A Divine Comedy


Sadly, I must admit the unfortunate truth that I am a former member of a boy band. In January of 1993 I was chosen to be one of the first members of the pop group “The Backstreet Boys.” As a singer in the five-member group, I was trained to sing and dance, and I was professionally trained to be an entertainer in the world of show business. After several months of living the life of an up-and-coming pop-music star, one week before our first photo-shoot, I walked into the office of our manager and quit. I told him very simply that I was not called to be an entertainer, but that I believed God was calling me to be a minister.

Two years after my decision to quit the group, I was approached by the same manager and was asked to consider becoming the first member of a new pop group that was later named “‘NSYNC.” After considering his offer for nearly a week, I came to the same conclusion as before. The Lord had not called me out of the world in order to entertain the world. The Lord made it clear to me that I was to serve Him alone and that my life belonged to Him, not to the world.

The world of show business is the world of man-centered entertainment. The foundational philosophy of man-centered entertainment is to do whatever it takes in order to attract millions of fans and to make millions of dollars. If the entertainment gurus are not sensitive to the whims and fancies of their target audiences, and if they are not sensitive to every new cultural fad that enters the daily scene, they will fail to draw the numbers and make their millions.

Unfortunately, this has become the philosophy of many evangelicals. They have fallen victim to the seductive notion that the church is to be sensitive to the whims and fancies of those contemplating their allegience to Christ and their worship of Him. And as I consider the state of the evangelical church at the beginning of the twenty-first century, I observe a people who have exchanged God-centered worship for man-centered entertainment that is founded upon the ever-changing principles of the culture rather than upon the unchanging principles of the Word of God. For He has not called us to invent our own carefully devised principles that govern our worship of Him, He has called us to worship Him in all of life coram Deo, according to His established Word, which transcends the current trends of modern culture and the human traditionalism of the past.

First published in Tabletalk Magazine, an outreach of Ligonier. For permissions, view our Copyright Policy.