I posted an Unbound—which is really just a few random thoughts about things I happened to notice or some wild opinion of mine—regarding talent and the actors of Hollywood and while I was laboring on this post about celebrity and how Jesus pretty well dismantled it this comment popped up from it Sherri at Everyday Miracle:
I have been thinking about how our “celebrity culture” is positively consuming all else in the U.S. People are no longer esteemed because they can do something well, or have a good mind, or do good things. It is enough to be beautiful, and outrageous. I was wondering this morning if the world will just continue to be more and more superficial and shallow until Jesus returns. It is just like the Evil One to attempt to deceive us into glorifying the “outside”. The Messiah once remarked on the phenomenon. He called the celebrities of his day (the Pharisees) “white washed tombs.”
And she’s right.
We have, as a culture, bought into the idea that the rich and famous and ‘hot’ of Hollywood or of the media in general are the best of the best. Our kids look up to them and they can sway the opinions of huge numbers of the population. If you can remember, Bill Clinton got one of his biggest boosts when he went on the Tonight Show and played the sax with the band. Wow. Whitewashed and spun and lookin’ shiny.
As newer example I was listening to the radio a day or two ago, going to get my kids from school and I heard that someone paid $6K for a pair of sunglasses John Lennon once wore. Personally I wouldn’t pay $6 for a pair of those tiny oval things he used to wear. I can’t imagine you’d get very good eye-coverage with them. This was followed up with a complete post mortem of the discussion of the post-mortem on a certain famous blonde woman who is taking up a lot of bandwidth even now that she’s dead. Jimmy Carter is back in the news talking about his universalist gospel. I’m sure Bono is somewhere doing something someone will consider spiritual.
(In fact the very core of blogging is really popularity, if you think about it. It’s like high-school only with better seating.)
In my last post on Mark 10 I pointed out that we were not much different than the Jews in our regard for the wealthy. They had a different idea of glamour back then but it still amounted to ‘ooooh. Shiny!’ When I started thinking about the next section of this text, Mark 10:23-29 I found the question asked by the rich young man, “What must I do to be saved?” asked again in a different way. I’ll get to that in a minute, or a day. Probably the latter.
The only encouragement I take from all of this is that we are fighting a losing battle and we know it. Losing a battle though is not losing the war. These light and momentary troubles of ours are just that–light and momentary. Whatever the trouble is. As Sherri pointed out, Jesus is coming soon…
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.