Ask Miley. Or Don't.

Miley "I want to be a role model," Miley Cyrus told the L.A. Times. "And my job is to be a role model. But that shouldn't require me to be a parent. I'm going to make mistakes. While your kids are growing up, I have to grow up too."

That's advice blogger Perez Hilton should have kept in mind before asking Miley to weigh in on Miss California Carrie Prejean's comments on gay marriage. In a Twitter to Hilton, Cyrus wrote:

Jesus loves you and your partner and wants you to know how much he cares! That's like a daddy not loving his lil boy cuz he's gay and that is wrong and very sad! Like I said everyone deserves to be happy. I am a Christian and I love you — gay or not. Because you are no different [than] anyone else! We are all God's children!

Of course, at this, everyone's hands fly in the air. Here we go! Another teen star gone south (or, at least, liberal). Another one who's lost forever.

Since when did we ask the 16-year-olds in our lives--pop star or not--to offer an authoritative opinion on gay marriage, or really anything, for that matter? Furthermore, Miley's comment to Hilton was not offered in an official interview or public statement. It was over Twitter!

Now, I'm not saying that I agree with Miley's position or that she should have offered it. I am saying that we ought to examine whether a Twitter sent from a teenager ought to achieve newsworthy status, and whether we ought to give gravitas to a 16-year-old's opinion on the issue anyway. Nor can we conclude that this opinion is Miley's hard and fast stance on the issue from now until the grave. She's 16, folks.


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No comment. Except…. If you drink, don’t drive. Please. Caffeine tends to make one hyper. And goodness knows we’ve had enough hit and runs.
Yes Gina, but did they choose to drink coffee or was that all planned from the beginning?
I think some of you will appreciate this! :-)
And maybe because He who strung your DNA knows what information to feed to that History Channel computer between your ears to give you “peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13).
Actually what helped me is something of session in socratic logic. If God is God He must be GREATER then anything conceivable. In which case He must be greater then me and not merely more powerful then me; if he is merely more powerful then me he is merely Jove and not God. The desire not to be a servant of a tyrant is a good desire not a bad one. If even I can have that desire, then in fact God cannot be a tyrant. Oddly enough that whole chain of reasoning punctured that fear very efficiently. I don't know why it worked like that. Maybe it was just time for the fear to end.
Jason, I had the same fear. You may recall my ruminations on that theme over here - (click link, then page down to the short piece titled “Abba! Monster!”) But that fear is totally groundless. God is not like that AT ALL. The only ones that need to fear Him (with the terror kind of fear) are those who are in utter, deliberate, high-handed rebellion against Him, which I know you are not. This is what helps me – I ask myself, had I been living in the time of Jesus, being the same person that I am right now, would I have run FROM Jesus in terror, fearing that He might be a tyrant? Or would I have run TO Him, seeing Him as the sinner’s best Friend? That’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? Well, here’s additional good news --- Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” Paraphrase – “Want to know what God the Father is like? Look at Jesus. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE.”
I wasn't much afraid of my salvation(however analyzed in scholarly fol de rol), curiously enough. I was afraid I was the servant of a tyrant. Yeah, I know, that's the devil talking. But so it goes.
Jason, you needn’t fear regarding your election if you know you are “in Christ”, for your election is “in Him.” (Ephesians 1:4). Election has nothing to do with you and everything to do with Him. If you are “in Him” via faith, then you are “elect in Him.” If you are trusting in Christ alone for your acceptance with God, you have nothing to fear, for Christ is God’s Elect; and if you are in Him, then you are elect – “in Him.” There is only one Person who is God’s Elect – Christ (Isaiah 42:1, 45:4, 65:9). We are elect only if and when are “in Christ”. And we get “in Christ” through faith. Again, we individually are elect “in Christ”, not in ourselves. That means no one is “among the elect” until he/she is “in Christ” – i.e., not until we put our faith in Him, for faith puts us “in Christ.” Since Christ is “The Elect” par excellence, we are “elect in Him”. Grandma’s old needle-point had it right – even as we are …………..“Accepted, not in ourselves, but in the Beloved”, …………….. so are we …………..“Elect, not in ourselves, but in God’s Elect/Chosen One.”…….
