It’s been a very bad week for popular culture in America. The two top pieces of interest: Josh Duggar and Bruce Jenner. Where do I catch the rocket to Mars?
In neither case is there anybody lookin’ pretty. Sorry, Bruce.
To all of you saying things like, “You go girl! You look amazing!” I suggest finding the nearest sixty-five year old man and taking a good look. Then tell me honestly that you could jedi mind-trick yourself into believing he was now really, really a hot and glamorous lady.
For all the Photoshop, CG and surgery, you still need to force your mind to do the switch, like the rabbit/duck optical illusion. And that’s what millions are apparently doing.
I do not fault the Duggars for their many children. Having more than two children today in first-world culture requires a kind of actual bravery which few possess or even want. Nor do I criticize their desire to live a home-oriented, traditionally Biblical lifestyle.
But someone took a very bad road when they signed up for the sort of public scrutiny inherent in becoming reality show stars, and took their minor children along for the ride. I guess someone naïve to the point of a vegetative state might have thought that this would be good PR for Christianity. Because a positive media image is definitely the only thing we need to bring those millions into the kingdom.
I think those parents were forgetting some fundamental apologetics. We are all sinners. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?….There is none righteous, no, not one.
You may be sure that your sin will find you out.
Did they forget the depth of our depravity? Or did they think they and their children were immune?
All parents are commissioned to make their homes into a place which is safe, private, intimate; a place where loving ,learning, and discipling takes place naturally and un-self-consciously. That calling comes well before the responsibility to “be salt and light” in the questionable manner that the Duggars have chosen.
These children had no chance of a normal childhood. They were burdened with extraordinary pressures to be public representatives of Christianity in real time, in their own home. The world their parents invited in was undeniably hostile to their children, their way of life, their beliefs, their God.
The world was eagerly waiting for one of them to sin.
Yes, to sin, that retro word; to break a code they themselves care nothing about. The world wants Christians to sin, to fail to uphold our own beliefs, to violate our God’s commands. Then they can call faithfulness to God irrelevant.
Did the parents think it wouldn’t happen?
Did they forget that young people not yet in possession of self-control (even assuming adults attain such a state) would be under that scrutiny? Did they think they could cover up natural human depravity with cameras rolling? Or did they expect the world to forgive and forget?
The utter glee which greeted the news of Duggar’s history was palpable. Now the popular media and its devotees are going to expose and shame the victims for everyone’s entertainment.
It’s Biblical Christianity which teaches us that we are naturally self-seeking and prone to choosing exactly the wrong road. We cannot forget this, ever.
That the only remedy for our problem is in Christ: repentance, forgiveness, dying to self, reckoning ourselves dead to sin but alive in our identification with Christ. He took the penalty for our sin; we owe him our lives. Our lives are hidden in His. It’s very humbling.
I think those parents forgot who we are, who we represent, and especially who our lives belong to.
There is no one coming out of this pretty. The alternative Christian media culture is a ghetto, a separate subculture on the margin of the larger outrageous cesspool culture. We promote our own media stars. There’s this phenomenon: the woman who’s written an inch-deep “book” (which is usually a paragraph of actual substance and a lot of padding) who we make into a fount of wisdom with a DVD study complete with 90’s style camera coolness.
The poor imitation that the “safe” Christian media dishes out operates in precisely the same way that the secular media does: manufacture stars and teachers who tickle our ears, hype and promote, sell and sell. Shame on us for feeding at the trough.
But if we can just get the kids at the cool lunch table to notice us, maybe we can bring one person to Christ!!
And let’s be honest. Although one spectacle is supposedly cheered with words which approach worship, and the other spectacle is enduring the fire and brimstone of popular opinion, both are regarded as nothing more than grotesque circus sideshows in the daily lives of most people.