Thursday, March 6, 2014

My thoughts on the Oscars, Matthew McConaughey and God

The Oscars were on Sunday, March 2nd. As a fan of movies, I'm usually a fan of awards shows. I like to compare the movies and actors that I thought were transcendent in films to what others pick as the best of the best. I'm always way off the mark. That's ok, because I like the pageantry, the dresses, the performances, the John Travolta-moments. Oh yeah, we were doing a live blog post during the broadcast and was truly dumbfounded when I heard that jumbled up name. Idina Menzel was a good sport about it. We all make mistakes but some are much more public than others.

This brings me to Matthew McConaughey's speech when he won Best Actor. He was confusing to just about anyone that watched the show. I watched an interview when he was on Oprah probably 4-5 years ago, maybe. My sense of time is very very messed up. Anyhow, he was telling her about traveling cross country with his dog, towards the end of their journey, the dog got sick and needed to be put to sleep. He told Oprah how he was talking to the dog and I believe his words were "He looked at me and said 'Man, just lemme go.'" He could tell by the dog's face he wanted to be let go, or he heard the dog clearly speak it. I can't tell the difference. My point in telling you this is to say he confused me YEARS ago! Of course his Oscar speech is going to be confusing for those of us that are not Matthew McConaughey. I think that his speech was classic.

Oh yeah, there was the part where he thanked God. While he did more than just throw God in with his agent and mom as is the normal for a lot of awards. He was one of the few if only to mention God in a thank you on stage.

"There’s a few things, about three things to my account that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase. Now, first off, I want to thank God. ‘Cause that’s who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Laughton, who said, “When you’ve got God, you got a friend. And that friend is you.”

He did not just thank God as a small token in a self-indulgent speech, he highlighted that God has graced his life in different ways. So many Christians have either condemned him outright because of the makeup of his body of work as an actor, or for a few roles. Other Christians have hailed him as the new spokesperson and champion for Christianity while turning a blind eye to his faults. While I won't take McConaughey's movies to be Christian-films, I realize that he's trying. If you claim to be a Christian, you're publicly announcing you're a sinner and not perfect. The world will never understand that's what it means if we continue to attack believers for their imperfections. I believe like the Bible tells us to, those of us without sin should be the only ones to cast a stone. That takes EVERYONE out of the running for beating McConaughey to a pulp. He sinned publicly with the subject matter, scenes and language in his films, guess what - we all have too. 

Maybe we hide our sins from others. Maybe we clean up our language for a weekly appearance at church and cuss like a stevedore with our friends. Maybe we try to sell an impression of  ourselves to others that is purposely misleading. Most Christians do not show everyone their sins because they would be embarrassed, feel picked on, or just know the judgment they would receive from other believers because they judge the sins of others, too. 

If we are truly following God's word, we should extend grace to everyone. None of us have earned our way into Heaven with what we have or have not done. We are given the gift of Heaven upon accepting Christ as our Savior and believing that he is the only way to Heaven. We need to stop the Christian-bashing, the sanctimonious way we behave with other Christians that have slipped  up. I will never understand why we spend so much energy attacking each other instead of working together to win others for God. 

We need to remember the way we are to treat everyone - with love. If God's love flows through us, we can find the capacity to love anyone that leads a life filled with public sin, private sin, sin on a boat, sin with a goat. So I went a little off there, but you can see what I'm saying. God is our judge, so we need to leave it to the Master when it comes with judgment of others. 

Matthew 7: 1-3 

 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Matthew McConaughey's walk with God is a personal walk. I have no idea where he is in his journey. I don't know where you are with your journey, either. I would hate to be opened up and my sins laid bare for all to see, just remembering a dozen of them fills me with embarrassment of the person I used to be. God loves someone as bad as me, yet He saved me and loves me. If I can be saved, Matthew McConaughey can be saved and it's not my place to question him about it, demand an explanation or to tell him what he's doing wrong. Because while I focus on the small drop of sin I see in him, everyone sees the ocean of sin in me. 

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