Michael Jackson was a gifted entertainer.
Gifted by God his Creator.
He entertained millions, sold records by the tens of millions, and generated billions of dollars. Money, talent and time dedicated to the entertainment of man. And that is what he'll be remembered as--an entertainer--until time erases our culture's puerile fascination with fun.
The Puritans of yesteryear are castigated by many Americans as unloving, dour and no fun at all. None of which are true. Yet there is a certain truth to the claims: in comparison with today's near-obsession with merrymaking and amusements the Puritans are no fun at all.
But then six-year-olds think adults are no fun at all either.
Michael Jackson was in many ways the symbol of too many American's fascination with play. And this symbol was epitomized by Jackson's Never Land. Named after the ever-youthful Peter Pan fairytale, the amusement park is the embodiment of play run amok. Or what used to be call tomfoolery. Much of Hollywood is but tomfoolery, packed with adults who never grew up.
But from whence comes the American emphasis on childish distractions? Romans 1:18-21 describes the unregenerate man as one in rebellion against God, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. He is in rebellion against his knowledge of God, for all those outside of Christ know God the Judge and their rightful condemnation to hell. From verses 23 and following Paul explains that the unbeliever suppresses this truth through false gods and false worship. To the extent that fun, play and amusement become gods to that extent they are creations of man's imagination, distracting him from his own guilt-ridden conscience.
Note how the media interviews and one-hour specials laud Jackson as a man who "touched millions" and whose music epitomized the soul man--language decidedly religious and spiritual. The mobs of fans showering flowers to their idol demonstrate their loyalty to not just a man but what he represented: a lifestyle free from responsibility, a way of life never to be touched by God's Law.
It certainly does not help that too much entertainment has penetrated the churches: from overt amusement-centered worship services to more subtle cult-of-personalities many professing Christians are more and more a product of their society. Mature reflection, somberness and thoughtful deliberation are less sought after while Americans and Christians alike seek easier and less disciplined avenues in life, like entertainment.
At this rate we will witness the growth of childishness and the regression of adulthood. Unless the Lord showers blessing upon our country she will never, never become a land of mature righteousness.