Angus T. Jones is probably better known as Jake Harper on the popular sitcom Two and a Half Men. Starring on the show since the age of nine he is the “half man” in the lineup. He has been on the show for the last ten years. It is reported he makes $350,000 an episode.
Jones had begun attending a Seventh Day Adventist church and during a revival was “born again.” In the wake of his conversion he was interviewed by his pastor. During the recorded video interview Jones made a number of statements that do not reflect well on the sitcom’s content. In the video he encouraged viewers to “please stop watching it and filling your head with filth.”
I have never viewed an episode of Two and a Half Men, but it is admittedly “laced with sexual innuendos.” It is only reasonable to assume that salacious levity takes the serious edge off of acts of fornication and adultery. It is hard to view sexual sins seriously when they are treated so lightheartedly. It is difficult to think something that is laughable, is damnable. Herein lays the danger.
Jones had more to say, “If I am doing any harm, I don’t want to be here,” referring to his part in the show. “I don’t want to be contributing to the enemy’s plan…You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can’t.” Jones clearly questions the content of the sitcom and his participation in it.
Jones’ family believes he has been brainwashed by a cult. They have not explained their reasoning. I have serious doctrinal disagreements with the Seventh Day Adventists, but I would hesitate calling them a cult. Possibly the family thinks Jones was obviously made delusional by the denomination, because who in his right mind would jeopardize a successful acting career making $350,000 per episode.
Actor and born again Christian Stephen Baldwin has defended Jones. In a recent interview on Good Morning America Baldwin said, “It sound like Angus is having an authentic experience with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a serious thing.” Baldwin went on to say, “A real, true walk of Christianity is very difficult, quite radical. It seems to me he was a young man when he started and now he’s kind of come into his own and he’s connected with his pastor.”
This past Tuesday Jones issued a statement about his comments after the interview aired. Jones said, “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.” Jones is apparently conflicted about his comments. Why?
Did Jones say anything that was not true given his fresh perspective of reality? I did not see the interview, but in his reported comments I did not read anywhere that he disparaged his colleagues or was unappreciative of the opportunity to be on the show. Jones was merely questioning his participation in this program from the advantage of his new conversion. All of us at some time have reviewed our lives in retrospect from a newly formed perspective. I saw no need for an apology. His comments were understandable.
Maybe Jones thought he was being perceived as unappreciative. Baldwin thinks so, “He didn’t want to offend Chuck Lorre or any of the people from the show or be disrespectful, but I think he means what he says.” I hope so. I would hate to think his apology was made because he feared losing that $350,000 an episode.
Many a professing Christian was compromised the truth of God’s Word for a successful career in the entertainment industry. There are few examples of those in show business who have sacrificed in their careers to be true to God.
Jesus proclaimed, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth (Matthew 6:24, NASB).”
Baldwin was correct when he said, “A real, true walk of Christianity is very difficult, quite radical.” It is quite radical. I hope Angus realizes that. Compromising with our culture while trying to remain godly is like trying to jump over a mud hole in two jumps without getting muddy, it can’t be done.