ME AND KATY PERRY
Karen and I recently saw Katy Perry’s autobiographical movie. I know that it’s not everyone’s cup o’ tea, but we enjoyed it. I have been a Katy Perry fan for a few years now. I am not a fan of all of her songs per se, but I enjoy her as a person. Typically, I have a hard time explaining this to Christians. So often we throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Many Christians immediately jump to the facts that she grew up in a Christian household and doesn’t represent Christ with all her actions. That some of her songs are inappropriate and downright racy. That at times she has outfits that are scandalous. I agree with these obvious statements. It requires absolutely no spiritual discernment to arrive at these statements.
The question for me has always been, “Why do I find myself relating or connecting with a particular artist, author, musician, leader, etc?”
When it comes to Katy Perry, she has tapped into something profound that is going on in my generation and the generation coming up after me. Even through her bubble-gum-empty-head-nodding music, she is connecting to something deep in the heart of her fans.
While Lady Gaga is just rehashing the Madonna tricks of the 80s and 90s by being crazier and more provocative. Katy is able to get 5 tracks on one album to hit #1, which Elvis and the Beatles did not do, rivaling only Michael Jackson’s record. Katy has been experiencing an unprecedented level of success. Rather than burying our head in the self-righteous sand, I would rather learn what is going on here!
I believe that her film addresses some major points that we, the Church, need to think about.
#1. Her parents were Itinerate ministers. As an Itinerate Minister, I have seen so many leaders fail to raise Godly children because Ministry comes first. I don’t know if that is what happened in Katy’s family, but I am aware of the level of challenge that a family in this type of leadership experiences. It is desperately important that we put family before ministry, when these priorities get out of whack, then adulteries, divorces, and unhealthy children will follow.
#2. The movie shows how Katy and her siblings all experienced the stifling putridity of legalism. I also can personally relate to this as well, been there done that! Note to parents, if you don’t want your children to walk with the Lord, incorporate legalism, it worked on the Galatians, it will work for you too! (Seriously though, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free.” Not simply to follow a new set of rules.)
#3. Katy saw Alanis Morrisette singing in the 90s with all her angst, rawness, and real emotion. This was a turning point for Katy, she longed for real! Real emotion, and real expression! This is one of my main points, as I blogged last week, we need to get real, for real!
I just wonder how many times Katy saw the fakeness of churchie churchness. As a leader’s daughter, I am sure she saw many contradictions and church politics behind the scenes. So when she saw Alanis cutting straight through the sea of pop music with real expressed emotion, this was a powerful draw to young Katy.
Again, for the second week in a row, I plead with you, let’s get real. It is dangerous yes, some pharisaical Christian might judge you if you write a blog about Katy Perry, but we don’t have time to waste being dumb religious folks while our young people are sucked in by people that will be real, even though they don’t have answers.
Katy Perry wanted to be real like Alanis and she has been successful at doing so, yet she has no answers and her message has no lasting value. How about if the Church got real? We have answers and a message of everlasting value, if we could only stop being judgmental and fake we could be so much more effective.
#4. One of my favorite quotes from the film is when Katy is speaking to the record companies saying, “I don’t want to be anyone else, I want to be the first Katy Perry.” I just want to be the first Jonathan Welton, and I am the only one that has to be me, so I don’t need others telling me how to be Jonathan Welton. The same is true for you, just be the one person that you are, don’t let the fear of man or the insecurity of thinking others are better than you, run your life.
Love, your friend
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(PS. I know that the title of this Blog is grammatically incorrect, I just wanted to mess with the control-freaks! Sincerely giggling at you – Jonathan Welton)