Can-I-Be-A-Christian-K-Pop-Fan

Can I Be A Christian K-Pop Fan?

Written By Lee Soo Yi, Malaysia, originally in Simplified Chinese

In 2007, a friend of mine introduced me to the world of K-Pop and it changed my life—I was in my third year in high school then. I bought into everything about K-Pop: the dashing good looks of the stars, their trendy dress sense, amazing vocals, and smooth dance moves. Just like that, I became a K-Pop fan.

I was obsessed with the hip-hop boyband, Big Bang. Besides spending a lot of money on their albums, merchandise, and concerts, I could go on and on with my friends on how good-looking they were. In university, I even spent almost 7000 NT (which is equivalent to approximately 216 USD) to watch their performance. I still remember that night vividly: the mood was exuberant, spirits were exceptionally high and everyone was singing and screaming to their hearts’ content. It was as though we didn’t have a care in the world. From that point onwards, I fell deeper and deeper into my obsession with K-Pop, or Big Bang, in specific.

I could not go on for a day without checking my phone for updates on Big Bang. I was constantly listening to their songs and regularly surfing their fan forums for the latest details about their lives. I was even called the “K-Pop Encyclopedia” because I knew every nitty gritty detail about K-Pop. And that went on till my second year in university, when I made a commitment to re-dedicate my life to God.   

Initially, I was extremely passionate about my faith. I cut down my contact with anything pertaining to K-Pop because I wanted to focus wholeheartedly on the person of Christ. But it didn’t last long. Gradually, my zeal started to subside and before I knew it, K-Pop took over my life again.

But this time, I struggled. In a bid to reconcile my faith with my interest, I decided to approach my church leaders with this question, “Can Christians be K-Pop fans?” They explained to me that it was fine to appreciate the beauty of Korean culture. However, we must be careful not to blindly idolize the Korean superstars such that they replace God’s place in my heart. While their statements made sense, I had no idea what it meant in the practical sense. To what extent then could I admire them? Could I still buy their albums, attend their concerts or fan meets? If their lives and actions were contrary to God’s Word, could I still like their songs?

So I continued to struggle whenever it involved a choice between God and Big Bang, such as, whether to attend church or their concert if it was held on a Sunday. I also found myself struggling to set aside time to read God’s Word and pray when what I really wanted to do was to watch their latest music video.

Deep down, I knew that Big Bang had slowly replaced God’s place in my heart and this could not carry on for any longer. While I knew what the right thing to do was, I struggled immensely. It was during this time that I decided to take these actions:

 

1. Pray to God.

I was trapped by my addiction to K-Pop and try as I might, I was unable to control myself and I did not know how to get out of it. That’s when I decided to turn to God in prayer and entrust all my concerns and struggles to Him. I asked Him to free me from my addiction to K-Pop and help me find true satisfaction in Him. I also prayed for wisdom to discern what I should and should not do as a K-Pop fan.

 

2. Acknowledge that K-Pop stars are just like each one of us.

It is alright for Christians to have hobbies, likes and dislikes. We tend to admire, like or notice those who are better than us or who are exceptionally talented. But the Bible tells us in Genesis 1:26-27 that God created man in His image—this applies to K-Pop stars too. They are created in God’s image and like us, are normal human beings (the sole difference being that they are public figures) and have failings. Once I acknowledged this truth, I was able to view them with the right perspective and not overly exalt them. It is not right to elevate any person or object to the status of God, unwittingly or not. As Exodus 20:3 tells us, God alone is worthy of the highest place in our hearts. He is the only one worthy of our wholehearted devotion and the only One who can satisfy our hearts like no other.

 

3. Make my interest count for God.

Initially, I tried to go cold turkey on everything that had the slightest association to K-Pop. I treated it as though it were a heinous sin. However, doing so only brought me great anguish and despair. One day, I had a sudden thought to pray to God and ask Him to give me wisdom to use this interest in a way that could serve Him. The thing is, I’m not exactly a relational person, much less one who would approach a stranger to share the gospel with him or her. But I was tasked by my church leaders to be involved in youth work and that required me to go out of my comfort zone. Initially, I had no idea how to start. But when I realized that a lot of young people like K-Pop, this interest of mine turned out to be a great conversation starter and bridge for me to establish rapport, and eventually share the gospel with them. This led me to the important realization that anything can be used for God’s work—even K-Pop. But here’s a caveat: I’m not saying that everything about K-Pop is permissible in light of the gospel. We still need to bear in mind 1 Corinthians 10:23 which says, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive.” It was only when I depended on God that I was finally able to see my K-Pop interest from God’s perspective.

