This is how Beyoncé serves God
By helping others.
By giving back to her community.
By responding to the needs of the least of these.
You know… Christianity 101.
And I can say that with confidence, because according to Christ himself in Matthew 25, when you give water to thirsty and food to hungry you are ministering to Him. And this is not just a nice sentiment (again, according to Christ himself) this is consequential for eternity.
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” – Jesus (Matthew 25:40)
So, this past weekend the 36-year-old singer arrived at St. Johns Church in Houston, Texas with her daughter, Blue Ivy, to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey. She donated an undisclosed sum of money, which according to her pastor, will help thousands of families in the community. Then, she stuck around to feed people, sing a few songs with her fans and embrace those who had lost everything. Or, as her team posted on her social media:
Beyoncé had an opportunity to share during the worship service, and this is what she said,
“This church is my home. I was maybe 9 or 10 years old the first time I sat there where my daughter is sitting. I sang my first solo here and I just wanna thank you for lifting my family up, for praying for me, and for being such an incredible example of what light and love is. This today is a celebration of survival. Ya’ll are my family. Houston is my home. I thank God that you’re safe, your children are safe. I think that really matters is your health and your children and your family. I just wanna say I love you. I’ve been blessed so that I can bless other people and I ask of God to continue to do that for other people.”
No doubt about it, you can listen to her lyrics and blush because of her outfits… then assume negative things. Or maybe you question her fruit and doubt the sincerity of her faith.
But that’s never a good idea.
As I wrote in Drop the Stones: When Love Reaches the Unlovable “Religion, spirituality and theology tend to be destructive when they’re not drenched in humility and love.”
So drench them.
You see, we’re all in process, no one is perfect, and only Jesus knows the heart truly. If Christianity was about behavior modification then we could justify telling people how to dress and what to sing and how to do fame. But the Gospel is good news to all who need a savior.
Yes, I know that salvation is not a reward for works. But faith without works is dead.
I choose to focus on the good.
At least I try.
My natural inclination is to judge and assume the worst. But Jesus is continually inviting me to do unto others what I want them to do with me.
So I’ll do to Beyoncé what I want you to do with me. I’ll assume the best of her. I’ll highlight the times she’s doing the work of the Kingdom. And I’ll choose prayer and blessing over pious comments and unnecessary condemnation.
Yeah, I mostly agree with her when she says, “I am about faith and spirituality more so than religion. Doing right by others and not judging.”
Are there things I wish famous people like Beyoncé would do different? Of course. Just like there are tons of things my wife wishes I did differently. And a million more things God wishes I did (and thought and said and felt and lived) differently.
That’s why we need grace.
And each other.
“Our task is not to protest the world into a certain moral conformity, but to attract the world to the saving beauty of Christ.” – A quote from Brian Zahnd in the life-altering book: Beauty Will Save the World (Rediscovering the Allure and Mystery of Christianity).
Queen Bey’s music and story are a journey of growth and brokenness. Her success and failures on full display for our “entertainment”. And in her album Formation, an R-rated type of Psalmic experience Jay-Z’s infidelity, anger and redemption, Beyoncé sings in Chapter 9, titled, Resurrection: ”You gotta call Jesus. You gotta call Him. You gotta call Him ‘cause you ain’t got another hope.”
Getting to that one line in the album is rough. Yes, Formation is a masterpiece of lyric and visuals, but if you’re looking for a worship experience (like the one she used to provide in the her home church when she was younger) then you’re not going to get that.
But that’s why we end up with Christ… again.
Cause we ain’t got another hope.
I know you have valid grounds to indicate faults in behavior and theology… but I’m going to simplify this as we finish (because simple is what we need).
Give to those in need.
Kind of like Beyoncé did.
You know… Christianity 101.