It’s Time To Unite: A Call To Arms

Some of you might know that I’m a DJ. I’m also a follower of Jesus. I like to mix those things. DJs tend to be good at mixing things (see what I did there?). Mixing those two things means that I have a vested interest in the Christian Dance Music community. I love the fact that in the last few years the quality of the DJs and music being produced has gone through the roof. So many good record labels putting out a lot of good tunes. Above All, Deeplife, Deepsink, MK837, Fuzion Four, God’s DJs, Heaven Sound, and Royalty to name a few, are all puting out really quality tunes. I love the fact that it’s a truly international movement. Not only do we cover the USA; coming out of Detroit, Chicago, Minnesota, Denver, Washington, Florida, Cali, and Virginia but our community represents the world including Brasil, Canada, Portugal, Czech Republic, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, and more. God is truly raising a global generation to make a new noise to lift His name high. We are putting God in every genre of electronic dance music. House, electro, trance, progressive, breaks, d&b, tech, deep house and even dubstep is feeling the love! There is no EDM fan that we don’t have the capability of reaching.

But despite all of these beautiful things I LOVE about Christian Dance Music, there is one thing that I see that’s really disturbing to me. Our community is fractured. We have separated ourselves and formed factions. You have to pick a team to play on and you will play their events and release on their label and that’s it. In a sense, it is quickly becoming everything I dislike about the Church: divided for no reason other than just disagreements between people. This
includes everyone. No one is excluded from this. I’m not playing favorites; God just laid this on my heart and I’m sharing it.

I see these little spats and tiffs come up about this-and-that and then people never talk to each other again. We are supposed to be a united front. We are supposed to be recognized as THE Christian Dance Music community, not a bunch of completely separate, ambiguous units. It’s become brother against brother. The body of Christ at odds against the body of Christ. In Mark 3:25, Jesus said that a house divided against itself cannot stand (and I know a little something about House Divided). The body of Christ can’t be against itself and expect to still be effective, that’s crazy.

I see myself as neutral. I am just an outsider looking in. But, I can tell you, as someone who loves this music, this community, and the people that make it what it is: if we keep going at this rate, our mission of reaching the lost and showing the Church that EDM is viable worship will fall completely flat.

We’ve got to get it together.

I know that we’re still fledgling and we have a long way to go before we reach our goals, but that should be all the more reason to band together, isn’t it? If we really are one body of believers, the whole body benefits at the success of an individual part. I’m just going to say it: If God’s DJs is successful, we all win. If Tastyfresh.com is successful, we all win. If Deeplife Records is successful, we all win. If FSOW, or Cornerstone, or Lifelight, or any event is successful, we all win… and do you know why we all win? BECAUSE JESUS WINS!

So why are we trying to keep each other from being successful?

I want to remind everyone of WHY we do WHAT we do – exactly what it is that makes us different.

Imagine taking the trip down to Miami for UMF. Hundreds of thousands of people are jumping to the music, hands in the air, enjoying great music in unity. WE, being Christian DJs, have the unique opportunity to have those people jumping, hands in the air, worshiping Jesus, in unity; praising Him with something totally new. Without Jesus, we are just a few more added to the thousands of random DJs on the internet begging for attention to feel relevant. What makes us different from all those guys is that they say, “Look at me!” We say, “Look at Him!”. Why in the world would we ever try to separate ourselves from the chance to stand side-by-side and take that stand with our brothers?

Look, I’m not saying all this expecting that everyone merge their websites, facebook pages, record labels, and events and sing Kumbaya while holding hands, but if we’re ever going to get anywhere as effective for the Kingdom of God that we hope to be, we need to come across the table, squash our beef and really get into koinonia: a real spiritual community. THAT is how we reach the lost, THAT is how we spread EDM as worship.

