Give Us Your Feedback: Is Celebrity Christianity Dead?

by | Sep 22, 2009 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

Here’s your chance to shape the direction of Charisma in 2010. We really do care what you think.

An impressive collection of framed covers of Charisma decorate a hall around the corner from my office. Visitors often stop to admire the nostalgic lineup, which includes a 1975 issue featuring healing evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman and a 1978 cover of South African theologian David du Plessis. These magazines offer a panoramic view of the history of the charismatic movement—warts and all.

I’ll admit that sometimes I wince when I walk down this hallway to get coffee—and I cringe even more when I sort through my stash of old magazines. As much as I love to remember the old days—and to appreciate the spiritual giants we featured at times—it is painful when I realize that some people we wrote about did not finish well.

“Has the egotistical behavior of America’s limousine-driving prosperity preachers nauseated us to the point that we are actually rejecting that entire scene?”

Most of the Christian personalities we have profiled over the years still inspire me. My personal favorite of all time was the cover story we published in 2005 about Brother Andrew, global champion of the persecuted church. I’m also very proud of the cover stories we wrote about Christian heroes such as Episcopal renewal leader Dennis Bennett; Mark Buntain, pioneer missionary to India; author Catherine Marshall; Freda Lindsey, leader of Christ for the Nations; revivalist David Wilkerson; Bible teacher Derek Prince; Vineyard founder John Wimber; Ed Cole, founder of the modern Christian men’s movement; evangelist Reinhard Bonnke; Franklin Graham, leader of Samaritan’s Purse; Messianic leader Joel Chernoff; and Charles Blake, presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ.

Yet when I look through the list of personalities we have focused on during our 34 years of publishing, there are some embarrassments. More than a dozen of them had highly publicized moral failures years after their ministries made them famous. A few of them went to jail, either for tax evasion or for other forms of fraud. Some lost their ministries because of spiritual abuse.

In recent years my staff and I have had long discussions about how to profile Christian leaders without setting them—and us—up for disappointment. We think our subscribers enjoy reading about people who have been successful—pastors, musicians, authors, athletes, businesspeople or missionaries. Yet we are less prone to do such profiles these days if we think there is any chance a celebrity might do something crazy two years from now.

We want to ask you to join in our discussion.

We are currently mapping out our editorial plans for 2010. Not all of our covers will focus on personalities because we know there are key moral and cultural topics that need our attention. But we are planning to feature up to six people on our covers next year.

A few weeks ago I stirred the waters a bit by asking this question on Twitter. The feedback was fascinating because more than half the people who replied said they didn’t want to read about a celebrity at all. Several people said they wanted to read about the faceless persecuted Christians who suffer for Christ in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan. Others said we should write about unknown ministers in the United States who feed the poor, run homeless shelters or fight child trafficking.

Of those who suggested a real celebrity Christian, the most votes were cast for California pastor Rick Warren—who is known as being a champion of the little guy. Many suggested evangelical leaders who are not even directly identified with the charismatic movement—people such as Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio or Southern Baptist soul-winner Perry Noble.

Is there a significant sea change happening in our movement? Has the egotistical behavior of America’s limousine-driving prosperity preachers nauseated us to the point that we are actually rejecting that entire scene? And have the excesses of our movement driven people away from flashy preachers and back to evangelical churches that don’t focus on the charismatic experience?

I’d like to hear your opinion. Where do you think our movement is headed? Are there Christian personalities you really would love to read about? And do you know of “nameless,” unsung heroes in your local community who are serving Christ in obscurity but who deserve attention?

Please let us hear from you. We’ll be compiling your feedback and using it in our planning sessions over the next several weeks.

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma. He is ministering in Africa this week. You can give Lee your feedback about Charisma’s 2010 covers by leaving a comment below, or you can send him a message on Twitter at leegrady.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

After the Supreme Court ruled last week 6-3 that there is no constitutional right to abortion, pro-life supporters cheered while angry pro-choice activists took to the streets to denounce the decision. Abortion advocates carried placards and shouted slogans such as...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

We are told that we must listen to God’s voice when we need to make important decisions. What does the Bible say about hearing God’s voice? How do we apply this to our everyday lives? 7 Bible Verses About Hearing God’s Voice “So then faith comes by hearing, and...

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

As we were coming into the month of June, the halfway point of the year, the Lord began to speak to me that we are at a tipping point. How we position and posture ourselves in this month will set the tone for the next six months. A tipping point is a series of small...

RECENT ARTICLES

Charismatic Christian Spreads Spirit-Filled Hope, Boldness and Truth to the U.S. House of Representatives

One of the most high-profile, outspoken, freedom-fighting and influential conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives is a Spirit-filled, Charismatic Christian. Colorado Rep. Lauren...
Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

A predator ensnares his prey with a trap meant to weaken and disarm the life so easily enticed by the bait set before it. Once the predator catches his prey, his goal is to steal, kill and destroy. Do you know this is exactly what the enemy is trying to do to you...

3 Things God Can’t Do

3 Things God Can’t Do

 Most people will be surprised and may even gasp at that statement. You mean there are some things God can't do? Yes, it’s true. He can do anything except for these three things. {eoa} Bill and Annette Wiese founded Soul Choice Ministries in 2000 for the purpose of...

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Before the invasion, many—probably most—Western analysts expected the war to last from a few days to a few weeks due to Russia’s vastly superior military might. However, the Ukrainians surprised everyone. Due to the bravery...

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]