Hugh Jackman, Meet Jesus

Hugh Jackman Looking up to heaven

Hugh Jackman is leaving the X-Men but taking the Road to Damascus. His upcoming movie “Logan” will be his last as Wolverine. Next year he will star in a new film on the life of the Apostle Paul. (So if you like Marvel comics and the Bible, you’re in for a treat.)

The movie will be among the most high-profile Hollywood Christian production since Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. It is a Warner Brothers motion picture that will be produced by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Hugh Jackman himself.

Jackman who is a student of transcendental meditation, previously attended the international School of Practical Philosophy. But he told Parade magazine in 2009 that he was raised by a devout, born-again Christian man, who met Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade.

When Hugh was 8 years old, his parents divorced and his mother moved back to England. But he grew up watching faith in action. He compliments his dad by saying, “What he did was herculean, to bring up five kids with a full-time job!”

And every time Billy Graham would come do a crusade in Sydney, Hugh Jackman was in attendance. He was not interested in going but his father was convinced by the promise, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” – Paul in Acts 16

So here we are.

The award-winning actor is now playing the man who wrote the very words that gave his father hope.

Hugh also had this to say about his dad, “He takes his religion very seriously, and would prefer I go to church. We’ve had discussions about our separate beliefs. I just find the evangelical church too, well, restrictive.”

Restrictive?!?

Ouch.

That word is in contradiction to the Good News; for it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. – Paul in Galatians 5

Yet once again, the church is known for its restrictions, not its freedoms. And once again a talented young man, who was raised in a Christian home, decides to follow a different way.

How is it that our message of peace, hope and joy has been so contaminated? And how come the loudest voice in the church has been the boring-and-angry, God-hates-fags, only-vote-conservative, one?

We happy sons and daughters need to raise the volume! The time has come for arts and permission to be our sound, for smiles and hope to be our style, for freedom and love to be our beauty.

We’ve had enough of Christ being misrepresented by a few Christians. It’s time to love hard, sing louder, and preach Christ crucified (not the “Christ” who is crucifying everyone else!)

“Instead of angry protesters shaking our fists at a secular culture, we should be joyful singers transforming the secular with the sacred.”

– Brian Zahnd in A Farewell to Mars


We’re not the religion of anti-gay, anti-beer, anti-fun… We are the followers of Jesus. And Jesus came to give us an abundant life.

Not only an abundant life for selfish reasons; it’s a life of true fulfilment. You see, Jesus lived among the broken. He shared his meals with the ungodly, was never stuck inside the prison of religion and is true freedom and everlasting joy.

When society restricted people from touching the sick, Jesus healed them. When holy men restricted themselves from being with sinners, Jesus befriended them. And when the religious system restricted people from having access to God the Good Father… God the Perfect Son, came in the flesh to be among them, to love them, to save them… to be them.

Restrictive does not define Christ. Neither should it define us.

So why is that a man who was exposed to the ultimate truth has chosen not to believe?

No doubt, it’s his choice. But there’s also the possibility (as with many of our unbelieving family and friends) that the “truth” that was presented to Hugh Jackman was just the ethics of the Christian religion. The rules of Western Christianity. The sad modifications of what otherwise should be a happy, exciting faith.

As I wrote in the article Why is Christianity so Embarrassing?, “The Gospel is different to Christianity. The Gospel Paul talks about is God’s perfect statement of love and grace, Christianity is just our response to that message. The Gospel is the Good News of Salvation, to all people, everywhere. Christianity is the imperfect expression of the people who receive and acknowledge those news. While the Gospel is the finished work of Christ, Christianity is just the unfinished work of men.”

This Christ is not interested in making Christianity famous. He cares about being Jesus (Salvation) to the infamous ones. He’s passionate about the homeless drunk who stole your cell phone, the young girl stripping at the club, the rich man snorting cocaine, and the famous actor who’s searching for the truth in every philosophy there is.

I think God has personally hired Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Hugh Jackman, to preach the gospel. (It’s Bourne, Batman and Wolverine to the rescue.)

Because the story of Paul is different to the stories of Moses, or David or Noah. These Old Testament narratives have become another “fantasy” genre in Hollywood. They make for great spectacle. They move the Christian masses. But they stay away from the ultimate message of Scripture.

However, making a movie about the Apostle Paul is a whole other ball game. This is the story of a religious man (a murderer and a terrorist) who has an encounter with the glorified Christ and ends up writing 40% of the New Testament. His story is the Gospel in its purest form.

It has a life of religion and sin, transformed to a life of revelation and sacrifice. It’s the story of a man who thought he knew the truth, until Truth Himself knocked him out in love.

Hugh Jackman gets to play this role. And as all great actors do, he will immerse himself into the life and writings of Saul of Tarsus, the Apostle Paul.

And I have no doubts in my mind, God is getting ready to knock Wolverine out too.

Join me in praying for a radical encounter. I’m believing that the testimony of Hugh’s father, combined with the revelation of Scripture, will become a louder voice than the restrictions and the judgments of the story he was once told.

Jesus is the desire of the nations. Every human being alive (whether they recognise it or not) is hungry for an encounter with Christ. The church has sometimes given the world religion and rules and cheese, so they have been confused. They assumed wrongly. They disregarded Jesus thinking that they had already encountered him.

But the Savior is on a mission to win the hearts of men. He will do whatever it takes to save the lost. He paid too high of a price for grace to be wrongly translated by us. Because, “God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – Paul in 1 Timothy 2

Jesus stands in the center of culture and Hollywood is paying attention.

And maybe, just maybe, the promise made by God, via Paul, to Hugh’s dad, will be fulfilled, “You and you household will be saved.”

I pray and I hope.

Because God meets us where we are, not where we should be.

Peace.

FYI: Jackman recently declared: “I’m a Christian. I was brought up very religious. I used to go to different evangelists’ [revival] tents all the time. When I was about 13, I had a weird premonition that I was going to be onstage, like the preachers I saw.”

Read More Here


Start now with the ultimate biography/novel/story – The Apostle: A Life of Paul by John Pollock. An incredibly engaging book!

Share this exciting article with your family and friends and let’s get loud with grace and love!

Other articles of Jesus in Hollywood:

When God Speaks to Katy Perry

Shia LaBeouf gets Born Again

How God Made Bruce Jenner


*Get this 1 download with the 12 teachings that will change your perspective on God (and yourself)


Carlos is a pastor, a provocative preacher and the author of "Designed for Inheritance". He also serves as director of Catch the Fire Latin America and Chief Editor at HappySonship.com. Together with his wife Catherine, they have two gorgeous boys and are awaiting a baby girl through adoption.

