Tag Archives: Pop Culture
May 5, 2011Posted by on
It’s not an easy thing to be a “Christian” in the world today. The skepticism, doubt, intellectual and scientific objection and at times, downright hatred towards any religious affiliation, especially Christianity, can easily lead to us running into the arms of our own circle of friends, family, and church who agree with us at large avoiding the outside world who beckons an explanation within the boundaries of their own standards for what is rightfully one’s own faith. Often times, Christians in general are accused of having the “I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality towards the world. In my experience, the majority who do the finger pointing are merely doing just that; pointing fingers. They seldom offer any rational explanation or a reputable alternative other than their own worldview which may or may not have any weight to begin with and is often associated with the agenda to discredit Christianity and religion in general. Other times their claims and arguments against Christianity tend to be misunderstanding the basic principles of faith, misinformation or out right lies. In this scientific culture, ravaged by intellect, logic, the need for empirical evidence to deem anything as fact, and dare I say a borderline fascist form of scholarship, what does it mean to be a Christian and how do we cope with this opposition?
Most people regardless of faith still consider America to be at large a Christian nation. But the word “Christian” has become very obscure. It’s often synonymous with a political position, ethical and moral choke holds, and other traditions and rituals that categorize itself as being a religion or worse yet, a cult. We’re allegedly the cause of wars, suffering, hatred, division and anything negative associated with humanity. We are the exclusivists (I think I just made up a word) who don’t accept any scholastic, scientific, and intellectual discoveries which directly contradict our worldview. But if we are to be honest, the church is not free from its own faults. The church at large has not done a great job in addressing various topics such as homosexuality, paranormal, supernatural, etc. Although there seems to be a movement of Christians heading in this direction, the focus at large seems to be in the condemning of others, that is to say going on the defense, rather than showing God’s will through our lives. This is not to say that we Christians should not partake in apologetic inquiry, but rather pointing out the retaliating nature of debates and arguments with a non-believing world seem futile.
The issue the secular world has with Christians is often limited to a sweeping generalization of the behavior of certain individuals who labeled themselves “Christian”. Heretical teaching is real, false teachers are abound, and un-biblical and unsound representation of the word of God is undoubtedly out there and has been throughout the ages. But this by no means proves or disproves the deity of Jesus Christ and the authority of the written Word. Behavior does not verify belief. However, it is apparent that our behavior does affect the perception of God to the unbelieving world. As non-sequitur as that first argument is, it is still our responsibility as believers to conduct ourselves in a certain manner to portray God into the world and re-present the truth to the best of our ability.
I remember growing up seeing people picketing on the street corner with signs that said, “You’re going to Hell unless you believe in Jesus!” This was a tremendous turn off and one of many reason why I thought Christians were nuts growing up. Although I’ve come to believe that statement, I would never hold up a sign and tell someone that they are going to hell since I understand that God is the judge, not me. These methods can be seen as pointing the finger back at the non-believing world instead of focusing on the calling and purpose set before us in Christ. I am certainly guilty. As someone who grew up without any faith or religion, and being somewhat a competitive person, I often times feel good when debating with a non-believer and logically break down their arguments or claims. But the feeling is short lived and I often times repent and think about how the point is not to win an argument, the point is to share the gospel so that the message of Jesus Christ can be relayed clear and concise. If we can focus on this, all of the attempts to discredit or outright bring down Christianity becomes mute. If we as Christians truly believe that the bible is the Word of God and that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, then we really don’t have to stress over the opposing world. I’ve heard how the bible is like a lion; it doesn’t need defending, just simply let loose. Hebrews 4:12 comes to mind:
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”-HEBREWS 4:12
As an AV and sound engineer for a church, I get to sit through a lot of services and events. A couple weeks ago, I was assigned to a Jr high service. In it, the Jr high pastor had a message that was so simple yet very profound. It was basically that there are actually five gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the fifth gospel being YOU! Our lives are meant to be a representation of the gospel. But this can only be done through our own decision to do so, and a willingness to let God’s will be done. Another good friend and pastor once made an analogy that each one of our lives is like the individual square mirror on a disco ball reflecting God’s light into the room (world). The better we polish the mirror, the better we reflect the light.