I said all that to say this: I love Christian Dance Music too much to see it go through all this drama. I KNOW that God has a big plan for every single DJ and producer reading this and for this community as a whole. Together, we can literally change the way that people worship God and help lead people down the path our Father has laid out for them. Enough with the trash talk and drama, we’ve got work to do.

I love all of you guys and I seriously want God to bless you.

-J.Hill

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  • Josiah-Fingaz

    Good stuff Jon! Really enjoyed this. Keep it coming!

  • Pete Le Freq

    Some interesting thoughts here Jon.

    There have been some  disagreements in the past, covering both spiritual issues and ministry issues; thats before you get to splits via musical genre.

    I still believe we are Christians who happen to like EDM, and that covers so much music now its so ridiculously general. For example, people who like deep house aren’t going to necessarily like tunes from a drum and bass label. Then there is the actual proximity of the people who like the same music to each other. This is less of an issue than before due to social networking.

    First step is for us all to admit that we all made mistakes somewhere along the line and then move on. Unfortunately we are all people, and that means we aren’t perfect.

    We are all called to different ministries and as soon as people can understand that because we aren’t called to do something they are, doesn’t mean its wrong.

    Im all for moving forward. We all need to eat a little humble pie and then we can get going.

  • http://www.daverichards101.com Dave Richards

    And just to add a bit of background on this post…

    I asked Jon to post this here. Originally it was part of a post he made on Facebook that started a bit of a firestorm over there last week.
    I find myself agreeing both with Pete and Jon here. We are a very diverse group. Not everyone is into the DJ-Led Worship movement. I’m one of them. My concern is more to get people where they need to be in the scene at large. Yes, that does include DJ-Led Worship as well, but I don’t want to limit the focus to just that.
    In the past, as in 5 years or more ago, we had a rift in this scene that split Tastyfresh.com into two major sites: Tastyfresh.com and GodsDjs. There are some great people on both sites. Everyone however is human and still makes mistakes. I have handled some things wrong in the past and I apologize for any wrong doing that I have done.
    I honestly wish we all could come together and discuss what it means to be united in Christ as DJs and producers. What does that really require us to do? What is the real problem? Is it real or is it perceived? 
    In most cases, I think it’s a matter of pride. We tend to want to lead something. We want to be in charge. It can’t be about that. It has to be about God first and us… last. We will fail if we set ourselves up as untouchable leaders or rather… idols in this scene. I often cringe when people refer to me as one of the main leaders in CEDM. I’ve just been around longer and run this site. 
    This site would be nothing without YOU participating on it. The only reason why we have new articles is is because people are stepping up and posting them. We’ve got room for many others to do that. I’m all about using TF to raise the NEXT generation, but that generation has to stand up and start taking on that role at some point. 
    If you would like to discuss this thing called Unity more, Shelby Callaway has set up a lovely group on Facebook called Unity CEDM. Please come and join us there. We would love to hear your thoughts. It doesn’t matter how new you are or what baggage you’ve had in the past. We need thoughts and ideas on how to unite, stay united and to increase the effectiveness of our efforts. So… come and join us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/334220283280265/
  • Josiah-Fingaz

    I think at least some of it is perceived. Not everyone is going to have the same calling. And some of those callings may cause some misunderstandings to people. The main thing is that we cannot sit in the seat of the scornful over a brother/sister but should rather seek to build a relationship that seats us with our brother/sister in godly counsel.

  • xen-ochren

    cool. agreed. 

  • Katie Garcia

    K don’t get me wrong here, But I am super confused as to why there is another CEDM room? To put it bluntly I think it dillutes this awesome place. Its worse enough that I have to rely on going to F.B to get the daily  T.F juice, but now I have to go to two pages? Now the activity has slowed to both pages and the site. I realize people are busy but at what point do all souls converge to unite in one place…..Don’t say Heaven, I know that hahahha.

    DEFINE UNITY : A  whole or totality as combining all its parts into one.

    To me I see unity of this culture condensing all components to create a juggernaught movement. Now I ain’t h8′n I just don’t get it.

