Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lady Gaga & The Church

Lady Gaga came to Hong Kong and I wasn't invited to go protest.  Man...I am really outside the "in crowd" circle!

Seriously though, one of the benefits of not hanging out with the fringe elements of Christianity (though some would argue they are mainstream) is that I don't see as much of the "crazy" as I used to.

So at the "small group" Bible study meeting at our home last week I was surprised to hear that a number of church groups had organized protests of Madam Gaga's 4 night concert stint in Hong Kong.  These protests were dwarfed by other protests on the Asian tour in the Philippines, Indonesia, and South Korea but hey, this is Hong Kong, and you know...we're busy!

I got to hand it to us Christians though, nothing demonstrates God's unconditional love coming into the world through Jesus Christ more than a good protest.  Because, surely, when John the Baptist was unjustly imprisoned by Herod, Jesus led a protest and a prayer vigil to see him released.  And when Paul the Apostle was living in hedonistic Greek cities like Corinth and Ephesus, he regularly led protests to show the early churches disgust at the sexual immorality of temple priests and prostitutes in their community.

Yep, nothing prepares a seeking heart to receive God's love more than anger and perceived self righteousness...


Anyhow, as the "home group" conversation continued we talked about what made Lady Gaga so popular.  In addition to a knack for singing some catchy tunes, she's essentially doing what the church is supposed to be doing.  The outcasts, the neglected, the disenfranchised, and others who feel alienation find in Lady Gaga a heart of compassion, acceptance, and love...things Jesus specialized in and commanded us to continue after his resurrection. In an increasingly disconnected world, people are looking for shelter from the storm...and many of them find that shelter in the lyrics and affirmation of Ms. Gaga. 

The tax collector, the drunk, the tavern keepers, the prostitutes, all genuinely liked being around Jesus.  It was at his feet that they found grace and mercy.  For most evangelical Christians however, there is a real discomfort in even being around "worldly" people unless its at an evangelistic meeting where the Christian has the home field advantage.  Jesus on the other hand seemed to enjoy going into the homes of "sinners".  He had to have because the religious leaders of the day were always accusing him of it.  And what seems to have really irritated those leaders was that Jesus enjoyed doing it.

So if you're a Christian who doesn't really love and enjoy people who are "sinners" you have your first glimpse into why hundreds of thousands of people prefer Lady Gaga to you.

Here endeth the lesson!


Bob said...

You make a very good point, Steve (but you know that, of course).

For such a long time, the so called evangelical church missed the boat when it comes to the poor/struggling/hurting, etc. Thankfully, that has gotten better. We are not there yet but things are improving.

Thanks for a good reminder.

Unknown said...

Well said, Steve.

Consider this as well... with lyrics like:

"I'm beautiful in my way, because God makes no mistakes."

Lady Gaga is preaching a message of God's acceptance to those who don't fit the media's definition of 'beautiful' - which is unquestionably a message of truth.

There was an error in this gadget