“Don’t bite the apple Eve,
caught up in the in crowd,
now you’re in-style,
and in the winter gets cold en vogue with your skin out,
the city of sin is a pity on a whim.
Good girls gone bad, the city’s filled with them…”
-Jay-Z, Empire State of Mind
I was watching TV for a few minutes this morning, and it seems that Billy Ray wishes Hannah Montana had never happened. Take a look at the linked page (below) and read his interview with GQ. Over the next several weeks, the attacks on Billy Ray Cyrus and his family will be merciless. Before they start, let’s talk sympathy.
It’s easy to feel sympathy for Billy Ray. He’s grown up in an Americanized version of the Gospel. Billy wants what most parents in American Sub-cultural Christianity want: a successful kid. Who are we kidding, it’s what most parents in my church want, they want lives of comfort and joy for themselves and their kids. In this version of Christianity, Jesus is painted as a patriot, a winner, successful and interested in providing us a parking space close to the door. If we’ve failed, we just haven’t tried hard enough. When we win, it’s because we read our Bibles 5 days last week and went to church, so He’s happy. Take a look at the article, it’s why he got into music; he went to a Neil Diamond concert and heard, “I don’t care if you’re white or black, rich or poor, man or woman, if you believe in your dreams and you live for the light and God’s love, you can be anything you want to be in this world.” Funny, that sounds nothing like the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, it sounds a lot like the serpent in Genesis 3:4.
It’s easy to feel sympathy for Miley Cyrus. Her and her family were handed a pot of money to live the life (or, at least portray it on TV) that all teenage girls want. She became someone other that “Billy Ray Cyrus’ daughter”, she was out of the shadow. As she got older, she found that she was identified as “Hannah Montana” so she wanted to change that. Why? Imagine for a moment that everywhere you went, you saw your face staring back at you from lunchboxes, t-shirts, pencils, etc. But, they didn’t have your name on them, rather, the name of a fictional character, a simple marketing ploy. She probably felt used because she was used. Basically, she’s been reduced to a porn star; she is paid to put out. So, she gets a little crazy, wears less clothes, and puts a video on YouTube of herself with a bong. It’s ironic that in the show she was portrayed as working through the identity issue. Unfortunately, it was probably just a plot line, a humor device to keep 9-year old girls watching.
It’s easy to feel sympathy for anyone that tried to hold them accountable to what was happening in their lives. My guess is that many of Miley’s friends they are just like most junior high and high school kids, they went along for the ride. Sorry, but to many kids, if one of their friends is making a boatload of money, paying for parties, clothes, booze, they are simply NOT going to do anything that jeopardizes the ride. For those that did try to inject some truth into the situation, likely they were cast aside. So Miley fell victim to what many in the public eye fall victim to, they simply surround themselves by people who tell them what they want to hear.
The American Christian has, for the most part, been fed a christianity that is not Christian. We’ve decided that we will live in and participate in the things of the world and still find a home in Heaven. The way of the cross is not success, but humility, and I am weary of having Christians telling me otherwise. The Cyrus family bought the lie, and are now sadly paying for it.
“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”- Mark 8:36