Idol worship in the American church

I was in college in the days of the PTL scandal and Jimmy Swaggart’s failings. 

In the years since I honestly thought we could have learned our lessons from those debacles. Clearly, we have not. We continue to seek out evangelical superstars and the huge crowds and then we are shocked all over again when big failures happen. 

Roger Olson offers some reminders in the wake of the Mark Driscoll affair as it unfolds. I would like to say some of the things he says should be heeded, but who am I kidding? We’ll all have our next heroes up on the pedestal by next week. 

We need to hear some very direct words, though:

Unfortunately, we American evangelicals have created a system of ministry superstars on pedestals that sets them up for failure.

Olson’s point is to accountability. I think another way we have set people up for failure is that somehow we just WANT someone to set up as superstar. It’s our culture. And this is where we need to realize just how much we need to run COUNTER culture. 

I have talked about the need for heroes in our lives. I will STILL talk about the need for heroes in our lives. But we don’t need hero worship. 

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