The Death of a King

I am always a little intrigued by the outpouring of grief after the death of a celebrity.  Make no mistake about it, the passing of Michael Jackson is cause for great sorrow… to his family and his three children.  For the rest of us though, you be the judge.  4,100 children starve to death somewhere in the world every single day.  Who mourns for them?  10,000 people die every month in Darfur.  Who mourns for them?  2 million die of AIDS every year, most of them in Africa.  Who mourns for them?  There are now 12 million AIDS orphans in Africa.  So, it is not that Michael Jackson’s death isn’t important, it is just a matter of putting it into perspective.

The King of Pop is dead! It is strangely reminiscent of August 16, 1977 when the headlines read, The King of Rock is Dead. Elvis only made it to 42 years old.  Decades later, crowds still converge on Graceland every August to remember the King.  His early demise was credited to the use and misuse of prescription drugs.  Which incidentally, is already being implicated in MJ’s death.  The dangerously unhealthy lifestyles combined with massive quantities of drugs were really just a symptom of a much deeper problem.

I am an admirer of Jackson’s music.  During his heyday, he was arguably the most creative musical talent on the planet.  (As was Elvis in his day). The person of Michael Jackson was another matter.  I’m trying not to speak ill of the dead but I cannot think of another person who seemed as tormented with who he was than Michael Jackson.  He didn’t like the color of his skin, nor the nap of his hair, nor the shape of his nose, nor the shape of his chin, etc,etc…  By the time he was finished with the plastic surgery he could only be described as being severely disfigured.  All self-inflicted!

The drugs are one thing, but we really need to back up the truck and get a better view.  It would seem nobody is able to live up to the social expectations of a being called a King.  The fascination with Elvis’ death and now MJ’s is only emblematic of what they lived with their entire lives.  The constant media attention and public fawning sent them a perverse message that they really were Kings, that their lives mattered more than the rest of us mere mortals and that perhaps the world did revolve around them.  The end results were profoundly disturbed men caught up in self-indulged and narcissistic existences.  Both these men lived deeply troubled lives.

My conclusion in the matter is; being crowned King is bad for your health! I’m not just being cute, I am quite serious.  Only Jesus was qualified to bear the title King.  And incidentally after being crowned a King, He too was dead within a few hours.

Both Elvis and MJ were on spiritual journeys that ended badly.  Elvis once knew the Lord and sang gospel like nobody else.  Those close to him say he drifted far from God as fame, fortune and amphetamines took over his life and eventually claimed it.  Jackson was raised Jehovah’s Witness but was excommunicated after the JW brass were less than thrilled with his Thriller video.  Friends say that last year he converted to Islam in search of some spiritual meaning in an otherwise confused existence.

In a way many are guilty of Elvis’ and MJ’s sin.  Judges 17:6 says, In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. When we fail to recognize Christ as King we crown ourselves as king.  At that point we have an unqualified and dangerous person on the throne and the end result will never be pretty.

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9 Responses to The Death of a King

  1. Jim says:

    You are correct when you say that only Jesus was qualified to bear the title King!
    We must be focused on worshiping the Creator rather than the created!
    We may applaud or stand in awe of the talents of others with enjoyment and pleasure, however, it should direct us to see the origin of such talent and direct our worship to the ONE who invested those talents in the person.
    I think that those with talents and abilities of an exceptional level need to be reminded that those attributes which create ” fruit” were placed in them to be and bring blessings to others rather than themselves.
    When is the last time somebody witnessed an apple tree eating it’s own fruit? Exactly, the fruit or blessings one bears is for the rest of the world and not ourselves. We and not just those with exceptional talents and abilities, because we are ALL special in our unique way, need to cease looking inward for meaning, purpose and value and start looking to the ONE who created us. We need to communicate with God and discover the “race” that he has SET before us and that only we can run as it has been specifically designed by God for each individual. Once that is acknowlegded then turn our focus onto the blessing of others because if we do not we too may implode as the two “earthly” “kings” pointed out by Pastor Mark have done.
    The major difference between the two earthly kings and the “King of Kings” is that HE HAS RISEN and thank God for that!!!

  2. James Jones says:

    I find it interesting that 99.9% of reporters and commentators state or imply that Michael Jackson’s connection with the WatchTower Cult ended when he was disfellowshipped in the 1980s.

    Katherine and Rebbie’s family are all active JWs. Anyone who knows anything about JWs knows how this would play on MJ, who was at onetime an extremely devout JW.

