Katy Perry: Growing Up In Sheltered Christianity

Sometimes I want to whack parents as much as their children.

Not to excuse the human responsibility, each person has a responsibility to conduct themselves in such a manner, no matter what their upbringing. Saying you were born a homosexual, give justification to act on those impulses, just as all of us were born sinners from the mother’s womb. That being said, the platform of homosexuality being genetic is arguable as well. Nevertheless, the point is the nurture has a important function in how we turn out in this world. There are a multitude of people that I wish had the joys of God-fearing parents, or at least pair of parents that cared for them in their distress – and in the absence of this, their hearts are broken and in need of repair.

Katy Perry recently talked out about her upbringing in the June issue of Vanity Fair.

Growing up in a strict evangelical family with many constricting ideals – among other things, the only book she was allowed to read was the Bible, and listening to secular music was a no-no. Even the term, “Dirt Devil” referring to vacuum cleaners was banned in her household. To me, her parents sound like hypochondriacs, that she would catch the “devil” disease of some sort. I’m not arguing for a parenting that is totally ecumenical and open to all things, but I am arguing for a sound parenting ideal that doesn’t encroach on understanding.

“I didn’t have a childhood,”

Perry said in the interview. Now, she’s somewhat a far fling from that strictness, embracing all kinds of interesting things, to put it lightly. For one whose hit single is called, “I Kissed A Girl”, the apple has fallen very far from the tree indeed. In many ways, I see Katy Perry as a personification of many teens growing up in Christian homes today and losing their faith later when they see the world, giving the confused a voice. Growing up without doubts and challenges leads to lethargic Christianity, I found this the case for me personally. Without constant troubles and suffering, I would not be the same person I am today. I have said many times before that suffering removes the false faith we have in ourselves and brings out the faith in Christ. For this reason, it pains me when pushing people to youth group meetings is all the form of Christianity evident within a household. The hypocrisy begins to show. But don’t doubt my admiration for the dedication and faithfulness in bringing up children in the Lord, but the ambitions are somewhat misdirected.

In the book of Deuteronomy, the LORD speaking through Moses says:

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.”You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (English Standard Version)

Notice the order that the Scriptures go from primarily the Scriptures within the parents hearts first, then a holistic embodiment of the Word in life. I truly do not believe that Christianity is summed up by laws and rules, rather law and rules sum up what is good and true Christianity. God commanded the Israelites to write His Mosiac Law as “a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:8-9 (English Standard Version)

Now those verses come straight after that God has said that His words shall be within their hearts, but God puts a physical manifestation to these words in place.  But especially when God says that His words shall be a frontlet between the Israelite’s eyes, a headband of sorts – Moses, I believe, is referring more to the way we see the world tempered by God’s perspective and His victory. Perhaps, the Israelites took what God said about writing the Laws on their heads a bit too literally when they attached these boards onto their heads as a means to applying these words, they would only be useful to people looking at them. Similarly, law within context have only an exterior effect on our hearts to convince us that we are deserving of salvation, but only true love of the law would bring internal change because the Holy Spirit can awaken such liberty in our hearts.

So, that is what my humble word on parenting is – Christianity is not tabulated within a bunch of oppressive laws. That is what the Israelites did, and they faltered and petered off into legalism as evidenced by the Pharisees of Jesus’ time. Lasting conversion lives within the confines of understanding, that is, understanding what the law point to, give us a meaning to the law and we can joy in taking up our crosses following Christ. On the outside of the Perry household, I can understand why the parents would have instituted those rules in their household, but I don’t understand why Katy Perry called it strict, unless she did not understand.

In many ways, Christianity is not laws, it is Jesus. Laws are useless if they are not pointing to Jesus, and Jesus is useless if we do not follow his laws. It is a mutual relationship between religion and relationship, I don’t believe they are incompatible and none can exist without the other.