Monday, August 19, 2013

Is That Celebrity A Christian?

As a child, I enjoyed wondering if my favorite actors, musicians, and other celebrities might be Christians. Then I grew up and learned the Biblical principle that you will know them by their fruit (Luke 6:43). It became pretty clear which celebrities were saved and which weren’t.

Many Christians do not seem to grasp the principle that the actions of celebrities will generally show what is in their hearts. They haphazardly claim various celebrities as one of their own, while refusing to look at the actions of the celebrities.


What does their life revolve around?

Imagine a young pop star who sings about fornicating, fornicates in real life, and who poses with few clothes on in magazines. But if she occasionally goes to a church that hasn’t preached the Gospel in twenty years, many people will decide she’s a Christian.

Or imagine an actor who regularly stars in R-rated movies filled with extreme foul language, sex scenes, nudity, and gratuitous violence. But if he sometimes makes vague spiritual statements about Jesus in between “f” words in interviews, many people will decide he’s a Christian.

I’m not saying for certain that such people aren’t saved. All I’m saying is that, if they keep living the same way without a change, the evidence starts mounting that they aren’t saved. An encounter with God will change how you live.

Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:21). This doesn’t mean that we will keep them perfectly. We’ll fail sometimes. But if peoples’ entire lives revolve around sin, a bit of superficial spirituality does not change the reality of their lack of repentance.


Who should be called by God’s name?

I’m not sure why people frequently try to claim obviously unsaved celebrities as fellow Christians. Does thinking that they have their favorite celebrity on their side make them feel cool and like they fit in? Or are they just naive?

Whatever the cause, it is foolish for Christians, including those in the Christian media, to cling desperately to every wearing of a cross, mention of God, prayer, Bible reading, and other similar activities among Godless celebrities.

There are indeed some celebrities who claim to be Christians and whose actions show that they are seeking to live out their faith, and it’s fine to be interested in them. They can use our encouragement, and we can often learn from them, including from their mistakes.

We must be discerning, however, about what celebrities we consider Christians (1 Corinthians 5:11-13). If they are not living as children of God, then we have no reason to believe they are saved. Only those who are truly trusting in and seeking to be like Jesus should be called by His name.

Do you agree?

8 comments:

  1. "I’m not sure why people frequently try to claim obviously unsaved celebrities as fellow Christians."

    I think a lot of this comes from a confusion over what makes a Christian in the first place. We've allowed ourselves to create a man-made definition so we can claim big names as "ours," to the detriment of our faith. Christianity is no longer defined by a life committed to Christ—it's anyone who wears a cross (or has one tattooed on their body somewhere).

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    1. I agree, Jordan. Thank you for commenting!

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  2. I agree, and this is something I struggle with a lot personally. In my case it's because I care about the person and want them to be saved. But I know realistically in most cases it is not true. Very sad. Thank you for the post. :)

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Grace!

      Yes, it's sad. We can pray that they find the truth.

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  3. "I’m not saying for certain that such people aren’t saved. All I’m saying is that, if they keep living the same way without a change, the evidence starts mounting that they aren’t saved. An encounter with God will change how you live."

    I agree! My siblings and I were discussing this a few days ago. We had just come across some celebrities who are proclaiming to be Christians, and yet star in films that--while they aren't exactly x-rated films, still show a lot of nudity, sex, or has that "Christian" swearing a lot. I have to admit that, while it is not in my place to judge, it still makes me uncomfortable that they can be Christians and accept scripts like that. I think it's not so much that we want them to be "perfect" or put them up in a pedestal to be admired and followed, so much as we desire that they--and we--be careful about the way we live and act. As "Christians," it is not our own name that we carry, but Christ's.

    Thanks so much for this post, Jonathan. :)

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    1. Thank you, Alyssa! That's a good example.

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  4. I agree. Really good article, Jonathan!

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