The other night Katy Perry gave a fascinating interview with Barbara Walters. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it to you. It is incredibly interesting on many different levels. But I would love to propose a different lens to view this interview. Listen to Katy Perry not as a pop culture icon, but as one of your youth group kids from one of your most solid families in your youth group. With that in mind, what does her interview say about how our students are meshing their theology and love for Jesus with an increasing post-modern and post-Christian worldview.
Here are some of the most interesting quotes:
- Barbara, "Are you totally straight?" Katy, "I don't know if I am totally anything."
- "I know there is a capacity for change in everyone."
- I think that children is one of the biggest reasons for marriage."
- "I did this Jesus tattoo legally"
- "No matter how much i do change, I do what to know where my roots began."
- "I do hope to be changing until the last day I leave this earth."
I think if we are honest, we would agree that this interview could have been given by any one of our youth group kids. It is the complete mosaic of world-views filled with love and grace. She has love and respect for her fundie parents, openness in her sexuality and identity, hope for the best in others and transformation, and a seemingly admiration for Jesus. This is some of the best we could hope for in our students as they move on into the big bad world.
Rather than beating up the church or her parents or our culture, I think it would be more beneficial to realize that the war is over and the walls have been breached. Classical Christianity no longer has a hold on our society or even on many of our students. Many of the assumptions we work with and use as we do ministry work within a Christian world view within a Christian culture or at least Christian sub culture. But as we are seeing over and over again, that our students and former students do not share the same worldview, theology, or culture as those of us who are trying to pass on an orthodox faith.
Instead of deconstructing the church and beating up "the man," I think we need to spend our time and energy engaged in open dialogue with the Holy Spirit and our colleagues as to how best to communicate the Gospel to a generation that has no need for personal salvation or redemption.
Thankfully there is an admiration of Jesus, a hope for change, and an openness to identity formation. This might be some of the places we start! May wisdom, discernment, and grace lead the way.