Did Kyle just say “Hillsong” on air? Whenever I’m listening to the radio/TV/podcasts and the words ‘Jesus’, ‘church’ or ‘Christian’ comes up, my attention is instantly piqued. What are they talking about? How is Jesus being represented? How will the church fare?
Sadly, more often than than not any mention of the Christian faith is generally aligned with restrictive traditional ideology, ignorance, or abuse. Our voice is overrun by extremes of society that position us in a bad light, seeing us relegated to the periphery of a culture we want to love, and bring Christ-like definition to.
This morning Kyle and Jackie O hosted model and young-Hollywood favourite Hailey Baldwin (daughter of Stephen, niece of Alec), promoting her next visit Down Under. In an initial blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, Hailey mentions visiting Hillsong Conference, before later circling back to the Aussies Hillsong-ers that taught her sarcasm (you’re welcome America).
Instead of dropping it, Kyle praises Hillsong, admitting if he were the kind of guy to go to Church, “Hillsong would be the one [he’d] go to.” Sorry, what did you just say? In an instant, a celebrity interview became a platform for the most influential commercial jock in Sydney to salute an often chastised faith community. There was no fanfare or aggrandisement of Hailey’s sentiments, just a recognition of her engagement (more power to you girl).
As host of a Christian Breakfast show, one of my personal mandates is to connect listeners to Christ in culture. Reflecting Jesus in stories of the day, and pointing Sydney to an honest joy-filled Christianity. During one of our annual fundraising appeals, a Mum called to tell us what she loved about her station was her son could hear other people “just like him” on the air. He heard his lifestyle celebrated, and we were “normal” people.
Hearing Hailey on KIIS was refreshing. Her life may be more grand than most, but here a young woman simply integrated her faith with her profession and carried on. Kyle and Jackie O may not ever be hailed ‘pro-Jesus’ or recognise the encouragement in that exchange, but Paul reminds us while some may preach out of selfish ambition some envy, and others out of falsehood, “the important thing is whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached (Philippians 1).”
*Note: If you’d like to hear Hailey’s interview it can be found via the Kyle and Jackie O podcast: http://www.kiis1065.com.au/shows/kyle-jackie-o/ || Dated 29/11/2016 at 1:21:00.