GetReligion, one of my favorite blogs, has the above (very interesting) feature on Maxim's "Hot-100" list. Lo and behold, Jessica Simpson is at the top of the list. GetReligion notes that Jessica is
"a born-again Christian, the daughter of a Baptist youth minister and the blonde bombshell who made headlines by getting married as a virgin?"And, #2 on the list is Beyonce, who "talks about her faith from time to time." While acknowledging that Jessica, and her TV show will probably never be recommended by Focus on the Family, GetReligion finds it interesting that she is seven notches ahead of Paris Hilton on the hottie list and wonders if romance and marriage may be becoming cool.
On the one hand, GetReligion indicates that there are some positives in having someone like Jessica at the top of the "Hot-List." Here is a professing Christian with somewhat of a wholesome image. Maybe faith and wholesome lifestyles are beginning to have some influence amongst the stars. On the other hand, it is even more likely that stardom is shaping the faith and lifestyles of people like Jessica, more than the other way around.
When comparing Jessica's stated views on moral purity with her propensity to pose provocatively for magazines like FHM, Walt Mueller finds her to be an example of modern day "dis-integration" of faith and life. Quoting Charles Colson:
"the church's singular failure in recent decades has been the failure to see Christianity as a life system, or worldview, which governs every area of existence."For example, in a forum on the CPYU website, one member notes Beyonce's rationale for some of her performances
Recently Beyonce began justifying her actions by saying that the person you see on stage is not her. When she performs, she becomes a "character" or another person.Rather than being a total world and life view, for these stars Christianity has become one compartment of their lives, which doesn't necessarily influence any other compartment.
And, lest we be guilty of casting stones at stars like Jessica and Beyonce, let's not forget that this "dis-integrated" faith is not only found in Hollywood. This "dis-integration" is found in football players who are honored for their faith on one day and visit a prostitute the next, in preachers who cheat on their wives, in businessmen who profess faith on Sunday and cheat on their taxes Monday, and in millions of people who want to accept Jesus as their savior but not as their Lord.
In saying all of this, I hope not to come across as saying that Jessica Simpson or Beyonce are evil, or worse than the rest of us. Ultimately, all of us have a "dis-integrated" faith to some degree. Each of us has areas in our lives where our practice does not match our profession. For those who have read Romans 7, we know that even someone like the apostle Paul had a mighty life-long wrestling match with indwelling sin. Because Jessica and Beyonce have a public platform their gaps between profession and practice are writ large for the world to see. Most of us don't have that problem, and so we ought not to look down upon these folks.
But what is missing here is the struggle against sin. The apostle Paul never made peace with the gap between his profession and practice. He waged war on his sin daily. This is what is missing when someone bifurcates their private and public personaes. They give up the battle against sin. To use a modern computer illustration, they put their personal life on one disc and their public on another. Thus, their Christian faith becomes one file among many, and it is reduced to meaninglessness. Only a recovery of the Kuyperian notion of "Christianity as a total world and life view" will enable us to combat this.
You can read the entire Walt Mueller article here.