Fact Checking Michael Jackson’s Christian Faith, Part 6 of 7: Christians Who Have DEFENDED Michael!
In the previous five parts of this series (which I had to extend to seven parts due to wealth of info I found on people of faith who have defended MJ), I have focused on fact checking the myriad of lies that have been hurled at MJ from so-called religious leaders of all faiths! It’s a total shame that people have heard MJ trashed in their houses of worship, which are supposed to be beacons of truth and purity, and free from gossip and innuendoes. I chose to focus on only a few egregious examples because if I rebutted everybody who slandered MJ, this series could easily be 100 parts long!
But now that I’ve slaughtered those lies, I will now focus on people of faith who have vehemently defended Michael Jackson throughout the years, as well as people who only began to defend him after his untimely death!
Let’s start with a preacher from Brooklyn, New York named M.W. Anderson of Another Chance Ministries Baptist Church. Shortly after MJ’s death, he preached a sermon titled “There Is Something About That Michael”, and in this sermon HE ASKED FOR FORGIVENESS FROM GOD AND MICHAEL FOR THE WAY THAT HE MISTREATED MJ DURING HIS LIFE!!
Here is part 1 titled “Michael Forgive Us” (I will add a transcript soon!)
Here is part 2 titled “Be Careful About Those Who Say They Love You!” (At 7:49, Pastor Anderson makes a reference to the false story of Jordan Chandler recanting his allegations that was circulating at that time. Although he did not truly PUBLICLY confess, we still annihilated his claims in this series.)
Here is part 3 titled “There Was Also An Angel Named Michael…..Hope For A Nation”
Notice at 3:08, he references how the press called MJ “Jacko” as a euphemism for “Nigger”! That analogy is not as far-fetched as some of you may believe, because the term “Jacko” originated from racist intentions:
“JACKO ” the media-perpetuated nickname for Michael, was not only Disrespectful and Dismissive, but it is also a term with a racist history. MICHAEL HATED IT. According to the ” Oxford English Dictionary ” the word ” JACKO ” dates back to the mid – 1600’s as a Flemish approximation of the Bantu word ” monkey. ” By the early 1800’s Jacko Maccacco, a famous fighting monkey, could be found on display in Westminster Pit, a notorious London arena for dog fights. The word has become part of the common vernacular and it eventually became a Racist shorthand for Blacks. The tabloids successfully wrestled away the spotlight from his gargantuan talent and soul-reaching music to move its focus to what he understandably deplored as nonsense. The shape of Michael’s nose became a pervasive, adolescent-like fixation for the media.”According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “Jacko” dates back to the mid-1600s, as a Flemish approximation of the Bantu word for monkey in the Congo and southern Gabon. The word migrated north, taking on all the racist connotations that followed African colonization. By the early 1800s, Jacko Maccacco, a famous fighting monkey, could be found on display in Westminster Pit, a notorious London arena for dog fights. The word had entered the common vernacular, and it eventually became a racist shorthand for blacks.
And here is another example of the negative connotations of the word “Jacko”!
JACKO THE APE MAN
There are countless stories of man’s encounters with large hairy humanoids stretching back through history, but this elaborate tale is notable for its ability to endure for more than a century. Coming in at No. 10 in our countdown is the story of Jacko, an ape-man allegedly captured by a crew of railway workers in British Columbia during the summer of 1884.
According to the men, they spotted a man-beast lying alongside the tracks as they passed through a rocky gorge. They stopped to investigate the creature and determined that it had somehow fallen from a cliff and was injured, but still very much alive. The men managed to capture the creature and force it onto the train. They took it into town and held it for several days in the local jail, feeding it berries as they tried to decide what to do with it. They named their captive beast “Jacko.”
According to some, the legend of Jacko provides convincing evidence of the existence of Bigfoot. However, a news report of the incident published in the Daily British Colonist and uncovered by Bigfoot researchers in the 1950s suggests otherwise. According to the report, about 200 people visited the jail hoping to get a glimpse of the wild man once word of it spread throughout the region. Alas, there was no man-beast to behold. The erstwhile captors reported that Jacko had made a cunning escape from the jail just moments before their arrival. The townspeople were not sold, and neither are most modern-day Bigfoot enthusiasts.
When you consider that the media is far and away owned and controlled by whites, it adds more credibility to the suspicion that the coverage of the trial and the malicious lies were intentionally targeted towards the middle-aged, white demographic that is most likely to be prejudiced against MJ. This article called “Michael Jackson May Be Paying For OJ’s Acquittal” speaks about this trend:
Another great huddle for Michael Jackson is the Media. This huddle, by my estimation, is not unrelated to the OJ shadow. And I say this because the American media is generally owned and controlled by white Americans. There’s a strong desire within this demography to convict Jackson and the reporting evidences it. Among others, CNN has sunk to an all-time low. Opinionating has taken the place of reporting. You would see a newscaster and a guest in what is supposed to be an interview. The newscaster carefully lays down his opinions and then bounces them off the guest occasionally. It is not uncommon to see reporters such as Court TV’s Diane Dimond tell open face lies as to what actually happened in court. She has even helped the prosecution by supplying them material she hoped could be used as evidence against Jackson. She has also forecasted Michael Jackson’s death. I’ve heard reporters ask Jackson defenders if they would let their children sleep in Jackson’s bedroom? I’m yet to hear them ask one person if he would open his home to the Arvizo family.
And as further proof that there was some racism among SOME (but certainly not all) segments of the middle aged, conservative white demographic, let’s look at an excerpt from a biography about conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh’s time as a director of promotion for the Kansas City Royals baseball team. Limbaugh played MJ’s music in between innings, and he didn’t always get a positive reaction! They asked Limbaugh if he thought that he was in Oakland, a majority African-American city in California that is notorious for high crime rates and low unemployment!
Surprisingly, Limbaugh was a “racial pioneer” while producing the scoreboard at Kansas City Royals ballgames in the late ’70s and early ’80s. He used to play Michael Jackson songs between innings which annoyed some conservatives in the crowd. “They used to say, ‘Where do you think we are, Oakland?’”
Lastly, here is a question that a black audience member asked to Tom Mesereau during the Q&A session at the 2005 Harvard Law School seminar about the double standard in the way that the media treats eccentric white artists compared to eccentric black artists like MJ:
But one of the concerns that I think a lot of black people have had, and certainly that I’ve had in looking at the Michael Jackson phenomenon, is that Michael Jackson is an eccentric type of person, or he has characteristics or behavioral aspects of his personality that are apparently considered eccentric. And it seems to me that the media has highlighted those supposed eccentricities, and made him look like a buffoon and a fool. And to me, there is a racial element there because I think Michael Jackson is one of the very few high profile black people who we’ve grown up with, who is more or less an artistic eccentric. But on the other hand, there are many wealthy, artistic, white people that are well known who are also eccentric, so I’d like for you to comment a little bit about that aspect of it. I think the media has exploited this, and I think there is a racial element in a sense that his eccentricities are no more bizarre than that of other white artistic personalities.
