You’d have to turn pretty hard and firmly away from the glaring clarity to miss the connection – the near-perfectly synchronized harmony – between Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz Tour stop in Nashville last night and the political scene unfolding on Primary Election Night across the “Great State of Tennessee”.
All the dots are there, so close that they barely need to be connected, yet, for some reason (see: Romans 1), nobody seems to even notice, much less care…
Cyrus, for those who don’t know (well done!), is the Disney-Product-Gone-Wild most prominently ravaging the cultural landscape at this particular moment.
Having metastasized on schedule from her carefully crafted (and well marketed) squeaky-clean-ish Hannah Montana persona into the complete off-the-rails, over-the-top (and just as well marketed) Skankzilla persona of, well, herself, Miley has become one of the best known faces and most appropriate representatives of modern American pop-culture.
A shining example of Tennessee’s contribution to pop-culture as well, since she also happens to have been born in Nashville, where she was performing last night in the city’s largest arena as Primary Election Night was unfolding around the State.
Watching Madison Avenue marketed Sodom and its celebration of money/power parade across and permeate the “Bible Belt” culture in every realm from politics and education to entertainment and economics is about as creepy weird as it gets. What makes it creepier, weirder, and even more surreal, is that this is all unfolding in dramatic fashion before our eyes while seemingly unnoticed by the very folks who, according to their professed beliefs, convictions, and the like, ought to notice and react to this sort of thing right away.
The “this sort of thing” in question here is the crystal clear, wide-open rebellion of this culture against God, particularly when it comes to molding the minds and worldviews of children and young adults. It’s not as though the Bible is vague, fuzzy, or unclear about the essential nature of Christ at the core of children’s education, and it’s not as though the vast majority of folks running for office throughout Tennessee on Bangerz Day aren’t professing (and loudly so during campaign season) that they are “Christians”.
Christless Christianity in Action
These same “Christians” also often loudly claim during campaign season that they are “conservative” and that they are just loaded to the brim with wonderful things like “common sense”.
They claim that they are “opposed to big government”.
They claim that they are in favor of “empowering parents”.
They claim to understand and appreciate that “the children are our future” and that they to want to do “what’s best for the children”.
Yet, by any basic, honest measure, State-controlled children’s education is inherently Socialistic.
State-controlled children’s education is, by definition, Socialism.
State-controlled children’s education embodies the philosophy of Marxism as conveyed in several of the Ten Planks of Communism in The Communist Manifesto.
These are simple – and easily verifiable – facts. (Assuming one has an actual interest in true education, that is…not exactly something the State tends to promote or encourage, oddly enough.)
So what about these would be “leaders” who seek our votes and talk the “Christian, conservative, common-sense” game while simultaneously promoting in action the anti-Christian, Socialistic, State-empowering approach to, well, pretty much everything?
Are they morons?
Are they idiots?
Are they just a giant gang of well harmonized (or perhaps well programmed/well discipled?) incompetent buffoons who just don’t know any better, bless their poor confused little hearts?
Or are they perhaps the judgment of God upon “we the people” who have rebelled against Him?
And what about those of us who actually vote for these folks while expecting cultural restoration to come one step closer as a result?
Are we morons?
Are we idiots?
Are we unbelievers?
Scripture is loaded with examples of wicked leadership being sent to a people as punishment for their rebellion. We might wanna think and pray about that possibility here in “the land of the free” and the home of the NSA, ya think?
Wicked Leadership as a Sign of God’s Judgment Upon a People
Consider this: Tennessee, “good conservative Christian State in the Bible Belt Buckle of America”, just re-nominated and affirmed a flagrant Statist/globalist/Socialist Senator in Lamar Alexander, re-nominated a flagrant Statist/globalist/Socialist Governor in Bill Haslam, and opted to keep on three Supreme Court Justices who have played a major role in making Tennessee a baby-massacring attraction to those seeking to murder their children for convenience via abortion from border states who have at least begun to clamp down on the “right” to child sacrifice. (For more on America’s abortion/child sacrifice infatuation, see the two part post Our Murderous Narcissism and Why We Murder Our Children.)
