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Three Lost Sheep in Hollywood—What Went Wrong?

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  • 2014 Jan 31

Take a moment and guess who said these two phrases:

“Live like Christ and He'll live in you, and that's what I want to do.”

“I’m a Christian, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins.”

The first phrase belongs to a young woman who twerked her way into infamy and forever changed how some people view a wrecking ball. The second came from the lips of a young man who recently spent a week hopping from police station to police station for drug, assault, and other charges. Quite the surprising sources.

Take Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, and throw in Katy Perry (who spent her early years as a faith-extolling singer named Katy Hudson), and you’ve got three pop idols with Christian roots who are certainly not living up to their calling to hoist crosses and follow Jesus.

So, what happened? According to Charis Hillman Brown of CharismaNews, the answer is complex, but certainly something that all parents can learn from:

“Your parents’ faith can’t be your faith; you have to have your own relationship with God. I had to get out of the lie that “being right” was more important than love. But I am grateful to say that, while I was not only lacking in faith, I was lacking in fathering, and God made Himself so real to me He became my true father, and I felt unconditional love from Him.”

She goes on to ask that Christians put aside the criticism for these confused stars and start praying:

“Let’s be praying that the influence of Justin Beiber’s heavenly Father has a much greater influence than his earthly dad and that God would put strong, godly men around Justin to support him, encourage him, love him and give him a good example. Let’s be praying that whatever roots of rejection or neglect that were planted early in his life be replaced by his heavenly Father’s love. Let us rebuke the generational strongholds of drug abuse and alcohol abuse.

“Let’s be praying that Miley Cyrus wakes up from drugs and sexual promiscuity and erratic behavior and that she considers her heavenly reward more important than her earthly one. Let us be praying for her whole family, that they become united and strong under one faith in God and not swayed by the industry or public opinion.

“Let’s be praying that Katy Perry continues to move toward the light and the name of Jesus, who is already written on her wrist. Let us pray that she comes to know the true God by the power of the Holy Spirit, who heals and restores and sets free.”

Recently, Dr. Owen Strachan addressed the culture that has led to the downfall of these three singers—especially the confusion over sex:

“Whatever else they put their trust in, they are at the very least syncretistic, believing neo-pagan ideas. They are reveling in the body and its pleasures, seeing it and them as the purpose and minute-by-minute rhythm of life. They’re not just living in sin, in other words. They are tapping into a very strong undercurrent in post-Christian American life, one that we can see from a distance but rarely name….

“But we’re also clear: sex is not meant to give ultimate meaning to life. I would actually argue that pleasure and delight are why we’re on this earth, but pleasure and delight are preeminently found in God, not in any created thing or practice. No sensation or feeling is meant to lastingly satisfy us. In fact, sex in its very design cannot meet this natural human desire. God hard-wired it to not be a permanent reality, much as our pop songs and rap songs tell us otherwise. Sex, after all, naturally is connected not merely to marital happiness, but to children, and thus to self-sacrifice, love for others, virtue, and a host of other behaviors and truths.”

What are your thoughts? How could three teens who claimed to be Christian turn out as they have?

John UpChurch is the senior editor of and You’ll usually find him downing coffee at his standing desk (like a boss).