A Conversation about Michael Jackson and the Gospel of Jesus Christ


I posted on my Facebook profile a video of Michael Jackson performing MAN IN THE MIRROR which I assume is the title of the song. The lyrics include, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror…” and “I’m going to make a change.” I made a comment about Mr. Jackson making white socks look “rockin’ cool.”

The following is a conversation that ensued:

J.P.F. – “Yea, the little boys loved him and he loved and lusted after them.”

Carley (i.e. me) “Well what a nice thing to say… I was just commenting on his white socks…”

J.P.F. “Yea, it sure was not nice of him to molest all those boys. Just guessing but I don’t believe he is resting in peace. I’m just shocked is all that a professed Christian would post a positive comment of a pedophile. I assume you are against pedophilia and believe it is an obombination against God?” ( Notice Obambination )

Carley (me) “I wasn’t thinking of that when I posted this; I was only thinking of the meaning of the song and that his white socks would look stupid on anyone else. That’s all. I was making NO JUDGMENTS as I leave that to God. After all, the song says, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.” That’s what I do — I judge myself and not others… if at all possible!”

J.P.F. “God has already judged homosexuality to be wrong. Agreeing with God is not US making the judgement.”

Carley (me) “God thinks a lot of things we do are WRONG; it’s okay to agree with God, of course. But we don’t have to stick other people’s noses in it. God is much better at that than we ever will be. We are to proclaim the GOOD NEWS; i.e. Why are you so obsessed with other people’s sins? Why don’t you just look in the mirror like Michael Jackson suggested he should do? Start with the “man in the mirror.” Change him. Take the PLANK from your eye to see the SPECK in my eye, dude.”

J.P.F. “You won’t stand against sin and stand on the side of God? OK I think the Bible clearly teaches we are His mouth peace and the Gospel is not just hHeaven as a promise but that sins nailed Jesus to the cross. We should agree with God and HATE sin. “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” 1 Timothy 5:20″

Carley (me) “You can hate sin without hating the sinner or belittling him or her. You can stand with GOD who is LOVE and recognize that He forgives and that MERCY TRIUMPHS OVER JUDGMENT (James 2:13). I can throw out verses, too. But GOD is the ultimate judge and I trust Him.”

J.P.F. “I don’t hate Michael Jackson. I also don’t promote how wonderful he was or what cool clothes or comment on his dancing. I simply stay clear. From what I can see he was NOT a friend of God and I certainly do not want to be disloyal.”

Carley (me) “Well that’s fine. Of course. I just didn’t think of his sins when I posted this; I just thought about his song which I happen to like. Take good care of yourself. And God bless. PS My point here at this juncture is to suggest that our sins do not disqualify us from doing valuable things with our lives. We are ALL sinners and we ALL fail, but we also have things to offer to other human beings. If that is not true, what’s the point of being here on earth at all?! Your position seems to be that if you commit a murder let’s say you will never do anything that is GOOD — I don’t happen to believe that is true. God says, “Go, and sin no more.” He says, “You are forgiven.” That is worth celebrating. Love always wins. Don’t you remember the man who prayed to GOD, “Thank you God that I am not like that sinner over there.” And God said, “At least that sinner over there has his head down in shame. I tell you, he is the one who is justified, not the one who thinks he is already justified.” You need to re-read the GOSPEL, Mr. F.”

J.P.F. — I believe if someone commits murder they can never do any good? Wow, where did you get that in anything I ever said? I happen to be a wicked, miserable, no good sinner that has been forgiven, not by my own doings but by the Grace and Mercy of God. I need Him now as much as the night I got Saved. There is still nothing good in me but God.”

Carley (me) “Well that’s something I agree with, Mr. F. I too am a miserable sinner saved by grace. Perhaps Mr. Jackson was saved, too — perhaps in the moment of his death, or perhaps at another time that you and I are unaware of. Let us not judge him; let’s just hope he met his maker with a clear conscience. If he didn’t, that’s not our problem (now), but his. God bless.”

Advertisements

“Wondering” by Carley Evans


Wondering why some Christians are “open-minded” and others are not. Wondering how it is some Christians see Christ as kind and gentle, loving and forgiving while others see Him as mean and angry, hateful of sin and judgmental? How can people who claim to believe in the same God come out so differently after reading the same Bible and praying to the same Lord?
How can some believe God hates sinners while others believe God loves sinners so much He actually DIED for them? How can some believe God wants Christians to stand up against sin to the point of harming other human beings who happen to sin while others believe they too sin and are just as deserving of the same type of “revenge” against sin?
Why do some Christians feel capable of judging other human beings while others feel entirely unworthy of the task?
Oh Lord, help us to know the Truth so it and You may set us Free. Amen.

