The fastest way to completely pollute your Facebook news feed is to “like” a celebrity. Celebrities have these things called “ghost writers” who handle all of their press releases, and guess what… Facebook is just a press release. It’s basically advertising. Once you like that person you’ll be flooded with all sorts of info you never wanted to know. For example, if you follow Adam Lavigne from Maroon 5, you’re going to learn a lot about his band, his album releases and TV appearances, but not much about Adam… I’m sorry to say, but he still won’t actually be your friend, that’s not him posting on Facebook. It’s the same for a whole gambit of people from the POTUS, the Pontiff, to your local news anchor, even your pastors… yes, your pastors.
It’s been the trend in the American church recently to be a celebrity pastor.. everyone has a “platform” and a “ministry philosophy” and a dozen other heady words they learn in Seminary “how to be a celebrity pastor” class. When Mega Church became the fad suddenly you had these pastors (servants?) rolling around in cars with drivers, body guards and personal assistants… they stopped pastoring people so that they could keep up with the schedule of a celebrity. They hired gatekeepers instead of secretaries and put their face on every piece of mail the church sent out. They became a brand instead of a person, on billboards, CD covers, books.. we even got to the point that we needed to televise our celebrity pastor into peoples living rooms and even into other churches, so that he could preach at even more people. Suddenly the Church was centered around one man, and he wasn’t Jesus. He became more popular than Jesus because he could water down the message and make everyone like it. He was a lot more camera friendly than Jesus ever was and he always made everybody leave feeling good about themselves, which Jesus never really managed to do.
Thankfully, we’re a few years past the mega church craze, but the attitude has trickled down and now it’s common for even small church pastors to act as if they are a celebrity.. we still have the gatekeeper secretaries, pastors keep their phone numbers unlisted so, should someone need a pastor, they have to jump 30 hoops to get an audience. And, sure enough, if you like one of them on Facebook, you will get the deluge of press releases. I am SO THANKFUL for the “remove from feed” option they’ve written into Facebook! Having been to Bible college and spent years working in churches, 90% of my Facebook friends work in full time ministry positions and most of everything they ever post is nothing but an advertisement or a plug for some church or church program. In the odd moment they do actually post something personal about their life it’s got a #community at the end… or an #ironsharpensiron or some other buzzword, promo, marketing reference. Never a single “im tired of the rain” or “having a crappy day”or “I just ran over the neighbors cat”… it leaves me wondering if I’m friends with the right facebook account… is this my friend or their promo page? Are these even real people? They haven’t posted a single photo that wasn’t of either the stage at their church or their small group.. it’s all so two-dimensional, like having coffee with a cardboard cutout wearing a church-logo tee shirt…
Jesus was a celebrity because he walked through the mud with the filthy, stinking people he came to serve.. and he never sent a single Tweet to advertise it. “Just washed 24 feet before dinner, LOVE these guys! #humility #POW”.
Thanks for being a real person. Keep it that way.