I don’t know if you’ve had this problem, but lately I’ve found myself continually disheartened by much of what I’m reading from a few “celebrity” pastors on Twitter, Facebook and their blogs, to say nothing of the fuss that ensues. And frankly, it’s all a little bit tiring. So, I did the most helpful thing I could: I stopped following them. Here’s why I did, and why you might want to consider doing the same:
1. The Bible says so. Seriously. Christians are to have nothing to do with those who stir up divisions (Titus 3:10). Jude calls those who do worldly (Jude 19); Paul says such a person is warped, sinful and self-condemned (Titus 3:11). While I want to be careful in saying this, if a pastor—or anyone else for that matter—is quarrelsome, constantly stirring up controversy, being contentious or otherwise consistently acting in a way that is unbefitting of the conduct of a Christian, don’t give them an ear.
Instead of giving them an ear… Pray for them, just as we are (hopefully) praying for the leaders in authority over us. Remember, they’re just as sinful as we are. If our perceptions aren’t off and they’re really as bad as it seems from their social media habits, God will deal with them in His time.
2. They don’t care what you think. Celebrity pastors don’t really give a rip what you have to say in response to whatever they’ve tweeted or blogged that’s offended you. That might be a bit pessimistic, but here’s the thing: these guys hopefully have a lot of people in their lives to whom they are directly accountable. But you are not one of them. Without question, these pastors should be mindful to steward the influence they’ve been afforded carefully. And many are less careful than they ought to be, which is to their shame. God has placed their elders in their lives to hold them accountable and responsible for what they say and do—and if those men fail or their counsel goes unheeded, then God will deal with it.
Instead of trying to hold them accountable yourself... Pray for those in authority over them. Everyone has an authority over them, including celebrity pastors. And these men have been given the hard task of overseeing someone with a great deal of influence—so pray that God would give them clarity of mind and great courage to rebuke and correct them when required.
3. Focusing on someone else’s folly will only lead you to sin. The more time you spend being offended by something a celebrity pastor says, the more opportunities you’re giving the devil to gain a foothold. You really don’t have the time to be focusing on whatever insulting, shameful and ignorant thing they say.
Instead of nursing the wound… Forgive them and move on. Again, God will deal with them in His time and he will deal with those who foolishly squander their influence, foster division among God’s people or (God forbid) lead men and women into ungodliness through their “irreverent babble” (2 Tim. 2:16). Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by continuing to focus on their folly. Instead, “let all bitterness…be put away from you” (Eph. 4:31) and forgive them “as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).