The main focus of this BLOG, is to uphold those simple, and clearly defined truths, that are so often missing from Christian life and conversation.
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Saturday, 31 August 2013

What Isaiah said about Miley

Isaiah 2 vs 22 reads. "Stop trusting in mere humans who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem." NIV 2011.
Some years ago I heard a story about Frank Herbert, author of the "Dune" series. He posited the idea that, of the many U.S. presidents, Nixon was one of the best, and JFK one of the worst. His reasoning was this. Through Nixon, the American people learned, that the highest authority in the land could be challenged, be exposed in their corruption, held accountable and removed from office. In John F Kennedy, the people exalted him to god like status, and when he was assassinated the people fell with him. This was the original premise of the "Dune" trilogy. What happens, when a man becomes a god, and then fails?
The problem lies in this, man is not created to recieve worship. We are not intended to worship anything other than our creator God. The things we place before us in veneration, are the things that shape us. We take on their characteristics. If we exalt money as our ideal, that is what we become, it takes the place of highest importance, and our day to day life is therefore ruled by the rising and falling value of the dollar, and how much of it we own. Our self image and sense of worth therefore, is attached to what we have. Not to who we are.
Which brings us to Miley Cyrus. While I'm not about to defend what happened at the VMA. I am going to query our reaction to it. Why was there such outcry?
Let's start with Will Smith, or more specifically the Smith family. We all saw the picture of their cringing reaction. Well first off, who made the Smith family the guardians of our moral compass. Oh yes the kids are young, but given some past performances at previous VMA's, what were you expecting? Oh that's right, Hannah Montana. But she's all grown up now, I'll get to that in a minute. Will Smith, lets look at his career. First a hit single called "Get jiggy with it" whatever the heck that means. Isn't that loaded verbally, with as much sexual inuendo as a bit of "twerking" whatever the heck that is? What about Will's movies, an early role was in "Six degrees" in which he plays a gay/bisexual scam artist, playing upon peoples attachment to racial sensitivities and personality cult status. Now I'm not getting down on Will, far from it. I like a lot of the stuff he's done. Just not that movie. No doubt Will might say it was just a role, he was acting out a character. Well that's fine, we are generally smart enough to know, that the character is not you.
Now we get to the part where it all gets twisted. Miley Cyrus, is NOT Hannah Montana. Shocked? Apparently half of America was. What about the performance? Micheal Jackson made a career of crotch grabbing, and everybody still loves him right? Is she trying to be the new Madonna? Well do we need another? What about Kylie Minogue? That sweet lovable girl from neighbours, didn't she go this same route with her stage shows and lingerie adds? Nikki Webster, the sweet girl from the 2000 Olympics, who at 18 started posing for mens magazines? Lets add two more to the mix. Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. Now we see the problem right? They came through Disney, Lindsay, Britney and now Miley. So we've been sold this image of sweet wholesomeness, a manufactured facade that these girls obviously want to break out from, and be themselves, except the pendulum swing is so violent.
But it's not confined to Disney, I'm not blaming them either. This happened in the world of Contemporary Christian Music as well. Amy Grant. A sweet wholesome girl that sang "El Shaddai" "Fathers Eyes" and more, then she grew up and got married. Then she changed, and I knew she was going to. Because she became a woman. She became a sexual being. Out went the conservative Amy and out came harder rock numbers and leopard print pants. For some this was just too much, she obviously was no longer a christian. For me this was when her music got better, much better. It had a real life edge to it. I loved it.
Back to Miley, wasn't her VMA performance just that? A persona, an act, it's what she's been doing for years. Wasn't it choreographed for her and rehearsed? None of her fellow performers were surprised by it. It wasn't a random brain explosion stage invasion. The real problem is this. It wasn't Hannah Montana.
Now, this is what Isaiah says to us. Why was our trust put in a fake persona? HANNAH MONTANA DOESN'T EXIST? Just the ideal that you worshipped. Well your idols have feet of clay. They are all too easily toppled. And when your idols topple. Or more accurately, when their true self and nature is revealed, so is ours. We don't like what we see. Someone once said. "Evil men do what good men dream about." Well on some levels that is true.
We don't like the truth when it is exposed in us. It's not Miley Cyrus that offends us, it is ourselves.

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