Friday, September 9, 2011
An American Idol and Divine Revelation
CNN reports that the current trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor accused of giving Michael Jackson an overdose of the drug propofol in the vicinity of Jackson's death, has become the latest venue for Jackson fans to exhibit more than fanaticism. This short editorial gives imagery to a phenomenon of Jackson devotees traveling thousands of miles to cry for justice and vent their anger at Murray. It includes sound bites of fans, convinced that the iconic rock star was a victim of medical malpractice or malfeasance. The diversity of cultures represented by the movement was striking. Three women interviewed outside the courtroom were from Germany and had traveled there to spend the week witnessing the trial. Dr. Wendy Walsh, CNN's Human Behavior Expert, was asked to explain the movement and says, "Many of these fans are looking at Conrad Murray as the Satan who killed their Savior... this is part of their fantasy."
Their fantasy points to a natural revelation of God in the form of human conscience and human idolatry. Paul’s words in Romans acknowledge a law of human conscience when he writes,”the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them…(Romans 2:14-15, NIV)” Humanity’s natural desire for justice is innately represented in the movement of those who exhibit a form of worship of Michael Jackson the entertainer. The collective conscience of the diverse mob supports Paul’s words. It also gives evidence that humanity is compelled to desire justice and desire for things to be right that are clearly less than they were intended. This phenomenon also reveals humanity’s compulsion to worship someone with implied significance. The story offers an intersection with another truth found in Romans, Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man... (Romans 1:22-23, NIV). The mob is fighting to preserve their image of their American idol.
The natural revelation of God is found in the image of God in human beings, exhibited by their innate desire for justice and has its source in the character of God. This current event illustrates that people are made to understand that this world is not as it should be; that men were not meant to die of an overdose of medication. People naturally understand that untimely death, or death at all, is not acceptable and always an unwanted interruption. I was reminded of Solomon's words at the end of his account of his personal life experiments, performed in search of the meaning of life. After exhausting himself in the pursuit of meaning and satisfaction he came to this conclusion about this temporary life: " He (God) has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV)." What leaves us lacking and grieving in this life is meant to remind us that we are not made for this temporary existence but for an eternal home. Our inner beings desire this eternal home and we naturally know there is something seriously wrong with this fallen world.