Hey guys, how about those Grammys? If you didn’t watch them, you at least heard about the incredible display of weirdness and the somewhat surprising (and encouraging?) set of winners. But of course, with another award show comes another opportunity for Christians to engage in their old award show past-time: being shocked and surprised at the “vacuous”, “immoral”, and “trivial” nature of the show.
After all, there’s Lady Gaga in an egg, Bob Dylan sounding kind of like death, a song called Born This Way, a Beiber dance-off with Ninjas, and more. For many Christians, they saw it as an opportunity to point to something greater: Jesus Christ.
Me, I understand this motivation and I applaud it… but I don’t applaud the underlying disgust for the culture that accompanies it. Too many times, Christians use the fact that Jesus was left out of the proceedings as an opportunity to trash them as a whole, using loaded words that can only be insulting to those who find joy in this stuff.
My point isn’t that we should pretend bad things are good things for the sake of making people feel better. My point is that we could do a little better at acknowledging that yes, Lady GaGa is actually up to something pretty smart and unique, that Arcade Fire has an album that is both ambitious and stunningly beautiful, that even Justin Beiber did a pretty good job dancing and singing out there, and that as a whole, popular music may not be all that bad, even if it isn’t our style.
There’s very little out there that’s singularly bad without any qualifiers, and it would do us well to acknowledge that fact. We may think that we’re simply refusing to give into the whims of the world, but all we’re really doing is giving into this worldly trend of cynicism. Maybe mom was right. If we don’t have anything nice to say, maybe it’s better we don’t say anything at all.