On a recent trip to Uganda, I was introduced to an increasingly popular phenomenon.
That is—a trend of radio programming completely in English, geared to the elite and learned of society.
One of the most unique aspects of this Sunday morning program was the topic—attending church in modern-day society.
The argument made was that church is the gathering of two or more people worshiping God. Therefore, not only was it not necessary to attend church on Sunday, it was hypocritical to do so—even anti-scriptural. The purpose of the discussion was clear–don’t go to church.
People were encouraged to skip church, and spend time at home worshiping God instead.
Here are some of the reasons given:
Examples cited were:
The views of popular American icons, especially since we started calling them idols, are shaping the religious views of foreign cultures whether we like it or not.
Justin Bieber is 18 years old, and he is representing what other nations perceive as American views on religion? Well, like it or not—it’s true.
I have nothing against Bieber—if one wants to follow him and call him their idol, that’s their business. But he does not represent my views on God, religion, or anything else.
If you feel that I am being too harsh, keep in mind that when an individual is in a position of celebrity authority—what he/she says and represents is open to criticism because is affects us all.
The fact is that he and celebrities like Lady Gaga are influencing what others believe—especially those who use the U.S. as their point of reference, and pop-culture figures as their moral compass.
What does this mean for us? What are we supposed to do to make a difference? These are important questions.
How we represent our beliefs is critical—there is always someone watching. Do they see us following the popular, or basing our views on Scripture?
We have a choice to make—will we be the ones to shape the future, or should we leave it up to Justin and Gaga?
By the way, Jesus’ name was never mentioned on the program, just Justin’s.