    In fact, circa 2004-5, a southern California newspaper published photos and an article showing MJ and his children attending their local Kingdom Hall. Does anyone really believe that someone with MJ’s ego would not only attend a “meetings” at his Kingdom Hall, but also take his children with him, if he were being shunned as disfellowshipped persons are at a JW Kingdom Hall. I suspect that MJ had been “reinstated” as an active JW sometime prior to 2004. Let’s see some reporter dig into that one. Don’t expect the WatchTower Society or local JWs admit such without presentation of overwhelming evidence given present citcumstances.

    The negative influence of the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses on Michael and his family have been either downplayed or totally ignored for as long as the Jackson Family has received public attention. For those readers who really want to know what life is like to be reared in the WatchTower Cult, nothing beats real world scenarios, and of real world scenarios, nothing beats actual civil and criminal court cases.

    The following website summarizes 900 court cases and lawsuits involving children of Jehovah’s Witness Parents. The summaries demonstrate how JW Families rear their children and live life day-to-day. Also included are nearly 400 CRIMINAL cases — most involving MURDERS:

    DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

    http://jwdivorces.bravehost.com

  3. todd says:

    As with everything – there is a lesson to be learned here. Any psychologist see’s it plainly however so many people are absorbed in the “celebrity” thing that it is disturbing. The lesson is as old as the hills – abuse children and it leaves lasting scars. Michael Jackson was an omni-potent example of that because he was gifted with talent and then the means. I can understand why people don’t see it in it’s simplest form yet – because it comes at a time when it became celebrated to cut off your nose to spite your face. Sad times these are.

  4. Darlene says:

    Jim, I love your analogy of “an apple tree eating its own fruit”. That kind of statement should hold us all accountable with the gifts and talents that our Creator has given us.
    As for the death of MJ, I am saddened to see how many of his fans “idolized” him. God’s word tells us clearly that we are not to make idols of anything. Prayer definitely needs to be offered up to those lost souls who will definitely have an emptiness in their lives. Let’s pray that that void may be filled with Christ…their only hope.

  5. Colleen says:

    Well said Jim. . . I couldn’t agree more. Well written pastor Mark. .. so glad to see you blogging and embracing this “new fangled technology”!
    This misguided drive to fill the God shaped hole in our hearts with a “king celebrity” or crowning/obsessing about ourselves has got to be one of the greatest tools of the devil. .. .the root being DISTRACTION. What better tool than the false sense of “betterment” or “enlightenment” to keep peoples eyes on their own navels instead of looking outwards and upwards to God and embracing/performing the acts of service and help to others he requests from us?

  6. Tamara says:

    What concerns me the most deeply is how Michael Jackson’s death reveals once again the depth of our collective, insatiable need to be entertained. We will forgive anything of the person who offers us something we’ve never seen before… a new dance move, a new sound… What? Wear only one glove? Brilliant! For the one who entertains us, we are fully prepared to suspend reality, turn a blind eye to the obvious, defend abhorrent behaviours, turn children into villians and sacrifice them to the spirits of greed and fear. It is insane. Michael Jackson sang and danced for us, and the whole world is in mourning? I don’t get it.

    If we are created for God’s pleasure, don’t we all make ourselves ‘kings’ when we value the giftings God gave someone like Michael Jackson purely for our own entertainment? Who is the greater… the one who is paid to entertain, or the one who buys entertainment? It was not the king who pulled out the harp and played to entertain the people. We give Michael Jackson some money, and say ‘dance for me’, ‘entertain me’, and as long as we enjoy him we keep him around, regardless of anything else he may choose to do with his life. You always talk about how God has created us with a purpose and a plan, for His glory and His pleasure… I always find that so powerful. Maybe that’s a good way to tell if we’re trying to take a seat on God’s throne… am I looking to take pleasure, or am I the one seeking to bring joy?

  7. Isaac says:

    Excellent! Well said!

  8. Karen says:

    After just watching the news, I was struck by the fact that we, consumers of entertainment, have crossed the fine line between tributes of (to) MJ to Idolatry of MJ.
    I am for one tired of hearing about his post life; the grief of his family, custody/guardianship of his children, the facts surrounding his death. All of these details are quite frankly, none of my business.
    “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
    I would prefer to put my heart in God, and not in “things” like Mj.

  9. DANA says:

    It was sad to hear that MJ died, however for me was even more sad to see the kind of attention this topic was receiving.
    I very much like the stats you have given about the state of the world, the pain that is very, very real for soo many and yet it is getting no attention ( or very little ) to be politically correct.
    MJ was a great entertainer, no question about that, but more than that he was an abused and exploited child that unfortunatelly got lost. Hopefully humanity will be able to ask Our King, the only King for guidance so there will be no more lost, abused, exploited children in the world.
    P.S: I think you should be in charged with any future tv production (emission) for you have some very good points. :-) and you are funny
    God bless you

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