Actor Russell Brand, once well-known as a liberal progressive secularist, recently gave a candid interview in which he seemed to walk back much of his previous position, instead speaking about his need for God and morality.
In an interview with Tucker Carlson last week, the English actor spoke about the need for God, spirituality and virtue in his own life as a celebrity, in contrast to much of the nihilism that dominates Hollywood today.
“I need spirituality,” he told Carlson, “I need God, or I cannot cope in this world.”
Brand then went on to speak about how his belief in God and his spirituality give him optimism and love for his fellow man. “I’m optimistic about your country, and I’m optimistic about mine, and I’m optimistic about the world.”
He also went on to say that it was spirituality that brought him out of the self-destructive and decadent lifestyle that Hollywood provides. “The fact was, I just didn’t have enough self-discipline to resist the allure of stardom, and I fell face first into the glitter.”
He then went on to say that once he stopped drinking and doing drugs, he realized that there was something more to life than what the nihilistic, secular world had on offer and that his worldview was based on principles of kindness, love and self-control.
Let’s be clear here, in no way does this suggest that Russell Brand has become a Christian. Based on what he tells Carlson, it sounds like he is moving from a complete secularist framework to a theistic or stoic system of beliefs and ethics.
However, that is often the path that leads to Christ, and in this interview, much of what Russell Brand says sounds like something you would hear from an evangelical preacher.
Brand is giving us a message that we really need to hear today: There is more to life than the materialism and hedonism that the world provides us. We are called to something greater.
It seems as if Brand is not quite sure yet of what that ultimate purpose or “telos” as he calls it actually is, but he seems to be aware that there is one that we should strive for.
Also, he is accepting the burden and the commandment that Christ gives us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and he is saying that it is this principle of charity that he bases his whole life on.
Now, it does seem as if his idea of love for one another is more akin to a humanist vision of love, a sort of “brotherhood of man,” rather than anything akin to true Christian charity, but his concern for others is still a nice break from the egocentric attitude of other celebrities.
Russell Brand, despite not yet being clear about what God he believes in, is still to be commended for being more open about his religion and his faith than other celebrities who consider themselves Christian. And while he may not yet be born again, the principles he is discussing so openly, directly correlate the the biblical fruits of the spirit, discussed in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Brand admits that he is not perfect and that he has a long way to go and a lot of vices to work on, which is a nice change from many others who consider themselves Christians but do not follow the teachings of Christ and seemingly do not care.
This should also give us cause for hope. If someone as far gone into the secular and nihilistic world as Russell Brand can find a shred of faith within himself and embrace it, then anyone can find their way back.
Perhaps this is a sign to us that for all its decadence, Hollywood is not completely lost yet.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Russell Brand Confesses ‘I Need God,’ Talks Fruit of the Spirit, Calls Out Secular Nihilism
Peter Partoll, Western Journal
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