This is where we are at in our culture. We want to soak in all of the details between two famous actors – one seasoned, A-lister who’s been around a while & one young, vibrant blonde who’s younger and in 2022, much easier on the eyes. And they’re defamation law suits about the way each of them have treated one another are now online, on YouTube, or just about anywhere else you can find them. Our culture is absorbing every bit of the detailed fallout in their relationship. And truthfully, I’ve found myself watching a few clips of Johnny’s testimony or Amber’s tearful reaction.
But as Christians, should we participate in any of this drama infused ‘entertainment’?
Without judgment in any way if you too have been wooed into clicking play on that click baited fluorescent flag, the answer is probably a resounding “no!” But why are we fixated on this most monstrous of gossip machines, and why do we participate in them as Christians?
First off, Paul says in Philippians that we should “fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” It’s clear that the civil trial between Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard do not neatly fit into any of those categories. There is nothing right or pure or good about two people hashing out their grievances in public by revealing a ton of grueling, intimate moments they’ve had together.
And this is my real problem with Christians taking all of this in: We are not called to inhale gossip, or to consume intense amounts of of popular culture, but to create, cultivate, and advance the Kingdom of God. We could sit and listen to hours and hours of trial recordings between Depp and Heard or Supreme Court Justice nominations or even OJ Simpson, and it could be oddly entertaining and produce certain hormones in us that cause enjoyment, but consuming all of that, what amount to gossip, does nothing for what God calls the believer to do.
The trial does, however, give us a conversation piece, for which to start helping someone understand why the Kingdom of God is so important in the first place. Consider this: (and this is the only reason why viewing a trial like this might be ok) What if you are talking to someone about the trial and you help someone better understand how the two could have resolved their differences in different ways. For instance, what if Depp didn’t file a suit against Heard for her op-ed piece in the New York Times? How could he have handled it differently? Or what would have happened if Heard would have written in that oped that she forgives Depp, and anything he might have done to her. Forgiveness is a powerful thing, and can change people in powerful ways.
In the Kingdom of God, there is a distinct vision that God has for the future heaven and the future earth, pointing people to what we know about that heaven and that earth based on what we know about God through Scripture can be a powerful tool. AS followers of Jesus, it is in our best interest and the best interest of the world to help expand that vision as opposed to soaking in what this present world has made of itself.
So make that a goal of yours, Christ follower. Take God’s vision for the world and spread that good news around. Otherwise, you’ll be enslaved by someone else vision, and that just might be two actors going toe to toe with one another, trying to convince you that they and the millions of dollars they make every year, are victims.