Actually Zoe, I read once that the idea of "The elect" was to convey the idea of being an elite(albeit by grace)not to convey the corralary of reprobation. Furthermore Roman's could be interpreted as saying, it is not really our business. It does not say God made "vessels of wrath." It says WHAT IF God made vessels of wrath. Arminianism, though more paletable at first glance does not allow for the problem that there are a lot of people who are not really in a position to become Christians except by miraculous means. It is far more harsh a doctrine then it seems at first glance. In anycase the interrelation of Free Will and Predestination is complex. Smeagol did not choose to become Gollumn. He did choose to murder his best friend the first time he saw the ring. Whereas Borimir at least resisted for six months as well as repenting immiediately. One could say that Smeagol's fate was also one that he had earned. Which sounds like Calvinism. Except Smeagol, though he didn't choose his fate, chose the act that brought it upon him. And Borimir chose a lesser sin. And repented of it. And recieved only the punishment of dying the way he would have preferred to die anyway. The problem with Calvinism is that it makes the relationship between Free Will and Predestination mechanical and weighted in favor of the later and emphasizes sovereignity at the expense of love. It tends to plumb to deeply into a mystery that was likely meant to be a mystery. Which are some reasons why it does seem that it is best simply to accept our own ignorance in certain circumstances.
Zoe said, “I'm not sure how a post on Miley Cyrus morphed into a debate about predestination…” Maybe it was the subliminal power of anagrams, Zoe. With perhaps a tad of irony, Miley Cyrus reconfigures to “Cry Elysium”. Or, in keeping with the songs by Oasis and The Fray, “Use My Lyric”. And interestingly, “predestination” can be rearranged to spell “Oriented in Past”.
I'm not sure how a post on Miley Cyrus morphed into a debate about predestination, but, oh well, I'll go with it. Mike and Rolley, thanks for both of your thoughtful posts. I can resonate with both at some level. I was an avid Calvinist in high school, who found pleasure in debating the subject with classmates in Bible class, thinking myself somehow superior because I "rightly" knew that God most certainly chose some for Himself and most certainly did not choose others. I've long since abandoned that concern. I read about Esau and Pharoah and Romans, and I see all of my old arguments staring me back in the face. And there probably is something to that mystery of God choosing or not choosing. But somewhere along the sidewalk, staring into faces, observing the messiness of lives broken by sin, doubt, and fear, there's a word that always rings truer and clearer than "to choose or not to choose." Love. Last week, I stared into the face of a friend who fears the worst--that she could possibly be on the "not chosen" side of the fence. As I looked into her tear-filled eyes, something (Someone) inside of me seemed to say instead (of course, I wouldn't want to put words into God's mouth, but there are those moments where the Spirit talks and we listen), "If only she knew how much I loved her." Is she chosen? I don't know. Is she loved? If only she knew how much! Perhaps there is a place for the "chosen" questions. But sometimes I wonder if we care about them more that He does.
Last time I “launched something heavenward” was in flu season and --- well, you don’t want to know. But thanks, LeeQuod, for the kind words. Next time I’m in Washington State the Milk Duds are on me. Literally. (I told you you didn’t want to know).
I get this ache, a kind of loneliness, when Rolley isn't bouncing around The Point making jokes and posting poems. I have to learn, and remember, that when he's not bouncing, he's actually coiling like a powerful spring, ready to launch something heavenward - something of incredible power and beauty. Thank you, my friend, for bouncing back.
