Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Whatever happened to Hannah Montana?

After Miley Cyrus' appauling "performance" on the MTV VMAs a few days ago the social media world has been overloaded with posts and comments.  Believe it or not there are a few who support her act, but for the most part her on stage behavior has parents and reasonable adults everywhere condemning her for such lewdness.

But I believe my friend Adam brought some much needed clarity to the whole subject when he simply commented, "Why are we surprised by this?".  A simple question.  Why are we surprised to see Miley doing a performance like this?

 I don't mean to imply that we shouldn't be shocked by the increasing social acceptance of public acts of immorality, but specifically Miley or any other darling "pure" child star gone south.

People are saying, "She's no longer family friendly!", "She's not the innocent little Miley we once knew!"  Well, I did not have children at the time of Hannah Montana's so I thankfully escaped that whole mess but I know enough about the show's content to say that we could have a discussion about just how family friendly it ever truly was.

While it did not promote overt immorality it did up play kissing, dating, popularity, wealth, deception... I mean the theme song alone let us know that she was getting the best of both worlds (average and superstar) simply by playing a little deception trick on even her closest friends.

That, however, is not the point of this post.  Let's address the "She's not the innocent Miley" any longer crowd.

It is my contention that the Miley we saw on the 2013 VMA Show is not who she has become, but who she has always been.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Little "innocent" Hannah Montana portrayed by wide eyed Miley was NOT the real Miley personality.

People have developed this idea in their head that she was once a little angel on earth simply because her television character was this so-called type of child.

The interviews for magazines, TV, behind the scenes sort of footage, all staged.  If you believe that there wasn't a publicist, manager, "parent" behind all of those things telling her what to do and what to say you are blindly mistaken.

What we saw portrayed was Miley the product.  Miley the apparition.  She was a smoke and mirrors figment of the imagination that was needed to sell Disney merchandise.  So they created the persona they needed and once she was no longer cute as Hannah she was set loose on her own.

Am I saying that even at a child's age she was engaged in gross and overt immorality similar to what was displayed on television?  No.  That's absurd and illegal.  What I am saying is that the warning signs of her being a lost sinner were rampant in her life then and have merely escalated as she has grown older.

She is the product of sinful flesh (which we are all born with) turned loose to feast on its own desires.  It isn't that Miley is "turning bad" or "becoming immoral", it is more likely that she always has been and it is now that it is reaching a level to even make some secular-moralists drop their jaws.  The Miley we all watched grow up on stage was a sanitized and controlled version of what many witnessed with disgust a few nights ago.

Miley, me, you... we are all born sinful.  It is only the grace of God through Jesus Christ that works in us to put our sinful desires to death.  Yes, Miley supposedly professed Christ as a child, but clearly she is showing now that she was never truly following Jesus Christ.  That's not judgment, that's an honest appraisal of a lack of fruit being born in her life (Matthew 7:16).

Additionally, this should be a wise lesson to Christian parents, and all parents really, of why we should never place any person as an idol in our child's lives.  It is a myth to say that a child needs a real world celebrity role model.

They don't.  They need moms and dads who commit to teach them God's Word and demonstrate the effects of that Word on their own lives.  They need moms and dads who take them to a church who is passionate about the proclamation of the full Gospel of Jesus Christ and come along side the family to disciple that child.

What Miley needs, what I need, what every child and adult needs is to have the Gospel applied to their life that we might see our need for Jesus Christ to forgive us of our sin and give us a regenerated heart with new desires.  What people need is Christ.  Applying the Gospel daily to yourself and your family will remind the believer of the Savior who died to save them.  That is the best and only sufficient reason to fight the desires of the flesh.  It is only because of receiving His Spirit in us that we even care to fight the desires of the flesh.

Applying the Gospel to a lost person is intended, by God's grace, to show them their need of Christ that they would forsake their sin and flee to Him for life!

Let me make 2 final disclaimers on this issue:

1.) Do not for one moment think that you or I are any better than she.  If it were not for the grace of God we would be capable of far worse an act than she has done.  (1 Corinthians 6:9-20)

2.) I did not watch the performance in its entirety, but have read an account of most of the acts performed.  I watched the opening moments and when she went to remove a portion of her costume I quickly exited the YouTube page having seen enough to make me sick already.

3.) While I am on board with condemning what Miley did on stage, let's be careful not to cross the line to condemn her soul.  Let's instead let this motivate us to weep and pray for her salvation that God in His mercy would save her soon!

Recommended Links:

Sorry, Miley
True and False Conversion by Ray Comfort

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

America's Problem...

