October 29, 2009

Britney Spears, MGM Grand & Sin

For some unknown reason, Britney Spears' new song "3" ended up on the radio in my car the other day. Despite a tired beat, forced rhymes and being a pretty horrible song overall musically (in my humble opinion), what really disgusted me was the message of the song. While the topic is played out, there was one particular line of lyrics that stuck out to me...

"Are - you in
Livin' in sin is the new thing (yeah)"

Fast forward to later that same day (or maybe it was the next) and @andrewconard makes me aware of an article through Twitter from MediaPost Publications entitled "MGM Twitter Campaign Asks People To Tweet Sins". The point of the article is to have people tweet their sins and MGM Grand will randomly select a winner of a free night stay in Las Vegas each day for the next 30 days. The sins that people tweet will be displayed on their website as well as the sides of buildings like the Staples Center and the Nokia Theatre in LA. Does this seem crazy to anyone else or is it just me?

So let me see if I've got this right...living in sin is actually the "new thing" that all the cool kids are doing and can even get you a free night stay at a hotel in Las Vegas?!? Since when have we made such a joke of the concept of sin that we've decided it just isn't that big a deal anymore? Paul tells us that sin results in nothing but death (Romans 6:23) but hey, at least we might get a free hotel room out of it.

I wrote an earlier post talking about sin you might want to checkout entitled "rethink: Sin"


DavidT said...

The Spears lyrics as quoted might be sarcastic commentary on society (don't know; haven't heard them), but the MGM contest is insane. Just having people send in "sins" as a contest would provoke a "really?" moment, but displaying them publicly, and honoring them... MGM's asking for a fall.

If they're judging by depravity, their winners are going to be people from death row.

Kathy said...

Sin is exciting, rebellious, and human. Sin sells, redemption doesn't.

Matt Lipan said...

DavidT: thanks for the read and comment.

having watched the video for this post and reading the rest of the lyrics, which i opted not to post...i feel confident to say that Spears is not using sarcasm.

they say the "winners" are picked at random, still pretty messed up.

Matt Lipan said...

Kathy: what a sad state when death is more attractive than redemption.

is sin really that exciting or is it our misunderstanding of what is truly exciting? it seems hard to think that sin is somehow rebellious or, as Spears says that sin is the "new thing" when in reality we have been "livin' in sin" since man was created. i wonder if something can really be "new" or "rebellious" when we've been doing it all along.

DavidT said...

The allure of sin likely comes from its unspoken (and untrue) promise of continuously new experiences. The earthly mindset is that there's only one way to do something correctly/legally/morally, and an infinite number of ways to do things, ergo: an infinite number of ways to be less than perfect. To someone craving "the new, the different", avoiding "righteousness" is a sure-fire way to avoid "the plain, the boring".

Assuming the belief in the "one way for perfection" (not The Way, just so I'm clear) were even true, following the "new" all the time is a path to self-dilution. One's identity, the "you" that you are, is constantly redefined in the search for "the different".

That said, I believe the original assumption to be incorrect. God is infinite and perfect. Less than perfect things are separate from God, and are not infinite in number or aspect. Less than perfect things can only have a finite number of possible interactions before repeating themselves (even if that finite number is bewilderingly high). God's interactions with someone who seeks Him can be infinitely diverse. That said, I believe He uses repetition of themes in those interactions to reinforce our identities amidst His infinite creativity.

Matt Lipan said...

DavidT: thanks for a great response!

the ability of the devil to deceive us into thinking that sin is somehow new and exciting while also promising fulfillment is what makes sin so deadly, not to mention so hard to avoid.

i like the point you brought up about the issue of identity. when we fail to allow our identity to be found in Christ, we end up like some sort of shape shifter taking the form of whatever "new" or "different" thing we are pursuing. the only place to truly find something new or different is, like you mentioned, in the infinance of God.

some good thoughts, thanks again for being willing to share.

Kelly said...

Sin often involves some sort of instant gratification rather than waiting for a more delayed, but probably much better, reward. I'm not just talking about heaven, but all sorts of things that you can only get by putting your future desires ahead of your present desires. An inability to focus on what is good for you in the long run will lead not only to no retirement savings, but also to sin.

Matt Lipan said...

Kelly: thanks for the read and comment.

great point about instant gratification. pretty much sums up our culture. "i want to get mine and i want to get it right now."

i think the idea of delayed (and ultimately better) gratification speaks to some deeper issues like self-control, patience, discipline, contentedness, priorities, etc etc. losing our retirement savings and gaining sin...what a bummer!

thanks for being willing to share.

Kathy said...

Good points about rebellion when sin's been around since human creation. I think b/c we're told we have to avoid sin, it makes it sound rebellious or exciting. I looked up the lyrics to the song and think it's disgusting but does that make me a prude or boring in the eyes of our present society? I hope viewing sin not as simply right vs. wrong but as something that takes you away from God makes people think about the long-term effects.

Matt Lipan said...

Kathy: ha, i don't think it makes you a prude but what do i know? that's funny.

i really like your point about the long-term effects of sin. something we hardly ever think about because we are so focused on the gratification we want instantly regardless of what it might ruin in the long run.