Friday, February 19, 2010


Elton John Looks in the Mirror and Claims to See . . . Jesus

The Internet is all a-twitter (literally) with Elton John's comment about Jesus. If you have been on Mars the last two days and missed it, here is the gist. In an interview with U.S. magazine, Parade, the 62-year-old musician said, "I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don't know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East - you're as good as dead."

One is reminded of John Lennon's 1966 statement. "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me." I had just discovered the Beatles a year before this, and now his off-the-cuff statement (if it was off the cuff) threatened to remove my Beatles records from my shelf since my parents were incensed by the comment.

Elton John's statement has raised the ire of many, including both Roman Catholics and fundamentalists. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League had this to say: "More seriously, to call Jesus a homosexual is to label Him a sexual deviant. But what else would we expect from a man who previously said, 'From my point of view, I would ban religion completely.'" Even from gay circles there was a negative assessment of the British singer's comments. "I don't think that comments like this are particularly helpful," Reverend Sharon Ferguson from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement told ABC News.

This is not the first time Elton John has been at the center of religious controversy. His song, "If there's a God in Heaven (What's He Waiting For?)" stirred opposition from conservative Christians in 1976 when it was released on his Blue Moves album. He was married to his gay lover, David Furnish, in London in 2005. So, we ought not to be surprised that the singer would say something like this.

Why would he say something like this at this point in time, knowing that it would gain the ire of many even of his own fans? I do not claim to know his heart, but it may be no coincidence that he makes the comment on the heels of the announcement that his summer tour with Billy Joel will be canceled. Apparently Billy Joel wants to take a year off. I am not an insider on the rock music front, but it may be that this publicity will generate other opportunities.

There have been efforts by liberal scholars to argue that various biblical characters were really gay. Robin Scroggs argued that Jesus might have been gay in a book he wrote in 1983. Others have made the same case for David and Jonathan. On the one hand, such allegations are not even worthy of response, but apparently in the homosexualized world that we live in, some response has to be made. Of course, the Bible teaches that Jesus never had sex and never sinned. Gays, however, generally redefine sin so as not to include gay sex. So, the singer could make such an allegation without feeling that he was disrespecting the Savior. But he ought to realize that others--probably most others--would not have the same response.

Political ploy? Career move? Arrogance? Only God knows John's heart.

I predict that it will make him popular in some circles, but I also believe that it will damage his career overall. Many evangelicals like his music in spite of his lifestyle. I know, because I am one of them. I prefer C & W music, but I am pretty eclectic and I have a half-dozen Elton John albums (really, albums, not CD's) in my collection. I doubt that I will buy anything else from him.

Maybe it's just hard to get old as a performer.

Chad Owen Brand


  1. The heart is deceitfully wicked above all things. John can say this because he is totally depraved and lost. Romans 1 is pretty clear that he is rejecting our Creator. Here is a picture of someone whose heart is darkened and foolish.
    We need to pray that he would have repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ.
    I might get rid of the albums. Not because I don't like secular music, I do and I own some CD's and cassettes. I like the Blues and Classic Rock, but where do we draw the line? Maybe we should draw the line at C and W! Just kidding.
    Thanks for your thought provoking post. God bless you.

  2. Hi, my name is Greg. I located your website out of curiosity, really, as I am a former Southern Baptist, and my pastor, former minister earned a PhD in your program. So, I was trying to explore his educational path by looking at your PhD programs.

    Currently, I am a PhD student in an APA approved Clinical Psychology program. I am also still a Christian. However, I decided to stop attedning the Sourthern Baptist Church due to what I believe is a harsh stance on women and gays. My question is, why does the church judge and persecute people who cannot help being who they are?