April 5/Weekend

Written by Bill Grandi on April 5th, 2019

My title for this devotion is Celebrity vs. Ordinary.

For a long time I have had a long-standing pet peeve. And yet, I have probably been as guilty of it as have others. What is it? For lack of a better way to say it: I have watched with horror how “celebrity Christians” have been used by the church.

May I give an example or two?

  • Back in the late ’70s/early 80s, pop singer B.J. Thomas (Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head) had a well-publicized encounter with Jesus. Time has erased a lot of the details, but he was saved; rescued from a drug habit; recorded some well-received Christian albums; wrote a book or two; was lauded as “one of ours.” As time went on, people didn’t like it when he sang some of his old pop/country songs in concert and then someone wrote about a profanity-laced “dress down” he gave some reporter.
  • There were other musicians, many you haven’t heard of. Bob Dylan. Dion. Donna Summer. Dan Peek (America). Leon Patillo (Santana). King’s X. Stryper. Many others.
  • Athletes know for their drug-addled, trouble-making, womanizing lifestyles were/are looked up to for their conversion. Many today are praised for their testimony and yet see nothing wrong with spouting off profanities.
  • Actors/actresses talk about their faith but continue living a lifestyle that can cause us to question their commitment.

I’m not opposed to anyone coming to Christ, no matter their position. This stuff of chewing them up and spitting them out does bother me, especially when they make a mistake or don’t conform to “our idea of Christianity.” It  still happens today. We embrace a celebrity culture. Today we have “rock star” pastors-pastors who are “hip,” tattooed (no judgment since that is their choice), relevant (whatever that means), flamboyant, etc. but are really only about an inch deep in holiness. I’m not jealous. Really. I have my own shortcomings.

But we have got to understand that not everything that looks good is good. Instead of grabbing the latest celebrity conversion and holding him/her up as a standard and role model, why not put them in a Bible study and ground them in the Word so they can fight off the bright lights that will blind them BEFORE they go public with their conversion?

And one more thing: who said they were or are any more valuable in God’s kingdom; any more useful in God’s work that the “everyday Joe’s” who plug away and want to make a difference? As a pastor, I must guard against using people for my own end. Hundreds and thousands of good, Godly pastors have toiled in relative obscurity and never get the “celebrity status” thumbs-up from society or the church on a wide scale. I’m not complaining. Trust me. I like it that way. Because I get all the “atta boys” I need/want from my family, my friends, the church I pastor but, most of all, from my Father in heaven. All He wants is for me to give my life as an act of worship to Him.

“Father, having You accept me as I am is worth it all. Having you say in the end “Well done, good and faithful servant” will be worth it all. Celebrity? No thanks. Ordinary? You bet. Just use me for you.”


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Chewing them up and spitting them out bothers me, too, Bill, because we can’t know when someone’s heart is truly changed for the better in God’s eyes. It leads us to be judgmental when that’s the last thing we should be. May we pray for God’s discernment and recognize the plank in our own eyes before pointing out the speck in our neighbor’s.