Worshiping Elvis

By Johnie Edwards

Elvis Presley, known as the “King Of Roc ‘n’ Roll” died twenty years ago, August 16, 1977 at the age of 42. Graceland opened to tourists in 1982 and draws more than 700,000 visitors a year, according to a story in the Bloomington, Indiana Herald-Times on August 16, 1997. According to an article in Saturday, August 16, 1997 The New York Times, the Elvis Industry is a multimillion-dollar company with rights to dozen of products tied to Elvis Presley, from records to T-shirts. People are now making him a religious icon!

The First Presleyterian Church

USA Today carried a front page cover story on August 8-10, 1997 and made reference to “The First Presleyterian Church of Elvis The Divine.” The article further stated, “Already, academics study Elvis as a role model for the first stages of a new religion. Some suggest parallels between Elvis’ following and the early stages of major religions. There are parallels in the origins of Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism and the Elvis movement.”

This is exactly how human religious organizations get started. The USA To-day article also said, “Like any other m or religion, it will take on a life of its own after the historical players have left the building.” When folks revere a man too much, like they did Martin Luther or John Wesley, new churches begin.

If a “First Presleyterian Church” is started, it will be too late to be or even resemble the Lord’s church we read about in the New Testament. The Lord’s church began in Jerusalem (Zech. 1:16, Luke 24:46-47; Acts 2:5, 47) by men hearing and obeying gospel preaching concerning Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This church that begins in Memphis, Tennessee will have it beginning at the wrong place to be the church of Christ Paul refers to in Romans 16:16.


No doubt the worship in this latest religion will be directed to Elvis Presley’s image as he is revered.

The Bible teaches us that we are not to worship men. When Peter went to Cornelius’ house, “. . . Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshiped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man” (Acts 10:25-26). Here is a good example that teaches us that we are not to worship men.

God must be the object of our worship. As Jesus talked with the woman at the well, among other things, he said, “God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). God is to be worshiped, not men. As Jesus responded to the devil’s temptation to worship him, Jesus told us whom to worship, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:10). As John fell be-fore the feet of an angel to worship, do you recall what the angel said to John? “Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” (Rev. 22:8-9).

Isn’t it strange that people are never content to just do as the Lord has directed, but want to create some new religion and some other object of worship than that pre-scribed on the pages of inspiration? Time will only tell how well this new religion and worship catches on!

Guardian of Truth XLI: 20 p. 16
October 16, 1997