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IN GOD’S NAME LET MJ BE – Lessons For Christian Youths.

January 26, 2012

Michael Jackson was not just happening. He was The Happening; at least in the world of show business. And he had been so since childhood which he never really had, for early stardom robbed him of that essential aspect and experience on which a robust adulthood must be built. As we have “garbage in, garbage out” in computer science so also we have “faulty childhood, faulty adulthood.” A childhood that was traumatic and painful usually produces a problematic adulthood. Everything about MJ must be predicated partly on this premise; so that all may leave him in joy and peace to continue his further experiencing even now that he is in the other (real) side of life, which indeed is the real home for every human spirit, in God and His Christ. We all must leave him alone now, leaving only those who have good memories of this noble spirit that while on earth here demonstrated much confusion as a young black man, send up for him their sincere prayers; and kind and loving thoughts. Please let the peace loving spirit of MJ be. Apart from this perspective any other one may be added as a secondary factor, - like the spiritual state and awareness of not just MJ but all human spirits who have taken up this cloak of physical flesh as a necessary tool for further experiencing here in their very brief sojourn on earth.

As an African Christian from which perspective my writings and opinions must be appreciated, with the new birth in Christ experience, and with a passion for guiding the Youths of The Church of Jesus Christ (Universal), in line with my calling, I have always watched the world going by without missing a thing because The Bible (scriptures) conditions my attitude to every major happening outside me, over which I have no direct or even indirect control. For this reason I am not and will never be a fan of anyone in fashion, music, theater, sports, etc in the sense of autograph hunting and other such other behavior of many fans towards their “idols.” The apt name “Idol” generally used for “stars” and “megastars” easily describes an attitude very inconsistent with biblical injunctions. 7 “Never have any other gods. 8 Never make your own carved idols or statues that represent any creature in the sky, on the earth, or in the water.” Deut 5:7-8 (GW)

For any Christian who has experienced the new birth, screaming and fainting in adoration of their “super stars” is an expensive and frivolous past time that must be removed from their dictionary, before it deteriorates into a destructive fixation. John Lennon and Gianni Versace were killed by those who “loved” and idolized them too much. Please do not misunderstand me. I love music and every other thing God has given us to enjoy. I love fashion, movies etc. But my love for all things is quietly juxtaposed within me with scriptures. So when during a concert by a major act several deluded girls were screaming in tears and fainting, and others were queuing for hours for autograph, I was understandably pained for them and their parents. To state that the time for spiritual grounding and deepening of our youths is now, is quiet belatedly said. Evangelism for this end time is peaking on “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12 KJV). Very swiftly the days of “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16 KJV) are passing away. “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (2 Corinthians 6:2 KJV).

We are made to know by Mass Media accounts that the young men, THE JACKSONS, all brothers were driven by the ambition and sheer dint of hard work of their father to success as showbiz sensation from an early age. And MJ being the lead singer and dancer naturally stole the limelight. In his childhood and teenage years he was very much happening. As an adult he metamorphosed into THE HAPPENING. This was truly a great achievement for the whole clan of THE JACKSONS who were initially called JACKSON FIVE.

The big snag in all this however is that it was the usual one sided happening. Sadly like Darwin and his co – travelers, no thought was given the spiritual aspect of happening. This was a staggering paradox because when I first heard of the group and family far away in my obscure African village, for some reason I cannot fathom now, I came away with the impression that the entire family fellowshipped and served in the kingdom hall of the JEHOVAH WITNESSES religiously. This impression was later to diffuse in the light of quite unchristian developments that were reported widely by the world press. Quite a few of these developments later turned out to be the products of a totally false figment of a generally over excited imagination of a weird kind and origin. But quite a few turned out to be uncomfortably true.