“You are the light of the world.” -MATTHEW 5:14
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
So as we come together on this national day of prayer, let us remember and take a moment to pray for our government, our media, education, business, military, family, and the church. For me personally, as a Christian who has a fascination with conspiracy theory, paranormal, supernatural and other topics that aren’t found in a typical Christian, it’s easy for me to point the finger and call out the obvious darkness and the problems that is present in the sectors of society I mentioned above. But today, I am humbled and need to remind myself that God has gifted me with a tremendously awesome life. I think it’s important to expose the darkness, but sometimes, we just need to pray.
Government – Pray for our leaders, as well as the judges in our courts. Ask God to grant them wisdom to act with integrity.
Media – Pray on behalf of the actors, musicians, and athletes our young people seek to emulate. Ask the Lord to strengthen and embolden any Christians in these fields. But more importantly, pray for those who are willingly portraying and influencing our society away from truth, integrity, and morality, that they may have conviction and awareness of their influence and power.
Education – Pray for our young people. Bless them and pray for the teachers and leaders to provide a morally sound and wholesome environment.
Business – Pray that God will raise up His ambassadors in the workplace. Pray for God’s will to be working through our daily tasks and assignments. Pray that our executives, business leaders, and corporations to conduct themselves honorably and honestly.
Military – Pray for the troops who serve each day at the bases, around the world, and here within our borders. Pray for their families. Pray for the Lord’s protection of these brave men and women. Pray also for those who have lost a loved one in battle. Ask that God’s comfort would be upon them in a special way. Pray that our media’s accounts of US Military actions are relayed fairly and impartially. Pray for divine protection and guidance for our armed forces. Ask God to intercede for military chaplains and loved ones at home.
Family – Pray for loving homes that model the virtues such as sacrifice, patience, and unconditional love to a watching world. Pray for the family to be preserved as God intended. Pray for those whose families are broken. Pray for those who feel alone and hopeless since the truth is that we are all adopted children of our heavenly Father.
Church – Pray for unity and boldness in proclaiming God’s Word!
April 21, 2011Posted by on
As I sat in the dentists office where my wife was about to get her wisdom teen pulled, I scanned at the magazines scattered over a table. The first one that cough my attention was a Vogue magazine with Lady Gaga on he cover. My curiosity was raised so I decided to pick it up and read the article of a person who is the biggest pop star in the world at the moment who has millions of fans all over America and he world. After nearly 600 pages of fashion ads, I got to the article where images of Gaga strutting in elaborate, eerie, and elegant outfits stood as bold as the image on the cover.
Before I dive in, I do want to say that prior to becoming a follower of Christ, which basically at first shattered my perception of reality, I was in a band and I was an aspiring musician hoping to be that rock star who would use his fame to do good in the world. This is precisely the persona that Lady Gaga has taken. She is seen as a tremendous talent who is using her fame and fortune to preach freedom, self expression, and self righteousness. This is apparent with her forth coming album, “Born This Way.” But there seems to be another side to this whole ‘rock star’ ‘pop star’ ‘express yourself freely’ thing. Now prior to becoming a Christian I would have judged her purely on her musical ability. I would have thought she was a pretty good song writer with a good voice and would have bought into the hype of free speech and free expression and the message of, “you are perfect the way you are” whether that be gay, straight, promiscuous, fit, out of shape etc. It is a very good message on the surface and is very much the mentality that many kids and young adults my age hold today. But as with anything, I believe there is a spiritual component to the message. The spiritual message that I get from Lady Gaga is do and be whatever you want to be because there are no consequences. Just take a look at her own words when she spoke about her intense fans. “I see myself in them…I was this really bad, rebellious misfit of a person-I still am-sneaking out, going to clubs, drugs, alcohol, older men, younger men. You imagine it, I did it. I was just a bad kid. And I look at them, and every show there’s a little more eye-liner, a little more freedom, and a little more ‘I don’t give a f*** about the bullies at my school.’ For some reason, the fans didn’t become more top 40. They became even more of this cult following. It’s very strange and exciting.”
