The Huffington Post is helping Lindsay Lohan with some publicity by covering her posing as Jesus on the cover of Purple Magazine. Now, I’d never heard of Purple Magazine until today, and I’ve read The Huffington Post a few times, but I do know a few things about Jesus. And the one which bothers me the most is this: in our culture, there can be more buzz about who quotes Jesus, makes movies about Jesus or poses as Jesus than when His words are simply relayed for us to consider.
That said, if someone is going to pose as Jesus, I’m sure there are many who’d say it shouldn’t be Lindsay Lohan any more than they’d think Hillary Rodham Clinton should have been the keynote speaker at this year’s President’s Prayer Breakfast. I’m wondering, though, who people think it should be.
Perhaps it should be Rick Warren. The author of “The Purpose-Driven Life” has sold more copies of that book than any human author in history.
Perhaps it should be Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, whose “Left Behind” series chronicled the timeline of how the real Jesus will come back.
Perhaps it should be Barack Obama, the first African-American President of the United States, or George W. Bush, the President most outspoken about his faith since Jimmy Carter. Or perhaps it should be Mr. Carter, who builds homes for the homeless while <a href="http://www.thecartercenter.com/ target="_blank"seeking world peace.
Perhaps it should be Madonna, another iconic figure, whose “Like a Prayer” is one of the most enduring pop images of the video era. Or Mel Gibson, whose “The Passion of the Christ” is one of the most Christ-centered images of the film era.
Or perhaps it should be one of the many relief workers currently helping tireless in Haiti, trying to bring life–or at least a fighting shot at it–to the people of that ravaged country.
Today, the message of Jesus is at a crossroads in our culture. When His words are proclaimed they usually stay somewhere outside of our cultural media. When the verse numbers of His writings are worn by football players, they generate controversy. When images of His actions are imitated–as in Lohan’s pose–it makes headlines. Religious people may criticize it as a violation. Media watchdogs may dispute its significance. In the end, I think I’m glad for anything that reminds people of Jesus, especially the gift of His actions on the cross.
Even if the person posing wouldn’t be my first pick!