Angus T. Jones is a big star on the CBS show “Two and a Half Men.” At 19 years of age now, he has literally grown up on that sitcom before the eyes of a nation. The show (which I have only watched a couple of times) deals with themes and topics that could not exactly be called wholesome. It is ripe with sexual innuendo and makes no attempt to hold up sexual purity (in fact it ridiculed it on the show I saw) or much of anything pure at all. But it still must have been shocking to millions who watch that show regularly when a few days ago in a video interview Angus said this: “I’m on Two and a Half Men, and I don’t want to be on it. Please stop watching it; please stop filling your head with filth….A lot of people don’t like to think about how deceptive the enemy is. He’s been doing this a lot longer than any of us have been around. So we can’t play around. There’s no playing around when it comes to eternity.”
Whoa! Brave 19-year-old! Angus makes $350k per episode and yet he’s willing to bite the hand that feeds him for the sake of the truth. According to reports the young man “found God” and became a member of a 7th Day Adventist congregation last June. Since then he’s had difficulty in harmonizing his biblical beliefs with his role on “Two and Half Men.” Immediately reaction to the video quotes was mixed. Those that disagreed said that Agnus was unbalanced, unstable and hypocritical for taking $350k an episode and yet slamming the show. Many said he should be fired or worse! On the other hand, many believers applauded him saying he was simply telling the truth about much of what is offered on TV. But then yesterday Angus apologized. In part he said, “Without qualification, I am grateful to and have the highest regard and respect for all of the wonderful people on Two and Half Men with whom I have worked and over the past 10 years who have become an extension of my family. I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed. I never intended that.”
Was Angus back peddling? Was his previous “truth-telling” simply an angry rant? Isn’t what he said the first time true? Isn’t much of our media espousing non-biblical and even anti-biblical ideas? Isn’t the enemy (satan) a deceiver as Agnus said? Shouldn’t somebody stand up for what is right and call it what it is? Well, while I cannot disagree with what Angus said in his first remarks it may surprise you to hear that I think while he was right he was very wrong! Why? Because it’s not what he said as much as how and where he said it that was a mistake. We must be careful that we do not pull up the truth because we speak it without grace.
Ephesians 4:15 tells us to tell the truth but to “speak the truth in love.” It’s why 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” It is why Jesus, when giving the parable of the Tares in Matthew 13, says not to go in and start pulling up the tares or weeds because in doing so you’re liable to pull up some wheat too.
You see, we’ve got to be careful that we give the message in such a way that it doesn’t do more harm than good. In Jesus’ story in Matthew 13 the roots of the weeds were so interwoven with the roots of the wheat that much of the harvest would be destroyed if the farmers start yanking out the tares/weeds. And sometimes well-meaning, overly aggressive, angry Christian’s do more harm than good. They start flailing away at evil and they minimize the harvest. When we fight in the flesh the people in the world get the idea that we are fighting against them. We are fighting a spiritual warfare. God isn’t mad at sinners He’s mad about them! He loves them.. He just hates the sin that is destroying them. And we cannot let them think we hate them by the way we share the truth.
While you may not agree with my assessment I think as believers we can all agree that it is a think line to walk, this line of grace and truth. Hopefully Angus will keep his convictions, leave the show (which he can contractually in a year) and then mature in his faith to the point that he spreads the loving message of Jesus in a way that won’t give a mixed message: that he’s against something more than he’s FOR the Truth – the grace filled One who wants to give everyone the truth and life.