For more information on how MJ dealt with the issue of race, please read this amazing post from the And Justice For Some blog titled “Michael Jackson Knew: It Does Matter If You’re Black or White!”
Now, unto another pastor who defended MJ! Here is Dr. Jo Ann Long of the New Covenant Life Church in Chicago, IL, lashing out against the media for their negative coverage and actually defending Joe Jackson against the unfair attacks against them! Unfortunately she marred the gloriousness of her message by implying that he “bleached his skin” and that someone should have told him that “black is beautiful”!
And while we’re on the subject of the media, here is one of MJ’s closest confidants Rev. Al Sharpton attacking the media (as usual!):
As something that may come as a total surprise (due to the reputation that Fox News has for smearing MJ), here is former pastor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee vehemently chastising the media and his viewers for judging MJ and making fun of him!
“This has, of course, been a tragic week. And if the events in Iran and North Korea weren’t enough to keep us mindful of the news, the rash of celebrity deaths escalated all week long. Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and then Michael Jackson. In the midst of all those stories, the stunning admission of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford that he had traveled to Argentina, where he was having an affair. I’ve found myself wondering if maybe that, as a culture, we’ve dehumanized people in the spotlight so brutally that we forget that, behind the headlines, there are tragic human stories about people who really aren’t that different from the rest of us.
In spite of Michael Jackson’s unparalleled ability as a singer, choreographer, and songwriter, he was still a human being like the rest of us. His often bizarre and strange behavior may have made many of us feel that he wasn’t like us. But beneath the often outrageous behavior, could we not all see a child who never got to grow up in a normal way? And he longed to be the kid that his career kept him from being. It matters to find out if there are others partly responsible for his death, but there are some things that none of us need to know, or really have a right to know. It’s simply none of our business.
There are benefits that celebrities enjoy, we understand that. Especially financial ones. But when we treat them as commodities and public property, instead of fellow human beings, we not only dishonor them, we dishonor ourselves by revealing ourselves to be more interested in who we meet in person, and not enough of how we treat each person. We do more than dehumanize them, we dehumanize ourselves. You know, in the old days, people would take off their hats and bow their heads and just say that they wanted to pay their respects. I still like that approach a whole lot more than selling t-shirts and buttons around the people who have passed away. Every fellow human deserves respect. Michael Jackson included.
The simple rule would be maybe one of the olden, and in fact, golden ones. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
It was very brave of Huckabee to stand up to his peers and be a beacon of light in a time of darkness and mourning. Here is another Christian named Ginger Eldridge who bravely defended MJ on her blog on June 28th, 2009! The title couldn’t be more appropriate!
Tell ‘Em That It’s Human Nature
Death always seems to bring out the best and the worst in people.
Whether it be within the close confines of the family circle who loses a loved one or the large populace of a nation who loses their leader, death can either draw hearts together or rip bonds apart.
Most assuredly, this past week has brought to light a broad spectrum of emotions from virtually millions of fans, non-fans, and observers alike who have an opinion about Michael Jackson. I have read every sort of comment ranging from a proclamation that he was led to Jesus 3 weeks ago (“saved”) by Andrae’ & Sandra Crouch to someone literally stating that they knew he was suffering today in the flames of Hell.
Then there are the smug remarks by some who can’t understand why so many would have such strong feelings about someone they’ve never met, or why more emphasis isn’t put on the true heroes who have really given to others.
Gosh, it seems that nobody can win, doesn’t it? What comes to mind is that you can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
That’s just human nature, isn’t it?
In a perfect world, each and every person who deserves recognition based on their amount of sacrifice would get it pound for pound…but then again, the ones who are giving for the right reasons usually don’t really care about being praised anyway, so it’s a moot point.
However, what really concerns me — once again — is the attitude I continue to witness time and time again from my very vocal Christian brothers and sisters who loudly proclaim their righteous involvement in their churchiness week after week, and yet when the first occasion shows itself for them to judge another person’s worthiness, they will be ALL over it like white on rice.
God knows that I am so far from righteous that for me to even try to sit here and attempt to type a rebuke is a joke…and yet, I feel very strongly compelled to at least call things out as I see them. My intent is in a spirit of love — to encourage us all to reach higher, to choose better — even if I may fail at expressing it in that way at times.
Here’s the real deal:
The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell; It goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell.
Perhaps I am idealistic — you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one — and yeah, my capacity for hope almost knows no bounds…there have been times in my life that hope was ALL I had…maybe that’s why I see somebody with such a childlike idealism like Michael Jackson had and I do feel sad that the world has lost that light. Read the lyrics to “Heal The World” wherein he urges us to be God’s glow–brilliant.
Do not misunderstand me, I am fully aware of the man’s frailties. I know he made poor decisions…don’t we all? His were shouted from the rooftops and magnified by his millions of dollars. There but for the grace of God go I! However, I do not believe he was a child molester. Here’s why:
When I was a peon in the music business, I had people trying to befriend me, just because of the other peons I knew to try and get to higher up peons to try to get to possible higher ups, and maybe — just maybe — on down the line, get to an artist. That was just my case, a total and complete nobody.
Do you not think the biggest star this planet has ever known had hundreds of leeches trying to latch onto him every single day…extortionists trying to constantly get money or whatever else they could out of him?
Those leeches would use whatever they could to get to him –even their children.
Those leeches finally sucked the spirit of Michael Jackson dry.
Those around him said he was never the same after the child molestation trial. I watched a defense attorney being interviewed — who had no vested interest to do so — in tears as he talked about what a broken man Michael Jackson became as he was falsely accused, misinterpreted, and maligned.
You may ask why I feel the need to defend a man I never met. I can only answer that the passion I feel about loving the “unlovable” in the eyes of the mainstream church runs so deep within my veins that I can’t help but speak out. I cannot be silent when I watch people who are not your typical white, Protestant, evangelical, straight, American be maligned just because they are different. There is still an arrogance present that is as filthy rags. It stinks. It’s disgusting.
Just like our own righteousness without the love of God — remember?
“The hardest people to reach with the love of God are not the bad people. They know they are bad. They have no defense. The hardest ones to win for God are the self-righteous people.” –Charles L. Allen
I had breakfast this morning with one of my closest friends. Something we talked about was how when we were growing up in the church, we were taught how broken as people we are. Condemnation, restrictions, and everything we were not allowed to do or be. Just like I said above, our righteousness is as filthy rags…without the love of God.
So, shouldn’t we be striving everyday to live out the balanceof knowing we are nothing without the love of God and yet everything because of the love of God — and so is that hooker down on the street corner downtown? And the person sitting in the pew who hasn’t had a shower in 3 days? And that pastor of the mega-church on the hill? And the guy at the prison sitting on death row? And the President? And Britney Spears? And that homeless guy at the McDonalds on Broadway? And me? And you? And Michael Jackson?
