Baptist Press (BP) weekly columnist Kelly Boggs got a bit philosophical this week as he took a look at celebrity worship.
With the recent death of Michael Jackson and Boggs' note that 12 Jackson fans, as of July 2, had reportedly committed suicide over the death of a pop music star they likely, never met, Boggs may have a righteous point.
Boggs credited 17th century writer Blaise Pascal to make his case that people are filling a natural void meant to be filled by God with something other than God. Pascal said, "Inside of every man there is a God-shaped vacuum that only God can fill," wrote Boggs. "...if God is not filling an individual's spiritual vacuum, the individual will seek to fill it with something or someone else," and Boggs believes celebrity worship has reached religious proportions.
"I am of the opinion that entertainment, as a whole, has achieved religion status. And, like the Greek pantheon of old, entertainers are the gods who are worshiped," he wrote.
It is a sad testiment, to be sure.
12 people were so devastated by the death of Jackson that they felt they could not continue in life without him.
12 people reportedly committed suicide over his death.
12 people who, if they had had their faith vested where it belonged in the first place, would have been more inclined to draw strength from the One they worshiped, rather than devastation and loss of hope.
Boggs, then, drew parallels between religion and celebrity worship, in the end reminding us all that the God shaped void in our hearts is meant to be filled by Jesus Christ.
We'll always, ALWAYS, be disappointed by people but, if we spend the appropriate time getting to know and love the Savior, Jesus Christ, we will never be disappointed. Remember, "Love never fails," 1 Corinthians 13:8a, and there is no greater love than the love that God has for human kind.
Fourth of July fireworks can set off memories of war; Call to prayer for our military
Iraq Military Commander Chris Plekenpol lamented, "Fireworks remind me of an arcing transformer sending electric ash to the ground. The next thought is that of an Iraqi male about 40 years old running and screaming in Arabic, carrying a little girl who is bleeding profusely." ...Read more
And, as is always appropriate, Sara Horn, the wife of a Navy reservist and founder of Wives of Faith, a faith-based military wives support organization, called for us to pray for the military this summer.
Horn reported on a conversation she had with Army Chaplain Jim Murphy who was stationed just south of Baghdad.
"We could tell a difference when the people back home were praying for us and when they weren't," Chaplain Murphy told us. "It was like night and day."Besides the scorching temperatures, summer also brought many reports of death, when conditions were the worst and morale was the lowest. But, Chaplain Murphy said, "When people started praying for us again toward the end of August, that's when things started turning around."
Horn asked that people visit opmbrace.org to purchase a bracelet with a service member's name on it or to register a name for prayer. The Web site is a ministry of Del Rio, Texas' Northside Baptist Church.
Operation M'Brace's mission "is to bring every member of the United States Military under the intercessory prayer of concerned Christians."
To read Horn's column, recommended, click here.