Michael Jackson and Grace Church
This past week I have read many comments responding to the tragic death of Michael Jackson. Some were sorry attempts to use Jackson’s death as a cause for a joke, and some were pathetic attempts to immortalize this pagan entertainer. One lost soul wrote, “Michael Jackson may have very well have gone on to unite the world once again and bring about the next age of enlightenment. We have been robbed.... To all of you who cherish what Michael has always cherished, then cherish still. Live your lives with the intent to effect massive, fundamental change...And when you find that talent and have secured the spotlight, teach the rest of the world what Michael taught us. Our generation. Never forget what has happened this week. We have been robbed of hope.”
Later, after a Christian emailed asking in jest if I was making the trip for Jackson’s funeral in Los Angeles, I sketched a quick reply. With Matthew 10-11 ringing in my ears I wrote, “I was struck last week by both the response of the unbelieving fan base (worship) and the believing non-fan base (scorn and mockery). Michael Jackson’s vapor is gone...his blade of grass has withered...his eternity is under way (Jms. 4:13-17). Sobriety, holiness, and evangelistic zeal seem to be natural responses for us as Christians. The world is just worshipping another counterfeit savior. Another idol down the drain, and they mourn accordingly.”
My prayer for our church family is that our understanding of God’s Word will inform our thoughts, attitudes, and actions in every scenario. “Every scenario” includes cultural circumstances that produce national or international response. If we are to think God’s thoughts after Him, then that must affect our response to a human idol’s death. If he died apart from Christ, Michael Jackson is in his eighteenth day of an eternal, literal hell, experiencing the unleashing of God’s infinite fury for his sin. That isn’t funny, Christian. That isn’t a messiah, lost world.
Lord, send us with the great and only Savior for sinners, our Lord Jesus the Christ!