My culture is one of American idols. By that I mean Americans are prone to having heroes. Just look at the resurgence of the Marvel and DC franchises on the silver screen, and the explosion of comicons and cosplay. (I had to look up what cosplay was—that’s the adult version of what you used to do as a kid by clothes-pinning one of Mom’s towels around your neck and pretending you were Superman.)
Not that it’s all bad. Who doesn’t want to have some fun once in a while? But it does seem to get a bit out of hand sometimes.
I’ve never attended a comicon…yet. But, unfortunately, we seem to have our own version within the church, elevating our chosen teachers and worship leaders to stardom status, wearing our erstwhile association as a kind of I.D. badge, sometimes even imitating their speech and mannerisms.
Likewise, it bothers me to see the church using some of the same techniques in promoting Christianity. Again, not all of the methodology is offensive, but when a Christian leader is elevated to stardom status, it is dangerous for both the church and the leader. The promotion of such individuals for upcoming conferences can take on the same veneer as Hollywood.
Clearly, this attitude is not confined to the 21st century:
When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?
After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.
Of course, they didn’t have roadside billboards back then so when you were traveling by on your donkey you could see a larger than life glossy air-brushed photo of who was coming to town next week.
Like we do today.
So look at Apollos and me [Paul] as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries.
That was Paul himself writing! Paul, the man who experienced the risen Christ on the Damascus road! Paul, the man who wrote over half the New Testament! Paul, the apostle! Can you imagine what a modern-day promotion staff would try to do with him?
Not on your life, buddy. Paul would have none of it.
Sure, Paul demanded respect, but not for him personally. It was for the sake of his message, the Truth of his message. Everything was about the Gospel of Jesus, and pointed to following that Star only.
Anything else is just playing dress up in our version of comicon. Bring your own towel and clothes pins.
1 Corinthians 3:4,5; 4:1 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.