His Light will always shine,
In the darkest of the Nights,
it will still be burning bright.
Reach out and touch the flame,
Call upon His name,
He waits for you today.
~ Commander Kellie and the Superkids
Over the past two weeks there’s been so much controversy over Katy Perry and her halftime performance. You have Christian bloggers and social media timelines posting about how she was the “Whore of Babylon” riding in on the “beast” and that there is “no way God would ever speak to her,” that she merely heard “a demonic voice or spirit, not God.” I wasn’t going to write on this news blip or any of the other issues trending in the Christian Blogosphere, but I’ve come to a place of sadness at church leaders and the hateful posts and blogs that have been written basically calling Katy a liar and incapable of hearing God’s voice. What an impression we are giving the world of our message of “love.”
I think in the world of Christian blogging and social media we’ve lost something vitally important. In the name of, “proclaiming truth” and being “separate from the world,” we’ve lost our main purpose and calling on this earth as the hands and feet of Christ. Now, before you start bashing me as “worldly” and guilty of “compromised” convictions, I am all for proclaiming the truth, addressing error, dealing with doctrinal issues, and other things that are hindering the church. In addition, I am not saying I condone everything that happened in the halftime show. I’m not saying that I jam out to “I kissed a girl and I liked it…” promoting the LGBT agenda, while riding down the road. Were there things that took place in that halftime show that could promote and even glorify sin in some ways, yes. And as a youth pastor and minister I cannot condone those things. But, on the other hand, in recent years she’s released songs like “Roar,” “Unconditionally,” and “By the Grace of God” that have, I believe, evident spiritual truths and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks or, in her case, sings and from recent events it would seem God is working behind the scenes in ways we can’t see, but it is becoming evident slowly, but surely. While many question her spiritual condition, it isn’t for us to judge what God is doing in her heart. I do know this, her parents and many others, including myself, are praying for her! The gifts and callings of God are without repentance and no matter where someone is, they can always return to God and walk out the purpose He established for their life. I know God is faithful to His word and He really does answer our prayers! I know God has sent and is sending laborers across Katy’s path, just as He would send them across your family member’s path who stepped away from Him. And I know the Word promises that you “train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). And I am sure that is the promise her parents are declaring and her family and friends are holding on to in faith. God is faithful and true to His promises and no matter how far away from Him a person may appear to be, His loving kindness is there all the while calling them back and bringing them to repentance.
Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.
You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.
Romans 2:1-4, MSG
Now if you feel inclined to set yourself up as a judge of those who sin, let me assure you, whoever you are, that you are in no position to do so. For at whatever point you condemn others you automatically condemn yourself, since you, the judge, commit the same sins. God’s judgment, we know, is utterly impartial in its action against such evil-doers. What makes you think that you who so readily judge the sins of others, can consider yourself beyond the judgment of God? Are you, perhaps, misinterpreting God’s generosity and patient mercy towards you as weakness on his part? Don’t you realise that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
Romans 2:1-4, PHILLIPS
Could God speak to Katy Perry?
“It’s funny, I was praying and I got a word from God and He says, ‘You got this and I got you.’ And then I was on top of the lion and a guy, a random guy, just looked on me with a headset that I’ve never communicated with before and he just looked me straight in the eyes and said, ‘You got this.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, this is God confirming I can do this.”
Katy Perry, 2015
God can speak to a drunk in a bar, we don’t have to be perfectly right with God to hear His voice. To believe you have to be perfectly right with God to hear His voice, is to nullify everything the Word tells us about God’s character and heart. The Bible is full of stories of individuals who messed up big time, yet God came and spoke to them. Moses, the murder? Did God speak to him in the burning bush before he committed murder? He spoke to him after and declared to Him the great work He had called him to. David, the adulterer and murder? God called Him a man after His own heart, because while his behavior and lifestyle saddened God, his heart was what God saw. Saul of Tarsus, a hunter, a murderer, and a persecutor of Christians? God spoke to him on the Road to Damascus which changed his entire life! He became one of the greatest apostles of the New Testament and in all of Christianity, spread the Gospel with the more fervor than he sought to kill Christians with! What is my point? If God can speak to each of these individuals in the Bible, where its clearly recorded the sins they committed, who are we to say Katy Perry didn’t hear the voice of a loving God? And that she, herself may encounter a “Damascus Road Experience” of her own and lead her generation into a great revival? Nothing is impossible with God, He can come into anyone’s life, save them, and use them for His glory. Sadly, in our endeavor to stay clean from the world, we have lost our purpose in the world. Luke 19:10 tells us that Jesus came to “seek and save that which was lost.” I love the way The Message reads, Jesus “came to find and restore the lost.” And we are His hands and feet to this world, we are here to seek and find the lost and to bring them in to our family.
I find it interesting that Katy Perry still has a tattoo on her left wrist that says, “Jesus.” She has stated that she got the tattoo as a constant reminder of her religious upbringing, which will always be a part of her. In 2009 she told Katie Couric “I knew I wanted this on me because no matter how much changes around me or how much I change, there’s not really an eraser for this.” And went on to say that when she plays the guitar, “It stares right back at me. It’s like ‘remember, you came from this, and you can always go back to it.’” And isn’t that what the love of God is all about? Arms wide open to the lost and to His prodigal sons and daughters? So, before we become so quick to judge Katy Perry’s ability to hear the voice of God, let us reexamine our hearts and make sure our heart beat is in tune with God’s. His heart beats for the lost and so should ours. And, shouldn’t we want the lost to hear his voice? The morning of Katy’s Big Halftime show, she tweeted, “Today is the day that the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Her 65 million twitter followers saw that! Seeing that tells me that God IS moving on her heart! He IS working in her life, and while we may not see a completely radical change or an abandonment from all sin, we are seeing small, gradual changes. Her music has evidently changed, her beliefs and her heart appear to be changing, and that tells me that its imperative that we lift her and those like her up in prayer rather than tear apart everything they do and say.
Do I believe Katy heard the voice of God? Absolutely! Why? Because I know the heart and character of my God. I know the times He spoke to me when I was struggling or in a place I am not proud of. His voice was the very things that brought me back into total and complete alignment with His word and His call on my life. And I know beyond a shadow of doubt if He did that for me, He’ll do it for you, Katy Perry, or anyone, because He is no respecter of persons. You can call out to God in the darkest of places and He will answer you, because He is fiercely seeking after you to save you and restore you to your rightful place with Him. And Katy Perry is no exception to His love and faithfulness!