Thursday, May 6, 2010
So Are They Superstars?
The recent rash of Christian concerts in our area has been, at the very least, a lesson in marketing. At the very most, it’s been an exposure of carnality. I’d like to address the latter.
Bluntly, the perk of backstage passes and really close seats for those who want to shell out an extra $10-$15 just seems like an exacerbation of the superstar syndrome we’re already drowning in. Whether politically, socially, culturally, we create these bigger-than-life people and encourage the average man or woman on the street to pay homage. Don’t kid yourself - that’s exactly what we do in our Christian bubble as well. In so many ways we are no different than the fleshly world around us. We’re in it and of it more than we want to admit.
I wonder how a statement like this would go over at the church where I serve: “For those who give an additional $25 today, our pastors would like to share an intimate time of communion with you in the private conference room. Consider making this further investment in your spiritual life and in the body of Christ.” Yuck!
I wonder what kind of commentary James, the brother of Jesus, would have about such a situation. Let’s see . . . “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (2:1-4)
Sadly, we are more like 1 Corinthians 3 than 1 Corinthians 4. We prefer superstars over servants.
And quite honestly, it appears we like to create them. Not just in the music industry, either. Preachers and pastors as well fall prey to this delusion and allow themselves – ourselves – to be raised up as someone who is almost superhuman. It’s nothing short of a graven image. A golden calf. No wonder we struggle with idolatry.
My critics (and I suspect this post will generate a ton of them) will say I’m anti-Christian culture, against honoring people, or even jealous, etc. I’m not. I’m just one pastor stating the obvious and asking a question – can I also get a bobble-head to place on my mantle after the concert?