There are all sorts of interesting websites out there with the word Christian in their titles. Many are fluff for the masses. Hello Christian is one I find amusing, always taking news headlines and trying to make them relevant to the life of regenerated born-again believers in Jesus Christ. Before I share how this site is attempting to turn Prince into a secret Christian hero, I admit that this man did have a certain pull on those in my generation.
As a Minnesotan and Twin Citian who came of age in the 80s, I watched Prince's rise to fame and his iconic Paisley Park studios and home rise to be as mysterious as his brand. Yes, in 1984 I watched the premiere of Purple Rain, and I boogied over at the First Avenue club Prince made famous, to be a part of "the Minneapolis scene." I remember hearing that Prince had found God and had become a Jehovah's Witness. (He'd probably never ring doorbells.) And to me, all those Jesus religions were all the same back then anyway.
Last night, just hours after Prince's death, my personal Facebook page literally turned purple with all of the posts from bridges and buildings being lit up in violet, to the scores of my hometown friends and relatives snapping selfies outside First Ave for the all night Prince dance party. They were celebrating something lost, the way the world does when it loses someone familiar to so many. The Christian reaction is different, as many wonder where Prince is right now. Did he ever repent and believe in Jesus as his Savior? Did he turn to God in the weeks before his death?
This morning, Hello Christian posted an article about Prince's beliefs, gathered from quotes over the past two decades:
1. Every day is a blessing
"Every day I feel is a blessing from God. And I consider it a new beginning. Yeah, everything is beautiful."
2. On Youth
"When I look at the violence, I wonder where the parents are, but also where is God in their lives? A kid is an open computer ready for programming. Some weird relationships happen, smoking too early and sex."
3. On Gay People
"I have friends who are gay and we study the Bible together."
4. On The Bible
"The Bible is a study guide for social interaction."
5. On Creativity
"God told us he made us in his image to create. Everything I do is inspired by God."
6. On Belief
"You've gotta have belief," said Prince in a 1998 Times Magazine interview. "It's the only way to make it through this maze."
7. On The Second Coming
"And God is here, he's everywhere, he ain't dead, contrary to popular opinion. And he will come again and it will be the most beautiful, powerful, electric moment, the sky's gonna go all purple and red."
I ask, do these quotes give you a sense of reassurance? Only God can judge. But we can look at the media's tendency to make it okay. To make Prince fit into a paradigm of comfortable acceptance that he is right where we want him to be.