The Celebration of Insignificance In the Life And Death of Michael Jackson By Brother Charles T. Buntin “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, says the preacher…”(Ecclesiastes 1:2). What a spectacle that declares the truth of these words has been shown over the last few days. Poor, sad Michael Jackson, the King of Pop—the King of nothing, We grieve for his family and for his fans, and we should weep for ourselves because this whole circus is so vain and meaningless. We in the wealthy West obsess over sports figures and entertainment personalities and ignore their sad insignificance in the ultimate scheme of things. We emulate and fawn over people who will be virtually unknown in 100 years, and whose accomplishments will be recognized as totally meaningless long before that. What was the number one hit song in 1941? What were its words? We don't know. What was the best picture or its runners-up in 1941? A real movie buff might know, but the words of a crippled and half burned out politician, FDR "...Today, December 7th, 1941, a day that shall live in infamy...", launched a crusade to preserve liberty. In considering the career of a man nicknamed “Dutch,” a mostly "b" actor, I doubt if anyone except a champion old movie buff can quote even one line from the pictures he made [except “win one for the Gipper…”], but when President Reagan said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall...", he was giving witness to a fact that was already true and would soon to obvious to all. “Ronald Reagan won the cold war without firing a shot,” said Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister during the Reagan years. Hardly anyone remembers who were the great sports stars of the 1950s, but a tired woman who refused to move to the back of a bus in Birmingham started a revolution, and the courage of Rosa Parks lives on. A teacher, a caregiver, a soldier or marine walking point, an airman fixing a jet engine, a jet pilot flying a mission, a policeman or fireman running INTO the twin towers, a preacher who holds souls in his hands, the effects of these acts and real actors will be significant long after their names will be forgotten, and in the case of the soul surgeon, the significance will be eternal. Poor Michael Jackson, poor fans, poor paparazzi, they crave worship and adulation that no human deserves (or they desire some mere human to worship and adore), especially not the masters of the trivial. I cringe when I hear an entertainment film, or a music CD described as “important.” When I hear the sad, vain, and trivial song “We Are the World,” I wonder if any of the entertainers who sang it realize that in the ultimate scheme of things, it did nothing but make some rich westerners feel less guilty—the sad nations it purported to help are in worse condition than they were then. It is a sad but true fact that as we pillow our heads tonight somewhere around 65% of the people in this world will go to bed hungry and scared. It is a tragic but inescapable fact that dozens of wars rage as you read this, and all of the guilt contributions from the overflowing wealth of the tortured souls of entertainers and other celebrities cannot and will not change any of that. Human beings have an incredible ability and inclination to murder the innocent, ravage the helpless, and enslave the free, and only the protectors given us as a gift from God (Romans 13:1-7) can even slow that down. Some think man is an angel, but as the Irish sergeant in “Gettysburg” said, “If man is an angel, he’s a killer angel.” The truth is, that even the acts of soldiers and kings, doctors and nurses, scientists and politicians are in the long run incapable of fixing the human problem. Our problem is spiritual. We are all afflicted with a heart that is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), and from inside the souls of man comes all manner of evil (Mat 15:18-19), and the best efforts of the best of mankind can only restrain the rot and ease the pain for a time. Only the words and deeds and power of One who came to us as an obscure Jewish Carpenter can end the hurt and bring in righteousness and justice, as He will when He brings in the Kingdom. And that kingdom will not be inaugurated by vain human arms, vain human charity, or vain human temporary peace treaties, and certainly not by sad, afflicted, soul-tortured and ultimately helpless entertainers. The Kingdom’s consummation will begin with a trumpet, a shout, and an archangel’s voice, and will end with the destruction of the old universe and the coming of a new universe. In Eternity, neither the hits of Michael Jackson, nor praises to the heroism of the protectors will be sung. Rather, the songs of Revelation 4 and 5, and the praises of Isaiah 6, and of the psalms, and maybe, “Amazing Grace” will be the anthems we hear. That is important—little else is, because the ultimate significance for any human being is to bow the knee to the Name that is above all names, and to worship Him who alone is worthy of all worship. I am not the judge of men, but Michael Jackson, raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, exposed to counselors of all sorts of human religion, most likely left this world without coming to know and worship this One Who is the only One worthy of that worship, and if so, that is the saddest reality of all. This essay may anger some of you, it may offend others. But the Truth I am bound to tell is this: it was our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through me,” (John 14:6), and who also said, (Mat 4:10) "…it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'"" What a display of the vanity of men this week has been.