Those people we love to worship and love to hate.
Our society has an odd practice of elevating celebrities to unfathomable heights and then celebrating their unavoidable fall from grace. I say “unavoidable” because to the heights from which we elevate them (and make no mistake, it is society that makes a celebrity a star, not the person himself) they will eventually fall, because no person is capable to withstand the level of scrutiny they endure. It is unjust the way that they are treated.
And one would think that Christians – who are called to take the high road – would be above such bizarre and ferocious behavior, yet 2014 will likely go down in the annals of time as the year when popular Christians names were tarred, feathered and rode out on the rails.
To be clear, I am not a fan of Christian celebrity-ism. Frankly, I believe the Christians should flee the worship of anything and anyone other than Almighty God. However, we are also called to love our brothers and sisters. We are called to be extenders of His grace. And the behavior of the church toward our more well-known brothers and sisters of late has been anything but love and grace.
It’s been cannibalistic!
And it is discord – which literally means strife, contention – because it leads needlessly to debates, hateful speech, and drawing of conclusions based on 2nd, 3rd and 4th-hand information.
What is so fascinating about all of this, is that this gossip, discord, and devouring is based almost solely on magazine articles and interviews. We all know that the media likes to twist words and meanings to serve their own purpose.
Sadly, this happens in Christian media as well.
To be honest, hardly a week goes by when a Christian online news source doesn’t post a scandal about some Christian or another – and when they have no juicy gossip to spread, they dredge up an old scandal and rehash that.
Christian news media is nothing more than a gossip rag – and gossip is one of the things the Lord hates!
But these men and women are public figures. They should be held accountable.
Yes, but our response does nothing to resolve the situation. Quite the opposite, in fact. Our response by spreading a negative report about them all over the media – which is viewed by millions of people all around the world – smears the name of Christ and tarnishes the gospel!
Is it any wonder that Hollywood freely blasphemes Christ?
We have blasphemed Him first by routinely and repeatedly engaging in attacks against our fellow Christians.
God has not placed us in a position of authority over them, therefore we are not capable to carry out the proper and biblical manner of confrontation and discipline as outlined in Matthew 18.
What should a Christian’s response be when they hear of a brother or sister’s fall?
We are called to be partakers and extenders of grace. To the degree that we have received grace, we should also extend it.
This means, we need to give these men and women the benefit of the doubt. We must remind ourselves that we do not know them personally, therefore we have no personal knowledge of many things and a personal relationship with them would likely mean our opinion of them would be drastically altered from what it is right now.
2. Purpose not to speak evil of anyone.
We are far to free with our tongues (and fingers) about matters that do not concern us personally or will likely have no bearing on our personal lives.
Paul urged Titus this way:
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