As a lover of hip-hop and and one who has been deeply impacted by Christian Rap, especially the efforts of Cross Movement Records (CMR) , this announcement from CMR hits close to the heart.
CMR’s Ambassador Statement
Dear Body of Christ,
It is with much grief, severe disappointment and an overwhelming fear of the Lord that Cross Movement Records is sad to announce that we will be discontinuing the forwarding and promotion of the Artist and Minister, The Ambassador AKA William “Duce” Branch, due to recent findings of moral failure in his marriage. It is CMR’s past, current and prayerfully, future position that living in moral compromise is unacceptable and never allowable in the lives of any of the ministers that we co-labor with. We continue to hold up the teachings of Christ as the standard for all Christians and especially those in Christian leadership and public ministry. Although it is a rare find these days, discipline is still one of the true marks of the true Church.
That being said, we also know according to Hebrews 12:6 that “whom The Lord loves He disciplines.” So we know that our beloved brother Duce is under the Lord’s loving care (Hebrews 12:5-11). We at CMR solicit your prayers for him as he begins the uphill climb of restoration through the process of repentance. We also ask that you remember his wife and children in your quiet time with our Lord as well. We are reminded by Galatians 6:1, that we are to work toward the restoration of our dear brother in due season and also to do such in the spirit of meekness, considering ourselves lest we also be tempted.
Lastly, some that have had this circumstance announced to them through other sources have begun to suggest some type of cover-up or a sweeping under the carpet by CMR because of a slight delay in this statement versus the announcement that has already happened in William Branch’s church. This is the farthest thing from the truth. This matter was unbeknownst to CMR and upon discovery we have taken the proper time to speak with the Lord, The Ambassador, his church leadership and many other Christian leaders regarding this issue. After seeking wisdom and allowing the appropriate amount of time to make sure we had all the issues in full consideration, we have come forward as quickly as we were able to after completing this process.
In conclusion, we apologize for the effect that this may have on many who have followed and supported The Ambassador, Cross Movement and Cross Movement Records for many years. Despite this unfortunate occurrence, CMR and all of its artist/ministers continue committed, our resolve unaffected, with the mission of making the message of the Cross known to the world. Again, we ask for your prayers as we keep our hands to the plow, heal our wounded and worship the God of our Salvation. We remain Christ’s and your servant.
Cross Movement Records/ Issachar Media
As I mentioned in a comment on The Old Black Church blog. I appreciate the way CMR has dealt with this issue – assuming the Duce was okay making this information public beyond his personal circle. I appreciated CMR’s tactful protection of Duce by framing the issue as “moral failure in his marriage”. CMR did two things that I think properly represent what Christian discipline is supposed to look like.
1 – CMR confronted this issue. It would have been easy for CMR to simply ignore this issue and allow Duce to continue to make music and for his album to be released. Sin is often downgraded in our Christian culture, but CMR decided the act Biblical and call Duce’s transgression what is was and to remove him from a place of authority. I know some may find it wrong that he is being put on “blast”, but we are to call out the sin our of brothers and there is, seemingly, no mal-intent on the part of CMR. Also, I don’t feel that CMR wrote this letter to protect themselves. Their ambiguity seems to be an effort to be honest about the situation without revealing the personal issues that are in play.
2 – CMR is loving Duce. If CMR is upholding what they wrote in this statement they have realized that God loves sinners and that there is room for redemption and reconciliation not only from Sin, but from our individuals sins. The approach seems to have the intention of helping Duce deal with his sin, growing back into a right marital relationship and growing closer to God.
As with any issue like this, I only now so much, but my prayers are with all impacted.
Especially Duce and his family.