Thoughts on the Jackson tragedy and the other departed celeberties: The spiritual and theological perspective

MichaelJackson-FarahFawcettkarlmaldenAll of us (including myself) were stunned and surprised at the death of pop music star Michael Jackson since that warm but surreal and strange evening a week ago (hard to believe) this past Thursday. I could write an essay about Michael Jackson and his pop culture influence in my life.  Seriously, I don’t  know where to start. I can even remember the historic Worldwide Church of God’s “war” against Michael Jackson and the rest of the Jackson family. In my current affairs blog, The Way I See It, Anyway— I suggested that the historic WCG should have concentrated on serious objections to Michael’s abusive father Joseph (but the ministers would have loved to lick Joseph Jackson’s you-know-what. He was just like them!) . Back in 1984, at age 14 I remember when Mr.Waterhouse came for his visit to Toronto, Mr. Waterhouse ranted (as usual) about  Michael Jackson “perverting” his vocal chords and will not “inherit the kingdom” unless he repents. Well, excuuuuse me!!! Did Mr.Waterhouse just kicked God off his throne and made a coup-d’etat??? No way, not a chance in the universe buddy (but ONLY and the word ONLY must be stressed,in Mr.Waterhouse’s mind he did just that). This is not to say Michael Jackson was a “holy saint” (in the stereotypical Catholic sense). We all know about his eccentricities (which sometimes frustrated me very heatedly at times) and his serious controversies (we know what they were and those controversies did also make me very heated too) but no one can dispute his transformational music of our time and that alone has to be strongly admired.

I have not been beer buddies with bloggist of COG Writer Bob Thiel and I want to do an unusual move for praising Dr.Thiel’s  from departing from what the historical WCG would say about a tragedy like this. Read his article about the Jackson tragedy plus the other celeberties lost that same week at http://www.cogwriter.com/news/doctrine/can-god-save-billy-mays-michael-jackson-farrah-fawcett-and-ed-mcmahon/. With saying that, I want everyone to know that I do accept orthodox Christianity (yes, I am a Walter Martin-Kingdom of the Cults type when it comes to the essential doctrines of Christian faith) but I do agree with Dr.Thiel that God will make a righteous provision for the unevangelized dead.  Some of you might be familiar with a former WCGer, who has his own Christian apologetics site by the name of Robin Brace (UK Apologetics). He too, has embraced orthodox Christianity but like myself has rejected passionately (and rightly so) the Augustinian-Calvinist position of the unevangelized dead and has embraced the Patristic, ancient Eastern Church thought. Read his article here at http://www.ukapologetics.net/07/INC21.htm and  this one at explaining theological inclusivism as opposed to exclusivism, pluralism and universalism http://www.ukapologetics.net/1theoterms.htm.  While I may respect those who may have the exclusivist view on salvation, I think this Pastor Bill Keller of Live Prayer online church who declares that Michael Jackson’s spirit as we speak is  in hell is simply in a spiritual jurisdiction he does not belong. That is simply, God’s perogative and as one of Pastor of a fellowship (post W/XCG mind you) told me, “Doesn’t ONLY GOD have absolute truth?”  While mankind only sees the surfaces, doesn’t God really knows what is in any persons heart?  Also what about 2 Peter 3:9? God does not want anyone to perish—shouldn’t that be the attitude of believers too? It may be tough sometimes but it’s an attitude that I think is worth it. You could see the article about Pastor Keller’s assertion at God Discussion at http://www.goddiscussion.com/6955/church-reactions-to-michael-jacksons-death/.

Also in another unsual move, I praise United Churchof God President Clyde Kilough’s video which was shown on Gavin’s site at http://ambassadorwatch.blogspot.com/2009/06/thriller-final-note.html. Again I must caveat with Gavin’s statement when which he said, “I did gag a bit at the end when he talked about encouraging “normal” childhood. He should listen in to the testimony of the lost generations of “church brats.” But, all said and done, it gets a 6/10.” Maybe if Gary Antion (who has some professional expertise in marriage and family counselling) did the tribute, I think I and Gavin might give him a 9/10.

Rabbi Shmuely Boteach, of “Shalom in The Home” fame on TLC was Jackson’s spiritual advisor. Rabbi Boteach articulated his emotions about Michael Jackson in life and death (and boy I can transparently identify with the Rabbi’s rollercoaster of emotions on Michael Jackson). Read this here at: http://www.shmuley.com/articles/details/master_of_an_empty_kingdom_the_tragically_short_life_of_michael_jackson/

