CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

More On Worldly Christian Celebs (And Their Devotees)

Dec 3, 2018

Not unexpectedly, my article yesterday on another Christian celebrity who seems to know little about biblical truth and morality resulted in numerous folks going on the attack: not to critique her, but to jump all over me. As so often happens in these situations, I get called every name in the book: I am being negative and proud and critical and judgmental and unloving and….

All these Christian critics thought it is absolutely terrible that I publicly called out a high-profile believer. Of course it did not seem to occur to any of these folks that as they publicly called me out, they just might be guilty of some hypocrisy and double standards.

But I get this all the time: Christians will attack me about something, telling me how unbiblical it is, all the while doing the very thing they tell me we should not be doing as Christians. Duh. In case you are unaware of my recent piece, it is this: billmuehlenberg.com/2018/12/02/no-jesus-did-not-accept-all-people-all-faiths-and-all-behaviours/

It involved big name Christian artist Lauren Daigle and her inability to offer anything remotely biblical when asked very publicly about homosexuality. So I wrote the piece and mentioned that she is not alone – plenty of other big cheese Christian celebs have done the very same thing.

But for daring to call her out on this, all sorts of angry Christians let me know how evil I was to do so. So let me deal with a few of their criticisms, and try to offer a bit of light amidst all the heat being generated. First of all, Scripture makes it perfectly clear that public error deserves public correction.

Yes, private sin warrants private rebuke, but when a very public performer makes very public appearances and does very public interviews, then the Body of Christ has a biblical obligation to hold such people to account. And that is just what I did. See more on this here: billmuehlenberg.com/2011/09/22/on-public-rebukes/

And I had plenty of folks seeking to make cheap excuses for her. ‘Oh, she is just a new Christian,’ or, ‘She was unprepared to answer such questions,’ and so on. Good grief. As to the first unhelpful excuse, I told one person this:

It would appear that she has been a Christian for a number of years now. Wikipedia says that she did mission work in Brazil before attending university. She is now 27, so that means she has been a Christian for at least a decade it would seem. Just how long does one have to be a Christian before they know something about some of the rudimentary teachings of the Bible? How many years must a person be saved before they understand the basics of Scripture? Paul rebuked immature believers who were still on the milk of the Word and not solid meat.

And if Lauren does not know what the Bible teaches on the issue of God’s intentions for human sexuality in general, and homosexuality in particular, then I suggest that she stops all the concerts and touring, stops all the appearances on secular TV shows, and actually starts to seriously read and study her Bible. And she should not resume her career until she does know what it teaches on these and other absolutely crucial issues. Otherwise she is harming the cause of Christ and doing great damage to the Kingdom.

And she may well have been a Christian even longer. Either way, she should have fully known by now just what the Bible says about things like the sin of homosexuality. She really should have been prepared for such questions. But I keep getting related criticisms, including this dodgy one: “Christian artists are not theologians.”

Yeah, I do not expect them to be full-blown theologians, but I do expect them to know something about their faith. Given their VERY public ministry, they will influence millions of people for good or ill. She has been a believer for a while now, and really should know the basics of her faith.

As I said in my article, her reply could have and should have been direct and straight-forward: “It does not matter a hill of beans how I feel about the issue. What does matter is what God has said about it. And he has clearly said that it is indeed a sin, and it must be repented of and turned away from.”

Yet she claimed complete ignorance about the matter, and used as an excuse the fact that she has homosexual friends. It seems she was more concerned to stay buddies with her friends as they continue in their sinful lifestyle than she was to stand on God’s Word and affirm God’s moral standards.

She and my many critics may think this is the loving and Christlike thing to do. But it is not. Refusing to agree with God about sin and letting others know what He has said is NOT loving people – it is allowing them to slide straight into hell. That is hardly loving or Christlike!

Then I had others complaining that people like me talk a lot about ‘judgement, sin, and hell’. Um, there might be a good reason for that: Jesus talked about these things – constantly. We know more about future judgement and hell from the lips of Jesus than from anyone else in Scripture.

