Kevin’s Conversations: On Celebrity Christians

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22 Responses

  1. justMike says:

    “Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us” – Pogo

  2. Em says:

    XLNT thoughts … IMO 😇
    Since i go back a ways, i recall when evangelical Christianity discovered that “celebrity” converts got the public attention. It cropped up all over under the umbrella of getting a hearing for the Gospel.. Madison Avenue creep?
    For a child of God (adopted, born again – whatever your preference), there is only one celebrity in the universe – our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
    Pontifying over … ☺

  3. Kevin H says:

    justMike – Yep.

  4. Kevin H says:

    Em,

    I get the use of celebrity to draw a crowd in order to expose more to the Gospel. Maybe sometimes it can be used for good. But I think many times just the fact that somebody is a celebrity trumps all other concerns. Often times it’d be much better off to have a preacher of solid character and solid theology who’s delivering the Word as opposed to some celebrity who is sketchy on one or both accounts.

  5. Duane Arnold says:

    KevinH

    Good piece. The best history teacher I ever had was in a post-grad program. Anything I know about teaching, I learned from him. In his personal life, he was a wreck – five marriages, insecure, you name it…
    Now, he was a good teacher but a very flawed human being. I think there is a difference of those who teach in the capacity of a pastor or priest. That is, it is not enough to be a good teacher or communicator. Otherwise, we have people who at heart are “actors” who are, in some sense, “performing”. This is not to say that a pastor must be perfect, but it is to say, they must, with us, be striving to conform their lives to the Gospel… We don’t need celebrities. We need faithful pastors.

  6. Em says:

    KevinH @ 11:27 . I think you are absolutely correct! 🙆

  7. bob1 says:

    I think in the modern era, celebrity Xn culture started with Billy Graham and YFC. Graham received some extremely valuable free PR from one of the weekly magazines popular in the 50s. He certainly knew how to play
    the publicity game well. I’m not saying this to condemn what he did, just
    to point to the fact that his Crusades and popularity kind of set the
    stage for Xn celebrity culture.

  8. Em says:

    William Randolph Hearst, publisher of the L..A. Times was the one who promoted B.G. from just another vacant lot tent crusade to a major event and, I believe, Hearst was Roman Catholic as was the Time Life publisher whose name escapes me at the moment… (Loos?)
    Was Graham annointed (by Gid) to preach the gospel? I think he was, even though we made fun of him in my 8th grade social studies class

  9. JoelG says:

    This seems to be an answer as to whether God needs celebrities or “good teachers” to share the Gospel:

    “And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power”

    (1 Corinthians 2:1–5, NIV)

  10. Em says:

    JoelG… Spot on reference….
    Perhaps celebrity gets the attention of unbeluevers, but we so need sound teaching once we cross over

  11. bob1 says:

    I like the Bible quote, Joel.

    To his credit, Graham emphasized the local church,

  12. Kelly says:

    I’ve never commented on your blogs before but I have read every one (and then some) since I started following. I always enjoy your honesty and commitment to the truth, your love of others, and willingness to take the unpopular stand for the abused. I’m sure it must be tiring to go against the tide all the time….but I for one am grateful and have benefitted from every article you have written. Thank you for posting on WordPress.

  13. Michael says:

    Wow…thank you, Kelly.
    Kevin wrote this one and he’s a great guy.

  14. Kevin H says:

    Thanks, Duane.

    “We don’t need celebrities. We need faithful pastors.”

    Faithful pastors are indeed the need. Celebrities of sound character and theology can be a nice additive.

  15. Kevin H says:

    bob1,

    Yes Billy Graham did play the publicity game pretty well. I think for the most part his intentions were genuine. Unfortunately, many others don’t seem to stay so intact with all the temptations that come with publicity.

  16. Kevin H says:

    Yes, JoelG, an appropriate passage.

    However, in that passage Paul did not rule out laser lights or fog machines. 🙂

  17. Kevin H says:

    Kelly,

    Yes I am the one who wrote this one, but Michael far and away deserves the credit for what goes on here and the majority of the articles.

    Also, I don’t think I’m as a great of a guy as Michael says. I can remind him of this by continually dredging up the 2018 NFC Championship game. 😛

  18. JoelG says:

    Kevin H….. Lol

    I never noticed that. You are right.

  19. Steve says:

    Kevin, good article. I kind of think the age of celebrities in general and celebrity pastor specifically in the church has reached a peak in our society and hopefully will eventually decline to what is healthy thanks to blogs like this shining a light. I could be wrong but what some see as a decline in church attendance maybe no more than a rejection of these shananigans posing as pastors.

  20. The church climate mirrors the secular climate, always searching for “Saviors.” Much like ancient Israel desiring a king. The more that things change, the more they stay the same.

  21. Em says:

    Hmm.. Good food for thought, TNV

  22. Pineapple Head says:

    During the Sayeed thing a few years ago, I had a guy who claimed connections telling me he could get Nagmeh to speak in our church. For him it seemed so vital, but I really couldn’t come up with a good reason to go to the expense of bringing in a “hot name.” Nothing against Nagmeh, but it just seemed to be more about having a sort of Christian celebrity in our church. I just couldn’t get interested.

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