Yesterday morning at North Point, one of the largest churches in the U.S., pastor Andy Stanley defined their Christian education strategy for children in a single sentence. As I watched online, I quickly typed the quote into an e-mail so I wouldn’t forget it:
“We are not just babysitting children; we are planting an anchor very deep in their hearts so that if they drift, they will not drift far“
~Andy Stanley 2/20/11 (italics added)
What a contrast then, when this morning I read an Associated Press story from earlier in the week. Apparently the ‘anchor’ wasn’t there for this kid:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Billy Ray Cyrus says the Disney TV show “Hannah Montana” destroyed his family, causing his divorce and sending daughter Miley Cyrus spinning out of control.
In a December interview published in the Feb. 22 issue of GQ Magazine, Cyrus said he wished the show that launched his daughter to pop stardom had never happened.
“I hate to say it, but yes, I do. Yeah. I’d take it back in a second,” Cyrus said. “For my family to be here and just be everybody OK, safe and sound and happy and normal, would have been fantastic. Heck, yeah. I’d erase it all in a second if I could.”
Cyrus and his wife, Tish, filed for divorce in October. They have three kids together – Miley is the oldest – and two from Tish’s previous marriage.
Billy Ray Cyrus said when he asked about the rumored video footage of his daughter smoking from a bong at her 18th birthday party in December, he was told it was none of his business. He refused to attend the party, saying it was wrong to have it in a bar.
Cyrus, a native of Flatwoods, Ky., had his own success as a country singer beginning in the early 1990s with his huge hit “Achy Breaky Heart.”
Cyrus says in the interview that he tried too hard to be a friend instead of a parent to his daughter. He said he is scared for Miley and compared her current path to those of other stars whose lives ended tragically, including Kurt Cobain, Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson.
“I should have been a better parent,” Cyrus said. “I should have said, ‘Enough is enough – it’s getting dangerous and somebody’s going to get hurt.’ I should have, but I didn’t. Honestly, I didn’t know the ball was out of bounds until it was way up in the stands somewhere.”
He said his entire family was baptized before leaving Tennessee for Los Angeles to protect themselves from evil, and he believes Satan is attacking his family.
“It’s the way it is,” Cyrus said. “There has always been a battle between good and evil. Always will be. You think, ‘This is a chance to make family entertainment, bring families together …’ and look what it’s turned into.”
Sidebar 1: Andy may have said, “when they drift,” but it’s not a given that kids will “wander” when they enter their teen years. The message will be online later in the week if anyone wants to check this.
Sidebar 2: Canada’s largest newspaper, The Toronto Star, ran the AP Cyrus story without the second-to-last paragraph. Wouldn’t want to bring religion into the story, would we?