The real issue with this whole Angus thing

Dear Angus,

I haven’t done extensive searching, but I have to imagine that a lot of Christians are applauding you for standing up for what you believe in, but I’d actually like to applaud you for apologizing.  There are many adults out there who have a hard time doing that (I think you’ve worked with a couple of them, if I’m not mistaken), and at 19, sorry, you’re not an adult, and yet I think you addressed all the things that you should have apologized for, so good on you.

I watched part 2 of your testimony, and I actually think you spoke quite thoughtfully.  You reminded me of my brother who is about your age and beyond his years in wisdom.  There was a lot that you said that I admired.  I don’t know that we line up theologically as I know very little about the SDA church, but that’s ok, I don’t know that many of us really do if we’re hard-pressed to admit the things we really believe.

Here’s my problem:  You’re under contract and one of the highest paid child actors in the business.  Whether you like it or not 2 and a half men has given you a lot, including a platform for your newfound faith.  Your employers and your cast and crew have done a lot for you, and, bottom line, you can’t hold them to the standard that you have in your faith.  You and I follow Jesus, but some people (I’m guessing many of your co-workers and producers) don’t.  Yes, Jesus asks us to be glorifying to him, but He doesn’t ask that of non-believers, and neither should we.  We should point people to Him through our life, but Jesus met people where they were, he didn’t scream about how they were filthy… even the prostitutes and the thieves.

I’m pretty sure Jesus spent more time scolding religious people than non-believers, but, that is a topic for another day.

Regardless of your faith, what you did was disrespectful to your employer.  That’s not ok. Sometimes Christians want to act like they can say or do anything they want “in the name of God” even if it means being a jerk, but I don’t think that’s right.  Maybe there are some exceptions in cases of true workplace religious persecution, but I don’t think that’s your situation (I could be wrong). God doesn’t care if we’re on the highest rated tv show or if we’re a janitor.  If we’re a king or if we’re paper pusher.  But he wants us to do what we do well.  And he doesn’t want us to be a jerk, and turn people away by careless words and actions.  No, I don’t think God is glorified by your show, but I do think God can be glorified by your work ethic and your ability to be a great employee.

For the record, I think it would have been fine to say, “you know, I started my job before I knew Christ, and now that I’ve found my faith, and as I grow in my walk, I struggle with what my show promotes, since I don’t agree with it, and I don’t believe it glorifies God.  That’s what I’m struggling with right now, and I’m hoping God can show me what he wants me to do, while still upholding my contract since I know a lot of people are depending on me.”

I think the saddest result is that you have potentially pushed away many people who could have heard the Gospel through you.  Christians get a bad rap for being judgmental, self-righteous, and hypocritical.  And people don’t listen to what we say sometimes because of that. I don’t think you are those things, but many people who feel hurt or misunderstood by Christians or the church may feel that way.

I’m glad you apologized.  You needed to, and I think it was an act of humility that will benefit not only you but other believers.  And I feel sorry for you since, to be honest a lot of us would be in trouble if our negative comments about our workplace were plastered across all major media outlets.  That’s an unfair truth for a young person, really a person of any age in your business. I hope you learn from this.

More than anything, I wish that whoever put out this video had thought about all this, and had more foresight.  Perhaps they should have advised you against saying things so strongly.  Perhaps they should have encouraged you to wait to say those things until your contract expires.  All the things that you did haphazardly and perhaps unknowingly… they should have known. While you have been working for many years, you are still young and inexperienced, but I don’t think they are.  They should have known better. And the fact that they went ahead and put you into a firestorm shows a lack of discretion and discernment on their part, and also makes me think that perhaps they knew exactly what they were doing and wanted to take advantage of your starpower and guaranteed viral publicity. Quite frankly, shame on them.  May you learn things that they clearly have not.

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