The Buck Stops Here and Starts Again There

I stumbled across an article at Time Online today about the legacy of scandal that attends to preachers with media ministries. I always cringe when I hear of a new one, which means I cringe a lot, because they come pretty fast and furious.

The latest involves a woman whose celebrity is evolving with her life circumstance. She entered public ministry by repenting publicly of her promiscuous lifestyle, then went on the hunt for a good man to marry. Consequently, she became the new face of rediscovered modesty and chastity (don't ask me who the old face was). Now, after a whirlwind romance and marriage that has ended in divorce and allegations of violence, she has declared herself the new face of domestic violence. Send money and prayer requests now.

I cringe at such reports because I identify myself principally by my faith, and so do people like this woman. And so when such people make outlandish statements or claims--whether political, cultural, spiritual or personal--I have to somehow deal with it. They're like the cousin that makes everyone nervous because he's weird and he shares your last name. In fact, I happen to know a person who shares the exact name of someone discussed in the Time story; he lives on the opposite coast of the scandal du jour, and his ministry is profoundly different, but for a while at least whenever he introduces himself to a Time subscriber, he's going to get that look.

The article raises a particularly interesting question as it speculates why there is such a thing as celebrity church culture in the first place, and why it's so prone to scandal in the second. Here's a nice summary statement of the problem:

"Where else [but in celebrity religion] can you say that you were the church Jezebel," marvels Butler, "and then recast yourself as a pure, holy single woman living a godly life, then all of a sudden you get married in a big elaborate wedding to a bishop, with 40 bridesmaids and then go off and have a ministry with that husband and tell other church couples, 'This is how to love your husband because we got it right'? - and then your husband beats you up in the parking lot, and now you're an advocate for domestic violence?"


So, why is there such a thing as celebrity church culture in the first place? Why is it so prone to scandal?

Comments

Anonymous said…
Simul justus et peccator.
Anonymous said…
The guy above...it's like he's speaking an entirely differently language!
Anonymous said…
martin lawrence said...
f@#%$# b&@#*$ c%$#!
Gary Hill said…
I think being in the ministry spotlight too often becomes a tool of the devil. When you become popular it is very easy to let it go to your head. When that happens, we can let or guard down.

However, I am believing more that we should not get caught up in the scandals and questions of other ministries and concentrate on being the kind of servant Jesus expects us to be -- willing to wash someone's feet rather than knock them out from under the person. Let's live our lives in such a way to magnify Christ and His words and let God take care of all the other stuff.

Gary

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