But these ‘Jesus would never harm a fly’ Christians actually get mad at you when you simply share what Jesus and the disciples said about such matters. They get upset if you remind folks that sin is real, God hates it, and we must repent or face his judgment.

Sorry, I prefer to be biblical rather than to run with the world’s bogus notions of ‘tolerance’ and the like. Is the love of God also a key biblical theme? Absolutely, but we cannot understand his love and grace without first understanding our sinful condition and how we are all under the wrath of God.

The cross displays both the love and wrath of God, and it makes sense only in light of what all of Scripture says about our sinful and darkened condition. Speaking of which, I had other Christian critics get bent out of shape over one term that I used.

I got folks upset when I suggested that instead of Ellen Degeneres being a “bundle of light” as Lauren had called her, she was in fact a “bundle of darkness.” But these folks are obviously ignorant about the many biblical passages that associate darkness with those who are not God’s people.

Jesus and Paul for example both made this connection. Jesus said men prefer darkness rather than light (John 3:19-21), and Paul said non-believers are in fact in darkness (Acts 26:18). It seems these critics need as much basic Scripture study that Lauren does.

But as I keep saying, I am not picking on one person here. Sadly we have plenty of these celebs selling out the gospel in order to receive the praise of men and do well in their careers. As an earlier example, back in 2012 I wrote a piece on Guy Sebastian and how he said some really quite shocking things about his understanding of God, and of issues like homosexuality: billmuehlenberg.com/2012/10/11/celebrities-and-losing-the-faith/

That article received a lot of interest, with 45 responses. But a bit later I got a comment by someone claiming to be Guy Sebastian. I did not print it, mainly because I was doubtful that a big celeb like him would bother to read and respond to a rinky-dink site like mine.

So I just sat on it. But I often ran through in my mind what I would say in reply if I did print it. So let me do so now. Assuming it is in fact his comment, this is it, along with my response. First, ‘his’ comment:

None of you know my heart. None of you know my journey. None of you know my trials and tribulations. However all of you are so quick to hand out my sentence. Shame on all of you. You violate numerous verses by publicly shaming me and delivering an absolute verdict on my salvation. There are things taken so far out of context and also things i never even said. My whole point was that just because I believe in Jesus doesn’t mean I have the right to tell someone else whom I don’t even know that what they believe in is completely false and they are going to hell. What sort of way is that showing love? What sort of way is that showing them a path of grace that maybe down the line they will be attracted to follow themselves?
This is my journey and Ill navigate it myself and all of you only serve to fuel all of why I doubt that this whole religion produces ANY fruits of love. Shame on you all.

And this is the reply I would have made:

Thanks Guy (assuming it really is you), but no, there is no shame on us. The shame is on the super celebs who claim to be Christians but misrepresent and mangle the Christian message. The more influence these folks have, the more careful they must be to accurately represent our Lord in public.

A mere peon like me might just reach hundreds of people, but celebrities like you can reach millions of people. If you were just Joe Pagan and said what you did about homosexuality, God, and the rest, it would be par for the course. But because you are also someone who says he is a Christian, then that is altogether different.

It is sad but true that many Christians put various Christian celebs on a pedestal. Their biblical discernment may be low, but their devotion and dedication to their fav celebs is quite high. Thus if the celeb says things that are patently untrue regarding things like human sexuality, then countless believers may well be impacted by that – even led astray.

So the gravity of what you are doing is very significant indeed. If you stand with biblical truth and influence many, you are doing the work of the Kingdom. But if you basically deny or at least radically distort biblical truth, then you are having influence alright, but for the other kingdom.

I will pray for you and other Christian celebs that you take seriously the grave responsibilities you have to rightly represent biblical truth as you continue your very public careers.

We must indeed pray for all these public performers and artists who claim to be Christians. They can do so much good for Christ if they genuinely reflect biblical truth and values, but they can do massive damage if they distort the Word of God and soft-peddle the seriousness of sin.

