Word of God or Gaga?


What do you believe most deeply today: the Word of God or the words of Lady Gaga? Pastor Colin Smith explains why only one belief is true.

A little while back, I met with some of our pastors as we talked about our congregation.  One of the guys said, “Many of our people are reading the Bible, but they don’t really believe what it says about sin.”

Then our youth pastor at the Barrington campus said, “Pastor Colin do you know the song by Lady Gaga, called, “Born This Way?” Because that’s what students in middle school and high school really believe.”  I didn’t know the song, so Josh pulled up the words right there on his phone and read them to me…

My mama told me when I was young
‘We are all born superstars…’
‘There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are’
She said, ‘cause he made you perfect, babe’
‘So hold your head up girl, and you’ll go far’
Listen to me when I say
I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way.
Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way.

Let me say this to parents: You may not allow your children to watch or listen to Lady Gaga.  But, is it possible that you are actually teaching your children exactly the same thing?

My mama told me when I was young,
‘We are all born superstars.’

Is that what you are telling your children?  Is that what your parents told you?  We live in an affirming culture that teaches us that the best thing we can do for our children is to constantly tell them how good they are.

Here’s the problem: That is the most damning thing you could ever tell your children.  If nothing in your child is broken, then what is there to redeem?  How will they ever see their need of a Redeemer?

You are undoing the very basis of Christian faith, if you keep telling them how good and how great they really are.  You may say, “Are you suggesting that I start telling my kids that they are little sinners?”  No.  I want you to start by telling them that you are a big sinner.

Father, does your son know that you see yourself as a sinner who hangs on the grace and mercy of God in Jesus Christ?  Does your son see a passion in you to battle the cravings of your sinful nature?  Is there a growing likeness to Christ that your son can see in you?  Or does your son see the smugness of complacency?

Mother, is your daughter seeing a spirit of humility in you?  Does she see repentance and brokenness over the pride of your own heart?  Does she see a great longing in you to become more like Christ?  Or does she see a satisfied contentment with the position you’ve gained in life?

When our boys were in middle school, we were driving together just before the beginning of a new year and we got into a conversation about “what would be one thing that each of us could change.”  One of our boys said a line that has gone down in our family history… “I wish Dad would mess up more.”  I tell you that was a wake-up call to me…

“This boy actually thinks his dad has life all sorted out and he never messes up.”  So, I started a new habit:  Confessing the mess ups!  “Boys, I want you to know, dad messed up again today!”  You know how it goes, “Not again, dad, not again!”  Sometimes it was said with humor, and sometimes, as they got older, with great seriousness and sadness.

What are you teaching your children?  Are you helping them to understand the mystery of sin that is in them, or are you blinding their minds, by drip feeding the false gospel of self-esteem?

My mama didn’t tell me when I was young, that we’re all born superstars, and I’m so grateful for it. So, with apologies to Lady Gaga, I’ve rewritten the song.  This is my story…

My mama told me when I was young,
‘We are all born sinners.’
‘There’s everything wrong with loving who you are,’
She said, ‘cause you’re far from perfect, babe.’
‘So bow your head down, boy, and you’ll go far,
Listen to me when I say’
Become beautiful in God’s way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
You’re on the wrong track, baby
You were born this way.
Draw near to God in regret
Seek faith in Christ, then you’ll be set,
You’re on the wrong track baby
You were born this way.

That’s what my momma told me, with great love.  What do you most deeply believe today… the Word of God, or the words of Gaga?  They cannot both be true.

You have to make a choice and that choice will determine the direction of your life.  If nothing in you is broken, there’s nothing to redeem.  As long as you believe that, you will never embrace Christ, and you will die in your sins.

But if you see that you’re a sinner by nature and by practice, then there is a Redeemer to whom you can come—Jesus Christ the Righteous One.  He is ready to receive you and walk with you. He has power by His Holy Spirit to help you and change you.  There’s hope for you in Him today.

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