In October of 2019, Reformation Charlotte reported that popular Christian Contemporary artist, TobyMac’s son had passed away in his home. At the time, the cause was unknown. Truett Foster McKeehan, who was 21 years old at the time of his passing, was an aspiring rapper who released songs and videos online as Truett Foster, truDog, TRU, and Shiloh.
It turned out that the cause of McKeehan’s death was due to an overdose of illicit drugs — amphetamines.
Illicit drugs are not an epidemic primarily reserved for Hollywood and the secular entertainment industry. It is also widespread in the so-called Christian entertainment industry as well and particularly in the mainstream contemporary music industry. As The Dissenter has written before, the problem with the Contemporary Christian Music industry isn’t necessarily the lyrics or the music itself, but the fact that the industry takes the glory away from God by placing man in the spotlight.
This brings us to TobyMac’s latest album he just released last week, Life After Death.
In a recent interview with Billboard, TobyMac said that Life After Death is basically a therapeutic response to the pain that he’s experiencing after his son’s passing. “You go to [write] what you know, what you love and what brings you peace. I immediately started writing — and I wrote ‘21 Years.’ Then I wrote a song called ‘Faithfully,’ and I wrote ‘Everything About You’ in the first few months after Truett passed.”
Even though songs started pouring out early following his son’s death, TobyMac was surprised that any of them were uptempo, like opening track “Help Is on the Way (Maybe Midnight).” “I stumbled across a scripture that said, ‘God is rolling up his sleeves on our behalf,’” he recalls. “I said to myself, ‘Help Is on the way,’ and this song came out of that verse that encouraged me. After a few months of standing on that thought, as I was walking through that valley, I thought, ‘Hope is on the way.’ It’s like the shafts of light started coming through the leaves of the trees and into the valley and I started experiencing a little bit of God’s goodness.”
Personally, I could not imagine the pain and the grief of losing a child, especially to something illicit that could have been prevented. So it’s understandable that TobyMac is confused and heartbroken. But here’s the thing: his new Contemporary Christian album that he’s using to express his faith in God features…a pro-LGBTQ atheist.
You may remember one of the original members of TobyMac’s DC Talk band, Kevin Max. Last year, Kevin Max announced that he was no longer a Christian—he was an “exvangelical.”
Since the renunciation of his faith, his moral compass has taken a complete 180 and turned to total rebellion against God and His law. Last year, Max posted a shortlist of everything he is now for which reads almost like the antithesis to the Ten Commandments.
And demonstrating that he has no understanding of God’s word—and obviously never has during his entire career as a mainstream Christian artist—he asked the rhetorical, lame, and completely clueless question: why didn’t Jesus ever speak about homosexuality?
And in an Instagram post, he published a picture with the repetition—much like the style of modern contemporary music—”men shouldn’t be making laws about women’s bodies” with the caption, “Nuff said.”
Now, keep in mind that this lost, unregenerate man is who deceived Generation X Christians and youth groups for decades into believing he was a Christian only to bail on them. This is a clear example of a false teacher who Jude warns about in Jude 4, “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Yet, this is who TobyMac has decided to record his new Christian album with. From the Billboard interview with TobyMac:
The album also features a reunion with Kevin Max and Michael Tait, the friends TobyMac rose to prominence with in the ‘80s as the pioneering Christian rap/rock trio DC Talk. “The second I wrote the first lines [of ‘Space,’] it was definitely something I wanted to do with DC Talk,” he says. “It feels very personal because it is. I wrote it about friends that struggle and friends that feel warm toward each other, but don’t know what to do with the space that’s come between them. I climbed a mountain with those two brothers. Those are my dear friends, and they always will be. We experienced things together that I’ll never experience with another person — so I wanted to honor that. I was so glad that they both agreed to be on it, and so grateful that they would honor what we did, and the friendships that remain.”
Despite the fact that Kevin Max has completely renounced his faith, TobyMac also left open the possibility that there would be a new DC Talk album in the future:
Obviously, this begs the question: Will there ever be another DC Talk album? “I don’t know,” TobyMac says. “Sometimes I’ll write a song that sounds more like DC Talk than it sounds like me and I’ll just kind of hold it. So there are a few of those sitting there. Our friend Ryan Tedder sent us a song that he felt like sounded like DC Talk, which we still have sitting there — and it’s amazing, because he wrote it. I don’t know the answer to that [reunion] question. I know that I’m not opposed to it; obviously I asked Michael and Kevin to be on this song, so it’s not a closed door for me.”
So this really begs the question: why would a supposed Christian artist desire to record Christian music with a pro-LGBTQ, pro-abortion atheist? I know they are friends, and I know that they have a history together. But worship music is meant to worship God—that’s not something unregenerate people can do. And perhaps he didn’t know these things about his friend at the time, but if he didn’t, that proves that Kevin Max has been dishonest with him all these years. If he did know, then that proves TobyMac has also been dishonest. There is no excuse for recording Christian songs with Max, doing so is a dishonor to God.