Americans are fascinated by fame. This attraction is fatal. Romans teaches that the pursuit of fame leads to a great exchange. God’s truth is exchanged for a lie. Man worships and serves things which are created instead of the One who creates:
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator… Romans 1:25
By making this exchange man becomes less of what he could be, not more. If we chose to ignore God, then all that is left is the praise of men. In this setting, man becomes self-absorbed like the inhabitants of Babel:
Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” Genesis 11:4
By building of a great tower people thought they would be famous, that is, they would make a name for themselves. Because of this fame they thought they would have the power to do as they wished. God’s mandate given in Genesis one and repeated to Noah in Genesis nine was that man was to subdue and occupy all of the earth. But the tower builders defied God. The tower was to be a symbol, an idol, that they could live wherever they wanted, even if that meant defying God.
In this year’s Grammy Awards show there was another attempt to build a tower, a monument to the will of man. On a set resembling a chapel, 34 couples, some straight, some same sex, were married during the show in a civil ceremony. Fame produces arrogance. Man, not God, can define marriage as he sees fit.
In the 21st century, America has decided that there is no God to hold in awe. The God of the Bible has been replaced with the concept of spirituality, or gods made in our own image. Our culture worships spirituality, but hates God. The truth is Americans now worship and adore what is famous. We have made stars of those who are addicted to fame, those who would defy God.
Serving at the altar of human fame yields a cruel and bitter end. People actually think they can serve their own pleasures and suffer no consequences. However, fame is a cruel idol. As Andy Warhol observed, 15 minutes of fame passes quickly.
Warn your children about America’s consuming idol of fame. If your children do not worship God, they will worship someone or something else. Model the worship of God for them. Tell them that God alone is glorious. He alone can deliver what he has promised. He alone has the right to tell us how to live. Tell them the dazzling allure of fame blinds the truth that God is not mocked. There is only one name that is worthy of praise. His name is the Lord, the God of heaven and earth!