Recession-proof Christian Life
6/25/10 at 05:32 PM 0 Comments

Michael Jackson, Christianity and the Elvis Effect

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Today 25th June marks the first year anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson - a celebration of the lucrative post-humous Michael Jackson (more than a billion dollars/year) industry. The Elvis effect is described as where a premature death can wipe out decades of bad records and bad behaviour, and focus mainly on fantasy, nostalgic grief - and whatever fans elect or imagine to remember.

I have often wondered how much of love of Christ would remain if He were walking the streets of Manhattan...or preaching in London or healing in a village in India. How much attention will He get and what would be the reaction to His teachings...how much of His teaching would be politically correct ... would He be the man of the year...would His spoken word - the Bible still be a best-seller? Will He be a rebel or perceived as a villain? I truly wonder.

Jesus said in John 6[63] It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. [64] But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. [65] And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. [66] From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. [67] Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

What drives the Elvis effect? Let us consider just three possible factors...

1. Money...money...and even more money. How much of our love of Christ has been overtaken by commercial considerations (perhaps of course to finance the gospel).
2. Ability to create fantasy out of reality. The dead are the easiest to fantasize with as they do not resist or deny or challenge our fantasies and caricatures. How much of the Christ we know is simply a creation of fantasy ... a convenient appendage to our life? How very different from the Son of God who wants full control.
3. The selective acceptance or denial of parts of the life of a person especially where these parts are embarrassing, messy, unbearable and too incorrect or inconvenient. "While alive, Jackson had a reputation for being impossible to work with, a reluctant recording artist, who sabotaged most efforts to resurrect his career by his unrealistic demands...." quotes the Telegraph.co.uk - now you can buy a "Saint Michael Jackson candle, a Michael Jackson air freshener, and a Michael Jackson soft drink."...without Michael's unrealistic demands...

So much is said to be done for Jesus and His name used to brand many things ... He told His disciples as He preached hard sayings " will ye also go away"...unwanted, alone, wounded, beaten, He staggered to His crucifixion ...a stranger was compelled to carry His cross...all His disciples fled...His best pals betrayed Him...He was mocked, despised... a man of sorrows acquainted with grief ...Today, Jesus is a superstar...media empires fawn over Him, great assemblies adore Him...denominations claim they have special rights to Him....books, articles and almost every item has been dedicated to Him. People have not changed much.

I trust the few real friends of Michael genuinely mourned him - perhaps secluded somewhere not interested in the commercial allure - or the potential monetisation of their relationship with the star. They will remember the real person and hate the lies...the real things he said and why although most could not stand him...perhaps they understood him differently and still loved him. These genuinely wished he were not dead...as if he could walk into the room anytime...

Christian...do you expect Christ's triumphant return...does this excite you...do you miss the return of the Lord so much that it causes you to purify yourself that His coming may be accelerated....or is your love yet another Elvis effect? Many loved Michael's music but could not love Michael alive...Jesus is alive you know...He lives as surely as you can read this blog...and He still speaks over the fantasy....

Mathew 7 [21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. [24] Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: [25] And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. [26] And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: [27] And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. [28] And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: [29] For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

God bless you...may our love for Jesus keep growing stronger...Amen

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