As I watch the spectacle following the death of Michael Jackson I'm once again amazed at the human propensity to idolize other human beings. Jackson's memorial service is supposed to be one of the highest attended funerals of all time. And to what do we attribute such praise? His life can only be characterized as weird. Granted, he was talented as a performer but look at his life! Accusations of child molestations, a recluse who built his home around a theme park, a man who had so many plastic surgeries he hardly looked human. In spite of it all millions are falling down in homage to this man.
This has been consistent throughout history but seems to be even more pronounced in recent history. When Hitler was first rising to power multitudes followed him as a god. When the Beatles made their way across the ocean into our country young girls cried and lost consciousness as they listened to them perform. People follow their favorite movie stars. Even the name movie "star" points to a bright light worthy of garnering great attention. During last year's election and continuing today Barack Obama is surrounded by this hero worship. The media has even referred to him at times as the messiah.
Christians are not immune to this propensity. Paul addressed this problem in his letter to the Church of Corinth - "For while one saith, I'm of Paul; and another, I'm of Apollos; are ye not carnal" (1 Cor. 3:4)? We live in a wonderful time when expository preaching is becoming the food many young Christians are feasting upon. Multitudes are attending reformed conferences. While most are attending because of a love for sound doctrine there are some who are following their cult heros - I'm of Sproul, I'm of Piper, I'm of MacArthur."
The truth is no man is worthy of praise. We are nothing more than clay in the Potter's hand. The greatest of men are only what God has made them. He alone must receive the praise. God will not share His worship; He will not share His glory. The First Commandment must sound loud and clear in our ears, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." When Herod delivered his oratory address in Acts 22 the people exclaimed, "The voice of a god and not of a man!" What follows should cause us to tremble. "And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten with worms and died."
May we guard our hearts against worshiping men.