Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Jade Goody - R. I. P.

Jade was famous... for being famous it seems. She rose to fame as a Big Brother contestant. She participated in a second Bib Brother show in which she famously let rip at the Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty - and through that famous outburst caused the show to be suspended for a season as she went completely off her head and said some very offensive things. Jade, when she came out realised she had been very silly and apologised for her outburst she showed real regret, and then amazingly went to take part in yet another Big Brother show - this time in India. It was during this show, that she discovered that she had cancer - the cancer that would ultimately kill her.

Jade was 27 - and she had two little sons, Bobby and Fred. Many would on getting this devastating news would run away from the spotlight - demand their privacy and draw into themselves - and that would be understandable. Jade on the other hand took a different approach - she knew that her celebrity meant that the media would be wanting to cover her story and that thy would pay - she knew that she could get mre money for the story and so she allowed the media access and got money for her boys future.

In the kindest way, Jade was not known for her Intellect - and her genral knowledge was abysmal to say the least, but here was a lady who had grown up very fast and put the needs of her boys ahead of her own needs. Even though she is their mother and such attitudes go with parenthood, it is still something to be admired from a suffering lady.

Time was running out on jade and she took in my view three interesting decisions.

1) She Married her boyfriend.

2) She was baptised and had her boys baptised too.

3) She requested (so it is alleged) that her boys be spared the funeral.

In a day and age where marriage is being written off as just a piece of paper - Jade bucks the trend again in the right way, I think by marrying the man she loved. So for that Jade gets my congratulations.

The baptism - now that was interesting to me. As she stared death in its face - she knew that it would not be long before she would close for the last time, and she had this awareness that there is something beyond this life - something more. By being baptised as an adult she would have had to make a public profession of her faith in Jesus Christ. Some may sit with their arms crossed and with a cynacle glare and question the genuineness of her faith. I would caution however against that, and rather take her at her word. I find it hard to believe that anyone would given Jade's predicament, go through all of that, for 'appearances sake' - Nobody would have thought that she had not been baptised - it would not have occured to anyone. So her decision to be baptised was both a wise one and a brave one. She had her sons baptised too - now again - this is a biot controvertial. Baptists and Pentecostals (as I am) don't believe in infant baptism, since the baptisee cannot speak for themselves. These two little boys would in my opinion still be classified as infant baptisms even though they can speak for themselves. The decision was clearly not theirs but their mothers (and presumably their dad agreed.) However, I think in Jade's case it was a good decision. What - am I speaking heresy - let me explain. Having decised to be baptised herself - clearly Jade believed it was important and what Christian Mother would not want to be a witness to that occasion. Jade would miss out on birthdays Christmases, Easters, and other special occasions but this - this she could could witness and I think that in the memories of those little boys will be the day that they and Mummy were baptised. I hope it endures as a very happy memory and that they will be able to one day, stand up in Church and make that confession of faith for themselves.

I was baptised as a baby. My parents made promises to bring me up in the Lord, and I believe that they faithfully lived up to that promise, but when I was 14 - I went on a youth camp and on Easter Sunday of 1983 - I was baptised by full immersion, making a public declaration that I was a follower of Christ.

If you are a Pentecostal or Baptist believer do not look down on the traditionalist who have their children Christened as babies. That is judging them. Nobody is forcing you to do the same, but accept that they have a different outlook on things. Give praise to God that they bring their children to Church - that is not something that necessarily happens anymore. In the past, unless a child was of a diffenrent faith altogether, they were brought to the nearest Church to be 'done' but now in our post modernist society, it is an usual thing to happen and usually, can't say always those who take the ceremony seriously.

If you are of the more Traditional perspective don't judge us Pentecostals or Baptists either. We believe that first a person must make the decision to follow Christ, and then mark this by water baptism. Baptism is symbolic of cleansing from sin, that is accomplished by Jesus death on the Cross. It also represents death to the world and rising up, in Christ.

If you have not been baptised but believe in Jeuss Christ, while i would not go as far as some who make baptism a requirement for salvation, I would say it comes highly recommended. Speak to a Pastor or a leader in your Church about the possibility. If you were 'done' as a baby but feel the need to do it properly, speak to your leaders - they will I am sure gladly talk you through it. (I do not see a problem with a second baptism - it merely confirms and underlines the commitment made on your behalf - it is like the 'Confirmation' that is done in many churches and even Confirmation can be an empty ritual. )

However while baptism is not a condition for salvation, commitment is. Have you committed your life to Jesus Christ, acknowledged him as your Saviour. Do you believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one can come to God except through Jesus? Do you believe that Jesus died o the Cross for your sin? And that if you come to Him, he will forgive you your sin, and will save you - and ultimately we will spend eternity with him.

Speaking of eternity, Jade's decision regarding the boys not attending the funeral - well it was a decision made with good intentions, and to that extent we can understand. maybe given the public nature of the funeral, it would have been overwhelming for the boys but here is where I am inclined to disagree. I think it would have been quite acceptable to separate the public expression of grief, and the private family farewell to daughter, wife, and mother. The boys, in a STRICTLY private ceremony have been allowed to say good bye to their mum. Let them say their last good bye - lay a bunch of flowers on her coffin (preferably closed) and say in effect 'good night Mummy' - we will see you one day. The boys need to understand that their mum was very sick and that now all that hurting is over - and she is resting, with Jesus.

I think a graveside ceremony where they see a coffin being lowered into the grave - or at the crematorium where the coffin gets taken into the furnace - that could be difficult for anyone to watch, but a funeral service where the coffin is at the front - that is not a problem.

However, having said that, I do honour Jade and say - well done young lady - you 'did good.' R.I.P.

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