Sermon Illustrations

Brad Pitt Interview

Interview with the actor, Brad Pitt, in Parade magazine. Pitt grew up in Springfield, MO, the oldest of three children in a conservative, Southern Baptist family. His mother was a school counselor; his father ran a trucking company. "My dad made sure our needs were met," he says. "I had a very loving family." When he speaks of his childhood, his voice softens with the accent of his youth.

"I always had a lot of questions about the world, even in kindergarten. A big question to me was fairness. If I’d grown up in some other religion, would I get the same shot at Heaven as a Christian has? My mom would come into my room and talk to me. I was very fortunate to have that dialogue with her, but in high school I started to realize that I felt differently from others."

Brad went to Springfield’s Kickapoo High, excelling at school debates and sports. As he got older, his religious doubts increased.

"I had crises of faith," he says. "I thought you had to experience things if you want to know right from wrong. I’d go to Christian revivals and be moved by the Holy Spirit, and I’d go to rock concerts and feel the same fervor. Then I’d be told, ’That’s the Devil’s music! Don’t partake in that!’ I wanted to experience things religion said not to experience."

By the time he entered college, Pitt had scuttled his fundamentalist beliefs. "When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn’t a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self," he says. "I had faith that I’m capable enough to handle any situation. There’s peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I’m responsible."

I think Brad Pitt has a serious problem. Somehow or other, he has gotten off track in regard to Christ and Christianity. I would say that the Hollywood crowd has something to do with it. Someone or something has convinced him that what God says in His Word doesn’t count!

I’m not suggesting that Brad Pitt isn’t a decent person but he certainly has a clouded idea of what it means to be a Christian. I think he has bought into that theology that as long as you’re a good and decent person and give something to society then that’s all that counts as far as God is concerned. BUT WE KNOW THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN THIS.

6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

Brad Pitt says that when America allows all gay couples to get married then he and Angelina will get married. Something or someone has dimmed Pitts’ vision of what is right and wrong. And doing good deeds (as in the housing project in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is good) but it’s not a tradeoff for being godly in Christ Jesus!

I’m not suggesting that there isn’t darkness in our lives, because there will always be SOME darkness in our lives. Why? Because we live in a world of sin and because we all have a sin nature as long as we live in the flesh.

Does this mean we will always be tempted to sin? Probably. But it doesn’t mean that we have to give in.

6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

THE WORD OF GOD STANDS TRUE. Claiming to know God doesn’t mean a person does.

From a sermon by Steve Shepherd, The Message We Declare, 2/26/2010

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