In recent days I have come across two items pertaining to former child actors who, counter-culturally, have become working Christian actors.
The first is Jay Underwood. Jay made appearances at a young age in such movies as “The Boy Who Could Fly” and the classic “Uncle Buck” as Bug. He has worked steadily since growing up in movies and commercials. Underwood is now a pastor of a protestant church in Northern California. Mostly retired from acting now, he has recently come out of retirement to act in a Christian themed movie, No Greater Love that looks at love, redemption, and forgiveness.
I also came across an interview with Kirk Cameron. The former teen hearthrob is well known as a Christian and is also know for some of the feathers he ruffled when he was a new Christian on the set of Growing Pains. He admits now that perhaps he could have handled things a little better, but is still very friendly with his former cast members.
Well, in the book I talk in detail about what it was like going from an atheist to becoming a Christian, and how the decisions that I made really affected my relationships on the set.
As I look back at some of those decisions, I think I could have handled things maybe with a bit more grace, maybe not quite as bluntly as I did. But, again, that’s also looking back in hindsight. I mean, at the time, you’re 17 years old, you’re a brand-new Christian, you’re wanting to do what’s right, and the pressure is on. And you’ve got to make a decision quickly sometimes when it comes down to a script.
So, I wouldn’t have done a lot differently, but maybe just seasoned it with a bit more grace.
Kirk also has the dubious distinction of having starred in the “Left Behind Series.” I was relieved to see that he might not buy into all that silliness.
You know, to really wrap my mind around how God is going to wrap up history here on planet Earth is a difficult thing. You realize that you’re really swimming in the deep end theologically when you dive into the book of Revelation and the End Times.
There are so many guys that have devoted their lives to eschatology or the End Times, the last things, that I would defer to [them] on that subject. But what I enjoyed about the “Left Behind” films was it gave us an opportunity to present the gospel and get people thinking about eternity. Because whether it happens in a scenario like you saw in “Left Behind” or somewhat differently than that, the truth is you and I could die tomorrow, and you could be transitioned from time into eternity in a heartbeat. It doesn’t have to happen during a Rapture event. And so, people need to be thinking about eternity now. That’s what I saw as the value of the film.
I suppose we can cut him some slack. Kirk is also starring in a Christian themed movie on marriage called Fireproof. We are inundated with the disgusting antics of Lindsay, Britney, and their debauched cohorts. So it is worth noting when some make it out of that life largely intact.