I was listening to a popular gospel/inspirational artist expound on what he felt God is saying in this season. Some of what he said was good, while others statements were quite controversial. While I will admit that the 8 minute clip could be taken out of context without hearing it all, what he said got me to thinking. Why do we give so much credibility to those that are popular? If a pastor has a large church or appears on TBN then, he must be teaching the truth. If an artist gains a high-profile and millions of hits on Youtube, subsequently she must have spiritual understanding. (Let me insert – the opposite is a problem as well. Some will say that the large church can’t be teaching the truth and is full of people going to hell. This is not right either, but that isn’t the point I’m making today.)
Popularity and relevance are not the measuring stick. Sure , it helps for people to like you and be able to relate to you, but people also loved Milli Vanilli, and as it turned out, they were fakes.
Listen to what Paul told Pastor Timothy:
“… proclaim the (Gospel) with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple. You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.” (2 Timothy 4:2-5, The Message)
I am all for doing things with excellence, but let’s be mindful that celebrity and popularity doesn’t equal anointing. Just because someone is gifted and says spiritual things that sound good, we are not excused from getting in the Book for ourselves. Listen to what people have to say then try it by the Word.
(Read 1 John 4:1-3 for more spiritual insight.)
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