought, and up until this point I don’t think I had understood what this was all really about. Perhaps I was distracted by being called a coward or perhaps I couldn’t stop thinking about Toby Mac’s skin moisturizing problems. The good news is that I think I now know what this is all about.
With your summary, I was able to finally figure out that this entire discussion has been about syncretism. Meaning when two or more originally different ideas or cultures merge into one new idea or culture. For example, a Muslim becomes a regenerated Christ follower. He was born a sinner on his way to Hell (not because he was a Muslim, but because he entered this Earth the same way all of us did from all cultures), and the Creator of the universe stepped in and changed his heart to believe in what God’s only Son had accomplished. This gentleman wishes to keep many of his Islamic practices and traditions. This former Muslim continues to bow down five times a day facing Mecca on a prayer rug but claims to be praying to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the name of Jesus Christ.
Finally able to wrap my head around this, I understand that you are worried that Hip Hop and Christianity will create a “third culture”, and that this third culture in your opinion is both a threat to biblical Christianity and the opposite of what God says is acceptable in His Word. I disagree, but I am at least able to understand where you are coming from now.
Going back to our make believe newly converted brother with an Islamic background, we would definitely want to encourage him to avoid rituals and practices of a religious system that stands in opposition to the God of the Bible. However, there would be no reason to tell him to stop being his culture. I couldn’t see telling him that he is no longer allowed to eat middle-eastern cuisine, and would need to start eating (bad) Pizza and Hamburgers. Or that he was no longer allowed to speak his native tongue, because he needed to learn English so that he could sing the acceptable songs from your great Hymnal. If this sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is. Preferences and palette were not the issue with his pillar driven prayer time, but it certainly was with cuisine and language.
This also helped me to better understand why you decided to bring up a young person wearing an earring. At first, I was hearing more of the backwards hat talk, but now I understand that you associate an earring with a culture that is contrary to biblical Christianity and worry about what it could do to Christianity. To me this could easily be fixed by spending time with indigenous Christian leaders from all over the world. It’s fine if you don’t want to wear an earring and do not want your children to. That is a preference not a doctrine. Sin is the problem, not a shiny object dangling from one man’s ear.
Hate The Sin, The Sinner, and The Music
By the time you called Hip Hop the “death rattle in the throat of a dying culture” I was not surprised. Maybe I should be since Hip Hop is more like a baby rattle when compared to the music the satanic community offers. It would have been more surprising or 'controversial' if you would have opened up the panel with this statement. However, by the time you mentioned this it was already apparent—you guys HATE Hip Hop, and have used the worst the scene has to offer to make your case—like a poorly executed documentary. You are even perceived to hate the people (or cowards) within Hip Hop whether Christian or not. So of course Hip Hop is the death rattle.
I actually somewhat agree. I agree that popular Hip Hop is a death rattle—the kind of Hip Hop that is played on the radio and broadcast on television. I would also add all popular music genres. This is why it's nice that we have Christians planted inside. Are you or your respective churches working to reach the cultures that are producing sin infected art with the Gospel?
Believe it or not, there is a lot that you and I agree on. I too think that music utilized as worship needs to be understood. What if I told you that my friends and I can understand the lyrics in Hip Hop songs? Then by your own test, Hip Hop is acceptable. The problem lies in the belief that there is somehow a worldwide song selection standard that works across all cultures throughout history. Something that comes to my mind is what we’ve all experienced. When we were teenagers and our parents couldn’t understand our music. You’ve simply become one of ‘those’ parents, and I will one day too.
When you talk about remembering an old tune or a particular beat and then connecting it to the past, you’re giving too much power to the music. The music itself, the beats, and the melodies are not causing us to sin. We need no help to sin whatsoever. Sin isn’t coming from the outside and attacking our pure hearts and minds, it’s coming from the inside and expressing itself at some of the worst times. We were born this way. If a Hymn reminds you of a time you went too far with a girl, it’s not the Hymns fault. There is no need to tear that page from the Hymnal. You need to repent in prayer and ask God to help you have self control to think about Him, and not be distracted by your own sinful thoughts and desires.
This is what makes the Gospel so precious. It’s not that you have done an excellent job of maintaining a pure heart by keeping inappropriate songs out of your life—or songs that connect you to something besides God—It’s that God has sent his Son to live a perfect life, something we could never achieve. That same perfect life has also rescued us from death. From the sin that is within us. We cannot rid ourselves of sin.
I appreciate when you clearly lay out your ten points to describe the kind of music you believe we should use in Worship:
- Words must be true
- We must sing to God
- Songs must be about God
- Things we say about ourselves, must be reverent toward God
- Music must fit the majesty and dignity of the words
- Must be edifying
- Must be instruction
- Words filled with praise
- Not be lyrically boring / Disrespectful to God / Does not reveal knowledge of God
- Should not be a funeral dirge
We are not in 100% agreement here… 80% to be precise. Number five is arbitrary and number ten could be beautifully accomplished by someone who—with the power of the Holy Spirit—is able to appropriately work death into a Gospel-centered sermon.
Your list is helpful and gives me a concise snapshot of what it is that you and the others were trying to accomplish with your panel discussion. All of these points are well thought out, and could be a wonderful system to use at a Church—where a plurality of Elders agree—to follow in their song selection process. It certainly wouldn’t be wrong for a Church to do this, and it’s not going to harm the congregation. However, the problem comes when this criterion—which clearly includes your own personal preferences—becomes “biblical” and everyone who uses a different system is a disobedient coward.
To supplement your ten points, you gave a series of questions that one should ask to aid in the song selection process. These questions start with an assumption that the person is “basically good” and the music is either maintaining or tainting that goodness. This is not a biblical view of sin or the reality of the human condition.
Another amen was when you said “certain kinds of music I like and certain kinds I don’t like”. I think that is pretty obvious that the majority of this conversation has been about the fact that you and your colleagues do not like Hip Hop. I will continue to have no problem with that. Our beef will always be when you say that the certain kinds of music genres you don’t like are sinful or not honoring to God.
In every Protestant denomination sect there are the good, the bad, and the ugly. This panel was your 'the ugly'. We all have it, and this time around you chose to put it on display. I encourage you to apologize (not like this) and seek the forgiveness of the countless others who were in your line of strange fire. I would like to extend an invitation for all of you to join myself and others in conversation publicly, privately, online or in person. Perhaps a panel with people whom are both inside and outside of the culture would be a little more useful for both sides as well as the people who listen and watch.
I’d also like to make one last comment to the guys on my side of the fence. Let’s all remember that we’re big boys. We didn’t dive into Hip Hop so that we could find a nice cozy place where we’d never have to face any criticism. This panel wasn’t a setback. As far as I’m concerned it was a promotion. Let’s not waste time dwelling on this and get back to where we belong—which is on the frontlines.