BEYOND FASHION: Because Lady Gaga is Born a Certain Way5:52 PM
Let the show begin.
Tonight and tomorrow, Lady Gaga will rock the Mall of Asia concert grounds with her outrageous costumes, grandiose set design, impressive singing, entertaining choreography and let's face it - provocative acts. When all of these take place, the Philippines and some thousands of Filipino audience are said to witness something that will definitely [according to Ruben Abante] "challenge our values and morals as a nation".
Since Friday, a group of Filipino Christians have gone out to the streets in protest of Lady Gaga's concert here in Manila. They complained about her racy lyrics and over-the-top costumes and most of all "blasphemous" and "satanic" views, songs and videos about Jesus Christ. These, they all find offensive in accordance to their faith and beliefs.
The protest has stirred quite a buzz I must say. In a simple social networking site like twitter, almost everyone has been talking about Lady Gaga and the string of controversies that have been following her every where she goes. I even find myself spending my yesterday just reading all articles pertaining to this issue, tracking tweets, re-evaluating her videos on Youtube, watching past interviews and listening to her songs. Guess what? No demon in me has been unleashed!
What does the Bible really say about judging others?
Joseph Bonifacio, a blogger and pastor quoted the bible verse John 8:7 in his entry and said that we must be careful of the judgment that we insist on others, because we bring the axe down on our own necks as well.
Amen to that.
Amen to that.
Conservative and devoted Catholics and born-again believers and leaders are expected to have read the Bible. They, of all people, should know what the scripture says. The word of God also says that we as Christians are to be above all, encouraging one another and not bring others down.
In real life, as a normal person, I have fallen into the trap of gossiping and judging others in the past. I've revealed this in my Because I'm Human blog entry and since this realization, I have continuously struggled to fight this kind of sinful behavior.
Romans 14:12-13 says, "Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling rock or hindrance in the way of a brother."
Once in my life I felt misunderstood because of my difference in goals, upbringing and ways. I realized and felt first-hand how painful it is to be convicted without having the chance to really talk and show that my faults do not make up the totality of who I am. Heart broken, I've accepted that the consequence of my mistakes is something I had to live with and get past to.
Somehow, I can imagine what Lady Gaga must be feeling with all stones thrown at her. No amount of money, fame or success can avenge for the pain that has been inflicted on her. No matter what her sins may be (because yeah, she admits to being a sinner and all), you still have no right to judge, punish or bully her because you are not God. You are just some person who have your own set of sins as well.
The tragedy of our culture: Hypocrisy
"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." - Matthew 7:5
This is the tragedy of our country - to have our values in direct opposition against our actions. For a theocratic country like the Philippines, it's really ironic how the government is teeming with corruption, the streets with crimes, the media with supposedly "role model" personalities and the church with false prophets.
Even the bible, containing scriptures about judging thy neighbor and forgiveness, is at the same time, littered with verses condemning homosexuals (e.g. Leviticus 20:13). In an extreme article by Filipino Freethinkers, the content of the bible was put in question (which I will not do in this article).
All I'm saying is, we are ALL hypocrites in general. In our lives, for sure there were times when we have said one thing and did another. I remember back in college, I once got confused when my religious organization rejected some homosexual applicants when the truth is, most of the members have gay friends outside the org.
This is just one of countless instances of how people live everyday under 'double standards". Unless you are clean and pure, then go ahead and judge all you want but then it will make you one of the sinners of this world too. The sins people have committed has went on for ages and not because Lady Gaga came into the world. There's a bigger evil out there that causes division, persecution, corruption and murder among others.
Two years ago, I wrote an entry called By Faith and Not by Deeds. In this post, my stand is, your faith is what will save you, not what you do per se. Because if the case is otherwise, then all people can brag about the "good things" they have done in their lives or worse, people can do "good things" out of evil and selfish motives.
Acts of goodness come out naturally in a man as manifestation of his faith and relationship with the Lord, not because of humane intentions. Your faith doesn't depend on what music you listen to (whether it's Hillsong's or Jamie Rivera's or Lady Gaga's) or how often you go to church or how much you read the bible.
"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven." - Luke 6:37
Disclaimer: The reference of bible verses doesn't intend to offend any party. I'm a Christian and I love my Lord Jesus. Personally, I deal with faith, not with religion. Using God's word doesn't mean in anyway that I claim expertise in it. Writing this doesn't mean I'm giving Lady Gaga a free pass. I've been uncomfortable with the images of her music videos and songs like "Judas" and "Alejandro" but I am rational enough to know that my faith and principles are stronger than the outside forces that may influence me as a person.