Let me begin by saying that I am not in any way a supporter of Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson.  While I agree with their basic premise that all ethnic groups deserve equal protection and rights, I do not always agree with their tactics and statements.  But my fellow conservatives seem to be missing the point and so I decided to offer some thoughts to them.  Conservatives tend to think that only liberals are to blame... but just isn't true.

Disclaimer aside, they are not the problem.  Their tactics, misguided as they are, are not the problem.  I make this statement because in the fall out from the Zimmerman
Trial many people who were supporters of George Zimmerman are blaming Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Jackson for the riots and hype surrounding the trial and its verdict.

The worst part of this trial in the social media sphere is that these hateful comments on both sides are coming from those who call themselves Christians. 

While they are not helping the problem, they are NOT the problem.  To blame them is to ignore a much larger issue.

It is no secret that racial tensions are running high in this country.  I am an avid proponent of the benefits of social media outlets such as facebook,
twitter, etc, but for every "good" thing these outlets accomplish, an equal and sometimes greater evil is accomplished as well.

In the course of President Obama's two terms in office I have witnessed an alarming trend on social media outlets.  People (supporters and opponents) referring to the President as merely "Obama". 
Not "President Obama" or even "Mr. Obama" (if they desire a less respectful address).  Even resorting to nicknames such as "Obummer".  Again these things are seen coming from those who call themselves believers.

Whether you agree with the President or not does not give Christians (or even American citizens) the right to show disrespect to his office and authority.

Romans 13 tells us that all authority has been ordained by God for His purposes.  Sometimes those
leaders are Godly and lead the Nation towards Christ in their decisions, sometimes they don't.  Sometimes they are God's blessing on a Nation and sometimes they are God's judgment.

Regardless of which way you feel President Obama is for our Nation, he is for better or worse our President.  He has been given authority and we are to show the respect due to that office.

That does NOT mean that we must agree with all that he does or even be silent about our disagreement with his views.  It does not mean that we must comply if he tries to legislate something the Bible deems immoral.  It does, however,
mean that we must voice our disgruntlement in the proper way.  That begins by respecting the office and more importantly the God who has ordained that authority.

I do not agree with much of what our President does, but President Obama is not the problem with America.

The news media plays its part in all of this of course, but even THEY are not the problem with America.

So what is America's problem?  Are you ready?  The answer may surprise you...

The problem is sin.  Sin is the problem.  More specifically, people who act on sinful temptations and given in to the desires of their flesh.  Everyone, from President Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, George Zimmerman, Republicans, Democrats, you, and me, everyone wakes up every morning and resumes a battle with our flesh.

Sin causes racism, race baiting, murder, lies, hatred, bigotry, blasphemy, and every other kind of evil you can think of.

In fact, it is a battle that we may set aside as we sleep but our enemy attacks even in our dreams.  Ever had a dream wherein you did something immoral?

The enemy I refer to is not Satan, it is you and me.  Satan may lay a snare before us and he is certainly crafty foe.  But it is us who give in to his temptations and willingly place ourselves into his snare.

So where do we go from here?  Let me make 2 suggestions.

What will fix the problem?

1.) The problem of sin will NOT be dealt with through political and social activism or well-stated arguments.   Refuting Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or exposing the George Zimmerman's or even the Trayvon Martin's of the world will not fix this.

Attempting to deal with the problem of sin with clever argumentation will produce the same result as placing a band-aid on a crack in the Hoover Dam.  Eventually, probably sooner than later, it will burst through with a much larger problem.

Don't we see that trend in the escalation of the vigilante justice mindset that grips people on both sides of any hot issue.

2.) The problem of sin HAS been dealt with through the Person and work of Jesus Christ!  Amazing!  So what do we do now?  We, those who are in Christ, need to point people to the Savior!

Use God's Law, the great equalizer among all mankind, to bring the knowledge of sin (Romans 5:8; 6:23; 7:7, Exodus 20; Ephesians 2:1-10) and then point them to the kindness of God to have sent Christ.  Who came and took the wrath of God for our sin so that we could be forgiven (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The Gospel is the answer for racists, racism, greed, murder, drugs, public schools, gang violence, snobbery, lies, pornography, adultery, lusts, or any other problem that faces our society.

Jesus Christ is the only One who can truly chance hearts, minds, and desires.  Only through HIM will this world change.

Christians, let's be sure that we are passionate about the wrong and sinful things in this world.  Let's be passionate about social injustices, but let's never let those things elevate themselves above the saving message of our Lord Jesus Christ.