Before he passed away in 2003, Johnny Cash recorded a stark, sparse version of the traditional American folk song “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” The song’s video, released three years after Cash’s death, features brief appearances by a collection of pop culture figures who individually and collectively have lived life to such a degree it’s surprising they were all still alive for the video’s creation. Toward the end, look for a guitar-holding man who’s been in the news lately.
It is Johnny Depp.
An unexpected truth is highlighted in a recent news article: Internet searches for the Depp vs. Amber HeardThe number of defamation cases far surpasses those related to abortion. This is in line with the current theme of voters. In other words, abortion is of far lesser importance in terms of issues than the economy. However, the truth is deeper and more rarely discussed.
It may come as a surprise, but the aforementioned truth has nothing to do with pop culture’s endless fascination with celebrities behaving badly and obsession over trivial pursuits far outstripping critical societal issues. There is certainly escapism. It’s far easier to devote attention toward lifestyles of the ridiculous and facetious than constantly mull over current realities: inflation, gas prices, baby formula shortage, stuff like that. You can only accept so many bad news before you look for an escape. This observation is false.
These two broken men brought out their worst and they now fight like crazy to prove each other’s guilt. The court of public opinion sways with the wind; how the actual court will decide on Depp’s defamation case against Heard remains to be seen.
The greater truth is what overshadows everything else. The Way, Truth and Life are the truths.
Jesus loved and gave his life for Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, and Jesus even died for them. He loves, and died for, the fangirl outside the courtroom squealing for her Johnny as well as the passionate Amber Heard believer pounding out her 35th tweet today in Heard’s defense. Jesus is a lover of the brokenhearted and brokenhearted. He has the power to reach the seemingly unreachable, be they the pampered and fêted celebrity, street or trailer-dwelling societal dregs, or everyone and everyone deemed in-between.
But don’t be fooled. Those who boastfully brand themselves with “only God can judge me” are in for a terrifying surprise when they learn He not only can judge them, but indeed will. There is a reason why Solomon wrote, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” The genuinely wise acknowledge both God’s sovereignty and their own mortality. Celebrity and association with the same do not create an escape from fire. Only Christ’s love, embraced via faith, saves the individual from being cut down. It is an awful thing to be enslaved by the living God, warns Scripture. None. No exceptions, not even for Mera or Captain Jack Sparrow.
Here’s hoping that even as people scour the Internet looking for the latest salacious sound bytes from Depp vs. HeardThey hear the still little voice reminding their that they have a higher Truth to seek. For that matter, here’s hoping both Depp and Heard follow Johnny Cash’s example of a pill-popping hellbent hellraiser who let Jesus turn his life around.