What Beyonce's 'Lemonade' Shows Us About American Idols

Beyonce dropped her new album "Lemonade" on Tidal.
Beyonce dropped her new album "Lemonade" on Tidal. (YouTube)
Saturday evening artistic idol Beyoncé, unveiled her new "visual album" Lemonade on national TV.

President Obama has said of her, "Beyonce could not be a better role model for my girls." 

First Lady Michelle was once asked by People magazine, "Who would you choose to be if you could be someone else?" Her response, "Beyonce!"

This idol is not a "role model" for our youth, and this misdirected honor needs to end.

Her new album Lemonade is scandalous. One song titled "Hold Up" features her as a rage-filled maniac brandishing a baseball bat while smiling children watch. In her rampage, she smashes car windows, destroys automobiles, explodes a fire hydrant, busts business windows and obliterates a police surveillance camera. Fires erupt as she spits out expletives in vengeful glee.

This is disgraceful conduct, and her placement in the "Parthenon of Superstar Idols" needs to come down. This isn't entertainment, it's an outrage, and it's idolatry if we justify it. Our impressionable children are at stake.

Dealing With Idols

The Bible instructs us through John the Beloved, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols" (1 John 5:21). An idol has been defined as "something or someone taking precedence over God's place in one's life."  

Is it coincidental or providential that in this hour when cries are going heavenward for spiritual awakening and the removal of barriers to personal and churchwide revival, we're witnessing some unusual idol-removal?

The new frontier for LGBT proponents is now transgenderism. I stood with 50 pastors days ago in Nashville to stop the bullying on common sense "bathroom bills." Isn't it interesting that two rock stars idolized for decades as provocateurs of the he/she lifestyle have abruptly disappeared? It's sad yet very true.

Months ago, David Bowie, the androgynous, glam-rock, shape-shifting pop star was suddenly and mysteriously removed from pop-culture's stage, just days after the release of his latest album. During his career he proclaimed himself both homosexual and bisexual and was idolized by fans worldwide for his bizarre approach to trans-sexuality. Remember "Ziggy Stardust?"

In between, something considered unthinkable just happened to one of the most successful television programs in history. American Idol suddenly ended its long-standing, star-studded run.

Based on the British series, Pop Idol, it ran an unbelievable 15 seasons with 555 shows. What started as a wholesome, family-oriented reality show, morphed into an "edgy" program with some gay performers, controversial judges and a suggestiveness that caused many to turn away. Then, poof, it was gone in the flash of an eye.  

Last week, another androgynous, hyper-sexualized global icon, celebrated for his aberrant stage behavior and scandalous lyrics (Friday's 20/20 report said he was once labeled "public enemy number one by the Parents Music Research Center"), unexpectedly and almost instantly passed from the scene. The artist called Prince was here one day and tragically gone the next!

While I pray for his family and am saddened by his premature death, I'm amazed at individuals straining credulity to call him a Christian because of his passing references to God. Thirty years ago, he did pen a song titled The Cross and has employed a drummer purported to be a Christian, but we've got to be more discerning, as Jesus taught.

Prince was tied loosely to Jehovah's Witnesses, which is a non-Christian cult. It denies the deity of Jesus, His physical resurrection, the Trinity, salvation by grace and the Personhood of the Holy Spirit.

Heralded as an "artistic genius," Prince was known for his cryptic songs "Dirty Mind" and "Purple Rain." To honor his memory, parties and memorials are awash in purple, signifying his royal status as a pop "god." Even vile rapper, Lil Wayne, tweeted "R.I.P.to the God Prince. Gone too soon but here forever!"

On April 22, the L.A. Times ran an excellent article entitled "When Prince blended gender, he gave black men permission to be free." Amid the purple fog obscuring his actual legacy, this piece reminds us of the performer's persona mixing femininity and masculinity.

He has entered eternity and now gives an account for his life. While we await the report from his autopsy, we hope that before he collapsed in that elevator he repented and cried out for mercy to Jesus as his Lord and Savior, the One who loved him and died for his sins.

Are We Paying Attention?

Humanity's loving Creator recognizes our propensity to foolishly elevate individuals and things above an intimate relationship with Him. When this happens, our gracious God often "steps back" so subtle idols are removed. He also calls us to do the same.

Jesus taught that the greatest commandment was to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind" (Matt. 22:37). When we're seduced away from first love devotion, He prompts us to remove destructive idols hindering maximum blessing and fruitfulness in our lives.

The ultimate question: "Will we cooperate in the excavation process?"  His divinely ordained "Ways and Means" operation is moving at an accelerated pace showing us He has ways to demonstrate He means business!

Are you sensitive to the ways that He's currently working in your life to liberate you and prepare you to be part of today's anticipated awakening and end-time bride?

Checklist of Common Idols

While not exhaustive, survey the following list. See if He's not at work in your life so you'll enjoy more of Him and impact more for Him, especially if some legitimate areas have spun out of balance.

  • Preoccupation with self
  • Fear of man
  • Illicit sexual indulgence
  • Frivolous time-wasters
  • Preoccupation with money/things
  • Prideful/selfish attitudes
  • Quest for fame/status
  • Adulation of children/career/ministry
  • Compromising in singleness
  • Electronic gadgetry addiction
  • Excessive food and drink
  • Political expediency
  • Religious traditions
  • Entertainment and sports
  • Appearance and vanity
  • Worry and anxiety
  • Resentment/unforgiveness
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Not admitting wrongdoing
  • Man pleasing

Pray for Beyoncé as she spirals out of control. Let's learn lessons from the demise of American Idol, Bowie and Prince. May we also remove any idols hindering our walk with God and the Third Great Awakening for which we pray.

Sadly, Prince is gone. Let's keep uppermost that there really is but one "Prince of Peace" who deserves to reign in regal splendor over every area of our lives.

"If you then were raised with Christ, desire those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on earth. For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life shall appear, then you also shall appear with Him in glory" (Col. 3: 1-4).

Larry Tomczak author of 10 books, is a cultural commentator of 50 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.

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