When redemption isn't redemption

Our entertainment industry is saturated with stories that go like this. Young actor/musician/etc. comes out - they are inundated with the celebrity culture - they go through severe character trials and tribulations - they sell out their integrity for everything worldly - THEN

Then somewhere down their careers, they find God. Or they find something that makes them want to be "positive." They come full circle, and they find out what is impotant in their life. Then they become a mediocre, positive artist or entertainer.

These stories don't make me feel tingly on the inside. These stories don't pick me up when I am having a bad day. These stories are corny. In fact, they are down right pathetic. You know why they are pathetic? They are despicable because some people are raised to know what is best before they make stupid mistakes. And these people are always slighted. These people are overlooked because their stories are not sensationalized. These people do not attract millions of viewers.

In no way am I suggesting that making mistakes are beyond such people. However, it aggravates me when 30 year olds are making 20 year old mistakes. It bothers me that the 16 year old kids in my youth group are more composed than the monkeys on television. Eminem makes a song called "I'm not afraid" that G-Vo was talking about 2 albums ago. But Eminem gets the credit because we all applaud him for making such a positive change in his life. Before I go on, I applaud Eminem - and I love him as a rapper - but doesn't it seem strange that every artist always comes "full circle." Their "Behind the Music" documentaries are always how they went through all these circumstances they they caused themselves - and how they magically rose above it one step wiser. I would like to suggest that their wisdom that they attained at the end of it all is what alot of teenagers already know and live by.

We have got to start questioning the things we applaud vs. the things we dismiss. We have got to take a step back before calling everything redemption. The redemption that I know of and believe in is far more radical from the fame to drugs to sex to a normal life story. Redemption is more than a 40 year old rapper settling down and getting married. Redemption is more life-giving than people moving from instability to normalcy.

Endangered Species do not always have to go through the trial and error process that the rest of the world goes through.

I hate to come off a bit over-confident, but G-Vo is the artist that the 40 year old superstars become. The problem is I'm not 40 - I'm 26 - And I have a whole life in front of me to be better than I am now. What if we all were 50 at age 20. What if we did not have to over-glamorize making mistakes and just got a head start at "redemption." What if real freedom is now - before the sex, before the drugs, before the alcohol, before the neediness, before the fame.

Now I know what you are thinking - Will G-Vo be talking this way when he makes colossal mistakes? Some of you are even hoping I make these mistakes because you think that will make me understand Eminem more - lol. When in fact I make those mistakes, I will not glorify them as the process. I will ask for God's grace - the grace that is sufficient for the prostitute, murderer, rapist, and molester. I am in the same category.

However, this is the time for an end to all false praise, over-hyped stories, and a shrinking of real redemption. Observe other peoples' mistakes. Be smart. Do not follow false prophets. Do not listen to the advice of "successful" people. Stay your course, and seek real redemption. Be 50 at age 20. Peace, and much love to you - John Baptist!


  1. that's some hot fiyahh right there!
    There's nothing glamorous about what burns...


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