By Alex Parker
September 30, 2021
Denzel Washington has gone where few in Hollywood will — with an idea about men and their purpose.
The actor recently spoke at First Baptist Orlando’s “The Better Man Event.”
In conversation with spiritual mentor A.R. Bernard, he outlined his Christian journey.
In 1975, he’d flunked out of college. But a woman prophesied he’d preach all over the world.
Seven years later, he “was filled with the holy spirit.”
“I just wasn’t ready,” he confessed.
After finding phenomenal success in film, he contemplated becoming a pastor.
For many years, he did good works through philanthropy and “being a good guy.”
“What my mother said to me was, ‘Denzel, you do a lot of good. But you must do good the right way.’ She said, ‘And you know what I’m talking about. Can’t buy your way in. Can’t love your way in. You’ve got to serve.’”
He was 59 then. Now he wants to do more:
“At 66…having just buried my mother, I made a promise to her and to God. Not just to do good the right way, but to honor my mother and my father by the way I live my life, the rest of my days on this Earth.”
The Oscar winner’s long heard his Creator’s command:
“I’m here to serve, to help, to provide. In every prayer, you know, the ego’s interesting — you just don’t know. But in every prayer, all I hear is, ‘Feed my sheep.’ That’s what God wants me to do.”
As for The Better Man Event, it wouldn’t fit many movie stars’ M.O.
Per its website, the ministry aims to “equip, encourage, and engage men to be better in Jesus every day of the year.”
“How do we become better husbands, fathers, friends and co-workers to those around us?” it asks.
Where do we turn to seek insights for the struggles we face?
What about the flip side of the equation of how to celebrate success and make a positive impact on other men?
In our current climate, are men even allowed to have impact?
Denzel noted, “The world has changed.”
“What is our role as a man? The John Wayne formula is not quite, doesn’t fit right now.”
Still, he’s taking a stand:
“[S]trength, leadership, power, authority, guidance, patience are God’s gift to us as men.”
“We have to cherish that, not abuse it,” he made clear.
It’s not the first time the star has shared his faith:
Hollywood Star Denzel Washington Recalls the Moment He Gave His Life to Christ https://t.co/Ip1f5m8uIu
— RedState (@RedState) June 30, 2020
He told the Better Man audience he wants to be known for something other than the silver screen.
As quoted by The Christian Post:
“Yes — I’ve been high up on the mountain. I’ve been blessed. … But that’s a slippery slope. And it’s lonely up there. You know, people don’t know that side of it.”
“What I played in the movies is not who I am,” he emphasized. “I’m not going to sit or stand on any pedestal… Because the fact of the matter is, in the whole 40-year process, I was struggling for my own soul.”
An entertainment icon, he’s lived in the land of self-love — which is increasingly a fitting description of America:
“[The Bible] says in the last days we’ll become lovers of ourselves. The number one photograph now is a selfie. … We’re willing to do anything…to be influential. … Be you famous or whoever’s out there listening… It’s cliché [but] money, don’t make it better. It doesn’t. Fame just magnifies the problems and the opportunities.”
He’s found something that leads to real success:
“Stay on your knees. Watch me, but listen to God. I hope that the words in my mouth and the meditation of my heart are pleasing in God’s sight. But I’m human — I’m just like you. What I have will not keep me on this Earth for one more day.”
“If you want to talk to…someone, talk to the one that can do something about it. Constantly develop those habits.”
He’s working on habits of his own:
“I don’t drink anymore. I don’t do any of those things.”
The world, it seems to me, is in crisis.
As faith falls to the wayside, so does identity.
People are struggling to find themselves and find meaning, but that will never be located in the world.
And though Tinseltown traffics in carnal tonics for our ills, at least one man has something else to offer.
Bottom line, from a Hollywood heavyweight:
“I’m all about the message, to the degree that I know it. And I’m unashamed and unafraid to share it!”