Dear Mr. Barger, The world is really sick. I remember you wrote a great book back in the 1990s about rock music. I have a link I’m sharing with you regarding how they claim Prince was a conservative Christian!?!
Link to Washington Post article here.
They supply lyrics to boot. I know you’re a busy man, and I pray for your wife and you. I’m very glad your eye is OK.
Could you please comment on the article, or send me a link to something you’ve written that counters these lies. A lady I know was gushing about how “Christian” he was, so any info you could give me would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate the encouragement.
You are correct that the world is sick and getting worse. Jesus is the medicine but they have rejected what could heal them.
The Washington Post story you linked me to is so offensive and fraught with issues that it might take me a while to dig through its problems. It’s just another example of how the secular world doesn’t know what Christianity really is, confusing it with cultic theology, and then using any opportunity to just bash anyone they perceive are Christians, framing believers and others in such a way as to say that we have no values different from theirs. As we are seeing so often, many in the culture relish the opportunity to express that in effect, “Christians are just like the secular world.”
Regarding Prince, he was not a Christian. That is abundantly clear and it’s not just the opinion of one. He was a practicing Jehovah’s Witness. Remember: the JW’s do not believe in a triune God, nor do they believe that Jesus is God incarnate. One can sincerely believe in “a Jesus” until they are blue in the face, but if it’s one of the many false Jesuses being taught by cults and world religions (see II Cor. 11:3-4), then that person is still lost for eternity without salvation and without God.
Here is just one source on Prince. He confirmed that he was a JW during at 2009 interview with TV host Tavis Smiley.
When Prince told Smiley that he didn’t vote in political elections, the singer explained saying, “The reason why is that I’m one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and we’ve never voted. That’s not to say I don’t think … President Obama is a very smart individual and he seems like he means well. Prophecy is what we all have to go by now.”
A Christian Post article goes on to say, “In another 2009 interview, Prince told People, ‘My mother told me one day I walked in to her and said, ‘Mom, I’m not going to be sick anymore,’ and she said, ‘Why?’ and I said ‘Because an angel told me so.'” (Read source here)
For anyone who believes in any kind of supreme being, it is in our human nature to hope someone who passes on is safe on the other side. People make statements about an individual who has died “being in a better place.” Yet the truth is that if the deceased was not an authentic born again Christian they are surely NOT in a better place but quite the opposite. Our culture – and astoundingly much of the perceived Christian world – has adopted a catastrophically false line of thinking that treat bliss in the afterlife is somehow a foregone conclusion for every person. I believe our failure to refute and correct this fallacy are eternally detrimental to everyone involved. Usually, based on whether we liked someone or were related to them or various other reasons, people all around us within the church setting give the world the distinct impression that talent, charm, family ties, or other factors somehow play into an individual’s eternal condition. Our silence, probably fostered through the fear of what people might think of us for being so narrow and “non-inclusive,” strengthens and allows this myth to be repeated and spread without even a mention of the reason and purpose of the Cross. While we don’t have to necessarily declare the departed being discussed as “in hell,” we surely need to warn the living that there is only one way any of us can escape it and that’s through the blood of the Lamb of God.
This issue is not just about God’s final judgment and the reality of hell. The pressure of the culture and our human desire not to be viewed as “narrow” have led some identifying themselves as Evangelicals to fall into the trap of become fuzzy or noncommittal about the path to Heaven as well. This is apparent as universalism has steadily become more accepted, justified, and form-fitted into Christianity. This has transpired because those who’ve fashioned their own theology about death – instead of God’s – are allowed to go on unchallenged. Our human hopes, which in this area could be called “self deception,” along with the popular unbiblical teaching that portrays God only as a “God of love” in the New Testament, lead us to believe He couldn’t really be serious about final judgment. The problem with this notion is that, if God is not also a God of justice, then whoever the deity being referred to is could not be the God of the Bible. If God’s love negates His justice, then Jesus died a needless and horrific death and we humans can just pick our own route and our own terms by which to have fellowship and eternity with whomever we perceive is God. The awful failure of believing that God is going to save everybody automatically or that particular individuals are given special treatment based on who we see them as (great humanitarians, social workers, even musicians, etc.) is biblically inaccurate. One simply has to ignore vast amounts of the Bible to arrive at this conclusion. This common misconception is once again our human hopes and fallen nature at work that says, “If I’m just good enough, then God will accept me based on my own righteousness.” In Prince’s case, we can’t even say his works were overwhelmingly good. Instead, the opposite is true, according to Scripture. People are trying to preach him into Heaven based on his talent, charm, or mystique. He may have been an excellent, even prolific musician as far as the culture around us is concerned, but can we say he was righteous because he lived a sold-out life dedicated to the Jesus of the Bible? I think not.
Since mankind’s fall into sin recorded in Genesis 3, man has been separated from God and is due the justice and punishment of that rebellion. However, God showed His supreme love for mankind when He sent His Son, Jesus, to be the propitiation, or substitute, for our sins. It is, as Prince once tried to sing about, at the Cross where judgment met love. However, God’s salvation comes with the price of repentance on our behalf. Now it is our individual choice to accept God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus’ once-for-all redemption for our sins or to reject it by continuing on our own path.
Now, we should recognize that God can and will eternally save whoever calls out to Him by faith, but the doorway is solely Jesus, not the Watchtower, the LDS Church, Buddha, Vishnu, or our good intentions, etc. There is but ONE way to salvation. So, based on his own testimony of being a Jehovah’s Witness, and the Watchtower’s own failed and counterfeit plan of salvation, trying to fit Prince into authentic, biblical salvation is just so much wishful thinking and ignorance about God’s precise plan and how to enjoy its intended eternal benefits for us. It’s true that we don’t know what may have happened in Prince’s last weeks, days, hours, or even seconds on earth. But one very rarely has an instantaneous reverse epiphany about the false teaching they have followed for years. Thus, Christians and others who try to talk or rationalize Prince “into Heaven” are exercising wishful thinking not based in biblical truths. People won’t want to hear that, but the facts don’t change just because we want them to.
I could go back through what I wrote here and attach Scripture after Scripture to what I said. For the sake of time I won’t do that now but anyone the least bit versed in the Bible can do so. Hope that helps, my friend.
Bless you as you contend for the faith and present the hope and love of God’s plan as the alternative to the coming judgment awaiting all who reject the Savior.
Take A Stand! Ministries