Whoa! After all of the hatred and callousness that was spewed at MJ in the previous posts, reading that blog by Ginger is truly refreshing! Her criticism of her Christian peers was dead on! (Here’s the post she wrote on the day after MJ died, and here’s her post on MJ’s memorial.) One thing I want to point out is the following phrase that she used in her post: “There, but for the grace of God, go I”. That phrase is attributed to the martyr John Bradford, who uttered it as he watched other prisoners being lead to their execution during his imprisonment on trumped up charges in the 1500’s. The phrase means that something bad that has happened to someone else could have happened to you had it not been for the grace of God, and it is used to show compassion for someone else (which, as you can tell, is a lost art among some people of faith).
For example, after Whitney Houston’s unfortunate death last month, the governor of her home state of New Jersey, Chris Christie, ordered all U.S. flags to be lowered at half-staff at all government buildings. This outraged many people, who usually fell into one of the following camps: those who felt that a “drug addict” shouldn’t be given such a prestigious honor, and those who felt that only fallen soldiers, firefighters, policemen, first responders, and politicians should be given the honor. In a press conference that he gave to defend his position, he stated “But for the grace of God, go I”, an obvious sign of compassion for Whitney, and a statement meant to reinforce that she was a human being, not just the caricature that the media portrayed her as in her final years.
Chris Christie defends lower flags for Whitney Houston
Christie had been criticized for ordering flags at state government buildings to be lowered on Saturday, the day that Houston’s funeral services would be held in Newark.
His order was criticized both by those who thought that the honor should be reserved for recently deceased soldiers, first-responders and elected officials, and by those who thought it was wrong to honor an alleged drug addict.
Christie said he didn’t believe that Houston’s history of substance abuse “forfeited the good things she did.”
“I am disturbed by people who believe that because her ultimate demise — and we don’t know what is the cause of her death yet — but because of her history of substance abuse that somehow she’s forfeited the good things that she did in her life,” he said, according to the AP. “I just reject that on a human level.”
“What I would say to everybody is, ‘There but for the grace of God go I,’” he added.
As you can see from the article below, while the vast majority of people who opposed the lowering of flags in Whitney’s honor had no prejudice towards her, there were some who just could not hide their prejudices!
Coach suspended for Whitney Houston slur he wrote on Facebook
By NBC News and msnbc.com staff
CHICAGO — The president of a suburban youth baseball organization has been suspended for posting a racist rant on Facebook regarding the death of singer Whitney Houston.
Oak Lawn officials banned John Kelly from coaching for one year after a parent reportedly spotted the post by Kelly using the “n”-word, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Kelly used the racial slur to complain about the amount of media coverage Houston’s death brought.
“I’m so sick of reading about this dumb stupid N – – – – – Whitney Houston,” read part of his Facebook post, according to the Sun-Times.
Kelly said his social media page was restricted to adult friends and family, but a former player’s mom spotted the comment and reposted it.
Since the posting, Kelly told the Sun-Times his life has been ruined. He said he’s worried about the effect on his business and his kids being taunted. He claims he’s not a racist and said he didn’t realize he’d used the word in the post.
“I do stand behind everything I said except the ‘n’-word. I regret using that adjective,” he told the Sun Times. “Does that make me a racist? Are you kidding me? It was the farthest thing from my mind. I have some amazing friends who are black.”
I wonder how many black friends he still has after his comments were made public!
Here is Bishop George Bloomer discussing his utter embarrassment at the way his fellow Christians behaved towards MJ, and for a seasoned pastor like him to say that he almost doesn’t want to be a Christian anymore is extremely powerful and symptomatic of his genuine disdain for his fellow brethren!
Here is Pastor Gregory Dickow offering hope to MJ only four days before his death! If only more pastors were like this!
In September 2004, Michael, his attorney Tom Mesereau, and his good friend comedian Steve Harvey visited First AME Church, one of the most historic African-American churches in Los Angeles, on the eve of an important court hearing. This wasn’t just some random church that they pick out; it was actually the church that Mesereau not only attended, but also where he established his free legal clinic to help give free advice to disadvantaged citizens in the community!
When the reporter asked MJ what brought him to the church, notice the first word out of his mouth was “worship”!
You may have noticed that I used past tense when I referred to Mesereau’s attendance of that church, and that is because he had a falling out with the church’s pastor due to a disagreement with the pastor’s decision to stop busing kids from the church to Neverland, and that decision was discussed in this post titled “Tom Mesereau: A True Friend To Michael Jackson”. Here is an excerpt:
Mesereau quit his longtime membership in the First AME Church, where he helped run a free legal clinic, after the new pastor, John Hunter, refused to let the church send children to Neverland while Jackson was facing charges, and then spoke to Court TV about it.
“I’m very disappointed in the church’s position,” said Mesereau, who also stopped doing his legal clinic work on Sundays at First AME and now offers his services at West Angeles Church of God in Christ. “I just thought it was inappropriate for kids to be going out there at any time,” Hunter said. “This is somebody that has been charged with child molestation, but more importantly has admitted to sleeping in the same room, if not the same bed, with children. And that is inappropriate by most standards.”
Mesereau says Jackson has never acted inappropriately with children or allowed them to stay in his duplex-sized bedroom without parental approval. Nonetheless, Jackson “has to recognize what a target he is,” Mesereau said. “I have counseled him not to let families stay in his bedroom.”
When Mesereau, who has no children, is asked how he would feel about his girlfriend’s young son staying in Jackson’s bedroom, he threatened to walk out of an interview.
“I’m not here to be interrogated with sleazy questions like that,” he said.
Later, he offered a more measured response: “I’ve been at Neverland with my girlfriend and her son. He has spent time playing with Michael and his children and his family. I am absolutely convinced that Michael has never molested any child in his lifetime.”
For Mesereau to leave the church and take his legal clinic with him just shows how much he truly believed in and advocated for MJ’s complete innocence! Let’s now take a look at some people who ministered to Michael during his darkest hour:
Richard Rossi is a minister who was contacted by Michael during the trial, and they got to know each other. Here is a note that he wrote about MJ on his Facebook page on June 26th, 2009 (and be sure to read all of the comments!)
After moving from Pittsburgh to California, my wife Sherrie and I experienced the opportunity to meet and minister to celebrities. I was contacted by Michael about our healing ministry and later invited to support Michael during his trial. Sherrie and I and our two children are deeply saddened by Michael Jackson’s passing. He was not only a musical genius and a sweet and spiritually sensitive person, but he also invited a mother in our congregation with a terminally ill daughter to visit Neverland. I was struck recently when I saw Michael’s Neverland collection that so much of it was the things from childhood, Disney characters, Mary Poppins, Batman, arcade games and the like. He never had a childhood and tried to compensate for it. We both had a similar experience regarding our musical fathers and the fear we had of messing up the music and displeasing our Dads as child musicians. I believe people will remember the good of Michael’s heart to heal the world and the grace that flowed when he danced and performed. We’re mourning him through playing his music and sharing stories from those who met him or were touched by him. I believe Michael is now at peace.
