Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. (James 3:1)
This question is based on a very specific so-called “Christian celebrity” (forgive me if this title seems inappropriate or to forward but it’s the best I can come up with) but I am also interested in hearing about others’ experiences with such types of people and is based on the truth of James 3:1 above.
Q: How does the influence of “Christian celebrities” impact (or sway or persuade or direct) the movement (or direction) of the body of Christ inside and outside of the church?
Examples include Chip & Joanna Gaines, Tim Tebow, Chris Pratt, and every Christian artist currently in rotation on K-Love (radio station), just to name a few.
Here is my specific experience with such a person … my church’s men’s group just finished Moving Mountains (by John Eldridge) which discusses prayer. After the 8-9 weeks of instruction, I have to wonder if the message of prayer that was presented was beyond the limit of scripture and actually just served to fill a 8-9 week course? I believe that Mr. Eldridge took scripture and adapted them to his message about prayer versus using scripture to understand biblical prayer or how Jesus prayed or something more in line with scripture. It is clear after finishing this course that there is a right way to pray and a wrong way to pray. Also, JE indicates that longer prayers are better than shorter prayers. He also indicates that the wording matters. How can an immature Christian, who has never read Matt 6:9-13 (the Lord’s Prayer), take such a legalistic view of prayer as anything other than a set of strict rules? Guys in our class seemed very concerned about their own prayer life and that “they were not doing it right” before. What about the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:26-27)? Maybe someone out there has experienced this course and can add their thoughts?
Secondly, after reading his book Wild at Heart, which I enjoyed, I later found criticism of this book and the reasons for such criticism really concerned me. Firstly, he does not present Proverbs 20:5 correctly and this is the basis of his entire book. He misquotes it on the title page of Ch. 1 (The heart of a man is like deep water . . .) whereas NASB says (A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, …). How can such a blunder give me, or anyone confidence in his theology? The article below indicates several other errors, too many for me to list.
I hope that my points above are clear and I certainly do not want to bash John Eldridge but I understand that the bible teaches know and understand and apply the truth and that teaches are to be held accountable to what they teach (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 3:16; 1 Thess. 5:21, James 3:1).