‘IMAGINE’ JOHN LENNON A CHRISTIAN?

The Beatles’ legendary founder John Lennon has become a celebrated “atheist” for penning the lyrics “imagine there’s no heaven” and claiming his band had become “more popular than Jesus.”

But history’s temptation to embrace the Beatles as champions of anti-Christianity is a bit overzealous and betrays the band members’ personal journeys of faith, claims international evangelist Ray Comfort, whose new film “Genius” and book “The Beatles, God & the Bible” are sure to challenge what many have come to believe about “the Fab Four.”

“I believe that history has given John Lennon a bad rap,” Comfort writes in “The Beatles, God & the Bible.” “Like all of us, he had his many sins, but he wasn’t the hard, satanically driven, proud, anti-Christian, God-hating person many make him out to be.”

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What John Lennon Failed to Imagine

Its a landmark event for Beatledom. John Lennon, dead these 30 years, would have turned 70-years-old today.

For many 60′s survivors who grew up in thrall to the Fab Four, the idea that such an important symbol of the youth culture had arrived at the threshold of old age (if such a category still exists in our teen obsessed culture) must be profoundly unsettling.

It is as if that entire generation had finally found itself washed up at the very doorstep of senility.

There can be no doubt Lennon, in his partnership with the brilliant tunesmith Paul McCartney, did craft some of the most memorable pop tunes of the 20th Century. That might be reason enough to celebrate his life. Yet the failure to complete his life’s journey has frozen his memory in perpetual mid-life. There he presides as the guru of peace and love, an unfazed and unrepentant hippie whose vision for world peace remains unfettered by reality or subsequent historical events.

Forgotten, or perhaps conveniently overlooked, is that Lennon’s solo work in his ten post-Beatles years was far inferior to anything he did as a member of the group and was weak even by comparison to the output of his fellow Beatles ( and yes, I include Ringo Starr in that assessment). His coda, the cloying and maudlin Double Fantasy (1980) was an embarrassment for such a great talent, and evidence that perhaps his muse had permanently fled.

Part of this can be attributed to Lennon’s early 70s determination to make political statements rather than music. Moving permanently to New York City in 1970, he and his wife Yoko Ono became lightening rods for radicals and far left causes. Feminists, Black Panthers, Yippies and peace movement activists, all pitched their tents under the Lennon/ Ono carapace to propagate their liberation politics. The recorded product of this eclectic jamboree, Sometime In New York City (1972), is a rather tuneless and bleak attempt to capture the radical zeitgeist. It bombed and is regarded universally as one of the worst post break up efforts by any of the Beatles.

While Lennon’s post-Beatles recordings, save for the very early ones, can be largely dismissed, what can’t be dismissed is his cultural influence. Lennon stands today as the most revered icon in the pantheon of the peace movement – a figure of such sainted majesty that he has been practically beatified by secular humanists. This reputation balances precariously on the foundation of just one song – the anthemic Imagine.

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