The Deadly Virus of Celebrity Christianity
By J. Lee. Grady

Some bigheaded preachers demand rock star treatment. If the apostle Paul were around today he might throw rocks at them.

Just when I thought we charismatics had finally taken enough abuse from the egomaniac ministers in our midst, I’ve learned that some of our leaders are taking things to a new extreme. We’ve moved beyond the red carpets, limousines and entourages of the 1990s. A new strain of the celebrity virus is spreading in large segments of the church.

One friend of mine in Texas recently inquired to see if a prominent preacher could speak at her conference. The minister’s assistant faxed back a list of requirements that had to be met in order to book a speaking engagement. The demands included:

* a five-figure honorarium
* a $10,000 gasoline deposit for the private plane
* a manicurist and hairstylist for the speaker
* a suite in a five-star hotel
* a luxury car from the airport to the hotel (2004 model or newer)
* room-temperature Perrier

This really makes me wonder how the apostle Paul, Timothy or Priscilla managed ministering to so many people in Ephesus, Corinth and Thessalonica. How did they survive without a manicurist if they broke a nail while laying hands on the sick?

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While I was in Georgia I remember driving to North Carolina, Florida. Alabama and Tennessee to preach a revivals and provide training for churches where I would stay in the pastor’s home, enjoy meals with the family and pray that the honorarium would cover gasoline back home.

The big question……………How do you become a Celebrity Christian if we are created to worship God and called to serve God’s people? Our calling is to serve not to be served. Why are so many “regular” preachers so silent about this disease in our ranks? We (Christians) are enablers for these power addicted Celebrity Christians. It is hard to be on a pedestal if there is nobody in the audience. I hope that this article represents a small minority of preachers .

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