Singer's death is a tragedy

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Another beautiful talent has been lost! Whitney Houston’s career started at age 11 singing in her church’s Junior Gospel Choir. She became world-known by her voice and her fight with drugs and alcohol.

It was not the childhood teaching of her church that caused her demise, but the enticement and influence of worldly living that wooed her away from those basic truths that caused her destruction. She will always be remembered.

The same bewitching influence that captivated Whitney Houston is at work in the lives of our young people today. Moral restrictions have been removed, and there is no godly direction for them to follow. We see the results in the increases of drug use, promiscuous lifestyles and teen pregnancies. Where are we to turn to find the answer to meet the needs of our human spirit?

Humanism is not the answer. We can put a mental coating of goodness upon us, but in our hearts we all have an ugly side. What we need – what Whitney Houston needed – is to stay close to the God who loved her, and sent His Son to die on a cross to save her.

Gil Ward

Evans

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Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 02/14/12 - 06:03 am
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OK, so what would you say to

OK, so what would you say to people of other (or no) religious faith who have lived long and healthy lives filled with service and philanthropy? Have they done so in vain, for having never accepted the Resurrection idea?

fd1962
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fd1962 02/14/12 - 09:14 am
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Jon Lester, you should know
Unpublished

Jon Lester, you should know that no place for logic exists in evangelical fanaticism either. You're blowing in the wind.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/14/12 - 09:16 am
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I thought Whitney Houston was

I thought Whitney Houston was very religious?

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 02/14/12 - 09:36 am
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No good is done in vain.

No good is done in vain. Christianity certainly has no exclusive rights on "good". Actually, it's just the opposite. Christ said that no one was good, except God Himself. So, that sort of puts "being good" in perspective.

Human moral goodness is in the eye of the beholders. We see good where we want to see it, and badness where we want to as well. What is good for me might be bad for you, and vice versa. Even your choice of philanthropy is arbitrarily "good" -- e.g., some consider gifts to a church as being a foolish waste of money, and, therefore, "bad". So, who sets the standards here?

Where Christianity does claim exclusivity is in what happens after this life. Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. all talk the same game at a fundamental level -- be good, do good, please God and maybe -- maybe -- you'll get to heaven or reach an enlightened consciousness. That's why there's not much difference between "religions". Christianity, on the other hand, says there's no way you can get to heaven on your own merit. The only way is on the merit of Christ, as the Mr. Ward's letter states. Christianity is not a religion like the others. It is unique-- religions: your works vs. Christianity: God's grace.

That, I believe, is the point the letter is making. You certainly don't have to agree with that opinion. That is your right. In this nation you are free to choose which religion or philosophy you prefer (at least for now you are free to do so). Whitney Houston is yet another reminder that a life filled with money, success, painkillers / antidepressants, alcohol, admiration, "beautiful people", and glamour is, in the end, a hollow charade. As many have said, each of us has a "god-shaped" hole in their life. You'll spend years trying to fill up that hole with any number of pleasures or pursuits. But, until God fills that hole you'll never find the true peace you seek. Just ask Whitney.

fd1962
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fd1962 02/14/12 - 09:53 am
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Nice comment, hcwk, stated
Unpublished

Nice comment, hcwk, stated articulately without accusation nor judgment, rare here.

faithson
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faithson 02/14/12 - 09:53 am
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Self control... the nub of

Self control... the nub of the problem is 'self control'. A behavior that our media and materialistic culture play down to give you the appearance that 'you can have what you WANT', a complete misnomer by all ethical accounts. Courses at the primary educational level on developing self control and the 'positive consequences' of such an accomplishment are needed. Teaching our young about self control and good decision making in the context of 'happiness in life' is basic good citizenship training.

GodisSoGood
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GodisSoGood 02/14/12 - 10:13 am
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I agree with the LTE that we

I agree with the LTE that we all need Jesus Christ. The real tragedy is that when a superstar like this dies from a drug overdose, they are suddenly elevated to "hero" status. (I'm not implying that she died from a drug overdose). What example does this set for our young people?

fd1962
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fd1962 02/14/12 - 10:24 am
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Yes, GISG, it would be
Unpublished

Yes, GISG, it would be irresponsible to ever interpret your comment to imply that she died from a drug overdose...

InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/14/12 - 10:58 am
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howcanweknow, totally agree

howcanweknow, totally agree with your comment. People keep searching and searching when the answer is as close as the nose on their face.

soldout
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soldout 02/14/12 - 11:04 am
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great letter, great comments

great letter, great comments from howcanweknow. So many want to be judged on their goodness and if goodness would have got you to heaven Christ could have stayed there. There are people who comment here who are headed to hell per the Word but if you can still comment you can still choose Jesus; it's not too late.

pearlthesquirrel
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pearlthesquirrel 02/14/12 - 11:20 am
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And yet, ANOTHER letter with
Unpublished

And yet, ANOTHER letter with a "pro-religious" take being printed in The Augusta Chronicle - uh, er, I mean The Augusta Bible 2.0. [Why don't you go back for the last 45 days of 2012 and see how many "pro-religious" angle vs. "non-religious" angle letters have been printed?] And not unexpectedly, this letter contains the always proselytized "let ME tell YOU how to live YOUR life" sermon.

stillamazed
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stillamazed 02/14/12 - 11:59 am
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Eveyone is entitled to their

Eveyone is entitled to their beliefs and their opinions, that is the beauty of living in this great country of ours. We have the right to worship or not and speak out about our beliefs. I for one think that is a beautiful thing. @faithson, I agree with your comment a lot of people should learn to practice self control, if they did we would have a lot less people addicted to drugs and alcohol. Our youth has been exposed to way to many negative things and the TV is raising a lot of our kids instead of parents raising them. Whitney Houston had a talent above many and really she threw it all away years ago, she could have used that beautiful voice for many many years had she not went down the path that she did, the same as many others before her chose to do.