    Where is the focus? I realize this is not your sole respocibility Dave, It belongs to each individual. And by no means am I pointing fingers at anyone. It is mere observation.

    Facebook is creating lazyness in this culture, Not unity. Sure it is a great medium to get exposure, But as the sole platform for information and updates? Dude, There isn’t even a picture of T.F Man!!!!

    Sure T.F  is not “1 click away” like your notifications are- Infact, It is probably 3-5 lol. So what gives?? :D Nobody can really answer that lol. Both pages are redundant as it keeps CEDM on the periphrial. I imagine people would have a different opinion, and that is great! Opinions help to shape and mold this vibrant culture.

    I am pleased the issues that appeared on F.B have been laid to rest. (((((Awkwaaaard))))))) This was a great article, And convicted many. That was the Holy Spirit For sure.  And that made it beautiful †-

    Much respect to all :)

     

  • Josiah-Fingaz

    Katie,

    I think Dave was just posting it on here so people could get a chance to read it. Not everyone on here is in the CEDM Unity group. Personally, I think the GodsDJs/Tastyfresh thing is more of a personal-ality issue between a couple people not the culture at large. It’s never stopped me from working with people who are mainly on GodsDJs. It seems like people that have just gotten into the scene makes a big deal about it and it rekindles old flames. I think what Pete said explains a lot. The main point is that we should all try to support one another where we can i.e. buying tracks, downloading podcasts, promoting other peoples events, liking, commenting, sharing, a kind word, and especially praying for one another. You are right though, it probably looks worse being plastered on FB to the world at large. meh!

     

    God help us all!

  • bill-sikes

    Although I haven’t been posting on Tastyfresh much lately, I still keep up with you guys, and I’ve been around about as long as anybody(since before the boards). Like a lot of you, I’ve grown up a lot since I started posting here, and thankfully I’m not the same guy I used to be when I first became a Christian. I remember well the days of ministry that incorporated EDM and my intense longing for people to step up and unite for the common cause. I used to pray and pray that people would come along side our team, put aside their petty spiritual differences, and work toward what you guys are talking about. But I have to tell you, I think the biggest hindrance to our ministry over the years, and the biggest danger to this community was(and is) the muddy, ecumenical attitude we take toward the efforts. Everybody here says they are here for “the gospel”, but no one has taken a stand to establish exactly what that is, and isn’t.  In the name of not driving off people, we have long counted posters with heretical, non-christian core beliefs as our brothers in ministry. I haven’t spoken about this to anyone, but over the last 5 years, I have chatted with several old tastyfresh members (some who were prominent posters and producers of Godly music) who wouldnt affirm even the most foundational of biblical doctrines (i.e. that people must put faith in Christ to be saved). I know there are some here who are vocal proponents of the blasphemous word-faith doctrine, which is built on the belief that man is a sexual procreation of the trinity, and that God has been expelled from his creation unless almighty man speaks a word to allow him to once again act in it. And one of my oldest friends, who is as prominent a tastyfresh figure as there is, has adopted the roman-catholic beliefs that 1) grace is imputed to man through the sacraments of the church, and that 2) people can be saved apart from Christ. Friends, beliefs such as these are not biblical Christianity, and they have no place in the ministry of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. The line must be drawn, and J. Hill’s statement that the community is “becoming everything I dislike about the church: divided for no other reason than disagreements between people” must be rejected. Churches are divided because of much more than that, and some of the reasons are very biblical (2 Corinthians 6:14). 

    Right now, Tastyfresh is very much a house divided against itself because it’s members are different gospels, when there is only one. If you guys are truly committed to this place being more than a message board, there is only one biblically valid option: establish exactly what the Gospel is, and proclaim it in unison through your common interest. Post a statement of faith. Identify falsehood like Paul did (Galatians 1:8). And contend with the deceived as we are also instructed to do, in love (Ephesians 4:15, Titus 1:10-16). These things are essential to a healthy Christian fellowship of any sort.
    This starts with the top. Dave, I urge you my friend, stand for truth, and work with what God provides, even if people leave.
  • bill-sikes

    I meant to say the “members are proclaiming different gospels”

  • http://www.daverichards101.com Dave Richards

    I totally get what you’re saying Bill. I’ve seen all of what you’re talking about too. Then again, I’ve been around for a long time. 


