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In journalist Peter Stefanovic’s interesting book ‘Hack in a Flak Jacket’, he reflects on the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s death: …many people formed queues and took pictures outside the sprawling estate where Jackson died. I imagine that the feeling would have been very much the same when Elvis died in 1977, and then John Lennon three years later. Just as it was with Presley and Lennon, fans were searching for answers. Why? How?In journalist Peter Stefanovic’s interesting book ‘Hack in a Flak Jacket’, he reflects on the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s death: …many people formed queues and took pictures outside the sprawling estate where Jackson died. I imagine that the feeling would have been very much the same when Elvis died in 1977, and then John Lennon three years later. Just as it was with Presley and Lennon, fans were searching for answers. Why? How?

Although the fans were asking the right questions, they were searching for the wrong answers. I know Stefanovic meant “Why and how did MJ die? If by accidental overdose, how did he get to the point that he had to take so much medication? Why did no one change his behaviour earlier?” I ask, “Why did these flawed pop music icons attract so much adoration? How do people’s values become so warped?” Thinking a bit further, “Why does Jesus not garner such attention and adoration? How come His death doesn’t impact the masses in a similarly devastating way — especially since, unlike the others, He resurrected?”

Sometimes man genuinely seeks and searches for answers to conceptually complex yet vital questions: “Where did we come from?”, “Does God exist?”, and “Is there life after death?”. All too often, however, man asks questions based on pre-conceived answers, founded on personal biases and prejudices — questions such as “Why can’t a woman control her own body?”, “Why can’t I decide when my time is up?”, and “Why can’t I marry whomever I want as long as I truly love that person?”.

There are those who have confronted ‘the big question’ and already have their answer — and it’s the best one they can stand, the best one they can tolerate, the best one they can accept given their past experience and present circumstances. And even though the question still irks them from time to time, the reality, the truth, is often just too hard to bear. Those who have lost family members through war or crime or apparently random accidents, those who have suffered the pain and trauma of cancer or medical negligence, those who have endured other people’s senseless acts of irresponsibility and callousness — some of them can only arrive at the conclusion that “God doesn’t exist or, if He’s out there, He just doesn’t care.”

Have you been affected by an event that transformed how you perceived life in general, the people around you, your worth, your values and beliefs — even God? Did it strengthen you, draw you closer to God?

We will conclude this discussion in the next editorial.

Editorial by Andrew Chan

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