Here are the comments from that note (double click each photo to make it bigger if you have trouble reading it) Pay attention to Rossi’s comment on about his fundamentalist friends calling MJ a “freak”, his comment on July 7th about another fundamentalist Christian who mocked MJ’s funeral and how to him this epitomizes everything toxic and terrible about religion, Michael Hasting’s comment on July 8th about just because MJ didn’t sing gospel it doesn’t mean he wasn’t saved, and many other great comments that are too numerous to list here!
Another prominent Christian who ministered to MJ in his time of need was Paula White, one of the most influential Christian leaders in America. She visited him at Neverland in December 2003, along with former baseball star and recovering alcoholic Darryl Strawberry.
Strawberry visits pop star with church group
TAMPA, Fla. — Pop singer Michael Jackson has found a friend in another celebrity who’s had his own brushes with the law: former baseball star Darryl Strawberry.
Strawberry, a member of the Without Walls International Church in Tampa, ministered to Jackson during a trip to the singer’s Neverland Ranch this weekend, said Randy White, the church’s head pastor, on Monday.
Jackson invited Strawberry, televangelist Paula White and associate pastor Rob Mallan after meeting members of the church at a birthday party earlier this year for his father, Joe Jackson, White said. Strawberry could not be reached for comment Monday, and others on the trip did not return calls for comment.
The trio attended a gathering titled “You Are Not Alone,” after a Jackson song. The event drew about 600 people, including tennis star Serena Williams, rapper MC Hammer and comedian Eddie Griffin.
Strawberry, 41, has been making a new career for himself, sharing his experiences and talking about how his faith helped him turn his life around since his release from prison earlier this year.
The eight-time All-Star and member of two World Series winners was released a Florida prison in April after serving 11 months of an 18-month prison sentence for violating probation on cocaine possession charges.
Jackson, 45, was charged Thursday with seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts upon a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent. He maintains his innocence.
Jackson has been free on $3 million bail since he turned himself in Nov. 20.
Randy White, who was not on the trip, said Strawberry also talked to Jackson about dealing with media attention. Whether Jackson is guilty of molestation wasn’t an issue in the meeting, White said.
“If he is guilty, he needs some type of ministry and counseling,” White said. “And if he’s not guilty, he needs some kind of ministry and counseling with all he’s been through. We are not the judge. We are waiting to see the outcome.”
Jackson spokesman Stuart Backerman said Strawberry was at the event, but couldn’t confirm he ministered to Jackson when the two met privately.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
Here are more details on the “You Are Not Alone” event that was held at Neverland on December 20th, 2003:
Family, friends gather at Neverland Ranch
LOS OLIVOS, Calif. (AP) — Friends and relatives of Michael Jackson descended on his Neverland Ranch on Saturday to show their support for the entertainer who is fighting child molestation charges.
The private gathering behind the gates of the sprawling estate was described as a homecoming for Jackson, who has kept a low profile in Las Vegas and undisclosed locations since surrendering to authorities on Nov. 20 and being released on $3 million bail.
“This event is to show Michael that he has the love and support of his friends and family,” Jackson’s spokesman Stuart Backerman told reporters outside the estate.
The gathering — titled “You Are Not Alone” after a Jackson song — drew about 600 people, including celebrities such as tennis star Serena Williams, rapper MC Hammer, comedian Eddie Griffin and American Idol host and DJ Ryan Seacrest.
More than 450 cars entered the main gate of the estate. Fans ran up to a black Mercedes that carried two people who appeared to be Jackson’s parents.
About 20 reporters staked out the gate, along with a dozen fans. One sign pasted on a car read, “Michael is innocent!! Leave him alone!!”
Guests characterized the mood inside as upbeat.
Musician Edwin Birdsong said Jackson was subdued as various supporters honored him.
“He just said “Hi,” and smiled,” Birdsong told reporters as he left Neverland. “It was very festive and happy.”
A gospel choir led by Andrae Crouch performed, Birdsong said. Other celebrities included actor Robert Townsend and former baseball star Darryl Strawberry, he said.
Actor David McKnight said friends, family and children whom Jackson has helped over the years took turns giving tributes. He said there was “a lot of food, a lot of eating, and a lot of celebration, camaraderie, holding hands, cheering and praising Michael Jackson.”
Guest Katherine Rogers said Jermaine Jackson performed a song at the gathering and actor Tommy Davidson served as master of ceremonies. She said Michael Jackson looked “relaxed.”
Asked by reporters how Jackson was faring, Backerman said, “He’s doing fantastic. He’s doing well. He’s holding up fine. He’s clearly fighting mad regarding the allegations.”
Backerman declined to answer further questions about Jackson’s legal troubles.
As cars began leaving, passengers in one vehicle threw T-shirts reading “I support Michael Jackson” to fans waiting outside.
Jackson was charged Thursday with seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts upon a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent. He maintains his innocence.
Jackson was looking forward to thanking people who have stood by him, said Brian Oxman, a lawyer and Jackson friend who planned to attend Saturday’s gathering.
“It’s for family and friends to say thank you from Michael to people he loves and who have supported him,” Oxman said. “It’s not a party. It’s not a pep rally. It’s not hoopla or celebration.”
Jackson soon will travel to England to fulfill unspecified contractual obligations. There have been reports he will be promoting his latest CD, “Number Ones,” which is doing better in the United Kingdom than it is in the United States.
Mark Beaumont, a staff writer at music magazine NME, said he doesn’t expect a rapturous welcome for Jackson if he goes ahead with his visit to England.
“There will always be the hardcore fans but that is a relatively small group now and people are becoming more suspicious,” Beaumont said.
Geraldine Hughes is the former legal secretary of Barry Rothman, the attorney who represented Evan Chandler. Evan is the father of Jordan Chandler, and it was his idea to extort a multi-million dollar film deal from MJ in 1993. Hughes is a devout Christian missionary who serves the poor sections of with her Open Door Skidrow Ministry & Feeding (you can see photos from the ministry here). In 2009 she granted an interview to Debbie Kunesh (who I will discuss in greater detail later in this post), and here is an excerpt of her thoughts on Paula White visiting MJ at Neverland:
Deborah Kunesh: That alone to me says, there’s something there. Even though there have been some Christian circles that criticize and condemn, but to me, there’s proof there in how he lived his life and how he affected people, that there was something very spiritual there.
Geraldine Hughes: I know that he was visited by some really powerful evangelists, and evangelists, they don’t leave until you accept Christ. They come for one reason and one reason only. Your soul. That’s it. It’s like, we’re going to do this now before I leave (laughter). It’s a done deal. I heard that there were several super powerful evangelists (that visited Michael). I know I won’t leave nobody’s side, my goal, my purpose, is your soul. Connecting your soul with God. Paula White and Darryl Strawberry went to the ranch right after the second allegations, while he was going through the trial, and I know Paula White ain’t leaving nobody unsaved.
