Oct 30, 2009

Celebrity Preachers

One of my friends recently floated an idea by me and honestly I did not know what to say. He suggested that what is wrong with “Old Line, Main Line” churches, those that he suggested have a wonderful tradition that modern people need and good theology to boot—is that these churches need Celebrity Preachers.

I said, “Oy Vay!!! What’s next?”

Then he said, “Well think about it. The churches that are really doing well (numbers, statistics, collections, etc.) have preachers that everyone knows about. Take for example he said . . . and then rattled off a horde of preachers . . . Rick Warren, John Piper, Tim Keller, Joel Osteen, John Maxwell, Ed Young (senior and junior), Bill Hybles, T. D. Jakes, Rickie Rush, Jack Graham, Adam Hamilton, John Hagee, and well you get the idea. I support this by telling you that you know the preachers and not the churches. So . . . what you Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Disciples of Christ churches need is . . . Celebrity Preachers.”

Has it really come to this? Is our church worship and community life based on who has the biggest celebrity or ecclesial pop icon? This Sunday I preach on a text from John’s Gospel. In this text, in the older translations, it reads “Jesus wept.” Perhaps we moderns now have given Jesus yet another reason.

PS. Anybody got Jimmy Swaggart’s telephone number?


Debbie said...

I hope not. Some of us really do come to worship to listen and learn. Entertainment is nice, but not required.

Andrew said...

It seems that entertainment shouldn't be the point of worship, but that relevance to one's daily struggles should be. People are looking too much for escapism & nihilisim, rather than facing real issues in their life with the help of God. Maybe it seems too hard and too scary to address the root causes of our personal struggles. I know I have a hard time doing it.

Jerrilyn said...

After you locate Swaggert's phone number, move on to Jim Bakker's. I was in college outside of Charlotte when that particular scandal broke in the Charlotte Observer I received daily. I've been placing my calls as a volunteer in the new Shepherd Ministry and have heard how your "intellectual, deeper theological" sermons are appreciated. I, for one, am a firm believer that God does not intend for us to check our brains at the sanctuary door. Thanks for making sure we can't.

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