 

4. Deliberately set aside time to spend with God.

Aside from asking for God’s help to curb our obsession, we can take other practical steps to guard our hearts. One way is to limit the usage of our mobile devices and instead, to spend time outdoors to admire His creation, reflect on His Word and on our lives. Let’s heed the call from James 4:8, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” I came to realize that drawing near to God brings unparalleled joy and peace to my heart, which I will never experience—no matter how many concerts I attend. It is only when we grow in intimacy with God that we will learn to be less anxious and less tempted by the things of the world.

 

5. Pray for your favorite K-Pop star.

Like I mentioned earlier, K-Pop stars are humans too. They are weak and they need God as much as we do. So let’s pray earnestly and fervently for them that they too would come to know our great God so that they can be a light shining for Him. In the earlier days, I remember being very encouraged by Big Bang’s member, Tae Yang, who would publicly profess his Christian faith at his shows. And I’m sure I was not the only fan to feel that way. In light of this, let’s pray for the stars we like, that they would come to know God, reflect His beauty and goodness in and through their lives so that others would see and come to know God personally.

 

I’m thankful to God for knowing my difficulties and struggles and for drawing me out of my obsession to K-Pop. While I’m still very much a fan of K-Pop, especially Big Bang, I no longer obsess over them like I used to or feel uneasy if I don’t watch their music videos every day. Instead, what causes me uneasiness is when I don’t read God’s Word or spend time with Him.

Deep down, I know for a fact that God alone is the Lord of my life and nothing can take His place.  

13 comments
  1. Ope O
    Ope O says:

    This is so trur and relatable. Thank you so much for sharing. Love how you have practical help which I believe can not only be applications to K-Pop but other addictions as well.

    Reply
  2. Perdi
    Perdi says:

    Thanks for sharing this!! I used to be an obsessed kpop fan myself but when I re-dedicated my life to God, I fell even more in love with Him than any kpop idol. Will share this :)

    Reply
  3. Kezia
    Kezia says:

    Hi and thanks for sharing! I used to like KPop a whole lot, but then that died down. But now I’m currently reading a lot of manga, or japanese comics, and somehow it’s kind of like an addiction. Is there perhaps a way to be a Christian manga reader? It’s quite different in some ways than this because they’re not real. If you could make an article about it, that would be great, thanks!

    Reply
  4. Myra
    Myra says:

