I’m a bit more than half way through teaching a small group of adult learners about Evil, God’s Justice, Love, Mercy, Reconciliation, and Kingdom of God living with great guidance of a slew of videos from Tom Wright.
When we decry Evil we mustn’t stop there for we are the remedy for it.
God’s Kingdom is made manifest through us. We exact justice by helping those who are suffering rather than through the power games a godless world endorses and implements.
It is not about self-interest, but self-sacrifice.
Our fuel is the knowing that we are indeed image bearers and creations of God made from the outpouring and overflowing of his great love. We are God’s Beloved and we offer that gift to the world, that they too, each one is Beloved as well. We especially find the ones that are overlooked or oppressed or unhealed.
We do more than associate with these outcasts, the ones that others find embarrassing or scandalous, we suffer with them and enter their pain.
Sometimes simple seeing and hearing someone fully and taking them into our loving kindness will well convey that they are God’s Beloved because we’ve treated them with such honor. An honor that is due them because they are God’s children.
I made up this slide and it may be a good poster too, so I offer it up to you. (click the image) Pin it if you’d like.
And now a question for you.
What particular group of misfits holds a soft spot in your heart? Send me a voicemail or leave a message.
Several times I have covered Lady Gaga on this blog. She is a complicated person, and now she’s openly speaking of spiritual things. So, this is my tuff (area of expertise and education), and I want to weigh in. You can too.
It’s the habit of most who comment about Gaga to past judgement on her, but that is not the point of this post, or my other posts. While I welcome your comments, I ask that you attempt to be thoughtful and intelligent in your responses. You don’t have to like her to comment, but if you want to bash her, find a different blog to barf on.
It seems she’s the archetype of a person who is (seemingly) easy to pigeon hole. But this mega star, and so many like her (who are not in the limelight) are just people who are trying to find their way in the world. You may think differently, but maybe you should watch the footage below, first.
I provide this engagement on the topic of the person who is the singer and performer Stefani Germanotta because so many are watching her and following her.
When she asks people to do things, millions respond. This strikes me as important to note for Christians, as we interact with those God loves, and enact the messge of the gospel of God’s grace poured out on us, in Jesus Christ.
Also, I think it helps (as Christians) to engage the struggles of many people, all while questioning our motives and the hidden influencers of our interactions with people that sound, look, dress, and act differently than we prefer. I’d say it takes to task our enactments of grace and love toward God, ourselves, and others. I hope it will challenge this in you.
Besides, it’s really a gawker vortex, seriously, no?
So, here is the topic de jour. Let’s talk about this. I found this recent video footage quite curious:
The scoop: Unlike many stars, Lady Gaga prays before concerts (to God, not herself as some might first assume or expect).
This prayer footage (from her upcoming HBO special) begins at the 2:40 marker. (The first part of the video is somewhat of a breakdown in her confidence. Quite a bit of crying, part pep talk, some non sequitur stuff, and some emotional hysteria. But, to me, it also seems to be, at least in part, some genuine footage of the acute struggle this 25 year old has performing and living life larger than life in front of millions of fans and foes.)
Will her public prayers to God encourage others to rely on him too? Perhaps. What do you think?
And, yes, in case you’re wondering…I could speak to what seems like a bit of flawed theology, but I’m waiting for her to phone me, so we can talk it over.
Actually, I think many would be good to follow her lead in seeking God’s help, as she does here.
Yes, I question her use of the word “worship” when speaking about her fans. It strikes me as overdone, misguided, and/or unhealthy, unless she is actually referencing serving and loving them selflessly. And, yes, it could all be just a stunt, as pop stars are given to do. I’m not naive.
Nevertheless it provokes a deeper look at the spiritual.
Let’s face it, how many super stars pray, and ask for God’s help before a show, let alone allow the world to see them do it? Don’t say “Amy Grant”. That doesn’t count.
Remember this also, her core fans aren’t Christians, or praying types, in particular. What does it behove her to be so “old fashioned”? Isn’t it much cooler to be “over Christianity” and be Buddhist or wear a red string Kabbalah bracelet?
Sign up to continue the conversation/see future posts.
NOTE: If you watch the first part, or the very end after, marker 3:46, be aware that there is some cussing. You have been warned.
I TRIED to clip down this gagavision 41 video to focus on a perfect example of how not to create encounters with pop stars. But I couldn’t. (I’m not the techie I hoped I could be.)
There are parts that could offend some of you, my readers. If Lady Gaga offends you, you are certainly not alone and I respect your perspective. In that case, I urge you to not watch this video–at all. The parts I refer to happen at minute 2:20 – 4:00, and are suitable for audiences over age 10. My advice is to skip the other parts, primarily because they do not refer to this post.
The scoop: It appears a Christian Fundementalist gave Lady Gaga a card/tract that said, “Get Out of Hell Free.”
In a far friendlier tone than I can image approaching hostile protesters, she said, “Hi, I’m Lady Gaga.” and they said, “What do I care?”
What I find so interesting is that she bothered to talk to them, and tell them she did believed in God, and that she had Christian influences in her formative years. It was like she was trying to find common ground. A novel concept for approaching those you disagree with, huh?
They were more concerned with showing their opposition, and contempt for her. From her comments, it seems to me, that their actions, got to her, at least for a little bit. They bothered her. She said that she didn’t want her fans to have to see that, but it seemed to bother her on a personal level, as well. (But, sadly, NOT in a way that would likely bring her to a closer fellowship with followers of Jesus.) I would really like to hope that Gaga would not lump these loonies with authentic followers of Jesus. I hope it wouldn’t sour her on the whole bit.
Maybe these people just couldn’t find a Koran to burn that night, or something.
At best, the whole encounter would be confusing, or hurtful to her, or anyone. Hurtful? To a super star, really? Yeah, that’s my guess. Because, I think she’s mostly a regular 25 year old young woman. Like almost all of us, she wants to be liked and not be disparaged and maligned.
It’s easy to hear the condescending tone from the protester speaking, and his smug uses of the word “darling”. In snide fashion he tells her that the book “with the black cover, and the gold pages, and the ribbon down the middle” will show her she has “pervert ways”. It seems he’s piecing it all together for her, in case she’s not aware of the visual image of a Bible. Really, a sweetheart…um. NOT!
Ya know, these are not endearing traits of Christians. They are shameful ways to act. (I should put that word Christians in quotes, because I think they had their own agenda, and their “Good News” …sucked.)
Perhaps Get out of Hell Free signs, tracts, and cards, helped these protesters turn from sin and come to God. But, in most cases, relationships (read: legit friendships) are far more helpful. Their demonstration and literature was probably are more of a confusing message.
So, now we know how to not show God’s love and redeeming grace, right?
IT BEGS THE QUESTION:
What if there had been loving dialogue? What if the people who think they are doing God’s work, acted like Jesus, and started interacting with Stefani Germanotta on common ground, instead of peacocking self-righteousness on what they deem to be enemy lines.
Maybe you’re a Gaga monster, paws up, and everything. Or maybe you don’t care for Lady Gaga’s music or showmanship techniques, but will you share your take on Christianity / evangelism, and music stars?