WWTD: What Would Taylor Do? “Swifties & Faith”

Let me start by saying I like Taylor Swift because I like people. Most are aware of her astonishing fame: She is one of the most prominent music celebrities of the 21st century and has millions of devoted followers known as “Swifties.” Additionally, Taylor Swift says that she is a Christian.

I’m not writing this to shame or criticize her but to help her and others. How do we help people if we don’t speak the truth in love? Silence speaks volumes.

The Power of Influence

As a dad of four daughters and a son, I understand the power of influence. We’ve all listened to questionable material (yes, even me), but we shouldn’t justify it by thinking that God doesn’t care because one of the ways that we love God is with our mind (Rom. 7:25).

What we watch and listen to affects us at a very deep level — from depression and anxiety if we focus on unbiblical things — or hope and joy if we focus on God. Being selective has nothing to do with legalism; it has everything to do with wisdom. We are to recognize what builds us up and what clearly does not and then choose accordingly.

Christians in Hollywood

Granted, I know it’s hard when the allure of wealth and fame are everywhere. When I met my wife in 2001, she had just finished being in Craig Morgan‘s first country music video, and she was struggling with working in the industry because of all the compromises. It was a real battle — a battle she would’ve lost had she not taken drastic steps such as leaving Hollywood.

Yes, we need Christian actors and entertainers, but they must ask: “Am I affecting the industry, or is the industry infecting me?” Sadly, most Christians in the industry live a very compromised life because it’s extremely difficult to hold to biblical values and support a system hell-bent on rejecting God. Unfortunately, compromise has a price that many are willing to pay.

Sluts and Karma

Back to Taylor: Let’s begin with lyrics from her song Slut! (yes, you read that right): “And if they call me a slut you know it might be worth it for once.” I might be old-school, but I don’t think that this is something we should encourage. And her song Karma says: “Karma is a god.”

The secular site the Daily Lobo said this about one of Swift’s controversial videos: “The video also included some interesting imagery pertaining to evil characteristics. In the first 20 seconds of the video, Swift is seen wearing dark clothing with a devil mask on, standing in hell. Then she blows a kiss to three grim reapers who are holding up the middle finger.”

How can people think these things are acceptable? It truly baffles the mind.

Two Reasons Why We Compromise

On social media, Taylor often talks about casting spells and supporting abortion as well as premarital sex (I don’t have time to get into all the witch allegations and the apparent support for LGBTQ+ activism). So why are Christian kids and their parents ok with this? Why would anyone allow this influence into their homes?

There can only be two reasons. Keep in mind that these points don’t have to do with just Taylor but with any compromise:

1) People claiming to be Christians are not genuine; therefore, they do not have the Holy Spirit convicting them. Jesus refers to this as being lukewarm and not truly knowing Him (Rev. 3:16). When we’re filled with the world, we love the things of the world: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:15).

2) Or, the person is a Christian, but they are quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit by their lifestyle (1 Thes. 5:19). This is exactly why a Lutheran church can host ‘Tuesdays With Taylor’ without conviction as they connect her lyrics with Scriptures.

The apostle Paul refers to these actions as carnal. In the carnal state, we avoid conviction and try to wiggle our way out of it with justifications (been there, done that, and I still struggle from time to time). No one, truly filled with the Spirit, can support what Taylor stands for.

A Sad Commentary on the Family

In times past, the hero was the father, not a rock star or a top athlete. The greatest influence was the mother, not Hollywood. Kids once quoted Scriptures; now they’re casting spells. What a sad commentary on the state of the family today.

Scripture makes it clear that fascination with the powers of darkness and the occult has no place in the heart or the mind of a Christian. Even more discouraging than the time and money spent is the young age at which children are exposed to these spiritual perversions. God is not mocked. We only deceive ourselves if we believe we will not reap what we have sown.

Our minds are to be fixed on what is noble, pure, excellent, and good (Phil. 4:8). There are no scriptural grounds in defense of these types of lyrics or lifestyles. It is more reasonable for Christians who enjoy these things to simply admit that they enjoy them rather than try to defend them.

Can “Swifties” Follow the Savior?

Yes, “Swifties” can follow the Savior if they repent and truly believe in Jesus and choose healthy entertainment over destructive influences — works don’t save us, but they do reflect the true condition of our hearts. And be encouraged; there is a huge difference between a struggle and a lifestyle.

Parents, it’s time for us to do a better job of stopping evil from entering our homes. We must teach kids to follow what is good rather than what is popular. Are you willing to do what it takes to protect your mind and your family?

It’s our choice … your choice. And once you make a choice, it then makes you.

Shane Idleman

Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Leona Valley, Ca. His sermons, books, articles, and radio program have sparked change in the lives of many.

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