(2) What’s more, however, God is not the only one whose name has been on the lips of our mainstream idols, but so is the name of Jesus.
Justin Bieber garnered the best new artist of 2011. Holding his statuette, Bieber announced “I just want to say thank you so much, not only to God but to Jesus, because I wouldn’t be here without him. He’s really blessed me. He’s put me in this position. So I want to say thank you so much.”
Kanye West storms the stage at the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards preshow. During a charged performance of the anthem “Hurricane” by Jared Letto’s band, 30 Seconds to Mars, West walks out to join Letto wearing his (likely $200 or more) Givenchy tee. It read “Jesus Is Lord.”
Following the VMA show, I was left sitting there gazing blankly at the now dark television screen wondering what all of this means. I began to type this post and do a little research. I noticed that I wasn’t the only one confused and yet intrigued about the Christian allusions in the arts. According to this Fox news article, “immediately following the telecast, the words “God and Jesus” became top trending topics on Twitter due in large part to pop prince Justin Bieber.”
After taking a survey of the landscape of the arts, let me ask the question that no one else is asking:
In a culture that goes out of its way to discredit true faith, loves satire, pointing fingers and hates hypocrisy, why is there so much talk about “God” and “Jesus” and being “blessed?” Are societal affirmation and record sales really an indication of God/Jesus blessing someone? What about artists who did not win a VMA. Is that an indication that Jesus is not blessing them?
The blessing of God has been mischaracterized in American culture. No more does it mean salvation from sin/death and peace with God. Now “blessing” means the same thing as worldly success—fame and fortune.