Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: As people are driven by fame, God wants us to be famous with Him.

Good morning church. I am so excited you have joined us this morning as we continue our series of Bible Teachings, America’s Idols. During the last few weeks we have been looking at America’s Idols. Two weeks ago we discovered the truth about the idol of money. Last week we learned about the idol of success. Today we continue our study of America’s Idols as we look at Fame.

Some people work hard, and as a result earn fame. Michael Phelps is an example of someone who worked hard for fame.

Phelps earned his unprecedented eighth Olympic gold medal of the 2008 Olympics as he swam the butterfly leg of the Americans’ world-record win to close out the swimming competition.

Others are only looking for fame.

In recent Psychology Today Magazine there is the story of "Reskew," is a prolific and talented graffiti artist. He’s wanted by police in Florida and is on probation in New York City.

The thrill of the illicit supercharges Reskew’s quest for artistic glory. "I’ve got a personality that’s addicted to drama. I like the martyrdom of ’they’re wrong and I’m right,’" he says of the nocturnal cat-and-mouse game he plays with the cops. After he’s climbed a billboard, snuck into a subway tunnel, or swung from the beams of an elevated train track, Reskew always sprays his tag in colored bubble letters (even when there’s no time to create an intricate design), so everyone will know he was there.

"In the graffiti community, putting yourself out there is the main thing," he says. "If I don’t do anything, I feel like a nobody. But if my name sticks in someone’s head and then he meets me, it’s like I’m a celebrity."

In his book of photo essays, One Hundred Young Americans, Michael Franzini delivers a rich survey of today’s culturally segmented, MySpace-inhabiting, text message-obsessed youth. It includes a shot of Reskew with his artwork.

"We made a point of getting every possible kind of kid—from a skinhead waiting for a racial holy war, to a guy who wakes up early every morning to go shrimping before school, to a kid who calls himself a vampire," Franzini says.

A trait nearly all these teenagers share, though, is a desire to be famous. "This generation is inundated with reality TV—with people just like them, except well known," Franzini says. "And they seem to have a high need for recognition and approval."

What they don’t know is that the FAME GAME IS dangerous.

Lets look at what the Bible tells us about fame.

First, the desire for FAME clouds your judgment.

Look with me at Genesis 11:4 Then they said to each other, “Let’s build a city and a tower for ourselves, whose top will reach high into the sky. We will become famous. Then we will not be scattered over all the earth.”

This passage is taken from the building of the tower of Babel. The people began to think they could build a tower that would reach all the way to heaven. All the way to God. Their desire for fame caused them to lose all common sense. Their drive to be a celebrity made them begin to build an impossible tower to heaven.

We know the desire for fame has not changed. They were not striving to build a tower to heaven, but in a desire to be famous, Representative Don Young and Senator Ted Stevens pushed for a proposed bridge in Alaskan known as the bridge to nowhere. It was to provide a bridge to a community of less than 100 people at a cost of 398 million tax dollars.

People looking for Fame still have their judgment clouded.

Second, the desire for FAME blinds you to sin.

Psalms 36:1-2 There is no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.

David tells us here that you can become so great in your own eyes that we no longer see our own sins. We begin to flatter ourselves and fail to see our faults.

Susan Boon, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Calgary, and doctoral candidate Christine Lomore asked more than 200 Canadian undergraduates about their attachment to celebrities. The 79 students who expressed strong feelings toward an idol were then asked how seriously they took the relationship, and whether they had ever tried to emulate that person by dressing or behaving like them.

It was discovered a whopping 60 percent admitted that an idol had influenced their attitudes and personal values, including their work ethic and views on morality. And nearly half said that their idol inspired them to pursue activities including acting, sports, becoming a vegetarian or using marijuana.

The desire for FAME clouds your judgment and blinds you to sin.

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