I once heard a song lyric that said, “all my role models are on TV for the wrong reasons.” This means that how someone represents themselves in public doesn’t necessarily align with the internal world inside that person’s heart.
Because of that, having a role model of any kind can be a problematic thing, based on my own experience.
Are Christian Artists Better than Secular Ones?
Having someone who inspires you can be quite motivating as long as that person doesn’t become your golden statue. Whether they’re well-known singers or YouTube stars, it’s fun to enjoy their content with other fans.
There are also many celebrities out there tagged as “Christian” in their brand. Is this a good thing? Well . . . depends. And here’s why it can get problematic.
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When a superstar advertises themselves as a “Christian” artist, the eyes of the public are on that person, pressuring them to meet the standard of how a Christian is supposed to appear. This can lead to walking the perfect fake faith walk as part of some marketing ploy. In this sense, being Christian becomes nothing more than an empty label.
I’m sure there are tons of genuinely Christian artists out there, but the truth is, unless you know them personally, you can never know for sure.
Secular artists can be Christians behind the scenes, too. Some may even be more genuinely Christian in their personal lives, simply because they possess more creative freedom—their faith isn’t part of the branding deal.
Some may even allude to Christian symbolism in their art without explicitly stating the meaning behind it. Superficially, we come away with the idea that their faith is real . . . but what does that really mean? They’re not obligated to walk the walk as long as they’re professing the faith publicly. They’re not obligated to demonstrate their Christian beliefs in their daily life.
Does That Mean We Shouldn’t Follow Them?
It’s fine to be a fan, as long as you’re always following Jesus first, rather than a celebrity—Christian or otherwise. Since there is no way of knowing for sure if a celebrity is sincere, perhaps it’s best to ignore whether it says “Christian” in the tag. Instead, look at the art itself and what it stands for.
Does it align with what you personally believe in? Does it contradict what you believe as a Christian? More importantly, is it damaging to your faith?
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Maybe the art does resonate with your personal beliefs. Maybe it teaches you something new. Maybe it just touches your heart in a meaningful way, even if it doesn’t align directly with scripture.
Putting Jesus first will help us understand the effects, harmless or otherwise, that art has on us. In the end, we should always remember Matthew’s guidepost:
“You will know them by their fruit.”Matthew 7:16