76 Comments

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  1. Well said. Oh, this stuff about the Gospel getting trampled over by Christianity breaks my heart – we have so much work to do…but I am continually discovering that simple, heartfelt acts of love towards the everyday people in my life are making a big wake. Love will win! (and this movie is going to be awesome, too!)

  2. Nice main theme and very good of you to lead us into praying for transformation through this, instead of dreading what Ben, Matt and Hugh might do with it — where I must admit I was inclined to go. Thanks for the faith encouragement. Not sure I buy into the redefinition of “religion” or “Christianity” as negative words. Yes there are religious spirits but I prefer to hold onto Christianity as a good thing, albeit full of flaws and weaknesses. “Graft in our hearts true religion” begins the Cranmerian collect, and “I believe in the holy catholic Church” as the Apostles Creed goes, are too valuable and important to throw under the bus. God wants to give the world Jesus through his Church. And God loves his Church. This is true religion. This is Christianity. This is a good thing.

    • Hi Rob! Agree a million times. I am a pastor of a christian church and have been in full time ministry for 13 years 🙂 I LOVE the church and my christian family. They are not negative things at all, the problem is that we have focused on the negative parts of it and in turn discouraged the world from seeing all the positives. Maybe.

      Thanks for reading! Hugs.

  3. I know there is truth to what you’re saying: the church should examine itself and make sure it’s representing Christ accurately. But sometimes people reject the Gospel even if we’re doing everything right and are presenting it correctly, and that falls on them. A lot of people rejected Jesus when he was on earth; we must expect the same, if not more, now that He’s gone. Bottom line is: don’t be discouraged. 🙂

    • hey KK. that’s very true. a lot of times it’s up to them. I just want to make sure that’s the case EVER TIME 🙂 because whenever they meet a Christian they are facing the love and truth of Christ himself. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

    • In Hugh Jackman’s case, we do not know if he really rejected Christ. He rejected the church, but based on other interviews not mentioned in this blog article, it is quite possible that Jackman did not reject Christ. He has actually said in interviews that Jesus is the ultimate example of how to live, and when he played Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, it was an extremely emotional, spiritual experience for him. We do not know if Jackman has accepted Christ as God, but we know that Jackman has a high degree of admiration for Christ. Jackman has just broadened his views. He reads the Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Koran, the Vedas, Confusion Analects, etc. He finds underlying truth in all religion and if I have understood him correctly in some of his deeper interviews, he believes there is an ultimate being – a Creator – that has been manifested in different ways to different cultures. Personally, that is what I believe too, and I think that is what Paul (the Apostle) believed based on some verses that I rarely hear Churches quote (since I suppose it contradicts their idea that Christianity is the only way to heaven), but I actually consider myself a Christian because I have accepted Christ. However, I have not gone to church consistently for 20 years because I simply feel uncomfortable with the hypocrisy in every church I have ever visited. So simply put, it is a bit unfair for people to make assumptions about Hugh Jackman’s beliefs without really knowing or understanding what he believes. He also has an extremely high degree of respect and love and admiration for his devoutly Christian father, who he calls his hero and role model. What Hugh Jackman believes is between him and God. What I can say about him is that if anyone is familiar with how he carries himself in real life knows that he is a genuinely good man, seems to be highly moral, is devoted to his family, and is extremely kind, compassionate, and generous. He is very respectful and seems like an open and honest man of dignity, and he has said the key to life is to love one another and he seems to live that way (which I can attest to after getting the opportunity to meet him a few times). In that way, his actions demonstrate what Christianity is about irrespective of whether he has rejected today’s versions of the Christian church.

      • I don’t know man. Jesus doesn’t teach that “good” or “bad” people go to heaven or hell, respectively. He teaches that those who accept the grace of God are made perfect and holy in God’s sight, just like Jesus – as is echoed by Paul. None seek God (Rom 3:11). Apart from Christ’s provision you can be as “good”, “moral” or “saintly” as you possibly can, but the universal sinful nature of man has tainted any and all motivations of our hearts; which testifies loudly against us under the eyes of a perfect God. We desperately need Jesus. Christians are sinners just like the rest of the world and I doubt that is what chased you away from church; you chose to leave. Own it.

        • With all due respect, your comment doesn’t really address any of the issues I talked about.

        • Sounds like you’re confusing the good news of Jesus with the gospel of Paul.

          • Respectfully, what “good news” are you speaking of?
            Do you know that Jesus first message was,
            “Repent for the kingdom of heavens at hand”?
            And, since Jesus is ALL the WORD, “Paul’s gospel” was not different from THE gospel.
            Jesus is even the same God as the God of the old covenant.

          • Fanci, it’s a common misunderstanding within Christendom because few compare the good news Jesus actually proclaimed with what Paul referred to as the gospel. FYI, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven’s at hand” is not good news, it’s a CALL to hear and follow Jesus’ good news. Compare Luke 4:16-21 with 1 Corinthians 15:1-8… one of these things is not like the other. Jesus was constantly talking about a kingdom, a society, a way of living – the kingdom of heaven/God/love. People often confuse the phrase “kingdom of heaven” with “Heaven” and think getting into a blissful afterlife by praying a prayer or something is what it’s all about. But actually read what Jesus himself was about, and you’ll find it was way more about how we live in the here and now than about the afterlife. It’s about shalom, restoration, healing – which are all facets of the generic term “salvation”. And from that standpoint, I’d say Hugh, based on his quotes, is concerned about a lot of really good things.

      • “Jesus is the ultimate example of how to live”…see this is the problem with the Evangelical church in the USA! Christ’s morals and ethics come before His mission. Sermons have no Gospel, but all Law “you gotta do this and that and the other to be saved” or “you gotta do this, that or the other to be sure you’re saved”…but that’s not the Gospel! Human nature always wants salvation to be an “us to God” thing, but that’s not the Gospel either.

        God stripped himself of his majesty; He became as one of us, He emptied Himself, and died on the cross…FOR US! THAT’S the Gospel. the trouble with evangelicalism in the USA is that its teachers want to move past that, as if His death isn’t what’s important anymore – but that our response is more important. IT’S NOT! I’ve even heard it said by Baptists: “Yeah Jesus died 2000 years ago…that’s history…what matters is now…” What a CROCK! St Paul didn’t preach that. He said that he knew only Christ crucified and that was all he preached.

