February 8, 2023
We can all remember when the single “Driver’s License” or the entire Sour album by Olivia Rodrigo came out. Our generation rocked out to the new songs of heartbreak. We were also taken on the dramatic journey between her and ex, Joshua Bassett. We’ve recently heard his side of this heartbreak story in his new music release “Different”. Now, Joshua Bassett has taken a turn and is speaking out about finding love… Jesus’ love.
This year Joshua Basset has posted about his personal experience of finding faith in Jesus. He posted on Twitter, “Jesus Christ is the only way…” shocking fans inside and outside of the Christian world. After the initial post, he shared more details of his encounters. When looking into this topic, media headlines state things like “fans concerned about Joshua Bassett” or “fans wondering if Joshua Bassett is ok.” On the flip side, Christians are excited that another Hollywood star has found Christ, and many leave encouraging messages for him.
I think it is important to address both sides. Culture views choosing to follow Jesus as a concerning thing – we’ve witnessed this in recent comments. I think it can be easy for Christians to become frustrated with these responses around us. But then I remember when John says, “do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.” (1 John 3:13). Scripture prepares us for these situations knowing that we, and Christianity, will not be accepted by the world. More than that, there will be pushback.
On the other side, many of us have concerns about celebrities coming to know and follow Christ, yet their way of life never looks different. It’s not that we are looking for faults or expecting transformation overnight, but as scripture reiterates to us, there should be fruits of our faith. As we spend more and more time with God, we will look more and more like Him. James 4:4 says, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” This part explains that it’s not possible to be a part of the world while living for Christ. Unfortunately, it is common for our favorite stars to fall back into what the world gives and, in the end, choose that path instead.
Another reminder for myself, and I believe many of us, is that we don’t know their hearts, only God does. We aren’t the judges, God is (James 4:12). As we are each on our own walk with Christ, comparison can creep in and cause us to compare our walk to those following Christ “better than us” or those “failing worse than us.” This reminds me of the story of Jesus and the woman caught in sin. “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) None of us are truly pure, yet God still loves us just as much. As a brother or sister in Christ, it is our job to love them as Christ first loved us and spur them on towards Him.
We follow the lives of many celebrities all the time, find pleasure in their personal drama or indulge in their work, whether it be music, film, etc. I think it is too common for Christians not to look beyond the surface and see them as real people in need of a savior. Even though we don’t have a direct relationship with them, we can be obedient in the areas God calls us by praying for them allowing Him to change their heart.
The Every Square Inch Conference is a great way to learn about how theology and culture meet. It is important to understand theological foundations and how to approach the world we live in through the lens of scripture. Come hear Trevin Wax speak on the merging of Culture and faith at 9:45 AM, 2:15 PM, and 5:30 PM on Thursday, February 9th. When evangelizing to a friend or a stranger, it is vital to understand the faith we claim to have. It is also essential to know your audience and how their culture influences how they view life and faith. Check out the schedule here!
If Joshua Bassett’s recent experiences are to teach us anything, I think we should remember to pray for the celebrities we follow, our friends, classmates, neighbors, coworkers, and anyone else we encounter in daily life. Let’s also pray that Joshua’s influence can lead more people to Christ. I’ll end my post as He ended his: “I’m better than I have ever been, the peace I feel is far beyond what I thought possible.”
Written by Makena Joseph
Makena is a senior studying Graphic Design with a minor in Business. She plans to run her own design company specializing in brand design and move to Hawaii post-graduation. In her free time she loves binging tv shows, cooking, and spending quality time with friends.