It’s acceptable to criticise celebrities.
Right? It's okay to make jokes about them, trash-talk them, or infer attributes of their character or personal life there is no specific proof for (or maybe there is). After all, they deserve it.
Even people I know well and whose faith I admire seem not to feel the buzz of conscience on this one. Why? Because celebrities are in Hollywood, which, like prison, means that they are already condemned as artificial, perverted, greedy, narcissistic, corrupt, or immoral. Etc.
So we, the “good people” have a right to bring them down a peg or two. Amen!
But this makes me extremely sad. Recently I saw a film (and maybe a lot of you can guess which one it was) that depicted the tragic suicide of a famous singer. The film, which was beautifully crafted, followed the journey of this singer, watching as time after time he was unable to appreciate his own value—his gifts, his sweetness, his generosity, his talent—or to see the people around him who loved him deeply.
And the climax, where this epic blindness culminated in him removing himself from the lives of his loved ones and the world, completely crushed me.
Seriously, I cried for hours. Afterwards, as I was analysing the reason for this intense reaction, I found myself so aware that this story is not just a story. It is a reality for many, many famous people. They are surrounded by worship, by millions of people knowing their name, but it is utterly unfulfilling. And they know it, first-hand. It is meaningless.
And of course there is a reason why. Because we were designed to be full of one person’s love, and that one person alone. Only that one person has a love big enough for us. Unless we get our value from him, we will always be lost and empty, and feeling desperate and in the dark.
But many, many famous entertainers do not know this. And even fewer have had an encounter with this love which has radically healed them and set them free to reveal that same truth to others. Shawn Bolz, founder of Expression58 church in Hollywood, says that the entertainment industry is like a third world nation in the Spirit. A place where people die all the time because of their spiritual hunger.
Imagine that. The church gets all passionate and mobilised about other third world nations. Why not this one?
You and I are responsible for the famous entertainers.
We are supposed to respect and honour those who have leadership and influence in society, even if we cannot honour their message or methods. When the Father created them, He was preparing a place for them in Heaven. He hoped that they would spend their whole lives in eternity with Him. Because of what Jesus did on the Cross, God treated them their whole lives as being worthy of His love.
We are not supposed to treat them with any less value. The Father doesn't judge these people with a permanent curse because they are not saved or are not walking with Him; He only judges them on the day they die, and His judgment is based on whether they chose Him or not. We need to give celebrities the same value and the same love the Father does.
...We have to shepherd the famous, love them, and help them find their true identity. This has never been truer than now.
Because we haven't taken responsibility, there is a whole culture of people who are badly wounded and broken. They feel estranged from the very people who are supposed to represent the love of God. Instead of love being our response, we have rejected an unreached people group. Many of us have felt righteous in the process.”
Yikes. Do we really think we’re better than them? Do we really think we have a right to criticise, rather than encourage and uphold and bless?
Carlos A. Rodriguez, pastor, author, intelligent blogger, says,
“It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child. And maybe for a celebrity…it takes the whole family of Christ.
[So many are] obviously looking for redemption. It’s time for overwhelming grace to be our message… It’s the same message I want to hear when I fall. It’s the same one you need when you crash and burn.
Imagine that every single time you do/say/act in a sinful way, cameras are all around you. Then less than a day later your failure is exposed to about 60% of the world’s population. Imagine not being able to get away with anything. The good, the bad and the ugly in full display!”
Yeah, it’s time to get down off that high-horse, non-famous ones. It’s time to pray and show grace.
And here’s the thing—when we pray for these ones, these moneyed, talented, broken, definitely undeserving ones, we’re not just praying for one city, one industry. We are asking God to impact the world.
“Hollywood is the culture capitol of the world that affects every decision maker in almost every part of society, and the church is just now realising its responsibility to love and honour what God as a creator wants to do.
What would happen if we released a move of God that healed the identity of Hollywood and released sonship? What would happen if the same power of God that many of you have seen heal the sick, break through your own finances, restore your life or your families, deliver you from bad patterns or addictions, what would happen if we released that into Hollywood and the entertainment industry?”
Yeah, that would be amazing.
Let's be part of that. Let's be part of a wave of love towards these needy ones. Let's speak life over them and value over them, whether they can hear us or not, and let's teach others to do the same.
There is no doubt we will get blessed in the process.