        A GOOD, biblical, Gospel-heavy sermon is what every pastor should preach. Yeah there’s got to be law; people need to know their sinners, but they must be left with the Gospel! These “6-step plans to a better you” sermons or “3 steps to better sex” sermons…that’s not the Church – and that’s not the Gospel. I am a Lutheran (LCMS), and I can tell you that all that Luther fought for 500 years ago is being lost in this nation. Evangelicals are just another side to the Roman Catholic coin; don’t give people the comfort and hope of the Gospel but give them despair because of the rules and “you gotta’s” placed on them.

        • Well let’s see. I know I am a sinner and I understand God’s law. Again, you are making assumptions about someone else’s beliefs.

          • Okay sure… I’ll be honest I do entirely get your point. However, the very essence of your point of view still lacks this question… what’s the POINT of all those good works and love? Does it all point to Christ? Coz everything you say, without the intention of glorifying Christ, can very easily be mistaken for plain humanity, which is by default flawed… let’s not forget the great commission.

          • Let’s never forget that the great commission starts with John 13:34-35, “Love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

  4. Honestly as a very devoted Christian and one who has dedicated my life to serving the Lord, the “Christianity is the problem” vein of thought that this author subscribes to is pretty annoying for me. Maybe my experiences in life haven’t exposed me to things that would lead me to blame Christians and “moral restrictions” for Hugh Jackman not knowing Christ. But alas I kept reading though I wanted to stop and there is a great point that is worth making every time. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is what Christians should preach and live…not many who are sinning are going to turn away from sin because I call them a sinner. But oh what an encounter with Jesus, salvation in His sacrifice, a move of God’s Spirit into the life of a sinner will do…that will make a murdering terrorist turn and dedicate his life to the Gospel. Praying that for good ol’ Wolverine.

    • Hey Chachooga 🙂

      I write as a pastor of a christian church who has been in ministry for 13 years. I LOVE the church. I LOVE our family. I just want to challenge us to love more and believe for more. Thanks for reading (and not stoping mid way) Hugs.

    • Christian isn’t a biblical word. It’s only used 3 times in most translations-and not in a good way. It was a word created to start wars and rape, rob and pillage the less fortunate. The Church will fall but God will prevail…

      • I hope you aren’t serious and just trolling or something with that first comment?!?. I think it is pretty obvious why the word Christian isn’t found very often in the Bible…the word was not invented to rob rape and pillage, you really should think for yourself. When you repeat something like that it is fairly obvious you haven’t gone further into it.

    • You are horrible. I pray I never run into you or meet you in church. You are a wasted life.

      • Dear Doug – You are a disrespectful something. What did Chachooga say that makes him horrible? And you’ve implied you go to church? What kind of church do you go to that you would say something so immature?

    • I highly doubt Jackman left the Christian church because of “moral restrictions.” He actually seems like a genuinely good man – and highly moral. He plays characters such as Wolverine that are opposite to himself, but his reputation is that of a devoted father and husband who is faithful, a compassionate man, an honest man, a caring man, and his co-stars joke that he is a “goody-two-shoes.” I don’t think morality was ever his problem with the Christian church. When you listen to his deeper interviews, instead – you learn that what he meant by the church being too restrictive is that many church leaders exclude the possibility of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, etc. who are good people from going to heaven. Jackman simply didn’t want to believe that the majority of the world was condemned to hell. That is why he left the church (and he was once in his own words, a “born again Christian).” And you know what? I agree with him. I am someone who considers myself a Christian only because I have accepted Christ, but I have had an extremely negative experience in every church I have ever tried to attend. The hypocrisy and judgmental mindset of many “Christians” today is what drove me (personally) away from the church. Also, if you can, please take note of what I said in response to “KK” (the poster who commented above you). We do not know whether Jackman has accepted Christ or not, but there is no real evidence that he has rejected Christ either. Based on his interviews (that unfortunately are difficult to find unless you are, like me, a big fan and fascinated by his philosophical nature), he regards Jesus as the ultimate example of how to live and has a lot of admiration and respect for his devout Christian father who he calls his “hero” and his “role model.”

      • I like Hugh Jackman alot, I don’t know as much as you do about him and I do appreciate the info. Good Stuff. I do believe if someone has accepted Christ they are saved…saved from an eternity without God because of the atoning sacrifice God made for all mankind. I don’t usually declare knowledge of others’ salvation, I was just going with the topic of the article. I am sorry you haven’t found a church without hypocrites and judgemental people, but I do have a feeling you would find one fairly easily if you persisted….with the qualifier that churches are full of sinful people including hypocrites. The church structure is flawed no doubt and never will be a perfect place…the church (the people of God) is a great thing to be a part of. Jesus was very specific in his teachings which causes people to reject His teachings…one of the toughest questions for many is the one you highlighted in Jackman’s life. The answers are not going to make everyone happy, that is quite an ambitious goal. I totally understand why many settle into a mush of no definitive truth so as to appease that desire that nobody is left out…or at least no good people as you put it. But I do believe that truth of Jesus and His teachings found in the Bible is universally available to all, no limits. The question again is, what do you do with Jesus when you encounter Him personally?

    • Hugh Jackman said this week that he is a Christian. In fact, he also said he is a religious person. He is also a spiritual person. He even quoted Eric Liddell from Chariots of Fire, basically saying that when he acts or performs, he feels God’s pleasure. Actually, he said even more than that. He said he dedicates each performance to God. He also said his humanitarian work is inspired by his religious sense of serving others. Just an FYI.

  5. I think there are certain assumptions presented in this article that may not be helpful. One is that what Hugh Jackman referred to as restrictions in Christianity are known to the author. The second is that there are no restrictions in following Jesus Christ. I’ll address the second. The account of the gospels actually suggest otherwise. In many places Christ is recorded as telling his audience they had to deny themselves to follow him. He tells his disciples to take up their cross and follow him. He asks a rich prince to sell all he has to follow him. You need to be superhuman to not find these restricting. Even the apostle Paul, who Jackman would be playing, lived out what this restrictions look like. His letters talked often about his chains. He talked about loosing everything to gain Christ. I’d say that’s a life that models a great amount of restrictions. On the point of Christ’s treatment of sin and sinners in comparism with the attitude of Christians today, yes Christ was compassionate to sinners. But did he “okay” sin? No. He seemed quite quick to say “go and sin no more”. He never ignored sin and he had a big problem with people who wouldn’t acknowledge theirs. Paul’s letters also consistently called out sin whilst he talked about what freedom in Christ is all about. Following Christ is restrictive. It’s true that because of self righteousness (which is sinful) Christians tend to point fingers at the sin of others, there’ll never be a time when Christianity would appear restrictive. In fact Christians should be concerned when no one finds the faith restrictive. According to the bible, the message of the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing. I do pray the this work on the life of Apostle Paul would turn many to the gospel of Christ.

