A Celebrity Status to Which We Aspire
May 30, 2014
I posted an article on Ref21 today about the ugly in evangelical celebrity culture and that celebrity to which we can aspire. Here is a teaser: Celebrity culture in the church certainly isn't anything new. From the very beginning of the church, we see Paul speaking out against the tendency to divide over which renowned apostle the people prefer to follow (1 Cor. 3). There was division in the Corinthian church over very good men laboring for Christ. Nowadays we seem to have a Christian celebritism* on crack. And it's being spoken against enough for us to be clear that it is not a good thing. So you can imagine, having this truth established in my own mind, how this section of a letter I read would cause pause:
My mind, moreover, is fluctuating and undecided: for while I consider my age, sex, and mediocrity, or rather infancy in learning, each of these things, much more all of them, deter me from writing; but when I call to mind the eminence of your virtues, the celebrity of your character, and the magnitude of your favours towards me, the higher consideration yields to the inferior; a sense of what is becoming me gives way to your worth, and the respect which your merits demand usually prevails over all other considerations.This is an excerpt from a letter that Lady Jane Grey wrote to Henry Bullinger. I am reading through some of the Original Letters Relative to the English Reformation available on Logos software, and I am still lingering on Lady Jane from earlier this week. Here we see the word celebrity toward a Christian leader being used in a very positive way: the celebrity of your character. Well this is an interesting twist, isn't it? There was plenty of celebritism in the church during the Reformation period. But here is a fame that can be celebrated. Read the rest here.