Oxymoron: Celebrity Pastors

I came across the following article several months ago and have forgotten where it came from! I was tempted to put it aside, but I believe the truths it expresses are worth sharing. So, my apologies to the original writer!

I’m sure we all know young people who seem bent on modeling their lives after the world. The change can be frightening; however, it cannot happen without the question as to why they have chosen this style. Admittedly, we cannot “cookie-cut” every person into a certain style or fashion, but when the limits are pushed to the limit, two simple verses need to be applied:

LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart. Psalm 15:1,2

I recently came face to face with this fact in my own heart! When making the statement that I wore a skirt because I was more comfortable in it, the Lord smote my heart! “Be honest, Wanda. You wear a skirt NOT because it is more comfortable but because you think you look better in a skirt!” That was the shocking truth! (And please know that I am not saying that you MUST wear skirts 24/7!) I mention this as a challenge for us all to question our motives. Whether it is what we wear, what church we attend, what movies we watch, what books we read, what hair style or clothing we choose, it is good to question our true motives. While listening to a recording of Elizabeth Elliot recently, she challenged the young women to dress as though Jesus was their escort for the night. Challenging! The now outdated cliché, “WWJD—What Would Jesus Do” was really a great model because Christ alone is an example to follow! He will never lead us astray.  Praise the Lord!

Online magazine The Spectator has published an article entitled “The Sad Irony of Celebrity Pastors.” The author, although admitting that he is not religious, recalls attending a charismatic church in his youth. He remembers that “people were very keen to make themselves look ‘cool.’”

The modern face of “Christian coolness” for the past several years has been Carl Lentz, who the author notes “turned himself into a brand.” The irony referred to in the article’s title is not the irony that a Christian would sin. The irony is that “whenever Christians seem to attach themselves to mainstream culture, with all its vices, in the hope of drawing people towards God, they seem to get drawn towards vice.”

The author of the article strikes at the heart of celebrity Christianity: “Making yourself a very public representative of God, rather than a humble messenger, is a dangerous business when you are — like all of us — a very flawed human being.” The author identifies what he sees as a “… with a twist of Christianity” trend. This trend is observed in American Christians who desire to indulge in mainstream culture (bluntly immortalized as “Vanity Fair” in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress). The author asks an honest question of the reader: “If Christianity is such an inessential add-on, why become a Christian?”

The article ends with an indictment of celebrity Christianity that should make all of us take a critical look at our lives: “I am not religious, so it is not my place to dictate to Christians what they should and should not believe. Still, if someone has a faith worth following, I feel that their beliefs should make me feel uncomfortable for not doing so. If they share 90 percent of my lifestyle and values, then there is nothing especially inspiring about them. Instead of making me want to become more like them, it looks very much as if they want to become more like me.”

from The Spectator


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