    • It is true that Christians view things as black and white and in my opinion, so does God.if you are not with him, you are against him. But He is a merciful God and loving God. Every message on the Bible is a message to everyone. The story of the rich man selling everything was to give us an idea of how tasking out is truly follow Jesus in this broken and sinful world along with testing the man’s faith at the time. He tells us too be humble but gives us the freedom of choice. I’m choosing to write this right now when i could simply ignore your post and move on for example. There are no restrictions where freedom of choice or freedom of any kind is involved. Its a choice and there is no such thing as being forced to do anything. It’s simply you deciding that the risks are too high to not choose that. God’s message is to show love the way he showed us love and nothing else. He got mad at the Pharisees because they knew what was right and knew the scripture but turned it into a whole bunch of rules that weren’t what God have us. But to those who doesn’t know, he showed pure love. For example, we Christians know that homosexuality is wrong or at least that’s my opinion. However, Good tells us to be humble and to put other before ourselves. Then, who am i to judge another person? Who am i to hate another person simply because they chose to be gay? My job is to love them the way Jesus loved us. To preach the gospel to them, whether they accept out or not its their decision and between them and God, not between them and i. Again, there’s the freedom of choice so there aren’t any restrictions since restrictions mean that there are things that i can’t do. Its simply things i won’t do because the consequences are too high. The church/humans put restrictions the way the Pharisees put restrictionson the Jews. God gives us the freedom of choice and lets us decide, there aren’t any restrictions in that.

      • How is it possible to “preach the gospel”, without causing offense?
        Jesus first message was “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.
        For too many people today the attitude is, “Repent of what?”.
        We are not called to judge the state of a persons soul but there are actions that indicate where they stand and these we CAN evaluate.
        It is hardly hate to tell them, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”, as Jesus, Himself, did.

    • Well said, it is important to realize that God restricts us from doing specific actions because He loves us. He restricts us from engaging in evil actions and encourages good ones. Just like we tell our children to be good and not misbehave, our heavenly Father tells us to behave. We tell our children to behave, restricting them from telling lies, hitting, being disrespectful and so on. God does the same for us and He outlines his wishes for us in the Bible. These actions are bad, and should be restricted. God doesn’t put restrictions on our life to harm us or put us in chains but to encourage us to live a righteous life.

    • Good point. Some restrictions are great. A fire with restrictions can be wonderful on a cold. winter night in cozy cabin. That same fire without restrictions…not so nice.

      A river restricted by it’s banks is nice when you are fishing or swimming. That same river without restrictions, when it’s flooding and flowing all over the place…not so nice.

      I pray the Jackman will come to see that true freedom isn’t doing whatever you want, but in doing whatever God wants.

    • Yes, yes! And also, I think we would have to ask Hugh was “restrictive” refers to for him. It might not even be about sin but about the claim that Christ is the only way to Heaven as I know that turns a lot of people off. In the case, yeah…..we kinda have to be restrictive.

    • I don’t think the restrictions/rules we’re given are restrictive because they offer us a greater freedom. If we don’t follow the “restrictions” then we become more restricted (we become slaves to sin), but when we follow the “restrictions” we gain more freedom. So they aren’t really restrictions because they offer greater freedom, not less. I think that was the point Carlos was making.

  6. You lost me at Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. It will end up becoming get a secular look at Biblical accounts. Look what happened with Exodus and Noah. Top notch acting. Horrible portrayals and no where close to true. It’s sad that we let them do these first.

    • I don’t think you should be so quick to draw a conclusion about a film that hasn’t yet been made. I’m not sure you really understand the way film producing works based on your comment. Noah was made the way it was because of the director involved who amended the story to fit his goals. The same is true for Exodus. The directors of those films are known to be auteurs. They had an extreme amount of influence over the scripts and practically authored the movies. The Apostle Paul movie, on the other hand, has a script already written by a man who is relatively unknown still and the director has not yet been chosen but likely would not be able to alter the script in the same way Darren Aronofsky can, for example. Also, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are the producers – not writers or directors. They are likely just involved with the financing for this film (and a few other aspects – but my guess would be that they do not have too much influence over the script or the way the movie will be directed). Also, Hugh Jackman is highly respectful of Christianity and a powerful, emotionally driven actor who I strongly believe will respect the source material. He is also knowledgeable of the Bible (and reads the Bible). That is not a requirement to play St. Paul, but he has such respect and admiration for his devout Christian father that I have a feeling he would want to portray St. Paul as accurately as possible. Look at his performance in Les Miserables, which is a Christian story. His conviction in that role was clearly evident. I’m not saying this film is going to be a success. All I’m saying is, I hope you will think twice about being so quick to reject this film and make negative assumptions about it before it’s even been made. Watch it when it comes out. That is the only way you can really know.

      • I appreciate what you said, and although we won’t know exactly, until it comes out, that’s what everyone said about the others that came out. When Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are behind it, they are most certainly involved in some way in how the script and story are told. To think differently is denial and to say “you probably don’t understand how movie making is done” is false.
        Have you ever seen Dogma? Have you ever watched any of their interviews? These two have total disregard for Christ and Christians and they are very involved in EVERY movie they “make” whether from a director, actor’ or producers chair. Stop being naive please.

        • Yes, I’ve seen Dogma – lol.. And that movie is not anti-Christian at all. If anything, I agreed with the message at the end, and I definitely consider myself Christian (although I think many churches are misguided, self-righteous, and hypocritical). If you think that movie is anti-Christian, you need to take a look in the mirror. Also, I’ve probably seen more Matt Damon and Ben Affleck interviews than you. While I don’t agree with everything they say, I surely have never been offended by either of them and never have I seen them show a “total disregard for Christ and Christians.” The fact that you interpret their words and actions as being such says more about you than it does about them.

          • Shakes head. Discernment and judgement are 2 different things. If I had the opportunity to speak with them personally, I would do it with kindness and humility. I don’t Co side myself more righteous than anyone. I am saying non-Christians are trying to make a Christian movie and that has always been screwed up. Nuff said

          • Fair enough. Although I don’t agree, I can see you genuinely mean well so I respect that.

    • Do you think some might have said the same about Moses? The man was fresh off the murder of an Egyptian, which he tried to cover up?

      What about with Paul? The guy had Stephen executed and how many innocent men jailed for believing in Christ’s message?

      We might want to be very careful of who we say God can and can’t use.