If it is true that “we become like the God we believe in”, shouldn’t we dwell on this question a long time before we make a choice that is going to influence the way we view and treat others for the rest of our lives? An awful lot is at stake. With all due respect to “theology”, we all already know what the world needs because it’s the same thing we needed – love, forgiveness, and Fatherly nurture. We found all of that and more in Jesus. The world needs the same thing. We Christians were once “the world” ourselves. Have we forgotten? Having freely received are we going to presume that it is permissible to harbor suspicions that perhaps God loves some and blithely passes over others? I certainly hope not. And yet I speak as one who did just that for years and who therefore knows firsthand the seductive power of systematic theology of a certain stripe that gives a strong appearance of being thoroughly biblical. There is not room here (and even if there was, I’ve still got Gina to contend with) to expound on the universe of reasons Calvinism as embodied in TULIP is bankrupt. But if nothing else, please note that at least one thinking Christian has examined it and found it in need of a second Reformation (which was supposed to be continual thing all along anyway). The world needs Jesus because Jesus is God and God is love. People – non-Christians, atheists, pagans, agnostics, whatever label “fits” -- all need love with a capital L. Listen to their plaintive cries for Love/God. They know they can’t talk openly about it without being branded as bigoted religious idiots, so they don’t talk about it because the last thing they can endure is more rejection. But they sing about it all the time. Listen to their anguished cries for Love/God. Love/God is what we can give them through the incarnation of Love in our bodies – if, indeed we believe such incarnated Love is a reflection of the God we worship. If. -- “Falling Down” -- by Oasis The summer sun It blows my mind It's falling down on all that I've ever known Time to kiss the world goodbye Falling down on all that I've ever known Is all that I've ever known A dying scream It makes no sound Calling out to all that I've ever known Here am I, lost and found Calling out to all We live a dying dream If you know what I mean All that I've ever known It's all that I've ever known Catch the wind that breaks the butterfly I cried the rain that fills the ocean wide I tried to talk with God to no avail Calling my name from out of nowhere I said 'If you won't save me, please don't waste my time' The summer sun It blows my mind It's falling down on all that I've ever known Time to kiss the world goodbye Falling down on all that I've ever known Is all that I've ever known -- “You Found Me” – by The Fray I found God on the corner of 1st and Amistad Where the West was all but won All alone, smoking his last cigarette I said, "Where've you been?" He said, "Ask anything." Where were you, when everything was falling apart. All my days were spent by the telephone that never rang And all I needed was a call that never came To the corner of 1st and Amistad Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me Lying on the floor, surrounded, surrounded Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you? Just a little late, you found me, you found me. But in the end everyone ends up alone Losing her, the only one who's ever known Who I am, who I'm not and who I wanna to be No way to know how long she will be next to me Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me Lying on the floor, surrounded, surrounded Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you? Just a little late, you found me, you found me. The early morning, the city breaks And I've been calling for years and years and years And you never left me no messages You never sent me no letters You got some kind of nerve taking all I want Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me Lying on the floor, Where were you? Where were you? Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me Lying on the floor, surrounded, surrounded Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you? Just a little late, you found me, you found me. Why'd you have to wait, to find me, to find me?
Randy, I love you, even if God hates you. (So much for, “a servant is not greater than his Master.”)
The Preacher Likes the Cold -- © Rolley Haggard Randy took a seat in the first empty pew he found. Fortunately it was in the back of the old greystone church, so he didn't draw too much attention even though the service had already begun. An elderly woman with veins all over her papery white hands scooted down to give him more room, or maybe, to get away from him; he couldn't tell. Her brow was bunched and the corners of her mouth were turned down in what looked like a scowl. But maybe that was the way she always looked. Randy was determined to put everything in its best light one more time. He kept his head down, not wanting anyone to see his tear-reddened eyes. The seat was cold, but it beat standing outside in this weather. It was half sleeting, half raining, and the wind made you feel like your skin was being peeled and salted, especially if, like Randy, all you were wearing was a worn-out windbreaker. It wasn't even his windbreaker, no more than the other ill-fitting clothes he'd gotten at the shelter. He was, as they say, down on his luck, or maybe more like at the end of his rope. But in spite of it all, he couldn't give up, couldn't bring himself to despair. He wanted to -- give up, that is. It would be easier in a lot of ways. Just to go to sleep and not wake up, not have to worry about where to get the next meal, or the next hit, or the next anything. Not have to be hassled by the cops, or the gangs, or the fair-weather friends who put up with you only when it suited their own interests. It wouldn't be easy, just easier than this hell called life. But he had never tried church. He needed to try church. Some of his old friends and acquaintances had gotten off the streets