I only got about half-way through the Sadie Robertson vs. Kylie Jenner article last week before I wanted to stop reading.
I’ll be honest. I am not a person to get immediately fired up over an issue. I am a fence rider to the core. I like to sit back, hear both sides of the story, process the information, and then form my opinion. I really won’t speak out about something until I feel that I am fairly educated on the subject. However, every now and then, there are some times when an issue takes the internet by storm and I find myself reacting more instantaneously.
Enter the latest viral article blowing up my social media newsfeed: When Kylie Jenner Challenged Sadie Her Response Was Brutally Honest. Upon initial reading of this article, via Facebook, I immediately noticed it was extremely one-sided and also pretty cruel toward Kylie Jenner. In fact, I don’t think I even got to the third point before I decided to stop reading altogether, believing an article this biased wouldn’t get many hits at all. It wasn’t until the next morning when one of my friends began a conversation about it that I realized this article may be bigger than I thought.
As I took another look at the article, I thought, “This may be one of the reasons people don’t like Christians.” To make a long story short—and because you have probably already clicked on the link and read the article—the author clearly paints Sadie Robertson in the most positive of lights (and perhaps rightfully so), and clearly bashes Kylie Jenner, all while throwing in some Scripture for good measure. The author compares the two young women not only on actions and behavior, but also on facts that are completely out of their hands—like the families they were born into.
The gist of the article is that we would all want our daughters to look up to role models like Sadie Robertson and not Kylie Jenner. It screams that if you are a Kylie Jenner then you are not welcome here among our Sadie Robertsons. Your promiscuous clothing choices, not-so-great taste in men, and dysfunctional family upbringing have no place here in our Gospel.
Sadie and Kylie and Jesus
Is this the message we’re sharing? Jesus didn’t do this. Not at all. He ate with the sinners and hung out with the lepers and basically defied everyone’s societal views on how we should treat others. The Kylie Jenners and the Sadie Robertsons have both been and always will be welcome in Jesus’ Gospel. So why do we act like things have changed?
My biggest concern with the article is that I do not see how it will ever turn any young woman searching for Jesus to find Him? Imagine her stumbling upon this article, her interest piqued because of the two high-profile names listed. She knows that she relates more to Kylie Jenner than to Sadie Robertson, and if being a Christian is looking just like Sadie Robertson, well, then she must not be good enough for this faith.
That’s a problem.
Please hear what I am saying: I do not condone all of the lifestyle choices that Kylie Jenner is making, but I’m not condemning her either. It is not my responsibility to judge this young woman (Matthew 7:1-5). I find myself wondering how I would be encouraged to respond if one of the girls I lead in youth group every week came to me acting this way. I would want to respond as a person striving to live with Gospel intentionality. I would want to point her back to Jesus. I would want to wrap my arms around her and remind her that her identity does not lie in the clothes she wears, the boyfriends she has, or the family she comes from. Instead, her identity lies in the fact she is chosen and cherished by the One who sent his only son to die for us. For her.
Any moment now, Kylie Jenner could turn her life over to Jesus. Are we living our lives in such a way that we will be open and welcoming to the Kylie Jenners of our world, poised and ready to point them to the Gospel? Or will they see only judgment, ridicule and condemnation from us if they do not appear to be wholesome and pure? I hope we will strive to guide these women to the cross with the truthful love of Jesus. I hope we will be welcoming and accepting to the broken and the beat down, just as Jesus has been to us.