The big news this new year? Kim Kardashian is now pregnant with boyfriend, Kanye West. So get ready people, we have nine months of incessant media coverage that will satisfy anyone’s appetite for minutia. Apparently we are completely fascinated with anything Kardashian. In 2012, Kim Kardashian was the third most searched topic.
Kim is certainly not the first celebrity to have a baby out of wedlock, but she is one of few people who seems to garner public interest with every move she makes. And why many people think Kim is all harmless fun and fashion, I think her influence is far sweeping in a different way.
Last year after Kim Kardashian ended her 72 hour marriage to Kris Humphreys, the Christian Post reported Kim went to church. Kim also tweeted that she was going to begin a Bible study with some friends. This Hollywood blend of religion is a confusing concoction of values. The message is that religion doesn’t really impact behavior. And that message has been a problem for the church for many years. From televangelists, priests who molest children to celebrities, hypocrisy isn’t new. But the glamorizing of hypocrisy is–it is now fashionable. Pull out God when it works, put him in your pocket when you want to do what you want to do. Bring Him in to the picture in a distorted way that confuses people and brings no real hope for change. Just read the lyrics of Kanye West’s huge hit Jesus Walk.
God show me the way because the Devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me)
The only thing that that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now
And I don’t think there is nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
(Jesus Walks with me)
I want to talk to God but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long
There is something that can be done to right a wrong. It’s called repentance, which brings forgiveness. God’s grace erases the sin and a person begins clean. God isn’t scary to talk to–He is full of grace and mercy. Yet the lyrics of this song leave a seeking person confused about God. The devil is trying to break us down, but the Holy Spirit in us, helps us overcome. Where is that hope?
So much of what we see in Hollywood religion is this type of confusion. No real understanding of the true God and the transforming work of the gospel. It’s a gospel of no power where appetites reign supreme.
Pop culture has tremendous influence over a generation. And a generation that is Bible illiterate, refuses to judge sin or even call sin sin, and thinks tolerance means having no standards, is in danger of never seeing the power of the Gospel. Like Jesus Walks, Jesus is present, but powerless to change lives.
How sad. How misguided. How uninformed.
The Kardashian news reminded me to have more conversations with the young adults in my life. How does this brand of religion impact thinking? And while that question may not be consciously on the minds of people, the constant spotlight of glamorizing our feeding of our appetites and doing what feels good with no shame or real fear of God, influences.
The church needs to be talking about this. Not in a way that criticizes sinners, but in a way that sorts through the confusing messages of Christianity in American culture. Jesus walks and talks. His power transforms lives so that the devil won’t break us down.
The challenge this New Year is to live out that Gospel and show the world the real power of a life transformed by Christ.