by getting religion. Shelley had. Duncan had. Randy wondered where Duncan was now. Last summer the two of them had been approached by a nerdy-looking guy handing out tracts on Main Street. Something in the tract got to Duncan, and he stopped hanging out. He even tried to get Randy and some of the others interested in his new thing. But Randy was skeptical of Duncan's new-found experience. The way Randy figured it, religion was a lot like drugs: another way of escaping reality by creating a more palatable world. The minister called for a hymn, number 172, "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded". He asked the congregation to stand. Randy, seeing those around him reach for hymnals in the back of the pews, took a forest-green book with gold lettering from its little rack and paged absent-mindedly to the chosen number. His eyes wandered timidly around the congregation. It was a small church, maybe only eight or ten short pews on either side of a narrow center aisle, dimly lit in spite of an impressive old chandelier hanging over the dais where the minister, garbed in a traditional black gown, led the singing without ever lifting his eyes from the page. Most of the communicants still wore their drab coats, shawls, and wraps, and even though their backs were to him, Randy could tell they were all elderly, and guessed they had probably attended all their lives and would be just as curious about his visit as seemingly the old woman on his pew had been. He took a quick glance in her direction and caught her looking right at him, sizing him up, unaware that he was looking her way. There was no mistaking the disapproval and even disgust in her face, and Randy felt grief and shame -- and rage -- and wondered for a brief instant whether or not he already had his answer. "I'm in God's house, by God!" he shouted soundlessly within himself. "Cut me some slack, already!" And then, as if she had heard his thoughts, the old woman's eyes jumped to his, and their gazes locked together for an ineffable, timeless moment of mutual revulsion. The woman, unable to cope with this visual confrontation, made an involuntary motion with her hands, nearly dropping her hymnal, then twice opened and shut her mouth like a small animal gasping for breath. "Serves you right, dirt-bag," Randy thought to himself. But then, perhaps because of where he was, he felt an odd sensation, and knew it was guilt and forgiveness flowing, mingled, through veins that for twenty-three years had known nothing but the agony of empty longing for...for what? He didn't even know what he was longing for. He only knew he'd know it if he ever found it. If. His eyes reddened again. They were already on the third stanza. The organist played skillfully on an old, yet surprisingly serviceable, pipe organ. The music was beautiful and made Randy think of the long-forgotten Christmas songs he used to hear as a child, and would occasionally still hear over supermarket muzak. The hymn itself was so quaint, so archaic, and yet so poignant, and in some mystical way so relevant, Randy knew he'd never forget it. He didn't have a good idea what it meant, but he knew he'd never forget it: "Be Thou my Consolation, My Shield when I must die; Remind me of Thy Passion When my last hour draws nigh. Mine eyes shall then behold Thee, Upon Thy cross shall dwell, My heart by faith enfold Thee. Who dieth thus dies well." Randy wasn't even aware of what his own thoughts were at that moment. He rarely evaluated his thoughts. He didn't think about them or philosophize over them. He just had them. In the span of one more enigmatic stanza, he repeated the words "remind me of Thy passion when my last hour draws nigh", and did not know it was a prayer. The congregation sat. The minister remained standing. For reasons not directly connected with his physical surroundings Randy felt warm for the first time. Old women notwithstanding, he decided he'd probably done the right thing to come in here. He also decided he would listen carefully to what the minister said. "Just so long as he doesn't put me to sleep." He didn't. The man was a surprisingly good speaker. Right off, Randy was riveted to every word. Here, it seemed, was a hidden talent that no one had discovered (as if Randy were a competent judge of such things), and, if age factored in (the man was at least sixty-five), no one ever would. McInnes (the minister's name, according to the program) was talking about the power and greatness of God. The words ‘sovereignty' and ‘predestination’ were often used. His deep, rich voice, and careful, (one could almost say choreographed) style of delivery made his every word a delight to Randy's ear: "In our Confession, which is the most perfect expression of the Reformed Faith," he said in delicious tones, " we read: ‘God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass.'" The word ‘whatsoever' seemed to Randy unusually comprehensive, and he waited for some qualifying remark. Surely God did not create evil and suffering and hell and wrong? He heard what he felt must be a brief disclaimer of some sort, allegedly excusing God from being the author of sin, but he wondered as McInnes continued: "God is the great and mighty King who has appointed the course of nature and who directs the course of history even down to its minutest details, including every event in human history from the creation to the judgment, and all the activities of saints and angels in heaven and of reprobates and demons in hell." Randy felt vaguely shocked, and wondered if anyone else in the congregation was similarly affected. He looked around, half expecting to see someone rolling their eyes in disbelief. But the only eyes he saw were either completely shut, or struggling mightily to stay open. It didn’t seem possible, but it was hard to avoid the conclusion that McInnes was speaking in all seriousness. He kept quoting "confessions" and "doctrinal statements" and citing references from "the Reformers" and "the Church Fathers", ostensibly to demonstrate the historicity