THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
August 16, 2002
He was born in an out-of-the-way place, the son of a poor mother and father whom the world would one day call blessed. He arrived challenging the establishment and literally shook the world with things that eyes and ears had never before witnessed. He offered a joy and freedom the everyday world simply could not provide. Early in his career he amassed an enormous following that hung on his every word as if their king had finally come. Recognizing just how special he was many cried at his feet and worshiped him. Unfortunately, as the days passed and the newness waned the immense crowds dwindled away until only his closest and most trusted friends remained at his side. But toward the end of his life, in his time of need, even they were nowhere to be found. He died in anguish and humiliation as if the world had all but abandoned him. Since that dark and tormenting day millions have dedicated their lives to his remembrance and in a very real way made him their god – the standard by which all things kingly are now measured – a religion of sorts – a peculiar way of life for those who would dare believe that even though he died, he yet lives.
Am I referring to Elvis Presley or Jesus Christ? It’s hard to tell, isn’t it? That’s just how deceitful and alluring this world is with its imitation and imagery. Satan doesn’t use ugliness and suffering to seduce us into idolatry and eternal damnation. He uses beauty, youth, wealth, fame and pleasure to make us his own. So, as you celebrate the life of Elvis and mourn his passing, a man who loved singing not only rock and roll but great hymns and gospel music, ask yourself whose kingdom reaped the most from his career– Jesus’ or Lucifer’s.
"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:20)
I’ve heard, seen and read many tearful and romantic recollections in recent days of the king from Memphis. The day of his death seems to grow each year in sacredness and popularity as if it had become our new Easter. I look at the tragic life of Elvis and I see America – a once humble, polite, gifted and God-fearing people who journeyed here to their Graceland long ago seeking a place for their own to live in peace and prosperity. Now our homeland -- our Graceland is becoming much the same kind of prison Elvis’ home became for him. Having forsaken our faith in the One who gave us all that we have, ours is but a fading light of glory past – a day-to-day diet of over-indulgence, vulgarity, adultery, pill taking and paranoia. We have become a cheap imitation of the nation we once were; now laughed at, ridiculed and pitied by those we use to call allies. Being no longer able to discern our friends from our enemies we tremble in the night as we realize uninvited guests are slipping through the gates and scaling the walls around us to discover and exploit our weaknesses.
When I see old film footage of a sick and obese Elvis struggling through his last days in a tacky jumpsuit that no longer fits, vying for a jaded world’s admiration and applause, I see America stumbling along in his footsteps – a sweaty and confused mess in search of the greatness exchanged long ago for wanton pleasure and self-gratification. To me, Elvis is a prophetic vision of our future -- the essence, embodiment and personification of all that we have become over the last half century. Why? Because we left our “First Love”, crowned the wrong king and worshipped the wrong god.“
“There is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
The king in Memphis suffered and died for his sins. The King in Jerusalem suffered and died for YOURS. Now, who would you say is worthy of our worship and praise?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
© 2002 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for News With Views, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at [email protected].