While this is all obviously quite problematic, things are often even worse at the local, grass-roots level (where most “good conservative” types like to imagine things to be healthy and strong).
How many of these thoroughly confused (and/or deceptive) “Christian” folks with “conservative values” and “common-sense principles” run for offices and positions that are inherently opposed to the cultural restoration that they claim to desire through the application of their “Christian values”?
For example, how can one run for the School Board, a panel tasked with nurturing the inherently Marxist/Socialist institution of State-controlled children’s education, while simultaneously claiming to be “a Bible believing Christian” who is “conservative”, loaded with “common sense”, committed to “empowering parents” and doing “what is best for the children”?
The answer is that they cannot.
Not coherently anyway.
“Empowering parents”, from a biblical perspective, means doing everything possible to see to it that those parents honor their obligation to God to secure an explicitly Christ-centered education for their children, realizing that if parents en masse do not do this, the culture and civilization in which they live will fall further and further into darkness…kinda like where we are right now.
In other words, it means doing everything possible to end State-controlled children’s education.
We could go on in this direction, but by now you surely get the point (and if you don’t, you likely never will…and might one day feel compelled to run for office so that you can “help” my family as Socialists define such things as “help” and “family”).
Practically every Republican ad that has been run in pursuit of any office in the “Great State of Tennessee” during this campaign season has pulsed and echoed with chanted terms like “conservative” and “common sense”. Yet what do these terms actually mean to the people using them?
Well, lemme tellya what they mean, most of the time, anyway:
They mean, “I am a professing Christian who is either dangerously ignorant of or actively opposed to Jesus Christ (the Word made flesh) in fundamental ways.”
They mean, “I am a professing conservative who is either dangerously ignorant of or actively in support of Socialism/Marxism at a fundamental level.”
They mean, “I am a professing defender of the family and children who is either dangerously ignorant of the roles, responsibilities, and limitations of the family, church, and state as defined by Christ in His Word, or I simply do not believe in the roles, responsibilities, and limitations of the family, church, and state as defined by Christ in His Word.”
As with anything that is separated from explicit connection and reliance upon the nature of Jesus Christ as perfectly revealed in His Word, otherwise lovely (and tempting) terms like “common sense”, “conservative”, and even “Christian” are left meaning nothing actually good. To the contrary, in their separation from Him, they almost always become tools of deception used to sway and manipulate those unwilling or unable to test their validity in light of Scripture…a group that includes most of the sloganeering candidates in question.
So, with the pro-Socialist, anti-Christian worldview that defines modern American (and Tennessean) “conservatism” and “common sense” in mind, let’s get back to Miss Miley…
The Tennessean‘s covered her Bangerz Tour stop in Nashville. In Miley Cyrus, fans make noise at Nashville concert, we learned that:
In her first Nashville concert in five years, Miley Cyrus greeted the packed house of fans at Bridgestone Arena with a simple request.
“Nashville! I wanna hear my hometown make some (expletive) noise!” she told them. Later, she said that she’d learned everything she knew from her time growing up in Music City.
“Not everybody that’s on the ‘Bangerz’ tour knows (what Nashville) is all about, so you’ve got to show them why I’m so (another expletive) crazy.”
The crowd dutifully screamed their heads off in response.
As Nashville’s own native born Twerker Extraordinaire bedazzled thousands upon thousands of good ol’ southun’ young uns (who are practically all Christians, of course, particularly if they are from rural counties), how many good ol’ “conservative”, “Christian”, “common sense” loaded Republican “leaders” or major candidates made it a point to take a hard, clear, critical stand against this rank celebration of Skankdom for the love of money and the favor of the increasingly animalized masses?
None that I know of (and I would love to be corrected on this).
Zero. Zip. Nada.
