Disclaimer: there are not only two types of Christians. These are two distinct opposites that I noticed last week.
Category 1: Those who are infatuated with Christian celebrities. These are tweets from the live feed of Passion.
What this Christian celebrity feeds is the common theology of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, meaning that God is good and he loves us but he is not concerned with every facet of my life. He is there when I need him and his love is good and makes me feel good but the fact that Jesus laid down his life for my sin does not mean that I have to fully devote my life to the Kingdom of God.
There is NOTHING wrong with enjoying a specific pastor or speaker or worship band or worship style. Do not misunderstand me. But when your desire to attend a conference or church is based on WHO is there instead of the God who is being worshipped, you are being selfish.
I believe the heart of those who lead Passion and the heart of the majority who attend is to see the name of Jesus lifted high. It would be foolish to pretend that there are not those who attend only because of Chan/Lecrae/Piper/Crowder/Just because their friends are there.
Category 2: Those who seek to worship God in all situations
There are many people who take the Kingdom of God seriously enough that they can worship God in a small church with hymns and a little old lady who plays the organ and they can worship God in a megachurch with a band and 10,000 others and know that the Lord is being lifted high in your life. When people like this are on the mission field, they can find refuge in the Lord instead of relying on a person.
Too often I find myself in category one when I desire to be in category two. May all of us continue to find our foundation in the Lord and in the Cross of Christ rather than this season’s famous Christian Celebrity.
Every year around this time, I am reminded that Passion is right around the corner. For those of you who do not know, Passion is a conference held in Atlanta for 18-25 year olds, focused on the worship and glory of God.
I have had the pleasure of attending the past two years, and my walk with God has been enhanced every time; however, I have three major fears about the passion conference:
1. Many who attend Passion do not care to live out the Christian faith when they return home. Some of the greatest speakers and worship leaders in the world are at passion every year, and it never fails that there are emotionally driven moments where the Holy Spirit is moving. The most dangerous thing about this is that as soon as you get on the bus to come home, you forget everything that happened that week, and you never witness to your coworkers and classmates.
2. The Christian Subculture and Church Celebrity is magnified during this time. With names like David Platt, Francis Chan, John Piper, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Lecrae, and Jesus Culture, sometimes we have the propensity to place all of the value on the singer/speaker and none of the value on the Lord. We cannot continue to exalt men at a conference that is supposed to be about exalting God.
3. Sometimes, we tend to place all of the importance on large events, and forget that our walk with God lies on a day to day basis. If we continue to rely on large retreats/camps/conferences like passion to fuel our walk with Christ, then we have no walk at all. If you do not walk with Christ on a daily basis, Passion will do very little to help your walk with God.
I am extremely grateful for Passion Conference, Louie Giglio and all of the others that spend their time and energy to put on Passion. Some of the greatest worship experiences I have had came at Passion. But I beg you: if you are going to Passion for any reason other than the fact that you want to see God’s name lifted high, stay home.