A proposal to take our stand as Christians who love the Lord and all that He loves in this world.
1. Should we ban the concert of Lady Gaga?
NO. Concern for censorship reflects more the weakness and failings of the fearful party rather than the actual capacity/power of the censored object. Why be afraid of Lady Gaga’s music if people have been adequately grounded in their faith through faithful discipleship and all? (See Ephesians 4:13-14)
2. Should the church suppress the songs of Lady Gaga and rally against it?
NO. The antidote to “bad communication” is not “no communication” but “good communication.” In other words, freedom of expression is always best safeguarded. If one finds a message lacking in truth and is presenting an inadequate account of reality, the best way to counter it is to offer a response -one that offers a more compelling alternative. Besides the church has more pressing issues to rally against. What about the slaughter of helpless trees by these greedy gigantic malls? The escape of a Panamian who raped a daughter of our nation? The crooks in the government who keep blocking the government’s crusade against corruption? The massive poverty in our communities aggravated by the presence of unjust and oppressive structures and legislative provisions? By addressing these issues, the church may gain more support for its press-briefings. (See the spirit of the verse in Matthew 23:23)
3. Can the church ignore the songs of Lady Gaga?
NO. The apparent affinity and comfort that certain segments of young people (esp. the outcasts and misunderstood) feel for the message of her songs reveal a social reality that the seems to have been ignored or left to the fringes by the church. The church might actually learn a thing or two from Lady Gaga on how to speak from where the new generation is coming from. It might as well be argued that no matter how depraved or wretched in sin, figments and fragments of God’s grace remains to be present in the world. (See Psalms 24:1)
4. Should the church be overly concerned of the disturbing subliminal messages and latent metaphors and images commonly associated with the “dark forces” of the world (e.g. Satanic)?
NO. Messages like these have long proliferated in the Internet particularly in the music/media industry. Why single out Lady Gaga just because of her popularity? Given the pace of technology nowadays, it would also be impossible to have such things out of reach by the media savvy young people. A more pressing question is what contributes to her popularity among the youth despite the rather “dark” nature of her materials?
5. Should the church spend its time exposing and fishing for “anti-Christian” elements that Lady Gaga embedded in her music?
NO. In a world where the audience is empowered to read their own personal meanings into any work, it would prove to be a better use of time to discover ways on how to make use of the motivations that leads people to patronize her music. This information could better be of use to the church as it tries to re-capture the attention and imagination allured by Lady Gaga’s musical outputs. Besides, it would be unfair to expect reflection of biblical values in the works of someone who does not at all claim to uphold Christ or his teachings. In other words, we should not condemn Lady Gaga for creating music at its best according to the standards that is within her grasp. (See Romans 8:7).
6. Should the church keep silent about the impact of Lady Gaga’s music?
NO. Just as it is Lady Gaga’s right and interest to craft music according to her inclinations and disposition, the church should craft ways on how to creatively popularize and mainstream biblical values and perspectives. Should Lady Gaga be enjoying a wider hearing is not her fault at all. It will just show how the church is losing and biting the dust with regards to packaging and proclaiming its “well-kept secret message.” It should be a wake-up call for the church to launch its artists and musicians into the world rather than keep and stifle their creativity within the four-walls of the church. Jesus himself said, “No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:15)
7. Should the church approve of Lady Gaga’s perspectives on life and morality?
No. Trying to grapple with the social dimension of her music and all the valuable lessons that it can give doesn’t should not dilute the fact that it steps over Christian virtues and Filipino cultural values. We should be able to call a spade a spade even at the expense of losing popular approval (II Timothy 4:1-5). Understanding her worldview and those that benefits from her music (e.g. homosexuals, etc.) is different from legitimizing it in the public space. Sympathy doesn’t necessarily need to translate to approval. Nor should we, Christians, let it be misunderstood that way.
8. Would Jesus be threatened by the derogatory and blasphemous remarks made by Lady Gaga?
Not at all! Every authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus (Matt. 28:19). He is reigning now as King of Kings and Lords of lords. No statement made by anyone not even by Satan could trample upon that authority. In the end, every knee shall bow upon His name. This thought should keep us from allowing Satan’s lie (that he is getting the upperhand in the epic battle for rulership of God’s creation) to creep into our minds and hearts. Let us be aware that our well-meaning efforts to defend God may actually be hindering the onward march of His kingdom. As the well known quote puts it, “the best way to defend the Lion is not to get in its way. It should simply be let loose and fend for itself.”
Let our “No” to Lady Gaga be a “Yes” to sanity and goodwill. He who has ears, let him hear.
Article GRABBED was written by Rei Lemuel Crizaldo.