the weblog of Alan Knox

Cult of Personality

Posted by on Jul 12, 2010 in discipleship | 7 comments

Cult of Personality

Uh oh. Arthur (from “the voice of one crying out in suburbia“) is in trouble. He has the gall to question the “The cult of celebrity.” You know what that means, right? You know, where Christians flock to hear the latest and greatest speakers. Conferences boast big names – the bigger the better… the better the book sales the bigger the audience.

Here’s the interesting thing… Scripture always points us to imitate or follow someone’s life. Even Paul pointed to his way of life. So, why are we so interested in “following” people that we don’t really know? I mean, we may know what someone writes about marriage, but we don’t know how he treats his wife or children. We may know what someone says about leadership, but we don’t know if she really serves other people.

So… how long will the cult of personality continue? How big will it get?


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  1. 7-12-2010

    Maybe we run after people like that because we wish we were as “successful” as they are. Or maybe it’s just the bandwagon effect.

  2. 7-13-2010

    our system perpetuates it doesn’t it? encouraging men to follow men… rather than empowering & encouraging men to follow God.

    A celebrity pastor who does all the ‘work’ for the men in the pews is our system (generalization here)… so obviously celebrities on a bigger level would make sense to the system.

    we don’t realize that until we are okay with being a nameless faceless worker – we haven’t taken any steps to being part of The Church. We are of this world.

  3. 7-13-2010

    I think it will last as long as Western Culture in general embraces celebrity worship, it seems like just another area that Christianity has “baptized” a practice from the general culture.

  4. 7-13-2010


    This is a great question and one of the greatest hindrances to the growth and development of Christian leadership in the church (IMO). The cult is also active within congregations as well. This pastor, that teacher, attract people who are content to sit under their teaching. Those leaders in turn focus their energies solely on producing the demanded goods (i.e. well prepared lessons) and fail to reproduce Christian disciples. These teachers appear successful because they have polished speaking abilities and large number of listeners. When they leave (or die) the crowds diminish and, in all, so little had been accomplished for the kingdom.


  5. 7-13-2010

    I think there are many, many reasons that people (including Christians) flock to celebrity personalities. I’m glad that Wes brought up local congregational celebrities. They can exist in any congregation – whether that group meets in a large building or a house.


  6. 7-13-2010

    Exactly Alan…The cult has a subtle side. I remember visiting a church and they had a literature rack where a gentleman had ran off copy’s of his pet doctrines.The local scholar, see. Then the preacher was a new kid.

  7. 7-13-2010

    I suppose some folks will keep running off to celeb events as long as they can afford to.
    And perhaps that begs the question, “Can we afford to?” Not just money-wise (maybe the monetarily poor are at an advantage here!) but Kingdom-wise too …

    “how difficult it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom” … is “affording” these events actually detrimental?