      • There is a huge difference in a converted man being used to make a movie that will effectively communicate the gospel and a team of non believers with a history of making Christ and his followers look like the truth. Can God change their lives? Sure. Are they changed and making the movie? No. Your logic is false in that way. Look at the movies Exodus and Noah. Told the way they are, by people the devil uses, to miss inform potential future believers in order to add to the confusion. It WILL be just like that. When do we stop giving them the benefit of the doubt and stand up for good theology and morals and our faith in God?

        • Gosh, your comments are so arrogant. You make assumptions and inferences and then state them as truth and fact while calling someone else’s logic false.

          • Arrogant? I would go with most logical by far. Sorry if I come across harsh, but I’m tired of Christians being weak. We let the “Hollywood elite” dictate how our stories are told and then you defend THEM not God’s truth.

          • When we are weak, is He not strong (2 Cor 13:9)? God’s strong beats my strong every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

            Has God not used men, with incredible stains on their “holiness” resume, to bring forth some of the greatest works of the kingdom on earth in history?

            I was a teenager when I first saw Raiders of the Lost Ark. By no means a Christian movie. I loved the plot and when I wanted to learn more about the Ark of the Covenant, and its history, guess where I turned to? I don’t remember ever believing that the Ark was secretly being stored in a warehouse (give people some credit).

            If this movie does nothing more than create an opportunity, for people like you and I, to correct some of the inaccuracies that will likely accompany a Hollywood movie, what an amazing opportunity that will be that probably wasn’t there before. You are going to get to tell people about Jesus and the incredible love of the Father! Does that idea not excite you?

  7. Here’s the full quote from Hugh Jackman for those who would care to read his real reasons for leaving the church. (Talking about his father) “He takes his religion very seriously and would prefer I go to church,” Jackman revealed. “We’ve had discussions about our separate beliefs. I just find the evangelical church too, well, restrictive. But the School of Practical Philosophy is non-confrontational. We believe there are many forms of scripture. What is true is true and will never change, whether it’s in the Bible or in Shakespeare. It’s about oneness. Its basic philosophy is that if the Buddha and Krishna and Jesus were all at a dinner table together, they wouldn’t be arguing. There is an essential truth. And we are limitless.” (http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/apr/01/hugh-jackman-apostle-paul-christian-film)

    So it would seem he thinks the church is restrictive not solely because of the “rules” we follow but because we actually claim that Christ is the ONlY way to God, that there is ONE truth and that is found in the inspired Word of God. Please stop trying to make true Bible believing Christians who have the courage to stand up for the truth feel like bigoted, self righteous hypocrites when they’re simply trying to live for Christ in a culture that hates any semblance of truth. Obviously there are legalistic churches that do not focus on Christ, and yes that is truly sad and harmful,but it doesn’t sound like that’s the reason Hugh Jackman left the church. He’s heard the gospel, and rejected it. Frankly, it sounds like they’re just trying to make money by making another “Christian” film. I pray that God does use His Word to change their hearts through this film.

    • Don’t act like you know what Hugh Jackman believes based on one quote. That is a self-righteous approach. I have heard him speak in multiple long interviews and based on my understanding of his beliefs, I have similar views to him (by the way, I consider myself a Christian), and I can tell you right now that your conclusion in its entirety does not reflect what I have heard him say in long, deep interviews (each interview was at least 30 minutes – he is very deeply spiritual and philosophical and enjoys talking about related topics). Read my other comments to others on here if you are interested (since I don’t think it is necessary to keep retyping information). Based on your comment, you do not have a balanced opinion of what he believes, and nobody should be making opinions about what someone else believes. You also haven’t a clue why people like me are turned off by most churches. You also haven’t a clue whether Jackman is saved or not saved according to God. Also, the Bible does not say there is only one way to heaven. I have studied it for many many years, and I can think of several verses that contradict that notion, particularly in the New Testament, yet churches for some reason continue to teach that there is only one way to heaven.

      • “Also, the Bible does not say there is only one way to heaven.”

        It may not say this outright, but it does say that there is only one (1) way to the Father, which is through Jesus.

        I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on “I am the way, and the truth, and the life — no one comes to the Father except through me.” Or, “I am the gate […]”, etc.

        Cheers.

        • Hi Chris, certainly. I don’t really want to continue debating on this blog, but I am happy to share my opinion on the verse you provided and on your comment. Is there a way to send private messages on here? I am not that experienced as a blogger.

  8. So The Most High needs Ben A and Matt Damon and Hugh Jackman et al to get his message across? What are you talking about, you are seriously deluded. The God I know would never throw His hands into the air in defeat and defer His message on to Hollywood to convey. What good has ever come out of Hollywood? I know that the word isn’t always palatable but Jesus Himself has told us …”..don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until it’s purpose is achieved.” Matt 5:17-18 NLT. You cannot separate the new testament from the old testament, it is all Gods Word.
    Jesus also says in Matt 10:34…”Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
    Happy Sonship – God is in a good mood…really? Take a look around. The God that I know is grieved by what He sees occurring on the earth, and you want us to believe that He celebrates and delights Himself in the sin that separates us from Him like some weak and indulgent uncle. No, He is a Holy God and “will not be mocked, for whatever a man sows that will he reap. The one who sows to their flesh will from their flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life”. Gal. 6:7-8.
    Repent, before its too late.

    • The great thing about our God is He is God, not us! He uses the weak to lead the strong, the foolish to confound the wise, and sometimes he uses the lost to teach his people and advance His kingdom.

      In fact the very story of Paul exemplifies that!

      Your entire comment could have been direct at Paul! He was a Pharisee, could anything good come from them? Would God make a mockery of Jesus work by advancing the Kingdom on the back of a persecutor His Church?Was God celebrating and condoning self-righteousness by using this Pharisee for His purposes? Was He praising Paul’s work trying to destroy the Church by choosing Him?

      Even if hollywood has some ulterior motives for making these films, and my guess is they did when our beloved Charlton Heston was bring the scriptures to life as well, they are bringing our faith into our culture. This movie will be talked about by everyone. We can either use those conversations as a tool to dialog about Jesus and our faith OR we can complain that sinners and heathens made this movie and miss the opportunity connect a lost and broken world with the true and loving God.

  9. I’m seeing a common problem among these responses. Just because he did not address EVERY SINGLE Biblical Truth in this article, doesn’t mean he is some heretic. Just because God loves sinners (including famous actors), doesn’t mean He isn’t grieved by their sin at the same time. If we, human beings, have the capacity to have simultaneous emotions and feelings, then how much more does an infinite God have the capacity for such things. God is creative. Therefore, I believe God can appreciate works of art, even though broken and imperfect due to the sin of man. This movie could be a wonderful work of art. Can’t we just be excited at the possibility of this story being told? Can’t we just praise God that He uses wretched sinners, even when they have sinful motives, to proclaim his message? Paul addresses this very thing in Philippians 1:15-18
    “15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.”
    Let’s just be excited that the Gospel is indeed being spread, even if imperfectly.

