The Gospel According to Lady Gaga

Matt went to bed fairly early last night, which means I had free reign over the TV. Even though he’s generous when it comes to choosing what we watch together, I feel guilty making him watch hours of ghost shows and reality TV. There are some shows that are far more enjoyable when I don’t have to consider his feelings.

As I flipped through the channels, I noticed that there was a Lady Gaga concert on, which I would never even suggest watching if Matt was around. I thanked my lucky stars and turned on the special.

I watched the show because I’m a fan, but I was very glad to have tuned in when Lady Gaga began preaching in the middle of the show. Yes, preaching. She said, “Jesus loves everyone…” and went on from there to explain how she came to that conclusion. I was surprised, delighted, and saddened.

What’s good: Lady Gaga clearly told people that they are loved by Jesus. Her message reaches an eclectic group of people, all of whom are indeed loved by God. Few people have a forum that large from which to preach and are able to make the audience entertain the idea that Jesus loves them.

What’s bad: She explained that she came to that conclusion because she has had such a blessed life. This thinking is “2,000 late” according to my thology teacher (and Fergie). Blessings do not mean that Jesus loves you because that would mean hardship indicates the opposite. We know that Jesus loves us because of the Cross.

What’s incomplete: The big finale was Lady Gaga’s hit “Born This Way,” which proclaims we are who we are because we were created that way by God. I agree that God did handcraft each of us, but this view leaves out two very important details. One, we live in a fallen world and sin (both our own and others’) plays a huge role in shaping who we grow up to be. This matters because we are not who God intended for us to be naturally. Two, (this grows out of the above point), it minimizes the power of transformation and sanctification. Jesus does love us, but that doesn’t mean he wants to leave us as is. Because we’re so shaped by sin, we have a lot of unlearning and healing that the Holy Spirit does in our lives. I praise God frequently that I am not who I was.

Even though her reasoning and theology were a bit off in places, Lady Gaga caused me to think, “What if Christians really understood how much Jesus loves them?” I longed for the day when we’d have kind of freedom that can only come from a secure understanding of how much Jesus loves us.

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