By: Ange King
It’s acceptable to criticise celebrities, right? After all, they deserve it.
Often, it seems, we don’t feel the buzz of conscience on this one. Why? Because celebrities are in Hollywood, right? Which, like prison, means that they are already condemned as artificial, perverted, greedy, narcissistic, or immoral. So we, the ‘good people,’ must bring them down a peg or two!
But this makes me very sad. Recently I saw a film (maybe you can guess which one) that depicted the tragic suicide of a famous singer. The film, beautifully crafted, followed his journey, watching as time after time he was unable to appreciate his own value, or to see the people around him who loved him deeply.
And the climax, in which this epic blindness culminated in him removing himself from the lives of his loved ones and the world, completely crushed me.
Afterwards, in analysing the reason for my intense reaction, I found myself deeply aware that this story is not just a story. It is a reality for many famous people. They are surrounded by worship. Millions of people know their name. But it is utterly unfulfilling. And they know it.
There is a reason why this is so. Because we were designed to be full of one particular person’s love—Jesus. Only he has a love big enough for us. Unless we get our value from him alone, we will always be lost and empty.
So many famous entertainers do not know this. And even fewer have had an encounter with this love, and been radically healed and set free by it. Shawn Bolz, founder of Expression58 church in Hollywood, says that the entertainment industry is like a third world nation in the Spirit. A place where people die all the time because of their spiritual hunger.
Imagine that. The church gets all passionate and mobilised for other third world nations. Why not this one?
“You and I are responsible for the famous entertainers.
Because we haven’t taken responsibility, there is a whole culture of people who are badly wounded and broken. They feel estranged from the very people who are supposed to represent the love of God. Instead of love being our response, we have rejected an unreached people group. Many of us have felt righteous in the process.”
Do we really think we’re better than them? Do we really think we have a right to criticise, rather than encourage and uphold and bless?
Pastor and author Carlos A. Rodriguez points out that if all of us had a camera on us every time we did or said anything sinful (or just plain dumb), and then had that failure exposed to 60% of the world’s population a day later, how would we fare?
“It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child. And maybe for a celebrity…it takes the whole family of Christ. [So many celebrities are] obviously looking for redemption. It’s time for overwhelming grace to be our message… It’s the same message I want to hear when I fall. It’s the same one you need when you crash and burn.”
Yeah, it’s time to get down off that high-horse, non-famous ones. It’s time to pray and show grace.
And here’s the thing—when we pray for these ones, these moneyed, talented, broken, definitely undeserving ones, we’re not just praying for one city, one industry. We are asking God to impact the world. Hollywood, whether we like it or not, is the culture capital of the planet, and effects every decision-maker in almost every part of society. We need to see God heal the identity of Hollywood and release his sonship there.
So let’s be a part of that. Let’s be a wave of love towards these needy ones. Let’s speak life and value over them, whether they can hear us or not, and let’s teach others to do the same.
There is no doubt we will get blessed in the process.
For awesome story-based resources for your youth group or Bible study go to: Story Together
Article supplied with thanks to Movies Change People.
About the author: Ange is a writer for movies Change People.