No, this is not some attempt to get more “hits” to the blog. While I confess to being tickled at the number of visitors to this site, I’m not really seeking a larger audience for my not-so-private thoughts on this blog.
This is about Lady Gaga. This is not about her music or any of her videos. While I find her music catchy, I find her videos to be sinking to new lows of sexuality. As someone who grew up listening to AC/DC and others, even I struggle with what this music means when I’m trying to raise four daughters in the world…not to mention a son as well. But, I think there’s something interesting here.
Lady Gaga was recently on Larry King Live on CNN and she expressed a viewpoint about the church which I think is exceptionally relevant to our church and each of our churches. She said the following:
“I struggle with my feelings about the Church in particular….in terms of religion, I’m very religious. I was raised Catholic. I believe in Jesus. I believe in God. I’m very spiritual. I pray very much. But at the same time, there is no one religion that doesn’t hate or speak against or be prejudiced against another racial group or religious group, or sexual group. For that, I think religion is also bogus. So I suppose you could say I’m a quite religious woman that is very confused about religion. And I dream and envision a future where we have a more peaceful religion or a more peaceful world, a more peaceful state of mind for the younger generation. And that’s what I dream for.”
There are a few points that I think are very appropriate as we reach out to younger generations for Jesus and as we “RETHINK CHURCH”:
She claims to be religious — I believe that many of the young people I am in contact with believe that they, too, are “religious.” They may not be in church, but they believe in God or Jesus or a “Higher Power.” They may see themselves as spiritual and, in our beautiful environment up in Alaska, that can often be tied to the natural world. Regardless, they understand religion in such a way that it’s not tied to a particular denomination or church. This can be “bad news” to particular denominations and churches.
She claims to be confused — There is some doubt in her. She’s unsure about religion’s place in the world when the world is violent and prejudiced and it seems like religion is not taking a stand against that. When she said that, I immediately thought of my own Christian faith and Kinnaman’s book UnChristian and how the perceptions of Christianity being anti-homosexual and tied with, not just conservative social issues, but also conservative perspectives on war. The perception, I believe, over the last thirty years has been that Christianity has been generally hawkish when it comes to issues of war and peace.
She claims that religion is bogus — Why is it “bogus?” It’s bogus because it speaks hate and is prejudiced. I think she’s expressing a frustration in many young persons today. They are tired of hearing people preach that “God is love” while acting in a profoundly different manner. They are tired of hearing about saving people from “hell” and not saving them from the horrible conditions in this world. For her to say that religion is bogus reminds me of James’ words in James 2:20:
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (KJV)
How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? (NLT)
Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands? (The Message)
I have no idea how religious or confused Lady Gaga is. I don’t know what her religious background is or who it is that she’s surrounding herself with. I do know, however, that it it is the task of the church to bring Lady Gaga into church…or at least to bring in persons, young or old, who have a similar view of the church.
And, if that happens, and Lady Gaga does come…think of what it might do to our music…and our attire. Perhaps….perhaps….her videos would need to be toned down some.