Now isn’t it interesting that this ‘freedom’ comes with a complete submission to a person who is merely a talented and arrogant musician? I know what it’s like to look up to musicians and aspiring to their message and their beliefs and wanting to be like them. But now that the veil has been lifted off of my eyes, I see this as only an illusion of freedom. In fact the bondage to such ideology leads to more people believing it’s ok to be rebellious, drunk, on drugs, and promiscuous. We live in a free country, at least for now, and the beauty of it is that each person can live any way they please to live. However, my contention is that this is precisely what the NWO (New World Order) and be Illuminati want the majority of the world to buy into. They want people to buy into the perception that their freedom to express who they are and what they are is making a positive impact on humanity and society. It’s is the lie that says, “we don’t need God, because we have ourselves.” It’s buying into the oldest lie in human history. Consider the following quote by Gaga:
“I want for people to in the universe, my fans and otherwise, to essentially use me as an escape. I am the jester to the kingdom. I am the rout out. I am the excuse to explore your identity. To be exactly who you are and be unafraid. Not to judge yourself, to not hate yourself…as an artist and as a performer, the person that they look up to to create this space of escapism, I want to give my fans nothing less than the greatest album of the decade. I don’t want to give them something trendy. I want to give then the future.”
Maybe it’s just me and my conspiratorial mind, but she sounds like a mouth piece to the NWO. She wants people to “use (her) as an escape.” Escape from what? Reality? If she is talking about the reality of God and the reality of Jesus Christ as our only means of salvation, then she is doing a good job. Then she goes on to say she is the “jester to the kingdom.” I don’t know what kingdom she is referring to, but she has been seen on CNN and Larry King Live saying she believes in Jesus Christ. Now there are some who outright have said she is of the devil, and although I don’t necessarily disagree, my approach to exposing this possibility is a bit different. Of course the bible shows that the devil himself and demons believe in Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean they are of Christ or of God. This of course is quite obvious to people who follow Christ’s teachings.
“I am the rout out. I am the excuse to explore your identity.” Now she is beginning to sound like she has a Christ complex. She is essentially saying she is the means to salvation, an answer to the problems we see in the world. Now, how can you be the answer and the escape at the same time? It only makes sense if you realize that what she is saying is a deception. She is basically inferring to “Escape from the world, follow me, and find your true identity because I will allow you to explore it freely.” Again, the NWO wants people to believe that they are free from the alleged oppressive world. But anyone who has ever looked into the NWO and the Illuminati knows that the plan is to build, purposely destroy so that they can come in, save the day and gain everyone’s support as a means to enslave them. The final line of the quote to me further perpetuates this idea when she said, “I want to give them the future.”
Why is the message of the NWO so obviously against Christianity? I believe it’s because the bible deliberately exposes this evil plot. Some would say of people like Lady Gaga “But it’s just entertainment!” Perhaps. And I realize I am not the first to make the NWO-Gaga connection. But whether Lady Gaga herself realizes it or not, she is leading millions of people astray from the truth. Many flock to her seeking not just entertainment, but literally, to quench the spiritual thirst that is present in all of us. I know this because I was the same way. I sought spiritual wisdom from musicians I looked up to and other people in the media as a child growing up in a secular home. It’s subtle, but it’s very real.
If you think I am nuts, consider what God told us in the bible some two thousand years ago through the apostle Paul.
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”-2 Timothy 4:3
I believe the fame of pop stars like Lady Gaga is part of the fulfillment of this verse. Of course, the idea of people “…seeking their own desires (and) gathering around teachers who say what their itching ears want to hear,” goes beyond someone like Lady Gaga and popular music. But I would say this is prime example of not only the verse but the infallible authenticity of the Word of God.
As a human being, my hope is not to eliminate Lady Gaga or her fans etc, but like my purpose for this blog in general, to expose the darkness and call it for what it is. A room can be completely dark with no light in it, but light one candle and the darkness evades. Darkness cannot ever overcome light. I believe God placed this in our existence as the ultimate analogy of his power, sovereignty, and authority.