  10. The gospel is straight forward and clear. God created man; man sinned against God; God sent His Only Son, Jesus Christ to die in man’s place and resurrect from the dead so God could restore fellowship with man. When a person acknowledges their sin and Jesus as the only Savior they have restored relationship with God through Christ through repentance. The person goes from death to life; orphaned to adoption; bankrupted to inheritor; judged to glory; eternal hell to eternal heaven and fellowship with God. This article is trying to preach another gospel with enough Christian jargon to deceive. The temptation is to present a gospel that is attractive rather than the truth of man’s state with God the Creator of the universe using star power and popularity as a basis…..The simple and powerful gospel of Christ can stand on it’s own without help from man, visible church and technology….

  11. great thing about portraying a historical figure, there are volumes of information on the life of Saul of Tarsus, later known as the Apostle Paul; he wrote 13 possibly 14 books (Hebrews) in the New Testament. if Mr. Jackman delves into the role, as he’s known to do, then he will find the Apostle Paul and his Savior, Jesus Christ. with such a dramatic role as Paul, there’s plenty of material to make a great movie and explain the gospel from one of it’s preeminent writers. hope they stay true to the script that is provided them.

  12. Listen, Hugh Jackman was made in God’s image. Jesus Christ died for ALL of mankind. New covenant and new life in Jesus started at the resurrection – again for ALL people, some know it and some have yet to discover their gift of new life in Christ. The bible tells us that whoever is in Christ is a new being. “It is finished” said Jesus after he completed His mission. Accept the gift. Receive it. If you’re not sure ask Him, and He will show you. Please don’t let religion distract you from what God has already done for you in Jesus. If you read the Bible, you will see that Jesus wasn’t a fan of the religious people of his day. He came to set you free. Be blessed because you already are!

  13. Dear, whoever wrote this article,
    The fact that you lumped homosexuality into the same category as having a beer or having fun, causes me some consternation.
    How did Jesus come to give us abundant life?
    His very first sermon was,
    “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.
    Do you think everyone was “happy” with that message?
    You do understand that His primary mission was to save us from the bondages of sin and restore us to a right relationship to God the father?
    And…
    One cannot have “abundant life” if one is still enslaved to, and therefore (knowingly or not) serving the evil one.
    The abundant life comes in when we do what He preached, which is repent, and cry out for His mercy.
    Since God lists many behaviors, very clearly, that He forbids and calls sinful, (having a beer or having fun isn’t on that list while homosexual action is) I can only surmise you are unaware of what scripture actually reads.
    I agree that there is joy unspeakable in Christ. But, it is the true joy of being set free from my sinful self.
    It is not “happiness”.
    Many things can make a person, “happy”.
    Some people are very happy doing atrocious and horrible things.
    But, they are in no way, full of the joy of God, simply because they “feel” happy.
    I am called to pick up my cross and follow Him.
    If I preach a “gospel” that only tells people,
    “Jesus will make you happy. Jesus is fun! Jesus wants you to have an abundant life”,
    and I do not tell them the whole truth of how to get there, my words are vain.
    You say, we are called to preach “Christ crucified” and not “crucify people”, but no where in your article did you say why He was crucified, what He died for, or that His mission was saving us from our sin.
    We are irrevocably separated from God as long as we remain in our sin and do not admit what we are.
    I am a believer. i will tell the truth in love, but I will tell ALL the truth.
    And, I will follow and imitate my Savior by preaching exactly as He preached,
    “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
    He went to that cross to pay the penalty I deserved. He rose to give me His life.
    That is JOY!

  14. I personally no longer subscribe to the Christian religion. Being raised in it, I understand it, but seeing what it has been deformed to makes me ashamed. I cringe when I hear “Christians” yelling with megaphones in the streets. Scaring people with hell and torment if they don’t convert. They miss the whole point. What Jesus was all about.

    I have decided to live my life on a simple theme through out the bible. Love. Simple as that; God is love. The ultimate sacrifice was Jesus sacrificing his body for the people he loved. The best way to spread the word of God is by action. Loving those who are strangers. Smiling. Caring. Demonstrating through action the love that God has shown to us. Not yelling and name calling.

    I really enjoyed this article because it calls it straight. I’m tired of hearing “God hates fags”. You mentioned the things Jesus did in life. Associated with criminals, the sick, the undesirable. I can guarantee there were some gays in there too. And he loved them, just as much as any of his other creations. God is love. No exceptions.

    • I can’t say I blame you. You’ve highlighted the dangers in following “the Christian religion”. We are all hurt. We are all wounded. We are all messed up. When we follow each other, trouble usually accompanies us. I ran into similar frustrations a few years ago. God called me out of it and asked me who I was following. It turned out, for a time, I was following men and who they said God was. I wasn’t following God. And I wondered why I was frustrated. The people I was following were not evil people. They were just acting out of their own woundedness, kind of like how I was.

      My heart breaks for the Christians on corners with megaphones. How we see God is how we treat other people. If they are on the streetcorner with the megaphone, that’s probably how they see God treating them. The only thing we can offer is unconditional love and acceptance, just like Father shows to us.

      The bad people wanted to be with Jesus. The Good people wanted to kill Him. Perhaps the best test of our Christlikeness is whether the bad people want to be around us or not.

