September 7, 2008

Christian Celebrities

Now we are getting to my recent posts. This one was posted April 12th, 2008. This was born out of a conversation I had with my pastor about I particular TV evangelist that I don't like. My pastor warned me not to be overly critical about famous pastors. Upon reflection, this is what I concluded.

One of the things that I have been thinking about lately is how a Christian should properly consider the famous, especially famous Christians. Becoming famous changes a great many things about you. First of all, you become more well known (duh). This means that anyone can talk about you to anyone, and probably will. Everyone will have an opinion of you. This, in general, means that a particular person's opinion of you becomes less meaningful.

Second of all, you become more heavily scrutinized. Everyone has done bad things in the past, but with fame every single one of those bad things becomes news. This is especially true of Christian celebrities, since the world constantly tries to expose Christianity's "hypocracy".

Finally, your opinion's worth becomes inflated. We see this all the time with the common american considering actors to be political experts. This becomes even more exaggerated with those who are teachers. Because they are teachers, they are automatically considered to be experts in every kind of teachings. Theologians are thought to be great exegetes, and visa versa.

This all said, what do I think is the proper Christian treatment of celebrities? We should give them a benefit of the doubt. I've learned to try and avoid criticism of the famous. Others seem far to interested in hearing the bad things I may have to say about so and so.

I've found that many "exposes" about famous people are focused around projecting an entire theology around a single sentence taken out of context. Because the opinions of famous people hold a lot of weight, we need to expose the one's that are intentionally and blantently causing problems. But the ones that are "subtling corrupting? Get over it. Its subtle. It may not really be there. You be blantent with your theology.

Another thing is that we need to be more convinced by what local people say than what famous people say. They teaching may be really good, but we need to have someone local who can sort it out for us, and help us to discern what is good and bad. We cannot trust someone just because they are famous, but we can't denounce someone either, until we are sure they are actually saying what they are saying.

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