Whitney Who-ston?

March 23, 2012 at 10:14 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Full disclosure: I was never a Whitney Houston fan, nor did I particularly dislike her. I have a vague recollection that one of her songs was the “theme song” played at my high school graduation. By all accounts she had an amazing singing voice. As a Christian, I would praise God for giving her the gift of being able to sing beautifully, and I would not even be opposed to recognizing that she may have worked hard training and cultivating that gift to its fuller potential.

When she passed away recently, I was not at all surprised to see an explosion of tributes to her. Apparently she was well-loved in the secular world. Most pop celebrities are. Here is what concerns me though: all the praise and honor given to her by the professing Christian community. I do not know if Ms. Houston was a Christian. I certainly hope she was. But it would have to be a pretty big stretch to say that the main thrust of her life was about magnifying Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I haven’t seen anything in the media to indicate that was what she was about.

So why all the adoration and praise from professing Christians? Why all the nostalgia and tributes to this “great” person who supposedly made such an impact on so many? It’s not my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I seriously doubt that Whitney Houston was the only person who died on February 11, 2012. I wonder if any Christian missionaries, pastors, Sunday School teachers, parents, or grandparents passed away on that same day? I’m talking about people who devoted 20, 30, 50, 60 or more years of their lives to serving the Lord Jesus? People who left a legacy of Christian testimony and gave good evidence with the pattern of their lives of the saving power of our glorious Lord?

If so, it wasn’t on the evening news. There were no nation-wide televised memorial services planned. Again, I would not expect the secular world to honor true Christians, either during their lives or after. But if you are a Christian, be careful who you lift up as an example before your children and the folks over whom the Lord has blessed you to have an influence.

This is Whitney Houston:


Did you post a tribute to her on your Facebook? Did you wax poetic about how her music was the “background” to so many great moments in your life? Were you able to list anything that she accomplished for the Kingdom of God or acknowledge the impact she made for the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

This is a lady named Melba Unruh:


She never had a hit record. She was never on the cover of People magazine. She never starred in a major motion picture. All she did was serve the Lord faithfully for 48 years. She helped to start a Bible school in Oaxaca, Mexico, even though evangelical missionaries were not welcome there at that time. She taught Christian music while living without running water and electricity, and while battling amoebic dysentery, malaria, and hepatitis. She continued ministering to and serving her husband, children, and grandchildren, even after suffering a major stroke. When someone like Mrs. Unruh goes home to be with the Lord, dear Christian, is it as big a deal to you as the death of a pop music icon?

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Psalm 116:15


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  1. […] on the news. Because if it were on the news, it would have to interrupt the spectacular tribute to some idol whose great contribution to society was wearing a sequined glove and walking backwards while […]

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