An Embarrassment to Billionaire Rappers Everywhere

January 13, 2012

If you’ve had any media exposure over the last 48 hours, you already know…

…and already don’t care…

but Beyonce and Jay-Z had a baby…or something.

I know, I know, it’s big news when two people who are so important make a mini-version of themselves.  But after the news of the hospital ward where the delivery was made, and the baby’s…name, the news on my radio was about the cash the couple spent to outfit the nursery.

So the happy couple has a $20,000 crib, a solid gold rocking horse, and one baby who doesn’t give a crap.  Well, it does give a crap, but not about the crib or the horse.  And you know what?  Even $20,000 cribs get crapped on.  No one can have nice things when a kid is involved.

I’ve got a question for all you really, really, ridiculously wealthy people out there who read my blog.  I know, there’s a lot of you, because that’s how really rich people start their days – by reading my blog.  The rest of you, don’t worry, you can participate too.

Here’s my question for all the rich people out there…

Are You Embarrassed?

See, the people I know spend a lot of time being embarrassed by other people.

Christians are really prone to embarrassment.  I think we’re embarrassed by no fewer than half of all other Christians.  The televangelists embarrass us.  The hotheaded pastors embarrass us.  The guy with too many Jesus bumper stickers embarrasses us.  The guy trying to pass out tracts on the street embarrasses us.  Tim Tebow even embarrasses some of us.  I mean, everything is Jesus-this and Jesus-that, and we don’t want people to think that we care that much about Jesus.

Do other groups get this embarrassed about their own?

Am I Embarrassing White Middle Class Men?

The crib. Wealth does not equal good taste.

Fabulously wealthy people and/or platinum selling singer-songwriters: are you embarrassed by Beyonce’s and Jay-Z’s ridiculously frivolous show of wealth?  Are you afraid that people are going to think you are materialistic and try to make up for bad parenting by spoiling your child because of them?

Upper middle class people: are you embarrassed by the large tracts of tasteless, tacky McMansions that your friends buy?

Poor people: are you embarrassed by that dirty homeless guy on the street?  He’s taking poverty to the extreme.

Health nuts: are you embarrassed by the guys on the covers of muscle magazines who look like the Incredible Hulk?  Aren’t you afraid that people will think your brain and genitals are shriveled from steroid abuse too?

Hippies: are you embarrassed by your unshaven, pot smoking, unemployed bretheren?

Bloggers: are you embarrassed by the inane drivel that gushes from 99% of blogs?

I could go on…whatever group you belong to, are you embarrassed by your kin?

No One Is Mistaking You for Tim Tebow

If you ask me, Christians spend way too much time being embarrassed by other people.  I am telling you, I have never introduced myself to someone, told them I am a Christian, and they said, “Oh, like Joel Osteen?”  No one has ever associated me with Johnny Depp’s terrible movies, despite the fact that I am a very handsome man, like he is.

Billionaire rappers everywhere are not embarrassed by Beyonce and Jay-Z, any more than stock traders are embarrassed by Bernie Madoff.  If we should be embarrassed about something, it’s that, essentially, we all paid for that baby’s crib and gold horse, one iTunes download at a time.  Great way to spend our money, everyone.

Trust me, no one will mistake you for Tim Tebow if you don’t want them to.  All you have to do is keep being embarrassed about other peoples’ behavior.  All you have to do is keep saying, “I’m not with him.”  All you have to do is keep your head down and make sure no one notices you.  How ridiculous that everyone can feel free to be brash about their wealth, their politics, their idiotic beliefs about everything, but we constantly are afraid of what the other Christians are going to say.

If your friends are judging you based on what other people say and do, then your friends are narrow minded dolts.

What say you?  Have we been tricked into thinking everyone out there is painting us all with a broad brush?  Or do we have a duty to not embarrass our fellow Christians?

26 responses to An Embarrassment to Billionaire Rappers Everywhere

  1. In the military, there is the constant threat that someone is going to run a ship aground or something and make the news, thus making us all look bad. In foreign countries, it’s all about who raped what national or something. The point is that this is definitely the context of the Navy at least, and maybe the military as a whole. I would submit that at least in Vietnam, the public lumped all of the military into one lot, regardless of whether the individual was bad or not.

