By Mark Ellis
Madonna with choir behind her
For pop star Madonna’s final half-time number at the Super Bowl, she sang “Like a Prayer” surrounded by a swaying gospel-style choir that strongly resembled a church chorus.
The lyrics to “Like a Prayer” sound a lot like many contemporary worship songs in their intimate expression of the mysteries of divine romance. As the black and white robed choir clapped and pivoted, Madonna’s final words were: “I hear you call my name and it feels like home.”
As she sang the word “home” an eruption of light and smoke engulfed the wavy haired singer and she hurtled straight down – a kind of reverse-rapture – until she disappeared from view. To the massive television audience’s surprise and wonder, the words “WORLD PEACE” appeared in a blaze of lighted torches amidst the throng.
By Mark Ellis
Her musical genius and showmanship attracts young fans around the world as she pushes past boundaries tested by Madonna. Dark influences from New York’s underground music scene and the performance art world, along with the trumpeting of gay rights and her own raw sexuality lead some to conclude she represents a threat to the moral fabric of society.
Yet one prominent youth ministry leader thinks parents should watch Lady Gaga with their teens.
“She mixes the sacred and the sexual, like Madonna,” observes Walt Mueller, the founder of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding (CPYU). “Some in the church will say her music is from the pit of hell,” he notes. “Others will say it’s just music. I find more and more people in the latter group.”