Oh, and one final thought: God really does NOT need Christian entertainers and artists and performers and celebrities and singers and musicians and all the rest. What he does need and desire are those who bow before him and tremble at his Word; those who faithfully and humbly represent him aright, regardless of how unpopular that may be; and those who say no to the world and its applause, and say yes to him and to the cross.

[1876 words]

35 Responses to More On Worldly Christian Celebs (And Their Devotees)

  • Thank you Bill for yesterdays article and today’s. I cannot find fault in anything you said. In fact I gained the impression you held back. During the teen years of some 7 children, my wife and I attended numerous “christian” concerts with each of our children. It was our impression through the “fruits” of their stage act and content that very few actually “walked the walk”. I’ve been very aware of the money to be made particularly in the US market. Not that money is an issue of course but that anyone with a bit of talent can enter the “christian music market” if they can put together a couple of the standard generic love songs with the name of Jesus chucked in for good measure. I have watched many of these artists and bands make some very good money only to decide they have lost their faith or declare they never actually believed in the first place. MXPX, Red Cloud”, to name just two of many. In reference to yesterdays article I was intending on commenting that I too am sick of hearing about this man made Jesus whom drives around in a Combi van judging no one, excepting everything and spreading love and goodwill to everyone. Sort of a “santa’s little helper”. The real Jesus hates sin and shock or all shocks, He also hates those sinners that are “reprobate”. God does judge and no amount of “good works” will get someone into heaven unless they have turned to Jesus and turned away from sin. Our God is a jealous God.

  • Thanks and quite right Carlos.

  • Lauren Daigle like Saint Peter: ‘I don’t know him; I tell, I do not know the man; I never – never knew him’ when faced with the prospect of being single out. Lauren, like Peter denied God or knowing him when she refused to support the word of God.

    Lauren, like so many others are terrified of the LGBTIQA+ gang and had she not been so intimidated then she probably would have responded: Our God condemns the act of homosexuality in the highest possible way and we should not chose to save our skins by denying God.
    But that would take balls so to say – a rare commodity in the history of mankind.
    John Abbott

  • Bill, you are one of the few brave Christians on the forefront facing evil, exposing it to the world. Can’t thank you enough. One of my favorite proverbs by King Solomon, “Open Rebuke is better than hidden love.” Prov. 27:5.

    “Silence on evil is evil,” Will Jordan of Willy Jordan Ministries, Los Angeles, Calif

    We aren’t supposed to mix light with darkness but be the salt of the earth. That’s what you are!

    God Bless you mightily for your bravery and not mixing words or playing church politics.

    Louise : )

  • Thanks Bill as always you articulated it well.

    Those so called “Christians” criticising you for standing in truth, need to examine and study scripture to see whether they are in the faith or not.
    In the book of Romans chapter 17 Paul was preaching in Athens among the listeners were the Bearens. They listened with intent and examined everything Paul said with scripture. The apostle Peter commands us to always be prepared to answer for the hope we have. If we don’t know what we believe in then there is no hope for unbelievers. That’s why we so many Christians who say Islam and other religions worship the same God.

  • Thanks Con. I just heard a liberal Christian absolutely mangle what the Bereans were all about, so i penned a piece on it. I will post it tomorrow.

  • Hi Bill et al. I like what Louise said ‘be the salt of the earth’. Salt is a natural preservative, but it also irritates. Well done Bill for your tremendous work irritating some and preserving so many others, or perhaps the other way around? [lol]

  • You asked: “Just how long does one have to be a Christian before they know something about some of the rudimentary teachings of the Bible? How many years must a person be saved before they understand the basics of Scripture?”. Sadly perhaps longer than we think.

    I’m going to choose words carefully here Bill, because words have meaning.

    I’ve heard people speak 60 times on a Sunday so far this year. It was not until after 50 of those that anyone mentioned the word “sin”. And I say “mentioned” because the person didn’t actually talk about sin, just said the word then moved on. After 60 times the count of “mentions” is at three. Not spoken about, mentioned in passing.

    And, in the things that happen around me hearing these people speak, the word “sin” has not been used there either.

    So “… how long …? How many years …?” Potentially some never will.

