Thursday, July 22, 2010

Christian Groupies & the Deification of Celebrity

Heidi and I just returned from a wonderful time on an Alaska Cruise. 
This cruise was hosted by Michael W. Smith and some other notable Christian "celebrities".  Who is going to sign up for a cruise like this, other than the biggest fans of the Christian celebrities?  The cruise was an incredibly generous gift from a family member of ours, and we are FILLED with gratitude. 

Vacations are a time to relax (and be a bit goofy), so I played up the "celebrity factor" and tried to get pictures of myself in the same photo as these well known artists (or at least their mom): 

Matthew West: (5 dove awards)

Max Lucado: 30 million books sold, and America’s best preacher (according to Reader’s Digest) - You can see the back of his head in this photo.

David Robinson (The Admiral. NBA MVP in 1995, 2X NBA Champion, scored over 70 points in one game, etc.)
Michael W. Smith (3 grammies, 40 doves, 13 million albums sold, with 5 platinum records and was also selected by People Magazine as one of the world’s most beautiful people).  You can see his mom in this photo. 

Things get even more obsessive in the world: I'll never forget when a jar of air said to contain the air of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie was sold for $512 on eBay.  The ordinary quart-sized jar was brought to the premiere to the couple's latest movie, Mr and Mrs Smith, in Westwood, California, where it was opened to capture the stars' air as they walked by before being sealed.  "This is another perfect example of pop culture phenomenon," said Richard Rowe, CEO of, the online casino company which bought the jar. There is literally nothing in this jar except air, and it has made headlines all over the country and even overseas. The sheer weirdness and absurdity of this item has made it a marketing success."

It seems to be human nature to be awestruck by celebrity within our culture: whether it is athletes, movie-starts, politicians, or politicians.  Christians are not exempt from this tendency. 

I have been studying 1 Corinthians 1 lately and this chapter make a few things very clear: Our message is foolishness (to the world), we are nothing to boast about (so don't take yourself so seriously) and even our leaders are mere men (and women) -- we have one boast - one adoration - one to deify and worship and that is our crucified and risen Lord. 

Yes, it's good to honor, respect and love people, but, there is only One who is worthy of our awe and devotion.

I'll be talking more about this over the weekend at Faith Center

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