But hey, tons of money was made, so it’s all good. “Live and let live”, ya know. To each their own.
When it comes to makin’ a buck, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. It’s the American Way…and lots of people and corporations have made truckloads of money through the promotion of the likes of Skankzilla.
And God bless America!
Selling (and profiting from) sin
The Tennessean continued:
Not all Middle Tennesseans are as eager to claim Cyrus as their own, but like it or not, the 21-year-old pop star is now one of Nashville’s most famous natives.
That’s due in part, of course, to the former Disney star shedding her old image with several controversial career moves. It was one year ago this month that Cyrus infamously “twerked” on the MTV Video Music Awards.
Since then, she’s doubled down: riding her “Wrecking Ball,” endorsing drug use and cursing up a storm at concerts (Thursday night, obviously, was no exception.)
It’s all caused public concern over Cyrus’ supposedly very young and impressionable fans. But that crowd wasn’t to be found Thursday night.
Filling the rows at Bridgestone — almost exclusively — were young women (and some guys) in their late teens and early 20s, with no tweens or parental chaperones in sight. These were fans who’d grown up alongside the former “Hannah Montana,” and were now ready to let loose, too.
Please note that none of the behavior chronicled here is at odds in any significant way with the worldview that is purposefully cultivated in our children (and adults) through State- and pop-culture-controlled systems of “education” here in the “Christian nation” of America.
Please also note the utter lack of critical thought from the author of this “news” bit at The Tennessean and the, um, interesting attempts at rationalization and justification by way of pretending that Skankzilla is not the threat some would imagine her to be to the young ‘uns, since she doesn’t really attract the attention of young ‘uns so much anymore.
Aside from being an “interesting attempt at rationalization and justification”, the above spin also may well be a demonstration of journalistic incompetence…at least of we are to take The Boston Herald‘s coverage of the same event seriously.
In Miley Cyrus both naughty and nice in return to Nashville, The Herald treated us to the following happily supportive (of Miley, if not The Tennessean) spin:
The surprising thing, after the former teen television star of “Hannah Montana” raised such a lather last year with a highly memorable MTV Video Music Awards appearance, is how tame the show actually is.
Sure, Cyrus does simulate sex acts on stage during a few songs — Abe Lincoln has never seemed less presidential — and mentions drug use. But the woman whose twerking and foam finger started a national discussion balanced her naughty images and saucier choreography with messages espousing personal freedom and a few moments of pop perfection.
For the most part, the night was PG-13, filled with images that are unavoidable on the Internet — where much of Cyrus’ audience spends its time. The only thing pushing the show into truly R-rated territory was Cyrus’ spirited use of the F-word.
Please take the time to once again bask in the glow of this “perspective” that would tell us of the “tame” Miley presentation that had her regularly simulating sex acts and making “spirited use of the F-word”…and also note that, once again, none of the behavior chronicled here is at odds in any significant way with the worldview cultivated in our children (and adults) through State- and pop-culture-controlled systems of “education” here in America and Tennessee.
The Herald continued:
The debate over Cyrus’ transformation from wholesome teen to a young woman exploring her sexuality hovered around the sold-out show as mothers shepherded thousands of teenage girls into Bridgestone Arena, where the 21-year-old singer once attended shows as a teen herself.
Anyone paying attention here? Anyone noticing the program? Anyone “following the money” or the power or the plan that corporate America is using to reshape the culture?
Skankzilla is sold as “a young woman exploring her sexuality”.
Lest there be any doubt as to this perspective’s corporate sponsored success here in Bible Belt “Christian” America, The Herald sheds a little extra light:
For some she was a guilty pleasure, and the presence of rolling papers, R-rated tour program, booty shorts and inflatable bananas at the merch table only added to the feeling of things being taboo. One mom with four teenage girls in tow sheepishly declined to give her name, “because I want everyone to think I’m a wholesome mother.”