I could actually tell by Michael’s quotes throughout the years that he was a Christian. He had the heart of Christ. Everything he said, he would quote Scripture. God says don’t forbid the little ones from coming. Then you’ve got people who go to church on Sundays that sit in pulpits who want to judge people. Well, the Bible says you judge a person by the fruit that they bear. That’s how you judge them. What kind of fruit were they bearing? When you look at Michael, Michael got more fruit than ministers, than pastors, than evangelists, and if you probably put them all together, Michael would probably have more. He wasn’t just….he wanted no glory. That’s another fruit. He was very humble. Every time Oprah does something charitable, she’s got cameras, got a documentary already planned and scheduled, but Michael, what was catching a lot of people off guard about Michael, (was that he was) doing his humanitarian deeds forever and not one news report, so when people go back and they research and they find out, “oh, he’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most humanitarian giver, the biggest giver.” You know, giving away. Then he had a manager, that little short guy that was just in the news recently, I’ve met him, and he’s said stuff like, “You know, I’ve been over at his ranch and I’ve seen his movie theatre and somebody was explaining the way it was made, cause some of the kids who come to the ranch are on their death bed or they’re in big casts and they have to wheel them in, bed and all. And the guy asked Michael, “how can you do this?” He said….”I can’t even bear this. How can you do this time and time and time again?” He said Michael just looked at him and he said “This is what I was created to do.”
Here are some videos of her promoting her excellent book “Redemption”, which she published in 2004. It tells her behind the scenes account of what happened in 1993, and what the media refused to report.
Here is an excerpt from pages 153-155 of her book “Redemption”:
With all of Michael Jackson’s notoriety, awards, millions of dollars, record breaking statistics, and fans all over the world, he remains surprisingly humble, meek, unselfish, always caring for world unity, dying children, underprivileged children and reaching out to a hurting world. He never publicly broadcasted his humanitarian acts and deeds because of meekness and humility.
Instead of using his millions on drugs, alcohol, women and gambling, he has chosen to live an impeccable life in the public’s eyes. In the movie, The Jackson’s American Dream, Michael Jackson was upset when his brother got married. His statement was, “you are disappointing our fans.” It is my guess, that his desire to be single and live unmarried before this incident stemmed from his wanting all his adoring fans to have a symbolic piece of him, fulfilling their fantasies to the fullest by his remaining single, available and free. Even his stage performance and presence seduces his audience with bodily gestures that portrays the sensual side of Michael Jackson.
Everyone that I have ever known who helps anyone underprivileged, such as children, women, seniors, homeless and the hungry, seems to have an incredible blessing on their lives. There seems to be a divine law in this universe that renders back to each individual on their giving. The advantage of having spiritual insight is that you are forewarned; therefore, you are forearmed. But even for those not aware, that principle works, whether you know it or not. Just like the law of gravity—it also works whether you know it or not. Whether you know what gravity is or is not, the instant you jump off a building gravity is right there to introduce itself as it pulls you down rapidly to the ground.
When you give kindness, kindness comes back. When you give love, love comes back. Likewise, when you give selfishness, life renders selfishness back to you. When you give deceit, murder, stealing, etc., life robs you of the same deceit you are giving, life murders your life, life steals your life and so on…. It takes some people their whole lifetime to find out, at the end, that they have just been living a big payback lifestyle.
On the other hand, if you are living successful and have played all the cards right, treating people right and acknowledging God as your source, it doesn’t mean nothing bad will never happen to you in your lifetime. The difference in this scenario, is that because you have done good and treated people right and fair, right and fair comes to your rescue when you need it. If you’re considerate, consideration comes to your aide when you need it. If you’re kind, kindness comes to your side when you need it the most.
Don’t be fooled by a person who treats people unfairly, thinking they are having a happy life, no matter what it looks like. Don’t think that just because people don’t get caught breaking the law that they are living a happy life.
I believe Michael Jackson has the favor of God on his life. For all the children Michael Jackson has helped, all the smiles that he has put on many faces, all the love he has extended to those in need, I believe God gave Michael Jackson a ram in the bush.
I will now start go discuss some Michael Jackson bloggers who are also of deep faith.
Deborah Kunesh is a freelance journalist and entertainment writer who has written for numerous magazines and publications. Here is an excerpt from her bio from her official website:
I’ve considered myself a writer all of my life. I’ve written stories and poems ever since I was a kid.
I also grew up in a musical family, with a Dad who is a musician as well as a now-retired band director. So years later, I took that love of, and passion for music and the performing arts, and combined it with my love of writing, working on Entertainment features and interviews with recording artists, entertainers and celebrities.
I have been writing professionally for over 15 years. I have written news features, human interest features and business features as well as advertising copy, website copy, advertorials, and entertainment pieces and interviews.
Debbie is a devout Christian, and believes that her work to defend MJ and heal his legacy is Divinely inspired. She has stated on numerous occasions that she gives the glory to God for all that she has accomplished, and for all of the wonderful people she has met and befriended in her quest to defend MJ. As you’re about to see, her work is very extensive!
The name of her Michael Jackson websites and blogs are “Reflections on the Dance”. Here is how she came up with the name:
The name for this website was chosen because the “dance” stands for so many things, especially when it comes to Michael Jackson. First, he was an amazing dancer. One of the most amazing we have seen in our lifetime. Even Fred Astaire himself concurred. Michael also explains in “Dancing the Dream” his feeling that “the world we live in is the dance of the creator and that dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye, but the dance lives on.” We see a reflection of ourselves in a mirror, which reminds us of Michael’s “Man in the Mirror.” Michael was a reflection of all of us and we all need to look in the mirror to make this world a better place.
“Reflectionsonthedance.com” stands for a looking back, an appreciation, a paying respect and tribute to, the life and dance, that was Michael Jackson.
She has a Reflections on the Dance website, BlogSpot blog, WordPress blog, Twitter page, and Facebook page! And if that wasn’t enough, she also created a website called “The Truth About MJ”! And on top of that, she also has her own YouTube channel! Using her contacts in the entertainment industry, she has been able to secure interviews with the following defenders of MJ: Geraldine Hughes (who I referenced earlier), Aphrodite Jones, Larry Nimmer, and Tom Mesereau!
Out of all the work she has done for MJ, I am by far most impressed with her three-part series “Debunking The Demonic Deception”, which is very similar to this series because it also debunks many of the lies spread about MJ from the religious community. The series is far too detailed for me to try to summarize here, so I’ll leave the links to each part below, and I would highly recommend that readers of this blog check them out once they’re finished with this series!
That’s just a small sample of the many great articles that Debbie has written about Michael! But the following is one that can be briefly referenced here, due to the subject matter. It’s called “Judging Michael”, and in it Debbie chastises not only the general public for ridiculing Michael, but also the church community! Here’s a brief excerpt:
As a society, we have become a people so quick to judge, condemn and ridicule. This critical tendency even reaches as deep as our churches, our workplaces and our homes.
