You hear talk on the news every day about another actor or celebrity in rehab, having a fight with their significant other or generally behaving badly in public. What you don’t often hear is a discussion about how people with the same level of stardom are being intentional about their faith relationships.
It takes a great deal of courage for people who are not in the limelight to express their faith in an outward way — much less those who have a constant spotlight on their lives. However, some Christian stars are more than willing to share this most important part of their lives with the world.
Actor Kevin Sorbo is one of the professing Christians in Hollywood, and he notes that there is a great deal of negativity towards Christians in that environment. Even faith-based films are viewed as having a lower production quality and poor actors, something which he seeks to change in his roles as both an actor and a director.
While this may have been true in years past, breakout hits such as The Passion of the Christ have opened the eyes of Hollywood that even strong Christian themes can be appropriately portrayed for a wider audience.
After many years successfully portraying Hercules on television, Kevin felt it was “safe” to share his faith with the world. Unfortunately, he learned the hard way that the Hollywood elite was not as tolerant of conservative Christianity as they are of other lifestyle choices. His opportunities for major movies or television shows dropped off almost immediately after his confession. That doesn’t stop Kevin Sorbo from sharing his ideas and continuing to promote positive themes in his projects, nor has it slowed down his work with independent filmmakers.
Here’s some other Christian stars — both actors and sports figures — who aren’t afraid to share their Christian faith:
• Tyler Perry: Made famous by the Medea movies, Tyler Perry feels that his belief in Christianity has helped him through his darkest times. He wants to use his public platform to inspire and uplift people and hopes that it helps them see light in their future.
• Tim Tebow: Heisman Trophy winner, starring quarterback, and heartfelt Christian — his faith runs so deep that he shares it by taking a knee to pray before every game. Fans were so impressed with his commitment to his faith that it spawned a movement called “Tebowing”, a way to honor the Lord in everyday life.
• Carrie Underwood: American Idol Season 4 winner and country singing star who is branching out into acting is proud to sing about God, Jesus and faith — and is clear that if someone doesn’t like her positive message, they should change the channel.
• Mark Wahlberg: The boyish model-turned-actor who starred in hits such as Max Payne and The Lovely Bones, is a former rapper and songwriter who began his career in a much different place before turning to God. Now, he openly professes his faith and notes that it helps give him a compass to become the best possible father and husband for his family.
• Venus and Serena Williams: Powerhouse sisters who share both an incredible talent for tennis as well as deep and abiding Christian faith. They are proof that a solid education begins at home, as their mother in particular was known to be a very devout Jehovah’s Witness.
• Mel Gibson: From starring in Braveheart, Mad Max and Lethal Weapon to directing the Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson has had quite a career. His most recent works reflect his faith walk, with him stating that he was “just directing traffic” for the Holy Ghost as part of his blockbuster film.
Jordin Sparks is one of the most recent people in the public eye to share her witness widely on Instagram and YouTube, noting that going to church, reading the Bible and being good to people was no longer enough to feed her soul. She felt the need to “completely surrender to God” before feeling the comfort of His holy spirit in her life.
Her courage, along with many others both in the public eye and in everyday life, is inspirational and freeing to Christians everywhere who struggle with sharing the story of their faith walk with others.
~ 1776 Christian