  • Thanks again Bill,
    Your final paragraph is a beauty.
    Ego is a dirty word, when the WORD of GOD is ignored or devalued. Always Love Keith Green’s song, “to Obey is better than Sacrifice”
    If our opinion as Christians is out of line with Scripture then it’s better for us to hold our tongue than become a useful idiot for satan,
    God bless and sincere thanks,
    Phil

  • Hi, Bill another excellent piece calling out all that is wrong in professing Christians and the church today. Compromise and a total lack of Biblical knowledge plus watered down teaching and the churches abdication from its responsibility to teach the Body as well as warn those who are unsaved have added to what we see today. My heart grieves daily for what I see my only hope is that the Saviour is soon coming for His bride but until then we must labor. Be Blessed Stephen Green Brotton in England.

  • Dear Bill, I agree 100%!

    Let’s not forget the “cool” evangelists that talk about all the young people they say they bring to Jesus but instead of offering a challenging but infinitely rewarding personal relationship with Jesus through the Gospel, they offer youths a soft and fuzzy but totally fake version of Jesus who is your own personal best friend, wants you to be happy and will always be there to give you whatever your heart desires.

    It’s so damaging to our young people because all of the warm and fuzzy things they believe is “right” learned from the fallen world is supported and reinforced by this false idol “Jesus loves everyone unconditionally”.

    I don’t want to name names but I can think of a high profile pastor over in New York running an offshoot of a famous Australian church who refused to condemn abortion when he was asked about it, and a revival pastor here in Sydney who evangelizes to Asian youths with contemporary “Christian” music and fairy lights! This second guy’s idea of spreading the enws of God’s gift of human sexuality is to invite young people to a big fundraising dinner not in spite of but because a homosexual celebrity chef is doing the cooking.

    Is it any wonder we are losing our young people when young Christians are getting these kinds of messages about abortion and sexual morals?

  • Hi Bill, the last paragraph of your article says it all. I certainly can’t add to it. Please keep up the Good Fight, and God Bless you and your family abundantly. Kel.

  • This writer says much of the same thing as you did, Bill. The comments section beneath his article is depressingly (but at the same time revealingly) filled with the “who are you to judge, you should be loving” crowd:
    https://pulpitandpen.org/2018/12/02/to-lauren-daigle-re-sin-homosexuality/

  • I would rather be with Jesus than the apostates of todays church. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. True Christians do not apostatize. Those who fall away into apostasy demonstrate that their faith was never real to begin with.

    I am so frustrated with the nonsense coming from the secular and American politicans on the left using scripture to justify anything. Bill, you make my mornings educational, coffee helps too!

  • I’m with you 100% Bill. I greatly appreciate this kind of information. Keep up the good work.

  • I could not agree with you more, Bill and thank you for putting into words what so many of us think and feel.

    I think your comment from your last article where you responded to someone who said he hoped her pastor was taking her aside and teaching her gets to the hub of the issue. Of course, it’s the pastors who are of greater fault and bear the greater responsibility just as the scriptures say. I recall that, when same sex “marriage” was being debated in New Zealand, there was an Anglican minister who, when asked about homosexuality being a sin, said he didn’t know – he’d have to look it up. Then another came back and likened homosexuality to wearing wool and cotton at the same time but clearly if any of these people actually did study or even read their Bibles, they would know that we have been released from the specific Jewish parts of the law but morality requirements are still in effect and always were and always will be, because morality is based on reality and truth. It cannot be changed. This is why the parts of the law that relate to morality are reiterated and reinforced in the New Testament and are clearly fundamental to the Apostle’s doctrine. It is not just some random thing or something to do with the specific requirements of a specific situation and a specific time although, obviously, if God tells you to do a specific thing at a specific time and you don’t do it then that also is sin. Morality, however, is for all time and all places and all situations.

    When people deliberately deceive and excuse it by saying they are working to further the kingdom you know there is a huge problem. You simply cannot further morality by immoral means. This woman, in fact, did not further God’s kingdom but has worked towards promoting the kingdom of darkness. The scriptures don’t speak of the blind leaders of the bind leading both into the ditch for no reason. Jesus didn’t tell us it was not just a matter of calling Him Lord for no reason.