of his outline. This left Randy with the odd feeling that he had misunderstood religion, or at least Christianity, more than he’d ever realized. McInnes cleared his voice and continued his oration. "Calvin has said (Randy had heard of John Calvin), ‘Predestination we call the eternal decree of God, by which He has determined in Himself, what He would have to become of every individual of mankind. For they are not all created with a similar destiny; but eternal life is foreordained for some and eternal death for others. Every man, therefore, being created for one or the other of these ends, we say he is predestinated either to life or to death.'" "And Luther has said (Randy had heard of Martin Luther, too, although he was thinking of Martin Luther King as he listened to McInnes go on), ‘All things whatever arise from, and depend on, the divine appointment; whereby it was foreordained who should receive the word of life, and who should disbelieve it; who should be delivered from their sins, and who should be hardened in them; and who should be justified and who should be condemned.'" Randy was grimly fascinated with what he was hearing. On the one hand he was totally incredulous, and didn't really think anyone believed what this learned man was preaching. On the other hand, Randy felt acutely his own inadequacies. What if it was true? If this is really the way it all works, then what's the point? "The way of salvation described in our Confession," McInnes declared, "holds that as a result of the fall into sin all men in themselves are guilty, corrupted, hopelessly lost, totally unable to repent and believe; that from this fallen mass God sovereignly elects some to salvation through Christ, while passing by others; that Christ is sent to redeem not all people, but specifically, His people, His elect, by a purely substitutionary atonement; that the Holy Spirit infallibly, efficaciously applies this redemption to the elect; and that all the elect are infallibly brought to salvation and everlasting bliss. This view alone is consistent with Scripture and what we see in the world about us." Randy shifted uncomfortably. As if on cue, McInnes added, with considerable inflection, "Some people are uncomfortable with these doctrines. But reflect a moment on what our own knowledge and experience teach us. We readily see that so far as the pleasures and joys and opportunities in this world are concerned the heathen are largely passed by. On the same principle we would expect them to be passed by in the next world also. When God places people in such isolated regions as Western China or the heart of the Amazon or the jungles of New Guinea, we may be sure that He has no more intention that they shall be saved than He has that the soil of northern Siberia, which is frozen all the year round, shall produce crops of wheat. Had He intended otherwise He would have supplied the means leading to the designed end." Randy did not hear the rest of the sermon. There wasn't much left, maybe five minutes. Surely that could be forgiven. In the stillness of the dimness, he recalled the strange, familiar litany of the Byrds: "To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." There was room in his heart for religion, wasn't there? In spite of all the imperfections, he never saw himself as evil. And yet he could not deny the distance between him and the Church, between him and McInnes, between him and those who were content with life, who seemingly possessed enough insight into the grand riddle to know that, whatever happened to others, they themselves were safe. Randy closed his eyes tightly and tried for a brief moment to visualize the face of Jesus. Instead, with the clarity of a revelation, he saw himself and a figure resembling McInnes standing on opposite shores of the same vast, windswept ocean, and somehow knew that there could be no propitious journey. Whatsoever. The old woman looked down the pew once more. She had not seen him leave. She had not seen him attempt a weak smile at her as he rose during the benediction. She saw that the seat was again empty and cold. She sighed, like a weary traveler home at last. Randy stood before the old oak door of the church and braced himself for the frigid blast. The organ was playing again. He did not recognize the tune. It was majestic and terrible, like a dirge for a king. Somehow it reminded him of his favorite color, crimson. As he pushed open the door, he said, "Pray for me, Duncan," and then he stepped out. It was night, and all the stars in heaven were twinkling as they ever had since time began. --- *Note: Almost every word of McInnes' sermon was extracted verbatim from a very well-known and respected Protestant book on predestination.
Who is McInnes? I thought you’d never ask. But in truth, he goes by many names….
Editor’s note -- The never-ending story has an end. “There is no partiality with God.” (Romans 2:11) Regardless of what McInnes says.
Ah, LeeQuod, you know us all far too well. :-) (Except that on the last point, the atheists and agnostics never reach agreement with the Christians!)
Remember the old film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"??? It's TRUE...Aliens have taken over----the so-called serious reporters!!! Now they report gossip... The National Enquirer & STAR mags (you know, the mags at the checkout which always talk about "Aliens abducted me & then dumped me back on earth") --- have truly---TAKEN OVER!!!) Yes - these GOSSIP RAGS have taken over the minds of most so-called serious journalists... (who now "seriously" report about Miley, Paris (0r Perez) Hilton, and teenage children of far Northwestern American politicians they seek to destroy out of meanness... ...instead of actual news about oh, I don't know ---um... - maybe world piracy, the situation in Iran, worldwide human trafficking, the STD caused cervical cancer epidemics hitting young women, what WWII vets have to say...and even the missile shot from North Korea at ??? us???
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