This morning on the radio I heard how Justin Bieber's latest project, a movie, was going to include a Bible study associated with it. For more information see here. I was fascinated by this, because, like Ozzy Osbourne I didn't really know what a Bieber was. (Well, I knew who he was but honestly had no clue he was a Christian.) No, this fascinated me because the movie from what I can understand has no indication of his faith at all. It's an interesting look into (Christian) pop culture to see what Christian celebrities do to promote their faith.
Now to the somewhat provocative title of this post. American Christianity for whatever reason likes to make role models out of popular Christians and put celebrities who are Christians up on a pedestal of sorts. However, the problem lies in that so many of these Christians we set up to fail with even the slightest of sins. For men like Josh Hamilton, the Texas Rangers outfielder, whom the Christian culture likes to claim as one of our own (and rightfully so, as he seems to be a genuine Christian man), we set them up to fail with the slightest sin and relapse into an addiction. We must remember, as Shai Linne says in the song Spurgeon, "the best man is a man at best."
This week at our small group we looked at most of Luke 18. In it there are two tales of men which applies to the Christian celebrity culture. The first is the tale of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. In it, the Pharisee flouts his goodness, while the tax collector proclaims his sinfulness. The literal translation of the tax collector's phrase would be "God, be merciful to me the sinner."
Later in Luke 18, verses 18-30 to be exact, there is the story of the rich man who comes to Jesus trying to find the way for eternal life. This man is unwilling to forsake his identity being in his riches. He is unwilling to let go of his riches and grab onto Jesus. He is unwilling to set his riches to the side in order to focus fully on Christ.
This just proves that our identity must rest on being in Christ and not on any of the things of the world, even any of the creations of God Himself. Our identity is to be found solely in who we are in Christ. Our identity isn't to be a celebrity, nor is it to be rich, nor is it to be athletic, nor is it to be a musician... Our identity is in Christ.