Of course I want celebrities to be authentically saved and serve the kingdom (e.g., Kirk Cameron), and if authentic Christians become famous that’s great, too (e.g., Tim Tebow). But far too often these aren’t authentic conversions, and even if they are, the growth of the Christians is stunted because fans want to cling to the celebrity part. But just because you memorize and act out scripts well or are a good athlete doesn’t mean you get a free pass on the hard work of discipleship.
Great points about the lack of discernment for many on this topic: Embracing Christian Celebrities
When will we stop acting like teenaged girls who just received the latest edition of Tiger Beat? Maybe, just maybe we could learn to put the brakes on our desire to shriek, “Mark Wahlburg goes to church.” He sure does; a Roman Catholic church. When it was discovered that Carrie Underwood attends an Evangelical Church, the Christian news sites were agog. It was months later we discovered she supports gay marriage. At the very least, can we proceed with caution before we give our public endorsement of the latest celebrity conversion? • Let’s find out what church or denomination they belong to. If it is wonky, stop the presses. • If they have no accountability, they should not have our endorsement. • Let’s give them time to mature. If they endure in the faith for more than five minutes without tarnishing their profession, then perhaps we can make a big deal out of it. • Let’s give them time to bear fruit and not bare themselves. • Let’s vet them as much as we vet our pastors. Granted, a celebrity spokesperson is not the same as a local elder, but he or she has a higher visibility than a preacher. Let’s make sure they don’t bring shame to the name of Jesus because we have standards that are lower than Lil’ Wayne’s pants. Should our born-again celebrity brothers and sisters make it through the vetting process, let’s make sure that we are more enamored with Jesus than with Hollywood stars. After all, we are Christians, not groupies. Embracing celebrity Christians has to stop.