Who cares if Denzel Washington is a Christian?

Branson Parler

October 3, 2012

Wendell Berry argues that it is harder, not easier, to pursue faithfulness in ordinary life, noting that “it may, in some ways, be easier to be Samson than to be a good husband or wife day after day for 50 years.”

Which is all the more reason to care about the fact that Washington is a Christian. Despite all of the hero worship and (I assume, AMPLE) opportunity, he has been married to the same woman for nearly 3 decades and he has four children with her. He is not a crusader of his faith, but seems to live it out with relatively quiet determination to honor Christ.

If anyone gets the wrong impression about Washington and exalts him to an unhealthy position, I cannot see how it's due to HIS attitude, which at every turn appears to be humble and deferential. Yeah, I care about that.

October 3, 2012

"Instead of thinking big for God, Christians should do a better job of thinking little." Interesting point, Branson. I'd add that instead of thinking big for God, Christians should think more about their big God. (Hebrews 12:1-3.)


October 5, 2012

Great post, great comments, thanks. pvk

October 9, 2012

He who is faithful in the little will be given much. Maybe the truth is that those who have learned to be faithful with the little are the very same people who are given "big" rolls in the Kingdom. Sometimes you'll receive a prophecy or a dream that says God has called you to big things. From there, like David, or Joseph, they must go through the process of learning to be faithful with the little before the culmination of the prophecy.

November 13, 2012

Great article. Thinking about my own feelings about celebrity Christians I think there's two things going on - neither of which are actually very rational or positive, but they're there, rattling around in my subconscious all the same!
The first is a feeling of safety. If I'm watching a film with a Christian actor or listening to a band of Christians I feel safer. I turn off part of my critical facilities that normally is asking what's being communicated and is it good.
The second is a feeling of validation, especially in front of people who aren't Christians. I thing if so-and-so is a Christian and they're famous then it must be cool to be a Christian and so, by association, I must be a tiny bit cooler too.
Doesn't make any sense I know, but that's what's going on with me when I hear someone famous is a Christian!

Guitar Slim
April 3, 2016

I'm kind of late to the table here, but great article.

One of the the reasons I think Christians exalt celebrity Christians so much is the temptation to view them as a form of validation of our choice of faith. We have to be careful of this, however, as our validation should come from Christ, not man. I remember when Bob Dylan made a public declaration of faith in the 70s. It actually harmed him, both in the recoil he received from the world, and from the unwitting anointment by Christians as the new public face of the faith. Dylan became the new poster child of God having snatched a celebrity out of the fire--much before his young faith had even grown roots. Christians have to be very careful of latching onto new celebrity converts and elevating them to positions of influence. That's God's job, not ours. And we have to remember the scriptural examples that God rarely chose prominent people to leadership; God generally chose the lowly of society to do his greatest works, uneducated fishermen, despised tax collectors, people in camel hair clothing, to even Christ himself (read Isaiah 53). We always have to remember that Bob Dylan ended up departing from the faith--at least publicly.

We must be careful in our claiming and exultation of celebrity Christians like Denzel Washington; for their sake, and ours. Christianity as an identity, or label is not our goal. Those things can be donned as an outward appearance completely independently of a saving faith in Jesus Christ. A sincere relationship with Jesus must inform our outward persona, not the other way around.

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