Issue 15 | May 15, 2015

Issue 15 | May 15, 2015

SUMMARY: Issue 15 covers "Hey Mama", summer movies, and millennials leaving the church.


Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 songs. Other good sources for keeping up with popular songs are iTunes, Spotify, Neilsen, and the American Top 40.

  1. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa Ronson feat. Charlie Puth (Tribute to Paul Walker; What happens after you die)
  2. “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap (“Bad girls” are good)
  3. "Earned It (50 Shades of Grey)" by The Weeknd (Love must be earned)
  4. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars (Partying and identity)
  5. “Shut Up And Dance” by Walk the Moon (Being a victim of destiny/fate)
  6. "Sugar” by Maroon 5 (Relationship based on sex)
  7. “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding (Identity-defining relationship; codependency)
  8. “Want to Want Me” by Jason Derulo (Relationship based on sex)
  9. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran (Unconditional love)
  10. “G.D.F.R.” by Flo Rida ft. Sage The Gemini & Lookas (Partying, sex, identity)




<Women’s voices have become extremely influential today, especially in shaping how we view femininity. Two examples: “Hey Mama” by David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj and “Talking Body” by Tove Lo. Sitting at #13 and #15 respectively on the chart, these songs are creating the new normal for womanhood. Some key lyrics from “Hey Mama”:

? Yes, you be the boss, and yes, I be respecting whatever that you tell me ‘cause it's game you be spitting. Best believe that when you need that, I'll provide that. You will always have it. . . .So baby when you need that, gimme the word. I'm no good, I'll be bad for my baby. ?

And from “Talking Body”:

? Love, give me love. Anything you want, I'll give it up. Now if we're talking body, you got a perfect one, so put it on me. Swear it won't take you long. ?

What’s the message? Do whatever a guy wants. Your identity is based in how well you please your man, in the bedroom and otherwise. It’s one thing when we hear these messages from men; but when young women hear them from successful women who seem extremely happy, they reach a whole new level of powerful. Why? Because it’s no longer a man demanding things from a woman. Now, it’s women modeling for other women how to find satisfaction and success.

Discussion Questions: Why are the relationships described in this song unhealthy? What is true femininity? Who’s a woman you know (or in culture) that demonstrates true femininity to you? What’s the difference between these relationships and sacrificial love?




Ah, that glorious time of year, full of barbecues, sunshine, vacations . . . and students wanting to see all the cool summer blockbusters. What’s a parent to do?! As you may already know, Axis is all about having conversations with your students about what ideas they’re getting from culture and helping to expose lies, so here’s a quick rundown of possible movies to see with students and discuss afterward.

    • Avengers: Age of Ultron (PG-13, In Theaters)
      Possible discussions: Legacy, evolution, how your worldview affects how you view humanity’s value and role, technology/artificial intelligence (just because we can do something, should we?)


    • Pitch Perfect 2 (PG-13, May 15)
      Possible discussions: Friendship, appreciating differences, loving others, power of song lyrics, humor (What makes something funny? Are there boundaries to what we should consider funny?)


    • Tomorrowland (PG, May 22)
      Possible discussions: Technology, utopia/dystopia, power, consequences/effects of our actions


    • Jurassic World (PG-13, June 12)
      Possible discussions: Science, “meddling with nature,” relationship between humanity and nature


    • Inside Out (PG, June 16)
      Possible discussions: Emotions/feelings, talking about your feelings, being guided/ruled by emotions, relationship between kids and parents, dealing with major life changes


    • Terminator Genisys (Expected PG-13 or R, July 1)
      Possible discussions: Technology, time travel, consequences/effects of our actions


    • Ant-Man (Expected PG-13, July 17)
      Possible discussions: What makes a hero, real-life heroes, desire to do something great (ie save the world), what it really means to do something great


    • Paper Towns (Expected PG-13, July 24)
      Possible discussions: Friendship, love, revenge, difference between loving unconditionally and enabling destructive behaviors, pressure to conform, images we project vs. authentic living


    • The Fantastic Four (Expected PG-13, August 7)
      Possible discussions: Power and responsibility, sacrifice, science, consequences/effects of our actions


  • Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (Expected PG-13, September 18)
    Possible discussions: Utopia/dystopia, friendship, ethics (does the end justify the means?)




In case you haven’t heard yet, Pew Research Center released a new Religious Landscape Survey this week, revealing that the percentage of American adults who identify as Christian dropped from 78.4% in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. In addition, the percentage of older Millennials who identify as unaffiliated with any religion jumped from 25% in 2007 to 34% in 2014, the largest increase of any generation. Yet the younger Millennials (who were too young to be polled in 2007) have the largest percentage who identify as unaffiliated, coming in at 36%. Anyone else alarmed?!

Yet in an article on Christianity Today, Ed Stetzer says not to be alarmed: “Christianity is not dying; nominal Christianity is” (emphasis added). He goes on to explain that the drop in numbers is the result of those who only identified with Christianity in name (because none of the other religions made sense) realizing that choosing “none” is now their most accurate option: “The cultural cost of calling yourself ‘Christian’ is starting to outweigh the cultural benefit, so those who do not identify as a ‘Christian’ according to their convictions are starting to identify as ‘nones’ because it’s more culturally savvy” (emphasis added).

To us, this trend is still worth noting for one big reason: If Stetzer is correct, then the percentage of Millennials who only nominally identify with Christianity is higher than in any other generation, indicating that fewer and fewer of them see Christianity as true, good, and worth being devoted to. They see what culture has to offer as more satisfying.

Discussion Questions: Why does it seem that culture is winning the battle for students’ hearts and minds, more than in any other generation? What has changed for younger generations that makes it harder to resist culture? How are we as a church/school/family battling back? How are we demonstrating the abundant life that only comes through following Christ?