The following comes from an Aug. 4 story with Religious News Service.
It’s not easy being a celebrity pastor these days with that pesky Internet around.
Consider the struggles of Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Faced with mounting accusations circulating online –plagiarism, misusing church funds to prop book sales, silencing anyone in his church with the temerity to question him — Driscoll has urged his followers to stay off the Web. “It’s all shenanigans anyway,” he explains.
Steven Furtick, a megachurch pastor in North Carolina, and Dave Ramsey, an evangelical finance guru, have been taking hits, too, as have the wheeler-dealers on the Preachers of L.A. reality show. This, against a backdrop of culture shifts creating strong headwinds against the leader-and-follower model typified by today’s Christian superstars.
What are a megapastor and his followers to do? Remembering the biblical admonitions against idolatry would be a good start….
Now, however, there’s a wild card that older-school religious celebrities did not have to contend with. Thanks to the Internet, any disgruntled current or former follower can write a scathing blog post, add nasty comments to reader forums or, as creator of @FakeDriscoll does, voice a spoof Twitter account in the target’s name. This can take a toll — as demonstrated by Driscoll’s church, which has had to lay off staff due to declining attendance and giving.
Because of the Internet, “the audience is now at least as much of a celebrity as the pastor, if not more,” says Jim Henderson, a Christian author and producer in the Seattle area who is convinced that the era of the celebrity pastor as spiritual paragon is waning. Henderson produces a live show called Where’s God When … featuring a very different kind of “celebrity” Christian — William Paul Young, author of the megaselling faith-themed novel The Shack.
Young is, seemingly, everything the megapastors are not: small of stature and ego, quietly reflective, and open about his painful journey and struggles (including his being a sex-abuse victim)….
To read the entire story, click here.
Can’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to follow this Driscoll guy. Just love the Mickey Mouse t-shirt. The mega church is all about putting on a show, not about giving due worship to God. But it gives its followers what they want, the fuzzy wuzzies. No talk about sin or eternal damnation. Just give me money so I can live in a mega mansion and drive snazzy cars.
My roommate is hooked on these TV Preachers. After listening to them I consider what they are doing is entertainment and not real worship, but try telling that to their junkies!
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika and His Church!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Thank you CCD for this article. My family and I pray for the conversion of all sinners which includes this pastor and his followers. Return Lord these lost souls to your most Holy Catholic and apostolic Church.