New Evangelical Idolatory of Celebrity Pastors

There is type of idolatry attributed upon ‘Pastor Marc Driscoll’ by the lay Christians in the Evangelical circles. It is of a very subtle kind that is difficult to see it except in some egregious circumstances. Lo and behold, we just hit on one such circumstance. 

When we think of idolatry of Celebrity Pastors in the Christian circles, we think of Pastors who proclaim prosperity Gospel of the likes of Creflo Dollar. We do not think Marc Driscoll. Marc Driscoll is the complete opposite of the Prosperity Gospel preacher.

Interestingly, there is type of idolatry attributed upon ‘Pastor Marc Driscoll’ by the lay Christians in the Evangelical circles. It is of a very subtle kind that is difficult to see it except in some egregious circumstances. Lo and behold, we just hit on one such circumstance. The Christianity today article deals with this very comprehensively, makes a case for why this is fundamentally a problem of idolatry of Christian Celebrity pastors by lay Christians.

It all started when a radio program host asked Marc Driscoll if he had plagiarized in his book. Digging further it came to be known that Marc Driscoll hadn’t plagiarized himself, but that his ‘ghost writer’ probably did. That raised the question of how much of what Marc Driscoll writes is ‘ghost written’, apparently a lot. Marc Driscoll is not the only celebrity pastor who ghost writes, a friend of my friend ‘ghost wrote’ the book ‘Gospel According to Lost’ which was published by Pastor Chris Seay.

It raises a question of why a ‘Pastor’ a ‘Shepherd of the flock’ has to
‘ghost write’ in the first place, when we are to follow Jesus who did
not write anything at all. Of course, there is value in writing. Paul wrote, but they were his own words. It is today’s politicians who use ‘ghost writers’ to write their speeches, their proposals and their books. Why are Christian pastors taking a line from the book of the one breed of people who few trust, Politicians?

A BIG reason for this is the ‘Evangelical Industrial Complex’ – the big publishing houses that create a demand for books by pastors and then make profit on it. If someone blames the ‘golden goose’ of plagiarism, they have something to lose.The part time assistant producer of the Radio program which questioned Marc Driscoll about plagiarism was forced to resign over this issue.She said the ‘Evangelical Industrial Complex’ is more powerful than anyone realizes. The Radio host Janet Mefferd had to apologize and removed the interview, when a host of Christian writers have said mistake is on Marc Driscoll’s side and he needs to apologize about making a mistake, as honest as it may be instead of criticizing the interviewer.

This idolatry of making super star pastors is not the pastor’s fault. It is the fault of the evangelicals Christians who place such a high expectation on so few Super Star pastors. If we, the evangelical Christians, were to spend more time reading the Bible or spend more time studying the Scriptures using some ‘hard to read books’ written by ‘original thinking’ theologians who are the ‘true teachers’, then we wouldn’t be in this place where we expect ‘Super Star Pastors’ to churn book after book after book instead of performing their real job which is to be Shepherds who tend their flock.

Author: Emmanuel R Paulpeter

I am a writer, spiritual director, life coach and a Church Planter who love all things pop culture, theology and spirituality.

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