There is a celebrity-like culture that is sweeping through Christianity. It is seen most frequently on social media, or in churches where pastors or worship leaders are magnified to a celebrity level.
Beth Moore recently addressed 5 key things she does to stay accountable and removed from the Christian celebrity culture.
First, she realized she could not trust herself. Moore notes that even though she has been forgiven for her sins, she knows them far too well. She argued that it is important to face those sins in order to see how far you have come.
“The upside of a downward spiral into despair and defeat in young adulthood is that pretty early on, I was forced to face not only the foolish things I had done but also the stark realization that there was likely no end to what I was capable of doing. The parts of my past that I loathe most are those God most uses for my present protection. God forgives our sins and casts them into the depths of the sea—a comfort and relief beyond words—but nonetheless, he does not mind me remembering those sins well. I never walk in front of a group without recalling the pit from which I was rescued and the rock from which I was hewn.”
She continued that part of that accountability transfers over to her listeners, as she is open about her current issues and past failures. She does this so that her listeners can see how much God has changed her life and the importance of accepting his grace.
“As a safeguard to my listeners,” Moore continued. “I also practice personal transparency in my teaching by being open about my present flaws and past failures. I spare them the graphics but try to make sure every audience knows the truth: that God has delivered me from serious strongholds of sin and, if I stand, I stand by grace alone.”
Second, she “doesn’t particularly trust other people.” She explained that over the years she has learned to stay away from the opinions or approval ratings seen on social media. She said she appreciates every person she has been privileged to serve but is fully aware of how “fickle the human heart is.” She knows this from personal experience, as she is human, and has the same thing inside of her.
“I don’t entrust myself to audiences or followers or approval ratings. And I trust no one less than a Christian celebrity-lover. I’ve learned that anyone capable of adoring you is equally capable of abhorring you. I love and appreciate every individual and group I have the privilege to serve, face-to-face or online, and do so wholeheartedly, but I have been around this block enough times to know how fickle the human heart is.The same fickle heart beats in my own chest,” she wrote.
She went on to explain that in the celebrity culture that has become popular, you are frequently told you are loved, but as frequently how much you are hated. She herself has been called a great teacher, other times a false teacher.
“You have not quite lived in this ridiculously silly celebrity culture until you’ve been told one day how loved you are and the next day how hated you are—and sometimes by the same individual,” she wrote. “At any given time I scroll through my Twitter feed, no sooner has someone claimed I’m a fine teacher than another claims I’m a false teacher.”
She continues to break it down citing John 2:24–25, which reads: “But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man” (ESV).
We are called to follow Jesus, and he made a point to point out that he did not trust man, because he knew what was in them.
“I’m not him. I don’t know what is ‘in man,’ but I’ll take his word for it,” Moore continued.
She finished point two by pointing out that the higher a person has been elevated by others, the further they have to fall. 2 Samuel 1:19 reads, “Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen!” (ESV).
Third, she “has a fierce family.” She accredited all authenticity and believability to her husband, Keith Moore, as he has always had no tolerance for self-promotion. From day one he would call out Beth anytime he saw a hint of self-righteousness, and it has made her the person she is today.
“My husband has zero tolerance for pretense, self-righteousness, or self-promotion. In the early days of our marriage, he called out every hint he saw with complete disgust. He’d do the same today, I just try not to give him the opportunity. God alone knows what I owe Keith Moore for any shred of authenticity and believability I possess,” Moore wrote.
She is not the only one in the family who has learned from Keith’s authentic heart, as their daughters followed suit. It has created a close-knit family that calls each other out when needed.
“Over time, my daughters Amanda and Melissa, my son-in-law Curtis [Jones], and I all took up Keith’s lack of tolerance for inauthenticity. It’s been a good way for us to live—not failsafe, but good. We Moores and Joneses are a close-knit group. We don’t mind getting into one another’s business,” Moore wrote.
She also credits her church family for keeping her in line. She loves serving the local church, even though she runs a large ministry.
“I also have a fierce church family. I have no idea where on earth I’d be if I’d detached from a local body of believers. One reason why losing a large-group ministry (Living Proof) doesn’t hang as a huge threat over my head is that I genuinely like serving the local church. As long as I can serve somebody, I can be happy,” she wrote.
Fourth, “We try to keep the ground level at Living Proof.” She details their small staff that are all great friends. They pray together, serve together, eat together, and share transparency together. They keep each other grounded and work in a healthy environment. She also keeps Living Proof financially accountable, as they are subjected to financial audits each year to keep the seal from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
“We are a small in-house staff, maxed out at about 16 employees. I don’t like schmoozing, and they don’t schmooze. We are good friends who share a great deal of transparency with one another. We pray together, often eat lunch together, and serve together. I don’t have gatekeepers who forbid employees direct access to me, whether to question something I’m doing or something other staff members are doing. Though we naturally have supervisors and support staff, no one is esteemed above anyone else. We’re a long shot from the ideal staff, but we continually pursue a healthy environment.We also subject Living Proof Ministries to an annual financial audit so that we can maintain our ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) seal. I have godly board members who can and do question anything that is unclear or of concern to them,” she wrote.
She also has a tight-knit group of five people who keep her accountable, in all things, especially those that go beyond the public eye. They help each other through both the good and the bad, at all times.
“I also have an accountability group made up of five people who know the hard details of my life and all my current personal challenges. Their purpose, along with praying for me, is to hold me accountable to godliness in matters beyond the public eye. I can contact them day or night and they, me. We have been through a lot of crises together.”
Moore’s fifth and final point was that she, “tries not to quench the Holy Spirit.”
“The first reason why: I love Jesus. He’s all that has ever really worked for me. I want his presence. I want Scripture to be animated by his Spirit and alive in my bones. I want to sense him. Hear him. Be led by him. Used by him. I want to experience him. His presence is not always discernable to me; nevertheless, those are the things I live and long for.
The second reason: The Holy Spirit is really all that makes this Bible teaching ministry work. If I quench him often enough or long enough, this ministry will wither and die. (The scariest part is that I may be the last to know.) Instead, I want my life to bear supernatural fruit that lasts through eternity and glorifies God, and when I die, I want there to be no explanation for my life but Jesus.
She also expressed the importance of not believing what people say about you. If you are in the public eye you need to realize the celebrity culture can lead to a life of self-praising.
“Any of us in the public eye must remember: Never, ever believe your own press, and pray to develop a hypersensitive gag reflex regarding your own importance. The celebrity culture we navigate is terrifying,” Moore wrote. “Only the foolish have no fear of it. There is a trapdoor at the foot of every podium, and pastors, teachers, and speakers can get swallowed whole. The addictions and distractions (including social media) are endless and, if God has given us a platform, it requires deep trust and comes with furious tests. In the hair-raising words of Daniel 4:37, “those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”
“Most of the time, I feel like I’m skating on thin ice. If that ice should break and send me flailing into those frigid waters, I have to trust that Jesus will come and rescue me. He’s done it before. Thank God for the Cross.”
(H/T: Christianity Today)