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Grammys

The Dark Side of the Grammys

I must warn you in advance, this is likely not the article you’d expect with a title like ”the dark side of ___.” You see, often our first inclination is to judge, condemn, or point out flaws in something. But, the reality is, whatever your thoughts or opinions were about the 2014 Grammys, there was a “dark side” that few realized and it is something that took place completely outside of the event in downtown Los Angeles. Let me explain:

The Grammys  undoubtedly attempts to push the envelope more and more each year. Whether it is the outfits worn, the speeches gave, or the significance placed on certain, let’s call them controversial, acts, the Grammys thrives on the cultural response to the events of the evening. That response is actually what keeps the Grammys such a popular event. It’s probably not something we’ve considered very much, but if no one bothered to talk about the show after it was over, would it still go on from year to year? Likely not, or at least not anywhere in the relative capacity it is at today. Therefore, to say the show lives or dies on the viral nature of the discussion that comes afterwards wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

When the 2014 Grammys ended, the corresponding chatter was easy to navigate, especially given social media. This global conversation is where the “dark side” of the Grammys really shines. You see, there were two juxtaposing viewpoints that I personally witnessed both during and afterwards.

  • One was of praise for the performances, the event, and the rather shocking nature of particular moments.
  • The other was outcry – hoards of people condemning, attacking, and lashing out against both the event itself and the people participating.

While it wasn’t very shocking in the moment, in hindsight, it was the nature of the particular crowd attacking that might have been the most shocking of all – the Christian community. I witnessed pastors, teachers, Christian celebrities and more verbally assault the individuals that partook in this event in extremely public ways. It wasn’t even as though it was simply a thought or a utterance in private, people actually took the time to write out hateful thoughts that were meant to read exclusively by the people they influence. This, my friend, is the dark side of the Grammys. In essence, an event aimed completely at making noise has baited millions of Christians into spewing hateful propaganda across the globe all by means of social media.

What kind of example does this set? What does this say to people far from Christ about who Jesus is?

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)

I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matthew 5:44)

As Christians we screw up all the time and we explore this issue not to judge ourselves, after all that is much of the point here. You see, this isn’t meant to rally cry to be more “perfect Christians.” After all, being Christian means knowing you can never be perfect. Instead, what we must remember is that when things outrage you, when things get under your skin, when things seem so far removed from God it is actually an OK thing. Why? It gives us as Christians an opportunity to interject the LOVE of Christ into the conversation.

It allows the opportunity to surprise others with hope. It allows us to shock the world, truly showing what it means to display the grace, mercy, and love that Jesus has shown us.

The dark side of the Grammys is that its controversial nature gives the enemy an opportunity to knock down the message of the Gospel by the very people of the gospel. Therefore, not only do I encourage you to surprise someone with love the next time your first intuition is to lash out, but I encourage you to use this as an opportunity to admit you screwed up – to plainly say to people – I shouldn’t have acted the way I did. I guarantee you if we did that the conversation would change – the conversation would quickly move from what “she was wearing” or what “he did,” to look at how “God is moving.” I’ll be the first to admit, I am by no means perfect and I’ve done quite a bit of this myself – I need God’s constant reminders to always display the love of Jesus over what my flesh would like to say. However, if more of us start doing just that, listening for those gentle reminders, the conversation in this country, in this world, will change. How awesome would it be if instead of waking up to negativity and slander, we arose to people passionately embracing others and people finding the true hope of this world – what a controversy that would be – a story that would undoubtedly change the headlines and show the beautiful opportunity within the dark side of the Grammys.

 

Who God Says You Are

The Song “Royals” vs. Who God Says You Are

I must confess, I am obsessed with royalty. As a child, I wanted to be a princess and as an adult, I have read every Queen novel, toured every palace throughout Ireland, and pondered a life made up of royal events and glass slippers. I know that this seems incredibly juvenile, but something about the elegance of it all-keeps me dreaming on. There was a recent secular song released that rebels against the idea of royalty and it has a very interesting message that cannot be ignored as part of our culture. Here is a section of the chorus:

And we’ll never be royals (royals). It don’t run in our blood, That kind of luxe just ain’t for us. We crave a different kind of buzz. Let me be your ruler (ruler), You can call me queen Bee. And baby I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule. Let me live that fantasy.

It’s a catchy little tune with a harmless message about independence….or so I thought at first listen. However, as a Christian, this song has absolutely no truth in it.

The true reality is… we are all royalty. Our royalty comes through Christ’s purchased blood at Calvary. As sons and daughters of the Most High King, we are chosen, set apart, and await the day where He will welcome us to the great banquet hall. However, the lie of pursuing our own “rulership” happens to saints and sinners alike. We do, indeed, crave ‘a buzz’ that the song references. -life comes at us hard and we search after the next ‘buzz’ to ultimately establish the fantasy of wanting control in ruling our own little kingdom. We settle for living a very complacent and ordinary life instead of allowing the true Ruler to shape our identity in Him. The “luxe” that the song tries to shed association with is indeed for us. We have been lavishly loved and preciously pursued. Christ’s love for us is the ultimate love story. We weren’t always titled royal, but that is exactly how God sees us – through His Son’s sacrifice. The key to royalty as a Christian is codependence on the King. This is perhaps one of my least favorite words (codependence) because it sounds weak and desperate. However, without surrendering our rule, and desires, we are subject to worthless good and bad moments. However, through the power of Christ, we can allow His rule to shape us into absolute holiness. The truth is, as Jesus rules in our lives and we begin to see ourselves as His own inheritors, we are being made into the image of His holiness.

Perhaps, the day you prayed and accepted Christ no one told you that you were royal. Perhaps, the prayer was said out of guilt or a lack of wanting to rule your own life anymore. Conceivably, you have yet to understand the true joy of being His prince or princess. Guilt goes away, the need to rule creeps back in, but seeing yourself as worthy because of who God says you are, should leave a fossil-like impression on your heart. My hope for you is that you remember you are loved, royal, and set apart to reflect His majesty each and every day. I leave you today with one of my favorite verses and proof of our royalty, 1 Peter 2:9:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”