I'd say that in general I care very little about Miley Cyrus's life. I suppose I'd like to see her be a positive role model on my future children but because that isn't a current reality of mine, I generally don't care much about her. Her new song, "We Can't Stop" has a catchy hook though so I turned up Spotify when it came on. So that you don't get bogged down in the disgrace that is the song, I'll sum it up for you: Miley owns the world and she doesn't care if you care.
I'll say it: Hannah Montana is creating a whole new persona and its first name is "badass." But what do I care? She has friends, they like to party, they're poorly influencing America's youth, and they have poor grammar. As a concerned citizen with children I'd care, but I reiterate: Miley's life really doesn't concern me much.
But then I heard these lines:
To my homegirls here with the big butt
Shaking it like we at a strip club
Remember only God can judge ya
Forget the haters, cause somebody loves ya
Oh! Miley's a theologian now. Now her life concerns me.
I've been bothered recently with liberal America's approach to ethics and morality. Actually, that's not quite accurate, I've been bothered with liberal Christian America's approach to ethics and morality. Given that Miley is a baptized Southern Baptist and is outspoken about her support for gay marriage, I'll assume that she's part of that club.
In liberal Christianity, the jump to "Only God can judge ya" is, in my opinion, made far too hastily. The line is often used to justify our earthly actions that society may deem as "wrong." Because the Bible, as many people read it, is inconsistent about exact sins, those arguing for progress in America often fall to this simplistic thinking and when those people are Christians the situation gets messier. It's reactionary too. Conservatives tell a gay couple that their actions are sinful in the eyes of God but it feels natural and right to the gay couple so they result to "Only God can judge us." It's a decent starting point maybe but the line is unhelpful in continuing a theological conversation about a very important topic.
When I read Scripture and hear it proclaimed in worship, I don't understand God to be one who calls for a world in which people do whatever they want however they want whenever they want and just wait for judgement day to find out if they were on the right path or not. There's no participation in salvation in that scenario and there is certainly no growth into holiness. This runs along neo-Reformed thinking and scares a disciple like me who longs for the world to move in a holier way and requires action (due to God's grace) on the part of the Christian. There is perhaps "progress" there, but it doesn't seem to be holy progress.
If one wants to argue for things like gay marriage in the church, the conversation (at least in the Wesleyan tradition) must be framed theologically and, along with that, within the realm of holiness and salvation. In the VERY least, the argument about the sinfulness of homosexuality ought to be centered around how we are created and not that we can "just do whatever we want." The Scriptures must be wrestled with for liberal Christians. The teachings of the Church throughout time must be wrestled with. But everything, no matter the direction of the conversation, must be contained within a framework appropriate for the conversation. Otherwise, we Christians that seek inclusion and equality are faced with a temptation to leave the Christian framework completely. That's a no-no.
So Miley is encouraging this "No one owns me and I can do whatever I want" attitude. Fine. It's not ideal for the youngsters of America (frankly, it's downright terrible) and her culture writing insists on a degradation of our youth. Fine. I could approach that another time (and we should). But, it seems to me that Miley is perpetuating a mindset that is unhelpful for Wesleyan Christians. If we insist and believe that we can (by the grace of God) participate in our own salvation, we must reject the simplistic and unhelpful line, "Only God can judge me." Judgement and accountability by the community (the church) are integral parts of discipleship.
Miley, put on some clothes. Your dad watched that video.