Why Celebrity?

In a survey of millennials, 50% of young adults said that a major life goal was to become famous. In the past people wanted to be famous for doing something. Now, celebrity has become an end in itself. It has attained god-like characteristics. Not only do people want to be famous, they idolise those who have achieved celebrity status. This widespread interest in famous individuals has been described as ‘the cult of celebrity’. It is a prominent social phenomenon of Western popular culture.

Fame to the ambitious is like salt water to the thirsty. The more you get, the more you want. Madonna, who at one stage was probably the most famous woman on the planet, said, ‘I won’t be happy until I am as famous as God.’ 

Celebrity and fame are only a pale reflection of true glory. ‘Glory’ is used in the Bible to denote the manifestation of God’s presence. Glory is one of the most common words in the Bible. God’s ‘glory’ means his importance, reputation, majesty and honour.

Perhaps it is not surprising that as society moves away from worshipping the glory of God, it turns towards the worship of the ‘glory’ of celebrity and fame. We are called to worship God’s glory and reflect it, however imperfectly, in our lives.

Psalm 26:1-12

Seek God’s glory

David writes, ‘God, I love living with you: your house glows with your glory’ (v.8, MSG). King David was a ‘celebrity’ in his own right (see 1 Samuel 18:7). Yet he did not seek glory for himself, rather he gave glory to God. He ends the psalm by saying, ‘My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the Lord’ (Psalm 26:12). He led the people in giving glory to God.


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