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Hollyweird and Worship
Perspective on the News
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Rebecca Droeger

Over the past decade, the growth in Reality Television has skyrocketed to unbelievable heights.  It seems like if one is willing to forgo a little dignity, desires to have a chance at winning a large sum of money, and have a chance at fame, no price seems too high to pay.

Back at the turn of the Millennia, shows like Fear Factor and Survivor were huge successes.  I kept wondering, “what’s the appeal?”  These shows would showcase guests and their survival aptitude.  Guests would accomplish daring feats in order to see who would make it to the end. 

Of course, one of the tasks always entailed eating something gross, and usually involved something with several legs and disgustingly slimy.  I thought to myself, “sure, it’s scary to have something like that crawl all over your body; but eating it is not really scary, it’s just nasty!”

Without knocking those who find this form of entertainment enjoyable, I used to wonder why people would willingly subject themselves to such humiliation by coming on these shows.  Other than the promise of winning the large prize, I think more of the motive has to do with fame.

This led me to ask, “What makes fame so appealing?”  After all, I used to dream of being famous one day.  I used to want to be an actress because it looked like so much fun.  I could be somebody else for awhile, and everyone would love me.

Then, it dawned on me; the appeal is adoration.  By being famous, you have the ability to be loved and adored by the public.

So, I thought, “Why does one need to fulfill the need of being adored by everyone?”  I carefully prayed about it, and then it came to me “because it goes back to the age-old lie of ‘ye shall be as gods’ that Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5).”

Self-worship is the ancient trap that Satan keeps ensnaring us in over and over.  It has manifested itself differently through various societies over the course of history:  aspirations of ruling over others, power, wealth; but in the modern-day Western culture, the trap most often used is the desire to be famous.

The fact that someone would do anything and everything to be on TV, or for the chance to win fame and fortune just proves how far someone is willing to go to get what they want.  They’re willing to sacrifice all of their self-worth just to be idolized or worshipped by the masses.

Over the years, fame has perverted the minds of many celebrities that have enjoyed the frills of the limelight for an extended period of time.  Hollywood has had its fair share of famed-out celebrities such as River Phoenix, Heath Ledger and Corey Haim.  Other industries are not immune to the effects of fame: from Sports celebrities like Tiger Woods’ and Magic Johnson’s sex escapades, to political figures such as Bill Clinton or John Edwards.

These individuals were worshipped for so long that they thought they were immune to the normal rules of human life.  They thought they could get away with overindulgences with drugs or sex and did not think of the ultimate consequences it would have on their lives or those that they loved.

The latest and one of the saddest examples of the effect of too much fame involves musician and actress Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana).  As a child actress and a self-professed Christian, many young girls grew up with Miley as a role model.  Young girls everywhere would sing her songs or watch her show on the Disney Channel.

Now that Miley is older, she is trying to remain “mainstream.”  She’s competing for the attention of the girls who were once children and are now teenagers.  Many of these same girls listen to sexually-explicit artists like Lady Gaga.

Miley’s video and concert wardrobe has regressed to skimpy clothing and her dancing, while tame compared to Lady Gaga, has become more sexually aggressive.

Her poor choices in trying to hold on to that worship and fame could have a tremendous impact on those who used to look up to her.

Even though I was never a regular fan of the Hannah Montana enterprise or Miley Cyrus, when I saw one of her newer videos when my niece was over, I became very upset.  It seemed like just the other day that Miley was a little girl; and now she was acting like an irresponsible adult. 

I shook my head and said some prayers for my niece and my daughter; because one day, they’ll be in a position to conform to the demands that society suggests is “normal;” or, they can be aware of the difference in what society sees as “right,” yet do what God set out as right.

John 15:19 “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

Fame can be used for good, but too much power in anyone’s hands can lead to self-destruction.  Disease, torn relationships, addiction and death can all be consequences of uncontrolled power.  Worst of all, it could lead to separation from Christ; because when you’re too busy worshipping yourself, how would you ever have room to put someone else above you?

About Rebecca Droeger

Last week: Making Sense of the Disappearance of Millions

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