The real king of pop…

is not Michael Jackson.

I was intending to write a simple reflection about society’s idolatry and its new temple, based on the book of Amos which I’m currently preaching, however, I heard two quotes from MJ’s memorial that, simply, tipped me over the edge. Before I get into that, let me just summarise my prior thoughts:

From the book of Amos, we see Israel manipulated and corrupted the religious system of the day. Their temples became places of idolatry and what was to be a system of providence and hope for all people, became a system of extortion and greed. What was once a place of worship became a place of social denigration. Taking a leap into the 21st century, society has lost sight of God and idolatry is rampant. Concerts that used to be places to experience the creativity of the musical mind, have now become worship places of pop and rock idols – this, made most evident by the late Michael Jackson.

I was planning on exploring this in more detail, not specifically looking at Michael Jackson, but the pop culture, in general. However, after hearing these two quotes, I felt compelled to respond:

“On June 25th, because he was the best, I believe heaven and earth did pause indeed to say of Michael Joseph Jackson, ‘Here lived a great entertainer who who did his job well.” (Martin Luther King III)

“This is a moment I wished I wouldn’t live to see … As much as we may feel that we need Michael here with us, God must have needed him far more.” (Stevie Wonder)

If these two quotes do not sum up the idolatry and confusion that our world is in, I don’t know what else to say? I believe heaven and earth did pause…, God must have needed him far more… Who was Michael Jackson but another man? Now, don’t get me wrong, as the young Paris Jackson said Michael Jackson was “the best father” to his children; as Queen Latifah said, Michael Jackson may well have been the “biggest star on earth” BUT he was, is not and never will be God.

Where has this world gone wrong that mere human beings are raised to the status of God? Where has humanity ever been able to comprehend let alone reach the standards of the divine? (Forgive my language but…) This world is completely screwed upside down, all-around, inside out. No longer is the creativity of the human mind celebrated, rather than recognition of the Creator who blesses ones such as Michael Jackson with such creativity and talent, they recognise the mere vessel of such blessing. They have made MJ a god in place of the God who made him.

To Martin Luther King III: No, heaven and earth did not pause for Michael Jackson, they merely continued on their course. Michael Jackson was not a god that would stop heaven and earth for his own cause. To Stevie Wonder: One of such talent, yet what would make you even conceive that God, who made Michael Jackson, would need Michael to entertain Him?

Please, I urge you, understand this: Michael Jackson was magnificent. I have no doubts that he is a legend. I respect the man, he was given a great gift and talent. However, he was just like you and I. He was just another mere human being. A man subjected to the wiles of this world, the pain, the difficulty, the joy and all that goes with it… but he was not god, let alone a king. There is only one king, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Sovereign God Almighty. From God alone, Michael Jackson was given the great gift of life and all the talent he had. The king of Pop is not the one who performed to the masses, but the One who gave Michael Jackson the talent to do so.

In the words of Marlon Jackson, “Maybe now, Michael, they will leave you alone.”