Saturday night, I took some students from my church to Toby Mac’s Winter Wonder Slam, a concert featuring Family Force Five, Relient K, and Toby Mac. Though I am not a huge fan of any of these bands, the concert was a lot of fun, we jumped up and down and rocked out to some very fun music! Most importantly I got to spend time with my students at NCBC–if any of my students are reading this–I love you guys! Anyway, at the concert, the above promo video for B.Haley’s New Year’s Eve Bash was played 2 or 3 times.
Here is what B. Haley’s New Year’s Eve Bash is all about:
TooLoveInc. is proud to present B.Haley’s first annual New Year’s Eve Bash at the Gaylord Opryland Delta Ballroom! A positive, uplifting environment for young adults and professionals, the New Year’s Eve Bash will mix the energy and excitement of New York City and the posh V.I.P. vibe of L.A., right here in Nashville. Featuring performances by Superchick, Ayiesha Woods, Shonlock and more, the red carpet event will also include a disco ball countdown, balloon drop, and gourmet hors d’oeuvres. Doors open at 9:30pm, VIP packages and group rates available. For ticket information, visit www.tooloveinc.com. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to Hurricane Ike Relief Fund.
In addition, apparently some NFL and NBA Stars will also be in attendance and young Christian singles will be able to dance and mingle with the stars!
So here is my question: do Christian singles need a “posh V.I.P. vibe” party that is positive and uplifting on New Year’s Eve? It seems what is being implied here is that if Christians don’t go to B. Haley’s party, then they are stuck going to some booze-fest with scantily clad women acting inappropriately. There is, however, a third option not being considered that I think is equally compelling–spending New Year’s Eve with your immediate family or your church family (I suppose that depends on whether you like your church family or not–I love mine!).
My fear about “Christian” events like B. Haley’s bash is that such events give Christians the idea that we have to be just as cool as the secular music scene, just as famous as secular celebrities, and that Christians ought to celebrate the some of the same excesses that secular celebrities celebrate. It seems the message being presented to young Christians is this: You can and should have everything the secular world has but only in a positive and uplifting environment.
I think it is important that Christians live faithfully for Christ in the world, but it is equally important that we not become of the world. This world is not our home. We are citizens of heaven, we are “elect exiles” as Peter calls us and I think that means living missionally in this fallen world but it never means becoming just like the world only add on some positive and uplifting elements.
I don’t know B. Haley and I am sure that his party will be fun and I am sure that it will not be your typical New Year’s Eve booze-fest and for that I am thankful. I am also thankful that a portion of the proceeds go to help Hurricane Ike victims, but I am not sold on B. Haley’s Bash and I am not encouraged by the message this promo video sent to my students.
The other thing that really bothered me about this promo video is the models dressed in fancy (borderline skimpy) clothing that are getting out of a limo and the guys and girls with their arms wrapped around each other sitting on a couch together. This says 2 things to me. First it says that if you go to B. Haley’s Bash, you can wrap your arms around a beautiful young Christian girl dressed to the nines. Secondly it says that the best way for Christians to spend New Year’s Eve is in posh style with limos, celebrities, and gourmet hors d’oeuvres to boot.
I am currently helping some of my students think through issues of dating and courtship and I did not feel aided in that endeavor by B. Haley’s Promo. I know that the promo is aimed at Christian young adults and that the party is only for people 18 and older, but nonetheless, I felt that it was communicating things to my students that I have been fighting hard to warn them against.
Furthermore I have been continually challenging my church to live missionally in our community. Is all that distinguishes us from the secular world the fact that we don’t get drunk and do drugs? I am glad that B. Haley’s Bash is providing an environment free from those things, but that ought not be all that distinguishes us. It remains to be seen how B. Haley’s bash will encourage girls to dress modestly–so far that seems to be a mark against the Bash as well. What ought to distinguish Christians from the world is bold kingdom living. Reaching out to those in need with Christ-like love and sharing the saving news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. I am sure that there will be some form of Christian witness at B. Haley’s bash, but in the promo, Christian witness seems to take second place to a “posh V.I.P. vibe” and celebrity worship. I am glad that some of the party’s proceeds are going to charity, but tons of secular New Year’s Eve parties give money to charity.
So to answer my own question, no I don’t think Christian singles need a “posh” and “uplifting” New Year’s Eve party because I don’t think that Christians need everything that the world has only in a “positive” and “uplifting” package. What Christian singles need, is the same thing that all Christians need–a deeper, more intimate, more satisfying relationship with their savior–how about spending this holiday season doing things that encourage you toward that end?