Rapper Travis Scott held Astroworld during which the crowd surged forward and several people tragically lost their lives with hundreds of other injured.
As I was musing over how sad and meaningless this incident was, some Christian influencers I follow on the Gram (Hannah Lee Yoder, Brittany Dawn) predictably hopped on the opportunity to gain spiritual brownie points by bemoaning how demonic this event was, how it was idolatrous, evil, wicked and it was no surprise something like this happened.
Like, as a Christian myself I don’t even necessarily disagree the vibes were off but do Christians really think Jesus would have responded with, “Lol! Demon worshipping heathens – that’s what you get for messing around with evil spirits!” Cause last time I read the Bible, it’s the love of Christ that compel us, not hellfire and brimstone, and also God doesn’t delight when the wicked perish (Ezekiel 18:23). But I digress – American Christianity is being killed slowly by conservativism.
Hannah Lee Yoder was even parroting some Q-anon nonsense.
I’m not even against conspiracy theories, but for whatever reason Evangelicals have chosen to ignore blatant corruption, child abuse, and other depraved behavior among politicians/Hollywood in favor of literally the dumbest, most obscure conspiracy theories about blood drinking and sacrifice that make zero sense. Like there is no need for some illuminati, Deep State Satan ring to exist when you can look at either political party and see them involved in all sort of wicked stuff openly. Furthermore, in no multiverse would the families of hundreds of children remain silent if their kids died during a concert – they’d be lining up to sue because American lawyers would be all over that.
Of course Astroworld shouldn’t have happened at all. We’re still in the midst of a pandemic, kids hopped the barriers and blazed past overwhelmed security, which wasn’t a surprise given Travis appeared to encourage people who didn’t get tickets to come anyway. One needn’t be a prophet to predict something was probably going to go wrong. It’s not demons – it’s human error, lack of safety standards, and putting profit over people.
Still, the holier than thou attitude from these Christian influencers is ridiculous. Idolatry is listed as the very first of the Ten Commandments, Deuteronomy. 5: 7-8 says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth.”
Certainly, there was a lot of worship, narcissism, and idolatry at Astroworld. But idolatry isn’t limited to images of celebs, nor will it always be riddled with creepy, hellfire imagery and “dark energy”.
I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the tragedy as Astroworld and the Capitol riots. Sure, Travis is violent.
But so is Donald Trump, the idol of many an Evangelical.
Interestingly, I failed to find a Bible verse stating “knock the crap out of them” or “I’d like to punch ’em in the face”. I did however find one that says to turn the other cheek, pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5: 38-48), and to not be like the world (John 17:14-15). Travis Scott didn’t build a platform cosplaying as a Christian though, so I don’t expect him to adhere to the Bible – can’t say the same for Donald Trump.
The church doesn’t really have a leg to stand on when it comes to judging Hollywood after the last four years, yet their self-righteous attitude has blinded them to their own faults. There’s a reason Jesus said take the speck out of your own eye first, so you can see clearly before judging others.
Don’t get me wrong, Travis Scott is deplorable – he has a history of disturbing issues at his concerts, there’s no way he didn’t notice the ambulances, and there are clips of him appearing to stare directly at a lifeless body whilst wailing into a mic. Any person with a shred of decency would’ve halted everything and calmed the crowd down – you can literally Google other secular, rap artists stopping their concerts and telling their fans to chill out, or help those who were getting hurt. His apology was insincere and he deserves the backlash he’s getting.
As of now, 10 people lost their lives as a result of the concert. But 9 people lost their lives as a result of the capitol riots, 5 people and 4 officers committed suicide shortly after that. Idk but that sounds kinda demonic to me too. Christians have been quick to call Astroworld some weird ritual simply because there was organ music while slow to do so with Trump – some even justifying it despite both these events resulting in people needlessly losing their lives. Like what is the barometer for “demonic” here? John 10:10 say, “the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” So anything that results in these things is demonic according to the Bible.
In Genesis, the snake didn’t come to Eve in the garden spewing fire out of it’s mouth and resembling the crypt keeper, it came to her as something she desired: to be like God. Genesis describes the snake as “crafty” not creepy and channeling dark energy. Ezekiel 28:13 describes Satan as covered in precious stones and “perfect”, not as the creature from the Black Lagoon.
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” If the devil can quote scripture to literally Jesus, he can surely use something seemingly wholesome or “good” such as a desire to “Make American
Garbage Great Again” for his purposes – friendship with the world is enmity with God, and politics, nationalism, traditionalism, marriage, etc. all of those are worldly matters. We should not be this comfortable equating conservatism with Christianity because it falls short of Biblical truths. Nor should we get deceived by those who pay lip service to Christianity while their actions tell a different story. Again, the enemy’s goal is to steal, kill, and destroy and he’ll use any means necessary, be it a suit, tie, and podium, or a drug-addled concert.
Sometimes idolatry looks like statutes of Travis Scott scattered across an amusement park and kids raging during a concert backlit by flames. But other times it looks like American flags, towers and golf courses named after Trump, and white, middle class adults storming Washington crying about election fraud.
People like Brittany Dawn and Hannah Lee Yoder really ought to do better having public, Christian platforms and realize just because something calls itself Christian doesn’t mean it is. Be willing to call a spade a spade every time it appears.
Both of them have openly supported Trump and are very conservative, which is disappointing. Jesus said they will know us by our fruits – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. These are not traits conservatives display at large. In fact, if you look at many popular, conservative commentors like Candace Owens, or Ben Shapiro, they are anything but Christ-like yet Evangelicals support them wholeheartedly. Our highest calling is to be like Christ and spread the gospel; we should not water down Biblical truths simply because we like some aspects of a person, or agree with some things they do because they benefit us. God is a holy, uncompromising God and it’s time the church start acting like it.
Christians ought to stop elevating and supporting attitudes that aren’t wholly aligned with Biblical values and read their Bible, so they’re not duped by “Christian” men and women sneaking in secular ideologies under the guise of “family values, traditionalism, slow-living, etc.” That is why Psalms mentions mediating on the word of God – when God’s word is in your heart and mind, you’ll be less likely to be swayed by secular talk, be it from conservatives or liberals.
James 1:27 says, “[r]eligion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep onself from being polluted by the world”. Micah 6:8 says, “He hath shown you, man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee: surely, to do justly, and to love mercy, and to humble thyself, and to walk humbly with your God?” The greatest commander is to love the Lord God, and then to love our neighbors as ourselves. Our highest calling as Christians isn’t to ensure the Republican party wins the next election, refuse to wear masks and make-up theories about the vaccine being the mark of the beast (lol), but the preach the good news.
Sadly, the pandemic has only highlighted the issues American Christianity is struggling with – an unhealthy affection for conservativism over Biblical truth. Travis Scott’s concert may have certainly been demonic, but so are a lot of other things the church is unwilling to call out. Let’s not fall prey to Biblical clownery, instead let’s stand on the Word of God and be willing to call out sin every time we see it.