I love music. All kinds. Well, I don’t like rap-music, so that statement might not be exclusively true. While at the gym or working in the yard, you’ll possibly catch my iPod playing anything from 70’s rock to Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ at any given moment. I’ll even throw in some country music just to remind me of my roots, too. (But not too often) And it has always been that way; from Elton John and the Eagles of yesteryear to Puddle of Mud and Casting Crowns in this later stage of life I now find myself in.
Speaking of Elton John, what a talent he has, matched perfectly with an ability to destroy a piano that is unparalleled by possibly any musician since Beethoven! The man is a machine - one of my fondest musical memories is hearing the strains of ‘Philadelphia Freedom’ on AM radio back during the Bicentennial year of 1976. He became so popular and so successful that the Queen of England knighted him; thus earning his moniker of ‘Sir Elton John’. When he came out of the closet and admitted his homosexuality (as if we hadn’t figured that one out already) it was no big deal. Just sing, Sir Elton, and play that piano as only you can while I ignore your personal life! And I could live with that.
Until last week.
You see, in an interview Sir Elton stated that he believed from his own personal reading of the Bible that Jesus was gay, too, just like him. Nobody blinked. Yes, there were a few condemnations from various Christian denominations, but for the most part he was celebrated for making that statement. Of course he is wrong, and I am offended by what he said, but for different reasons than probably most church members would be. I know that Jesus was not gay, I cannot be convinced otherwise, and on that level Sir Elton’s statement does not affect me at all. But there is another level here that is offensive, and it is much deeper and a lot more sinister in nature, to a point I doubt that even Mr. John thought about it while making his declaration.
Dan Brown did the same thing with The DaVinci Code. He brought into the open an age-old conspiracy (that far pre-dates his book) based upon those who believe Jesus did not die on the cross and rise again on the third day. This conspiracy suggests that He lived through the ordeal of the Crucifixion somehow, and then retired from His ministry. He married Mary Magdalene and had a family, while living a full life and dying at a ripe old age. That is very offensive to me. And it is wrong, too. But it does not affect me, as mentioned earlier, because I know in my heart the truth that sets me free.
Both Sir Elton and Dan Brown, whether intentional or due to being misled by others, are attempting to perform the same task: make Jesus human. If Jesus was just a man, with our inherent faults, sin, and failings, then we have a leg to stand on when Judgment Day finally comes around. But Jesus was not just a man. First and foremost, He was the Son of God. He was Immanuel, which is translated as ‘God with us’ from the Hebrew. John explains it further, and as always, much better than I can: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (Emphasis mine) He carries it further and explains to us, with no wiggle-room for error: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
When a well-known singer claims that Jesus was gay it does not bother me because I know He was not. Meanwhile, the person who makes that claim will answer for their own iniquity in the end. When an educated pundit states that Jesus did not die on the cross, but took on a second life in a manner not recorded in the Gospel, although it offends me I will not lose sleep over it. Again, each of us will answer for our own sins. But to make Jesus into just a man, stripping Him of His title as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, as God-incarnate, is inexcusable. It’s blasphemous. It’s… treacherous.
Sadly I believe that we will see more of this in the days to come. A Jesus who was merely a man would have no right to judge us, and no leg to stand on as proof of the things He taught us in the Scriptures. Stripped down to its bare essence, it is merely an attempt to make Jesus right with us instead of us being made right with Him. However, Jesus as an all-powerful, all-knowing God; the Creator who became flesh and lived on earth to provide a means of making us right with Him through His death, burial, and resurrection? He deserves all the power, all the honor, and all of the glory. Forever amen.