Paul Proctor has written a much needed piece on the idolatry of celebrity worship, something that has taken our culture by storm. Here’s a quote from the article:
Under their exploited influence, our envy and infatuation often bypasses logic, reason and sound judgment, persuading us to listen and follow their lead even though they don’t know us and we don’t know them beyond the manufactured and well-guarded image we see and hear in the media.
This is the mysterious power of celebrity – a seductive and intoxicating force that too many covet and too few fear – a form of inebriation and delusion, and at times, insanity that incites brazen and bizarre behavior from those who fawn at the feet of fame, making them say and do things they would not otherwise.
The next time you happen to be anywhere near a celebrity, don’t watch them – watch the people around them and you’ll better understand what I’m talking about. Hopefully, what you see and hear will be offensive enough to keep you from being brought under the celebrity’s spell.
Proctor also addresses this same phenomenon within the church as he cites one pastor’s starry-eyed infatuation with the universalist Billy Graham. To read Proctor’s entire article, click here.
I completely agree, and thought Proctor’s point was well-taken. I posted on the idolatry of “celebrity worship” on my blog, a few weeks after Michael Jackson’s death: http://theo-geek.blogspot.com/2009/07/dangers-of-idolatry-21st-century-style.html
Part of what prompted it was the obsession Christian bloggers had (and still have) with Jackson’s eternal destiny – many trying to “get him into heaven” at any cost. It was astonishing and sad.
Several “Christian celebrities” have sorely disappointed me with their public and private behavior – including one I greatly respect who snubbed me late last week.
They’re just PEOPLE. No better or holier than the rest of us.
And then there’s this: http://5ptsalt.com/2009/11/24/challenging-protestant-popery-the-cult-of-personality/
When I was reading this, I was thought of this passage.
“I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.'” (Revelation 22:8-9)
Sadly, we see this constantly even here on Defcon. Whenever one of the contributors points out doctrinal error in the life of some famous preacher, watch the fur fly! Pretty soon these people that adore and worship that person begin to show their true colours and ooze out of the woodwork! It’s amazing how hateful they become! That’s the way it is, though, because their golden calf has been questioned!
DP’s Wife, I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. I remember pointing out some unbiblical theology of Rob Bell and I got A LOT of flak for that. I’ve jokingly said that people don’t like it when I chase their golden calves out of the barn.
Greg Laurie’s comments about lunch with Billy Graham remind me of the mutual admiration shared between Rick Warren and W.A. Criswell. In his forward to Warren’s “Purpose Driven Church” (gag, cough, puke), Criswell wrote – “God could not have a given me a more beloved and effective ‘son in the ministry’ than Rick Warren.”
When one takes his focus off of the Lord Jesus, he inevitably ends up focused on himself, craving the applause of other creatures – giving such to receive it.
Caleb Phillips, I thought that was funny! I think we need to be chasing all the golden calves out of the barn and even our own sometimes. It never ceases to amaze me at the response of some so-called “Christians” and I know I shouldn’t be.
It can be heartbreaking to see people bowing down to the cult of celebrity in our times. Men and women, boys and girls, all of whom God so gloriously created for His Own glory, seem to persistently ignore Him, and to make idols out of silly individuals famous for even sillier accomplishments. Most people know more about Paris Hilton than they do about Priscilla and Aquilla. We know more about Britney Spears than about the spear Saul threw at David. We know more about Heath Ledger than about the heath in the desert. How many of our children and young adults obsess over clothing, beauty products, hair styles, and weight loss, but could not begin to point to a Scripture that describes the true Biblical definition of “beauty?” We know more about what happened on the red carpet than about what happened on the Cross of Christ.
Even spiritually-minded people seem to feel as if God alone is not enough. All types of Heavenly beings are worshipped in place of Christ. The saints are adored and offered prayers. Christ’s mother is deified. Angels are worshipped as if they were creators instead of creatures.
This type of vanity must stop. What joy there is in realizing that God alone is worthy of worship and praise! What peace and power there is in knowing that there is only one mediator between God and man – the man Christ Jesus! In God’s creation, man can find anything he wants. But only in God Himself can man find what he truly NEEDS.
“Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” Psalm 73:25
This is a timely post, especially with the breaking news out of Los Angeles that legendary entertainer Micheal Jackson is still dead!!
fp – your post reminded me of the One “celebrity” that will ever be alive, put musically by Shai Linne:
Many people considered great and powerful (and even some considered to be god) have come and gone. They have lived and died. All except one. His name is Jesus.
Elvis is dead. Picasso is dead. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin are dead. Marilyn Monroe is dead. However, Jesus is alive. Brando is dead. James Brown is dead. Princess Di and John Lennon are dead. Biggie and Pac are dead. However, Jesus is alive.
Give praise to King Jesus, the blessed Son, victorious, glorious resurrected One. To Him belongs the power, glory and honor ascended where He sits at the right hand of the Father. At the cross He made atonement – His people He saved. After three days He was raised in defeat of the grave. By faith the elect behold Him, His scepter is golden. He must have been hot or slippery because death couldn’t hold Him. The spotlight is on today’s icons. In a thousand years, nobody will care – their light’s gone, but at that time, Christ will still shine bright. He’s not in the limelight – He is the limelight. Criminal minded, you’ve been blinded. Looking for the body of Jesus? You won’t find it. We never lack spirit, letting you cats hear it because His tomb is empty like most secular rap lyrics.
Plato is dead. Socrates is dead. Aristotle and Immanuel Kant are dead. Neitzsche and Darwin are dead. However, Jesus is alive. Buddha is dead. Mohammed is dead. Ghandi and Haile Selassie are dead. Elijah Mohammed is dead. However, Jesus is alive.
Throughout history there’s been mad religious leaders, prophets, preachers, scholars, teachers. But when it came to the grave, no one could climb out that’s where Jesus stands alone like taking a timeout. And don’t be mislead – I got a level head. No resurrection, Christianity would have never spread. The disciples weren’t stupid guys who would ruin their lives and then choose to die for what they knew was a lie that would be beyond ridiculous! Nah, the issue is the risen Christ seen by 500 eye-witnesses. Imagine 500 people in a court of law each of them taking the stand reporting what they saw. If their stories lined up and made sense, the evidence would have to leave you convinced. But still it’s by faith that we trust and praise the Son who was raised for our justification.
Nero is dead. Constantine is dead. Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun are dead. Alexander the Great is dead. However, Jesus is alive. Napoleon is dead. Lao Tzu is dead. Che Guevara and Henry VIII are dead. Saddam Hussein is dead. However, Jesus is alive.
Through faith in Christ, we’ve been saved from hell. Because He’s risen, it means we’ll be raised as well in glorified bodies fit for the new earth. For now, we participate in the new birth – the universal reality of the true church with resurrection power – watch the Spirit do work! United with Christ, we reside in His light, abide in His might, keep in stride as we fight the pride in our life, the lies and the spite, we strive to be wise as He guides through the night. He’ll chide and He’ll slice – recognize that He’s right. His brightness inside lights our eyes and it’s tight. He decided to die to wash white all our strife. His life was the price to delight in His wife. He told death “sike” just to rise like a kite. All eyes on the Christ – let’s prize Him tonight!
Pharaoh is dead. Cyrus is dead. Darius and Sennacharib are dead. Nebuchadnezzar the Great is dead. However, Jesus is alive. Caesar is dead. Herod is dead. Annas, Caiaphas and Judas are dead. Pontius Pilate is dead. However, Jesus is alive.
What!?!? You mean Michael Jackson is STILL dead? I guess if he’s been dead this long, he’ll be dead until the judgment!