Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. (THE MESSAGE)
It was once said that celebrities are those who work hard to get recognised and then wear dark glasses to avoid being recognised. Such is the irony of fame. We might want to become famous, but we must be careful what we wish for. There is a price to be paid.
The Christian church can sometimes fall prey to the celebrity game. We can make a fuss about well-known people who appear to have come to faith. Sadly, appearances may be deceiving. While any coming to faith is welcome and can be a great witness, it is an intensely personal thing. Playing it out on the public stage is not always wise or helpful.
Or we can exalt certain Christian leaders so that they become celebrities. Such a perilous position for them. The more “famous” we become, the more likely we are to figure we are free of the usual constraints of behaviour. Power, even in the church, can corrupt. It can lead to a false sense of self sufficiency. It can lead to a bullying leadership style, all in the name of being “God’s anointed one”.
As Paul reminds us, we can’t boast before God. Our social and economic status does not ultimately matter when it comes to God’s gracious acceptance of us. If we are to be famous, it will be a quiet sort of fame centred on following Jesus. That is so much better than being famous simply for being famous.