07 February 2011

How Christina Aguilera is an Important Example for Christians

If you watched the Super Bowl, you probably caught it; if you didn't watch, you certainly have seen news reports and blog opinions on Ms. Aguilera's pre-game rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.  (If you just came out of a cave, here's a link to her performance.) 

It wasn't pretty.  (And that doesn't include the fact that she flubbed a line.)  What's wrong with singing it the way it was written??? 

OK, I got that out of my system.

Back to the theological implications of the whole mess.  If you listen to a lot of people in the church (and none too few outside it), what matters is your passion for whatever you believe, but not so much the content thereof.  I don't agree with that, and most serious bible students I know don't either.  Now, if we judge Ms. Aguilera's performance on passion alone, she was perfect.  You couldn't ask for more passion than what she put into that song.  But she didn't get the content right.

Our society seems to think that's OK.  How many times have you heard, "It doesn't really matter so much what you believe, just as long as you're sincere."  She was sincere to a fault, but didn't get the words quite right.  So was it a perfect performance, or not?  I didn't think so.  I'm sure she's embarrassed about it, and I know that in the same situation, I'd probably forget some of the words myself.  And as much as I don't appreciate that style of rendering the national anthem (I would much prefer a barbershop quartet, or the US Marine Chorus), she can sing a lot better than I could, even if I had the electronic enhancement that the Black Eyed Peas so sorely missed in their half-time show.

The gospel is, after all, a narrative...a story.  It has content.  It does indeed matter what we believe, and what we say about it.  It matters a great deal.  R. C. Sproul had to write a whole book about this, called, Getting the Gospel Right. More recently, Greg Gilbert wrote, What is the Gospel?, a book about getting the gospel right itself.  It seems a lot of good folks must not be getting it right.  I highly recommend both books, especially if you find the words to articulate the gospel hard to come by.

So next time you are interested in having a lot of passion for what you believe (and there's nothing wrong with that), take a cue from Christina...make sure you get the words right first.

1 comment:

  1. Equally, in my opinion, even if the words are all "right", without passion, or with the wrong kind of passion, the Christian fails as well.

    In systematic visits to every manner of church I could find on three continents, I saw those with no passion or those with angry passion (and those who judged). In fact, those people passed a bad image to outsiders who had interest in Christianity. I saw this too many times to discount it.

    Personally, I'd rather see people be a half step off with passion, that be dead on with none.


I welcome comments, and will read them, but they are moderated.