The Beatles and Idolatry

I don't remember the first time I heard The Beatles. I remember the second. All I know is I was with my childhood best friend hitting fast forward on a cassette player trying to find the first song I heard. From then on I was a fan.
                When watching the new Beatles documentary on their touring years, I couldn't help noticed they call it Beatlesmania for a reason. I've seen the videos before as an observer in history, but the documentary immersed me in it. Eventually, they covered John Lennon's most controversial statement. "The Beatles are more popular that Jesus." After the documentary, I finally understand the circumstance. John would explain, as people they weren't bigger. The Beatle brand was more popular with the youth. He may have a point, and that's not good.
                Beatlemania is a perfect example of idolatry. It wasn't about the music or the band members. It was simply about who The Beatles were perceived to be. Their level of fame was an accident and they did not anticipate or understand it. It wasn't about the music because when in concert you could not hear them over the screaming. It wasn't about the band members because the fans would riot without regard for The Beatles' or their own safety. They felt imprisoned by this status, which brings us to Lennon. He wasn't bragging they were bigger than Jesus, but lamenting. No one wants to be an idol. It's suffocating. They were miserable; we must remember Lennon's song Help was written long after they were idols. They didn't know a way out.
                As sinners, people always look for idols because we don't fully grasp God. Our modern society says its heroes can replace Jesus. It craves idols and glorifies celebrities. Ancient Israel had the golden calf and we have musicians, actors, and politicians. After elections it may seem the result is everything. Believing our politicians will be a savior or a destroyer gives them too much credit. We all need to have hope in Jesus, "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear?" (Ps. 27:1). When we search, nothing will compare to Jesus. Jesus is relentlessly seeking us, and the story of the Bible proves it. He is our savior and we were built for him. We don't have to ignore these people, but Christians always need to be asking themselves is "God first in their life?" I was asked, "Do you quote movies more than scripture?" I definitely do. Do we have more emotions on election night than reading the Passion? Many people do. There is much more I'd rather being doing in my life besides building a better relationship with Jesus, and many things I am more passionate about. It is part of my sinful nature.  Even when I don't want to, I need to keep Jesus first. Because only then can I see the world as it is and be who I am built to be. We all need to ask the question, "What do I put before Jesus?"


What's Byrning Byrnes

A Monthly Article by our Coordinator of Youth Ministry Kevin Byrnes addressing issues of the Christian life. Read More

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