Others had no qualms about allowing their children to see the spectacle. Laurie Russell drove her daughter Hannah and two friends two hours from Paris, Tennessee, to Nashville for the show as a 15th birthday present.
She owned the decision.
“We all watched ‘Hannah Montana’ and my daughter absolutely loves Miley as an artist,” Russell said. “She loves her voice. She defends her because she’s an artist and she thinks she’s got a great voice. She doesn’t idolize her bad behavior, as long as they know they’re not going to act like her. She can sing like her. I’d love for her to. It’s OK.”
Wait, but The Tennessean told us that there were “no parental chaperones in sight” and that the Bangerz fan base present was almost entirely composed of “young women (and some guys) in their late teens and early 20s.
Yet here The Herald clarifies that there were many chaperoned young women, apparently under the age of 16 in most instances, making them decidedly not “late teens” or early twenty-somethings.
But on this point the garden variety State-and-culture programmed drone will dismiss the significance of such distinctions…as will most “good, conservative Christians” who were running for office or casting votes yesterday in Tennessee.
One thing that is clear here in Romans 1 Tennessee: We are not yet even close to repentance.
We are still very much inclined to think and act as though we can do it our way and somehow through Christ-less “conservative” and “common sense” principles work the culture into a better direction without throwing ourselves at the feet of the Lord and begging for His supernaturally life-giving wisdom to be applied to the rotting corpse of pride and ego that is our self-centered, self-made disaster of a culture.
Our children are dying, our families are dying, and our civilization is dying because we simply will not fall on our faces, beg for forgiveness from the God we’ve mocked, give everything over to Him, and truly repent in action.
It is all connected.
And it’s all connected to Him.
The Gospel applies to everything. Nothing can be sequestered (or “protected”) from its truth and then produce anything but death, darkness, and despair. This is a truth that we are even now thoroughly confirming here in America and Tennessee.
The Gospel is much more than a mere definition or understanding of “how somebody gets saved”.
The Great Commission makes this plain in its command to take the Gospel everywhere, making obedient disciples of all nations, teaching them to do all of the things that He has commanded.
The Great Commission was not a parable. It was not a story. It was not an illustration or an allegory.
It is the crystal clear mission statement from Christ to His actual followers right here and right now:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The “gospel in a bottle” presentation of a sequestered definition of salvation that doesn’t necessarily touch anything apart from an intellectual understanding of soteriology is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It cannot save us.
The only Gospel capable of saving a culture or civilization one supernatural individual salvation at a time is the whole, undiluted, all-encompassing Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So what is the first essential step to saving our children?
What is the first essential step to rebuilding our families?
What is the first essential step to reclaiming our communities?
What is the first essential step toward restoring our economy, politics, sexuality, liberty, and true freedom?
That essential first step is repentance.
We must fall broken, without excuse and beg the Lord to save us, granting us the vision and desire to seek, find, and apply His nature as revealed in His Word as the standard by which we live in every area of life right here and right now.
That’s all we’ve got.
And it’s more than enough…if, by God’s grace, we will only repent and believe.
For those who find these words unduly hard or “unloving”, let me assure you that if I did not love the Lord, His people, and this culture, I would not bother sharing such things.
I have been as confused, wrong, sinful, and lost as anyone. I have believed and done some of the most idiotic, moronic, imbecilic things imaginable. I still struggle to learn and embrace the Spirit of perpetual repentance and ongoing personal reformation that can only come from Christ – and will always come from Christ – to His people.
But I have been truly saved and supernaturally transformed by the grace of God through His glorious Gospel, so I am compelled out of true love to share it in as much detail as I am able, all while begging that you test every word of mine (and every candidate) in light of the perfect and sufficient Word of God.
Thank you for your patience with my fumbled attempt. By God’s grace, may these clumsy words inspire proper reflection and ongoing repentance in us all, so that this culture might really and truly be restored…one supernatural salvation at a time.
Soli Deo Gloria!
© 2014 Scott Alan Buss – All Rights Reserved.