Elevation Church Pastor Steven Furtick and his wife Holly are under reproach for supporting the songs of their teenage son, Elijah, about sex, guns, and money.
Under the name of "dothedash!" Elijah released songs on his YouTube channel entitled "Teen Machine." The series of songs has a 30-second introduction noting songs were "genuine reflection of some dimension of the author's experience or personality." The video indicated majority of lyrics reflect experiences that are "fictitious, exaggerated, tongue-in-cheek or otherwise wildly inaccurate."
On February 28, Jail Minister and Thomas Road Baptist Church Associate Pastor Keith Bell posted his dismay to Steven and Holly on Facebook with regards to their endorsement of son's songs.
He quoted 1 Timothy 3 implicating it to one of the qualifications of a Pastor. He wrote, "He must manage his household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity, but if a man does not know how to manage his household, how will he take care of the church of God?"
He cited some lyrics of Elijah in his post connoting wealth in his young age, "I got the dip rich a million. I'm only 16 but I make up a billy" and his brother keeping a gun, "My bro keep a blicky".
"We see more references to 'wanting a baddie, his neck being frosty (because it's full of ice, i.e., diamonds) and then attending a party where everyone is drinking Hennessy, a cognac," he said in his post.
Then a sexual reference, "lick her one time now she miss me."
"And, yes, both mom and dad publicly expressed how proud they are of him as a rapper," Bell added.
Pastor Steven expressed how proud he is of his son's work in his Facebook post. He wrote, "Dear Elijah, you already know how proud I am of you. But today on the release of TEEN MACHINE I want you to know that you inspire me." According to him, his 17-year-old son made this project out of scratch on his own, locked himself away, and taught himself the intricacies of production and the basics of engineering.
"I'm proud of your project. I'm inspired by your process. I'm grateful for the person you are, and the potential of who you are becoming," Steven added. Holly also said she's "so proud of this project" in her comment to his son's post on Instagram.
A San Diego-based Christian hip-hop artist Ruslan KD also spoke his dismay at Steven Furtick's support for his son's work. He said that he did everything not to make the reaction video yet something happened. He tried to reach out to Furtick's Family regarding his concerns but young Furtick blocked him on social media.
He cited the same bible verse Pastor Bell quoted saying, "I don't blame him [Elijah]. He's a kid. This is not his fault. This was cosigned by his mom. He posted it, and the mom was like, 'yeah!' endorsing it." He said it's not authentic and good to flex about money and jewelry when your dad is a pastor. Ruslan added that authenticity and congruency were the number one values a hip-hop artist must possess.
"When you have a song that's literally all hyperbolic nonsense of stuff that he's not living, this is bad for his career," he said.