Tweet To Be Influential, Not To Be Famous: Pastor John Piper On 'Sin' Of Seeking Fame Online

FacebookEvangelical pastor John Piper: Yes, it is a sin to seek fame.

Seeking fame for its own sake is sinful, according to Christian pastor John Piper.

But it is ok to use Instagram, Twitter and other online media to influence things for the better.

Responding to a question on whether it is sinful to seek fame online in an age of Twitter and Instagram, the influential conservative evangelical pastor says: "Is it a sin to desire to be famous? Yes, it is — though it may not be a sin to desire to be influential.

"And the problem arises when the pleasure sought in being made much of is greater than the pleasure sought in being of service. So, there is the rub.

"It is not a sin to desire that those who know us think well of us, provided that our hope and our prayer and our effort is that they will see the grace of God in us and give glory to God and, in that sense, make much of us or think rightly or well of us.

"While it is a sin to desire fame, it may not be a sin to desire to be influential."

Piper, on Twitter @johnpiper, quotes Jesus in Matthew's gospel, who said: "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

Other Bible verses also refer to the value of a good reputation.

Piper, founder and teacher of Desiring God and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary, says a person's life should bear witness to the truth they profess. The good name to seek is one as a person who has found satisfaction in God, and in helping others find joy in God.

"So, I say: Yes, it is a sin to want to be famous; that is, to want to be known by more and more people who will make much of us and praise us.

"It is a deadly craving of the fallen human ego to want to be made much of — even for the good that we do, let alone the evil that we do."

Christians must beware of the temptation of practising their righteousness before other people "in order to be seen by them" - a reference to Jesus again, in Matthew 6.

Piper says: "Don't do what you do in order to get the reward of human fame, because then you won't have the reward of God."

However, it may be a sin not to want to be influential.

"We should want to win more and more people to Christ. It is a sin not to want our lives to count for winning more and more people to Christ. We should want to do more and more good to relieve suffering, especially eternal suffering."