Saturday, February 20, 2010

Celebs and the Jesus They Do Not Know

Social networking. That's sort of a strange little phrase isn't it? Up until a few short years ago this phrase didn't even exist. It's very cruious to watch how technology changes the way we communicate, the way we think and even the way we speak.

A lot of people online are using these kinds of SN tools. Not everyone uses them yet, but many do and for a wide variety of reasons. From blogs, twitter, Facebook, buzz, the list is rather long and seems to grow overnight. Folks use these tools for staying in touch with family, networking with likeminded professionals, self-marketing, gaming, and just about anything else you can think of. What's more, many people have numerous SN sites synced up so you'll see their updates across various platforms at the same time. Joe Blogger pops up a post on his blog about peanut butter cookies, and before the hour is up, it pops up on FB as well as twitter. In addition, if you use these kinds of site for breaking news, you know you get "on the ground", first hand reports faster than any of the major news outlets can report on it. I'm sure you know what I mean, you probably see it all the time the same way I do.

Just the other day for example, I had my twitter page open in a secondary tab while doing some design work. I hit refresh on twitter to see the first report of the alleged passing of Gordon Lightfoot. Over the next hour the facts rolled in to reveal that it was a hoax, and Lightfoot was doing just fine having just left his dentist's office in Toronto, very much alive. He'd called into a local radio station to chuckle about the sudden increase in airtime of his music.

Another more heartbreaking example was the immediate coverage and updates from those in Haiti, just moments after the devastating earthquake. If you're like me, it was very hard to click and view that first round pics coming in over shortened twitter links from folks on the ground there.

Just in the last couple of days as well, there has been immediate and repetative coverage of both Tiger Woods and his comings and goings, and Sir Elton John and his most ignorant comment about who he thinks Jesus was. You really can't get it away from this kind of coverage, unless you shut the power off on your mac or pc, turn off the tv, radio, and ignore the newspapers. Online though, it seems that everyone has something to say about both Tiger Woods, and Elton John. I'm not exempt, because I do have something to say about Sir Elton's remark.

"I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving." - Elton John - Parade Magazine

Simply put, I find it sad. I'm not at all surprised by it though, and neither should anyone else be. It's not as if he's the first popular enterainer ever, to make an ignorant or offensive public remark about our Lord. It actually happens quite frequently, if you read the entertainment news. I can only assume it was "big news" because he's somehow managed to gain a wide respect and fan base over the 30+ years he's been a pop culture icon. I fully admit even I enjoy his music, and always have.

God created Elton John and gave him a talent that is rather impressive. That's part of the reason I find it so sad, that he would make such a statement. The very God who created him, the very God who became a man to suffer and die for sinners, is so very easily dismissed in favor of a god of our own imagination? A false god who makes us feel better about our particular self-centered life. Yes, I find that quite sad indeed. As a side note, I find it curious that Elton John admits he believes Jesus was crucified. Obviously he knows enough about the Christian faith to confess this part, but I would love to ask him why he thinks Jesus was crucified in the first place, and then show him what the Bible says about why Jesus went to the cross.

Elton John may have said the name Jesus, and he may have mentioned the cross, compassion and forgiveness but it's quite obvious he was not speaking about THE Son of God, the real Jesus Christ. No, Elton John was describing the Jesus that he has created in his own imagination that makes him feel just fine about his particular lifestyle. Clearly, Elton John rejects the God of the Bible, as evidenced by his chosen lifestyle of decadence and self-serving pleasure.

The thing is, this is so common it's not even funny. There are all kinds of people that do this. They call themselves Christians, they use the right words, but all you have to do is start asking them about Christian doctrine and it's quite clear they have created a deli-style religion all their own and call it Christianity. They pick and choose the parts they like and that appeal to them so they feel better about being "spiritual" but they reject and ignore the parts they don't like or don't understand because those things require hard decisions on their part. I know this for a fact, since I once did the very same thing. I didn't associate what I thought my beliefs were with Islam, Buddhism or any other religion I'd ever heard of and I was pretty sure I believed in God, so I called myself a Christian. Had anyone actually pressed it however, it would have been pretty obvious that I wouldn't know what Christianity was if it jumped up and bit me. Sadly, neither does Elton John.

Last night while listening to the radio, the DJ commented on this story and said he would imagine that this quote would be highly offensive to many Christians. He then added "but since when has Elton John ever really cared what anyone thinks?" There will come a day not too long from now, when Elton John takes his final breath in this life and suddenly finds himself standing in eternity. Before his Maker, and his Judge. On that day, Elton John will only wish he cared what God thought, and wish he really did know the real Jesus of the Bible with a saving faith.

He certainly should care what God thinks of him, but he obviously doesn't. Sad indeed.

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