I saw a quote the other day and can’t remember where it was or who said it. But whoever it was, and wherever it was, I liked it:
“There are to be no Christian celebrities. Jesus is our celebrity.”
I have a feeling the statement was made in light of the disappointing revelations about comedian John Crist and his sinful conduct with married and unmarried women. The quote’s originator was likely using this sad situation to instruct or remind believers that there is great danger in putting fallen, sin-ravaged mortals on moral pedestals. Not only does it provide Satan with a glowing target, but it also sets up the brethren for disillusionment when they fall.
But I find myself wishing that Christians, particularly evangelicals, would recognize that this kind of wise statement is equally applicable, if not more importantly to be understood in the world of politics than it is entertainment.
For example, consider that this absurd and patently unbiblical montage of Trump spiritual adviser Paula White has been shared and viewed online hundreds of thousands of times:
What an embarrassment. The shameless profiteering, the blasphemous exploitation of the name of Jesus, the comically fake gibberish that I suppose is meant to be some sort of pseudo-biblical tongue-speaking on command – it’s all just a spiritual train wreck of the highest order.
And while it’s true that proper discernment would clearly demonstrate that I don’t belong to whatever faith it is that Paula White is practicing, unbelievers – a group whose number is growing exponentially in our country – do not practice proper discernment. That’s why I’m so adamant that Christians be outspoken about who their leader is, who they listen to, and who they obey.
To be perfectly, unmistakably clear, that person is Jesus. No one else.
But what about ministers? What about priests? What about “spiritual advisers”? When those fallible people are speaking the words of Jesus, teaching and upholding the infallible Scriptures that Jesus affirmed, using their Holy Spirit-inspired gifts to glorify Christ and magnify the name of God alone, then they are to be heard and heeded. When they don’t, they are to be denied and dismissed.
The grave danger as I see it, at least in the political world, is that Christians have become so fearful of what might happen if a political party that is openly, brazenly hostile to the doctrines of Christ gains power, that we look the other way as charlatans and utterly compromised Christians falsely claim to speak on our behalf.
Paula White does not speak for Christianity when she says preposterous things like, “To say no to President Trump would be saying no to God.”
Robert Jeffress does not represent Christianity when he ridiculously asserts that President Trump is a “Christian warrior,” and when he peppers his Sunday services with the triumphal anthem, “Make America Great Again.”
Rick Wiles does not embody Christianity when he bizarrely muses about “veterans, cowboys, mountain men, guys that know how to fight” that will violently “hunt down” Democrats if they impeach Donald Trump.
Perry Stone is not personifying Christianity when he warns that Democrats in Congress, “have demons in them,” that are detectable if you, “look at their eyes when they almost start foaming at the mouth.”
These people, like any of us, are entitled to their own opinions and bad takes. That isn’t the issue. The issue is when Christians collectively fail to either condemn, or at least speak out and make a clear distinction between the brazen political sycophancy of people wearing the name of Christ, and the actual Gospel truth of Jesus.
By design, Christians are ambassadors of Christ to the world; a task that makes all others pale in comparison. We must therefore be extraordinarily sensitive and shrewdly perceptive about all that attempts to interpose itself between our message and the mission field.
Those impositions are coming fast and furious in the world of politics these days, and from my perspective, we Christians are hesitating to remove them for the sake of a manmade Kingdom, and therefore losing ground in building the eternal one.
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