    The Ellen show presents a hyped up and vibrant facade that people take into their spirits and it replaces the reality of the situation. Despite the fact that Ellen Degeneres is propped up by huge financial support and a whole technological mechanism designed to create that glossy facade, the fact remains for her and all the other “celebrities” that the world creates and promotes deliberately to further the cause of darkness, that what they do is massively damaging to people. Every lesbian I have ever come across has been hugely damaged and Ellen Degeres, despite the obvious amount of money she makes from promoting sin, is obviously no exception. She attempts to cover it up, as do many, by presenting her damage as simply quirkiness but that is just the facade and the devil is more than happy to take one or two individuals and present them well so as to lead many more into destruction.

  • “What used to be right is now wrong and what used to be wrong is now right.” author unknown. We have turned into a wicked and perverse generation. A few days ago I quoted another unknown person who said, “God destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah not because of homosexuality but because the so called good people were tolerating homosexuality.” That’s the major problem today in the church, tolerating evil.

    Thanks Bill for your unlimited wisdom, insight and incredible writing skills. To quote the famous writer Hemingway when asked what made him such a great writer his comment back was, “I just sit down at my typewriter and bleed.” That’s you Bill, you just sit down and bleed God’s Word over all this evil. Blessings to you and God’s protection.

  • Many thanks for that Louise.

  • Too much of the church is all milk today. I have told people’ you would be appalled if you saw a woman breastfeeding a 8,10 or 12 yo yet how many church are essentially doing just that.’ Also imagine how outraged people would be at a mom breastfeeding her 16 or 18 or 22 yo child or even her 40 or 50 yo child yet our pastors do just that. The church keeps its members on the milk of the world long past when they should have started meat some NEVER start on meat. they are essentially ‘breastfed’ the word their whole lives. when we are still giving milk to our preschoolers and elementary schoolers while satan is offering his (corrupt) meat [because he recognizes that they are ready for something more substantial] is it any wonder why so many young people leave the church. we teach them stupid songs (don’t wanna be a pharisee because their not fair you see; sadducee because their so sad you see) rather that giving meat in portions they can handle. Add to that the ‘Jesus is my buddy’ and ‘God is my homie’ is it any wonder people don’t understand WHO God is and WHAT his attributes are??? [Given santa claus is given many of the same abilities as God is it any wonder people have come to see God as a cosmic santa?? who never finds anyone naughty (sinful) and gives everyone an abundance of stuff just cause they exist] Yes God is love but his love will never come at the expense of his holiness or his justness (Justice).

    We christians withdrew from culture for some reason, I have thoughts but I will save that for another time, and since nature abhors a vacuum satan move in to fill the influence void we left. Also we let others define things for us (love is finding nothing wrong with anything someone does and just accepting anything they believe) (tolerance=acceptance, murder=choice, disregarding God’s plan for human adults=liberation, accepting delusions=compassion) and now we have a society which thinks truth is fluid that their is: YOUR truth, MY truth, HIS truth, HER truth, THEIR truth, and EVERYONE ESLE’s truth and everyone of those ‘truths’ is true even though they contradict one another.

    We lost society and we won’t get it back going like we are. Far too many christians are comfortable in playing church than in changing the world. Churchianity is this biggest denomination. What the western church needs is a good dose of persecution. they church has always thrived under it. I think the American church would have been better off with Hillary as president as the church would still be awake. Too often we think we have “God’s man in the Whitehouse” and so we roll over and go to sleep. I pray a good dose of vitamin J (judgment) from God will wake up the American Church. Not sure if y’all down under are at that point yet but I do think much of Western Europe is well past it and might even be seeing the beginnings of their dose. Maybe they will know who romans felt when the barbarians brought down their empire. I am reminded of a line from a song (this line only appears to have been during a tv episode as it isn’t on the cd) ” the darkness spreads like fear with lies no-one can hear all sense is twisted”.(Its not to late by T-Bone Burnett )

    Things are going to get A LOT darker before the dawn comes. But his kingdom WILL come… relatively soon.

