"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.