Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Pity for Michael Jackson

For quite some time I have felt sorry for the pop idol. No human could be worshiped as a god and have a healthy view of things. He seems to have been a troubled man. It is rather obvious he was not comfortable in his own skin, literally. Controversy was his constant companion--some of it orchestrated ("I am Peter Pan"), most of it I'm sure he didn't want (accusations of misconduct, financial problems). It must have bothered him: how can I be worshiped around the world and yet despised by so many?

We were in Germany with our daughter when the news of Jackson's death dominated the airwaves. After hearing countless testimonials from the typical "man on the street" interviews from around the world, I commented to my wife: "Substitute the name 'Jesus' for Jackson's name and see how familiar it sounds."

"Michael Jackson is my life." "He brought meaning and purpose to my life." "He has given me courage to face the day." "I don't know what I would do without him."

And, these people don't even know the man.

We humans have an amazing capacity to worship someone. Sadly, when we worship someone rather than the One who deserves our worship--the One who can handle it--we destroy ourselves as well as the idol of our affection. I hear echoes of Paul: God gives them over to the foolishness of their own destruction.

I'll say it again: how can anyone have a healthy view of themselves or the world when they are worshiped as a god?

Only God can, which confirms to me what I have known for quite some time: it is good for me to worship the One who is worthy of praise.