Saturday, November 04, 2006
I've been doing some thinking about this Ted Haggard story. For those of you who don't know, he was a well-known pastor in Colorado Springs who resigned this week over sexual immorality. Shock, outrage, disbelief. All are among a common set of responses that people, mainly Christian, have to this story. While I would probably fall into this category had I known the man personally, mine is a little bit different reaction. There is a rising phenomenon today, called the Celebrity Chef, that I find fascinating. Why on earth are we celebrating such a basic, common skill? Why have we elevated the ability to cook to rock star status? Here's my idea. Institutions need rock stars to survive. Hollywood knows this very well. They create them, and we let them. We set the rock star apart in our mind as special, as better than, as other. Is Rachel Ray really a better cook than your wife? Is Paula Deen any better than your grandmother? But Food Network is not going to put your wife or grandma on TV because they are ordinary, and nobody tunes into ordinary. This is why we crave the rock star. The church has done the same thing. It name drops all the time, just read the recommendations of any "Christian" book. "Max Lucado says about...." "Beth Moore writes..." "Henry Blackaby gives two thumbs up about...." Why do we do this? Its because you won't go to a conference with Ernest Goodman as the keynote speaker. Why? You have no idea who he is, even though he might have some really good things to say. But you will shell out the geet to hear Bill Hybels or Rick Warren tell you something you could probably come up on your own, if you gave yourself the benefit of the doubt and just believed that you're as smart as they are. Ted Haggard is just a dude like you and me, sits on the same kind of toilet you and I did this morning. But we've made men like him to be rock stars for us, then get pissed when they fail and we find out they are no different. Maybe incidents like this can remind us that the essense of ministry, like cooking, is a basic, simple skill for everyone. You don't need Iron Pastor.