We live in a new day in the church. The revolution of technology has changed much of what we see. Where at one point men might travel across state or even between states to see a great man preach, today we simply click download or stroll by a satellite campus. John Piper, Rick Warren, Life Church, The Village… all just a few clicks away.
This opportunity has given churches the opportunity to have greater influence, larger audiences, and possibly a wider impact. It has also opened up a problem that has existed from the beginning of the church. It has created preacher idols. It has lifted men to the level of celebrity not just locally but globally.
In the early church, divisions began to form over which apostle men would follow. It shows in 1 Corinthians 1:12-13 “What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
Today many follow that same struggle of following the preacher over the God who commissioned the preacher. Are these men who are broadcast over mass media evil? No. The problem of Preacher Idolatry is not in the preacher but in the way we view the preacher.
Simply, an Idol is anything that becomes more important than God. Can preachers, churches, or religion become idols? Yes, when we raise them up above the God who created them. We are not called to follow preachers but called to follow God.
Here’s the challenge for today — ask yourself, “What things do I hold above God?”