    Now regarding…
    “becoming everything I dislike about the church: divided for no other reason than disagreements between people”

    To a point, I think you are dead on. Our denominations exist for much deeper reasons than disagreements. To say that they’re just disagreements over simplifies what really started each denomination. 

    I’ll take your call for a statement of faith serious though Bill. We used to have one of the creeds posted, but that doesn’t really give anything but lip service to the issue. 

    The whole question of WHICH Gospel I guess has been on my mind lately. Going back to what you were pointing out earlier, I’ve run into many old friends and former church/tf members who have left the Gospel I firmly believe in for a false one. Most recently, I’ve discovered one who is no longer identifying as a Christian at all and is mocking them for the most part from a very liberal political position. I’ve also discovered that another one is now a Mormon – probably because he couldn’t find true acceptance in any SBC church around here. 

    Ultimately though, it comes down to all of us either not growing in our faith, mixing our faith with our politics and in general not really understanding what we believe and why we believe it. 
  • Josiah-Fingaz

    I like this one. It is not the Filioque which was a point of contention that added fuel to the fire which eventually led to the first division of the church.

     

    We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; by whom all things were made; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Ghost. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets. In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

  • bill-sikes

    Josiah,

     

    Some good stuff in there, but as Dave mentioned, I’m nost sure that any historic creeds are sufficient for today. They were great for combating the heresies of the day, but aren’t specific enough on some issues plaguing us today. Pentecosal oneness-heresy(aka modalism) could find a vague-enough space in that creed to affirm it. Likewise, many word-faith adherents wouldnt have the blasphemous foundations of their faith questioned by that creed either. Because the early heresies were primarly attacking the deity and nature of Christ and his resurrection, the creeds in turn addressed those attacks. While those attacks haven’t ceased, a whole group of new ones has arisen, and foundational doctrines such as justification by grace alone through faith alone simply arent addressed. Catholics could affirm those creeds while putting faith in an entirely different religion from biblical Christianity.

  • bill-sikes

    last sentence should say “while putting faith in an entirely different religion from that found in the bible, as they don’t believe the biblical Gospel”.

  • J.Hill

    haha I’m late to my own party, but thanks for all the feedback on this article… it just kinda started as a facebook rant and ended up starting a bigger discussion. Originally, when I first started getting involved in the Christ-following DJ community, one of the biggest things I loved is that on a person-to-person basis, it largely didn’t matter what denomination church that you’re involved with because there’s really too few of us to make that a dispute. That aspect hasn’t gotten bad, but there is some beef in our little fledgling community. Really, that’s what I was taking a shot at. I don’t know if what was said really CHANGED anything, as much as it just cleared the air a little bit… of course, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into with it, but nevertheless, it happened and I believe God led me to write it and I believe He took it where it needed to go. 

    We’re never going to be perfect, and I always chalk up personal disagreements between Christians to the ‘humans trying to understand a God that operates above our thought process’ situation. So, knowing this, we pick up and press forward… carrying our cross into the clubs and bars and raves to a people that want nothing to do with God and show them His unfailing love.
    Thanks for taking your time in reading this. Dave, thanks for putting this up. And thank God for seeing past the fact that we’re all crazy and loving us more than we can possibly fathom.
  • J.Hill

    I guess above everything else, the main thing I want people to take away from this article is summed up in this line:

    “There is no EDM fan that we don’t have the capability of reaching.”
  • Katie Garcia

    J.Hill, That closing statement most deff realigns the lens cap back to focus on what really matters at the end of the day.