A viral recording of Kirk Franklin has sent shockwaves through the church and entertainment world. In the secret recording made public by his estranged son Kerrion, the gospel legend can be heard cussing at him in the midst of a heated argument. I’m going to make this as brief as possible and say a few things in regard to this. People who traffick in spreading bad news or showing people at their worst do exist, but our support of them, their agendas and platforms does not have to. All that I really have to say about this latest episode has already been said in an article nearly three years ago. You’re welcomed to read it, below.
Secondly, this issue is not a new one and a few short years ago, Kerrion alleged that his father was trying to kill him. I chose to cover the story, but a few days after publication a family friend reached out to me and told me the depth of the issues with father and son. If you’re from Fort Worth or in the industry, you remember Kerrion. You remember Kirk shouting him out on those early albums and seeing him with his dad, often. But, that was a very long time ago. Kerrion is now 32 and his strained relationship with his father over the years has been well documented so this latest episode comes as no surprise.
Lastly, there is only person I thought of when I saw Kirk’s name and the story, Dr. Tony Evans. I thought of Dr. Tony Evans because he has a pivotal role in Kirk Franklin’s life as a spiritual father and earthly surrogate. I’ll never forget wrapping an interview with an NFL Hall of Famer and watching him quiz Dr. Evans on controversial, spiritual issues. It was a moment between the men that I knew was special. How special? It remains to be seen, but if my memory serves me correctly, I believe the answers to a few of those questions on his mind that day were presented on the “Losing My Religion” album.
Kirk takes his relationship with Dr. Evans seriously and with that I want to close this piece. Young Kirk and 51 year old Kirk are very different people. There have been many well-documented mistakes my by Kirk but he hasn’t shied away from owning them. This is what happens when men allow themselves to be fathered. Being fathered isn’t about fun. It’s about being held accountable to grow into a better man. This includes love, correction, redirection and even hard conversations. On yesterday, hours after the secret recording was made public, Kirk issued a public apology and many have responded saying that no apology is owed and others have since voiced their disdain after hearing the video. I hope he has since or can find it in himself to also apologize to his son.
As believers, we are called to the ministry of reconciliation, especially in our own families. Parents are admonished not to provoke their children to wrath and children are admonished to honor their father and mother. This is not always easy, but it is possible. As for Kerrion, the bible says in Jeremiah 31:29 that we will each be held responsible for what we do, without blame to what our parents or previous generations have done. This does not excuse any hurt or rejection felt over the years, but it does put the onus on the younger generation to accept the haling and wholeness the Lord will provide.
The older I get, I have come to understand fatherhood as part of a spiritual awakening, as detailed in a Father’s Day podcast. There’s some level of drama and trauma concealed within the recesses of every family. Whether its covered or not, we owe ourselves and our families the privilege of healing the hurt, reaching beyond the break and repairing the breach, to the saving of our soul!
As I said a few years ago, I hope Kirk and Kerrion find their way to a better relationship.