It’s a new national sport to make fun of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. Their wild antics have made them juicy targets, to be sure. Though I am not guiltless, I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable bashing such celebrities. I am becoming more aware that I share some profound things with them. And so do you. Here are at least three:
JUSTIN AND MILEY ARE SINNERS–AND SO ARE YOU AND I
Now you and I may not think our sins are as bad as resisting arrest or swinging naked on a wrecking ball for all the world to see. But the Bible makes it uncomfortably clear that “there is no one righteous, not even one…” (Ps 14:3; Rom 3:10). That may sound like hyperbole until you realize that the Psalmist and Paul are sweeping us into the throne room of heaven, where the Judge of the world reigns in utter holiness. Before Almighty God, every mouth is silenced, the whole world is held accountable, even our proudest works are seen as filthy rags. It’s quite humbling when you and I admit that we share the same sin-nature as Miley and Justin, isn’t it?
JUSTIN AND MILEY NEED ACCOUNTABILITY–AND SO DO YOU AND I
Over the weekend, I read that pop star Usher is going to have a “sit down” with Justin Bieber in Panama. Reporters are speculating that Usher may be staging an intervention for the troubled teen idol. If a secular entertainer feels compelled to do this, how much more should the church!
John Wesley formed “classes” and “bands” that met together weekly to help his Methodists “watch over one another in love.” This is a very scriptural thing to do. Jesus instructed His church to confront an erring brother (Matt 18:15-17). Paul advised the Galatians to restore someone caught in sin with gentleness (Gal 6:1-2). The Book of James commands believers to “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
Accountability can sometimes be painful. But exercised in love and respect, it can also set us on the path of healing.
And we all need it.
JUSTIN AND MILEY NEED GRACE–AND SO DO YOU AND I
Ah, where would any of us be without Grace? Grace enables us to “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). It is the kindness of Grace who supplies necessities such as food and rain, but Grace playfully goes beyond utilitarian purposes and fills our hearts with joy, too (Acts 14:17). Grace demonstrated supreme love by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (Rom 5:8); it is Grace who “so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). It is Grace who opens our eyes to the chasm separating heaven from earth, convicting us of our desperate need for God. Grace is an unqualified gift. Once we open this package from above, the treasures there are ours to take.