“I hope there is a lesson that can be learned in the deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. We need to support our artists to be healthy and loved even when they evolve out of the sadness that inspired our favorite songs. Depending on pain to create is a dangerous road to travel. I can’t help but wonder about the sonic and vocal brilliance we will, now, never get from Chester Bennington.
Long live a god of rock” (Clay Kane, CNN online).
We are so messed up on multiple fronts. The fans of superstars like Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington hold them up to be superhuman, evolved superbeings who can sing about pain and sadness and the crud of life but they are okay because they are famous and rich. How many more suicides stemming from the emptiness of fame and fortune do we have to endure before we wake up? Our “heroes” are weak human beings just like the rest of us non-famous, non-wealthy humans.
Idolization, i.e. making something/someone who is created to be the Creator: “Long live a god of rock.” It is perhaps a cathartic statement but it is utterly nonsensical in reality. As the Shema states, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” (Deut. 6:4). There are no gods of rock. There are very talented musicians who have the courage to sing about life and its pitfalls but who don’t have any answers to help fill the void of emptiness in their own lives. Hence: suicide.
Are there any answers to be found? Is life truly hopeless? Does “life in the fast lane” have to inevitably “surely make you lose your mind” or is their hope in this life? Are there real, tangible, life-changing answers to the angst, the pain . . . death?
I guarantee you one thing: Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington were searching for something to live for. They were under no illusion. Life is pain and you can live in denial about it or sing/scream out loud about it. “Nail in my hand, from my Redeemer, you gave me life, now show me how to live” (“Show Me How To Live,” Audioslave, Chris Cornell lead vocals). For years Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Dave Grohl, Jerry Cantrell, and many more have been searching for answers to life’s most perplexing questions. Some, like Kerry Livgren (Kansas), have searched and found the answers. Where are those answers, who has them, and who is willing to share those answers with the countless millions who are searching for them?
” ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ ” (Romans 10:13-15, NIV).
Is there anyone out there with beautiful feet bringing the good news to the Chris Cornells and Chester Benningtons? Are there any Christians out there who knew Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington and who shared the good news, the gospel, with them? ANYONE? Did P.O.D., who did shows together with Linkin Park, bring their beautiful feet and share the gospel with the members of Linkin Park? I hope so. Are there any other Christian music groups who have ties to non-Christian music groups who are using those ties to reach their “Jerusalem?”
What about the rest of us? How many countless million non-famous people also struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide just like Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington? Why do you think Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Linkin Park sold so many millions of albums? People like what they can relate to. Your friends, your family, your business associates, your neighbors are all struggling with something to some degree or another. Look past the facade, the pretty smile, the “I’m doing great!” lie. Deep down, people want answers.
Hey Christians, it’s the bottom of the ninth with 2 outs and the bases are loaded. Your turn to step up to the plate and pound the gospel out of the park and into your family, friends, coworkers – a.k.a. your neighbors. You won’t have to “hit the ball” real hard because the Holy Spirit is your power source. Just . . .
step up to the plate and swing