A Few Thoughts on #AngusTJones, the Entertainment Industry and Religion

Joel has two sympathetic and concerned posts about the Angus T Jones situation here and here. Chris added his two cents here.

I’ll leave commentary on Seventh Day Adventists and their beliefs to the experts, but I wanted to make a comment on money and religion. I think that it’s very telling that what it means to be religious for liberals and conservatives are completely different in the U.S. On the conservative site Twitchy, the situation was turned into yet another Hollywood conservative being victimized by liberal accusations of hypocrisy. I don’t think this issue is about hypocrisy versus non-hypocrisy, but about a matter of faithfulness, and what it means to be religious.

The Seventh Day Adventist church has a reputation for being very socially conservative, and blaming television and media for bad morals is nothing new. But what about the things that Jesus taught, his morality when it comes to money. Because of a religious commitment to corporate capitalism, conservatives don’t want to think through morality as it pertains to greed and selfishness, and when they do, it’s only when greed and self-centeredness are in excess that they become sin, rather than being anti-thetical to the Gospel themselves.

Statements like this from Jared Padalecki, Sam Winchester from Supernatural,

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/jarpad/status/273478324356018176″]

made me think about one economic morality story, (as well as a famous conversion story!) that Jesus’ disciples left us, the story of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was an infamous celebrity in his day, a tax collector who had dirty money on his hands. As part of his being saved, Jesus approved of Zacchaeus giving back the filthy money that the taxman had stole, and more so!  If we are to think seriously about salvation on Jesus’ own terms, we need to take Jesus’ approval of Zacchaeus’ repentance as part of our own definitions of what it means to be saved. Christianity is not about getting on our moral high horse, separating ourselves from the rest of society while pointing out others’ sins. It’s about showing others how to love our neighbors, and living out a new way of being human in our worship of the Triune God.

Angus T. Jones is right about Two And A Half Men being moral filth though. It’s horrific writing, as well as it’s continued existence as a show in spite of Charlie Sheen‘s history of domestic violence never made me a fan of the program.


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