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The Oxymoron of the “Celebrity Pastor”

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

I think that the term “celebrity pastor” is an indicator of how spiritually lost some of us are. I have received several invitations over the past year to visit someone’s church where they referred to their pastor as a “celebrity pastor”. It really turned me off personally.The church is the one place which should remain uncontaminated by pop culture but sadly, what we have been seeing is not just the influences of celebrity/pop culture on many churches, but the outright surrender to said cultures, on the part of church leadership. The body of Christ should influence and lead pop culture not be lead by it. There is no balance with too many pastors. With all of the caveats in the New Testament regarding the persecution that believers did and will face, quite frankly, popularity, to a large degree is not something that necessarily attracts me to a church. Of course, this depends on what a pastor or his church is popular for (teaching the word of God or how well the choir performs in a competition for example). The Christian church is not a club, restaurant, sports franchise, or clothing line. Spreading the gospel of Christ does not require that we must brand churches in the way the world does any of those things named.

I’m not attracted to the churches of pastors who are not just assigned this title (anyone can call a pastor this large church congregationwithout his knowledge or acceptance of it, he can’t help that) but who embrace them & build brands around themselves rather than Christ. Our Savior, Jesus Christ often stands in the shadow of the celebrity pastor rather than front & center, where He belongs.

Celebrity culture in churches also fosters what I call the “untouchable” & “irreproachable” complex we see so often these days. Meaning, no matter what a pastor does wrong, he cannot be criticized, admonished, held accountable or in some cases, prosecuted. Even in the aftermath of scandal, when there is very clear evidence or admission of guilt & in some case illegal acts, many still worship these pastors as if they are Christ returned in the flesh & refuse to acknowledge that they are no less corporeal than any other person. I’m not suggesting pastors cannot be forgiven for sin because according to Romans 3:23 “We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” So, it’s not a matter of whether or not we should forgive but rather, should we continue to allow them to lead us? Should we obstruct secular punishment when the law is broken? After all, we are also commanded to obey the law, title of pastor notwithstanding. Sometimes a demotion (or punishment) is the best way to obtain the humility required for church leadership. As Christians, we must have something that separates the body of Christ from the secular world & the more pastors allow celebrity/pop culture to infiltrate & influence their churches, the more those lines are blurred. The notion of a celebrity pastor is oxymoronic at best but the only celebrity in Christian churches should be Christ himself. Think about it…

 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Pop Culture, Religion

 

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Teacher Ordered to Remove Reagan Quote from Classroom or be Fired

crossesFriends,

You know stories like this don’t even surprise me anymore because it’s common place now. In New York, a superintendent orders a teacher to remove a Ronald Reagan quote from her classroom wall that mentions God or be fired.


“The mandate letter signed by the district superintendent also requires that Silver not mention anything of God or Christianity to her students. The letter reads, “Except for wearing religious jewelry, such as a cross, I am also directing you to refrain from all other forms of communication with students during the school day (whether verbal, email, texting, written, etc.) that would conflict with your duty to show complete neutrality toward religion and to refrain from promoting religion or entangling yourself in religious matters.”

Also:

“Despite the fact that Silver is the faculty adviser for the student Bible Study Club, she is also instructed to remove additional scriptural posters and the club’s prayer box. Concerning this, the letter reads, “Consequently, if you choose to continue monitoring the Bible Study Club next school year, you must carefully re-examine [district policies], so that you can better protect that club from being disciplined and possibly banned. Under no circumstances should you participate in the club’s meetings or activities. Likewise, under no circumstances should you permit any club activities that could be interpreted as being promoted or sponsored by yourself, or the larger district for which you work.”

After the Democratic National Convention voted against having God mentioned in their platform at their 2012 convention, no one should be surprised. The teacher has filed a federal lawsuit & I am adding her to my prayer list.

Read the entire article HERE.


 
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Posted by on January 14, 2013 in In The News, Religion, Society

 

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Walter Myers III: Closer To Truth?

Walter Myers III: Closer To Truth?

This past week I had a married couple as guests at my home, and as usual when they come to visit we invariably get around to discussing religion since Philosophy of Religion & Ethics is my current course of study. I’m not sure if they are agnostics or simply skeptics, though my guess is that it is more the latter. Both are highly intelligent and moral folks who are concerned with living good lives, being kind to others, donating to good causes, and being loving, attentive parents to their young children. But they tend to look strongly askance at anything of a religious nature, though they admit there are some good things that come out of religion that are beneficial to society. Fundamentally, John and Sharon (not their real names), are skeptical that any of my efforts in studying religion necessarily allow me to get any closer to truth than anyone else, no matter how much I may study. Why do they conclude this, and am I simply wasting precious time and energy studying philosophy? Since they both feel there are other people who study as much as I do yet come to different conclusions, their logic is that we cannot get to truth since everyone doesn’t necessarily come to the same conclusions concerning the existence of God, or further that Christ is indeed the Son of God who died on a cross and resurrected on the third day.

At core, John and Sharon have the view that what may be true for me, and others that accept Christ, may not be true for others who accept some other religion such as Islam or Hinduism, or who simply conclude that all religions are false. But it’s okay if it’s true for me and provides some benefit, and I shouldn’t be naive in believing that my truth might actually apply to them or others. I didn’t explain that this view is the typical postmodern thinking that Americans have gradually accepted over the past 40-50 years, which posits that there are no overarching, universal truths. Truth, according to postmodern thought is simply a social construct and a creation of the human mind. Yet John and Sharon admit that in their everyday lives, they behave as if there are universal truths. They feel that stealing is wrong, murder is wrong, and that it is not okay to abuse children. But if there is no such thing as objective truth, then why would they live their lives as if it is so, even asserting there are indeed some moral imperatives as just described? It is wholly inconsistent to on the one hand believe that everything is relative and evolving, while at the same time making statements as to how a certain state of affairs ought or should be when things are constantly undergoing change. If everything is relative and truth is what you make it, then the words oughtor should are in effect meaningless when used in communication.

While John and Sharon are skeptical there is objective truth, and that Christianity could even accord with truth, it is an interesting thing we all agreed that the moral sense of right and wrong is fairly universal within the human race. Even those who choose to do wrong (presuming they are normally functioning) know implicitly what is the good or right thing to do, but simply choose not to do the good or right thing because they have the free will to reject it. This sense of moral order in the universe is, in theological terms, called common grace, since it may be apprehended by all and is common to all humankind. So herein we may reasonably conclude that even though there is nothing we can know exhaustively, common grace can be reasonably construed (in an epistemic sense) as an objective truth, and is true wholly independent of whether we give it cognitive assent or not. In essence, I’m arguing that on this basis, John and Sharon would be wise to conclude that there are indeed some objective moral truths that are not just true for some, but true for all, including them. In other words, truth is truth, and truth has no dependency on them, yet it is there for them to ascertain should they choose to accept it. I feel they sense this, but are somehow afraid of the consequences of accepting this view.

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Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Philosophy, Religion

 

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