Celebrity YouTube Culture In Christian Churches Is Damaging The Image Of Christendom

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I’m a big user of Facebook, WordPress and YouTube, but I am not a big user of any others like Twitter or Instagram which I deleted a long time ago. I’ve no time for all this social media it’s too much for a 36 year old man.

My blog already takes up most of my time and I write mostly to keep myself sane and on track. I’m aware that I’ve very few followers so little in fact that I’m not on the theological radar of any Church or persons at all except for the well intentioned spies who seem to think my writing is immature and reported me to the Bishop. I don’t write for money or self display. I never write with an intent to damage any Christian Church at all for I show respect for all the baptized in Christ Jesus.

Therefore the local churches reaction to my blog and social media account perplexed me more than my blog did them. I don’t like that kind of attention and it’s the reason why I deleted my blog in the past. You’re going to laugh at why I deleted my last blog but to me it was a big deal. I deleted it because one day it got over 100 views and so I decided that was 100 too much and deleted it. For me a small community is much better than a large one. I’m fearful of becoming corrupt you see being aware of the limitations of the little faith I have.

I write simply to leave behind something traceable that my sons and their grandsons will have to remember me by. What will they have to remember? An unemployed spiritually deluded fool perhaps but my plan is at least to get those great great grandsons of mine who have swerved from faith in Christ regain a renewed joy in Christianity. Maybe from reading my blog and writings a newfound love for me will in turn spark a fresh love for their Christian faith.

I don’t normally publicly shame priests at least not in person whether they be Orthodox or Catholic doesn’t matter as all belong to Christ and are part of the apostolic lineage. If I do complain about some theologian I might name him but I’m doing so consciously aware that only one or two read this blog and it’s always to do with his behaviour and not the person himself. I’m aware of the fact that the secular world couldn’t be bothered with theological debates so such complaints are unlikely to cause problems for the image of Christianity. I don’t complain about their personal sins. I don’t remember ever having articles that do that. The reason for this is because I view Christianity as a community which (despite our differences) needs to take care that the name of Christ is not derided by the world because we are not living the Gospel we read or preach.

Christianity at the moment has developed for itself a Celebrity culture on social media channels the greatest of which being Facebook and YouTube. Names like Taylor Marshall and Michael Voris regularly pop up in my feed. Many theologians like Scott Hahn have developed a fan base to the point where it’s like a Beatles situation and they’re having women throw themselves at them. One comment I read a long time ago regarding one of these theological famous persons was by a woman. It read (not an exact quote), “I wish his wife would die so I could marry him.”

Being a musician I know what it’s like to have women throwing themselves at you. Coming into into the Catholic Church it didn’t take long for me to realize that while there are women who find a man who can play the guitar attractive, likewise there are women who find an intellectual man attractive even though he be butt ugly. I recall in his homilies on marriage and family life, St.John Chrysostom had something to say about how it’s always the ugly ones who have great faith that are married the longest while the good looking type split after a year. I laughed. If he had said that today, the Bishop would be on him faster than me about my comments regarding the vaccine mandates.

I really like Saint John. He’s so well balanced theologically that he encapsulates what the Church used to look like in its simplicity before it became all “woke”. Upon opening the pages of one of his homilies you can tell you’re reading the words of a decent ordinary man. What do I mean by that? I mean to say that he’s in no way effeminate and neither extremely conservative nor liberal. He even may have been a handsome guy. I notice that about Greek Orthodox priests is that the majority are not ugly by any means yet they choose that vocation.

I had a conversation with a Catholic friend once who said to me, “Have you not noticed the majority of Nuns are a wee bit on the ugly side? Like, They’re not attractive?” I replied that although it would be uncharitable to criticize their sincere calling it’s impossible not to recognize that when it comes to the worlds physical standards of beauty they’re not attractive. . . no.

It seems that most priests and nuns are unattractive because they were not marriage materiel to begin with and so chose Holy orders or religious life instead. Then they end up going off the rails because no sincere calling was there to begin with (at least I don’t think so). When I went on a live-in vocational weekend with the Redemptorist in 2008 I noticed the majority of hopefuls were intellectual nerds and far from attractive. But we know as Christians that is not important, right?

