Wow, watching the Grammy’s Sunday night was a again an interesting affair. I really don’t care for some of the things they do on the Grammy’s They are always hosted by liberal people who want to push the envelop and create a “wow” factor that you just won’t forget, until a week or two later and the next “wow” factor occurs. I still like to watch the Grammy’s for the wide spectrum view inside the culture of youth and to at least take what was seen and turn it into a teachable moment.
So what did I see last night as a teachable moment? Lady Gaga vs Celine Deon; Style over substance. First, let me say I am not a fan of either one of these women, but I am familiar with their music and a little about their singing style and have heard both sing on live performances. Making a quick comparison between these very different ladies you can see that each has their own different style and genre of songs. The never ending charades with her outlandish outfits and racy lyrics are the center of all things Lady Gaga. While Celine Deon relies mostly on her singing ability and powerful words in her song to sell her records. So who’s more popular and looked at by millions of teens recently, Lady Gaga of course.
This just builds to the case of what I have seen recently in and around church life that given the choice most people will choice style over substance. We don’t want quality any more, we just want to be entertained. These discussions have brought to life the phrase “An Entertainment Society” I see where that is so very true.
I see this not only in the secular realm, but also in the church as well. Most people would rather be entertained by worship music than take part in worship. Most students would rather be kept laughing and playing games than to endure a 20 minute Bible study. For several years now I have talked with other pastors and youth pastors in ministry about the nature of church and what we present before the youth of America. It is scary to see some churches and student ministries that try to copy the ways of the world and the first thing to go is the great substance of the word of God. I want to be clear here, I am all for funny and some great games, but when you drop the substance and replace it with water-down message of God for style and entertainment I think you need to go back to the drawing board. I do believe you can have both. It is possible to have both a great show of style and the deep substance of music lyrics or of a Bible study. A win-win combination.