Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Dear (former Facebook) friend:

It has come to my attention that you “defriended” me on Facebook. This is surprising, since we have been friends close to 45 years, and a friendship of that long standing should be able to take just about anything. I am confident that I did nothing to offend you; rather, one of my family members responded critically to one of your posts. You probably think I agree with him. I do agree with his sentiment, but he was harsh. To be fair, you were commenting about recent events at my church, which used to be your church, too.

Understand, friend, that I love my church. My family has sacrificed 28 years of our lives to establish and build the body of Christ in our area. We have spent time, money, and treasure, and prayed and wept over it as much as over any member of our family. We don’t always agree with the decisions of the elders, but since my husband has served as an elder, we understand how difficult some decisions can be and how much soul-searching goes into the process. We also understand that the elders are our God-given leaders, and as members of this particular body, we must submit to them as a spiritual discipline. Unless the elders do something in conflict with scripture, submit we will. If we feel they have handled a situation poorly, we are to handle this as any other conflict—privately.

You have chosen to publicly criticize our body, and you’ve obviously reacted rashly when you were called out for this. I urge you to temper your comments with good will, since you still have friends (including me) at this church. Wish us well, as we wish your church to prosper. We may no longer worship at the same place, but we still worship the same God, and I expect to spend eternity with you. I’m just sorry, that for the time being, we won’t be practicing fellowship now.

Monday, July 06, 2009

So Long, Michael

Michael Jackson will be buried tomorrow, and the world is fascinated. Fans and the merely curious have submitted their requests to attend the funeral, and the lucky (?) have been chosen, most to honor someone they had neither met nor seen. The hoopla over the “services” strikes me as odd at best, pathetic at worst. Yes, he was a public figure. Sure, he influenced pop music for years. Of course, we are saddened—50 is too young to die, especially when you look backward, not forward, to 50.

But I am not mourning his death. MJ was a decent musician. He could carry a tune without a lot of electronic processing, but much of his music was hardly uplifting. He was a talented dancer, but his costumes and movements could be found under the dictionary entry for “lewd,” especially in his later years. His personal conduct was hardly admirable, with multiple accusations of pedophilia, a couple of sham marriages, and less than stellar parenting methods. He should have been rich beyond counting, but he did not manage his fortune and was deeply in debt. If news reports are to be believed, he also had a problem with prescription drugs, and seemed to be obsessed with transforming his appearance from black male to white female. He was most definitely not a role model for our children.

Our reaction to Michael Jackson should more properly be pity, not admiration. We cannot judge what his ultimate eternal destination will be, but we cannot reasonably say that most of his adult life brought glory to God or caused his fans to think of anything that was true, noble, right, pure, lovely, or admirable. He had great potential and squandered it along with his fortune. The willful waste of his life is the real tragedy.