As a solo artist MJ separated from the filial clan came up with monster hits after mega hits, blazing a trail that was impossible to duplicate or equal. His meteoric trajectory as a performing artist was of an uncommon kind. He went on to galvanize this with concerts all over the world where he characteristically put up unimaginably dazzling performances that left the world gasping for breath. His fans could not get enough of him. He came up with outstanding and ingenious creations like the “moonwalk” in his dancing repertoire which took other very creative artists quite some time to imitate and master. The phenomenon that was MJ had come not just to stay, but also to conquer. And he did conquer. His “Thriller” that drove the whole world crazy; and into something of a huge frenzy, became the bible of modern dance choreography. But the spiritual aspect of conquering rejected, was to cause quite a few problems.

He did manage to intersperse his recording career with all kinds of embarrassing accusations of inappropriate conduct with young boys; tainting and casting an ominous cloud over the question of his gender definition. For this he found himself in the defense in the court of law quite a few times. Settlement outside the court helped, but the manner of his expression of his manhood, husband hood and fatherhood left so much to the imagination; with some rather grotesque forms of paid “wives” to him, and “mothers” to his kids surfacing sporadically. His hazy comportment in this theater over taxed the imagination of all, - fans and non fans alike. With him as well as several others in his showbiz world, the wheels of modernity, and new age powered eclectic, nebulous mindset that did not quite respect biblical teachings, and that had been sent rolling, gathered momentum. Unless properly spiritually channeled and tackled head on, the discerned drift could only have ended in a monumental climax of great sorrow. Yet when it eventually came, every discerning one, few as they are met it with the much worn head shake of deja vu, which did not in any case cushion the brass knuckle impact of the heralded loss and foreshadowed sorrow. MJ IS GONE.

Caught in the vortex of these misplaced prioritizations today is his long time friend and doctor Dr Conrad. To remove from perhaps the unambiguous evidence of being a bit of a Casanova, which has no bearing on the subject at hand, responsible and respectable patients of his have come out to support him as a reputable and very professional medical doctor whose qualifications and professionalism, except apparently for this MJ case, are head and shoulders above par. When these concrete testimonies are added to the facts of his closeness to MJ as his friend and patient; and the sound logic of his profiting more from MJ being alive than dead, and non existence of any reasonable or cogent motives for him to wish MJ dead, Dr Conrad’s mistakes if any and suggested shortcomings of commission and omission in the confusion of the great and disturbing emergencies leading to his friend and patient’s death and in its immediate aftermath, must be benevolently assessed. A live MJ is a zillion times more useful to Dr. Conrad than a dead one. I doubt that he did not know it. Every genuine error must be just that - ERROR. He was obviously not as strict with his patient as he should have been. Foolish and stupid error maybe, but no sane man would deliberately seal off the pipeline supplying him with his means of livelihood.
There is no doubt at all that MJ with his stature and connections could have gained access around his doctor to these drugs on which he had become dependent, if his doctor was not willing to as it were play ball. To err as we Christians very well know is human. We must not look for scapegoats. Only one is infallible - The Lord God Almighty. No matter how painful the death of MJ still is to very many including my humble self, it is still an accidental death for which MJ himself must bear the greater burden. Every objective and discerning observer knew that MJ was a major tragedy waiting to happen. When? Was what was in question.

With every wielding of the scalpel by the plastic surgeon in the operating theater over his face, frying of hair and every dabbing on the skin with bleaching chemicals, MJ was shouting out for help. Those closest to him were too busy to notice. Even when the once robust, chubby cheeked black teenager gave way to the pencil thin sallow mannequin, those who should have taken matters into their hands simply shrugged proclaiming his adulthood and the usual “it’s his private business and right to do whatever he likes with his money and body.” Nobody was willing to borrow a leaf from Houston’s mom who at one time knew she had to discard the paradoxical straight jacket of modernity and sophistication; and move in to save her daughter without first of all asking her said daughter’s permission. She knew instinctively that her daughter was not to be left to herself under the pretext of respecting her daughter’s privacy. She, her daughter had like MJ metamorphosed into a gargantuan danger to herself; and so wisely surmised her mother, was therefore not to be trusted with herself. The situation had got to an extra – ordinary dimension and she the mother had to rely on extra – ordinary measures. Force, where and when necessary she rightly saw as an option.

