Jennifer Hudson Revisited
Posted by Job on November 1, 2008
Some time ago, when the tilt on this website was somewhat different, I addressed actress and singer Jennifer Hudson’s publicly distancing herself from the gospel and the Biblical truth that it is based on in Oscar Winner And American Idol Contestant Jennifer Hudson: Christian?. Ms. Hudson was raised Baptist, but publicly professing and adhering to the doctrines of the church of her youth had become inconvenient to her career. So she took the business savvy tactic of refusing to publicly denounce her Christian beliefs or upbringing so as not to offend her Christian fans while declaring herself unsure or agnostic about certain Christian doctrines so as not to offend her other fans.
It would be very easy to blame this on Ms. Hudson’s choosing a secular career over what would have almost certainly been a quite comfortable – indeed lucrative – career in gospel music. However, the gospel music scene is as bad as the secular music scene if not worse, and moreover has been for quite awhile (see this and this). So it comes down to her choosing money and fame over the Bible, if not privately and personally definitely in her public profession as the first item that I posted on Ms. Hudson demonstrates.
Now of course, Jennifer Hudson would gladly trade her fame and wealth and live a lifestyle of obscure poverty if it meant having her brother, mother and nephew back. The issue, then is that at the time that I first wrote regarding her, according to her own words and actions she would not at that time have made the same sacrifices for the gospel’s sake. Whether she would have since then or will know is a matter between her own heart and God. But what we Christians should take and learn from this tragedy is not by looking at the actions of Hudson then or now, but at our own actions and hearts right now and in the future. It is times like these that remind us how valuable the gospel, our eternal fate, indeed spiritual things truly are. Are we willing to truly sacrifice for the sake of the gospel? If so, how are we proving it? In what way are we doing so?
It is not a matter of going out and seeking affliction for ourselves, which often strikes me as self – aggrandizement more than service to a holy God out of a sincere heart. So the people who go obstruct abortion clinics and make their presence known at gay pride marches … I wonder if they are such bold witnesses among their own friends, family members and workplaces? In any event, those who wear their piety on their sleeve tend to do so because they lack Jesus Christ in their hearts, and Jesus Christ said so about the Pharisees that liked to make a public show of their prayers, fasting and giving. Instead, it is the Biblical truth that if you seek to serve God out of a sincere heart, if you truly share and live the gospel, persecution will inevitably come find you. Rather than viewing it as a demonic attack per se, it is helpful to view such trials the way the book of Hebrews, the book of James, and the book of Romans depicts them: what God allows to happen in our lives as part of our being tried, tested, proven, shaped, molded, purified, strengthened, and ultimately conformed into the image of God’s Son. As Jesus Christ suffered many things, how much more should we suffer for Jesus Christ’s sake?
Yet we see that suffering in our human existence is inevitable because of the sin that entered creation. It is not trivialized by saying “bad things are going to happen” or “life isn’t fair” but rather truthfully stating that horrific heartbreaking tragedies and catastrophies occur so often that most people go through life denying the great possibility that something will personally affect them and trying to keep themselves from truly dealing with it when it does. The way that we deal with this reality, it seems, is to deny its possibility until it happens and then to try our best to just get past it when it does. But yet and still, it will happen. Suffering, pain, hurt, trials, etc. will happen.
But if one professes Christianity and undergoes suffering for any cause other than that of Christ, then what profit, advantage or use is there in the suffering? This is not to say that all misfortune that happens to Christians are for Christ’s sake, obviously. I am certainly not saying that this tragedy happened to Ms. Hudson because of Jesus Christ. Rather, my point is that what is the use of trying to avoid being persecuted for the gospel’s sake only to have tragedies like this happen to you anyway?
So perhaps a better and more direct example would be the person that refuses to share the gospel or even restrict himself to upright conversation and behavior at his job because he wants to retain it, be accepted, and gain promotions and raises only to find himself laid off anyway. And I have to tell you: with the way that the economy is going right now, there is a good chance of that happening. There is also increasingly the possibility that even holding a job in the near future will require your having to reject Bible doctrines. See Leading Corporate Diversity Firms Says Companies HAVE To Start Firing Christians!
So before judging Jennifer Hudson’s choices harshly – as I did in my first treatment of her – please know that in the near future you might be confronted with the same set of choices to keep your career, home, family etc. as did she. Will you make the same choices as she did? Let me tell you … if you are already not being a bold witness for Jesus Christ with your public confession, evangelism and lifestyle when circumstances do not require you to be, then how can you be sure that you will stand for Jesus Christ when your job, family, life, or something else that is dear to you is on the line?
This tragedy that happened to a fellow professing Christian like Jennifer Hudson should cause us to look not at her but at ourselves and how we are living out our own private and public lives as Christians. If her confession was flawed in the past, would mine have been better had I been in her shoes? Is mine better in the shoes that I am in? I have to say regarding Ms. Hudson that my prayers are with her and her family, and that her experiences as a Christian have caused me to look in the mirror. Will it do the same for you?
Make no mistake, Ms. Hudson’s distancing herself from some of the more difficult and controversial Biblical truths in the past was wrong, and it was appropriate to point that out. The question now is whether I as a Christian or you as a Christian would do any better. If the answer is no, and I dare say that for most professed Christians and especially for those of us in the wealthy and comfortable west the answer would in fact be no, then we simply need to get closer and stronger in our walk with God, to become more like Jesus Christ and exhibit the teachings of the Bible stronger and more often in our daily lives, so that the answer will become yes.