Thursday, November 01, 2007

News Updates: Brittany Spears' CD Pics; Marriage Formula

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved."

- 1 Corinthians 10: 31-33 (NIV)

Peace and blessings,

Below are a few news updates. The first link discusses Brittany Spears' pics for her new album, which includes in seductive positions with a man acting as a Catholic priest. I want to make a couple of brief comments about the pics and why I have issues with them. For one, despite what the headlines say, it should be assumed (unless evidence proves otherwise) that the man in the pic is merely acting as a priest, and is not actually a priest. I know on the surface this disctinction may be seem unnecessary to make (e.g. A real priest wouldn't put themselves in that position to begin with), but I felt that I had to put that out there. Second, I feel that another disctinction must be made between the notion of human susceptibility to temptation, and how that temptation is portrayed by forms of media such as these pics. My problem with these pics is not based on a belief that priests are too "holy" to be tempted. On the contrary, I believe that we are all tempted, and to the extent that we are earnestly trying to follow Christ through our living, we are tempted more. However, the problem with how temptation is portayed in these pics is that Brittany and the priest are positioned in a way to where Britanny (via her "seductiveness") is in control, and the priest is at her mercy. Therefore, people who look at these pics first glance may only see a priest being seduced, and this pic alone is powerful enough to influence some viewers' perspective on God and faith more broadly. In particular, these pics may further contribute to the growing perception of Catholicism as "suspect" given the incidents of the sexual molestation of children. While these incidents are evidence that even priests can succomb to sin, the "big picture" doesn't end there. The big picture is that our susceptibility to sin is more proof that we need God, and that even if there is a time where we succomb to temptation, that God can, in the words of Marvin Sapp, make us "stronger," "wiser," and "better." It's funny how when it comes to people of faith, the moments of weakness are always heavily publicized, but the examples of righteous living (e.g. promoting social justice, representing the faith, healing hearts, minds, and souls, loving and caring for others) rarely gets media attention. But it's cool, because as Jesus' prayer told us what to expect:

"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one."

-John 17: 13-15 (NIV)

Furthermore, whether or not it's true that
  • Brittany Spears actually claimed to be the anti-Christ while attempting to commit suicide,
  • the constant media headlines "detailing" her life shows that she is really going through some personal, spritual warfare and need to kept up in prayer. I also find it ironic that the same media what kicks her when shes down is the same media she is in turn using to "get back up."

    The second clip is about a mathematician who claims that through a mathematical formula, he can characterize marriages and "predict," with extremely high accuracy, whether a marriage will succeed or fail. I found this funny and interesting. What do you think? Take care, have a blessed day, and speekonit...

  • Brittany's pics stir controversy

  • 2)
  • Marriage formula
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