    Wow, i’ve been purposefully searching for this. I had this thought for about 3 years. I would never reveal this is person and even now, I’m embarrassed to type this…I came into college giving my life to Christ and I’ve enjoyed being a born again Christian. I learned the challenges and resistance and ignorance I had in those times. I had my sisters to support me in my walk as a Christian. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon a SNSD and 2PM, Cabi Song that I clicked on another Youtube video and it led to another and things spiraled down from there. I was hooked to Kpop. The idols just looked so pretty and perfect. I didn’t even really like their singing at first as I was used to soulful, powerhouse, signature voices of America. But I still watched SNSD videos because of the aesthetics and slowly got hooked to Kpop’s style of light, high-pitched, cheery voices. Now, I feel like I’m in a more dangerous place because there seems to be more talent than ever before at this time in KPOP. I found myself spiraling from group to group to group. I still remember it. It was SNSD, then 2PM, then MBLAQ, then B2ST, then Big Bang, then a never ending string of bands I got hooked to because of variety shows or Tumblr: 2NE1, KARA, Sistar, BAP, Block B, BTS, Got7 then back to BTS and BlackPink. Now I’m at a point where I wish to be skinny like the idols (I used to think Yoona was way too skinny and now I think she is the embodiment of perfection). I’m even inventing ideas in my head on what life would be like if I were an idol in their world. I know this isn’t what God wants for me because I’m even making up fantasies of my bias, Park Jimin (and other biases I had before him). I’m lusting…The scary part is how real and detailed they can be. I’ve read fanfic of my biases to spend time and could spend hours watching Bangtan Bomb videos, Crack videos and FMVs. I’m ashamed because I know that people won’t see God in the things I do. My heart is idolizing other humans. My heart is wanting pretty things and I feel empty because I know I can’t have or be near the pretty things I see. Then at times, I think I felt self-hatred because I wasn’t born asian (this is the sad part because I should love the life God gave me. I hope you understand I know that it’s crazy to think or feel this way). It’s horrible. I see the unhealthy side of this to the extreme. I am left feeling depressed and empty after watching videos of BTS having a great time or having fun. I tried thinking that they are humans who can still be dissatisfied with their Kpop idol life. I had a craving to be a part of their world. I felt as though I could relate or connect with them more. Even writing this all down, I feel ashamed because I stopped going to church as I would complain about not sleeping enough the night before or just wanting to curl in bed and watch Kpop videos. My close friend knew I was into KPOP. But then I made it seem to her that I got over it by not listening to it out loud or mentioning it, period. All because i felt like I was obsessing over them at this point. I love Kpop so much…to the point that I wish it didn’t exist so that I wouldn’t be so obsessed. My standards of beauty are more in the belief of Kpop beauty standards than God’s beauty standards. I feel as though I am wasting my time away. Like i could be out there studying hard for college finals rather than gushing over Jimin in videos. Or like I could be volunteering at a shelter and discovering a new side of me rather than reading fanfics. Or developing a better person in God rather than lusting after Jimin in the middle of the night. I really want to let go. I guess I have to slowly delete my accounts (I even wrote a fanfic that became popular. I realize I am leading other ASTRAY). I will definitely follow the steps you took. If possible, i hope you pray for me. I do want God to say “well done” at the end of my life. Thank you again for this.

    Reply
    • Ruth
      Ruth says:

      Hey Myra,
      I totally understand. My bias is jimin too, and I’ve also gotten really into k dramas.

      The one thing that you should start with is reading the Bible. I got the youversion app on my phone and Im doing the Bible in a year plan. At first you just rush and read the verses and devotionals but then you start to realize how much your thoughts have changed. I also added a few Christian songs in my phone amongst the Korean ones that I really like. One’s a Christmas song lol (Mary did you know by cee lo green) and the others are from playlists I found somewhere (hillsongs zion album is reaaally good and I also like needtobreath’s new music). I hope this helped <3 and sorry for the poor grammar (I'm on my phone and cba to go back through and change it) x

  5. valerie
    valerie says:

    Myra, I can relate so freaking much. BTS is practically my life now. I used to have such a strong relationship with God but now, He is basically nothing to me. I know I need to follow what you’ve encouraged and turn back to Christ but secretly, I don’t want to…
    Thanks Ruth for some advice

    Reply
    • Myra
      Myra says:

      Hello, funny I find myself here again…(If you read under where I first posted, you will understand). It is still a work in progress. So far I deleted my Youtube account with BTS crack videos I made. Then I deleted my fake Instagram account. I AM ashamed to say that I have a separate one dedicated to liking BTS pictures from my actual social account. The next step is to delete my Tumblr full of fanfic smut (yes, that sadly) and my asianfanfic account where I have 2 series of Jimin fanfics. Just recently did I go through and delete every Jimin fanmade video I bookmarked as well as fanfics I saved from my browser. Next baby steps are too limit my BTS watching (this is dangerous because my day just GOES BY so easily) and slowly reduce it to zero time with BTS. I know I have a few screenshots of Jungkook saved in my phone. Mostly recent ones when they were on their way to Las Vegas for the BBMAs. I need to delete them. I need Christ back in my life. I know others can handle limiting themselves but I realized that I can’t control it. At least not know. Thank you for relating!

  6. Myra
    Myra says:

    Ruth, thank you for your advice. I found myself here after I decided to delete some Jimin, Taehyung and Jungkook posts. I basically had it after spending my entire Friday in front of my laptop, TIRED but unwilling to take a restful nap so that I could watch BTS videos. I even watched them play UNO. I’ve definitely gone down. I just barely read your comment and now I’m more determined to read the Word. Thank you again!

