But let’s be fair. In the midst of the cons, there have to be pros. . . right? I continue to think long and hard about this. What are the pros? And what are the cons? To be honest, when Rick Lawrence at GROUP asked me about the pros and cons of Christian celebrity over a year ago, I struggled to come up with any pros. . . but I did discover one.
- · Has fostered a movement towards building a following for ourselves rather than building followers of Christ. We can tap into the image-making machine (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, the blogsphere) to build our brands, rather than spending the time we should on quietly going deep in our faith while letting God do the rest. When we value style over substance, we encourage aspiring celebrities to pursue style over substance. Think about it. . . the cult of Christian celebrity might just be one of the most effective tools in the enemy’s arsenal.
- · Has created an environment – let’s be honest here – where we worship and follow people (celebrities), sometimes at the expense of worshipping and following God. This is idolatry. Could it be that we are more ready to blindly embrace and accept what so-and-so says than we are to pursue and embrace what God says? And, do we blindly accept the words of our favorite celebrity without exercising Biblical discernment?
- · Has led us to value some more highly than others. Didn’t Jesus talk about the error of playing favorites? At times, those we value the highest might have the best marketing and branding plan, rather than the greatest depth or character. We’ve created a pecking order that is anything but Biblical.
- · Has caused us to follow the lead of the culture, rather than following in the footsteps of our humble, suffering Savior.
- · Has led us to believe that the Christian calling incorporates a high-profile image, fame, and all that goes with that. . . rather than being about faithfulness, humility, and obedience.