Angelina Jolie recently co-chaired the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in London. She serves as a United Nations special envoy. Last year she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from America’s governors. On June 13, 2014, Queen Elizabeth II named her an honorary dame (the female version of a knight).
This Oscar-winning actress is using her profile and influence to address significant social issues around the world. Such a commitment is clearly commendable. However, her story and fame are also cause for concern. Here’s why.
Jolie made headlines last year when she advocated teenage sex and cohabitation. After she divorced her second husband, she had a lesbian relationship before partnering with Brad Pitt. The couple has six children but is not married.
Her story is not unusual among celebrities, of course. A website I checked listed 168 celebrity divorces and breakups so far in 2014. It seems more common for celebrities to cohabit than to marry. Some are famous for alcohol and drug abuse, hard parties and aberrant spirituality. And that’s a problem, for three reasons.
First, celebrities appear to be the people many of us want to become. Whatever they do apparently works for them, so it might work for us. As a result, many people imitate their morals and behavior, often to their detriment. Not surprisingly, two out of three parents feel their children are being exposed to too much inappropriate content in the media, much of it influencing them in negative ways.
Second, celebrities can make us feel inadequate. Many people compare themselves to the beautiful actresses or handsome actors they seek to emulate, and feel inferior as a result. Studies indicate that a majority of young girls in America are unhappy with their image. Our celebrity culture teaches us that success is measured by appearance and popularity, but most of us feel we never measure up.
Third, celebrities can legitimize unbiblical deception. Some such as Tom Cruise are clearly aberrant in their spirituality, but many espouse and model beliefs that are just as non-biblical. For instance, Angelina Jolie says she “respects all religions” but states, “There doesn’t need to be a God for me.” When she and other celebrities reject biblical truth, it’s easier for others to agree.
I’m convinced that the greatest need in America is for a great moral and spiritual awakening before it’s too late. That’s why our ministry is joining Anne Graham Lotz for “777 An Urgent Call to Prayer.” Beginning tomorrow through July 7, we are spending time before God each day in repentance and intercession for our nation. I urge you to sign up to receive Anne’s prayers each day here.
As you pray for America, you might intercede for a celebrity as well. Angelina Jolie is making a difference in the world today. What impact would she make if our omnipotent Lord could use her life for eternal good?