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.”

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“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.

“God Loves Doom?” ( Psalm 33:4-5 WYC ) by Carley Evans


In one of his many songs, David proclaims – at least in the Wycliffe translation of the Word – that God “loveth mercy and doom.” In parenthesis, the translator adds an alternative version: “[God] loveth righteousness and justice.”

On one hand, “mercy”; on the other “righteousness.” On one hand, “doom”; on the other hand “justice.” Even in the final phrase, on one hand, “mercy”; on the other “love.”

For the word of the Lord is rightful (For the word of the Lord is true); and all his works be (done) in faithfulness. He loveth mercy and doom; the earth is full of the mercy of the Lord. (He loveth righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the love of the Lord.)

Imagine God loving “doom.”

If you look around at the state of the world at large, God loving doom is not hard to imagine. Listen to the evening news and doom is all around you – earthquakes, erupting volcanos, tsunamis, rising sea levels, erratic weather patterns, droughts, fires. And this doom does not yet include what people do to you ( or what you do to people… )!

So, where’s the evidence that God loves mercy?

The evidence for God’s mercy is less compelling, you might say. But, I would argue the evidence of God’s mercy is the doom inflicted and endured by Him on the Cross. “All [God’s] works be done in faithfulness.”

 

“Saved Through Him from Wrath” ( Romans 5: 1-10, HOLMAN ) by Carley Evans


So much of the good news is contained in the first ten verses of the fifth chapter of Paul’s letter to the church at Rome. He says clearly that we are “declared righteous,” that “we have peace with God,” that “we have obtained access” to “this grace in which we stand.” We may know with certainty that “this hope will not disappoint us.” Why? “Because God’s love has been poured out.” We have been given the Holy Spirit. And all this was given to us “while we were still helpless.” “Christ died for the ungodly.” That’s you and me! This willing death of God’s Son “proves” God’s love for us. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” Therefore, “we will be saved through Him from wrath.” After all, says Paul, if Christ died for us while we were His enemies, “how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His Life!”

Since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that,but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance,endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life!

“The Man is Merry” ( Psalm 112:5, WYC ) by Carley Evans


David, the psalmist, simply says that if you are merciful to others, if you lend yourself to others fairly and with good judgement, then you are merry. Accompanying your kind words and loving deeds is a happy heart.

The man is merry, that doeth mercy, and lendeth; he disposeth his words in doom; (Happy is the person who giveth favour when he lendeth; he disposeth his deeds with justice, or with good judgement😉

“The Simple Message of the Good News” ( Galatians 2: 16-21, WYC ) by Carley Evans


Mankind is not justified before God by working hard to please Him. Paul simply says that if that were so, then Christ died in vain. Rather mankind is saved by the Work of God in His Son, Jesus Christ and by God’s Grace and Mercy.

Paul also says that if we fall into sin, that does not then make Christ the “minister of sin!” He also claims that if we strive to obey the Law, we make ourselves trespassers. Rather we “are fixed to the Cross” so as “to live to God with Christ.” The Law is nailed there on the tree, and all its power destroyed.

Paul warns “cast not away the Grace of God.”

“16 know that a man [soothly knowing for a man] is not justified of the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; and we believe in Jesus Christ, that we be justified of the faith of Christ [that we be justified by the faith of Christ], and not of the works of the law. Wherefore of the works of the law each flesh shall not be justified.

17 And if we seek to be justified in Christ, we ourselves be found sinful men, whether Christ be minister of sin? God forbid. [That if we seeking to be justified in Christ, and we ourselves be found sinners, whether Christ is minister of sin? Far be it.]

18 And if I build again things that I have destroyed [Soothly if I build again those things that I destroyed], I make myself a trespasser.

19 For by the law I am dead to the law, [For by the law I am dead to the law, that I live to God;]

20 and I am fixed to the cross, that I live to God with Christ. And now live not I, but Christ liveth in me. But that I live now in flesh, I live in the faith of God’s Son, that loved me, and gave himself for me. [with Christ I am fixed to the cross. Forsooth I live now, not I, but Christ liveth in me. Forsooth that I live now in flesh, I live in the faith of God’s Son, which loved me, and betook himself for me.]

21 I cast not away the grace of God; for if rightwiseness be through law [for if rightwiseness is by the law], then Christ died without cause.”

“On His Shoulders, Our Guilt” ( Isaias 53:5-6, KNOX ) by Carley Evans


Who does this to Jesus? Is it the Romans? Is it Herod? Is it Pilate? Is it the Jews? (we hear this one, don’t we?) Is it me? Or you? Is it Satan? Is it God the Father?

“and all the while it was for our sins he was wounded, it was guilt of ours crushed him down; on him the punishment fell that brought us peace, by his bruises we were healed. Strayed sheep all of us, each following his own path; and God laid on his shoulders our guilt, the guilt of us all.”

Our sins put Jesus on the cross; that’s certain. But God the Father puts the guilt of our sins on His Son. Otherwise, we carry our guilt to the grave and beyond. Jesus’ bruises – the punishment He bears – free us from the same. Rather than anxiety, we gain peace.

Who does this? God the Father.

Do you suppose the Great Physician then decides to let us fall back into guilt? Wallow around it in like pigs? Shame on us if we even attempt to return to our squalor. For we are washed in His Son’s very blood.