November 17, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

As a youth pastor, I try to stay on top of new culture junk.  I used to listen to the radio on my way to work, but since I only live about 50 yards from the church…that’s severely cut down.

But, thanks to a little handy research, I’ve been able to find Tuesday’s Trash!  I don’t want to start that as a new blog title at all, but as I read through these lyrics and listened to the song…it sickens me and scares me as a youth pastor.  Engage your students or your children about what they are listening to.

Anyways, the song is called “3” by Britney Spears. Remember her? That innocent little 17 year old who just wanted to be hit?  I actually remember first hearing “Hit Me Baby One More Time” in my home, and my brother goes, “Yeah! She’s only seventeen!” I was like, “That’s awesome!  Teenagers are cool!”

And then she grew up. And there were the sexy, steamy videos, the kiss with Madonna, her going bald (What?), and many other crazy things. And now, she releases this song called “3”.  It’s not an ode to math or about the days of Jonah in the whale – no, it’s about sex of course.

Here’s the lyrics

So let’s look at some things that stand out.


  1. A threesome. No longer is a traditional, man and woman relationship valued. This is sickening. I’d rather stay under my rock than know what kids these days do at parties. Society has changed…and well, I’m only 24!  In the past 5 years, I look at where my teenage years were spent – I was the goody-two-shoes just to be honest.  I never drank, never partied, etc. But I knew what my friends did.  Yes, there was sex.  Yes, there was LOTS of drinking. Somehow, society has managed to jump off the edge of morality and instead of just sex, let’s add another body. These lyrics:

    Lets’ make a team
    Make ’em say my name
    Lovin’ the extreme
    Now are you game?

    are scary! What is the goal of this little threesome? It’s not love, that’s evident.

  2. But what is scarier to me is not the promotion of a threesome.  I mean, let’s be real.  I’m a conservative, evangelical Christian. I’m rare.  Not the whole world views things my way.  I’m not surprised at the song, but the one line that really irritated  me was the blatant call to sin.  Don’t believe me?  Look:

    Are – you in
    Livin’ in sin is the new thing
    Are – you in
    I am countin’!

    Living in sin is the new thing?  Actually, I suppose living in sin is the old thing since I recall this dude named Jesus talking about it – oh well, I digress.  The slap in the face to Christianity almost.  “Live in sin!” she calls out to her listeners as a way to say, “Society is doing it, you should too!”  Ouch!  How scary!

If you’re a parent, I hope reading through these lyrics alarms you.  I hope it pains you to see the brokenness of the world.  I don’t expect Britney Spears to be spitting out songs about the Triune God and write anthems that coincide with the same thoughts that Isaac Watts wrote.  A broken, sinful world will simply show the fruits of brokenness and sinfulness.

I’m not a youth pastor who says, “You’ve got to be in the world and not of it” and when I say that I mean “Don’t you dare touch anything that is not made by a Christian hand!” I do ascribe to “in the world but not of it” but I think it’s a radically different picture than what many people I know think.

In the world means we are present.  We rub elbows with non-Christians every day. The Jewish people in the OT were God’s chosen people to bring the message of redemption to the world. We bear this name, too.  But how can the world know the message of redemption if we’re not present in the world?  Immerse yourself in the midst of the people.  Jump right in and build relationships with those people that society writes off as nothing. But, you live a radically different life than those who are not Christians.

Like in Acts 4:13, when it speaks of Peter and John, the people who they encountered could tell that they had been with Christ.  Why?  Because everything that Christ taught changed their lives so much.  It was evident.

So, as a youth pastor, when I read these lyrics and it scares the crap out of me, it challenges me to jump into the middle of those who do not have a relationship with Jesus – who might even sing and participate in the actions that this song promotes – and let them know that I’ve been with Christ.

As a parent, (which I am not), what do you do?  Well, my obvious inclination, is squash this song from your children’s ears. The song is filth.  There is nothing good about it.  Use it as an opportunity to speak about the holiness of God and what a relationship with Christ looks like.  How amazing would it be if your child who is thirteen, fifteen, eight, or eighteen, went to school and their friends say, “Hey, there’s something different about you…you’ve been with that Jesus figure haven’t you?”

It’s your job to teach them the truth.  It’s your job to raise them up to be with Christ.  I’m not one that advocates completely removing your child from a “sinful world” to where they are so sheltered that it hurts relationships.  But, with this song – sheltering seems pretty obvious.  But, more importantly – holiness must be taught.



  1. Jessica
    November 17, 2009 at 9:08 pm


    Thanks for your insight. Thankfully, I am not facing this issue with my children yet. However, I am in touch with those “in the world”. It breaks my heart that so many buy into the lies of satan. The Bible has warned us of times as these and those to come. You know, this Blog only fuels my fire!!! There are so many people who have lived in darkness for too long. We have the light, we are the light! This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Denver, here we come! Until then, we will shine right where we are!


    • November 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm

      Thanks, Jessica.

      I obviously agree that there are a lot of people in darkness in which Christians must reach. Sitting in our own little churches doesn’t do anything.

  2. Shalena
    November 19, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Flipping through the channels I caught the video for this on MTV. They actually changed the lyrics “living in sin” to “living like this” for the video. Makes me wonder if the outright call to sin was too much for MTV, which I find surprising. I know when I first heard the song on the radio, before I even knew who sang it or what it was, the original lyrics were used, so it seems strange to change them for the video; seems like it should be the other way around. Have you heard or read anything about this?

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