The Problem with Christian Superstars


By now you’ve heard about the Duggar scandal.

I’ll admit, I’ve always been a fan of the Duggars. It’s clear to me that we have a few theological differences, but I appreciate many things about their family, including the logistical genius it takes to raise 19 kids.

Like many American Christians though, I think I’m guilty of putting the Duggars on a pedestal. We watched them on TV week after week, and we saw a very edited, happy, faith-filled version of their family.

But that’s the problem really. All we ever saw was the edited version of their lives.

It’s not a problem isolated to the Duggars. I see the same thing happening with megachurch pastors, television evangelist, Christian rock stars, big name athletes, famous Bible study authors, and other normal people who make it BIG on the grounds of being a Christian.

I’m sure some of them start with good intentions. They want to reach more people for the cause of Christ. They happen to be really good at what they do and decide to use that platform to share about their faith. While it seems like a good idea at the time, it's almost always THEIR name that ends up in lights, and the name of Jesus just gets dragged along for the ride. 

Think about it. We don't watch the Duggars television show because we love Jesus. We tune in because we are fascinated by the Duggars.

And as American Christians we eat it up. We are just like our worldly friends. We love the next pop star, entertainment icon, and charismatic speaker. We treat these famous people as role models in the faith. We look to them for doctrine, education, encouragement, and inspiration.

And they let us down. At best they are sinners who (intentionally or not) paint a false picture of their goodness. At worst they are false teachers, selling heresy and false doctrine to anyone who will pay for it.

In fact, this modern model of discipleship is directly contrary to what we find in scripture.

Colossians 3:16 says this:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 
And again in Hebrews 10:24-25:
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
One more time, 1 Thessalonians 5:11:
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Do you see what these passages have in common? It’s the “one another.”

Christian discipleship, encouragement, teaching, worship, and edification was all meant to be done in relationship to one another.

It’s a process of give and take. Our pastors and teachers encourage us in the Word, but we also hold them accountable, examine their doctrine, and if necessary confront their sin.

Our brothers and sisters edify us with their good works. They encourage us in the faith, but we also see their sin, their struggles, and their failures.

We pray together. We sing together. And we have grace one for another.

The problem with Christian entertainment super stars is that they are primarily about entertainment. There is no relationship. There can never be a “one another.”

When we allow them to speak into our lives unguarded, we are giving them a place of prominence that God intended the local church body to have. God desires that we grow and love in relation to one another, not one well-known and well-spoken teacher to the tens of thousands.

This problem of famous Christians is a relatively new one. It's only been in the last 100 years that we have technology at our fingertips that allow anyone to be well-known around the world. 

With internet, television, movies, and social networking, we have seemingly unlimited access to people's lives, their faith, and their failures. 

We watch as outsiders, judging and commenting on someone's life with no real knowledge or understanding. 

We can't be a part of their repentance and healing. We can't support them or encourage them in their time of need. We can't even proclaim Christ and the forgiveness of sins when they need to hear it most.

It's a one sided relationship that doesn't really do anyone any good. 

That’s why our local churches are so important. Because when we sin, we have the privilege of receiving forgiveness, help, and grace from people who care about us and know us deeply.

It's also why we need to be careful. 

Careful that when we see Christians in the entertainment industry, whether it's athletics, books, television, or music, that we always remind ourselves that we don't really know them. 

Rather than idolizing them, we should pray for them. Pray that they would use their platform wisely, and that God would grant us wisdom to discern truth from error. Pray that our own faith would remain solely focused on Jesus and not the next big name in Christian living. 

And we should be careful for ourselves, that we always remember the broad reach of the internet. We may not have thousands of people following our every move, but many of us have hundreds of Facebook friends reading our status updates and the articles we share. The way we live our lives matter, especially when we put it on display for everyone to see. 

Let's strive to live in the power of Christ with godliness, honesty, and integrity. Loving one another well.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds weird "Christian superstars". That kind of a work doesn't looks like a correct path for religious person at all.



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