  • Sadly, Lauren Daigle, Carrie Underwood and the like are most likely not alone by a long shot when it comes to “Christian” musicians and singers with a significant platform, who are lacking in Biblical integrity, and who fail to boldly stand for the Truth of Scripture. I remember Keith Green saying in the 70’s prophetically that we would see many Christian artists who would exploit their influence for the sake of fame and fortune, without being fully committed to the Lord and His Word (Not his exact words, but I think he said something similar). Thanks Bill as always for shining the light on issues where the Church so often is silent. God Bless!

  • Jeepers, I’m no celebrity, but I was into some pretty creepy occult stuff before coming to know Jesus as the savior of my soul. I kind of knew it was bologna, but I wanted to be cool and different, so I asked Him, whom I knew existed, to back off for a while and let me pursue this ‘coolness.’ (What an idiot). What a gracious, longsuffering, and loving God to allow me such horrid and dangerous folly, all the while watching steadfastly over my eternal soul. Truly, as the song says, “What wondrous love is this?”

    But what if no one had bravely confronted me with the truth of the Gospel? What is friendship had stood in the way? Is it really love to withhold the truth from another for fear they might hate and despise you?

    I went to the library to withdraw a few occult books, and my friend, a librarian said 6 simple words to me. “This is not of the Lord.” That’s all it took to set me on a path to the truth. That remark bugged the daylights out of me. Shortly thereafter, God placed a Bible-believing Christian into my path at work. Guess what? It was the librarian’s brother, no less!

    Truth matters, Bill, and that’s what you bring to the masses. I’m sure you often feel alone and perhaps abandoned by your brothers and sisters in the Lord. But we are here, much like the unseen world of eternity behind the hidden veil. We have not forgotten you. Say the word, tell us that for which you need prayer and we will be there. God Bless, dear and faithful brother in the Lord.

  • To the best of my limited knowledge, only one recent Christian ‘celebrity’ came closest to taking a firm stance on the Bible and that is Israel Folau.

  • Dear Bill, I suppose it would take reams of paper to record all that is wrong in “church” today, so I will try not to go there…just a comment or two. when someone allows themselves to be thrust into a position of influence, great responsibility is required…especially among these musicians and performers that claim to be Christian…young people, whether they are Christian or secular, hang on their every word…dress like them…idolize them…when these celebrities come out with vague comments that blur the direct commands of God, the young people lap it up and adapt themselves to their idol…much is at stake for the celebrity for he/she runs the risk of losing their status not to mention the wealth that comes with their “ministry”…[who was it that said ‘follow the money’ ?] The old saints encouraged and taught regularly to consider the last four things…death, judgment day, hell and heaven..but just like secular history, Church history has either been rewritten or eliminated altogether…as to the persecution you are enduring for telling the truth, God’s Word tells us that we are blessed to have such a privilege…
    Paul also speaks of judgment of professing Christians who do not obey God [ I Cor. 5: 9-13 ]… and finally who is the accuser of the brethren ? May God bless you and crown all your efforts with success. Jo

  • I agree with this article and your previous one 100%! Just wish you had a print option so I could print the articles. I just found you because of a post someone shared on FB about the Lauren article and I was so impressed by what you wrote I looked up your website to see other articles. Glad I did! God Bless you sir.

  • Many thanks Deborah. Blessings.

  • Hi Deborah Rich, if you right click your mouse to print when using a lap top, or if using an iPad, look up in the top right hand corner of your screen, you’ll see an icon that looks like a rectangle with an arrow through it. That will activate a toolbar with a print option. Out of curtesy you can email Bill directly to get his OK if you want to print his articles for cell group use or church bulletins. Hope this helps, blessings, Kel.

  • Kelvin how do you email him I don’t see it listed anywhere???

  • Thanks guys. Those wanting to reprint my articles can normally do so – just provide proper acknowledgments and links, etc. Those who need to chat with me personally can just send a comment here (which I will not post) and I can get back to them via their email address.

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