What Do You Think About Christian Celebrities?

28 Mar

I’m shifting gears today.  I’m just not in the mood to think or write about cancer at the moment.  I just need a break from it.  I want to think and write and talk about something different, something completely non-cancer related.

I recently read a post on Mary DeMuth’s blog titled “I don’t want to be a celebrity.”  Mary is a well-known author of such books as The Muir House, Thin Places: A Memoir, and Beautiful Battle.  The title of the blog post caught my attention because I thought to myself, “well, Mary, you are a bit of a celebrity, but a very humble one at that.”

Mary asked:

What about you? What’s the problem with Christian celebrity? Why do we gravitate toward the spectacular? What advice would you give me to not succumb to fame’s lure?

And this was my response:

I think we gravitate toward the spectacular because somewhere in our minds we believe that Christian celebrities have it all together – they’ve got it all figured out (when truthfully most of them will fully admit they are just as in need of God’s grace as the rest of us). We believe that by associating with them or trying to mimic their behavior, we can become “holy” as they seem to be. What we forget is that we are often only seeing the good side, the up side, the “on” side of them. We don’t see their daily struggles and frustrations. We don’t hear their fears and their tear-stained conversations with God. We just see the polish and shine and wish that some of it would rub off on us so we could be better Christians. There’s also a little bit of jealousy in there – we want to be known they way they are known, welcomed the way they are embraced by so many, and admired by hundreds and thousands of people. We want to feel significant, like them. If only we could all accept that we ARE known by the only ONE who truly matters and our significance comes from being a child of the King! :)

Dictionary.com defines celebrity as “a famous or well-known person.”  But the term celebrity does not necessarily have a positive connotation, especially in our current culture.  When we hear celebrity, we think of movie stars who make millions and wind up bankrupt, singers and musicians who die much too young from poor life choices, and the rich and famous who live lives of ridiculous excess.

In the Christian world, just saying christian and celebrity at the same time seems to create a bit of discomfort.  Maybe that’s because it feels like an oxymoron.  I can think of numerous people who, in my opinion, would probably fall into the category of christian “celebrity”: Andy StanleyBeth MoorePete WilsonLysa TerKeurst, and let’s not forget the truly wonderful Billy Graham.  But I bet none of these people – just like Mary DeMuth- want to be considered a celebrity.  In fact, they probably run from the title because that’s not why they do what they do.  They don’t want the attention to be on them, they want it to be on God.

I am a little bit curious, though, why do YOU think we are so enthralled with celebrities, especially christian ones.  Do you think we, in some ways, begin to idolize them and put them in a position of importance that only God should hold?  Do we want to be like them with these “glamorous” lives that seem so perfect on the outside?  Maybe we have a jealous fascination with people who seem to be so incredibly blessed by God and wonder why our lives have not been that blessed?  Or is it simply that they are motivators for us – people who encourage and push us to be better versions of ourselves?  What do you think?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
♥ Rachel

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2 Responses to “What Do You Think About Christian Celebrities?”

  1. Sarah Lawhorn March 28, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    When I read your title, I immediately thought of Kirk Cameron and all that he’s been through lately. He was asked about his view on gay marriage and because he stated (and stuck to) his Christian beliefs, he came under heavy fire for it. I appreciate that he (like Tim Tebow) is not willing to compromise his beliefs or keep silent about important issues. I am so thankful for men and women who have greater influence than I do, telling others about the love and saving mercy of Christ!

    • rachturner March 30, 2012 at 9:58 am #

      I hadn’t even thought of Kirk Cameron. Love me some Tim Tebow! :)

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