King of Pop (Part 3)

“Part musical feast, part religious experience, was how Agence France-Presse, an international news agency, depicted the two-hour Michael Jackson’s memorial at the Staples Center Arena in Los Angeles, USA, last Tuesday, July 7, 2009. The New York Times hailed it as “religious pageant meets awards show”. The Washington Post noted that the memorial “was an orgy of praise, an exercise of excess and quantity, much like Jackson’s life.” About 1.6 million fans applied online for entrance tickets to the memorial but only 11,000 got it. According to the TV ratings released by the Nielsen media group, “31.1 million Americans tuned in for the memorial, making it the third-most watched funeral in US history.” (35 million Americans watched US President Ronald Reagan’s funeral in 2004 and 33.2 million Princess Diana’s in 1997.)

People heaped praises upon praises on Jackson. Sadly there are those who went overboard that led a lawmaker to quip that these tributes honored “a low life.” Amidst the deafening cheers, civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton declared to Jackson’s kids, “There wasn’t nothing (sic) strange about your daddy”. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee defended the king of pop against the child abuse allegations that hounded him while he was still alive, “You are innocent until proven otherwise.” She even lauded Jackson as “a global humanitarian.” One avid fan who wore a white cloak and carried a large wooden cross on her shoulders lamented, “Michael Jackson was like Jesus Christ. Jesus died for our sins and we killed Michael through what we did.” (Source: http://inquirer.net/)

I have to admit that that last quote went over the top. But I agree with what Andrew Sullivan wrote in his Atlantic Monthly blog that Jackson “was everything our culture worships… [he was] nothing but a creature of our culture, which puts ‘fame and celebrity’ at its core, with money as its driving force, without regard for the person caught up in it or the character he exhibits.” (As quoted by Charles Colson in Breakpoint, 07/08/09) The memorial reflects the value system of the world. “What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? What would you give to get back your soul?” (Matthew 16:26, CEV) This world system is bankrupt. We will only find true value in our Lord Jesus Christ. Something which, I’m afraid, many people missed… not just Jackson.

Brethren, we need to show people what’s really valuable in life.

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