Looking From the Outside ( by Carley Evans )


Looking From the Outside

Let’s think for a moment about Saul, a persecutor and murderer of Christians, a dyed in the wool enemy of Jesus Christ. Now, why do you suppose God picked Saul? What was particularly attractive about this man? His willingness to be extreme? Maybe. For the task God gives to Saul, I think his zealousness is a good trait. Saul is also smart and knowledgeable about God’s Law, His Word. That had to be attractive to God. Yes? Maybe. But what of Saul’s hatred of the Father’s Son? How could that be attractive to God the Father? Or to God the Holy Spirit? Saul’s hatred of the Son of God had to be offensive to the Godhead!

So, why does Jesus appear to Saul on the road to Damascus?

Doesn’t it indicate God knows Saul’s heart? God knows what anyone looking from the outside could not possibly see – that Saul is ready to become Paul, the great Apostle of Jesus Christ first for the Jews then for the Gentiles.

Next time you start to judge another, stop and think about how you would have judged Paul.

“Perfect Decisions” ( 1 Samuel 16:6-8 LEB ) by Carley Evans


People look at the outside; they judge others by their appearances. God never does this! Instead, God looks at the heart. How often do you find yourself measuring a person? Often? I suggest you not do this, for you can’t see that person’s heart. Yes, you can tell something about the person by his or her actions, but even that is subject to your biases. Instead, I recommend leaving the judgment to God. He’s the only One qualified to judge other people.

When they came, he saw Eliab and said, “Surely his anointed one is before Yahweh!” But Yahweh said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For God does not see what man sees, for a man looks on the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel, and he said, “This one also Yahweh has not chosen.”

And, we need to recognize that God makes choices; sometimes, His choices are difficult for us to understand. He does not select a person for a particular task or mission based on human reasoning. Rather, He knows the motivations and the outcomes. He knows what is best. Trust Him more to make the perfect decisions.

“Ask for the Good Stuff” ( Matthew 7:7-8, WYC ) by Carley Evans


Douglas_Hamilton, Wild Dogs...25.
Douglas_Hamilton, Wild Dogs…25. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before Jesus says this:

“Ask ye, and it shall be given to you; seek ye, and ye shall find; knock ye, and it shall be opened to you. For each that asketh, taketh; and he that seeketh, findeth; and it shall be opened to him, that knocketh;”

He says not to throw your pearls to swine in case you are trampled to death by them or torn to pieces by wild dogs.

Before He warns of throwing yourself away, He warns not to judge others.

After He says to ask, seek, and knock, He reminds that God does not give bad things to His people, but only good things. Just as a parent does not give stones to hungry children, so God does not give worthless things to His children.

So, stop judging. Use discernment instead. And ask for what’s good, fully expecting to receive it. Seek it out so you find it. Knock and go in.

“Mercy: The Highest Standard” ( Colossians 3: 13, NCV ) by Carley Evans


English: Nablus image in Palestine, Never Forg...
English: Nablus image in Palestine, Never Forgive, Never Forget (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you.”

Paul says to put up with each other. He says put up with your friends’ faults, your neighbors’ mistakes, your enemies’ wrongs. He reminds you to forgive the other person “because the Lord forgave you.”

I ask you — what’s more critical: to hold the other to a high standard of behavior or to forgive the other for not reaching that high standard?

I maintain Jesus comes to earth to give us the highest standard which is mercy. James tells us that “mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 3:13, NIV) He writes:

“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.” (James 3:12-13)

Yes, Jesus tells you to be perfect because your Heavenly Father is perfect. But God’s perfection is attained not by your groping efforts or by your demand for good behaviors, but through the mercies of Christ on the cross. The blood of bulls and goats are not able to appease God’s wrath; only mercy is capable of bringing you to holiness.

Therefore, Jesus says:

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 7:27-28, NIV)

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that… But love your enemies, do good to them without expecting to get anything back.” (Luke 7:32-33, 35; NIV)

“Do good…without expecting anything…” Ultimately that is the Christian life : being merciful.

“Against Judgment” ( James 2: 13, KJV ) by Carley Evans


Icon of James the Just, whose judgment was ado...

 “13For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”

Jesus says if you can’t or won’t forgive those who’ve wronged you, then neither will God forgive you for the wrongs you’ve done against Him. If you can’t or won’t show mercy to your enemies, then God will not show you His mercy. Judgment without mercy ought to terrify your heart. Mercy without judgment ought to cause your heart to rejoice.

Jesus does not come to earth to judge; rather He comes to earth to show mercy. Since He is God, and we are not; it only follows we should not judge.