Are New-Wave Christians Pop Stars with Hashtags?
Katy Perry and Justin Bieber profess their faith via Instagram post. | Photo Courtesy of instagram.com
“My brokenness + God’s divinity = my wholeness”
In one of his Easter posts, Justin Bieber shared what he believes Easter is about:
“JESUS HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. EASTER IS NOT ABOUT A BUNNY, ITS A REMINDER THAT MY JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS FOR MY SINS THEN ROSE FROM THE DEAD DEFEATING DEATH.”
This does not appear to be a post of a meek follower of Christ. Bieber continued:
“I BELIEVE THIS HAPPENED AND IT CHANGES EVERYTHING! I AM SET FREE FROM BONDAGE AND SHAME AND I AM A CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH GOD AND HE LOVES ME EXACTLY WHERE I AM HOW I AM FOR WHO I AM.”
Relevant Magazine stated:
"Of course, it would be a bridge too far to project any significant meaning into one Instagram post, but it’s still nice to see a high-profile person like Perry [and Bieber] conveying an honest message on social media."
This statement expresses a healthy amount of scepticism that pop stars like Perry and Bieber, by professing faith via social media, join the wave of Easter selfies and family egg hunt photos. There is a possibility that this is the case. However, this statement indicates an unwarranted and misguided judgment that labels Perry and those like her. It implies that her identity as a pop star negates the substantiality of her faith. Because she is known for “kissing a girl” and “liking it”, her wrestling with faith and belief is rendered somehow less significant or “post worthy” than the teenage evangelical’s.
It is tempting, as Christians, to judge another’s level of faith. However, to say that because someone is struggling or because their lifestyle is not a perfect image of God's commandments does not give us the right to damn them. We are not the selected, the preservers, the ordained.
Tattoos can be removed, covered up or modified. My question is, why did Perry leave her tattoo if she did not indeed possess the heart or desire to keep a piece of Jesus with her?
As Christians, should we not be looking for the hope of salvation of others, instead of condemning them and assuming the worst?
BIEBER AND PERRY—CHRISTIANS?
Granted, Bieber’s actions as a celebrity do not always align with the image of a perfect Christian—but show me a pastor who does. Show me a 20-something evangelical who is perfect. Instead of doubting Bieber, or judging him as a Jesus Calling, megachurch-attending Christian, should we not see that 3,165,997 people saw and liked his message posted on Instagram? That is more quantitative witnessing than any of us could dream of doing in a lifetime.
These pop stars are spreading truth. I propose it is not “too far to project” meaning on their instagram posts. Just as thought goes into every outfit and every selfie these stars take, there is thought and consideration of their self-branding as Christians.
Perhaps Jesus’s perfection is exemplified through these celebrities’ brokenness. We should not shame them for their lifestyle in the limelight.