  15. Unfortunately, this article only affirms deep aches I have for the state of the world in general. The writer, Carlos Rodríguez, is committing a very similar logical fallacy as the groups he is denouncing in his poor writing. I’ll respond briefly. Rodríguez spends his time pointing his finger at “religious people” (keep in mind he cannot be anything less than “a religious person” by being both a Christian and a pastor) and presenting a version of Christianity that is identical to the one he denounces in this way – BOTH are terribly incomplete fragments of the Christian message by proclaiming parts of the Christian message and ignoring other parts. Rodríguez relies on thought-stopping slogans. “Restrictive,” he announces, without giving any definition of what exactly he means by that loose, trendy idea. Because, of course, Christianity IS restrictive AND Christianity is where ultimate freedom lies. We far too often, in our postmodern context, forget to consider humanity’s finitude that necessitates “restriction” in the sense that the moment one attempts to be “free from all” one has become nothing at all, a gray wash of meaninglessness. Rodríguez suggests that God only wants to make us “happy.” His background and current context with Toronto and the “Catch the Fire” movement too quickly reveal his unwillingness to consider the grandeur of God beyond the small department of “happy.” Here is one marginal movement pointing a finger at other marginal movements within the larger Christian family. Even the title “Hugh Jackman, meet Jesus.” sounds like the very condescending attitude Rodríguez claims to denounce. One final comment: Rodríguez states, “It’s time to love hard, sing louder, and preach Christ crucified (not the “Christ” who is crucifying everyone else!).” The irony here is overwhelming. Was it not Paul the Apostle (whom Jackman will be playing!) who wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me,” (Galatians 2:20). A long held Christian belief is the belief that after one has accepted the justification of God through the sacrifice of Jesus one begins the process of sanctification whereby Jesus prepares His “bride” to be presented to the Father at the second coming. Here, it is exactly the death of the old self that Paul proclaims. Rodríguez, however, in his Toronto thinking, believes that God wants us to remain just as we are and be “happy.” God wants much, much more than that. God wants to transform us completely. He wants to bring us back to Himself. In the Here and Now that requires death to the self. In the Ever After that is Joy. “Happy” in and of itself is hardly the picture. Once again Christianity is presented as a much easier enterprise than it is. Check out the last and fifth to last paragraphs of chapter six in “Orthodoxy” by Chesterton.

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/chesterton/orthodoxy.ix.html

  16. The writer, Carlos Rodríguez, is committing a very similar logical fallacy as the groups he is denouncing in his poor writing. I’ll respond briefly. Rodríguez spends his time pointing his finger at “religious people” (keep in mind he cannot be anything less than “a religious person” by being both a Christian and a pastor) and presenting a version of Christianity that is identical to the one he denounces in this way – BOTH are terribly incomplete fragments of the Christian message by proclaiming parts of the Christian message and ignoring other parts. Rodríguez relies on thought-stopping slogans. “Restrictive,” he announces, without giving any definition of what exactly he means by that loose, trendy idea. Because, of course, Christianity IS restrictive AND Christianity is where ultimate freedom lies. We far too often, in our postmodern context, forget to consider humanity’s finitude that necessitates “restriction” in the sense that the moment one attempts to be “free from all” one has become nothing at all, a gray wash of meaninglessness. Rodríguez suggests that God only wants to make us “happy.” His background and current context with Toronto and the “Catch the Fire” movement too quickly reveal his unwillingness to consider the grandeur of God beyond the small department of “happy.” Here is one marginal movement pointing a finger at other marginal movements within the larger Christian family. Even the title “Hugh Jackman, meet Jesus.” sounds like the very condescending attitude Rodríguez claims to denounce. One final comment: Rodríguez states, “It’s time to love hard, sing louder, and preach Christ crucified (not the “Christ” who is crucifying everyone else!).” The irony here is overwhelming. Was it not Paul the Apostle (whom Jackman will be playing!) who wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me,” (Galatians 2:20). A long held Christian belief is the belief that after one has accepted the justification of God through the sacrifice of Jesus one begins the process of sanctification whereby Jesus prepares His “bride” to be presented to the Father at the second coming. Here, it is exactly the death of the old self that Paul proclaims. Rodríguez, however, in his Toronto thinking, believes that God wants us to remain just as we are and be “happy.” God wants much, much more than that. God wants to transform us completely. He wants to bring us back to Himself. In the Here and Now that requires death to the self. In the Ever After that is Joy. “Happy” in and of itself is hardly the picture. Once again Christianity is presented as a much easier enterprise than it is. Check out the last and fifth to last paragraphs of chapter six in “Orthodoxy” by Chesterton.

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/chesterton/orthodoxy.ix.html

    • I think it would benefit you tremendously to get to know the man before coming to some of the conclusions you have. Your conclusions might be a bit different then.

  17. A lot of the comments here remind me of Acts 14, when the crippled man was healed so he could walk, then Paul challenged the beliefs of those who misunderstood what had happened, and then they stoned him for it and left him for dead.

    I once heard a wise man ask, “Would you rather be right than have relationship”? When are we going to stop attempting to destroy one another in our efforts to “be right”?

  18. Do you really believe a project on Paul, coming out of Hollywood, would be of any better quality, have greater integrity, than any other faith-based film coming from the same people in the past . . . oh, 20 years? I’ll be really shocked if this film has even a glimmer of the truth of what we know about St Paul from the Scriptures.

  19. Carlos, you hit the nail right on the head. I could not agree more with your evaluation of this situation and the current state of the Church. Thank you for your encouragement offered by me seeing there are other people who see that changes need to be made.
    Blessings,
    Your brother in Christ

  20. Absolutely love this blog! Thank you for writing it. But the Savior is on a mission to win the hearts of men. He will do whatever it takes to save the lost. He paid too high of a price for grace to be wrongly translated by us. Because, “God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – Paul in 1 Timothy 2

    Kelly Master

    http://www.emergeladies.org
    http://www.diningfordignity.org

  21. No human has the right to choose shackles for another, and God doesn’t put them there either – he extends an invitation for us to join Jesus in living out redemption life. If we truly believed that the restrictions we force on people come from God, we would introduce them to God – and let him tell them. That we keep on speaking for God says that we don’t trust him to say things to others that we will agree with. And in order to avoid hypocrisy, I’m going to shut up right now, and just ask that rather than have a conversation with me, that you have one with God.

  22. Hugh and Matt are two of my all-time favorite actors, so I kind of want to be excited about this prospective movie about Paul; however… I’m suspicious, quite frankly. After choking down the heretical train wrecks of “Noah” and also “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” I fear we will be dished more of the same surrealistic sludge. The aforementioned movies were created by people who clearly had never cracked a Bible, Septuagint, or Torah. They wouldn’t know Genesis or Exodus if the original scrolls fell from the skies onto their heads. Noah and Moses were slandered millennia after their deaths in these sad excuses for high budget films, and my guess is that this project will be more of the same. Only one thing gets Hugh, Matt, and Ben to do movies, and that’s cold, hard cash. My Bible says you can’t serve both God and money; therefore, I cannot hold out too much hope that they will not repeat the post-mortem persecution, this time of the great Apostle Paul.

    • Hugh Jackman doesn’t act because of the money. If you believe that, I don’t think you know much about him. I’ve met the man, and he was so generous and kind. He and his wife are true humanitarians, and he even made a large number of cheap tickets available for fans who usually don’t get to see him perform at his Broadway play. I saw the play from the front row for $35. He chose the smallest venue and it was strongly rumored that he took a salary cut to lower ticket prices. He even has given some of his movie paychecks entirely to charity. I hope that still doesn’t sound like someone motivated by the money to you.

