Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Actors Distance Themselves from Christian Upbringing

The actors Brad Pitt and Hugh Jackman both grew up in Christian homes and both men have since distanced themselves from their faith. Here's how Brad Pitt described his spiritual journey:

I found [my Christian upbringing] very stifling. I always had a lot of questions about the world, even in kindergarten. A big question to me was fairness. If I'd grown up in some other religion, would I get the same shot at heaven as a Christian has? When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn't a loss of faith for me; it was a discovery of self. I had faith that I'm capable enough to handle any situation. There's peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I'm responsible.

Hugh Jackman grew up in "a deeply religious family, his parents having been converted to conservative Protestantism by Billy Graham." But in a 2013 interview Jackman said, "I was involved with so many things in the church. It was my social group. It was where I met girls. It was sort of my life out of school. Then around 16 or 17, I started questioning. 'How come all these nonbelievers are going to hell?'"

The same interview reported, "Today, [Jackman] is not particularly religious and says he never prays, though he believes in some form of God and afterlife and meditates twice daily for 30 minutes." Jackman said, "It is about quieting that part of the brain and just seeing and being."

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Doubts and Questions—How do we handle the doubts and questions that people, especially young adults, have about God? Do we honor or dismiss their questions? (2) Rebellion, Self-sufficiency—At some level, both Pitt and Jackman decided to walk away from faith in God and to trust themselves above God. (3) Hell and Judgment—For both men, the rejection of Christianity centered on one issue—hell, judgment, God's Wrath.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Evangelist Leighton Ford Meets Muhammad Ali

Leighton Ford, evangelist and brother-in-law of Billy Graham, once met the former boxing champion Muhammad Ali at a hotel in Sydney, Australia. Ford listened as Ali regaled a group ...

[Read More]

Willie Nelson Chooses Reincarnation Over Hell

In It's a Long Story: My Life by Willie Nelson, Willie recounts his time as a "popular" Sunday School teacher at Metropolitan Baptist Church—a popularity he attributed to his ...

[Read More]