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Why I’m Not Protesting the Lady Gaga Concert

(Re-posted from josephbonifacio.com by Pastor Joseph Bonifacio)

Some clarifications to start:

I’m not saying it’s wrong to protest her. I’m just relating why I’m not doing that.

I don’t think it’s a harmless concert either. I’m aware of much of the message of her music and life and I don’t think it’s eternally beneficial.

I am not talking about parents who don’t allow their children to watch it. God has given parents the authority to raise their children. As far as I’m concerned, if you eat their food, drink their water, use their internet, order their maids around, then they get to call the shots. If you don’t want that life, go live on your own and make your own rules. (Honestly, there are tons of less privileged people who would love that kind of life.)

I’m only talking about protesting the upcoming concert and why I’m not doing that.

1. It’s after the fact.

I don’t buy this talk of Lady Gaga’s concert bringing a tide of filth and sin into our country. First of all, it’s not like the songs and their messages haven’t made it here already. So that’s not the concert alone. Secondly, our country is plenty sinful on its own without her concert. Is the concert really going to cause people to morph into rampant sinners?

Here’s a question: Is Lady Gaga’s popularity causing people to live a certain way? Or is she popular because people are already living a certain way? In other words, her music has an audience partially because it hits the core sinfulness of people who want to reject God and His Kingdom. (Some people just like the sound of repeating syllables.) A concert didn’t cause that, and stopping a concert won’t fix it. We need something else.

 2. It’s inconsistent.

Does Lady Gaga’s music contain elements that do not honor God the way He must be honored? Yes. Definitely. But then again, what doesn’t? Why are we protesting this concert in particular?

Did we protest Katy Perry when she kissed a girl and liked it? Did we protest Beyonce with her music and movements? Were the Black Eyed Peas paragons of virtue? Why didn’t they draw this much flak?

For that matter, where were these protests when the Spice Girls came and sang Two Become One? (Or did we think that was within the confines of marriage? Heads up, the Backstreet Boys are coming in June to tell people to Get Down.) And what about Frank Sinatra who insists “I Did It My Way?” Are we gonna strike that off our list too?

We’re using a standard that’s different from God’s Word, the Bible, if we act inconsistently like this. It’s like there are “okay” sins and there are “protest-worthy” sins. Where do we draw the line?

Too often, we draw the line where it doesn’t exclude us. But anyone different from us, anyone who makes us uncomfortable, anyone who is “obviously a sinner,” those people have to be outside the line.

People notice this double standard too. The mayor of Pasay said he’d allow the concert to continue, but he asked her to refrain from anything blasphemous or morally offensive. Someone commented on the internet asking what about all of the motels and prostitution that proliferate the area. And why stop at sex? What about corruption, laziness, etc.? That’s sin too, right?

How can we honestly condemn one act of sin while guilty of another ourselves? Once, when Jesus was preaching, people brought a sinful woman before him. Some religious people had tricked her and caught her in the act of adultery. Like any good lynch mob, this was lopsided from the beginning – the man was noticeably absent. Two people were in sin, the man was ignored, and they all condemned her.

Jesus, after writing in the dirt said, “Let him who has no sin cast the first stone.” In other words, let the ones who have not made any sin at all, be the first to condemn. In doing this, Jesus was not saying what she did was okay. He did correct her later on.

But He was also pointing out that sin is sin, no matter what sin it is. We must be careful what judgment you insist on others, because we bring the axe down on our own necks as well. None of us are sinless, so none of us can condemn each other. After he said this, he started writing on the dirt again, as each of the accusers dropped their case and walked away. He extended his hand to her, said He didn’t condemn her, and told her to sin no more. (You can’t miss that last part.)

The story shows that while none of the people could condemn her, there is one sinless person though. And that person WILL judge. And that’s Jesus Himself. The Bible says, He will return to judge every action, word, thought, and motive. At the end of our lives, we all will stand before Him and give an account. Lady Gaga will. So will the Pope. So will you. And we would all fail.

But because He loves us, Jesus died the punishment we should have died. He took away the rottenness of all our sin – the sin in Lady Gaga’s music and the sin in your heart when you couldn’t forgive someone – all of it, when He died on the Cross for us. And to those who believe Him, He gives new life. And that’s the only dividing line between who’s in and who’s out. And anyone who believes will be in. Even Lady Gaga.

So here’s what we can do instead – we can make disciples. We can tell people about Jesus, so that they’ll believe. Then we teach them to follow Him so that they’ll do the same. Incidentally, that’s the very thing Jesus told us to keep busy with. (Matthew 28:18-20)

In the words of my friendRyan, when asked about what he was doing about the upcoming Lady Gaga concert, “I’m gonna do what we’ve always been doing. Make disciples.”