Ever since she was a small girl Miley Cyrus knew she wanted to perform. Her dream has come true on a level that has amazed even her biggest fans (her mom and dad). But is Miley promoting a healthy vision of being a performer or is she slowly abandoning Christian principles?
In this lesson we will look at Miley’s background and her values.
We will also look at what it means to be a Christian in the entertainment world today.
Miley Cyrus was born into a musical family. Her dad is a successful country singer. Many of her relatives are musicians, and she grew up singing and attending her dad’s performances.
But there is more to her background than just being on the stage. Her father and mother are very into family. Miley grew up spending lots of time with her family.
Miley explains that when she was born, her dad’s music career was at an all-time high. But when she was about one or two years old her dad realized that he was losing something more precious than success. He was losing his family. “So he let go his music career and moved with the family … to the farm in Franklin to be the very best husband and dad he could be.” (Miley’s words)
Miley has spent lots of time with her dad, her mom, and all her family as she grew up, and this has continued as she became a star in her own right.
Another value that is very strong in Miley’s life is faith. Her dream is to be a light in the darkness of this world, a sign of hope.
When Miley first met “Prince Charming,”, (Everyone claims that the “Prince Charming” is Nick Jonas, and Miley has pretty much admitted it.) he asked her about her values. She immediately explained that she and her family are “hard-core Christians”.
She says that her whole family has gone to church on Sundays since she was a child, but when Miley was in middle school the family’s faith took a deeper step. “Brandi (Miley’s older sister) brought us to a new church in Franklin. The People’s Church was different. It became family for us. The members of our congregation hold each other accountable for the way we live our lives…For the first time our family started making decisions based on our faith…The People’s Church really opened my heart. It has made me truly thankful.”
Miley admits that one thing that makes her sad is that not enough people know Jesus. She tries to take time to read the Bible regularly, and her recent book is full of her favorite quotes from the Bible. She has also said that Justin Gaston (whom she costars with in an upcoming movie) got her reading the Bible even a little bit more.(Boys can have positive points, sometimes…)
One way Miley tries to live her faith is by helping others. She visits children in hospitals as she travels, a habit she picked up from her dad. She donates a portion of her earnings to charitable causes, such as Youth Service America and City of Hope (a cancer care center).
She also tries to communicate her concern over contemporary issues such as global warming.
Miley also wears a purity ring, as a sign of her Christian commitment to remain a virgin until marriage. “When I got old enough and there were boys in the picture, I asked (my parents) if it was time for me to get my own ring (like her older sister Brandi). My mom gave me one that has a circle on it, to represent the circle of marriage. There’s a little diamond in the center of the circle for me, and when I get married, there will be another diamond added. But until then, it’s just me. And it feels right.”
“The press might make fun of some people for wearing purity rings, but I don’t pay attention to that. They can think what they want. I have my morals!”
But Miley has been in some controversy about whether she really understands all her Christian values.
About two years ago a cover shot for Vanity Magazine appeared in which Miley had her back to the camera and seemed to be nude. In fact she was not nude, but the pose gave that impression. Many parents expressed outrage that a girl who is presented as a role model for young girls could pose for such a shot. The image was sending the wrong message.
Miley and her parents apologized for the image. They explained that in the studio the pose did not seem that provocative, but after they saw the magazine they realized that they had been mistaken.
This past spring Miley tweeted about the Miss California “gay marriage” question.
On her Twitter page, Miley said: “Jesus loves you AND your partner and wants you to know how much he cares!
“That’s like a daddy not loving his lil boy cuz he’s gay and that is WRONG and very sad! like i said everyone deserves to be happy.”
We can agree with Miley that Jesus loves everyone. But Jesus tries to make us aware of sin: those things in in our lives that are hurting us and hurting our relationship with God.
People with same sex tendencies are loved by God. But, like all of us, they are also struggling with sin in their lives. They desire love, but are looking for it in a way that will not bring them true happiness. And they end up drawing other people into a a cycle of unhappiness as well.
Sexual impurity hurts the persons who commit it, and it hurts society as well.
Recently, Miley has been involved in a controversy about pole dancing and provocative clothing. It seems that some poses and wardrobe choices in her debut performance of “Party in the USA” (By the way, OFIA thinks “Party in the USA” is a cool song.) could easily be interpreted as too close to the setting of a strip club. These critics may have a legitimate point. It was imprudent of Miley to accept such a setting for the inauguration of the song.
Also, a number of people have pointed out that many of the wardrobe choices Miley has made on her recent tour have been a bit immodest or provocative. Miley certainly is not a little girl any more, and does not have to dress as a little girl, but is she pushing the envelope too much in the other direction now?
This brings us to a final discussion about what it means to be a Christian and a performer in todays’ world.
Today, it is not easy to understand that things like immodesty and homosexual relationships are impure and destructive. That is because so many shows, movies, and music present the opposite message.
In this atmosphere it is easy for Christians to get confused. It takes real wisdom and discernment to distinguish between loving everyone and approving destructive behavior. Maybe some Christian might be able to explain this to Miley in a loving way. (Know anyone?)
Few can doubt that Miley Cyrus is an extremely talented performer. She has a gift for communicating joy. It is a gift given her by God, and she has worked very hard to develop it. She wants to help people by her performances. She wants to help them experience joy and love. She wants to give them hope. And she does this quite well.
But being a performer can sometimes lead to sending the wrong message. Miley has sent a great message many times throughout her career. But, precisely because she is so full of joy, Miley does not always realize that some aspects of her performances can have a meaning she did not intend. This is where the virtues of prudence, wisdom, temperance, and courage come in. This is where a wise counselor might help a bit.
Let’s pray that Miley continue to look for Christians who are gifted with wisdom to be her friends and advisors. Let’s pray that her friends and advisors continue to help her live Christian values.
We all need constant education and encouragement on what it means to be a Christian. Let’s continue to pray for Miley and encourage her in the good things. Let’s try to set a good example ourselves of what it means to be a Christian in the secular world. The world needs many more messagers of Christian life today.