Celebrity in a post-virtue culture

I watched briefly some of the NFL draft on ESPN. (Jaylen Ramsey was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, so the FSU standout will be staying in Florida.) I watched with interest how some of the young future millionaires handled themselves.

Some of the guys were playing to the cameras. Dressed in flashy clothes which in at least one case went to the extreme, they seemed to be playing the part assigned them. I’m sure it was an exciting night for teams, players, families and fans, but it was in some way, also sad.

Laremy Tunsil was predicted to be a top pick, but when he tweeted a weird video of himself smoking a gas mask bong, he dropped to 13th pick.  He said his account was hacked and one news site reported a dispute with his father in law, so maybe he was being truthful. But, Tunsil said that the video itself, which was taken a couple of years ago, was real and it was him. In addition, he also admitted to accepting payments from an Ole Miss coach, which is a violation of NCAA rules.

It seems that some men (and women) have a great deal of talent, but no inner character to properly guide and steward that talent. They misuse their abilities, and in a way, we misuse their abilities. We have many so called heroes, who are really just objects for others to idolize. And, we watch through media as they inevitably crash and burn.

David French, in a telling article about the reaction to the death of Prince, said it best, “In our post-virtue culture, we worship celebrity and talent not for its own sake but for ourselves. Their talent is all about us. Their fame is for our amusement.”

Perhaps deep down some of the athletes know that they are nothing more than objects of idol worship as long as they produce. Without their unique skills, they mean nothing to most of us.  But, they are not the idols. We who worship them are. It is worship of self that frees us to, with abandon, place athletes, musicians, and actors on pedestals so we can watch with pleasure as they fall.

We want some of what they have in talent and fame, and in our jealousy for not having it ourselves, we can enjoy when they lose it.

So, we should remember that they may be overnight millionaires, but all that money won’t buy them the character they need to handle the riches they will receive. We should instead of enjoying their fall, consider ourselves as no better. We are all in need of a savior. Perhaps instead, we should pray for them and for their families. They all will definitely need it, because life is about to change and not necessarily for the better.

Read David French at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/434593/prince-death-celebrity-worship-spiritually-empty

Read this (daily Bible reading):
Luke 23
44   It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, 45 because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. 46 And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.” Saying this, He breathed His last.

47   When the centurion saw what happened, he began to glorify God, saying, “This man really was righteous!” 48 All the crowds that had gathered for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, went home, striking their chests. 49 But all who knew Him, including the women who had followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

50   There was a good and righteous man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, 51 who had not agreed with their plan and action. He was from Arimathea, a Judean town, and was looking forward to the kingdom of God. 52 He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Taking it down, he wrapped it in fine linen and placed it in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever been placed. 54 It was preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with Him from Galilee followed along and observed the tomb and how His body was placed. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

24:1   On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. 5 So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground.

“Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men. 6 “He is not here, but He has been resurrected! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” 8 And they remembered His words.

9   Returning from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven and to all the rest. 10 Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them were telling the apostles these things. 11 But these words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the women. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. When he stooped to look in, he saw only the linen cloths. So he went home, amazed at what had happened.

One prayer to pray with the rest of us. 
Dear Lord, bring Godly counsel into the lives of those men about to enter the NFL. Help me to remember that with triumph or trials, they and I need your grace and mercy.

Today’s assignment, should you choose to accept it.
Do something today to strengthen your character.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Used by Permission HCSB ©1999,2000,2002,2003,2009 Holman Bible Publishers. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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