All this week, the writers of Christ and Pop Culture unveil their 25 most loved things of 2013.
Previous #11: Netflix and Hulu
#10: Pope Francis
My favorite thing about Pope Francis is that he does normal Christian stuff and people are all, “Holy Smokes This Guy Ammirite?” He helps the homeless, touches the sick and disfigured with his real live actual hands, and he’s put himself out there as being against the “cult of money.” Look, these are admirable things. Things that believers ought to be known for doing—and things that regular believers are doing every day. That the world goes crazy for this guy when his personal life choices merely reflect what we see in Christ’s commands ought to tell us something profound.
Thinking about it, power doesn’t seem to mix well with normal Christian stuff, which is what makes this guy a standout. He’s got power and he still does normal Christian service stuff. The stuff that normal Christians do all the time. Only he’s not a normal Christian. He’s a name-in-lights Christian. He’s a celebrity. And if there’s one thing we know about Christian celebrities, it’s that they don’t get their hands dirty. They sit above the fray, admonishing their congregations, writing books, managing their domains, and defending their personal culture wars on Twitter. And defending their celebrity friends. They do all that and we love them, but they don’t typically participate in the real work of Christian living—at least not in ways that don’t feel like PR moves to the roaming herds of the unwashed masses below.
A lot of good people wonder how one could live the Christian life in a Christian way if one somehow had celebrity sprung upon oneself. I’ll bet you three bucks the right answer would look something like Pope Francis.
The New Pope is Serious About Social Justice
Pope Mispoke: How Faith and Goodness are Tied to One Another
Why Was Pope Francis’ Statement on Gay Priests Misrepresented?
Pope Francis: From “Yay!” to “Uh..” in Record Time
Next #9: Orange is the New Black (Netflix)