The conclusion of The Cult of Personality...
The antidote to the cult of personality is a firm grasp of the biblical message. We are fools if we put our hope in men, even the very best of men. Our hope must be in the Lord alone. Everyone says this but afterwards many turn around and line up behind their heroes. Only the Lord can build the church precious stone upon precious stone because only he has the power of the new birth and only he is able to bring sinners to himself. It does not matter how well organized we are, or how many books we have published. or blogs we write, what matters is that we do our best and then wait on God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. At the end of the day it is not our cleverness that will win the battle. Nor is it the power of our personalities. The pervasive effects of sin are only reversed when God acts in saving power. We do not need more conferences and pep-rallies, we need more seasons of prayer, the bravery to step outside of our comfort zones, stick-to-itiveness in the face of opposition, and patience that waits on the Lord knowing that he is never in a hurry. It is not about brand names but about the name of Jesus. No one has a corner on the truth, and no church leader speaks exclusively for God, and no one speaks for God at all unless they reflect what is found in the scriptures. We do not need more clones or followers but workers. We need to know where God has clearly spoken in scripture and where he has not, and we need to make much of Jesus as the only one who can do us any ultimate good.
In short, we need balance. There is a fine balance between honoring our leaders but not treating them as if they are infallible. We need to train, plan, and execute our plans without forgetting that it is God who works in us according to his good pleasure. We need to broaden our horizons and see that God works in many different ways through many different people. He is not beholden to one particular group or way of doing things. He works through all sorts of different human vessels to accomplish his purposes. Many times he delights to use those who are weak and foolish in the eyes of the world to confound the strong, the wise and the attractive.
As Christians we are called to resemble Jesus who was not fooled by outward appearances but was deeply concerned about matters of the heart. He did the right thing and was not merely concerned about making the right impression. When he gathered a crowd he told them the truth whether they liked it or not, and though he walked with God on earth in the days of his ministry, he lived in light of eternity. He is our role model and star! The irony is that the more we are like him and different from our “star” obsessed culture, the more we have something substantial to say and the more people will actually sit up and take notice. The hard truth is that the best of us has little to offer in ourselves. There is no sense pretending otherwise. It is far better to acknowledge our bankruptcy and make much of Christ. The cult of personality must go! Or in the words of John the Baptist – “Jesus must become greater and I must become less” (John 3:30).