The Court of Public Opinion

Michael Jackson died over two years ago.  I’m not ashamed to say, I cried when I heard of his death.  I’m also not ashamed to say that I sobbed and sniffled while watching his funeral.  I might be ashamed to say that I burst into noisy tears when “Human Nature” came on my car radio a few months later.  The point is that MJ’s death affected me, along with millions of other fans; and, there was a general feeling that Conrad Murray was responsible for his early demise.

I tend to stay out of public opinion debates, but in the case of Dr. Murray I had – as a family friend said – “all this gusto come out” of me.  “Throw that man under the jail!”  I might have said that once, twice…forty-nine times.  What can I say?  I love hard.

Gradually I filtered back into reality and I tempered all emotions.   Let’s be logical; only three people really know what happened before Michael Jackson died: MJ himself, his physician, and God.  I found that the more I pulled back from the situation, the softer my heart grew.  Conrad Murray became less of a monster and more of a fallible person needing grace.  I felt sorry for him.  I prayed for him.

That’s the position I should have always had as a Christian.  I know what it’s like to mess up and desperately need mercy.  And I know the cleansing that comes from not receiving what I do deserve.  Of all people, I should keep my mouth free of condemnation and full of grace!  I am not saying I disagree with the guilty verdict Dr. Murray was given.  What I am saying is that my heart should never go to a place where it chooses conviction over compassion.

If Conrad Murray were the only case, then I wouldn’t have reserved a whole blog post for this story.  Alas!  In American culture, everything invites opinion and debate; and, getting swept up with righteous indignation is not a hard feat.  Abortion, homosexual marriage, Casey Anthony, social security, poverty, inept management at my job – there are millions of “issues” on which I can drop my shining two-cents.

You know the verse in 2 Timothy about how a good soldier doesn’t get tangled up in the affairs of this world?  Paul wouldn’t have warned Timothy against entanglement, if it wasn’t a pull.  We easily remember that we aren’t from this world, but just as easily forget that we aren’t sent to judge this world.  If we have the Spirit of Christ, and He wasn’t sent to judge the affairs of this world – then where does that leave us?  It leaves us in our proper place as lights.  Not furiously bright, hot lights of condemnation [a-la interrogation room], but lights beckoning the lost to safety.  Christ richly and freely pours grace over each and every one of us, and calls us to do likewise.  The more we get caught up in the brouhaha of American culture, the less we walk and talk like Jesus.

THE BOTTOM LINEDrop the opinions and pick up the standards of Christ.

Helpful Scripture:

John 3:17//John 12:46-48//1 Corinthians 5:12//2 Timothy 2:3-4, 23-24

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