Jennifer Lawrence is the highest paid actress in Hollywood.
And the most liked.
She’s also the kind of girl everyone wants to be friends with.
And she grew up in a Christian home in Kentucky.
Unfortunately, she now struggles with her religious upbringing.
And I don’t blame her for it.
I have written in the past about different celebrities who come from Christian homes and have now denied the beliefs of their upbringing. Some in our community have called them liberal-jerks-who-care-more-for-fame-than-faith, but I think we need to hear the message they are sending us.
Somehow the pro-guns, anti-abortion, immigrants-are-bad, only-Conservatives-know Jesus approach, is causing us to lose what God values more… souls.
People who Jesus died for.
Men and women who are valuable sons and daughters but were raised in Bible believing homes where they experienced little actual Bible power and love.
From evangelist Brad Pitt, to future Apostle Paul, Hugh Jackman, and even Pastor’s kid Katy Perry; these talented and influential people were raised in a “Jesus house” and are now unintentionally inviting the body of Christ to change.
It has nothing to do with us denying the truth of the Gospel; it has everything to do with reviewing our delivery.
We don’t have to water down the Word, we just need to live it like the Word (Jesus) live it.
God loves the people who love God AND the people who hate God AND the people who don’t believe or don’t know God. That’s what God is like.
You see, the Christ was attractive to the hurting and the sinful. They “drew near to hear Him” (Luke 15:1). So why is the body of Christ drawing them away?
What have we done to push the Jennifer Lawrence’s of the world away?
A few months ago, Cindi Leive from Glamour magazine did an in-depth interview with the Oscar-winning actress. She answered questions about her incredible success, the many times she has tripped during awards shows, her recent collaboration with comedian Amy Schumer and her trending essay on equal pay in Hollywood.
She also talked about her support for Planned Parenthood after the shootings in Colorado:
JL: It isn’t an attack on abortions; it’s an attack on women. Because Planned Parenthood is so much more [than abortion]. My mom was really religious with me when I was young. She’s not so much anymore. And I wouldn’t have been able to get birth control if it weren’t for Planned P. I wouldn’t have been able to get condoms and birth control and all these things I needed as a normal teenager who was growing up in a Jesus house.
CL: So did you go to Planned Parenthood for those things?
JL: Yes, I did. And now [gestures widely] I am a successful woman who has not had a pregnancy.
JL: Thank you. [Laughs.] But seriously. What harm comes from supplying people with birth control, condoms, Pap smears, and cancer screenings?
Maybe J-Law has a point.
How can we as believers approach this (and every other subject) not as complainers and critics but as problem-solvers and hopeful-dreamers?
Is there any space to see the good that this “evil” organization is providing? I think we can remain pro-life while at the same time being pro the lives of the women who are being served by Planned Parenthood. We don’t need to agree, but we are commanded to love.
As I said in the article The Planned Parenthood Revival, “God fearfully and wonderfully made every lady who has gone through an abortion. Every man who has pushed for one. And every one of us who judged them.”
He also (and obviously) fearfully and wonderfully made Jennifer Lawrence, and it would be a shame for us to deny her a new kind of experience.
One that is closer to the actual Good News of the Gospel.
Maybe we can start by not sharing articles that imply that she is a liberal-jerk-who-cares-more-for-fame-than-faith… or any other article that makes us look like unhappy whiners who have nothing better to do but find what is wrong with others.
“If you can’t affirm what you believe without belittling what someone else does, then you have a lousy testimony.”
My hope is for abortion to be done away with. I am a full-blown supporter of the legitimate efforts to correct this terrible sin (especially what Embrace Grace is doing all over the States).
But I have an even greater hope, for the church to become properly pro-love. So that every baby that is born, is welcomed into a world where the Kingdom is coming and God’s will is being done. So that his body is known as Jesus was known: miracle workers, who provided for the poor, who love the least of these, and are willing to sacrifice their reputation for the sake of all.
And instead of being the ones who criticize abortion, we become the solution to abortion. Instead of complaining about what Jennifer Lawrence has to say, we love the talent in Hollywood with mercy and grace. Instead of getting offended with how the world sees us, we get offended with the religious agenda that keeps the world away.
There are millions of people like Jennifer Lawrence. People who grew up hearing the truth, but never actually experience that truth in action.
The ethics of Christian faith save no one. The right and wrong we preach is more counterproductive than Jesus exposing.
It’s time the church stopped, “holding their crucifixes, which may as well be pitchforks, thinking they’re fighting the good fight.”
That’s actually a quote from Jennifer Lawrence; said during an interview with Vogue magazine while discussing Kim Davis and her choice to deny marriage licenses to gay couples.
Multiple articles declared Jennifer Lawrence an enemy of Christianity because of that quote. But I see her more as an invitation for us to have self-awareness.
A challenge to wake up from our slumber.
If we keep holding up the cross, but not declaring its true message, then we will always be seen as the mob holding the pitchforks of hate.
That’s not the message Jesus preached. That’s not the life He lived. That’s not the commission of the Christian faith.
Religion keeps drawing lines to separate us.
Jesus works to erase them.
Let’s join Him.
For Jennifer’s sake.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
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