Oh Me, Oh Miley...Is She a Problem Evangelicals Created?
By now, all of her generation’s Hannah Montana pillow cases have been stowed…or burned but Miley Cyrus is anything but an old junior pop icon millennials once worshiped. As a result of her mega fame, in part due to her “clean Christian” image, Miley Cyrus is now a promoter and advocate of some of the most egregious displays of immorality and blasphemy the world has ever known.
As the daughter of Christian Evangelical parents little Miley received little resistance when it came to church acceptance and consequently, little resistance when tweens wanted to watch her music videos and attend her concerts. After all, Christians are always in search of good Christian-lite entertainment. Hannah Montana was precisely that.
Unfortunately, before their pink hair highlights could dry, little Christian girls watched little Christian Miley dance in a cage. There were a few concerned parents (some even pulling Montana posters from bedroom walls immediately). However many considered this “Miley’s phase,” naively comforting themselves with the hope that surely Billy Ray and Tish were watching closely. I mean c’mon this family was still actively involved in their local church (picture tweets proved it).
Nope. This wasn’t a phase. In 2010 the Miley Cyrus wholesome plane had begun its descent and the destination now appears to have been decadence of the worst sort. Miley went from cage dancing at 17, to tattooing an equal sign on her body (a show of support for same sex marriage), to swinging on a wrecking ball, to now posing in what can only be described as a pornographic spread in Paper Magazine.
In this magazine interview Miley has a frightening understanding of the teachings she received growing up in church. In fact she is almost angry about biblical history and even angrier at those who believe it. “Those people,” she says referring to those who believe in the literal account of Noah’s Ark basically have no place in the public square. She continues, “That’s _-ing insane. We’ve outgrown that fairy tale, like we’ve outgrown _-ing Santa and the tooth fairy.”
Miley is a problem for Evangelicals. Especially those who were quick to promote her as wholesome. For those in search of role models for their children, Miley served them well. To our shame, when Christian parents abdicate our role as the disciple makers of our children we create Miley problems. At 22 Miley Cyrus is as confused about Christianity as she is about life and her own sexuality. Miley, the artist who happens to be Christian (sound familiar?) describes her gender as fluid. “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age. Everything that’s legal, I’m down with. Yo, I’m down with any adult –anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me,” Cyrus says in Paper Magazine.
Strangely enough that is not the most disturbing quote from Miley’s recent magazine interview. No, the most disturbing statement Miley Cyrus makes is when she recalls telling her mother at 14 years old that she loved women like she loved boys. According to Miley, “And it was so hard for her to understand. She didn’t want me to be judged and she didn’t want me to go to hell. But she believes in me more than she believes in any god.” Again, wow.
“She believes in me more than she believes in any god.” If you’re doing the math and Miley’s account is accurate then this exchange between mother and daughter happened circa 2007 approximately a year into her rise as many Christian girls’ celebrated star. Yep. Not only did Miley’s parents allow their sexually confused Christian daughter to continue on in entertainment but they validated her. As a result she is now convinced that her mother loves her more than she loves God…maybe she’s right.
If the Miley problem teaches us anything, it should teach us to be discerning. It should also remove from us the desire to continually turn our children over to the influence of popular people simply because they claim to be Christians. Jesus has never called for the most popular to win the lost. The Body of Christ doesn’t need one more celebrity to evangelize. We have all we need in the person of Jesus Christ and the drawing power of the Holy Spirit to effectively witness. This includes parents navigating the woes of discipleship.