Miley Cyrus, the VMAs, and Jesus.

In today’s facebook news… I saw a couple of posts about something Miley Cyrus did on the VMAs? with a teddy bear? and a foam hand?… and then read a few blog posts that were linked with “letters to Miley” regarding her… ahem… VMA ‘performance’
To be honest, I don’t really know who Miley Cyrus is.

I wouldn’t be able to pick her out of a crowd if you paid me to.

I didn’t even remember she was “Hannah Montana” until a friend reminded me. 
I’ve never seen an episode of “Hannah Montana”. 
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Now. You might think I am a recluse who writes from under a rock and rarely sees the light of day. 

On the contrary…
I. Just. Don’t. Care.
I don’t care about what Miley Cyrus did or didn’t do with a foam hand and a teddy bear on national television. 
I don’t care about the VMAs – or MTV – or Academy Awards – or the Oscars Schmoshcars – or the Silver Globes – or any other kind of award show that involves red carpet, limousines, over priced dresses, and people giving themselves statues for things they do, in which they are over paid for in the first place.
So. If “I don’t care”… why am I using my precious time and blog space to write about how I don’t know who Miley Cyrus is…?
Because I know God. and He knows Miley Cyrus. He created her and loves her. 
I know a God who cares about what she does and how she lives her life. 
I know a God who cares about the rest of us –the audience- of these shows. 
He cares about how we spend our time, how we spend our money, what shows we watch, who we support, who we make into celebrities. 
We made Miley Cyrus into a celebrity. We have glorified her from a young age as “Hannah Montana”. We push celebrities to push the envelope by our boredom and demand for more. more. more. and We have contributed to how she uses her “stardom”. 
When we are star-struck with someone, we give them glory. 
Who are giving glory to? Who are we spending our time getting to know, read about and talk about? 
We. Have. A. Choice. to put down the People magazine. To turn off the television. To choose not to see the latest movie. To save our money instead of wasting it on garbage. To save our time instead of wasting it by feeding into making other people “stars”. 
So. I still don’t care what Miley Cyrus did or didn’t do on the VMAs. 
It’s not going to change my life one way or the other. 
But I do care about Miley as a human being. 
I desire for her to know her true value and self worth. 
I hope for her to know it is not sex or songs on a stage that will fill her life.
I pray she will see there is a Holy God who sees her as precious. 
And she is worth His great love.
And I hope we will know we are worth His same great love.
I hope we will seek to know about, read about, and talk more about Jesus. 
I hope we will be star struck by an awesome God, rather than the latest celebrity performance.
I hope we will be in awe of the One who gave His life for all mankind.
and I pray He will be glorified. 
In Him, Leslie

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5 thoughts on “Miley Cyrus, the VMAs, and Jesus.

  1. Kimberly says:

    I am about to do something I have never ever done on the internet. Open a can of worms and disagree publicly with one of my best friends in the world. And I can only do this because I respect you so so much. First, I agree with the spirit of the end of your blog post but I'm going to get picky about the beginning. You're talking about the cult of celebrity and how it's ridiculous that we feed into it and you are mostly talking about tv/film/music stars. BUT having grown up in church – I must point out – pastors are celebrities – maybe only to 300 people but you guys are stars. I bet the line to talk to the church janitor on Sunday is not nearly as long as the line to talk to Adam (and I know there are times when you are the janitor but not my point). You guys get treated differently – yes better. You get more attention. And you say “you don't care what celebrities do” but you are a celebrity and people care about what you do and I'm going to repeat – treat you differently – at least the people in your circle. And yes I know people also require more of you and pick on you and gossip about you and complain to and about you. That's what happens to other celebrities too. People crave heroes. I taught a bible study a few years ago that pointed out that we as a society don't have heroes as much as we used to and that we actually need them. Now I agree that most celebrities are thrust into the public's adoration without many of the character traits that heroes should have (although that can be said for a lot of pastors too). I have no beef with pastors – in fact I've always had great ones – I'm just making a comparison. But to make it seem like it's ridiculous for people to pay attention to what they do is not altogether healthy in my book – yes we shouldn't be obsessed (like we are) but it's not about turning off the tv and movies. It's not handing over an entire industry to the enemy – one of the most influential industries in the world. Stories are important and it's super hard to make good ones. Making a movie or a film is one of the most impossible tasks in the world. And one of THE most community oriented ones. It takes a village literally and it takes crazy teamwork. And the things that are produced – stories – resonate with people on the deepest level.

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  2. Kimberly says:

    So please stop telling people to turn it off – for one thing it's my business and my art and I love it and think it's important. So when you downgrade it, you are actually (accidentally) proclaiming my life's work futile. If you hate what's out there so much – instead, encourage people to take it back. Encourage peope to learn how to make great television and great films. Encourage people to do the tough and even spiritually thorny task of getting in there with the big boys and respecting the INCREDIBLE talent, drive and resources it takes to do what tv and film execs do (and everyone down the line). Respect is a much better way to persuasion than self righteousness (and I'm not saying you are self righteous but many of us in the church are, epscially toward non-believers.) Non-believers in the entertainment industry impress me and earn my respect every single day. I start there and hone my craft and try to earn their respect right back. And then, you know what, pretty often my faith comes up or a faith question comes up and I get to have a real dialogue – a respectful dialogue. And sometimes I have to turn projects down but SOMETIMES projects get altered. Either way, my Christ loving and people respecting perspective is in the room.I'm not saying you have to be super passionate about the entertainment industry – it's not you craft or business or love. But please don't discount it. It's wildly important. And if all the tv's and movies had been turned off when I was growing up then I wouldn't be doing what I believe I was created to do. (and by the way I wasn't allowed to spend hours in front of the tv – I was encouraged to go live life – but stories were a part of life). And yes not all shows are appropriate, but my parents didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. My brother is a Christian in politics and I'm not saying everyone should know as much or be as passionate about it as him – but don't tell people not to vote. And you may think well politics is different – but it's not. As Solomon says everything UNDER THE SUN is meaningless. It doesn't really matter what you're “passion” is as long as it's done in worship to God and therefore with love and respect for His creation. I love the entertainment industry. I'm in awe of the people they reach every day. I also think people will always put people on pedestals whether in church or on tv – it's what you do with the celebrity status that matters. There are tons of us working really didligently for God out there – please don't discount our industry and discourage others from supporting it, changing it and participating in it.That's my 25 cents. Now I have to go email a writer about his wonderful story and figure out how we're gonna make it:) Love you loads, Leslie. Just offering an insider's perspective.

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  3. The Babs says:

    Thanks for your insight Kimberly. My heart in this post is to address the core foundation of our 'obsession' with celebrity and sex, and the amount of attention we pay to both. There is a complacency we have (Christians included) when watching and supporting shows that promote the celebrity/sex combination. There are so many other films and directors (like yourself) worth our support, time, money and energy. and yes – The same goes for the idea of celebrity Pastors and mega churches. I can also relate it to “shopping local” rather than spending all our money at Wal-mart. There are so many “unknowns” doing great work in film industry, the food industry and in the ministry. And it's important to support them. The question still remains – on what and whom are we spending our time, money and energy? and ultimately – Who are we glorifying? Thanks for your feedback and perspective. I really appreciate it. Love you, Les

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