The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Show Biz for the Saviour

By Scott Ross
The 700 Club Consciously, or unconsciously, the whole world is looking for a saviour. Back in the sixties, John Lennon said his group, the Beatles, was more popular than Jesus Christ; Bob Dylan, at various times in his career, has been proclaimed by others as some sort of messiah; guitarist/singer Eric Clapton was announced to be God by over zealous fans. When the music business was hurting for something or someone new a number of years ago, and in need of a new creative resource that would help spurt sales, the moguls of music announced that we had a new messiah in the person of Bruce Springsteen. Could anything good come out of Asbury Park, New Jersey? The English group, The Who, depicted a blind boy as a messiah figure in the rock opera Tommy. In an English film, Stardust, the lead character, another messiah figure, is driven to his death when he cant live up to the expectations of his worshippers.

One of the problems with this kind of thinking is that it has crossed over into the Christian world. As a result, we have fostered a kind of show biz for the Savior mentality.

A number of years ago, one musician in describing another musicians ability stated that, He could have been the worlds savior through his guitar playing. Now, that would tend to put a bit of pressure on a guy if he tried to live up to those kinds of expectations. Yet, whether spoken or unspoken, thats the kind of pressure thats coming down: the pressure to produce and live up to those kinds of expectations.

Just recently, someone approached me and informed me that a major star type person had made a commitment to Jesus Christ. I dont know the source of their information; they seemed vague when I asked them. More than likely it was  a reliable, (but unnamed) source. Or it was that old tried and true, they say. When it does prove to be true, and over the years I have seen many men and women of various and sundry talents publicly announce their commitment to Jesus Christ, something else is set in motion: the temptation to exploit the persons celebrity. It is justified by pointing out the importance of his or her testimony.

It usually goes something like this...

Big Time Bobby is a well-known personality on TV and through his CDs that have sold millions. Suddenly, the news is outBig Time Bobby has given his life to Christ. (Many times this information is erroneous. I have heard of the supposed conversions of all sorts of public figures that were confessed with everyones mouth except the convertee.) Big Time Bobby is now the man of the hour, at least in Christian circles. But poor Bobby is not ready for the fallout that comes from people who dont want to hear about religion and be preached at. Meanwhile, letters, phone calls, faxes and e-mail pour in to Bobbys office from the Christian world, requesting that he appear and give his testimony in churches, rallies, and big time Christian conferences. He is asked to appear on Christian TV and radio, and of course make a Christian CD. Book offers come in from Christian publishers with talk of a tie-in movie of his life. For the next few months Big Time Bobby is on the talk circuit. Then suddenly, its over. Everyone has heard his story and Bobby is discarded like so much stale bread or rancid meat. And the vultures begin looking for their next victimall for Jesus sake of course.

Perhaps we need to look at this and our motives in light of Scripture.

In the New Testament book of Acts, the apostle Peter is used of God to raise a seamstress (Dorcas) from the dead. Although the news spread all over town of this miracle, there is no record that Dorcas went out on the circuit to give her story, or appear on TV with Barbara Walters. As a matter of fact, she probably went back to her work of doing kind things for others and helping the poor (Acts 9.36). There also doesnt seem to be any record that Peter began to conduct "How to Raise the Dead" seminars, with his tapes available at $49.95.

Paul the apostle is another good example.

Saul (he was to become Paul later) was a Roman citizen, educated, well known as a man who lived strictly according to the religious Jewish law and a feared persecutor of Christians. Suddenly, this man is struck down supernaturally by God, blinded, spoken to audibly, converted and then subsequently healed of his blindness. What a story! Larry Kings on the phone now! However, Saul didnt rise to the bait of fame, and he didnt appear to have an agent or manager. Rather, he fasted and prayed for three days and waited on the Lord. Meanwhile, in a vision, a faithful and godly man named Ananias learned that the newly converted Saul needed spiritual instruction. Thus Ananias, sent by God, told Saul what had happened to him and encouraged Saul that he was indeed called by God. Ananias was then to command Sauls eyes to be opened and that he would get his sight back, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And then Ananias was to baptize Saul in water. Ananias obeyed God and did all that, and everything happened as God told him it would. Again, neither of these men appeared on the 6:30 news with, Peter, Tom and Dan. As a matter of fact, you never hear from Ananias again. Paul starts preaching about Jesus and all kinds of people try to kill him, so he runs for his life and hides out in Arabia for three years before he reappears. There, in isolation, this former fanatical zealot of Judaism learns the ways of Jesus through the agency and person of the Holy Spirit. When he re-emerges publicly again, he is renamed Paul, and comes forth preaching a gospel that was not man-made but was revealed to him by the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result, all kinds of miracles transpired through Paul, and multitudes of people believed in Jesus Christ (Acts 9, Galatians 1).

Perhaps if Big Time Bobby and the rest of us simply followed Jesus' pattern and instructions, If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow Me, (Matthew 16.24) it would take the show biz out of Christianity.

Read more of Scott's commentaries.

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