Category Archives: Pop Culture

Rich Girl$

The video for the song “Rich Girl$” by Down With Webster shows a girl whose rich parents are going away for the weekend, and after her parents give some last minute instructions, she does what any self-respecting twenty-something would do – throw a party.  This video shows your typical house party (except the house is huge), a swimming pool, girls in bikinis, dancing, beer pong, and some crazy guy that thinks it’s a brilliant idea to pour alcohol into a water gun and shoot it into girls mouths.  This illustrates a philosophy that so many of today’s culture have adopted: money equals stability and happiness.

The problem with this philosophy is that it doesn’t work.  Those that spend their lives desiring money and popularity end up empty and more alone than they could have imagined possible.

Recently, a friend of mine made a comment that she needed to re-evaluate who she thought were her friends.  I asked her what happened, and she told me that she had her birthday party at a relatively popular after hours club in Dallas, and that a lot of people who she invited came to the party, but didn’t even say hi to her.  Then she said, “I’m tired of having all of these ‘acquaintances. I miss having real friends.”  My heart broke immediately, and I wanted to do something to help her feel better, but there wasn’t really anything I could do.

The problem with chasing after money and popularity is that everyone is in it for two things: a good time, and themselves.  As long as they are having a good time, they won’t pause long enough to notice someone hurting even if they are sitting right beside them.  We were not designed for this.  We were not created to be this way.

Genesis chapters one and two show us the way that God created the world.  He created it in a sinless state, where we could be in constant fellowship, and to have and be in relationship, with God.  Genesis 3:8 says that Adam and Eve heard the sound of God walking in the garden.  Then in 3:9-10 when God asks, “Where are you?”, Adam doesn’t reply with “Ummm, who are you?”.  He says that he was afraid because he heard God’s voice.  The fact that they were able to recognize that this was God walking among them leads me to believe that this was a common occurrence.  Think about it, before the days of caller ID, when you picked up the phone and heard someone just say “Hey, how’s your day going?”, and you immediately know who it is, it’s because you talk with them often enough to recognize their voice without them having to identify themselves.  Adam and Eve walked and talked with God consistently.  We were created to be in relationship with God.

When Adam and Eve sinned, we fell out of that constant relationship with God, and began chasing after other things.  We began to desire money, sex, alcohol, and even something as innocent as relationships with other people more than God.  This leaves us empty, alone, and unsatisfied in life.  It is no accident that “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me” is the first of the commandments God gave Moses on Mount Sinai.  God’s first command to us is that we place primary focus on the very thing we were created to do in Genesis, worship and be in relationship with Him.  Psalm 37:4 tells us “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart”.  God commands us to do this, not because He has some desire to ruin our lives, or limit our happiness, but because we can only be truly happy and full of joy when we are fulfilling the purpose for which we were created by glorifying God with our lives.  God’s goal in redemptive history is His glory and our joy when we take part in it by being in relationship with Him.

Boom Boom Pow

Today as I was listening to my playlist on youtube, the song “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas started playing. I like this song for several reasons, it has a good beat and rhythm, the video is decent, and the lyrics are definitely inventive. Normally I just listen to music as I’m responding to emails, looking for a job, or messing around on Facebook. This time, I was just watching the video. That’s when I really started paying attention to the lyrics.

The lyrics are all about how the Black Eyed Peas are ahead of the curve in music, fashion, etc. and everyone else is trying to be like them. This may all be true, but this song illustrates the attitude that this world suffers from so much today. We live life as though we are to make much of ourselves. I live life as though I am here to make much of myself. Whether it be at work with my technical skills, or in small group when I make comments or ask questions that I don’t really expect people to know the answers to, or even in social settings as I migrate from one crowd of people to a different crowd, secretly taking pride in my ability to get along with any group of people out there.

Scripture teaches me that I don’t exist to make much of me though, I exist to make much of Christ. My sole purpose in this life is to image forth God, and bring glory to Him. Any ability that I have exists solely because of His grace. How dare I take pride in that which has been given to me?

Thanks for the reminder, God.

Jekyll & Hyde

In his book The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis illustrates and says:

If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.

So many of us are trying to hold on to both Heaven and to Hell.  We are trying to do enough to please God to make ourselves feel better (which is really only trying to please ourselves, when you stop to think about it).  We do this while holding on to the very things that Christ died to free us from.  If we follow God, we must do so wholeheartedly, there is no middle ground.

I was reminded of this today as I was driving home a song came on that I hadn’t heard in a while.  The band was Petra, and the song was Jekyll & Hyde.  For those interested, you can listen to the song on YouTube, or for those less inclined to rock music, you can read the lyrics.

The song addresses an issue that all Christians face.  The struggle between our spirit and our flesh.  The struggle between doing what is right, and not doing what is wrong.  Paul mentions this in Romans 7.

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

There are many debates surrounding this passage, and I encourage you to dive in and study them, but what is clear is in verse 20 Paul says that this struggle with our flesh is a struggle with sin.  Sin is the distorting of our natural desires.  The difference  between Paul’s struggle, and what is mentioned in the song is that too many of us see this as anything but a struggle.  We go through life treating this as more of a symbiotic relationship which allows the host body to survive.  We go to church to get our spiritual fix so that our spirit doesn’t totally die, and so we can check off our “good thing for the week” list.  Then we go home and browse sites we shouldn’t be browsing or drink to much.  Or maybe it’s at the office during the week when we “secretly” keep staring thinking sexual thoughts about the new girl, or maybe it’s something as seemingly innocuous as looking down on people from where they are from, the way they talk, or the way they were raised.  Let’s not lie to ourselves, we aren’t deceiving anyone.

For those that stay home alone watching porn, they aren’t coming across as innocent in their thoughts to God, and don’t think no one sees the long stares at the girls around the room.  Those that drink too much are thought of as fools, except among their own company of fellow drinkers…that doesn’t say much for their status.  Those that look down on others because of race, the way they talk, and the like are simply talked about behind their back because they can’t hide their ignorant disdain well enough.  Oh, and that gives the people who love gossip more fuel for the fire, so thanks for that.

Let’s not kid ourselves, we all live in this complacent lifestyle.  How often are we really coming to terms with the things that hold us captive and truly wage war on them?  How many of us truly plead the blood of Christ over these addictive substances or character traits?

Galatians 5:1

1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Christ’s blood redeemed us, it justified us in God’s sight, but there’s a piece missing.  That piece is sanctification, the process of becoming more like Christ.  Too many of us accept that redemption and justification, and then fight the process of becoming more like Christ.  We will fight for freedom from tyrants, we will fight for freedom from corrupt governments, but do we pick up the fight for our very souls?  No, we do all we can to avoid that fight.  WHAT THE HELL ARE WE THINKING!?

When are we going to wake up and pick up the only fight we are guaranteed to win?