I’m a news junkie. I admit it. I got it from my mother, so you might say I got it honestly. I feel it’s important to keep up with current events, especially in light of Bible prophecy as it relates to the days in which we live. But, what passes for news nowadays is pathetic, really. It isn’t really news any more – it’s like we’ve been watching nearly two weeks of Entertainment Tonight.
I called my mother a few hours ago and asked her if she was going to watch Michael Jackson’s memorial service. She snorted and said, “I don’t have a choice!!!” Unless you withdraw into a coccoon, you won’t be able to escape the Jackson press coverage today…or maybe tomorrow…or maybe the next day.
I’m sitting here looking at the news, and with unrest in Iran, North Korea blustering and snorting at the world, a war in Iraq still ongoing, soldiers being killed in Afghanistan, President Obama’s visit to Russia, Israel possibly preparing to strike Iran in the near future, and a host of other important developments throughout the world, the one that trumps them all is the death of Michael Jackson. I’m not surprised by this, but I am sickened.
I was watching the news when word came that Michael Jackson had been taken to the hospital, and that he had ultimately died. When his death was confirmed, I looked at my mother and said, “This is all you’re going to hear about for weeks.” I knew it would be overblown. I knew many from across the world would scramble to memorialize him. I wasn’t even surprised when his music sales went through the roof. But, what angers me is not just the massive press coverage of Jackson’s death, but the hypocrisy displayed by the media.
Before his death, Michael Jackson was branded a weirdo, and some even called him a pedophile. While I’m not arguing the point of his guilt or innocence one way or another, what I am saying is that the media in this country tripped over themselves to gather like vultures to pick him apart during his child molestation trial, but when he died, he was a media darling. To be fair, not all media can be indicted with the charge of deifying Jackson, but they are all guilty of saturating the airwaves with constant coverage of his death.
One thing America is known for is its obsession with celebrities. When someone does something good like donating their time to help at the local food bank, it goes unnoticed, but when a celebrity goes out in public without their underwear, we hear about it incessantly. I know the names and faces of countless celebrities despite the fact that I never watch their movies or listen to their music. How? The news, even world news, is saturated with them – their comings, their goings, who they’re sleeping with, where they go to party – and there is no escape.
I was a child of the eighties. No one has to tell me about Michael Jackson or Thrillermania because I lived through it. I lived through the big hair and spandex days of the hair bands, and Madonna’s pornographic assault on society. Christian mothers allowed their children to indulge in the preoccupation of pop culture, and most defended it by saying, “It’s just entertainment.” But, hasn’t the church been entertained enough? Hasn’t America’s Christian youth been desensitized enough by entertainment that is neither spiritual nor Scriptural? Exposing youth to the ungodliness of pop culture distracts them from the Scriptural precepts of living a Godly life. Jesus told us to learn of Him and walk in His ways, but when our churches use worldly concepts instead of Christly ones to reach the youth and the unchurched, is it any wonder the church looks nothing like Christ Jesus, but looks like the world instead? You look like what you mold yourself after; those molded after Christ look like Christ, and those molded after the world look like the world. The ending result is that our churches are producing worldly youth, not Godly ones.
I will not allow myself to be entertained by anything that my Heavenly Father finds offensive. I don’t find that entertaining, I find it sinful. Michael Jackson will be laid to rest either today, tomorrow, next week, or who knows when. But, the damage is done. This isn’t Michael Jackson’s fault. The obsession was already there. This insanity is the evidence of the spiritual rot in our country, and our world. It will not end here, and will continue long after Jackson has been buried.
People always need their idols.