Brant, in only the way His Hansen Greatness can, writes the short-titled post, Turns Out Gary Smalley Didn’t Have It All Together, but Kinda Acted Like He did, but Now He Actually Does, So No Worries.
Bad news: Gary Smalley was actually "cold and dead inside" while he was a big-shot leader churning out the Christian book hits.
Good news: Everything’s cool now, seriously.
Smalley writes in the latest Focus on the Family newsletter-thing: "Restored How I lost my love for God and how I got it back again."
Huh? It’s a neat story, kept kinda generic, but makes me wonder: "Did we miss something? How do we go straight from, ‘I’ve got it all together’, to ‘Okay, I didn’t have it all together, but now I do’…?"
Michael Spenser (in a possible fit of Shakespearean level hyperbole) calls Brant "the best blogger in the world" and riffs right along with the Handsome Hanster,
If you never did believe Gary Smalley or John Maxwell or Max Lucado or Brian Mclaren or John Macarthur or Charles Spurgeon were ever worth the celebrity treatment we give them, what’s wrong with you? If you happen to believe that the Gospel puts us all on equal footing and celebrity categories don’t apply, what’s wrong with you?
If you don’t believe God anointed so and so to sing that song, you must just be unable to discern what the Spirit is doing. That must be your problem.
If you are not impressed by the adulation of preachers or the adoration of singers promoted as spiritual leaders, there must be something wrong with you.
If you believe the entire Christian celebrity culture is a dangerous and polluted waste of mind, heart and money, you must just want to be difficult.
If you believe that those following Jesus closely are quite unlikely to be loved by millions of worldly, culture bound Christians, you must be looking at things in a very distorted way.
I have it on real authority that a book deal is in the works from Zondervan or Baker or Nelson…well one of those fine Christian publishers, for the dashing duo Spenser and Hansen…or Hansen and Spenser – that hasn’t been worked out by their lawyers yet. But I’ll surely be standing in line to buy their T-shirts and get them to autograph my copy of their book.
Although Spenser may have blown the deal with this paragraph,
What we honor, adore, spend money on and fill our time with largely defines us. It’s the goal of evangelical celebrity culture to make us buy a product or become a consumer, not to see us become like Jesus in character, community and mission. If you seek his kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven, you won’t be popular and you won’t spend time giving undue attention to any person. You’ll be able to receive the ministry of other Christians as the ministry of the Holy Spirit, but you won’t become a lemming in the stream of consumeristic evangelicalism.