Back when I was touring & performing for a living, two guys from my band went to see Destiny’s Child in concert (Beyonce’s old group). In the middle of the set they did this incredible acapella rendition of Amazing Grace that brought down the house, then they kicked straight into “Bootylicious.” It’s an example of how the sacred/profane divide only exists in the minds of religious people who do not understand that God is free.
If God wants to use Beyonce, Paul McCartney, or even Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction in powerful ways, there’s little anyone can do about it. The best approach is not to spend all of our creative energy making a Christian alternative to everything under the sun (The pinnacle of which is, in my humble opinion, Testamints) so that we are not tainted by what happens in the world. The best approach is to learn to discern where God is already at work in the world (inside and outside the church), and then to pour all of our creative efforts into joining with God.
So during halftime of this Sunday’s game, my family will be watching Beyonce perform & hoping that she keeps it relatively clean. But, if you are looking for an alternative, look no further:
(RNS) Super Bowl halftime shows often burn more vivid images into the American conscience than the most-watched football game of the year, and can claim millions more viewers.
They can also ignite controversy, as Janet Jackson did with her halftime “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004. Last year, performing with Madonna, British-born hip-hop star M.I.A. gave the finger to 114 million people.
Outraged by the raunchy behavior, or simply to capture some of the Super Bowl’s supersized audience, some religious programmers are now producing halftime shows of their own.
In direct response to the Jackson breast-baring, Sky Angel, a national Christian television network, the next year offered a halftime alternative to Paul McCartney singing “Hey Jude,” with a special that included testimony from Christian athletes, as well as commentary about the Patriots-Eagles matchup.
More recently, Catholic TV and the Eternal Word Television Network have aired theFaith Bowl at halftime. Produced by the Hollywood-based, Catholic-oriented Family Theater Productions, the show has featured Catholics in sports preaching about how faith can inspire an athlete.
Last year, Yeshiva University, the Orthodox Jewish university in New York City, introduced its“Torah Super Bowl Halftime Show” online, with glitzy, NFL-style graphics. Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff, who has moonlighted as a comedian, kicked off the first of three mini-lessons: “I thought maybe we could learn something by watching these people run around the field.”
The show got more than 3,000 hits.
This Sunday (Feb. 3), a new crop of scholars from Yeshiva, which doesn’t have a football team, will relate the finer points of the sport to the Hebrew Bible, and intersperse their teachings with trivia. For example: “Who was the only Jewish football player to win four Super Bowls?”(The answer: Randy Grossman, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.)