Christian brethren have continued to exempt the show biz, fashion, movie and sport industries from their itinerary perhaps under the assumption that because of their wealth, people in these professions have no problems requiring prayers for God’s intervention. They could not be more wrong. Every facet of human endeavor has its own peculiar problems. No one is insulated from life’s challenges and trials. It is not too late for intercessory prayers and pointed evangelism for harvest of these ones. Just think of what would happen if Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, John Travolta, Eddie Murphy, etc come out to openly confess their new birth experience in Christ, and accepting Him as their personal Savior and Lord. The flood gates to evangelizing these very vibrant sections of the community would be flung open for the Holy Spirit to do its work in the hearts of these often neglected ones. Converted, they have the probability and capability of bringing their large pools of fans along to Jesus Christ. This is what is meant by the phrase “storming the gates of hell.”

What must a Christian youth learn from all this?
Searching for lessons to the Christian youths from this unfortunate incident should be predicated also against the background of what we saw for ourselves, verified press / mass media accounts and statements credited to MJ. So when I first heard him accuse a parent of abuse I was aghast until I investigated and found that this abuse had to do with disciplinary action from a concerned, but mistake prone parent; a human being whose intention was far from any desire to do anything but honorable by his child / children. The new agers were simply holding brief for a mixed up MJ against a loving and ambitious parent who clearly was not thinking selfishly for himself alone. Success and stardom if well managed are enviable things to covet. My humble view is that there was a measure of strictness in enforcing discipline, which these new agers are never going to ever understand.

The success of the group as a successful family of very creative performers was built on a vibrant expression of filial love and determination to bring a level of success that has reached today. However if “abuse” must come into the picture at all, we must look to MJ himself and juxtapose his reading of strict discipline as abuse; which apart from 1 or 2 other siblings who have so far publicly come up with this same accusation, with those of other members of the clan who seem to have well received, internalize and diffused down the years the same experience without coming up with any unpalatable character distortion that could also have hounded them into lethal habits that ought also to have acted as a catalyst to their swift exit from this world. The truth is that nobody could ever have abused MJ more than he abused himself. Putting the whole blame on early strict disciplinary measures, corporal or not would also judiciously call for the personal experience of the enforcer of such measures, who himself must trace this blight if any, also to not just family issues and experiences of his lineage and forebears, but also the very nature of the racist, difficult, racially discriminatory and viciously racially segregated society from which this great family success and superstardom was wringed and wrestled. It was not a mean feat by any measure. No! This was far from easy and simple. You see, in their formative years blackism (often seen as a derogatory term) or negritude, a potent force of the mind needed a gandhian (passive resistance) non – violent vent for its constructive expression; and up - building of the African America youths. The chief of the Jackson clan knew this and so wisely chose music for his own. It called for hard work and discipline. Given this scenario therefore “abuse” as a sad substitute for affectionate corporal disciplinary measure of a loving parent, a new age driven modern view and philosophy is unduly harsh and misplaced. Viewed from this angle the “abusing” in the exacted discipline quite easily pales and diminishes; and wears the respectable toga of courage, hard work, drive and great vision, all completely deserving of our collective admiration and respect for the head of the Jackson clan. If all this “abusing” is the sole casualty of this great battle to succeed in an inhospitable racially segregated society, - the troubled racist society, especially when the creative family was at the disadvantaged end of the equation, the feat and means of achieving it were anything but mean. Kudos must therefore be paid to the patriarch of the clan of THE JACKSONS. A look at the photographs of MJ shows that he looked best fed and chubby cheeked healthy as a minor, a level at which parental discipline was still easily exacted. As a “licensed” adult when he legally escaped this discipline and found his “freedom” his looks took a dive for the worse. Go check the family photo albums.

“Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.” Ps. 89.32. “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” Pr. 22.15. “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.” Pr. 23.13. “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” Pr23.14. “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” Pr. 29.15.
No doubt there are sick people who should not be entrusted with the discipline of children. But normal parents who have no psychiatric or psychological problems that would not allow them mete out discipline, corporal or not judiciously; and in love should be allowed a free hand to effect it in the confines of their homes. Christian parents need not pander to the dictates of the modern new agers.

In some African communities there is what you may call “community enforced discipline;” which is a package of disciplinary measures enforced by all concerned adults in the community. So Master Y who is a son to Mr. K is seen jumping off a fast moving truck by Mr. Q who lives on the other end of the same street. Mr. Q promptly makes Master Y to kneel down for about 30 minutes then whips him 6 times on his back side in the full glare of everyone. But the matter does not end there because Mr. Q after whipping the young master, phones his father Mr. K to report Master Y’s misconduct and the punishment of whipping he meted out to him. Mr. K is very grateful but you can be sure that Master Y is in for another round of whipping and other forms of punishment from his father Mr K when he gets home. Here nobody hates anybody. And nobody is abusing anybody. All are co - operating to help bring up the youths entrusted to them by God. You can be sure that when the youths all turn out successful and inter marry the whole community is the better for it. This is much better than visiting neighbor’s children in jail. And looking for money to hire lawyers to defend errant children. The policemen working in this type of communities have less work to do than those working in the modern and sophisticated communities of the new agers.

In achieving the great status of a mega star especially as a solo artist, MJ not conscious and proud of his African American roots went ahead to systematically abuse himself, going through a frightful maze of scalpel powered physical metamorphosis. Some would assert that what the scalpel was doing to the body, both prescription and non prescription drugs were quietly doing to the mind and psych. As the body underwent all kinds of abuses, the spirit and psych were not excluded.

He was in very great and enviable company but he did not quite realize it. He was in the great and auspicious company of mega giants like Marcus Garvey, Ajayi Crowther, Harriet Ross Tubman (A Woman Called Moses), Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King Jr., President Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill Cosby, Eddy Murphy, and very many others, too many to mention; but he did not know it. He then set about re – inventing and re – engineering himself to reflect his unique conception of beauty. But alas too late, very many now realize he was simply ventilating the complications of his tortured nature. A hitherto chubby cheeked healthy black boy was radically transformed by a combination of an unnecessary diet regimen, expertly or near expertly wielded scalpel, frying of hair and chemical dousing to a gaunt sun fearing and so sun avoiding creature that we all once knew to be, or thought should be a young black man. One of the new generation comedians, the irreverent Chris Rock actually said humorously that MJ’s face was “falling apart.” All the ominous signs that MJ was crying out for help were too numerous not to notice by those who were discerning enough to read his body language. But modern “mind your business after all he is an adult” kept many away. This is one of those extremely rare situations in which wealth and fame could be seen metaphorically as a curse. His success and presumably wealth simply scared away those who could have acted swiftly were he to be someone else; and less successful or even poor. It is now clear that even family did not get close enough to understand the gravity of his situation. A play back of a recording of his voice slurring out his singular goal and ambition to a packed court room came as a rude jolt to all. It was embarrassing in the extreme to all who once knew and loved him. Until he graduated from sleeping pills to anesthetics the larger family was blissfully unaware of what was afoot in the closed off domain of their genial, if shy peace loving and clearly confused superstar kin.

