Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hero Worship and Holy Emulation :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library

Hero Worship and Holy Emulation :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library:

"Here is one small contribution. In spite of all the legitimate warnings against hero worship, I want to risk waving a flag for holy emulation—which includes realistic admiration. Hero worship means admiring someone for unholy reasons and seeing all he does as admirable (whether it’s sin or not). Holy emulation, on the other hand, sees evidences of God’s grace, and admires them for Christ’s sake, and wants to learn from them and grow in them."

I have been thinking about this issue for some time now and am thankful that Piper addressed it. What his post omits though, is a consideration of whether or not the very forms and forums these celebrity pastors are using might be one of the primary contributing factors to celebritiism?
Whitefield drew enormous crowds, but there was no glamour to it. Listening to him often meant hours of arduous travel and standing in the rain. I am amazed at the expectation level we often bring to conferences, videos, etc. Maybe I am mixing up the issues though.
At the very least, I think we need to carefully consider if we find more joy in being close to some celebrity or being close to our Lord.


  1. Hey Paul, thanks for commentating on this. I am frustrated with the whole 'hero worship' phenomenon (not that it is anything new). I think what urks me the most is that I tend to be excruciatingly judgmental of people whom I perceive of as engaging in the pursuit/worship of 'Christian stardom' ... and then get more frustrated with myself for being so judgmental. The concept of 'holy emulation', however, helps me think through this with a different contextual terminology. Thanks for posting, appreciated it.

  2. And I was JUST starting to think you were my hero, Paul! ;)