When John Lennon made the statement that the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus”, he had no idea that we would be so fixated on the claim that we would still be talking about it today. But if he was still alive today and the Beatles were together, he would probably not say, “See…I told you! We ARE more popular!”; even though, despite his death, it is still very true.
Lennon was making a statement about the culture and about the hearts of the young people who had “sold their soul” to the rock and roll movement. Christians through the years have tried to pick that statement out, coupled with the lyrics of “Imagine” and the Beatles leanings towards the use of hallucinogenic drugs to expand their minds, and say that Lennon was a devil, posing an affront to a nation that was founded on godly principles. Unfortunately, they completely miss the point that Lennon was trying to make. (And the message of all the Beatles for that matter.)
Culture should never be a god to us. Because if it becomes one, there will be a breakdown of society’s morality. Ethics will be convoluted because of inappropriate values. Lennon knew that because he saw the pedestal that the Beatles had been placed on. The vulgar display of star worship, draped on him by a large percentage of the general public, made him uncomfortable and he was speaking out against it with a full heart and wisdom to spare.
It is sad that this was lost on so many people. Lennon had a mind and a heart that was beyond the level of most people. This is the reason why the U.S. government sought to stop his anti-war activities and the reason why he ultimately became an innocent target of violence. John Lennon wanted the world to wake up and see how far we had gone off track. Claiming Jesus was somehow less important than the Beatles was just his way of expressing that concern. Sadly, the challenge was never heeded. Here we are today in 2007, and the Beatles are still more popular than Jesus Christ. Hell, even Celine Dion is more popular than Jesus Christ. That is plain criminal.