Unlike most people on the inter-webs this week, I’ve so far avoided commenting on you-know-who. What’s the point? I can’t pretend to feel indignant, or shocked, or offended by the performance. I go to movies. I watch TV. I read books. I have the internet piped into my home. I know what’s out there and what’s in my heart. Who am I to be indignant?
Also, I can’t add anything to the helpful things that have been said, nor can I take away the harmful things that have been said. I liked this post from Christianity Today‘s “Her•meneutics” blog (as I usually like posts from that blog). This Vanity Fair piece is good, too. And this from the Onion A.V. Club.
Everything about the story depresses me when I think about it too much. Hard to believe there was a time 50 years ago when Bob Dylan, out of principle, walked away from performing on the top-rated Ed Sullivan Show because the network censors wouldn’t let him perform the satirical “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues.” Like Miley Cyrus, he was controversial—but the good kind of controversial, related to actual ideas.
Those were the days! Instead we’re stuck with today’s pop culture. We’ve clearly lost something.
I’ll probably say something about the controversy in this Sunday’s sermon, because the response to Miley Cyrus ties into this week’s scripture about specks and planks, etc. In the meantime, I just read these helpful words from Dallas Willard:
Although [Jesus] certainly let his condemnation fall upon self-righteous and deeply corrupted leaders (Matt. 23; Luke 11:29-54), we never see it in other contexts. And we can trust him to express it appropriately toward such people, though we ourselves could rarely if ever do so. Anger and condemnation, like vengeance, are safely left to God. We must beware of believing that it is okay for us to condemn as long as we are condemning the right things. It is not so simple as that. I can trust Jesus to go into the temple and drive out those who were profiting from religion, beating them with a rope. I cannot trust myself to do so.[†]
† Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy (New York: HarperOne, 1997), 220-1.