Is this post about the worship of celebrities, or is it about celebrities who worship? You decide.
I had a pretty cool job at the Passion Manila event—I guarded the “VIP” entrance and seating section. I didn’t ask for it—I simply told them to put me wherever I was needed. They chose a few of us bigger guys to guard certain entrances/sections.
I had to keep people out of this particular entrance as the crowd flooded into the venue. This was not a big deal—everyone was very respectful.
I stood inside the door of the VIP section after things got started. A little later I noticed some commotion outside the door. I peaked out and saw a very well known celebrity heading in. A few people took pictures with him before we ushered him inside. One young fan arrived seconds too late to get her coveted picture. She was beside herself with excitement and disappointment: “Anong gagawin ko—anong gagawin ko!? (what will I do),” she said in a frantic, quivering voice.
The same thing happened a little later—an equally famous, good-looking celebrity came in. I helped usher him in after a few people snapped photos. I recognized his face, but I had to ask some of my friends who he was (I’m not completely in the loop when it comes to this kind of thing).
So there I was—a temporary “bodyguard” of sorts for two of the most famous men in the Philippines. I guess I would have tried to meet them, but there was no way to do this without disturbing their worship. I was there to keep that from happening.
All of us have probably wondered what it would be like to be famous. There are many perks, but this night made me more keenly aware of the drawbacks. Consider some of the dilemmas of celebrity status:
Always being the center of attention
I can relate to this, albeit on a very small scale. Try looking like Mr. Clean and walking down an alley in Pasay, Taguig, or Malabon. The attention can be a little overwhelming (especially for an introvert), but I’ve learned to adjust.
I can only imagine what it is like to be a celebrity—one thousand times more extreme than anything I’ve experienced. One of the before-mentioned young men got a call on his cell phone during the event. He went out into the lobby and crouched in the corner behind a large sign. He had to keep a low profile in order to have a quick conversation in peace.
Carefully planning every move you make
The before-mentioned men arrived late and left early. They had no choice. They would have been swamped with fans if they had stayed until everyone was dismissed. Several people dropped by after the concert, hoping to catch a glimpse of them (not realizing they had already left). I’m guessing simple things like going to McDonalds or watching a movie aren’t so simple when you are famous. Imagine not having the freedom to go out without planning for security, etc.
Celebrities’ personal lives are the topic of endless gossip. Their relationship problems, failures, and mistakes come under public scrutiny. What if everyone knew about your relationship problems? What if everyone spent their time speculating about problems/relationships you don’t even have?
It seems there are quite a few movie actors and singers here who really want to follow Jesus. I praise God for this, but I bet it is challenging. Consider the temptations that such men and women face:
I’m sure it is hard to stay pure when gorgeous members of the opposite sex are constantly throwing themselves at you.
Actors/singers are offered large sums of money to compromise (appear in sexy ads, etc). I’m not excusing those who compromise, but I wonder how many of us would be able to maintain our standards when put under such pressure.
Everyone notices when a Christian celebrity falls short. I’m not excusing anyone’s sin, but I’d hate to think of my worst moments being public knowledge.
So, do you still want to be famous? Think about it.
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