News is out today that Angus T. Jones, the young star of the sitcom Two-and-a-Half Men, has placed a video on YouTube denouncing the show as filth and urging people not to watch it. Jones recently converted to Seventh Day Adventism and feels that participating in the show is no longer compatible with his Christian beliefs.
I agree with Jones that the show is pretty trashy and worthless. I say that in spite of my long-time affection for Jon Cryer, dating back to his days as the Duckman in Pretty in Pink. The show is incredibly offensive to women and treats sex as a some sort of game or sporting activity. It suffered a major set-back two years ago when star Charlie Sheen’s life began to imitate that of his character. He was promptly replaced by actor Ashton Kutchner whose real-life character had already been called into question by his infidelity to then-wife Demi Moore.
Yes, I think people would indeed be better off skipping the show entirely. But is the show, as Jones claims, the work of the devil and does Jones participation in the show (as he suggest the video) threaten his place in eternity?
Jones may be lauded by many Christians for standing up for his beliefs and good Christian values, but I see his video more as misplaced fervor by a young and new convert.
Until he turned 18 last year, Jones was the highest paid child on television. He has literally grown up and grown rich on this show. While the show is, no doubt, not the ideal environment for a child, there are also, no doubt, a number of people connected to the show who cared for him, mentored him and encouraged him along the way.
When we become a new creation in Christ, our lives do change. We are called to a new way of living, but we are also called to a new way of loving. We want to be good Christians, but we also want to be gracious Christians. Surely there are better ways than a scathing YouTube video for young Jones to reconcile his newly found religious beliefs with his contractual and personal obligations to the show that he has been a part of for more than half of his young life. His tactics may impress the already-faithful, but will only serve to turn off those who have not yet heard and embraced the Good News.
Perhaps as he grows in faith, young Angus will realize that part of being a Christian is loving those who have stood by you even while standing up for your beliefs. And as he grows more secure in his own beliefs, Jones may realize that salvation comes from what Jesus has done for us and not whether we breach a contract in His name.
As for Two-and-A-Half Men being an instrument of the devil, I kind of hope he’s right. If bad sit-coms are the main weapon of the Prince of Darkness, then we can all sleep a little easier tonight.
–Rev. Anne Russ