Gospel artists say they did not lead Michael Jackson to Christ

|PIC1|Gospel music artists Andrae and Sandra Crouch did not lead Michael Jackson to the Lord, according to a source close to them.

“It is a rumour,” clarified Dave Nassaney, the administrator for Andrae Crouch’s fan page on Facebook.com.

Nassaney’s statement was backed by one Sandra Crouch issued earlier in the week, in which she said it was “incorrect and absolutely not true” that she and her brother met their “dear friend” so he could accept Christ.

“We loved and respected Michael enormously and we've been friends with him for many, many years, and are deeply saddened by his sudden and tragic death," she wrote Tuesday.

Shortly after Jackson’s unexpected death last week, news spread of the Crouches’ meeting with the troubled music legend, who reportedly asked questions regarding spirituality and even prayed together with the Crouches.

But contrary to what some media outlets have been reporting, there was no reciting of the “sinner's prayer” nor did Jackson accept Christ at that time.

Writing on Crouch's fan page, Nassaney said Andrae had visited Michael Jackson two times in the last two months, once at the recording studio, and once at his home "asking for prayer concerning the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and how he could make his music more 'spiritual'."

“He wanted to know what makes your hands go up, and makes you ‘come out of yourself’, and what gives a ‘spirituality’ to the music,” Nassaney continued.

“So Andrae and Sandra explained to him about the ‘anointing’ and about Jesus.”

Afterward, Jackson reportedly asked the Crouches to sing to him his favourite song.

“[S]o they sang that song to him, and joined hands and sang together, and he (Jackson) said, ‘it was beautiful,’” Nassaney reported, according to Crouch’s account of the events.

Nassaney particularly emphasised the joining of hands – something untypical for the “King of Pop”, who was as known for his eccentric behaviour as he was for his music accolades.

Though Jackson became a dominant figure in American popular music and culture in the early 1980s, he “got weirder, wilder and more erratic in his behaviour”, as Lisa Anderson, host of Focus on the Family’s “The Boundless Show”, put it.

Anderson said she prayed for Jackson for years after asking God to help her think of the person who she did not think would ever come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

“I followed him casually in the news, and it never looked good,” she recalled a day after Jackson’s death on June 25.

“But I continued to pray. Because that's what God called me to do,” she added.

In her account, Sandra Crouch provided a little more detail to the one her twin brother relayed to Nassanaey, reporting that she and Andrae had met with Jackson to discuss recording two songs with their choir for Jackson’s news recording project.

“Michael always had a respect and curiosity for spiritual things,” Sandra noted.

“During our meeting, not unlike many other creative music meetings we've had with him the past, we sang together, prayed together and had a wonderful time,” she recalled.

But, as Nassaney acknowledged, Jackson “definitely had an ‘encounter’ with them (the Crouches)”.

What happened between the time of the “encounter” to Jackson’s death last week is anybody’s guess.

“As of today, I have no idea where Michael Jackson stood spiritually at the time of his death,” confessed Anderson, who also serves as a spokesperson for Focus on the Family.

“But God knows. And God will decide what He does with Michael's soul,” she commented.

“It may sound cliché, but it's devastatingly true: The King of Pop will be called to give an account to the King of Kings,” Anderson added.

According to Jackson family spokesman Ken Sunshine, a public memorial is in the works but it will not be at the Neverland Ranch, Jackson's former home. Authorities are still investigating the circumstances surrounding Jackson's death.

Lifestyle