I get it—Beyoncé is a big deal! So, it comes as no surprise that her Formation Tour has sold out football stadiums across the country. When the tour breaks later this week, she will have performed live in front of more than 2,000,000 people and grossed more than $200 million dollars.
But, numbers only tell part of the story. Just look at your Facebook timeline after Beyoncé comes to town. People are inspired and enraptured in her glory. Choir members become card-carrying members of the BeyHive. Sophisticated women pronounce with all the badnesss they can muster, “I Slay!” Mothers and daughters gush in photos and Facebook Live every other moment. Fellas scream like little girls at a One Direction concert. The energy is palpable.
Still, amidst all the excitement, I can’t help but feel that something ain’t right. I mean, some Christians haven’t broadcast about anything ever, but they turned into 60 Minutes to chronicle their trip to Formation. The average Formation ticket was $432 on the secondary market. That’s almost as much as your car note and more than twice the amount that the average churchgoer puts in the plate per month ($187.50 in case you’re curious). Some people can’t plan ahead enough to get to work or church on time but you’d better believe they were early to the Beyoncé concert.
I guess what I’m really wondering is how we square all of this passion for Beyoncé against passages like these:
- “You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.” (Ex. 34:14 NLT), or
- “…the LORD your God, who lives among you, is a jealous God.” (Deut. 6:15, NLT), or
- “…let us be filled with gratitude, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:28-29).
Maybe you say, “Look, I post about all kinds of things all the time. I give generously at my church. You missed me with all that!” If that’s you, keep reading and then check out yesterday’s post.
But, maybe you’re still here and will hear me out…I guess the question you and I have to answer is “To Bey or Not to Bey?”
Here are a few thoughts to give us a rubric for thinking through this question:
- How will this activity impact my relationship with God?
If you are a Christian, you have been born again to a new Father. Think of it as being given a new spiritual DNA that has different desires than the old spiritual DNA. Your new identity as a child of God means that your deepest desire is to walk in formation with God (pun intended). If engaging in a certain behavior will pull you away from your Father, you should refrain.
- Will this activity cause me to violate my conscience?
Again, as a new person in Christ, your conscience is being renewed. You are now presenting your body as a living sacrifice. That means that there are times when the old person you were literally feels a sense of loss when you choose to obey God but it’s worth it. Especially in light of the greater joy of walking in unbroken fellowship with the Father.
- Will enjoying this activity hurt others?
As a child of God, you are no longer concerned with just yourself. You are called to love others. Sometimes that means not doing something you are free to do because you are bound by love to make sure that weaker brothers and sisters won’t be lured into sin while following your example. See Romans 14 for a fuller illustration of this principle.
Ultimately, it is not for me to prescribe a one-size-fits-all approach to going to a Beyoncé concert or watching a certain movie or TV show but I do encourage you not to conform to what culture shoves down your throat. With biblical clarity and a clear conscience you must decide, “To Bey or Not to Bey?”