This week Angus T. Jones, the “1/2” of the TV show “Two and a Half Men”, created a stir when he openly began speaking of his recent awareness of God and a relationship with Him. The stir wasn’t so much that he had decided upon having a relationship with God but that he was, in a way, taking down many of those around him in the process of announcing this new life.
Because of the way he made his public introduction to his newfound Christianity, he was labeled as being in the throes of a “melt down” similar to, yet different than, his former co-star Charlie Sheen.
Maybe Hollywood wouldn’t have had such a disturbed reaction to this change in Jones’ life if he had been a bit more private or diplomatic about his feelings for the show that put him on the map.
It isn’t for any of us to judge one another’s heart and their commitments to God; however there are instances when questions of the placement or encouragement of people’s actions based on their beliefs can cause alarm.
From watching Mr. Jones’s testimony (Part 1) (Part 2), it appears he is sincere in wanting to have and grow a relationship with God. No one can fault him for that and frankly no should question his sincerity. His motives for needing to “announce” this, however, can be questioned.
A more tactful, professional approach might have been if Mr. Jones had quietly met with his producers and executives to explain his new beliefs and direction; then perhaps he/they could have more smoothly written him out of his part. In that process, he would have fulfilled his contractual agreement and better managed his statement as to why he was leaving the show.
It appears from watching his recent testimonial that his change in perspective and direction has been growing in recent months. By the very nature of this process, it makes sense why he would no longer want to participate and profit in something he no longer agrees with in relation to his beliefs.
I have served for many years in church settings, with students in the age groups of older elementary school through high school and have seen people Mr. Jones’ age develop a relationship with God. Because of this change in life, students have a great zeal and excitement for the commitment they are making which in turn causes them to evaluate many aspects of their life.
To see Angus T. Jones profess his beliefs and even realize the current job he is in doesn’t line up with his beliefs and where he is headed spiritually is neither unusual nor “fanatical”.
However, his strangely edited testimonial video and his association with Christopher Hudson, Internet Pastor and face of the online religious site The Forerunner Chronicles, does raise questions.
In an ABC News Nightline story, the Seventh Day Adventist church (which Jones identifies with religiously) does not identify Christopher Hudson as a SDA Pastor and Mr. Hudson himself says he doesn’t pastor a church. What he does “pastor” however is a website where he posts videos on various subjects and relates them to a Seventh Day Adventist philosophy.
Having been raised in non-denominational Christian churches myself, I am not questioning Angus T. Jones’ choice in churches; I am however questioning his choice of mentors, as with Mr. Hudson.
In reviewing Mr. Hudson’s website, more than biblical principles are endorsed on his website. Mr. Hudson’s videos share messages that would fall into a more radical theology, taking a more fatalistic view on a variety of issues. (One message called “KFC Goes Vegan” raised the bizarre topic of vegetarian men who represent Kentucky Fried Chicken as ‘Colonel Sanders’ yet are still promoting chicken…)
The only mention of how Jones and Hudson became associated was when Angus mentioned in his testimony that he had “emailed Mr. Hudson”, I would presume after finding his videos on the Internet. You might deduce Jones’ search and study of his newfound religious beliefs would have led him to a variety of things on the Internet and thus finding Forerunner Chronicles.
In objectively listening and watching this almost 30-minute, two-part testimonial, your heart goes out to Angus T. Jones and his search for something more than the life he had before. He shares his experimentation with “weed” and other drugs and talked about his early struggle of “living life for God” during the week at school but finding himself back to his “old ways” on the weekends.
As someone who mentors high school students, his struggle is no different than any other kid (or adult) who is trying to live their life for Christ. Christianity is a life long journey and throughout that journey decisions and adjustments to our way of life may need to be altered–perhaps even as drastic as changing professions.
Christian actor Kurt Cameron didn’t leave acting to make room for God in his life; he adjusted his life to enhance his acting talents.
Therein lies the difference in the way Angus T. Jones went public with his beliefs. Some people choose to make the transition quietly and smoothly, changing their professional directions without much fanfare and verbose. Mr. Jones chose to identify himself with a seemingly radical Internet pastor, release a nearly 30 minute testimonial of how he found his relationship with God. Unfortunately in the process, he managed to badly damage the relationships he had built for a decade with co-workers, and in the end is now having to adjust his statements to repair that damage–all while maintaining his legal obligations with “Two and a Half Men”.
It’s sad when something that could have been so positive and could have potentially given hope to others has turned out to be divisive and a springboard for negative publicity.
My hope for Angus T. Jones is that he won’t ever lose his zeal for a pure and close relationship with God. However, in the process he needs to be more careful of those who may try to exploit his position in the public eye for their own betterment and stick to learning the truth and promises the Bible shows in a less radical environment.
Humility and example is sometimes more effective than center stage testimonies.