What May Have Killed Whitney Houston

There has been much speculation as to what killed Whitney Houston.

It looks like we are probably headed toward a conclusion that the direct cause was a lethal mix of prescription drugs and alcohol.

If that turns out to be true, it may only be part of the cause. The other is an absence of true Christian community.

I was late to the game in understanding the importance of Christian community. As the iconic tough guy and master of all things masculine, Pee Wee Herman, once said, “I’m a loner Dottie.”

But as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate the necessity of being surrounded by people who love me but love Jesus more, the kind of people would confront me if they saw me acting in a way that was disgraceful to Jesus or destructive to myself.

The problem with many celebrities is they have so much money and fame they don’t have to answer to anyone. They have no accountability. Instead, they surround themselves with sycophants and lackeys who will not say or do anything to confront them for fear of being shunned.

When you have so much money or fame no one can tell you, “No,” you are in a dangerous position. It’s how pop stars can end up sleeping with twelve year-old boys, or, in this case, a world famous addict can drink publicly at all hours of the day without anyone apparently intervening.

I don’t have any specific information on Whitney Houston. I’m just guessing, but I would bet she was not consistently in a church on Sunday, involved in a small group throughout the week and active socially with Christian friends on a consistent basis.

And I’m not suggesting we blame her friends, whoever they may be. She alone was responsible for the people with whom she surrounded herself.

Early on, the Lord said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Gen. 2:18). We all need community, but we also need the right kind of community. It can be an issue of life or death. GS

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