What does Donald Trump, Stephen Baldwin, Tom Hanks and TobyMac have to do with each other? Well, they share something in common, being celebrities. But, there’s more, and I’ll tell you in this post that asks how much God really depends on our “star power.”
There’s a really catchy song by Unspoken called Higher. In it, the singer says:
“I may never get money/I may never have fame/But if I’m ever in the spotlight/I’ll turn it back your way”
This raises the question, does God really need our “spotlights?”
A long time ago I read an interview with Stephen Baldwin in which he mentioned how much pressure he had to win his brother Alec to the Lord. For those who don’t know, Stephen is one of the more famous Christian converts of Hollywood culture, though he was never as prominent among the Baldwins as Alec.
He said that people would say, “It would be so great for the Kingdom if Alec were saved!”
This pretty much sums up the worldly attitude. To us, we value celebrity!
To illustrate the absurdity, I gave my kids this example:
I asked if they knew who Tom Hanks was.
Blank stares told me they had no idea.
So, I moved on to TobyMac.
I was rewarded with bright eyes of recognition.
I said, suppose you were thinking, I don’t really like Donald Trump, I’m not going to vote for him. (not that they can vote, and not to pick any candidate … it’s just an example). But then, TobyMac steps up and tells everyone that he thinks Donald Trump is THE MAN. Or, whatever cool phrase Toby might use. (not that Toby has endorsed Donald—this is just an example).
Following that endorsement, maybe you’d think, I need to give The Donald another chance!
Why would you do this? Because TobyMac lent his celebrity to Donald Trump.
But, does God need our celebrity to gain any credibility?
The answer is NO.
But we see this all the time. People will say that some popular speaker who attracts tens of thousands of people is “being used of God!”
Is he? Is she?
There’s hardly a mega-church pastor who isn’t—sooner or later—embroiled in some moral scandal.
Mark Driscoll built a huge, multi-campus church in Seattle, had speaking engagements galore, built himself a huge house, used ministry funds to get his books on the best-seller list, strong-armed “elder board” members to get his way—ousting those who wouldn’t go along with his way … and, he was ultimately ousted in an ugly scandal … which he DESERVED and was actually BIBLICAL (see Timothy for when an elder is found to be in sin).
James MacDonald, who started out very solid, tasted an opportunity for growth, then dragged Harvest $65 million into debt, picked up an habitual gambling sin, threatened the elder board, ousted people forcefully, maligning their character and put on a face of being a teacher of God’s word. While it wasn’t a huge scandal that ended his career, it SHOULD!
The mega-church pastor caught with a prostitute …both male and female … is nearly a cliché!
I’m going to go out on the proverbial limb and say these aren’t men being used by God.
It’s human wisdom that looks at a popular trend or a mass of people (called a Market in advertising) and says that it’s the work of God. But, we aren’t the voice of God. Why do we darken counsel with folly?