The beef shouldn’t be with Angus Jones

English: Angus T. Jones at a ceremony for Jon ...

English: Angus T. Jones at a ceremony for Jon Cryer to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in September 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He’s only 19! Angus’ newly found faith has come at a great price. When teenagers get passionate about something, they go all out – even before they’ve considered the best course to accomplish their good thing. In all of the hullabaloo about his comments on the video that went viral, I’m wondering how much investment was put into seeking wisdom on how to share his testimony in the most productive way possible. Where were the adults in his life?

In The Tangible Kingdom (Hugh Halter and Matt Smay), the authors suggest that our posture is significant in our ability to share Jesus with people who don’t know him. We must look past the . . .

. . .outward behavior, vices, sin, frailty, brokenness, and confusion of a person. Instead an advocate focuses on winning a person’s trust, friendship, and loyalty . . . Our posture is what wins a person’s respect and heart and helps them be open to God’s ways. While poor posture communicates judgment, Christ-like posture displays love. (The Tangible Kingdom Primer, p. 35)

Let’s be clear about one thing with regard to his highly publicized rant about the TV show . . . he’s absolutely correct. But, what’s the point in saying it if there’s little redeeming value in the way you do it? How did the church leaders think the millions of people who watch the hit TV show would react? Though a 19-year-old isn’t going to know that, the Christians that are counseling him should.

It’s about knowing the times and the best course to take (1st Chronicles 12:32). If the things in Angus’ follow up apology had been considered before he went public with his conviction, they could have mapped out a plan that would have kept the respect of most of the people, and many more would have listened.

Jones’ mom is afraid he’s being exploited by the church. While it may not be intentional, that’s certainly what it looks like. I can’t imagine the excitement I’d have had if Jones had stepped into my church and made the same bold statements about Jesus Christ. I hope that I’d consider the proper posture that would ensure the best Kingdom results. Come to think of it, wouldn’t it be great if we did that with every opportunity the Holy Spirit brings our way?

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11 thoughts on “The beef shouldn’t be with Angus Jones

  1. I think you have a point, but I also think that God uses all different kinds of “speech”…Especially if its the truth. If we consider Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and even Jesus himself, we find countless examples of truth telling which cannot not be separated from sarcasm, bluntness, and even name calling (brood of vipers, synagogue of satan, sons of the devil,etc.) I believe we always need to use wisdom when speaking truth, but I don’t believe that means the message always has to be couched in politically correct non-offense. Our culture is one of proud, self- righteous professors of a powerless form of religion. God opposes the proud and offers grace to the humble, right? Therefore, i personally have no problem with what this kid said or how he said it. But do keep in mind that this is the opinion of one who often speaks out of turn and, as some might contend, offensively regarding the gospel of truth.

    • Yes, but in every instance where there is sarcasm, bluntness and name calling, they are addressing people who claim to be people of God but aren’t acting like it. Paul’s approach with the men in Athens (Acts 17) was much different than his reproach of Peter in Galatians 2. Jesus’ approach was different with the woman at the well than with the Pharisees who tried to catch him out. These prophets played to their audiences.

      I’m not suggesting that Angus water down the message. Quite the opposite! But, we must state the truth is in a way that will be most beneficial. This isn’t an issue of political correctness, it’s about being wise in how we communicate this precious message. It is possible for our zeal to hinder our mission, and it’s in those instances that I wonder if our primary concern is more for declaring the rightness of our convictions than for the salvation of those that God is putting in our paths.

      It’s a tough line to follow, indeed. Thanks, Lori.

      • You’re right. I get lost in the shuffle of it all I think bc most of our country still does profess Christianity, and yet, has no problem sitting and imbibing every crass joke and entertainment program put in front of them. That’s probably why I get in trouble with my own speech. I just can’t seem separate the world from the church when speaking, because the world pretends to be the church in our society…and the church often acts like the world. :/

      • If more Christians had your passion for the Truth and being real about Him, God would be all over this country. I appreciate your vigor for the need for a reality check in our churches. Be comforted in this: God hates the faking more than you do! So, you’re in pretty good company, my friend.

  2. As long as there is a human element involved, things may not be as programmed as you seem to suggest they should be. God is still in the business of redeeming all kinds of situations

    • Indeed, God can redeem this one as well. I’m sure he already has in many ways. I’m not suggesting that all hope is lost. Neither am I suggesting a programmed course for every Christian experience (after all that would be very un-church-planter like). Just a smattering of common sense would have been great – knowing the times and acting accordingly.

      This approach smacked of judgmentalism (and betrayal of his loyal fans who may have listened otherwise) – the #1 aspect of Christianity that turns people away.

      How Jones fixes this with the public is yet to be seen, and his apology was a great start. But chances like this to influence the world for Jesus Christ don’t come along every day and I strongly believe that we must do all we can to be effective when the do. Everything doesn’t need to be programmed, but we can’t afford to abandon wisdom.

  3. What’s really interesting is that because the internet has been around a while, I sense a little more thoughtfulness about this issue than usual (a *little* means a little). A typical reaction says he’s being brainwashed, while another says “You liberal biogots can’t stand conservatives in Hollywood,” while others say, “Let him find his own way.” Still others say, “Charlie Sheen was a drug-strangled idiot, at least this kid is trying to be real.” It’s like the blogosphere has made us more immune to stupid first reactions. I for one find the discussion a cool meta-commentary on how people dig deeper now.

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