Ret-lovit
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Ret-lovit 02/14/12 - 12:23 pm
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Well put Mr. Ward, somehow

Well put Mr. Ward, somehow installing the word of God in children got lost as parents got younger. It is time that we as the older generation to start mentoring our younth.

Women, how many mentoring groups in Augusta do we have for troubled teenage girls or prevention programs. Why do we have to wait until things are out of control then we talk about them when they are eating up our tax money.

Many of these young folk do not have a clue about morals. I take the opportunity to talk to my kids, their friends and stranger kids about doing the right thing. If our kids will not listen to us, hopefully there are some good people out there who will install some positive food for thought. Isn't this something that parents and neighbors did back in the days.

Yes we have churches, forgive me when I sat this "Preacher in Pulpit", Pastors...but what did Jesus do when he was here on earth?

Stop standing in the churches and go out to these schools, let's build some programs that will get them away from the worldly things in life. You don't need to put your name on it to get praise God will know you are doing this as his Son did here on earth.

Our celebrities are not dying in vain.

PCnomo
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PCnomo 02/14/12 - 12:38 pm
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Religious arguments aside, I

Religious arguments aside, I think this shows how low we as a society have sunk. A classy lady like Etta James dies of leukemia and rates a 10 second comment on the tv. But a crack-head who made idiotic decisions that ultimately ended her life gets 72 hours of uninterrupted coverage.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 02/14/12 - 01:54 pm
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PC makes a really good point.

PC makes a really good point. Ms. James was not a darling of the current entertainment industry. Thus, she was overlooked. She was not "cool".

One comment above complained about people telling us how to live OUR lives. Hey, if you want the best example of this wrong, simply look at our current entertainment industry -- where insulting demeaning behavior is glorified and promoted, and traditional morality is labeled as stupid or irrelevant.

How many people today can name even one Nobel Prize-winning scientist who bettered the condition of humanity? How much press do we give for folks who serve in soup kitchens? Nurses? Caring hospice workers? We can name hardly anyone that serves humanity in such a wonderful, self-sacrificing way.

Now, contrast that to the number of "crack-heads who made idiotic decisions" or singers that are purposefully outrageous and insulting (Grammy's anyone? Super Bowl halftime?) who are constantly put in our face and even glorified by our "friends" in the entertainment industry.

specsta
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specsta 02/14/12 - 01:56 pm
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Etta James also battled drug

Etta James also battled drug addictions (heroin) as well. She had been ill with leukemia and dementia for a while, and she was also 72 years old. Her death was not as shocking as the younger Whitney, so media coverage was not equal to Whitney's.

The other factor is that most of Ms. James' fans are older, in their 60's and 70's and 80's, and when her death was announced, there was not the onslaught of social media postings that accompanied Ms. Houston's death. That age group is simply not as connected in terms of technology.

While the unbalanced coverage of the two deaths is not fair, it is quite understandable.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 02/14/12 - 02:03 pm
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howcanweknow wrote: How many

howcanweknow wrote:

How many people today can name even one Nobel Prize-winning scientist who bettered the condition of humanity?

Well, I can name two who have positively worsened the condition of humanity — Al Gore and Barak Obama.

Bruno
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Bruno 02/14/12 - 02:50 pm
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Gotta side with PCnomo on

Gotta side with PCnomo on this one. Houston's death was not shocking. With her track record of known problems it was just a matter of time. Now that she is dead can we move on from the near continuous news that she is dead? Also, stop playing that insanely annoying song! Dolly Parton did a much better version anyway.
BTW, to the letter writer, I have known a great many "pillars of the Church" who were battling addictions. Some win, some lose, some call it a draw.

Bruno
780
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Bruno 02/14/12 - 02:51 pm
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Little Lamb, neither Obama

Little Lamb, neither Obama nor Gore were Nobel Prize-winning scientists.

Little Lamb
45282
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Little Lamb 02/14/12 - 03:00 pm
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Ooooops. I did selectively

Ooooops. I did selectively zero in on the politics instead of reading howcanweknow's statement carefully. Thanks for setting me straight. Although, one would logically come to the belief that someone who could invent an internet might be a scientist of some sort!

specsta
6365
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specsta 02/14/12 - 03:51 pm
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Howcanweknow wrote: "How much

Howcanweknow wrote: "How much press do we give for folks who serve in soup kitchens? Nurses? Caring hospice workers?"

The folks that you listed are not in a business where they appear on TV, in movies or on radio shows. You cannot equate the two professions. One type of work is behind-the-scenes, while the other is in front of the crowd and the cameras.

And there is nothing wrong with either profession. One comes with fame - and the other doesn't. The press is not going to focus on the volunteers at a soup kitchen, unless there is an angle that will get readers/viewers. Otherwise, they lose money. The press is not in business to show their giving, kind hearts, they are in business to make a profit.

Unless you are going to start your own newspaper/website/tv channel that focuses on such ordinary folks, such coverage it isn't going to happen anytime soon. And you will probably go broke if you pursue such a venture.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 02/14/12 - 04:34 pm
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I agree Specsta. And, that

I agree Specsta. And, that sort of proves my point as well. No one really cares about "normal" people that commit kindness and thoughtful acts on a daily basis. That's boring. It's only the sensational that people buy into. Death, sex, murder trials, and outrageousness sells. The 99%'s like us are just not newsworthy -- at least in the eyes of the public.

dusty_roze
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dusty_roze 02/15/12 - 01:21 am
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Poor Whitney, maybe God said

Poor Whitney, maybe God said enough!

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