Learning my lines . . .
. . . discovering what it means to follow Jesus, seeing my story swept up into his . . .

The Voice. . . And What It Said. . .

I was a casual observer of “The Voice,” the NBC singing competition that – in my opinion – was much more engaging and fun than “American Idol.” If you followed the show, you know that Javier Colon was crowned “the voice” on last night’s show. I caught the final moment thanks to some timely channel flipping. I’ll admit it. . . the Phillies/Red Sox game was just a little more important to me last night.

So let me clarify why I think “The Voice” was a little more engaging and fun than the other show. There was the involvement of the coaches. The personalities had a chance to blossom and bloom. The production was better. Again, just my opinion. But these are a few of the reasons why I found the concept fascinating.

There was, however, a down side. If you watched “The Voice” from a posture of Christian critique you may have noticed the show’s edge. I’m not a prude, but “The Voice” is a great example of a cultural piece that both reflects and directs – or mirrors and maps – life in today’s world. Things were said, done, and sung that were quite telling. These are things we should be seeking to see and hear so that we are better equipped to say, do, and sing the Kingdom of God in ways that truly engage the culture and its confused commitments. This is our missionary task.

If you’re a person who takes this task and calling seriously, I would encourage you to make it a priority to get your kids – who see and hear what’s said, done, and sung as nothing but normal – to think critically and Christianly. Engage them in thoughtful conversation where “The Voice” is filtered through the lens of God’s Word. Teach them to celebrate the good. Teach them to prophetically challenge that which is not good.

Need a starting point? My channel-surfing two nights ago took me back to “The Voice” and it’s second-to-last show between innings of the Phillies/Red Sox. I got stuck on “The Voice” and Pitbull and Ne-Yo’s performance of “Give Me Everything” – currently the #2 song on the Billboard charts. Telling. Remember, it maps out life for viewers and mirrors life in our culture as it already is. You can watch it below. I’ve included the lyrics beneath the embedded video. Do we have anything at all to say, sing, or do in response?

Me not working hard?
Yea, right! Picture that with a Kodak
Or, better yet, go to Times Square
Take a picture of me with a kodak
Took my life from negative to positive

I just want y’all know that
And tonight, let’s enjoy life
Pitbull, Nayer, Ne-Yo
Tell us right

[Chorus:]
[Ne-Yo]
Tonight I want all of you tonight
Give me everything tonight
For all we know we might not get tomorrow
Let’s do it tonight

[Nayer]
Don’t care what they say
All the games they play
Nothing is enough
‘Til they handle love

[Ne-Yo]
Let’s do it tonight

[Nayer]
I want you tonight,
I want you to stay
I want you tonight

[Ne-Yo]
Grab somebody sexy, tell ’em hey
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight

[Verse 1: Pitbull]
Take advantage of tonight
Cause tomorrow I’m also doin’ bad
Perform for a princess
But tonight, I can make you my queen
And make love to you endless
This is insane: the way the name growin’
Money keep flowin’
Hustlers move aside
So, I’m tiptoein’, to keep flowin’
I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan

Put it on my life, baby,
I make you feel right, baby
Can’t promise tomorrow
But, I promise tonight
Dale

[Pre-Chorus: Pitbull]
Excuse me
And I might drink a little more than I should tonight
And I might take you home with me, if I could tonight
And, baby, Ima make you feel so good, tonight
Cause we might not get tomorrow

[Chorus:]
[Ne-Yo]
Tonight I want all of you tonight
Give me everything tonight
For all we know we might not get tomorrow
Let’s do it tonight

[Nayer]
Don’t care what they say
Or what games they play
Nothing is enough
‘Til they handle love

[Ne-Yo]
Let’s do it tonight

[Nayer]
I want you tonight, I want you to stay
I want you tonight

[Ne-Yo]
Grab somebody sexy, tell ’em hey
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight

[Verse 2: Pitbull]
Reach for the stars
And if you don’t grab ’em,
At least you’ll fall on top of the world
Think about it
Cuz if you slip,
I’m gon’ fall on top yo girl (hahaa)
What I’m involved with
Is deeper than the masons
Baby, baby, and it ain’t no secret
My family’s from Cuba
But I’m an American Idol
Get money like Seacrest

Put it on my life, baby
I make you feel right, baby
Can’t promise tomorrow
But, I promise tonight
Dale

[Pre-Chorus: Pitbull]
Excuse me
But I might drink a little bit more than I should tonight
And I might take you home with me if I could tonight
And baby imma make you feel so goof tonight
Cause we might not get tomorrow

[Chorus:]
[Ne-Yo]
Tonight I want all of you tonight
Give me everything tonight
For all we know, we might not get tomorrow
Let’s do it tonight

[Nayer]
Don’t care what they say
All the games they play
Nothing is enough
‘Til they handle love

[Ne-Yo]
Let’s do it tonight

[Nayer]
I want you tonight, I want you to stay
I want you tonight

[Ne-Yo]
Grab somebody sexy, tell ’em hey
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight

[Outro: Pitbull]
Excuse me
But I might drink a little bit more than I should tonight
And I might take you home with me if I could tonight
And imma make you feel so good tonight
Cause we might not get tomorrow

5 Responses

  1. Great synopsis Walt. I also flipped by to check it out (the Red Sox game being much more important to me) and wow, the duet with Stevie Nicks just about brought tears to my eyes. She is amazing…still.

    always appreciate your cultural analysis!

  2. My son recently switched from listening to pop stations to country. I think many people would think this is a better choice. I hear absolutely no difference in the lyrics except the country singers are more romantic rather than crude. But the content is exactly the same – drinking and casual sex – AND it’s actually much clearer to hear and understand what they’re singing about. I agree that no matter what our kids are listening to we need to talk about what they’re hearing compared to what their Lord says. I’m at the point where my 13 yo rolls his eyes and says (I know you can hear the tone) “Mom, you just don’t get it.” Now THAT makes me laugh.

  3. Nothing new here. Let’s be honest with ourselves.Today’s teens are not doing anything each preceding generation hasn’t done, they’re only being more honest in singing about it.

    Let’s do our part and make sure they are better educated in disease and birth control prevention, than prior generations were.

  4. Yes, of course, she/he absolutely can get protection for her/his soul by living in accordance with Jesus’ instructions in Matthew22:37-40 .

    I find it so telling Anonymous how you and most others in our Christian Church ALWAYS put the responsibility on the ladies not to engage in pre-marital sex, but not the men. It is always the woman/girl stigmatized by an out-of-wedlock child, and never the man/boy. Unconscionable!

    Have you ever seen a ‘Chastity Ball” being held for sons and fathers?

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