The other side of the coin, away from the façade of showbiz dancing and singing tells the sad heart rending story of a young black man desperate to escape his blackness, and begging to be seen as a near white man. This was an uncalled for case of inferiority complex that was later to produce an unfortunate caricature of a jaundiced scalpel and chemical powered image of “white beauty.” On another plane, it’s been actually suggested that perhaps the culprit really was the paucity of formal, robust classroom education. But this excuse is neither here nor there. It is hollow and thoroughly lacking of respectable logic. This is so because the story of the travails of the African as chronicled by even the white slave masters has always been that of a people of great courage, bravery, determination, pride and unrivalled productivity. That today the thriving economies of the West were laid on the foundation of the blood and sweat of our forebears who toiled away as slaves in the plantations of the new world, is a testimony to this. So the black experience is such a rich one. From the forced voyages of doom across the turbulent Atlantic ocean, to the dark plantations of the slave masters, on to the enviable niches in the professions, show biz, music, theater, etc; and by very hard work and later measured majestic strides now into the hallowed ambience of the White House, the sacred proclamation is - THEY WERE INDEED SLAVES BUT THEY FOUGHT, THEN EQUALS AND NOW MASTERS. The refrain like a holy hymn has been taken up by admirers of the peoples of Africa all over the world. The African spirit refused to die. Men and women alike fought courageously for freedom, equality and mutual respect, and thus extracting noble words as these from one of our revered elders Frederick Douglass to a sister Ms Harriet Ross Tubman – “Dear Sister Harriet, They tell me that you have taken your last journey, and I thought this would be an appropriate time to express some honored words for your great offering to mankind. As for me, I have had the applause of the crowd and the satisfaction that comes to be approved of by the multitude. But most of all you have done have been witnessed (only) by the trembling scared men and women that you have led out of the house of bondage; and whose heartfelt “GOD BLESS YOU” has been your only reward. The midnight sky and the silent stars have been the witnesses of your devotion to FREEDOM and of your heroism. Much that you have done would seem improbable to those who do not know you as I know you ------Your eternal friend and compatriot.” Did MJ ever read or hear of these hallowed words to an illiterate woman slave who managed to escape from a life of slavery in a plantation in the south of the USA and returned there repeatedly to lead very many other slaves to freedom at great personal risk to her life and without any financial consideration? Did he know that the same illiterate ex – slave woman later went behind enemy lines with just a hand full of volunteers during the American civil war to blow up an enemy weapons depot, and returned without losing a single man she took out for the extremely dangerous mission, which even trained soldiers and marines would find extremely dangerous to embark on?

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27 KJV). The Christian youth must know that he must aspire to achieve success in whatever goals he has set for himself. No matter how sweet a man finds life on earth here though, we must remember that there is always a day of reckoning. No matter one’s achievements a day is coming when this cloak of flesh would by dropped to decay, liberating the true man which is the spirit. The mystery of death has been used by God to call man to order. But unfortunately very few seem to care until it is too late. As soon as one drops the flesh, the possibility of repenting is no more. So on earth here we must correct every aspect of our life not glorifying God and his Christ.
You Christian youths must saturate yourselves in the only authoritative WORD of God – THE BIBLE and courageously contact these super and mega stars with the sole aim of bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to them, in a refreshing and positive manner, so as not to terrify them but to sow the seed of God’s love in them. A Christian friend joined me to source beautiful Christian themed movies like, QUO VADIS (both versions), PETER & PAUL, GOSPELS OF JOHN, LUKE etc, to which I invited friends to view with refreshments in my house. So also can Christian brethren with the means to do so invite some of these actors, musicians, fashion designers, etc to view inspiring movies or talks together with dinner or hors d’oevres in their homes or hotels.

Any aspect of life that is troubling you must be handed to God. There is always a hot line to The Throne of Grace. You do not need to pay anything to put a high priority call to God and His Christ, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has paid fully for your spiritual and material well being. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” {wish: or, pray} (3 John 1:2 KJV). “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 KJV). 28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”Matt 11:28 (KJV). 37 “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38 (KJV). 30 “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:30 (KJV)

May the gentle spirit of MICHAEL JACKSON find deep joy and peace in its further experiencing in God, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tel – 410 325 2626, 410 488 3636

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