    Reply
    • Mara
      Mara says:

      Thanks a lot for sharing this with us! For the last few years, I’ve been finding myself in a very similar situation. As a person who comes from a Christian family I found myself stumbling into K-pop and spiraling down a whole different path. I must say that K-pop just like basically everything can become an addiction, more or less, one that destroys our relationship with God. Indeed, being devoted to Jesus doesn’t mean you have to completely cut off on your hobbies and such. What’s important is to keep it at a healthy dose and not let it take control over your soul and heart. I’m still struggling with many addictions (one of which is K-pop sadly) and I’ve lost count of my fails. However what I know is that as long as I keep trying, Jesus will help me overcome it. Everything is possible in the Holy One! Myra and Ruth, I want to let you know that you have nothing to feel ashamed about. You are humans, we are not perfect, we make mistakes. All is possible with the help of our God. Do not give up. Whenever you fail and take a step back, get up and take a step forward (baby steps or not). Remember, Jesus came for the broken ones. Whenever we realize our sins, ask Him for forgiveness and entrust him with them, He listens and He helps. There is no cry of help and desperation that falls deaf on His ears. I myself used to write stories on asianfanfics (currently am a huge fan of BTS since 2014). I fell into lust and I started reading a lot of fics, boyxboy amongst them. I admitted my sins to my mom as well as Jesus. I am yet to be set completely free and I still struggle day and night. Do not be discouraged and treat every failure as an even stronger motivation to fight. Read the Bible for those are His own words. Whenever you feel temptation rising in you, reach for His word and pray. Also, I’ve got a KakaoTalk so if any one you would like to talk (it’s much easier when you’ve got people in a similar around you and support each other) I’m more than willing to ^^ I hope my ‘testimony’ helped someone even if just the slightest bit. Just a reminder, do not only seek help on the internet but seek help in HIM. He will never let you down. Trust him and your sins shall be washed away by Jesus’ blood ♡

  7. K
    K says:

    Thank you so much for this article — as well as all the encouraging posts above! I’m a university student in my fourth year right now, and while I’ve never really had an affinity for Kpop, I’ve watched way too many Kdramas for my own good and for the good of my relationship with God. Literally starting a decade ago, every summer break I would spend my summer watching Kdramas, obsessively. I wouldn’t even want talk to people, let alone spend time with the Lord, because I just happy in my own bubble of watching Kdramas. But this summer has been so difficult, since I feel like this is the first summer where I feel like it’s just wrong to be watching Kdramas, and yet I keep doing it. It’s wrong because it has taken the first place in my heart — the idolization of the romance — rather than the true love of God. I’ve been struggling because I’m lukewarm, neither hot, nor cold, one foot trying to follow God, and the other foot trying to continue enjoying my addition to Korean dramas (the world). My initial response (during my past breaks) is to just go cold turkey, but I’ve seen during the last 2 years the futility of self-imposed limits. I seem to break them every time. I verbally repent every day to the Lord, and I ask for His help to turn away, for true repentance. I try to spend time in the Word, and yet at the end of the day, I feel like I don’t have the strength to resist just indulging in Korean dramas. They’re not necessarily bad, but I feel sad/depressed knowing that the pleasures of Korean dramas have replaced my devotion to God in my heart and mind!
    I belong to a church community that is so devoted to God, but I feel like I can’t talk to anyone about this because (1) they would laugh, because no one else watches tv/movies/entertainment in my church community (it’s quite small, really) (2) I don’t think anyone else in my church struggles with this kind of thing. They’re really devout, always worshipping, sharing the Gospel, reading the Word, etc., and I want to leave because I feel like I can’t put on a facade anyone — I am broken within and without, and I need a savior. I don’t want to have this need to watch korean dramas, but that ultimately my only need and my love would be Christ.
    But I am not hopeless. I believe that one day, God will help me break free from my unhealthy appetite for kdramas. Just need to keep seeking Him, and asking for His grace to turn my eyes and my heart and my mind toward Him!

    Reply

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