Storms on Christian Superstars
Sam Storms has been working his way through Colossians in a running online commentary, and he has reached the letter's closing verses (Col. 4.7-17). Check out this opening to his latest post:
here's a sickness in our society that has infiltrated and infected the church. I have in mind our modern obsession with superstars. Whether they be Hollywood actors, Wall Street moguls, or overpaid, egotistical athletes, they seem to fill our newspapers and dominate our headlines and have become, tragically in most cases, role models for our children.
The Church is by no means immune to this infatuation with celebrity. Mega-church pastors, health-and-wealth advocates, and best-selling authors are promoted and praised as if they are in better standing with the Lord than the faithful but unacknowledged housewife or the quiet pastor who tends a flock of less than a hundred folk in rural Alabama.
I think Paul would have been disgusted with it all. In fact, I know it. One need only read 2 Corinthians (especially chapter 11) to observe his disdain for those who fancied themselves "super-apostles" (2 Corinthians 11:5). It's also evident from his commendations at the close of most of his letters. The kind of folk that most impressed him didn't necessarily hold ecclesiastical office or write books or have their names bandied about among gossipers.
The people who impressed Paul were the likes of Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Justus, Epaphras, Luke (O.K., there's one famous name), and Archippus. And the things Paul took note concerning them would hardly get their names on the evening news or generate enough money to subsidize a program on TBN.