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Prophets, Celebs and Those Who Drool Over Them

Everybody loves entertainment and entertainers. Let’s discuss those who swoon and drool over celebs. Let’s also discuss the parallelism between modern celebs and prophets in the ancient world (believe me, there are more than you know).

I was at Piccadilly Circus in London (which by the way has no elephants or clowns, but for some reason has the word circus as part of its name), when I saw people flocking, swooning and drooling. So curious George I am, I decided to investigate. Apparently it was the World premiere of the movie Alfie, and none other than its star, Jude Law, had just arrived. Jude, you’re a great actor and all, but I am just not as impressed as everyone else seems to be (The old version of Alfie was so much better).

I began to think: what is the deal with this? Why must people completely freak-out over just a man? He’s not Jesus, right? Since my head is often in the sand of ancient times, this also made me ponder what it must have been like to be an entertainer in the ancient world. There were a few kinds of entertainers in the very ancient world (around 1,000 BC):

  1. Priests, who gave sermons and slaughtered animals
  2. Prophets, who critiqued the society, but were often rejected
  3. Dreamers, who had visions while sleeping, or interpreted other people’s dreams

Generally, the prophets and the dreamers were the most entertaining. You can imagine that many flamboyant personalities were drawn to these roles because of this. In return, true prophets, like Moses, had a hard time keeping these out-spoken and often phony people from misleading the general public. Are you starting to see the parallels with modern celebrities?

In Deuteronomy 13:1-3 we have a few lines about this subject: “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

The author does not say, “wait to see if what the prophet or dreamer of dreams says comes to pass.” He says, “and the sign or wonder that [the prophet or dreamer of dreams] comes to pass.” In other words, just because someone can do something amazing (like foretell the future), that does not mean everything they say is true. Instead, the indicator of a true leader is their actions. Do they follow what has been taught by God thus far, and are they interested in leading people to the true God?

Going back to our parallel account with modern celebrities, it seems that today we have tons of people who are doing amazing things, but are doing it for themselves, not for a higher authority (e.g., Criss Angel). We have other entertainers who are leading people into supposedly great religions (e.g., Tom Cruise and Scientology), while they themselves are wearing rose-colored glasses.

Could the ancient words in Deuteronomy be more pertinent than we realize? I am not (in any way) saying we should apply them in the way Deuteronomy suggests, because the end result of the passage was reserved for the law of a particular land. But, I am saying that we need to set aside the idea of following entertainers and start looking for God in everyday life again (not gods whose names are written on stars in Hollywood).

What do you think? Can our society even move past the façade we are presented with everyday?

Comments

Good post, I think that you are right on in seeing the weird parallel in current times. But I do wonder what do you think about "prophets" that arise in the church and become celebrities in there own right? Do you think that those people are there to test the believers? And I have one more question for you wouldn't that by definition be an anti-Christ?

Bryan, I appreciate your comment. You have given me a lot to think about.

There does seem to be way too many "prophets" rising up in the church and becoming celebrities in their own right. It seems a bit unnatural, doesn’t it? Especially when you know that most (if not all) prophets were either entirely rejected. Bar minimum, a certain group in their own generation rejected their teachings.

What are we to do with these supposed “prophets?” I am going to directly address this in my next two posts, so I do not want to give away too much yet. But, I think we should test their words against the words God has given us in the Bible, the words of His previous prophets, who we know told the truth. Furthermore, we should hold all supposedly godly leaders accountable to lead people back to God. If they appear to be in it for their own gain, they likely are.

I think there are many supposed "prophets" (or false prophets) who will test God's followers, and as you have pointed out, they may have arrived on the scene solely for testing God's people. However, I do not necessarily think that is why they are at any certain place at any given time. They may be acting on their own, or in accord with other powers that God chooses not to control or have dominion over (what are often called demons). So there are two types of false prophets:

1. Those God somehow sent (indirectly or directly) to test His followers
2. Those who are acting on their own accord or with the accord of the principalities and powers.

But, both kinds in some fashion test our faithfulness towards God. If we follow them, we have lost our way. We have become a vassal to ugliness, not Godliness.

On your last point, you are dead on. If anyone is gaining religious power by being a deceiver (especially one who pretentiously acts like a Christ-follower for their own gain), they are by definition an "anti-Christ." We likely discuss this more in-depth on a later post. For now, the key passages to examine are: 1 John 2:18-26; 1 John 4:1-4; 2 John 7-11.

As I mentioned, I will discuss my conclusions and other thoughts on this in the next few posts.

Let me know what you think about my thoughts so far though. Do you think I am on the mark, a little off (or a lot off)?

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The Infinite God is everywhere, are you looking? I am dedicated to finding God in all aspects of life – the Bible, the news, and the arts. Because I find that the most fulfilling journey of all is searching for heaven here on earth.