Whether it’s a concert, a book signing, or a conference, we as a culture tend to lose all sense of pride when it comes to “meeting” celebrities. We will scream our heads off, stand in the rain in the longest of lines, and spend money we may not actually have for a chance to see celebrities in person. It can seem fun, but it can bring harmful unbalance to our lives. Unfortunately, the epidemic of admiring people a little too much has spread to our church culture as well.
I have met countless people who spend a huge chunk of time and money following their favorite celebrity Christians. These pastors, musicians, authors, etc. are often talented people, and I believe most of them truly love Jesus more than anything else. However, sometimes the adoration for well-known or “celebrity status” Christians teeters on the line of idolizing people.
The introduction of various social media networks has taken the crisis to a whole new level of disconnect. It may appear to be an oxymoron, but as we spend all of our time trying to connect to people we consider “high status,” we can slowly disconnect ourselves from the greatest celebrity in history. Ironically enough, we have full access to Him whenever we want, but we tend to spend our time wishing we could be as close to Him as our famous brothers and sisters or at least appear to be so. Sometimes we even look to our celebrity Christians to answer our questions without consulting God.
Have you ever thought, If I could just meet with that person or get into that church service, I know ‘this problem’ would be fixed? The worst thing we can convince ourselves of is that we need someone else more than we need our Creator. I have been guilty of this myself more than once. I remember having a huge decision before me a few years ago. I could be found listening to dozens of podcasts or seeking out videos and books from very specific pastors or speakers. However, the searches left me clueless when it came to what I was facing.
My expectation was that these select people whom I thought I simply admired would be able to tell me which way to turn next or at least grant me a deeper revelation to make it easier for me to decide. I had become “starstruck.” My celebrity Christians knew everything and lived perfect lives. I needed them, and in this heart posture, I had elevated their opinions above seeking God. It didn’t work. I had unanswered questions, and even though the information was good, another person’s experience wasn’t getting me anywhere.
Something important to note here is that following famous people on social media or reading excellent books full of wisdom and truth is not evil by any means. We need each other. The Bible tells us that very clearly multiple times. We have a big God, and there are so many facets to who He is. We can’t possibly figure it all out alone. That’s why He gave us companionship, friendship, and mentors. Being teachable and allowing others to speak into our lives leads us to a better understanding and keeps us humble. I am so thankful for all of the incredibly humble vessels God has used in my life to speak into me when I needed it.
The problem doesn’t arise until we slowly push God out of the picture. In my own referenced experience, I had not even really spoken to God about my dilemma before pursuing other opinions. No matter who we are listening to or admiring from afar, our focus and greatest attention should be steadily on Him.
The majority of our time should be spent chasing His opinion and finding out what’s on His mind. We can only afford to be “star struck” over Him because it’s not just my opinion; it’s His. He’s jealous for us (Ex. 34:14) and even “Christiany” things can take our focus off of our Father. Let’s choose to allow the inspiration from others to create in us an awe for the real celebrity who longs for us to look to Him.
Featured Image by Joshua Earle