Michael Jackson, despite his immense talents and philanthropic endeavors, was very harshly judged by so many. That included the media, many of us, and even included many in the church.
Some couldn’t see past his appearance, the clothes he wore, his dance moves. Everything he wore and did was critiqued. Every move he made was put under a microscope that none of us, even those doing the judging themselves, could have passed judgment under. Though we know that God looks at the heart, we instead focused on everything but that.
We felt justified in judging him because we felt we somehow had a right. He was a celebrity after all, so therefore, he was our business. He had wealth, so therefore, we could be critical and judge and felt we had a right to know how he spent his money, despite the fact that much of that money went to charity. We felt that since he was in the public eye, that we had the right to scrutinize his life down to every minute detail, even though much of that which we heard, wasn’t factual or accurate. We felt okay laughing at him, ridiculing him and labeling him as a freak, wacko, eccentric.
What we forgot, from the everyday hum of our workplaces, to our social groups, to our churches, to our living room sofas, was that Michael Joseph Jackson was a human being with feelings and a heart just like every single one of us who has been blessed to walk this earth. A human being who had to endure more than most of us can even begin to imagine. A human being who gave more to this world than many of us ever will.
We, as a people, so quickly judge anyone we feel is somehow different from ourselves. Is it due to fear, jealousy, something else? We turn our backs on those crying out for help, we tear apart and ridicule someone who is dressed differently, wears their hair different or is in any way out of the realm of what we ourselves, in our own smug way, consider normal or acceptable. We judge by race, skin color, creed, financial status, appearance. This tendency to judge has even reached deep into some of our churches, which should be places of welcome and should serve as hospitals to the sick, to those in need, to those needing a friend or a listening ear, despite how they are dressed. Jesus himself said that it is not the well who needed help, but rather, the sick and the hurting.
Despite all of this ridicule that Michael endured due to the press’ inaccurate image of him being sent out to the world and our eagerness to buy it hook, line and sinker, Michael continued to speak about love, to teach us about loving and caring for one another, caring about our earth, cultivating and spreading peace rather than hatred. Even in his despair, he still held tight to his faith in God, he still cared about those who were hurting, showed love willingly and kept his heart anchored in kindness.
In the midst of all of this after his passing, I have seen fans arguing needlessly with other fans and forgetting their manners in how we should treat others and I have to wonder if Michael’s message has gotten lost somewhere or if we were even listening in the first place. We still many times live with a lack of peace and we forget to love.
Michael’s message about love, peace and hope is relevant still. It will always be relevant. We all need to make sure we are doing our part in making this world a better place.
Ironically, there is another articled titled “Judging Michael Jackson“, written by conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, and it is totally antithetical to what Debbie just wrote! Malkin wrote her article on November 22nd, 2002, in response to the “baby dangling” incident. As you read it, you’ll see exactly what Debbie is talking about! The feeling of self-rightousness that many people have towards MJ! If Malkin had merely said that MJ was wrong for what he did, that would have been ok; but she used it as a chance to make personal attacks against him! I wonder if she comes down as harshly on parents who talk on their cell phones while driving cars, or who leave their children unattended inside of a hot car while they shop, or who try to beat the train instead of stopping at railroad crossings!
Judging Michael Jackson
So much that is wrong with our culture can be summed up in a single headline published this week by USA Today: “Don’t judge Jackson, say child experts.” Don’t judge Michael Jackson for dangling a 9-month-old baby over a balcony, “expert” Sally Lee of Parents magazine counsels us. Why not? Because no parent is perfect, Lee explains condescendingly, and we wouldn’t want to make a “pariah” of celebrities who make “mistakes.”
Oh, heavens no, we wouldn’t want to make a pariah out of a self-destructive boy-man who suddenly surfaces with an entourage of three vulnerable children of questionable paternity — all bizarrely bearing the name “Michael” and literally unable to breathe freely in public because Jackson puts hoods over their heads to hide their faces.
Don’t judge Michael Jackson for recklessly endangering an innocent life, “expert” A. Sidney Johnson of Prevent Child Abuse America implores. Why not? “All of us, regardless of income, can unintentionally place children in harm’s way.” As if Jackson didn’t intend to wave around the baby like a trophy before his crazed fans in Germany? As if the baby accidentally crawled up into Jackson’s arms while he was blowing creepy kisses to the crowd below? As if any normal, sane parent, regardless of income, would tote around his or her children for the cameras with makeshift burqas covering their heads?
But never mind. We shouldn’t judge Michael Jackson, warns “expert” child psychologist Sam Goldstein, author of “Raising Resilient Children.” Why not? “We can’t jump to conclusions without knowing the facts.” Well, I’m no high-falutin’ expert, but if I were the mother of the writhing, towel-smothered infant who nearly plunged to his death at the clammy hands of Michael Jackson, I’d have this crotch-grabbing celebrity thrown in jail faster than you can say “Bad.” The facts are plainer than the collapsed nose on Jackson’s frightful face. This man is unfit to be anywhere near children, let alone to be a make-believe parent of three.
In the obfuscatory language of the psychological experts, Michael Jackson has Major Issues. He’s more than a sideshow freak. He’s a menace. Jackson shelled out $20 million to shut up a 13-year-old boy who accused the pop star of molesting him at his Neverland ranch in Southern California. His older sister, LaToya (herself an emotional train wreck), corroborated long-held suspicions by revealing to the press that Jackson often spent nights with young boys in his bedroom during elaborate sleepover parties. The fizzled King of Pop has a reported addiction to Demerol, and has been rumored to have hooked himself up to his own narcotic drip in the past to feed his dependency.
He concocted a story for the tabloids about sleeping in a “hyperbaric” chamber to stop wrinkles. He made a chimp named Bubbles his significant other for a year, dressing him in matching outfits before dumping him off at a zoo after he tired of the primate’s company. And after transmogrifying himself from black to see-through, he hysterically accused his record company of racism. Jackson’s inner demons — resentment of a distant father, self-hatred of his skin color, confusion over his sexuality, and anger over the sacrifice of his childhood as the price of fame — have eaten away at the once-gifted entertainer’s soul.
If you think his outer visage is a mess, imagine the rotting core inside. If Jackson is willing to butcher himself into near-oblivion over his inadequacies, imagine what he will do to his own purported sons and daughter when they don’t meet his twisted expectations. Yet, Jackson’s friends and enablers and professional defenders blithely ignore the obvious danger he poses to himself and those poor children now in his possession. “Despite his peculiarities,” Jackson “is extremely impressive as a father,” friend Gary Pudney told People magazine last month. “He had a very lonely childhood. His motivation in having children is partly because of that but mainly because he loves them.” Is the sick and selfish compulsion that prompted Michael Jackson to treat a 9-month-old baby like a headless human yo-yo this week “love”?
Ignore the experts. You be the judge.
