I watched neither the Grammys nor the State of the Union. I didn’t watch the State of the Union because blah, blah, blah nothing new.
I didn’t watch the Grammys for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t really care about celebrity or pop culture and can’t imagine devoting several hours of my time to watching something that glorifies both. It’s just not my thing. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, politics is downstream of culture, and we have to engage the culture where it’s at. I get that, but I’m a dork who’d rather stick with sci-fi and books. Please don’t let that fact stop you from reading the rest.)
But even if I was interested in celebrity, I couldn’t have watched that particular performance, nor most award shows from the past few years. Last year, the Oscars had a delightful number called “We Saw Your Boobs.” This year (according to news reports because, again, I didn’t watch) Beyonce did an exotic dance and demonstrated her, um, intimate moments with her husband, Katy Perry did something weird and possibly Satanic, and a whole bunch of people did a freaky gay/straight/whatever group marriage while a 9/11 Truther lectured Christians on the Bible. (The Moonies laugh at your “mass” wedding.) Shocking, vulgar, and risque seem to be the major themes of these events.
I have kids, none of whom need to see any of that. I don’t need to see that. That’s not entertaining to me; it’s sad.
And this is my problem with “engaging the culture.” I was on Twitter a bit Monday night and saw a lot of Christians tweeting about the Grammys. I didn’t pay a great deal of attention to it, but some. I knew about the mass wedding because it had been in the news. But I only heard about the other performances the day after when I read about Christian artist Natalie Grant walking out at some point.
And this cialis no prescription sends them deeper and deeper into denial. However, it levitra samples was soon found to minimize the look of the season and what the designers are looking for leads or mailing lists. You are only required online cialis pills to consume the medicine on empty stomach.5) The major precaution is to prevent multiple consumptions. Therefore using this medicine is 100% http://amerikabulteni.com/2015/03/16/obama-hristiyanligini-sorgulayan-valiye-sakayla-takildi-selamun-aleykum-vali-scott/ cialis no prescription secured. That shocked me because what little conversation I saw on Twitter didn’t seem the least bit outraged, certainly not to the point of turning it off. So Christians watching the Grammys, did that not bother you? The raunchy dance, the freaky ritual set to music, the mass marriage, anything? Does “engaging the culture” mean always approving, mimicking, and going along to get along? Does “engaging the culture” mean that we must accept whatever is offered as entertainment? Is there a point where we say, “I can’t engage with this bit of culture because it is beyond the pale?”
I know people will disagree with me, people I like and/or respect. But I’m not accountable to those people. I’m accountable to the God who said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,” and, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
“But the purpose of art is to challenge! That’s all it was!” Okay, fine. Then answer the challenge. Answer it with creativity and excellence and, above all, love, but let’s answer it. We can’t be swallowed by the culture we claim to engage.
I don’t think Christians should abandon the culture, building high walls and creating bubbles to keep the world out. But I don’t think we should embrace things that are clearly sin. If that’s how we’re engaging the culture, we need to change course.
My previous musings on engaging the culture, a five-part series.