Years ago I desired to read Cash, the autobiography, which is the story of entertainer Johnny Cash. I did not however desire to spend $16.00 on a book I would finish in in a few days. Not long ago I was in a branch of the local library, where they had a cart with books that were being sold. There I found the autobiography of Johnny Cash, for only ten cents.
In part three of the book entitled Port Richey, in chapter 3 on page 203, I was in awe over a statement the man in black made, which I believe is very profound. Johnny Cash states: “Any combination of religion and TV or religion and secular celebrity makes for dangerous ground, full of traps, and pitfalls, marked out with lines that can be too fine to see, and that’s especially true for the man standing in the glare of spotlights, I should know.”
During the 17 years since Cash was published, the tide has turned. Today we have believers in Christ who are willingly mixing their faith with secular celebrity. Phrases such as gospel superstar, and celebrity preacher abound. Televisions shows like Preachers Kids, The preachers of LA, have taken Christianity into the realm of reality TV.
Kevin Deyong points out in 9 thoughts on celebrity preachers, that there have always been preachers who seek stardom, but now in the Internet age, it is easier for one to be prideful, toot their own horn and revel in their own success.
Deyoung is correct, as we now have mega churches with mega pastors who wear kings crowns and are carted around like royalty, rather than lifting up the Name of the King of Kings. And that which takes place behind church doors, is available and abounds on the world wide web, for all to see.
Christian red carpet events, talent competitions and awards shows, have believers emulating secular Hollywood, even though Romans 12:2 says we are not to be conformed to the world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds, so we can prove the good acceptable and perfect will of God.
is it His good acceptable and perfect will for those who say they have given their lives to Him, to use Him as a stepping stone to fame and fortune, and boasting in their accomplishments? Jesus said the world would hate his followers because it hated Him, and that to be friends with the world was to be at enmity with Him.
Johnny Cash says in his book, that he was black balled by the powers that be, when he admitted his faith in Christ, which is confirmation of what the Savior said would happen. Today’s celebrity preachers and super star gospel entertainers are being embraced by the secular world, so what does this say about their walk with the Lord?
1 Corinthians 2:16 Amplified Bible tells believers: For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.
Is it the mind and heart of Christ, for those who believe in Him to exalt their own personal kingdoms in His Name? While the celebrity Christians do have a following, I and others agree, that Johnny Cash was correct in saying, that religion,(faith in Christ) and celebrity do not mix.
Bottom line, is there should be only one superstar in the kingdom of the Lord and that is Christ Himself. Perhaps it is best summed up, by an article from Christianity Online, which states that celebrity Christianity falls flat when compared with the life that Jesus Himself lived. Interesting that so valuable a lesson was learned not from a mega pastor/celebrity preacher, but from the man in black, an humble servant of the Lord, who did not toot his own horn, Johnny Cash