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Last week, social media and entertainment websites lit up in the moments following Miley Cyrus’ performance on MTV’s Video Music Award show. Truth be told, the VMAs have never been a place where decorum and decency have been expected. Since my high school days of watching MTV envelope-pushing was taking place then; by today’s standards what was jaw-dropping then may seem pretty tame today.
From lewd, dancing teddy bears to a costume that barely covered her body to sexual innuendo that was more sexual than it was innuendo, the former Hannah Montana star gave fuel to the proverbial fire in the entertainment industry. Facebook and Twitter have been buzzing with jokes, many making fun of the one-time child superstar and daughter of country music star Billy Ray Cyrus.
In an article with GQ magazine, Mr. Cyrus lamented the fame and fortune that came with the television show “Hannah Montana,” blaming the show for destroying his family.
Interestingly enough, Mr. Cyrus goes on to talk of how his and his daughter’s faith has been shaken since her rise to stardom and how he believes his family is under attack by Satan.
He says, “It’s the way it is. There has always been a battle between good and evil. Always will be…”
Reading this article, you can almost feel the weight of the burden Mr. Cyrus is carrying as he looks over the last several years with the clearest of hindsight.
This is a man who with seeming sincerity actually rues the day his daughter made it famous and the subsequent fallout of her popularity. You can almost hear the ache of his voice as he says, “For my family to be here and … everybody OK, safe and sound and happy and normal, would have been fantastic. Heck, yeah. I’d erase it all in a second if I could.” And this was written prior to her performance on the VMAs. I can only imagine how his heart aches (no pun intended) after seeing her disastrous act last week.
Mr. Cyrus is no theologian, but when he says that his family was under supernatural attack I believe he was correct. It’s not because he is famous that they were attacked; it’s because he had a family. That old serpent, Satan, has been attacking families since he slithered on the scene in Genesis three. He is anti-family, just as society at large is today; thus the need to be diligent in leading our families.
Miley isn’t the only young person to end up in a situation where she thinks she is in control of her life, surrounded by people who she thinks are her friends, convinced that the decisions she is making are beneficial, when in reality they are pushing her closer to the brink of disaster. As far out as she may be, however, she is not beyond the reach of grace.
We can sit in judgment on Miley’s on-stage antics; their public nature invites such scrutiny. But we cannot sit in judgment as if we were immune to such things ourselves. We may not have a worldwide stage, but given the opportunity, apart from God’s grace, there go we.
Trevin Wax, editor at Lifeway Christian Resources in Nashville, and contributor to the Gospel Coalition blog, wrote a recent post entitled “I Weep for Miley” in which he said, “I weep for the fathers of Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Madonna, and all the family members of all the other women who feel they have to sexualize themselves to achieve success. I weep for my 5-year-old little girl, who twirls around like a princess and hugs me tight at night, when I think of the world she is growing up in, the world I will send her into. I weep for the broken, messed-up world we live in. But then I weep at the power of grace.”
Pray for Miley, and millions of others like her. For where there is much sin, there is much grace. Thank God his arm is long and his grip is tight.
Brian Owens is an associate pastor with youth and children emphasis at Farmdale Baptist Church. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.