    Is this ok? Or is it wrong? I don’t know if either is correct. Nor do I think that it’s right for the rest of us Sailors to be embarrassed by some knucklehead who gets drunk and does something stupid. Still, it happens. I doubt billionaires have this problem, but some sects of society do, so I understand the concept. As far as Christians go, however, it’s hard not to be embarrassed by what some people do. The world may not be upset, but dad gum that Harold Camping. It’s just embarrassing.

    • Maybe the difference is that we expect more from military and people who profess some kind of faith than we expect from billionaires. We expect billionaires to spend absurd amounts of money, so no one gets embarrassed, even by their most embarrassing behavior.

      • I think that’s possible. It’s not right, but when people, like those in the military and in the church, claim a certain set of standards, and try to hold others to them (which we shouldn’t do), then we will be made to look stupid when we can’t maintain them ourselves.

  2. OH my goodness. Is that really the CRIB? Wow, $20K? I’m not embarrassed by Tim Tebow. And, Johnny Depp is beginning to look more like a homeless person than a billionaire movie star. I don’t know when I gave up being embarrassed by the actions of others, but I think it was around the same time I realized that no one is really thinking about me and discovered they are only thinking about themselves. Keep blogging Matt. (and thanks for reminding me I’m part of the 99%) :)

    • I remember seeing pictures of (I think) Mariah Carey’s nursery, and it was waaaaaaaaaay worse.

      And never mind that crib–what’s the purpose of the crazy giant alphabet blocks in the background?

  3. When I first came to the church I pastor they had an old sign that looked eerily like a tombstone that said, “Liberty Street Church of God.” Right next to it was a plastic sign on a pole that said, “non pentecostal.” They certainly were embarrassed by that pentecostal church on the other side of town 5 times bigger than us and wanted everyone to know (like anyone cared!) that “homey don’t play that game!” I admit that I act like Barack Obama apologizing for america when it comes to the church, I have apologized for the crazies and the excesses and the dogmatics. I am a letter written by God to this world, I am an ambassador of the Kingdom and i don’t want to mess this up!

    • That’s amazing about the church sign. Gotta let people know which one is the real church.

      I understand the whole apology mindset, but I think we have to convince ourselves that no one is really looking for an apology from us. To apologize is to accept blame.

  4. “If your friends are judging you based on what other people say and do, then your friends are narrow minded dolts.”

    Very true.

  5. As Christians us playing small does not serve the world, there is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that others will not be intimidated in our presence. We are all meant to shine, not shrink at the light of others.

  6. Any chance this post was inspired by Carlos Whitaker? The “being embarrassed by Tebow” thing seems to be going around like a plague these days. =)

  7. More than any other group, I’m personally embarassed by doll collectors.

    I collect dolls as a hobby. I don’t have a room full of them, I mostly just have the ones that were mine as a kid mixed in with a few bargains that I picked up at flea markets.

    I already don’t let that many people know about it because if a character on a crime show collects dolls it’s generally a sign that they’re a serial killer or a child molester or something.

    But every once in a while there’ll be an actual creepy doll collector that shows up in the news–like the little old lady with a bunch of super-realistic baby dolls (with heartbeat generators inside) that treats them like real children, or the creepy emo teenager that carries her 2-foot-tall Japanese ball-jointed doll with her everywhere she goes.

    So, I generally have had no reason to be truly “embarrassed” by other Christians–I think most logical people recognize that you can’t characterize a religion made up of billions of people strictly by its weirdo fringe.

    However, if I have people over to my house and they spot my doll collection upstairs, I have this overwhelming urge to tell them “But I’m totally not weird about it!”

    • Ha! I think dolls put you up there with cats as far as people assuming you’re crazy. :)

    • I have a doll collection somewhere in storage. My grandma thought my life would be incomplete without Madame Alexander dolls. Once I started having kids and realized that my oldest likes to modify all things, I safely packed them away so that they wouldn’t be destroyed by her “artistry.” There is an episode on “Raising Hope” that has a doll collector in it that isn’t creepy.