I’ve digressed. The celebrity culture in Christianity has really opened the gate wide for abuse. As one psychologist noted that the higher a person goes in Church leadership the more they are in danger of becoming corrupt. Therefore they’re doing great as it was, but when authority and fame goes to their head, then much like the Red Sea swallowed the Egyptians, it consumes them and they spiritually drown with very little hope of floating to the surface of virtuous life again. They are forever doomed to what I have coined, “The administrative spirit” and become neither hot nor cold in the faith. They are now more or less simply Chancery personnel.

Self Styled Orthodox and Catholic celebrities are no different. The more famous they become on YouTube, the greater the danger of spiritual prelest. I even think some of them are humbly aware of that. Whenever you create a channel or blog you have to ask yourself, “WHY am I doing this and what purpose does it serve the Church and community?” Some of these YouTube videos are usually by people who assume they can fix their churches problems by personally attacking their Bishops, Patriarchs and Popes.

However, I’ve always failed to see what this achieves? Whenever I had a problem, I might have in my younger years whined and moaned about it to a very limited audience on Facebook. I won’t name the priest on Facebook but I would have put it in such a way like, “this priest at mass said, this. . . that can’t be right can it?”. People would respond, “Tell your Bishop”. And that’s that. But after a year or two I stopped doing even that.

For the most part I’d simply report it to the local Bishop who almost always never responded. This is what most people do, and unable to deal with the frustration of a lethargic Bishop who refused to reprimand the priest, they go ahead and create YouTube Channels. “I’ll show him. I’ll expose him.” It makes no sense because it never works. . . ever. In fact the desire to expose them to the world is really an act of vengeance that is from the Devil and does not come from a place that seeks to leave it to God and pursue healing.

I’d simply write the Bishop, leave it in his hands. I’d never hear back from him and I sort of give a nod and wink to the Lord and say, “He’s in your hands now Lord” and most of all, PRAY FOR HIM. Yeah, if a Bishop is behaving like he shouldn’t, if you cannot forgive him or tell him to his face that you sincerely love him, then your motives are from the Devil. If you create all the YouTube channels in the world that criticize the shortcomings of your Church and priests and yet lack love and forgiveness for their failings? Then it’s easy to see who is behind your motivation to become a religious YouTube sensation.

Why should you take advice from an unemployed and uneducated person without even a high school diploma I’ve no idea. However, I do invite you to reconsider your engagement with this element of your Churches which is only further damaging the possible unity of a Church that will be Orthodox and unified as it once was in the beginning. If in your churches you are all divided of what hope do all the Churches have of uniting? If all the Churches are divided and have not returned to the true Orthodox faith, of what hope can there be for everyone to enter it? There are steps to unity and those steps begin from within your own communities and work towards addressing the division of all Christian faiths.

I think it’s ugly to see this infighting. It has shaken my faith to observe these problems. If it can shake my faith who studies theology and have engaged with Christianity for so long how do you think it will appear to a newcomer? Why would anyone choose to become part of a faith that criticizes one another and publishes the sins of their clergy so publicly in front of a major public audience?

When we see family do this on chat shows we shake our heads in disapproval and we see the shame in divulging such personal problems to the world. Tell me, should we not do the same when members of our Church do similar with their YouTube Channels? Come on. . . it makes sense. When John the Baptist rebuked the Pharisees he didn’t do it on YouTube but kept it within the community for the people listening were mostly a limited audience of Jews. I mention this only because those who seek to justify such behaviour often use him as an example. This is why I speak only on this blog, to a limited audience and most definitely Facebook which is even more limited now I removed the spy who became troubled by my posts.

We must end division in our Churches. By ending this division we can then see clearly the path back towards Orthodoxy. Right now the vision to that unity remains blurred due to our own division within our Churches and pursuing Careers and audiences to listen to us on YouTube. Let go of that. Go feed the hungry, clothe the naked and give water to those who thirst. Roll up your sleeves and switch off the YouTube and get to work.

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