Over the past week or so many people have heard the excitement coming out of New York City about Jeremy Lin who has came out of nowhere to lead the Knicks to seven straight wins. For an undrafted free agent who had been cut by a couple of teams already to come in and play so amazingly has made the media go nuts. Not only that but the twitter feeds that I have read have been going crazy too, especially those that belong to Christians. You see Jeremy Lin, while not only an amazing basketball player and the first Asian American player at his position to make an impact in the NBA, is also a Christian. If you go to His twitter page the first thing you do is read about how knowing God makes you want to know Him more. and by many interviews I have heard over the past week Lin has a goal of using his new platform as a tool to share Christ and be a role model much like Tim Tebow.
As many can recall over the entire football season our nation was swept up in Tebowmania. You couldn’t turn on the news without hearing something about Tim Tebow. And one of the things that was awesome was that Tim was great about using every opportunity he received to share Christ and thank Christ. Which was totally awesome and as a fellow believer and brother in Christ I applaud him for, just as I applaud and encourage Jeremy Lin to do.
So, as you read my subject for this blog and then my first two paragraphs you may wonder what any of what I have said has to do with idols. First of all let me be clear, I am highly encouraged and excited to see these brothers in Christ share Christ and be bold for Him. What concerns me is the way that I see many other Christians react to them. We almost build them up in our minds to be idols thinking that they can do know wrong and just going on and on about them. In some cases like a teenage girl would about Justin Bieber. And this is the way that it has always been with Christian celebrity. I can remember getting excited whenever my college, Moody Bible Institute, would bring in some of the more well know speakers thinking that they would automatically be more profound than some of the lesser known ministers. I remember a story a friend of mine tells about seeing John MacArthur in an airport and getting all excited and then realizing that the secular world around him didn’t even notice.
My point is this, let’s not idolize Christian celebrity and build them up to impossible standards in our minds. Just like you and I God has given them a platform to share His love with others. While our platform may not be as large as theirs, we still have the exact same duty that they do to proclaim the Gospel. So, instead of idolization let’s pray for them! Instead of thinking that they are perfect, pray for them as they daily face temptations and pray that they will remain bold for Christ. Especially with our athletes and people that aren’t in full time ministry let’s not idolize them. Instead of praising them for sharing Christ, give thanks to God that he was shared! Be a prayer warrior for these men and women, not a drooling groupie!
As I said earlier, God has given these people amazing platforms, so lets pray that they will continue to be bold in their opportunities, and I pray you will be bold in your opportunities to share the Gospel as well!