After all that has been written about the 2014 Grammys, I find myself thinking about God’s presence at the event. Of course, He was there. He never misses a show. Music is His gift to creation. But the gift can be used or abused. The Grammys displayed a lot of both.
This is an obvious overstatement, but it is true more often than not: “Music is a matter of taste; Lyrics are a matter of truth.”
There were few shout outs for God from the artists, the oddest being from Sean Carter (Jay-Z): “I want to thank God — I mean a little bit for this award — but mostly for all the universe for conspiring and putting that beautiful light of a young lady in my life,” Jay-Z said, looking at Beyonce.
The most talked about portion of the show was the mass wedding ceremony officiated by Queen Latifah set to the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis pro-gay rap song, “Same Love.”
As the 33 couples – some straight, some gay – exchanged rings, the rappers intoned:
And God loves all his children it’s somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written 3,500 hundred years ago . . .
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Many have complained about the “Satanic” themes of the program. Katy Perry topped it all with her spectacular occult-inspired, whatever it was. Alabama quarterback A. J. McCarron tweeted: “Is it just me or are some of the Grammy performances so far seem to be really demonic?? Looks like there is a lot of evil in the world. . .”
Christian singer Natalie Grant, nominated for two Grammys, left the program early and the blogosphere speculated that her religious sensibilities had been tweaked one song too much.
But even the secular press commented on the “satanic” overtones of the evening (see E! online, etc.).
Add to this, the over-sexualized display by Beyonce and Jaz-Z and you have checked off everything popular music has become over the past fifty years.
The program ended with Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) blasting out ‘ “My God Is the Sun” by Queens of the Stone Age. He was cut off by the closing credits and later blasted CBS by Twitter for their disrespect.
Even more than film, the music world is all about posturing, reputation and image. It devours more young idealists than Hotel California ever could. It changes an overtly Christian Hanna Montana into a sexualized, drug-addled Miley Cyrus and an innocent Justin Bieber into a drunken thug. Katy Perry’s Christian roots were shed long before she celebrated Satan on the Grammys.
In spite of such glib references to God, the reality of God’s presence cannot be underestimated. Many are giving the hope in Christ to those in the music industry. A number of musicians have come to Christ over the years: Dave Mustaine of Megadeath, Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Head Welch of Korn, Lou Gramm of Foreigner. . . the list is long. No one is beyond His grace.
One of the most interesting 2014 awards (presented earlier) was for the Best Metal Performance that went to Black Sabbath for “God is Dead?” The song leaves the reality of God’s presence open. Ozzy still cannot bring himself to say there is no God.
In fact, Ozzy wrote these words in “After Forever” from the 1971 Master of Reality album.
Perhaps you’ll think before you say
that God is dead and gone
Open your eyes just realize that he is the One
The only One Who can save you now from all this sin & hate.
You may not like the music but you gotta love the lyrics. God’s truth is much clearer to those who are seeking to find their deepest needs met in the world. If nothing else, the Grammys remind us to pray for those who perform and those who listen.