Thursday, July 21, 2011

Song Spotlight: Born This Way by Lady Gaga

The uber-popular Lady Gaga's song, Born This Way, is an anthem of self-love and being true to yourself, whatever that looks like for each individual. The lyrics specifically mention different sexual orientations, in addition to ethnic and national distinctions.

The surprising element is that the song makes its point by appealing to our being created by God ("I'm beautiful in my way, 'Cause God makes no mistakes...I was born this way"). The idea is that God doesn't make mistakes, or create junk; everything he makes is perfect, so I must be perfect too. The answer then, according to Gaga, is to agree with God that you are beautiful and love yourself.

If there is anything remotely biblical about the song, it would be that God did create us, and all people therefore possess dignity by being his creation. The problems come in when we begin to press questions like, Which God made us, and for what reason? Does this mean that there is no evil? If we are all beautiful because we are made by God, does this mean that terrorists, child molestors and serial killers should stop feeling guilty and just love themselves? The logic of Born This Way is ridiculous, and could be turned into an incredibly insane excuse for anything under the sun! "God made me a bank robber, so stop judging me...your Honor. I'm on the right track, baby."

What Born This Way completely misses is that God did make us, but not "this way." God created the first humans in a holy state; in God's own image. Indeed, God called his creation "very good" (Genesis 1:31). But Gaga has forgotten Genesis three - the fall of man through the sin of Adam! Mankind did not remain in a beautiful and godly state, but fell into corruption, sin and depravity. They believed the lie of Satan, rebelled against God, and plunged all of us into curse and condemnation. Because of this, the Bible teaches us that the just and righteous wrath of God has come upon all men, who are sinful from birth:
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners...They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:19; Psalm 53:3, ESV
It's true - we were born this way! But not under God's smile of approval, but under the curse of sin and God's wrath (Romans 1:18). All of us are born in sin. What we need is not to love ourselves and celebrate our sinfulness (which is the point of Gaga's song); we need a Rescuer who was NOT born this way to save us from our sins and from God's wrath against us. We need a Hero.

This is where the Bible's good news infinitely outshines Lady Gaga's message. The God of the Bible did not wink at our sinfulness and decide to just accept us in our depraved condition (for then he would compromise his own holiness). Instead, in amazing love, he chose to send his Son to be born as a Man, yet without sin, so that he could rescue us and bring us back into the eternal smile of God's love! Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, pleasing to God in every way, and died on the cross in our place, as our substitute and sacrifice. At the cross God poured out the fullness of his wrath against our sins on his own Son Jesus, so that his wrath would be satisfied for all his people, who would come to him through Jesus.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us...For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God...Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows...But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities...the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all...he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.  Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:4-12, ESV
Now God commands all men everywhere, not to celebrate our sin, but to repent of our sin (Acts 17:30); not to believe in ourselves, but to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31); not to love ourselves in our sinfulness, but to deny ourselves and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23).

Lady Gaga's message is supposed to be good news, but when held against God's revealed word it turns into really bad news: we are born this way (in sin) and cannot save ourselves! The good news is that through the gospel of Jesus Christ we can be born AGAIN (John 3:3, 7-8). And anyone who is born again by the Spirit of God, in repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ, has this wonderful promise: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Good news: Even though we were born this way, God has loved us and provided salvation for us so that we may be born again! We were born this way in sin, but born again in Christ as a child of God.

THAT is something to celebrate...

1 comment:

painterboy454 said...

Below is the link to a karaoke video on YouTube with the praise and worship lyrics to the song "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga. It is called "Chose This Way" and allows this song to be sung to the Lord.