Chris Pratt: How Christianity saves from the den of fame

Christian celebrities should be vocal about their faith and how their faith contends with their life’s woes.

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Chris Pratt: How Christianity saves from the den of fame

Logan Zeppieri, Opinions Editor

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Actor Chris Pratt, known for his roles in Parks and Recreation and Guardians of the Galaxy, often speaks openly about his faith. However, the religious focus of Pratt’s convictions turned sour on Feb. 9 after actress Ellen Page accused Zoe Church in west Los Angeles, where Pratt attends, of being anti-LGBTQ.

Despite the conflict between Pratt and Page, however, the questions and concerns surrounding Zoe Church bring us back to consider Pratt’s original, and sorely needed, message: Christian faith saves from the lion’s den of fame.

THE CONFLICT

His appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Pratt spoke about how his faith saved him from the “lion’s den” of fame, that his pastor at Zoe Church LA, Chad Veach, helped him keep his faith strong and that he hoped to proudly live in his faith when he recently announced his engagement to Katherine Schwarzenegger.

Shortly after the show, Page accused Zoe Church of being “infamously anti lqbtq…” The connection was quickly made between Zoe Church LA and Hillsong Australia because Zoe Church has connections with Hillsong and is modeled after the Australian church. The force of the accusation travels back to a 2016 Daily Beast’s exposé of Hillsong’s support for gay conversion therapy among their leadership.

THE RESPONSE

Hillsong and Pratt both responded to Page’s accusations.

In Hillsong’s official response, they claimed that they “are not ‘anti-anyone,’” and that they “want to be known by who we are for. We are for people finding hope in Jesus…”

They also noted that they no longer support gay conversion therapy and that they focus on pointing people toward Jesus. Pratt echoed a similar tone—however, with an additional caveat, claiming, “My faith is important to me but no church defines me or my life, and I am not a spokesman for any church or group of people.”

THE QUESTION OF FAME, CHRISTIANITY AND THE LION’S DEN

Christians in our modern culture have fallen between a rock and a hard place. On the one side, we desire to be accomodating, civil and open to those who disagree with us. On the other side, if we take Christianity to be the true worldview, we also know there are consequences to our actions. And this is not merely the question of eternal destinies, but questions of how to live well, here and now.

Think of Proverbs 5 and its warning against adultery. The context of this proverb is not that it is “true for Christians and not true for others.” It is set in the context that “if you are wise, you will learn this lesson before experiencing the consequences.”

Proverbs 5 is outlined in this fashion. Adultery will, in the moment, feel wonderful, but will end poorly for you. You will eventually waste away—your money will be given to others, your time will be wasted, your possessions given away, and your own emotional state will finally consume yourself. Instead, Proverbs 5 encourages you to wait for the one to be your wife. Bless her and that relationship, and enjoy the fruits of the labor.

When we consider Pratt’s situation, he is making the same case. Instead of biting the hook like Professor Gilderoy Lockheart from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and saying, “Fame is a fickle friend. Celebrity is as Celebrity does,” Pratt affirms what fame can ultimately do—kill you. The appeal, of course, is not that fame that only affects Christians, or a struggle for a few unskilled, but a difficulty facing anyone in the spotlight.

And this should serve as a source of confirmation and inspiration. The question of fame and its consequences are real. As Christians caught between a rock and a hard place in trying to share our faith, this is another testament that the Christian worldview is the true worldview, giving advice not only to celebrities who are privately Christian, but to celebrities whose Christianity is continually put to the test as they actively contend with the opposition they face in this world.