The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.(2 Peter 3:9)
We have been taking a look at the impact of John Lennon from a christian perspective. Though he was indeed a very gifted man, obviously he put those gifts to the service of the sexual revolution, as well as Atheism, the plague of the drug revolution, and the sixties rebellion against Judeo Christian standards and norms in the west.
One of the lessons we can take from this study, is that none of us is an island, we influence each other, for good or evil. There are many who say, “why judge Lennon? He was a musician, an entertainer, thats all!”.
Lennon was much more than an entertainer, he was in fact a philosopher. Many of the rock stars of the sixties and seventies were philosophers. Their lyrics, costumes, music style, even the public persona all convey a philosophy. This age of mass media communication has afforded these philosophers a wide hearing by impressionable young minds.
The Philosophers that have the widest effect in our day are the film makers and much of the popular musicians. Through their mediums, they induce whole generations into various streams of philosophy;such as humanistic, Atheistic, Eastern religion, hedonism, Nihilism,pop psychology, etc. True is the saying, “I care not who writes the laws in a society, let me write the songs and my influence shall prevail.”
But it became apparent in the early 1970’s ,that John Lennon’s own personal philosophy left him empty. The drug use he advocated, the sex without love, Atheism, hedonism, all of it left Lennon more than empty as this article from the Christianity Today website attests:
“Next came one of the most extraordinary turnabouts in John’s life. A television addict for many years (it was his way of looking at the world since he could no longer walk around anonymously), he enjoyed watching some of America’s best-known evangelists—Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, Jim Bakker, and Oral Roberts. In 1972 he had written a desperate letter to Roberts confessing his dependence on drugs and his fear of facing up to “the problems of life.” He expressed regret that he had said that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus and enclosed a gift for the Oral Roberts University. After quoting the line “money can’t buy me love” from “Can’t Buy Me Love” he said, “It’s true. The point is this, I want happiness. I don’t want to keep on with drugs. Paul told me once, ‘You made fun of me for taking drugs, but you will regret it in the end.’ Explain to me what Christianity can do for me. Is it phoney? Can He love me? I want out of hell.”
Here we see a glimpse of a more vulnerable John Lennon than the hedonistic,peace loving, hard as nails radical atheist image that the world celebrates today. Lennon’s regret about the blasphemies he had committed in earlier days, his confession that Love and happiness had eluded him, and note the last two statements to Oral Roberts,
Can He (Jesus) Love me?
I want out of Hell!
This is John Lennon the man made in the Image of God, emptied of joy and life by the vanity of his lifestyle, trapped in a velvet hell of fame,luxury , and even worship, married to a literal witch who controlled his life, and wanting a way out. Could Jesus love him? Jesus died for Him!!!
Oral Roberts wrote back, evidently, sending him a book on “Seed Faith”, and an account of the gospel. We don’t hear that much more of any stirrings of Lennon’s christian yearnings until 1977. That was the year Franco Zefferrelli produced a made for Television mini series called Jesus of Nazareth.
Lennon was so moved by the film, he confessed to a conversion to Christ! Here is how Christianity Today website recounts the story;
This correspondence and his exposure to TV evangelism didn’t appear to have any effect until he suddenly announced to close friends in the spring of 1977 that he’d become a born-again Christian. He had been particularly moved by the U.S. television premiere of Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth, starring Robert Powell as Jesus, which NBC showed in two three-hour segments on Palm Sunday, April 3, 1977. A week later, on Easter day, he took Yoko and Sean to a local church service.Over the following months he baffled those close to him by constantly praising “the Lord,” writing Christian songs with titles like “Talking with Jesus” and “Amen” (the Lord’s Prayer set to music), and trying to convert non believers. He also called the prayer line of The 700 Club, Pat Robertson’s program. (excerpted from The Gospel According to the Beatles by Steve Turner, published by Westminster John Knox Press, 2006. )
This would prove to be a brief phase, unfortunately for Lennon. By 1979 he was seeking deeply into the occult,being heavily influenced by Yoko Ono away from Christianity. His unpublished song “You Saved My Soul” was about being saved from the influence of a TV preacher.
God alone knows what ultimately became of John Lennon’s soul. It very well could be that in the closing minutes of his life he called upon the saving mercy of God. God is a God of mercy, remember the thief on the cross? If Lennon lingered in death, we have to figure that this was God’s mercy, giving him yet another chance to turn in faith to the Jesus that appealed to him in 1977.
Jesus died for Lennon’s sins as He died for mine and yours. Like Lennon there is a battle raging for the soul of every man. Neutrality towards God is impossible, indifference towards Jesus is the ultimate sin.In closing Lennon is an illustration of the well know words of our Lord and Saviour,
“What does it profit to gain the whole world and lose your soul, and what would a man give in exchange for his soul?”