Perhaps no celebrity has been as open and as consistently candid for decades about the role of God in his life as David Bowie was. Often we conceal our deepest worries and inner thoughts about spiritual matters and transcendent issues. But David Bowie has left behind him a trail of spiritual musings over the decades of his career. This insatiable thirst and persistent quest for a transcendent connection above and beyond ourselves, is evidence that humans were created with the capacity to relate to God. This spiritual dimension of our lives is one of the distinguishing features of the human family.
Outstanding Success and Fame
Not everyone has followed David Bowie’s career. Perhaps you were never a fan of his music. Maybe you have never invested a solitary dime in purchasing one of his albums; but tens of millions have! During his lifetime, it is estimated he sold 140 million albums around the world. He was the recipient of many awards and 11 of his projects became number one albums. In 1996 he was inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. He was not only a musician and recording artist; he did his share of acting, including the role of Pontius Pilate in the 1988 movie the last temptation of Christ. (1)
One writer characterized Bowie this way: “David Bowie was a shape-shifter of the highest order, creating unusual and glamorous personae decades before theatrical costumes became the norm in popular music…. He personified a misfit of otherworldly dimension. Before he became popular worldwide in the 1970s, his strange songs and unusual mode of dress, not to mention his fluid approach to gender expression, made increasingly large waves in the worlds of fashion performance.” (2)
Show Eventually Winds Down – There is an End
Fame and fortune can neither fill the inner void of human beings or prolong the inevitable reality of living – which is death. For the most part, it seems Mr. Bowie fought his battle with cancer privately. On 10 January, 2016, in Manhattan, New York, Bowie succumbed to liver cancer.
Just after Bowie recorded his album entitled ‘Reality’ a reporter asked him: “After all these years of unsettling absolutes, you’re calling your new album ‘Reality’.” The recording artist responded: “It is ironic. You haven’t seen the artwork yet, but there is a fakeness to the cover that undermines that. It’s the old chestnut: what is real and what isn’t? It’s actually about who’s stolen the world.” (3)
The reporter continued to ask Bowie questions of a spiritual nature. He said: “Questioning my spiritual life has always been germane to what I was writing. Always. It’s because I’m not quite an atheist and it worries me. There’s that little bit that holds on: “Well I’m almost an atheist; give me a couple of months.”” (4)
In the same interview, Bowie talked about the little clichés about life that we have all heard. He said: “That’s the shock. All clichés are true. The years really do speed by. Life really is as short as they tell you it is. And there really is a God – – so do I buy that one? If all the other clichés are true….” (5)
God – Wrestling with the Question to the Very End
It seems that David Bowie experimented with a number of different religious systems over the years, including Christianity. However, he claimed to be closer to being an atheist at one point in his life. CBS News released after the artist’s death unaired excerpts from a series of interviews he did in 2003 with “60 Minutes,” where Bowie reflected on what the search for God meant to him.
“There’s an effort to reclaim the unmentionable, the unsayable, the unspeakable, all those things come into being a composer, into writing music, into searching for notes and pieces of musical information that don’t exist,” the singer reflected, comparing ‘his approach to music to searching for God.’ (6)
Those familiar with his various compositions have noticed repeated biblical themes throughout his works. When his friend Freddie Mercury died, he recited the Lord’s prayer and told reporters, “I have an undying belief in God’s existence. For me it is unquestionable.”
According to BBC newsbeat the last account that Bowie followed was a Twitter account called God. His final album, BlackStar was released on his 69th birthday just two days before he died. He recorded the album knowing death was imminent. It seems that God and the afterlife had been weighing heavily on his mind. One video/song, “Blackstar” contains many occult images including crows, candles, scythes, skulls and Bowie holding aloft a book with a black pentagram on the cover. The lyrics are somewhat inscrutable but the theme of death is throughout. (7)
Bowie’s final single (and Broadway play) alludes to Lazarus – the Bible character who died and Jesus raised him from the dead four days later. The official music video was released on January 07, 2016. Mr. Bowie died on January 10, 2016.
David Bowie’s family is left to mourn his loss. His fans will treasure their albums. Bowie is now a memory in time but he himself has entered into God’s never-ending eternity.
Reflections for You to Personally Consider
Like the Mr. Bowie, are you unable to escape thinking about God and the afterlife? Is it constantly there with you, no matter how you try to suppress it, ignore it or minimize its importance? Is it one of those persistent and nagging worries that eats away inside you – an uncertainty that just will not leave you alone?
Are you going to take your chances on it? Or would you like to have it settled and be at peace? Would you like to be able to face the future with absolute confidence and rock-solid optimism about your after-life?To confidentially discuss these things further by email click here.
Better still, turn to the Bible and ask God to speak to your heart. Tell Him you want this thing settled. Tell Him you are afraid of the future. Tell Him you are vulnerable. Tell Him you have sinned. Tell Him you want to be right with Him and in good standing. Yes, ask Him to save you. In your Bible read a few chapters: Gospel of John Chapters 3,4 & 5; also chapters 10 and 19.
On a personal note, I recommend Jesus Christ to you. I discovered He died on the Cross for my sins and I personally embraced Him as my Saviour and for 40+ years – I have been contented, satisfied, at peace and sure of Heaven. There’s no better way to live, and as you can imagine – no better way to die!
To receive Josh McDowell’s classic book entitled “More Than a Carpenter.” Click here to email us your postal address.