By now you’ve heard about Angus T. Jones’ comments about the “filth” on his show Two and a Half Men. Angus is the ten-year child star of the hit show on CBS. For those who want a summary, click here to read my FaithWalkers Daily to dig deeper. Bottom line, Angus T. Jones is a young Christian who has come to believe the show that butters his bread is filthy.
I know that’s not news to anyone who has watched the show before. It’s funny at times. Very funny. But it’s also crude and, yes, filthy in its content. I haven’t watched it in years, but it sounds as if it hasn’t changed. I have two complaints with Christians who watch the show:
- Why are you wasting your life away watching sitcoms when they are all nearly identical and you likely won’t remember any of them six months from now? How does that move God’s Kingdom forward ? What’s that? Everyone does it? Oh. OK, kids.
- What the $#%%! (See all you regular watchers of 2.5 Men just filled in that word didn’t you? Just kidding! Easy….) But seriously, how can you watch it given that God calls us to be holy as He is holy, to guard our minds, keep our eyes from evil, and think only on what is pure, etc? Honest question. Any 2.5 fans have an answer?
What would you do?
Which brings me to the question of the day: if Christ has called us to be in, but not of, the world, should Angus T. Jones quit 2.5 Men? And should the $300K paycheck per episode factor into his decision? For what it’s worth, here are a few thoughts on how I would answer.
- I don’t think CBS is at all concerned that the show is once again garnering headlines for being racy, so I doubt they’ll be the ones getting rid of him. But that’s the point. People will tune in to watch the Jesus Freak wrestle with his inner conscience. How can that be good?
- His statements about the negative impact of 2.5 Men in the context of his faith have created an interesting and very public dilemma for him. If he stays, he will be criticized as being a hypocrite. The typical stereo-typical Christian, so the wagging tongues will say, a man of faith — until it comes to losing a $300K paycheck. Unfortunately, I suspect most Christians would follow the paycheck because we worship what we fear. Rebecca Cusey here at Patheos has a good point about the financial impact on others in the show although I think it manageable.
- We should engage culture and seek the greatest influence we can because this is our Father’s world. All of it. Including sitcoms — if they must exist at all. The answer of how much compromise we can tolerate and still remain obedient to God is a question both for the individual’s conscience and the clear revelation of Scripture. I point to another excellent point by Rebecca Cusey here:
[T]he best outcome would be if instead of deriding a young man who has begun to come into his own, we had a grown-up conversation about what lines remain in our culture and if we’re comfortable with that.
- In this instance, I don’t see how I could remain on the show with a clear conscience, no matter how big the paycheck or potential influence. I have some experience walking away from a paycheck, so I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t stop me. I bought a Powerball tick– (ha! Had you there for minute.) But we all have our fears. There’s likely another one that would tempt me to compromise. That’s why were called to walk by faith — what we believe to be true — and not by sight — what we feel and see around us.
Based on all those factors, I would walk away. I can already hear some of you saying, “But you could donate the money to feed the poor!” Sorry. No sympathy here on that point. It’s never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right.
If I had a contract in place, I would buy it out. If I couldn’t buy it out, I would ask to be let out. If the answer was no, I would say so publicly and then do my best to fulfill the terms without compromise.
I know. Easy for me to say. Maybe not so much for Angus T. Jones.
What would you do if you were him? Would you quit the 2.5 Men “filth” and the $300K paycheck in this situation?