I read a great article, “When Jesus Meets TMZ,” about our tendency to create celebrity pastors and become their clones instead of being strong individual followers of Christ. It ties to my recent posts about image. After the following excerpt, I’ll add my two-cent observation and keep today’s post brief.
When Christians look to pastors for wisdom on how to better love God and love one another, they become better disciples of Jesus and better lights of hope in a dark world.
“When Christians look to pastors to tell them how to dress, what to eat, what hobbies to have, what systematic theologies to prefer, how to vote and what personality to adopt, they become creepy, unthinking clones of broken people—and big red warning flags to a culture that has grown increasingly suspicious of authority figures….
“Pastors that divide the Church by turning non-essential issues into fundamentals contribute enormously to the Christian celebrity culture. But the Church buys right into it when it allows these pastors to divide people into teams, turned against one another. Amidst all the posturing, it’s easy to forget believers are all supposed to be following Jesus.”
My related two cents is that people get all worked up and offended over who is and who isn’t a correct spiritual leader. (I used to be one of those easily worked-up people.) I think it demonstrates how frequently we forget the bottom line: we’re each accountable to God for what we believe and follow. That sobering thought should calm us down a bit. (At least, it did for me.)
If any pastor leads people astray, he/she is accountable for that. But each person who is led astray is accountable for following blindly and not finding out the truth for himself. Religious leaders are one resource, but not our only resource. Depending on them 100% puts a load on them they’re not meant to carry; and it robs us of our individual life-driven purpose with God.
Keeping this in perspective might cut down on the celebrity pastor hype, which is really a booby-trap that can backfire on them as well as on their flocks.
I encourage you to read the full article; it makes some interesting points. The reader comments are even more interesting. As usual, a small debate ensues, which only shows how divided, rather than united, Christians really are.