The Gospel According to Elton John: Making God in his own image

On February 19, 2010, several major news publications around the world, including BBC and  The Guardian, recorded Elton John’s words as he rewrote the historical Jesus. He spoke the following irreverent words during an extensive interview with Parade magazine,

“I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him.”

Elton’s comment has it partly right. Jesus was, and is, compassionate. He forgave those who crucified him. And yes, Jesus understood human problems better than any psychologist that has breathed the air of this planet. I might even concede his acknowledgement of Christ’s intelligence, if it really weren’t just another way to say Jesus was merely a very smart man, rather than the Son of God. And this he must say, for Jesus cannot be the Son of God and the homosexual Elton declares Jesus to be.

Christianity has been opposed, used and even misrepresented for centuries. At times political leaders romanced our faith to make a syncretistic powerplay, such as Constantine did in the fourth century. At other times war was blatantly waged against it. But in the quiet, it seems there is a trend afoot. A breed of pilgrims trying to find habitation somewhere between outright rejection of Jesus, and deceptive compromise. All or nothing is no longer a necessary equation. Why must we take Jesus or leave him as he is when we can take him, put a new face on him, and use him to our advantage?

This sick and perverted image of a homosexual Jesus comes as no surprise in light of Elton John’s aggressive gay rites tactics. Would he have said Jesus was a heterosexual? Perhaps. But only if he could have given it the right spin to make it advantageous, such as “Jesus was a straight-but-narrow-minded, unsympathetic religious fanatic.” However, because he was compassionate, understanding and forgiving, he was gay.

Such absurd and irreverently brazen remarks about Jesus, at the very least, should be challenged in the public arena. Unfortunately however, few voices have squeaked their way past the threshold of the front door of the press. Could it be that God’s people have nothing to say about it? Not likely. The problem is we usually don’t get to talk into the really BIG microphones. Those are reserved for the delusional. The label given by The Guardian to the few Christians who were heard, and justifiably outraged, was, “the Christian lobby” who is “not known for its tolerance of diverging views.”

I have a heart for the homosexual community. My intention is not to go after them, rather it is to bring balance to the table and clarity to the definitions that are so often carelessly used by liberals and conservatives alike. So at the risk of being labeled intolerant, let me say that the spin put into the statement made by the Guardian about diverging views makes it sound as if all views ought to enjoy diplomatic immunity and be held by everyone in some sort of royal honor. But what exactly is a diverging view?

According to the Oxford dictionary, to diverge is to leave the path you are traveling and then take an alternate route that goes in another direction. Now, I think diverging views can be great for sightseeing on a blue-skied Sunday when you are not trying to get anywhere in particular. But if you have a destination in mind, you can’t travel the southbound side and expect to head north. You just wont get there. Assuming, of course, that the place actually exists. The Jesus of Elton John did not exist.

There are absolutes in life, and to uphold them is not intolerant at all. It’s reasonable. We live daily by such absolutes. After all, would the math teacher tolerate a student’s view if on the exam he expressed it as 2 + 2 = 7? Nonetheless, with the direction society is heading, we may just get to the point where there is no wrong answer. To say otherwise would be intolerant.

So, to give audience to remarks like Elton John’s, and then call intolerant those who backlash, is not only intolerant in itself, but it is unfair and most especially unreasonable. It essentially says that history, and in particular the history of Jesus, is open to amendments. It assumes that opinion is just as valid as fact, even more so if it is an emotionally charged, divergent one. Folks, let’s not allow opinions to hijack the truth, no matter how famous their source.

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9 responses to “The Gospel According to Elton John: Making God in his own image

  1. This is the type of dialogue which needs to be had way more often these days. And by that I don’t mean to say that we should be necessarily discussing the relationship between homosexuality and the church, but rather that there needs to be a forum in which atheists, agnostics, and believers alike can discuss both the societal and spiritual effects of a growing relativistic paradigm. I know from my own experience studying in a university setting that the notion of there being no right or wrong answer to anything (even math when you get into that crazy incomprehensible stuff) is pretty much square when you’re approaching a subject. We’re taught to create an argument, defend it, and then refute it at least as well as we’ve just defended it. And while I do certainly believe that being trained to approach subjects in such a way has great benefits, this mentality often bleeds into other areas of one’s life–namely faith. And I believe that therein lies the greatest problem for a Christian academic. Reconciling one’s faith with the empirically driven mindset we’re often thrust into when we pursue academia can be a daunting task for many, and I know, at least from my perspective, this struggle often leads men to rationalize God in a similar manner to Sir Elton. Consider the history of the Christian church alone and we easily see that some of the most divisive moments in Christian history have been born from men projecting their own ideas onto the person of God. So anyway, I just wanted to say that I’m always hungry to discuss this type of stuff because my feelings with regard to it all are constantly shifting!

    • At first, relativism has an appeal to the newly initiated. It presents what seems to be a loophole to responsibility and freedom from the ‘bondage’ of absolutes, but it gives us nothing concrete to grasp and only imprisons more those who enter its gates. Once inside relativism, we find its landscape devoid of meaning. Its charm dwindles while gaining momentum in self-contradiction. It offers little help in dealing with an objective reality, and there is simply no end to the abstract wormhole that relativistic thinking creates. If we let it take us far enough on its destiny-less journey, we will surely be left wanting and, at best, more confused than ever in the concrete.

  2. I definitely agree with you there, but I do wish we could discuss this a bit more without having to deal with typing lol! keep the blog posts coming uncle mark, they’re great food for thought.

  3. Pingback: Relativism’s Vacuum leaves no Tangible Reality « Welcome to uThinkology

  4. The Bible clearly reveals to us the true nature and character of Jesus. Students of scripture know who He is. Those who don’t know Him probably do need to say “I think” when talking about Him, as does Elton John in this quote. And everything after “I think” is in the realm of personal opinion. Personal opinions can be interesting and thought provoking, but they don’t necessarily reflect the truth. Rather than listen to news commentators or read editorials analyzing what someone said in a speech, I’d rather hear the speaker or read the speech firsthand. Anybody who’s sincerely interested in the real Jesus has an immediate opportunity to meet and get to know Him ~ study the Bible.

  5. Hey, Mark, that’s a really great title, by the way!

  6. Pingback: uThinkology 2010 in Review « Welcome to uThinkology

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