      That said, these are quotes from Hugh Jackman from an interview this week while he was promoting his movie, Pan. Here, he talks about God and what acting means to him.

      Parade Magazine: When did you know that you were meant to be an actor?

      Hugh Jackman: I’m a Christian. I was brought up very religious. I used to go to different evangelists’ [revival] tents all the time. When I was about 13, I had a weird premonition that I was going to be onstage, like the preachers I saw.

      Parade Magazine: Setting aside the money and fame you earn, what does acting give you that you really need?

      Hugh Jackman: That’s the best question I’ve ever been asked. Peace. There are things driving me that aren’t all healthy—[needing] approval and respect to fill some hole who-knows-where in me. Am I worthy? All those fears. Through acting, I’m able to find a level of bliss and peace and calm and joy. And it feels natural.

      Parade Magazine: Bliss, peace, transcendence: It sounds religious.

      Hugh Jackman: I’m a religious person. This is going to sound weird to you. In Chariots of Fire the runner Eric Liddell says, “When I run, I feel His pleasure.” And I feel that pleasure when I act and it’s going well, particularly onstage. I feel what everyone’s searching for, the feeling that unites us all. Call it “God.” Before I go onstage every night, I pause and dedicate the performance to God, in the sense of “Allow me to surrender.” When you allow yourself to surrender to the story, to the character, to the night, to the audience, transcendence happens. And when that happens, there is nothing like it on the planet. It’s the moment people experience when they fall in love, which is equally frightening and exciting. That’s what it feels like.”

      Parade Magazine: You’re very involved in charities fighting AIDS, poverty and other causes. Where does your sense of obligation to help come from?

      Hugh Jackman: I was brought up with a religious sense of giving back. I am given opportunities, more money than I could ever need. If you see money or fame as energy, then use it to help others. Paul Newman did that. That’s what inspired me to start Laughing Man.

      Parade Magazine: Your wife is also involved?

      Hugh Jackman: Deb inspires me. She is constantly reminding me that we’re all connected. A person’s sick or hungry and needs help—well, help them! That’s all it is. Deal with what’s in front of you. Things have been put in front of me where I have to say, “OK, this is there for me to help.”

  23. Hi Carlos. I just wanted to inform you of Hugh Jackman’s new interview with Parade magazine (the very same magazine you quoted from 2009). This new interview came out just this week. In it, Hugh Jackman says he is a Christian. In fact, he says some pretty uplifting things, in my opinion. I am going to provide you with some excerpts:

    Parade Magazine: When did you know that you were meant to be an actor?

    Hugh Jackman: I’m a Christian. I was brought up very religious. I used to go to different evangelists’ [revival] tents all the time. When I was about 13, I had a weird premonition that I was going to be onstage, like the preachers I saw.

    Parade Magazine: Setting aside the money and fame you earn, what does acting give you that you really need?

    Hugh Jackman: That’s the best question I’ve ever been asked. Peace. There are things driving me that aren’t all healthy—[needing] approval and respect to fill some hole who-knows-where in me. Am I worthy? All those fears. Through acting, I’m able to find a level of bliss and peace and calm and joy. And it feels natural.

    Parade Magazine: Bliss, peace, transcendence: It sounds religious.

    Hugh Jackman: I’m a religious person. This is going to sound weird to you. In Chariots of Fire the runner Eric Liddell says, “When I run, I feel His pleasure.” And I feel that pleasure when I act and it’s going well, particularly onstage. I feel what everyone’s searching for, the feeling that unites us all. Call it “God.” Before I go onstage every night, I pause and dedicate the performance to God, in the sense of “Allow me to surrender.” When you allow yourself to surrender to the story, to the character, to the night, to the audience, transcendence happens. And when that happens, there is nothing like it on the planet. It’s the moment people experience when they fall in love, which is equally frightening and exciting. That’s what it feels like.”

    Parade Magazine: You’re very involved in charities fighting AIDS, poverty and other causes. Where does your sense of obligation to help come from?

    Hugh Jackman: I was brought up with a religious sense of giving back. I am given opportunities, more money than I could ever need. If you see money or fame as energy, then use it to help others. Paul Newman did that. That’s what inspired me to start Laughing Man.

    Parade Magazine: Your wife is also involved?

    Hugh Jackman: Deb inspires me. She is constantly reminding me that we’re all connected. A person’s sick or hungry and needs help—well, help them! That’s all it is. Deal with what’s in front of you. Things have been put in front of me where I have to say, “OK, this is there for me to help.”

    Source: http://parade.com/…/dotsonrader/the-hugh-you-never-knew/2/

  24. So it is all about ‘Party down’ but no repentance? Jesus Christ, God incarnate, is about saving the sinner, not about being the hit of the party. He DIED for our sins. His words after He came of of the desert:
    ““Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”” Matthew 4:17

    Yes, He desires us to enjoy life, but not at the expense of living a sinful lifestyle. Helping others in need is always very good as well, but not the full message. Unless one turns from their sin and receives Christ as LORD in their life they will, according to the Scriptures, go to Hell.

    I pray that as Jackman studies the life of Paul, that his life will be further transformed to not only seeing the goodness of God, but of God’s greatness, purity, holiness and magnificence. He is to be respected and feared. He is not our buddy. He is the God of all creation.

    There is freedom in Christ when we turn away from sin and live God’s way.

  25. I know someone who went to Hugh Jackman’s youth group in Sydney and knew Hugh before he left the Church. By her account it was a fairly healthy evangelical Anglican church. I wouldn’t be too quick to jump to conclusions. Sometimes people actually do hear the Gospel but simply choose to walk away. I suspect Hugh will return to Christ if he takes the role seriously because he will re-examine Jesus (assuming the movie’s script has no rock monsters and is a legitimate attempt to tell the Biblical narrative).

  26. What an excellent article! My first time at happysonship, found the article on twitter. Yes, indeed, God is preparing to knock Wolverine into a radical encounter!! I’ll be watching to see how this all plays out. God is amazing.

  27. Nice article but I think you missed a bit of the point by getting too into the point. You don’t want to be that overbearing christian but saying things like every human alive is hungry for an encounter with Jesus is doing exactly that. I personally have recently become an atheist and don’t crave an encounter with Christ. I respect all religions, especially Christianity since I was brought up a Christian, however people who aren’t religious don’t desire to be. We all have our own faiths and I believe that Christians like you help the world by having your faith change with the times without losing any strength. You can be pro LGBT, pro choice, and drink all you want and still be devoted to Christ. But get the hint of someone isn’t really feeling God as much as you are