Tuesday, October 09, 2012


Cult of Personality

Todd Rhoades links to Chuck Colson's now well-discussed concern about celebrity pastors and comments:
Popularity does not automatically mean that that everyone who is well-known is bound to fall, haunted by ego, or self-aggrandizement.

Comparing well known ‘celebrity’ pastors to each other, is it itself dangerous. I don’t think there’s much comparison between Paula White and Andy Stanley; or between Billy Graham and Ted Haggard. I wouldn’t at all compare the two.

The church has been rocked by scandal for years. Scandals happen not just with TV evangelists and pastors of large churches, although those are the ones that get the most media attention. In fact, scandals happen in all sizes of churches, from 10 to 10,000. And with 300,000 churches in America, scandal happens every week, everywhere.
I think Todd is missing Chuck's point, to some extent becasue Chuck did not make it very well. Colson voices his concerns about celebrity pastors failure - which is an issue because the bigger the celebrity pastor, the more his failings hurt God's name, but then Rhoades quote of Colson ends with the real heart of the matter:
Friends, celebrity worship – in my book Being the Body I call it the Pedestal Complex – has no place in the Church. Let’s honor and care for our spiritual leaders, of course. But let’s be sure to keep them off our pedestals – for their sake and for ours.
The problem with celebrity pastors is that the only celebrity, the only pedestal, the only object of worship suitable for the church is the Lord. Even if the celebrity pastor has his head screwed on straight, the very nature of celebrity makes it so that the parishioners may not.

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