Staying grounded in faith when Christian teen idols fall

By: Felicia Howard, Christian Post
Monday, 8 November 2010, 18:46 (IST)
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Disney stars and teen idols haven’t been shy to talk about their faith. The wildly popular singer Justin Bieber was the latest young celebrity to profess Christianity and a relationship with Jesus.

But with many of these stars taking a public fall or making some wrong choices, teens and tweens need to be guarded so as not to follow in the footsteps of their favorite celebrity.

In order for youths who admire and idolise stars to stay grounded in their faith, Bob Waliszewski, director of Media and Culture for Focus on the Family, says youth pastors and parents have to work together to teach their own children how to be holy.

“I think it’s very important for holiness to be taught again among young people,” he commented to The Christian Post. “It’s fallen out of disfavour. The pendulum is swung a little too far; grace today is too cheap. Repentance and living a holy life is not stressed nearly enough as it should be.”

Still, Waliszewski pointed out that young people should be aware that everyone has their downfalls, especially in Hollywood.

“I think it’s important for parents to teach their children that any human being is just that, a human being,” he stressed. “There are even Christian leaders that have fallen very publicly. When it comes to Christians in the media, it’s even harder to live out their faith. For young people in the media to be able to put their foot down, that’s really tough.”

Popular Disney star Demi Lovato, who has identified herself as a Christian, checked into a treatment center earlier this week. She bailed on an international concert tour with The Jonas Brothers to seek help for "emotional and physical issues".

Lovato, 18, is most famous for her wholesome image as Sonny Munroe in “Sonny with a Chance” on the Disney Channel. A spokeswoman said her seeking treatment has nothing to do with substance abuse and noted that the young actress and singer struggled with eating disorders and cutting.

Another teen idol Miley Cyrus, well-known for her role in Disney’s “Hannah Montana”, has been open about her faith. In 2009, the pop singer said on “The Rachel Ray Show” that she’s never been closer to the Lord since meeting him. “He’s really made me read my Bible. He’s made me actually read the stories in the Bible – not the quick little verses – that not only help me, but show you how to help other people,” she said.

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