I’ll give Malkin some credit, though; she was much less judgemental and far more compassionate towards him after he died. It would be hypcritical of me to not include what she wrote about him on June 25th, 2009, so here it is!
Remembering Michael Jackson
By Michelle Malkin • June 25, 2009 06:55 PM
So, you know by now that Michael Jackson died today after cardiac arrest (just a few hours after the death of Farrah Fawcett).
His adult life was marred by lurid molestation charges, endless displays of bizarre behavior with his three children, plastic surgery horrors, and financial mayhem.
But he was a musical genius in his early days before he succumbed to Hollyweird and that’s what I’ll choose to remember. So sad — the corruption of innocence, the talent squandered, the celebrity gone wild. So sad.
The next Christian MJ blogger that I will highlight is Betty Byrnes, who is the author of the “MJ Bliss” blog. Here is her background:
Since Michael Jackson’s death as fans around the globe collectively reached out via the internet to console one another and share their grief, the Lord laid very heavily on my heart an assignment that I should write. I felt a calling from the Lord to not write about just anything but that I should go out, visit places where Michael Jackson lived, shopped, ate, visited and where he had been laid to rest & meet other MJ fans. That I should go ask questions from people who knew him or met him, learn more about Michael Jackson & share it with fans globally. Share my ‘Michaeling’ experiences, as this adventuring has come to be known, with fans everywhere in order to help them feel closer to Michael & possibly help them to obtain some sense of healing. I deeply feel as though this has been my assignment from the Lord. I have been blessed to learn from fans around the world that in fact this has been what many of my stories about my Southern California Michael Jackson experiences have done for them.
She has also written many great stories about MJ as well. Here is an excerpt from a blog post titled “Dove of Love”
I remember looking at my son and his girlfriend, two of the most amazing people, and feeling like I was going to burst as I heard myself blurt out “I know it may seem as if I have gone off the rails and I haven’t written in years but I HAVE to write. I simply HAVE to write. I have to write about Michael Jackson!” It was the last part of that statement I thought might make them wonder. At the time I had only just begun to reveal to my family how deeply I had been affected by Michael’s death. I had never been an adoring “fan” of anyone except the Lord Jesus Christ who is and was and will always be the main man in my life. I remember them looking back at me with an incredulous look like I had just grown two heads and glancing at one another like “What? What do we do? What do we say to this?” I could see them questioning my sanity. I laugh now about that moment in time and gratefully know they not only support me but encourage me in my writings and LOVE for MJ. They understand my need to fight the wrong inflicted on Michael in his life, to share the truth. This is my passion, my assignment from the Lord, to share about my Michael Jackson adventures and in some way touch the lives of those who cannot be here in Southern California in a way that helps them feel as though they are traveling along on my adventures, providing some small avenue of healing in the loss of Michael Jackson.
My name is Raven Woods. I’m a writer, sometime journalist, and all-around MJ fan. I’m not an MJ expert and don’t claim to be. I’m just a fan who enjoys sharing my views and insights with others. I have found that writing about him has helped me get through the grief over his loss. It helps me to put things in perspective. And like many of you, I am seeking justice and closure for what happened to him, as well as hoping that eventually his name and legacy will be fully exonerated by the media.
Some of my credentials include The W.B. Yeats Award, the International Merit Award from “The Atlanta Review,” The Hackney Literary Award, and two writing fellowships: The Albert and Elaine Borchard Fellowship and The Taos Summer Writer’s Conference. I have an MA in English from Mississippi State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Georgia College and State University.
In part 1 of this series, I referenced a note that Raven wrote on her Facebook page in which she displayed her disappointment that a popular Christian magazine insinuated that Michael wasn’t a Man of God due to his “weirdness”, and I will post a brief excerpt of it here (you can open that link to read it in its entirety):
The article was mostly balanced and, I thought, pretty fair overall, but there were still some issues that bothered me. The article portrayed Michael mostly as a tragic victim-a victim of fame, of an abusive childhood, of failed marriages, of accusations leveled against him (of course, you knew they would mention that, but how could they not! Those charges, fairly or not, became forever linked in the public’s consciousness with the name Michael Jackson). It occurred to me as I read the article that there are two false extreme perceptions the public has of Michael Jackson. He is either viewed as a complete monster and freak, or as “The Victim.” Of course, neither is accurate. He certainly wasn’t a monster, but I think this tendency to reduce him to nothing more than the clichéd’ “Victim of Fame” is just as damaging. Both extremes do one thing-they deny him of his humanity and his complexity as a human being. It also bothered me that an entire centerspread article on the passing of Michael Jackson, especially in a Christian magazine, of all places, made no mention whatsoever of his enormous humanitarian contributions. But what bothered me most (even if albeit well intentioned by the writers) was the question, “What difference could Jesus have made in Michael Jackson’s life?”
In other words, had Michael “known Jesus” he could have surely been saved from the demons that plagued him, and the loneliness that consumed him! My immediate response to that was, “And how do you people presume to know what Michael’s relationship with Christ was?
William Wagener is a community activist from Santa Barbara, CA, and has railed against the corruption that has overtaken the District Attorney’s office for many years. He has been highly critical of Sneddon’s misconduct throughout the years, to put it mildly, and after realizing that MJ was being maliciously prosecuted, he began to publicly defend him during the trial on his weekly television show.
In the video below, listen to Wagener talk about the religious experience he had that helped convince him that MJ was truly innocent (as opposed to having his attorneys raise “reasonable doubt”), and that he should defend him:
And in this video, Wagener lays out his case against Sneddon, Zonen, and the rest of the prosecution and law enforcement officials who were involved in the case!
Bonnie Cox is a Christian who only “discovered” MJ after his death, and I referenced her in part 1 of this series. (Here is her Twitter page, and her YouTube channel.) She was motivated to start her blog after she read a Pastor’s comment on Facebook that MJ was a pedophile freak who doesn’t belong in the same league as Elvis Presley, and she utterly shocked to hear that from a Pastor! Here is a poem that she posted on January 25th, 2010, the 7 month anniversary of MJ’s death, tiled “One More Day”:
One More Day
I cried today
Just let it go
Couldn’t help it
I miss you so
One more day
Without you here
With one last smile
How will I cope
When will I heal
Without your hope
To stave my fears
You’re in my dreams
And when I wake
Yet more tears
I can’t escape
I cried today
Can’t let you go
I cannot help it
I miss you so
Could God grant me
Release from pain
The loss of you
From sorrow’s stain
I cried today
You need to know
Always with me
I miss you so
Your face before me
Holds my heart
Eyes embrace me
Yet we’re apart
So full of life
When you were here
A vibrant light
So sad it comes
As no surprise
The aching loss
Of your demise
I miss you Mike
Why did you part?
How could you leave
And break my heart?
