Monday, December 18th, 2017, popular KPOP group SHINee loses member Jonghyun to apparent suicide.
Earlier this year, the frontman of the world-famous American rock band Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, was also found dead from suicide by hanging.
There are numerous other cases of suicides this year by celebrities; Chris Cornell of The Soundgarden, Tommy Page, and Daryl Easton upon others (the more notable names).
Though the circumstance of each celebrity was vastly different, many, if not all of them shared many traits: suffering from symptoms of Depression, usage of drugs and medicines to treat anxiety, loneliness, hopelessness.
The Entertainment Industry of not only the United States, but of nations around the world such as the mentioned KPOP industry of South Korea is the host of idols, role models, accomplished peoples, and vastly known names; also known as celebrities.
The role of celebrities according to the Bible is a tricky subject. Few verses mention fame:
“So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.” (Joshua 6:27)
“Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. Solomon's wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was known in all the surrounding nations.” (1 Kings 4:29-34)
A common theme here seems to be that fame and recognition, according to the Bible, are attributes granted by God.
When we look at the Entertainment Industry, we can all nod our heads together when I say that it does not seem likely that God has given these celebrities their fame, when we look at how they received the fame, why they receive fame, and what they are famous for.
The Bible does strongly state by God’s word, “You shall have no other gods before me” as part of the Ten Commandments. Celebrities, with their god-like authoritative presence and their large followings that can almost seem cultish, can seem like gods who are trying to take the place of the real God.
But as I follow the Entertainment Industry closely, and observe different act after act, model after model, performer after performer, I can’t help but truly wonder about the role of celebrities in our lives.
They aren’t there for no reason. They do have a purpose; just like every single one of us non-celebrities do as we follow our own callings outside of the limelight.
As I watch popular moguls like Kim Kardashian, or sold-out acts like Maroon 5, I realize more and more just how much influence these celebrities have on people, worldwide.
After Kim Kardashian decided to revitalize the mobile game industry with her application Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, 40 million people around the world also decided to hop back onto the mobile game platform and download her game.
When Tim Tebow, famously sported John 3:16 on his cheeks during a nationally broadcasted football game, over 1 million people searched up John 3:16 on internet search engines.
If these celebrities can influence the people of the world with their simple actions, how can their negative actions not do the same? What about suicide?
It breaks my heart to think about the epidemic, which has taken over the United States where a suicide happens every 13 minutes according to USA Today.
And that number is said to be underreported due to the stigma surrounding suicide. People don’t want to talk about it; they avert their eyes and ears.
I wonder, how bad can your life be, that you want to end it?
There is no hope in this Entertainment Industry without Jesus.
“In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)
We believers, have hope. Hope shields us from Depression. Hope shields us from Loneliness. Hope shields us from feeling like we aren’t good enough. Hope shields us from the lies of the enemy.
We cannot just stand back and watch, as these celebrities, who have so much influence in the world, live such hopeless lives. Whether from the enemy or from God, these celebrities have fame for a reason.
They are the prime targets. They have everything the world wants: Fame, Glory, Money, Power, Recognition, Honor, Appearances. Yet, they show the world that these all mean nothing, when they show their weaknesses.
What if we placed celebrities in our mission field? What if we targeted these trumpets, and showed them the love of Christ? Wouldn’t their messages change? Wouldn’t their influence shift, to showing the love of Christ to their mass followings? Wouldn’t it reach thousands? Millions? Wouldn’t they lead hopeful lives and show the world how Jesus Christ is the number one fulfillment above all earthly riches, glory, and fame compared to their hopeless friends who are still in the dark?
This is not a call for everyone to drop their dreams and rush into the entertainment industry.
This is a call for those of you, who have suppressed your artistic, creative, beautiful, God-given dreams of working in the Entertainment Industry because of its anti-Christian stigma, to pursue more “Christian”-like callings. For you, and, for me.
don’t avert your eyes and ears anymore.