Thursday, August 16, 2007

Elvis and Clearly Living for Christ

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing 30 years ago today. Living in Memphis, Tennessee and with a radio playing in the background I heard one of the first breaking news reports of the death of Elvis Presley.

What an absolute phenomenon. Elvis had been born and raised in nearby Tupelo, Mississippi and moved to Memphis during his adolescence. While earning a living as a truck driver he went in to Sun Records and recorded a record and the rest is history.

Taking the music world and the American culture by storm Elvis became a superstar and the “King of Rock n’ Roll”. Known for his edgy sexuality and pelvic action during performances Elvis was also deeply religious.

Not only a member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame but Elvis is a member of the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame. He won his only Grammys for Gospel albums. Many are the stories of Elvis singing hymns and Gospel songs long into the night with a group of musician friends. It seemed to bring comfort to a soul that was otherwise tortured.

Evangelical Christianity has wanted to claim Elvis as a convert yet has always been conflicted because of Elvis’ widely known abuse of drugs and adulterous escapades. Elvis would often and at length talk about his faith but then live a lifestyle that seemed devoid of faith.

On the anniversary of Elvis’ death I’m not interested in exalting his memory or judging his past. Rather I'm moved to examine my own life.

The Apostle John said that it is clear who is born of God and a follower of Christ (1 John 3:10). There’s nothing fuzzy that leaves someone else wondering if one is a true Christ follower.

My prayer today, “Lord, change my heart, enable me to be single minded in my devotion and without distraction in my following of Christ.”

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