A little late to the party on this one, but I saw somehing today that made me think.
The death of Hugh Hefner, the founder of the Playboy empire has been reported in one of two ways, depending on where you get your news and editorials.
The major news channels in the UK have described the man who was one of the principal architects of the social revolution as a success. At the time of his death he was worth millions of dollars. His influence reached far and wide across the globe.
Hefner himself is quoted as saying “I was like a kid in a candy store. I dreamed impossible dreams, and the dreams turned out to be beyond anything I could possibly imagine. I’m the luckiest guy on the planet.”
On the other hand, I have found articles berating him, citing him as the main cause of the breakup of social structures, marriages and decency. In these articles (mainly on respected “Christian” sites) there seems to be a general hatred of the man. They hold him solely responsible for the destruction of family values and the objectification of women. One article only brought one scripture to bear on the subject – 1 Peter 2:11 – “Beloved, I urge you, as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.”
Don’t misunderstand me – I don’t disagree with the verse. I know only too well how difficult it can be to guard your mind, eyes and soul in an age where everything is available at the click of a mouse. I just wonder if maybe we have missed something of the message of Jesus as we strive to make sure we have ticked all the boxes.
I wonder if maybe Jesus would have spent time with Hugh. I wonder if Jesus would have loved Hugh. Not condoned his behaviour, or his publications – but Hugh the person. I wonder if Jesus would have asked Hugh what it was about his experience of church that made him want to run away and not to have anything to do with it, or with Jesus.
I’m pretty sure that’s what would have happened. And when Jesus spent time with people, loving them, unconditionally, without judging them (even though He had every right to), perhaps they would take a different path. I don’t think Jesus would be glad Hugh had died, and we shouldn’t either – it should break our hearts. Another soul lost – one more that never knew the love of Father God, that knew peace beyond understanding.
Personally, I don’t think that the depravity of mankind is the construct of Hugh Hefner. I think the depravity of man started many years ago, in a garden, with a choice.
The choice of whether to let God be God, or to try and be god ourselves. I think when we don’t let God be God, when we remove Him from the equation, we will try pretty much anything and everything to fit the God shaped hole the is left. Nothing else will every fill that hole.
If I’m honest – I quite like part of the Hefner quote near the beginning of this blog. He said that he dreamt impossible dreams, and saw these impossible dreams become reality.
As Christians, we are told in Ephesians 3:20, that God can do superabundantly more than we dare ask or think (infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes or dreams, according to His power that is at work within us. (AMP)
What are your dreams? Perhaps you wish that things like Playboy (and significantly more graphic) things weren’t so accessible.
Perhaps you dream to see the NHS transformed, to see sickness vanish at a word.
Maybe you just want to be able to find the right words at the right time to change a situation, to speak life where there is death.
Superabundantly more – I dare you to dream big!!