Mandisa, honored for her “Overcomer” release, cited “the allure of pleasure, the passion to have things and the pompous sense of superiority,” words from a translation of 1 John 2:15-16 warning believers not to fall in love with the world’s ways or worship the things it offers.
Beyond Mandisa, this year’s Grammys sparked an array of social media reaction among Christians. Ed Stetzer, on a blog, noted that the Grammys “are not representative of our culture, but in some ways they are indicative of its shifts.”
Theologian Gregory Thornbury said Americans have become bored with the lack of serious messaging from the artists, who have radicalized themselves into obscurity.
Mandisa, knowing she was nominated in three categories, watched the Grammys at home rather than adorning herself for the red carpet. Later she wanted to share, in “brutal honesty,” why she didn’t take advantage of the party.
Her first three reasons were that her busy schedule makes her want to stay home when she can, she felt insecure about her appearance and she assumed she wouldn’t win.
Mandisa’s fourth reason resonated with Christians.
“Yes, both times I have gone to the Grammys I have witnessed performances I wish I could erase from my memory, and yes, I fast forwarded through several performances this year; but my reason is not because of them, it’s because of me,” Mandisa wrote Jan. 27.
A former “American Idol” finalist, Mandisa worked at LifeWay Christian Resources after graduating from college in Nashville. In 2007, she hosted a volume of “Missionary Moments Video Vignettes” to demonstrate the value and impact of Southern Baptists’ cooperative missions and ministries.
Lately she has been struggling with being in the world but not of it, Mandisa said, referencing John 15:19. The pull of pride and selfish desires has tripped her up, she said.
“I knew that submerging myself into an environment that celebrates those things was risky for me at this time. I am taking steps to renew my mind to become the Heavenly Father-centered, completely satisfied with Jesus, and Holy Spirit-led woman I felt I was a few months ago, but I’m feeling a bit like an infant learning to walk again on shaky legs,” Mandisa wrote.
Instead of being on stage to receive her award, Mandisa knew she was better off alone with the Lord in her home as her name was announced.
Regarding the celebration of sinfulness at the Grammys, Mandisa doesn’t believe in separating herself from those who don’t share her faith. “After all, how else will people come to know Him, if not by His children?” she asked.
But she knows she must be different from the world.
“I can’t force my morality on anyone else. What I can do is live my life in such a way that reflects well on my Savior, stand firm in my values, and do all of these things in love,” Mandisa wrote.
If she’s nominated in the future, Mandisa said she’ll go to the Grammys if she feels up to it, keeping in mind she may feel like “an alien in a strange land.”
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