65 million Twitter followers saw it. Before the halftime show of the recent (and most watched) Super Bowl, Pop Superstar Katy Perry quoted Psalm 118:24,
“Today is the day that the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Then according to her, this happened, “It’s funny, I was praying and I got a word from God and He says, ‘You got this and I got you.’ And then I was on top of the lion and a guy, a random guy, just looked on me with a headset that I’ve never communicated with before and he just looked me straight in the eyes and said, ‘You got this.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, this is God confirming I can do this.”
The religious critics were unleashed! Like hounds they sniffed for the heresy of her words. And filled with righteous anger they said, “How could God speak to such a sensuous and evil person?” “Of course it wasn’t God! She’s a rebellious, divorced, LGBT defender who has abandoned the one true faith.” “She’s stupid and part of the Illuminati!”
Maybe it was her own mind who made it up. Maybe it was the devil tricking her. Or maybe it was God. Because maybe (just maybe) He still speaks to those who are broken and afraid. Maybe God is still a father, and maybe He still likes to encourage. People will say that it is impossible for God to be nice to Katy Perry right before she was about to sing “I kissed a girl and I liked it” in front of millions of people. But if God refrained from speaking to humans based on the proximity of their next sin, trust me friend, no one would ever get to hear His voice.
Who knows? Maybe God said those things because, [bctt tweet=”His kindness leads us to repentance.”]
I believe the God of the Bible is interested in being the God of the people. And Jesus proved that by not setting a new religious standard but actually signing for us, a new contract of relationship. It is very clear that Jesus came for the lost. That was His mission. (Maybe we should join Him, because that includes us.)
Katy Perry still has a tattoo that reads “Jesus” on her left wrist. She got the tattoo as a constant reminder of her religious upbringing, which will always be a part of her. In 2009 she told Katie Couric “I knew I wanted this on me because no matter how much changes around me or how much I change, there’s not really an eraser for this.” She says that when she plays the guitar, “It stares right back at me. It’s like ‘remember, you came from this, and you can always go back to it.’”
Yes she can–Always come back. But the better news is that God has never left her. He’s always available, to all His children, whether they are home or they are drifting.
And if we are so sure that Katy Perry can’t hear the voice of God then we need to question the Burning Bush for the murderer Moses, or the encounter on the road to Damascus for the terrorist Saul, or the multiple times the adulterous King David entered the presence of God. You see, Scripture is full of undeserving hearers who somehow (just before or after sinning) got to hear God’s voice, and their lives were changed forever.
Long before Katy was singing about kissing girls, she used her talents as a “Christian singer.” (And you can buy her Christian album as Katy Hudson in Amazon – for more than $100 dollars!) She once told Vanity Fair that as a child, her parents, both evangelical pastors, wouldn’t read any book to her other than the Bible and refused to let her listen to non-religious music. So she questioned Christianity from an early age.
In a 2013 interview Perry said that she no longer identifies with a specific religion, but still feels that she has a connection with God. “I’m not a Buddhist, I’m not a Hindu, I’m not a Christian, but I still feel like I have a deep connection with God,” Perry said. “I pray all the time for self-control, for humility. There’s a lot of gratitude in it. Just saying ‘thank you’ sometimes is better than asking for things.”
So I’m not sure, but I want to believe God spoke to Katy. I want to believe He’s still speaking to her right now! Because that’s my hope for everyone who is lost or broken or famous or perfect, that they will hear the vibrations of love and the sounds of Salvation Himself.
Perry’s dad, Keith Hudson, is a pastor in California, and has said that he’s proud of his daughter, despite previously criticizing the messages in her music. (And that’s probably similar to what God the Father would say.)
I believe Jesus wants to share so much redemption and beauty with Katy Perry. So I pray that she would continue to remember the good seeds planted by her mom and dad (and forgive all the bad ones). But most of all, I pray that we the church would continue to focus on the plank in our eye, instead of the speck in everyone elses.
Yes, I’m always tempted to judge the ridiculous excitement we feel when someone on TV says the word, “God”. But somehow I feel hopeful about this one. I don’t feel hopeful because I want her 65 million Twitter followers to hear about her, “Born Again Experience.” I feel hopeful because I know that God loves His daughter. I know that He’s been there when she’s ignored Him. And I know that His mercy has been new through her brokeness and shame.
Just as He has done for me. Just as He has done for you.
So let’s join sister Katy and declare with a smile,
“Today is the day that the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!”
Now maybe (just maybe) we will also get to hear His sweet encouraging voice.
[bctt tweet=”God meets us where we are, not where we should be. “]
*Other articles of Jesus in Hollywood: