I met one of Miley Cyrus's personal pilots several years ago. He told me that he had flown Miley since she was a young girl, and complimented the sincerity of her faith and moral convictions. He assured me that she would not go the way of so many professing believers who trade character for fame.
Unfortunately, Miley has not fulfilled her pilot's prediction. For instance, she recently described people who believe Noah's Ark was real: "That's [expletive] insane." She added: "We've outgrown that fairy tale, like we've outgrown [expletive] Santa and the tooth fairy."
Then she discussed her sexuality: "I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn't involve an animal and everyone is of age. Everything that's legal, I'm down with. Yo, I'm down with any adult—anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me. I don't relate to being boy or girl, and I don't have to have my partner relate to boy or girl."
Miley Cyrus will obviously say and do whatever keeps her in the news. But here's the most troubling part of her interview: It's not news. At least not on a level it would have been just a few years ago.
A growing movement is calling for the acceptance and legalization of polygamy. The number of Americans who accept polyamory ("many loves," whether married or not) has doubled in recent years. According to a recent Gallup study, 63 percent in the U.S. now accept same-sex couples, up from 40 percent in 2001. Sixty-one percent are comfortable with the idea of having children out of wedlock, a 16-point increase from 2001. Sixty-eight percent view premarital sex as morally acceptable, compared to 53 percent in 2001.
What will Miley Cyrus have to say to make news a few years from now?
It's not enough to accept the latest moral trends—we must embrace and endorse them, or pay the price. Mark Tooley, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, perceptively states: "Our postmodern secular culture, as it becomes more divorced from the constraints and wisdom of religion, is becoming more detached from reality and more angrily intolerant of any dissent from its evolving fantasies. Any skepticism about the secular elite's latest shibboleths is treated with horror and vociferous denunciation, followed sometimes by coercive efforts to silence or drive from public life the dissenters if they refuse to go silent."
What are we to do? Tooley: "Public dissent and mockery are important tools against pretentious falsehoods. Silence, especially from fear or indifference, only offers complicity. The church, if committed to the gospel and to genuine service to humanity, will be bold in reminding us all, despite the threats and harangues against it, that popular culture, even if armed with political and economic power, doesn't have the power to reinvent reality. Truth flows from the throne of God, who is Himself Truth."
When we are "standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel" (Phil. 1:27), God uses our courage for his glory.
G.K. Chesterton said: "Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die."
Jim Denison, Ph.D., is founder of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, a non-sectarian "think tank" designed to engage contemporary issues with biblical truth. Join over 100,000 who read Dr. Denison's daily Cultural Commentary: denisonforum.org/subscribe. For more information on the Denison Forum, visit denisonforum.org. To connect with Dr. Denison in social media, visit twitter.com/jimdenison or facebook.com/denisonforum.
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