As I have said on The Way I See It Anyway in my 39 years I have seen many episodes of let say, “the day when the music died”. I remember the death of Elvis in 1977 at age 7, been through the assassination of John Lennon in 1980 at age 10, the murder of Marvin Gaye in 1984 at age 14 and the tragic suicide of Kurt Corbain in 1994 at age 24. As long as you and I live and if Jesus Christ does not return to swallow death forever, I am very sure there will be episodes of “the day when the music died”. The good news is that Jesus Christ is the Victor of Death. He conquered His own death at Calvary and presented ALL mankind the offer to live forever. In that day, those who have accepted that opportunity will finally receive it.  I firmly support CS Lewis assertion that in the day, there will be those who WANT to be with God and those who DON’T want to be with God. Those who want to be with God will say to God, “Thy will be done!” Those who do not want to be with God, God himself will say, “Thy will be done!” Christ’s death and ressurection on the cross provided the opportunity that Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, Billy Mays and the recently departed Karl Malden of The Streets of San Francisco  and American Express commercial fame these people don’t have live a short measly several decades on earth but to have glorified human bodies that is completely free from sin, disease and death! I am sure Karl Malden  who lived to 97 this past Wednesday is looking for a new glorified body after the health problems he had in the final years of his life!  Those of us who believe, need ever so vigilant and enthusiastic to know that in spite of recent events the Good News remains the Good News.

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10 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Jackson tragedy and the other departed celeberties: The spiritual and theological perspective

  1. Well, I was just thinking of what would be said in the splinter groups if these celebrities had been ACOG members! “Isn’t it wonderful, brethren? Michael Jackson has been spared! He won’t have to suffer through the tribulation! What a wonderful blessing!”

    On a serious note, though, I did find that because of my WCG upbringing, I had quite a bit in common with Michael. Watching one of the interview segments in which he commented on the abusive punishments suffered by him and by his brothers definitely put me into an emotional state. Like many WCG kids, he was deprived of his childhood. One very common solution to this is that such an individual attempts to compensate by failing to grow up.

    Sometimes it is very instructive to be able to observe cause and effect of certain factors, but disassociated from our own personal settings or circumstances. It’s a good way to access universal truths or probability.

    BB

  2. That Rabbi Shmuely Boteach article is beautiful! I think a lot of Christians lately have focused on Michael’s deficiencies to prop up their hackneyed evangelistic spiels, and that has made me sick. But this article goes into the complexity of the man–the good and the bad.

  3. Rabbi Boteach is an articulate in every sense of the word. He is one of the few men who makes a lot of sense to me compared to those as you aptly mentioned those who “prop up their hackneyed evangelistic spiels”. People like that are making Christianity irrelevant by the second. Boteach knows how to be relevant, no matter what faith you are.

  4. I would not give anything that every spewed out of Waterhouse’s mouth as truthful. This degenerate was one of the biggest liars in Armstrongism. Meredith runs a close second.

    It was long known around Pasadena that Waterhouse had certain ‘proclivities.’ That is why the man remained ‘single.’ Numerous people swore that they had seen him at gay bars over the decades when ever he was back in town. HWA had a private apartment for Waterhouse over his garage. The guy was genuinely creepy when you were around him for a while, especially if you were a male student and good looking. While I don’t have a problem with gay people, in or out of the church (in fact, most gay peopel I know are better Christians than ANY Armstrongite I have ever known), I do have a problem when Armstrongite ministers who spit and shout about how awful gays are turn around a like to dabble in the garden.

    The same goes for Meredith who was seen numerous times coming out of Le Sexx Shoppe in Old Town Pasadena. He claimed to have been doing research.

    When I started witnessing things like this I started ignoring their rants from the pulpit about everything they disliked. Music was one of the those areas. When Meredith or some other ministurd started spitting and shouting about a certain kind of music, then I started buying it. I still have stacks of record albums that I bought during the mid 70’s and early 80’s that HQ said was demon possessed music.

    Give me Michael Jackson, Elton John, Lynard Skynard, Jetrho Tull, any day over The Young Ambassador crappola and junk that ministers approved of. Thank God I am free at last!

  5. I felt a big pang of sadness about Michael Jackson. What a wasted life. I was raised in the WCG in the 60’s like BB, and there are very few memories to revel in. Michael Jackson was raised a Jehovah Witness, who were also notoriously mean spirited and abusive to their kids. I did read something interesting in my local newspaper last week, that I have not read anywhere else since, that Joe Jackson may have given Michael hormones to keep his voice high. THIS would explain alot if it were true; his female, androgynous behavior. I found it hard to believe that he actually molested kids, I always saw him as sort of asexual. I personally am sick of the rumor and heresay of everything. It’s enough to make me pull the plug on the computer and TV and stop the newspaper. I am happy that Michael Jackson is finally getting the rest that he so desperately wanted.

  6. Michael was used and abused as a child.
    He grew up to be strange as a result, but he also grew up to be a somewhat virulent anti-Semite.(easily researchable). No excuse for that.

    1. I am interested in how would you interpret his relationship with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach? Actually Rabbi Boteach had to cut ties with Michael as he felt the relationship was becoming unhealthy and I support Rabbi Boteach’s decision to do so. Michael Jackson was truly a genius musician but with a lot of demons (metaphorically speaking) on his back.

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