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Aug
20

The Idolatry of Celebrity

The Idolatry of Celebrity It’s a strange thing about celebrity. Nearly everyone dreams of being really famous…until they are. Then they usually hate it. Celebrities hire publicists and marketing gurus to help them build their brand identity, and widen their exposure. However, once they have achieved a high level of recognition, they retreat into their private cocoons, and begin a futile battle against the Paparazzi, trying to escape the public eye. It’s so sad to think of the tragic deaths of so many celebrities who died unhappy and feeling unloved: Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Chris Farley, Robin Williams and scores of others. You see, the one thing that celebrity really doesn’t (and dare I say CAN’T?) bring you, is love. Quite the opposite really. To the uninformed, it may seem that all of those adoring fans truly love the artist, sports hero, actor, author, model, etc. But, no, that isn’t true. In reality, the adoring fans really just love themselves. The infatuation for the hero is really an extension of their own desire to achieve that place of prestige, fame, wealth or notoriety. When they dance in their bedroom to the songs of their favorite pop icon, singing into their hairbrush as though it were a microphone (we can only pray to God that only females actually do that!), they envision themselves on that stage, with thousands of adoring fans screaming out their name. When they cheer for their favorite team, they see themselves scoring that winning championship point. To them, their idol (telling choice of words) is a tangible reflection of what they wish their life could be. They believe that all of the notoriety will fill the empty spot inside their souls, and they will finally feel fulfilled, happy and loved. It’s just a mirage though. It’s an unattainable myth, as impossible to grasp as a cloud or your reflection in a still water. Even within the Christian world we have celebrities. They may be recording artists, authors, mega-church pastors, radio or TV personalities, etc. It’s amazing how a good head-shot, camera angle, back-ground music, or well-designed promo piece can make an average person look and sound larger than life. The Crowd Will Turn On You It’s an odd dynamic that happens when someone is worshiped by another person. Everyone loves to hang around with a winner. However, when that idolized person finally messes up in some way, when they fail to live up...
Aug
12

He’s Sick, Not Sinful

He’s Sick, Not Sinful Consider this: Why is it that people only excuse their bad behavior on mental illness, but never their good. Whenever they help a little old lady across the street, or give money to a poor neighbor to help with rent, that always gets chalked up to their own moral goodness.It’s only when they kill, or steal, or lie, or commit suicide that people start talking about it being something quite apart from their nature, over which they had absolutely no control, that MADE them do such a thing (against their will of course!).Do you see what that reveals about our presuppositions about human nature? It demonstrates that most people believe (quite contrary to what the Scripture teaches) that humans are innately good, and that their moral badness is best explained by forces that are far beyond their control.I am NOT saying that there is no such thing as a genuine mental illness, or that a genuine mental illness cannot impact and affect behavior. It can and does. However, we are so averse to ever blaming, or judging, or condemning, that we resort to excusing, even when the logic doesn’t really work. We just don’t like to think that people we love are truly selfish at the core of their being. Some would always rather view them as sick. Anna Russell wrote these poignant words: I went to my psychiatrist to be psychoanalyzed To find out why I killed the cat and blackened my husband’s eyes. He laid me on a downy couch to see what he could find, And here is what he dredged up from my subconscious mind: When I was one, my mommy hid my dolly in a trunk, And so it follows naturally that I am always drunk. When I was two, I saw my father kiss the maid one day, And that is why I suffer now from kleptomania. At three, I had the feeling of ambivalence towards my brothers, And so it follows naturally I poison all my lovers. But I am happy; now I’ve learned the lesson this has taught; That everything I do that’s wrong is someone else’s fault. Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and the Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net. Photo credit: TheGiantVermin /Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND...
Aug
5

Are Dads Making a Cultural Resurgence?

I have noticed an interesting trend recently. In years past, fathers were the constant butt of jokes on television. Dads are often represented on TV and movies as bumbling, inept fools, who must be rescued from themselves by their obviously superior children and wives. There are still a number of companies who choose to portray fathers in this light through their corporate advertising. Here are a couple of recent examples: Esurance introduces us to “Hank, the Out of Touch Dad” Tide celebrates the gender-role confused, “Dad Mom”: However, this year, I’ve noticed that many companies have been taking a different tact. They are presenting fathers as masculine, engaged, intelligent and important. Here are some examples: Dove Soap asks, “Isn’t it Time We Celebrate Dads?” Hyundai asks, “Remember When Only Dad Could Save the Day?” Perhaps my favorite is this one, that almost makes me want to go buy Peanut Butter Cheerios! It reflects a dad who is confident, masculine, not a buffoon, and the camera work is great too. Bridging the gap between the inept father, and the important one, is this heart-warming international commercial by dtac: And just for Dad fun, here’s a bonus from McDonalds that is just kind of clever: And one from Suburu Legacy: It’s my hope that art is reflecting life here. I would like to think that corporations are realizing what others in our nation are also coming to understand: Fathers are vital to our society. We need to stop mocking fatherhood and start encouraging dads! Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and the Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net. Photo credit: Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA...
Aug
4

Who is Really Being Rude Here?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve heard the smash pop hit, “Rude” by the group Magic!. It speaks about a young man, seeking permission to marry a traditional man’s daughter. He is turned down by the young lady’s father, but rather than being rebuffed, he retorts with the line, “I’m gonna marry her anyway!” This is obviously a disturbing thought for any man who has spent a couple of decades nurturing what he considers to be one of his most valuable relationships on the planet. How might a father respond to such a scenario? So what is the proper role of a father in such a situation with his daughter? Here is one father’s response: Here is the full video: I think the popularity of Magic’s hit, “Rude” emphasizes the shift that has occurred culturally in America over the past 60 years, where fathers are no longer considered to be important entities in family life. They are regularly portrayed on television and movies as weak, bumbling idiots, who are constantly rescued from their folly by their wives and children. There has always been a tension that has existed between fathers and prospective young men hoping to whisk away their daughters. I believe it was G.K. Chesterton who said that fathers in every generation feel that they taking a priceless vase and handing it to an ape when they give their daughters in marriage. There certainly are scenarios of over-bearing fathers who act in a domineering and abuse manner, but sometimes proper protection can be seen as over-protection. In Biblical times, it was expected that fathers (of the bride and the groom) both played an important role in the marriage process of their adult children. What should that role be today? What does the Scripture say? What do you think? Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and the Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net....

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© Israel Wayne.