  8. I used to get wound up by public displays of Religianity. Today I am much more drawn to those the serve others in power. I am doing a Christian conference this weekend with a bunch of no-names that love Jesus, and God uses in the preaching the word, prophecy and healing to name a few.

    The problem with Tim Tebow is this: America’s perception of what blessing is. If he prays to Jesus to win, and loses, then he missed God, there is no God, or God doesn’t like him as well as Tom Brady. If he wins, it proves Tom Brady is heathen. It is the same problem with any other religion; it’s all theory until God actually shows up to do something. Elijah had this problem on Mt Carmel, but God solved it.

    A lot of Christians think that praying is like betting on the lottery. When you know God, it’s easier to make requests and have them answered, and follow instructions.

    I am sort of sick of powerless religion and good ideas. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • So David, what is “powerful” religion? I can’t heal or prophesy, so what power does my religion have?

      • We aren’t the ones who heal. God heals. Sometimes He chooses to do it through us.

        Power resides in the Holy Spirit. It’s what makes the church different from a social club. Try looking up “power” in a concordance. My favorite: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20)

      • You are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of salvation for everyone. That is your power. Use it wisely grasshopper :-D.

      • You are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of salvation for everyone who believes. That is your power. Use it wisely grasshopper :-D.

  9. I think everyone spends too much time in everyone else’s business. Of course this is part of human nature. I think if the world practiced more grace than we would not worry about mistakes or actions of others.

  10. So… Aside from my being embarrassed by the 99% “occupy [insert your geographical location here] movement as mentioned above since I am so clearly NOT part of the 1%, my only questions relative to the Tebow thing (which, for clarification, I don’t follow and have little knowledge of), based upon, at a minimum, the comment by “David”, am I to believe that if we are catapulted into fame as a result of our career choice, are we to tone down our “Christian” behavior so as not to come off as too religious? No, we couldn’t do that because as Christians if we DON’T talk about Jesus enough, we must not really love Him. I think the bible should be more clear on what the appropriate balance is. Or perhaps, we should be so concerned over whether people get saved that we just assume that God has judging our fellow Christians for their behaviors/motivation on lock down. I suspect that if we spent a little more time being loving to the people in our sphere of influence, we’d have more success as Christians.

  11. I had a friend at work jokingly call me a Bible-thumper for a reaction and was surprised when I agreed with him. Putting all negative connotations of the term aside,I’d say it’s apt for someone who reads the Bible and takes it seriously. Interestingly enough, when we met he self-identified as a Christian before I even mentioned it.

  12. Don’t forget Penn State alumni who have had to recently deal with a lot of ire from people just because a few of their officials made some poor choices.

    I think we have a duty to God to try not to embarrass Him, but He doesn’t seem to be easily embarrassed. And He seems to easily forgive us when we do embarrass Him to His praise and glory.

    Being embarrassed is, in my opinion a form of judgement. There seems to be a lot of judgement going on these days, as much from pagans as from Christians and as much from the left as from the right. Judgement is exactly the opposite of what God’s purpose is for the world right now (though when Jesus comes back, it will be a different story). In Luke 6:37-38, Jesus warns against judging saying that we will be measured by the judgments we offer against others. In James 2:12-14, we are told to speak and act as one who will be judged by the law that gives freedom and that mercy triumphs over judgement. How does this play out when someone in “our” group does or says something stupid or destructive? A lot of times, I pray for them, pray that God will help me not make that mistake, and thank Him that I am not in the public eye, since I am part of the 99% :-P.

  13. Only the Lord can sort the wheat from the tares. We need to stop our attacks on Christians. That is what makes us all look bad to the world.

  14. I think we are so busy saying “I am not with him” that we fail to say who we are with. The world loves a mystery book or movie not because the question goes unanswered but because in the end we find out whodunnit.

    If we never “do” anything but dodge association the great mystery will never be answered.

  15. I do think we have a duty not to give the church a bad name and tarnish the work of Christ in the world, but I don’t disagree with your point! I like it and dig it much. Also, I’m happy to have added the word “dolt” to my vocab, thanks! :)