Nov 4, 2006

Tearing Down Christian Idols

Thoughts on the Current Christian Hypocrites

Modern technology has made it possible for certain charismatic personalities to become famous quicker and over a broader area than in the past. Not too many years ago, jet-setting was only for the rich and famous. Now, there are many Christian "speakers" who travel often, even as often as weekly, going to conferences and speaking engagements, often all over the world. We used to have just the radio, or perhaps a column in the local paper, but now, through the use of the internet, podcasts, cheap DVD and CD recording, and any number of other multi-media resources, a Christian speaker with a little charisma can become quite an idol in Christian circles. Whatever happened to the local shepherd who just stayed at home and took care of his sheep?

Maybe it's just the big name Christian leaders in my line of sight, but it appears to me that the Lord is starting to tear down these idols. I've written recently about Dr. RC Sproul, who has implicitly put his stamp of approval on rampant sin within his own ministry; and of course, there's his son, RC, who was recently defrocked for numerous sins. Both of these men were put on a pedestal by many Christians, and that pedestal is quickly crumbling.

Then I wrote about Kent Hovind, who is having the rug pulled out from under him because of his disdain of US government policies. And then there's Beka Horton, of Abeka and Pensacola Christian College, who turned Kent in to the authorities.

And now we hear about Ted Haggard, of New Life Church in Colorado Springs. I remember going to his church when I used to live there. It wasn't our church, but we visited a few times. He was an unusual preacher, sitting down next to people in the pews in the middle of his sermon. He was all over that sanctuary while he was preaching, interacting with people.

Oh, that's not all, not by a long shot. But the worst ones for me are the ones I know personally. There are at least a couple I can think of that I know personally that are deep in certain sin, refuse to acknowledge it, and yet they haven't fallen yet. They've fallen in my eyes, though, and rather than wish God's judgment upon them, I pray that God would open their eyes to what's going on in their lives before they have to take a fall.

Is this what fame does to Christians? Is pride the underlying root cause? Do they become careless in their walk because they think they've made it?

I watched two men in particular start out small, loving the Lord, and as they became more and more famous, attracting more and more "groupies," I watched both these men become so filled with pride that they didn't have time for ordinary people anymore. At that time of realization, I was doing a small amount of public speaking, and I prayed that I would never be famous if it meant that I would compromise my walk with the Lord. Some Christians can handle fame, I'm sure, but it sure seems to me that they would be a rare gem indeed.

I am praying for God to sort us Christians out. Let us either be hot or cold - preferably on fire FOR the Lord, but God is starting to spit out those who are lukewarm. What's your choice? Don't be a fencesitter; take a stand for holiness.


Wil Shakespeare said...

Thou hast hit the nail upon its head. Perhaps the best that can be said about Christian Celebrities is this: “[Thine] breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.”

Lin said...

I wrote about this on my blog.
It is called the Cult of Personality and it is ruining not only the celebrity but the followers. This is why the reformed community cannot bring themselves to confront Sproul.

All this is happening after years and years of hearing we must not judge others and of cheap grace. Just this morning in my SS class, the music director's wife said we must not judge Ted Haggard. She said that he probably wrestled with this for years. This comment came after we read Hebrews 10: 26-31. She even admitted that she sins all the time...willfully by gossiping. There was NO fear because she is forgiven.

So if we are not growing in holiness BECAUSE we are sinners, then what?

Why do we equate rebuking sin with non forgiveness?

Jen said...

Yes, Ted "wrestled" with this for years, instead of seeking the Lord. He also predicted this years ago in a letter he wrote to his children, in which he told them, "Everything in your life is public. There are no secrets. Everything you say, everything you do, every place you go, every thought you think is going to be known by all. So if you want to do something that you’ll have to keep secret, don’t do it. Don’t believe the lie that you can ever say something, do something, go somewhere or think things that others won’t know about. People who believe in secrets are people who ultimately fail.”

Remind me why you're at that church, Lin?

Lindon said...

Jen, Thanks for asking that last question. There are too many Christians who would not care enough to ask or hold someone accountable.

The reason is because the Lord is working there. The fact that we are studying the 'Book' of Hebrews is a milemarker. Before it was light fluffy topical studies. Our SS is going through a wonderful awakening and it is exciting to be around. She has come to realization over the past 6 months that we have ignored sin, repentance and God's Wrath and it is scaring her. She is determined that we women are going to study indepth entire books of the Bible even if only 1 person shows up.

Studying the scriptures in context is changing lives. Some hate what they are hearing. Others are really growing.

I have only been there a year and I have seen some amazing things. Of course there are some who don't want to come along but God is showing who is His. What happened today proved it because quite a few were appalled.

Also, the pastor exposits. Yeah! He inherited the music minister as he has only been there a year himself.

I really had a hard time finding a church. Beside the exposting of scripture, I liked the fact that the childrens minister refused to have children church and hasa very structured training program of scripture learning. This person is very solid. And I am very pleased to attend a church with lots of seniors who revere God and believe in Holiness and Reverence.

I am not so sure the MM's wife stands a chance in this environment. I used this example because it is always shocking when someone of that level denies the hard teachings. One must always be on guard for false teaching.

David and Selina Kobel said...

You might want to be careful of who you lump into your "idol" list.

Specifically in the case of Kent Hovind. I was also initially turned off by the surface information. If you do a bit more reading, you should see differently.

Just remember that others have been imprisoned over their beliefs. Do Jesus and Paul ring a bell.

Be careful you don't throw the baby out with the bath water.