I do not know the name of my mailman although he provides me with a valuable service. With no disrespect to him, I do not need to know. What is important is that he delivers the right mail: the mail addressed to me.
I can name a dozen celebrities off the top of my head that do not provide me with anything. They are good looking, popular, articulate, and to some are entertaining. Our society glories in celebrities, but not mailmen.
The church does the same thing. It holds up a few popular, articulate, entertaining, public speakers as Christian celebrities. Like other celebrities we want to know about their personal lives; we want to emulate them, and we invite them to our parties as guests to be fawned over.
The Corinthian church gloried in men. They wanted to lift up certain individual members over others because of their pedigree, status, appearance, and presentation. This worldly celebrity system imported into the church causes division and strife (1 Cor 3:3).
“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” – 1 Corinthians 3:3
It is wrong for the church to have celebrities.
“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?” – 1 Corinthians 3:5
“Therefore let no man glory in men.” – 1 Corinthians 3:21
What is more important than which man ministered or in what eloquence they ministered was the message they ministered.
He explains that those who build upon God’s building should “take heed how they build thereupon” (1 Cor 3:10).
It was required of stewards of God’s mysteries to 1) know the mysteries, and 2) be faithful to them.
“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
Without respecting the revelation of the mystery, Christian celebrities are wrong twice. When ministers, celebrities or not, do not know how to rightly divide, then they deliver the wrong doctrine to the wrong people.
This is more dangerous than if the mailman gets it wrong. Some ministers want to be celebrities. Paul wanted to be the faithful mailman. I would not trust a celebrity to give me what I need, and even the best mailmen are not popular.
It shouldn’t matter who is teaching the church and what pedigree they have. It should not matter if their name has national recognition, and that we know all about their wife and children. What matters is that he delivers the right doctrine: the doctrine addressed to us today.
The church needs less celebrities and more faithful men who know how to deliver the right doctrine to the right people.
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” – 2 Timothy 2:2