Popular culture has never been known for its wisdom. Fads come and go almost as frequently as the seasons. Most of the fleeting interests of popular culture are harmless. But, as society moves further and further away from God it moves closer to the lies of the enemy. Kabbalah is just such a lie. It teaches a mystical way of thinking about the universe, God, and people. It teaches reincarnation, karma, inner divinity, and subjective philosophies that have no way of being verified. But its irrationality hasn't stopped it from becoming popular.
Unfortunately, celebrities sometimes carry more influence than their intellectual competence and knowledge should allow them. Actors and singers sometimes adopt political and philosophical positions and use their influence to promote them and influence millions. They have the right to their opinions, but unfortunately, too many of them rebel against the truths of God's Word, jump into the arms of deception, and bring their fans with them.
Madonna, the popular singer, "...is as famous in Israel for her devotion to the Kabbalah, a branch of Jewish mysticism, as for her voice."1
"Madonna was offered a spot on the prestigious Cannes Film Festival jury, but turned it down because she would have missed two Kabbalah meetings back in London."2 Reportedly the Spiritual Mom, a follower of the semi-controversial Kabbalah Center, which practices a New Age spiritualism loosely based on Jewish mysticism, just bought a $2.9 million London mansion she plans to convert into what is being described as a Kabbalah hotel and drop-in spiritual center.3
Britney Spears Britney, 23, says on her website that after her friend Madonna introduced her to Kabbalah it "has helped me get rid of a lot of negative influences that were guiding me down the wrong path. There came a point where not even my family had the answers I needed. Through Kabbalah, I was able to look within myself, clear all the negative energy and turn my life around."4
Critics and Cash
Of course, Kabbalah isn't without its detractors. "What kept the famously frugal Sir Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall away from Kabbalah? According to Hall, it was the money. 'We couldn't go through the door of miracles unless we gave them 10 per cent of our money,' she sighs, 'so we stopped going.'"5
Money is often a motivator in the development of philosophical systems. The Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles has been condemned by traditional Jewish cabalists as New Age bunk. "Genuine scholars of Kabbalah, which is a respected branch of ancient Jewish mysticism, reject the Kabbalah Center as an opportunist offshoot of the faith with charismatic leaders who try to attract the rich and the vulnerable with the promise of health, wealth and happiness."6
Jewish condemnation and common sense won't stop people from buying into the popularized mystical Kabbalah and purchasing its products. The Kabbalah center in Los Angeles sells hundreds of thousands of Kabbalah based books on a yearly basis. That is a lot of money. They have produced a Kabbalah energy drink, a highly-caffeinated, vitamin-rich, rabbi-blessed drink. "For only $2, 'you get the power of Kabbalah water, incredible energy and a great taste,' claims Darin Ezra, the product director of Kabbalah Enterprises. Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are said to be fans; a source says Kutcher is in talks to promote KED, the refreshing elixir in the handy blue can.'"7
The Kabbalah center even market's Kabbalah water which is supposed to have Kabbalistic powers. However, a little research reveals some interesting facts. "The investigation discovers the water actually comes from CJC Bottling, a bottling plant in Ontario, Canada, which was the subject of a public health investigation in 2002 into how its water was tested. CJC was ordered to improve manufacturing techniques, though there was no suggestion that it ever sold polluted water."8
If it's popular it must be good
The popularity of something has no bearing on whether or not it is good or true. Communism is popular in some parts of the world but it doesn't mean that it is a beneficial political system. Pornography is also quite popular along with its destructive power. Drug abuse is rampant, but it is obviously bad.
The problem with humanity is that comfortable and self-exalting philosophies that promise spiritual and/or financial success become popular because they are self-serving. This is why truth is often ignored -- because it can be uncomfortable. Therefore, in our "serve me" culture, Kabbalah has taken root and is, unfortunately, increasing in popularity. How long will this fad last? Who knows. Will it disappear when the celebrities get bored with it? Probably not. Will members of society finally figure out that subjective, mystical experiences are no substitute for reality and truth? That is doubtful. But, we can hope so and pray that the truth of Christ's message and sacrifice will be accepted and Kabbalah rejected. To that end, Christians should be praying.
- 1. "Madonna is an Unlucky Star for Israeli Foreign Policy," The Times (United Kingdom), May 16, 2005.
- 2. "People in the news," The Miami Herald, May 13, 2005.
- 3. Derakhshani, Tirdad, "Names in the News," The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jun. 11, 2005.
- 4. Lampert, Nicole, "Born-again Britney sings Kabbalah's Praises," Daily Mail, Mar. 8, 2005.
- 5. "Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall," The Times (United Kingdom), Jun. 07, 2005.
- 6. Sweeney, John, "Holocaust Was Jews' Own Fault, Madonna Sect Claims," Mail on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2005, p. 42, 1p.
- 7. "Can-O-Kabbalah," People, Apr. 18, 2005, vol. 63, issue 15.
- 8. Sweeney, John, "Holocaust Was Jews' Own Fault, Madonna Sect Claims," p. 42, 1p.