Monday, November 20, 2006
We May Know Him Who is True
I was saddened last week to read an interview of pop star Sir Elton John. It was done for a special gay edition of The Observer's music magazine and addressed such wide-ranging issues as homosexuality, the British sense of humour and religion.

(If you are going to read the article, be aware that there is language used and topics discussed that may offend. I originally found his comments at the BBC website which has an article on the interview. I personally prefer to get back to primary sources if at all possible to avoid spin, misrepresentation and bias, which is why I have read his actual interview before making comment on it.)

In the same article as Sir Elton talks about his plans to "promote peace" and integration, he says:

From my point of view I would ban religion completely, even though there are some wonderful things about it. I love the idea of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the beautiful stories about it, which I loved in Sunday school and I collected all the little stickers and put them in my book. But the reality is that organised religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate.
I suppose we should not be shocked by his statements. More and more, society is embracing secularism and a skewed view of tolerance. 'It's only tolerant if your beliefs are the same as ours. Religion is not tolerant, so let's ban it.' Society only believes in freedom of speech if these views are not too far from societal norm. Thankfully, we are guaranteed freedom of religious expression and freedom of assembly by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Sir Elton seems to be picking and choosing which of the "beautiful stories" about Jesus he listens to. Jesus does not strike me as a 'tolerant' kind of chap who only wanted to share "beautiful stories".

C S Lewis wrote about this attitude more eloquently than I ever could in Mere Christianity:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
1 John 5:20

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  posted at 06:04  

At 26 November, 2006 01:59, Blogger Jonny said...

You have some very clear ideas. I can hardly believe I found your blog and am the first to comment!

At 27 November, 2006 23:41, Blogger Keziah said...

I am just trying to work out whether having "some very clear ideas" is a good or a bad thing!

At 28 November, 2006 04:42, Blogger Jonny said...

Elton John is messed up, your comments and quotes are spot on.

At 01 December, 2006 20:04, Blogger Keziah said...

Glad we agree! :-) It was disappointing to see how many people in the newspapers and at work thought he was speaking a lot of sense however... It did lead to some great conversations about faith, so it has been used for good and, I hope, to bring God some glory despite Elton John's comments.


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