I cried today
Can’t let you go
I love you Mike
And I miss you so
Poem © Bonnie L. Cox
Another prominent Christian MJ advocate that I would like to highlight in this post is Reverend Catherine Gross, who hosts a radio show called “A Place In Your Heart” on the “Blog Talk Radio” network, where she interviews other MJ advocates and discusses topics of interest to MJ fans all over the world. If you look through her archives, you’ll see interviews with some of the other MJ bloggers that I mentioned in this post, including Debbie Kunesh, William Wagener, and Raven Woods!
Rev. Gross is also a member of the MJJ Justice Project (here’s their twitter account), which is a group of advocates who are dedicated to doing their part to heal MJ’s legacy. Last year, they published a post called “An Absurdity”, which is about the absurdity that some people believe that anyone who advocates for MJ is a guilt of “worshipping” him. Here’s an excerpt:
I was told I joined a “cult” when I became a Michael Jackson supporter (fan) and joined MJJ Justice Project. I found it humorous when I read the words in that email. This is what a cult means: All new religious groups deemed outside of Christian orthodoxy are considered “cults”.
I have been accused of being a follower of a false religion, a false god, and hero worship. I also find this rather amusing. There is nothing further from the truth then these statements. I find it interesting that people are so quick to judge and decide what they do not understand or maybe don’t want to understand. I find it even more interesting that it is Christians that make these statements.
Some fans see Michael Jackson as a musical genius and a great performer and inspire to be a great musician and performer. Some have heard his message and have seen the man behind the artist and desire to be like him in a charitable and spiritual way, they desire to walk out the message he inspired and finish his work to heal the world. Some have taken on the task of preserving the legacy of a great spiritual man and performer.
Many of us Christians as a whole inspire to be great and when we achieve this greatness there is responsibility as an example of our faith even more so when fame comes upon us. It is only natural to make a decision of what example and what message we want to give to the world. Many artists have this creative thought process. Michael Jackson chose the message of Love. I find this genius because God is Love and Love breaks through every barrier or stronghold. Love is considered the greatest of all gifts. For the scriptures say; desire the best gifts yet I will show you a better way it is far greater gift than them all; Love.
Why is it so hard to believe that Michael Jackson was a Christian brother that had the greatest gift?Michael Jackson grew up a Jehovah Witness and practiced their teachings. Contrary to popular belief they do believe Jesus as savior and he read the Bible faithfully. Whether your religious doctrine agrees with this faith is irrelevant. For God is Love. He later in life left the Jehovah Witness church but he did not give up the God he believed in. He has said “I will never stop, never stop loving like Jesus said to.” His desire was to heal the world through love and good works. He encouraged unity to fulfill this purpose.
Notice how she referenced MJ’s decision to voluntarily leave the Jehovah’s Witness church; I will address that topic, and many others, in the last part of this series.
In the final part, I will accept the challenge of a Christian blogger to “prove” that MJ was a Christian, that he really did leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I will explain that he wasn’t “weird”, but unique!
UPDATE! April 12, 2012 by sanemjfan
Here is an article from July 2010 that I originally wanted to include in the post, but couldn’t find it until recently. It’s about a Christian woman who chastises her brethren for their mistreatment of MJ, similar to the others that I mentioned throughout this post. Enjoy!
Music Monday: Michael Jackson and Christianity
By Abbi Siler |
Posted 3:45 pm on July 05, 2010
When you think of Michael Jackson many different ideas, phrases, and words begin to pop up in your mind. ‘King of Pop’, ‘Thriller, ‘Criminal’, ‘Weirdo’,’ Pervert’, ‘Talent’, ‘Fame’, ‘Dancer’, ‘Singer’, and more. The life of Michael Jackson has been an interesting story to follow, and many are still unaware of the King of Pop’s abusive childhood, and the emotional turmoil the world famous pop artist endured most of his adult life. The power of words didn’t just impact Michael as an adult, he heard the hate in words as a boy being told his nose was too fat, and his skin was too dark. As his fame grew, those words continued to chip away at the heart of a boy becoming a man the world wanted to mold. Perhaps we should take a look at Michael Jackson with new eyes, and see him as a child of God. A man who struggled with the price of fame, the spotlight, and the pressures to be someone the world expected him to be.
Perhaps the hardest conversations I have with people today are about Michael Jackson. This may seem strange, but a majority of my friends and peers have a very negative view of Michael Jackson — his life, his story, his decisions. It’s discouraging to me because the King of Pop is no different than you and I, yet we exploit him so freely. His trials and failures were something everyone knew about, whether truth or fiction. His distant behavior and inability to communicate with the world without his music made it very easy for the masses find him guilty without even viewing any or all the facts. The true events of his life will never be known to us, only to God, Michael and those who were involved, yet the world held those accusations as ammunition, ready to fire their words, their opinions and their hatred onto a man who wanted only to promote peace, love and innocence. His actions were different, his approach to innocence and capturing a childhood he never had was out of the ordinary, and his distant and aloof behavior in his adult years bred from years of child abuse, and self-esteem issues only opened the door for speculation by the mass majority of the world. This leads to confusion, to uncertainty, to negativity….but should this breed hate?
I understand where the negative opinion of Michael Jackson comes from, and I understand the confusion it causes people worldwide. However, I do not understand the slanderous actions taken by members of the body of Christ after his death, and even during his troubled life. Terms like ‘Whacko Jacko’, and slanderous jokes shared at the lunch table after Sunday morning services. These actions, I cannot understand nor find acceptable.
As Christians, I feel we lost an opportunity when Michael Jackson passed away. I feel we lost an opportunity while he was living. There before us, loved by millions, scorned by millions was a man who in his songs shared his heart with the nation. He wanted to heal the world, to make a change, and to be understood.
In the song “Will You Be There,” a song many only associate with a killer whale named Willy, Michael Jackson shares some of his most intimate thoughts, that were dismissed by many at the time, and even still today. The song actually illustrates a form of fellowship that many Christians can relate to in the church. These are the lyrics, these words are straight from the lips of the King of Pop:
“…But They Told Me
A Man Should Be Faithful
And Walk When Not Able
And Fight Till The End
But I’m Only Human
Everyone’s Taking Control Of Me
Seems That The World’s
Got A Role For Me
I’m So Confused
Will You Show Me
You’ll Be There For Me
And Care Enough To Bear Me…”
Was the church there? Were you there? Did you lift him up in his times of darkest despair? Are we there for anyone in the spotlight being ripped to shreds for their fears, mistakes, and problems? Perhaps we should stop casting stones, and judging our brothers and sisters struggling with all the world to see. As a body of believers we have not been failed by the celebrities of the world, but instead, we have failed them.
My challenge to you this week: pray for someone who is doing things you don’t agree with, pray for someone who you think is a mockery to the world, pray for someone you don’t like, pray for your worst enemy. The funny thing about prayer—the more you pray for someone, the more you come to love them, care for them, cherish them, words of hate and malice are harder to speak when you take time to care, to pray, and to love.
Michael Jackson was my friend. I prayed for him, and I still mourn the missed opportunity to share love and hope with the King of Pop.