My Two and a Half Cents: An Open Letter to Angus T. Jones

Now that a little time has past since the young ‘Two and a Half Men’ star’s condemnation of his CBS show, here’s some advice for living out your faith even when you're in the cast of a ‘filthy’ sitcom.

SPEAKING UP FOR HIS FAITH: Christian actor Angus T. Jones caused a stir when he denounced the tawdry content of his CBS sitcom, ‘Two and a Half Men.’ Critics suggested he give up his $350,000 per episode salary and quit the show.

(The following is an open letter to Two and a Half Men costar Angus T. Jones, who lit up the blogosphere when a video testimonial of his went viral, mostly due to his denouncing of the show, which he referred to as filth and implored viewers not to watch.)

Dear Angus … can I call you Angus? Do you go by Gus?

I apologize if that seems too forward, but as I watched your video testimonial, it felt like you were one of my friends. Not because I’ve watched the show — I’ve only seen a few moments in passing before I tune into Person of Interest. But because you remind me of so many of my friends when we were just entering adulthood. I really felt like I knew where you were coming from, not so much of the making-six-figures-on-a-hit-TV-show thing, but more of the realizing-the-truth-and-needing-to-speak-out thing.

Which is why I was tremendously impressed with the substance of your testimonial interview. I found it to be a refreshing example of candor and courage. That you were doing this of your own initiative and volition — as opposed to having been brainwashed, as some are asserting — should be evident to anyone who watched both videos in their entirety. Also, as a Black man, I couldn’t help but smile at your desire to be sensitive and not offend while you claim your affinity for Black people. On that issue, your friend Chris was right; you get a pass.

Nevertheless, your subsequent apology is an indication that you’ve realized the gravity of the situation — that words like that have wide-ranging consequences. As Jesus told his disciples, the cost of being a disciple is immense. However, I fear that the smoldering flame of your Christian convictions might be snuffed out by the pressure of external forces pulling you to and fro. And yes, I realize that by writing this letter, I’m one of those voices. Though I may not know exactly what you’re going through, I truly desire God’s best for you.

Consider these the suggestions of a new fan who’s been around the block a few times.

Suggestion #1: Pray about whether or how your faith can mesh with your current profession.

Christians around the world struggle with the question of how they can honor God in their current situation, and you’re not the only one in Hollywood trying to live out that challenge. You might want to have your people reach out to Yvette Nicole Brown of the NBC sitcom “Community.” She’s no stranger to being a Christian in the context of a contentious sitcom workplace. (You had Charlie Sheen and Chuck Lorre, she had Chevy Chase and Dan Harmon.)

I don’t know how God will lead you. It may be that God doesn’t want you to do the show. Or maybe he wants you to stay and be a light to your costars and/or the writing staff. Maybe God wants you on another show. Maybe He wants you to step away from the limelight for awhile, and He’ll bring you back later. I can’t pretend to know what’s best for you, but I do know that God rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

Suggestion #2: Keep studying the Bible — all of it.

Like many, as I watched your interview I found myself intrigued with the dude next to you asking the questions, Seventh Day Adventist pastor Chris “Forerunner” Hudson. In general, I favor websites like his Forerunner Chronicles, sites that try to spread a biblical message.

But in this case, I’m concerned about that message getting distorted.

See, Forerunner Chronicles is specifically about spreading the message of Revelation 14:6-12. Fear God, worship Him, give Him glory, et cetera … these are all great, biblical, God-honoring ideas. But there’s a reason why the other parts of the Bible exist. God reveals Himself just as much through the Psalms, through the Penteteuch (a.k.a. the Torah), the major and minor prophets, and the gospels and epistles of the New Testament. The book of Revelation is meant to be a culminating crescendo; it can’t be fully understood without the rest of the Bible as context.

Now I’m not claiming to fully understand it, either. But if you’re wondering why other folks might be put off by your association with Forerunner Chronicles, it might not simply be that “friendship with the world is enmity with God.” It might also be that there’s a part of Christ’s character that’s underrepresented (and subsequently misunderstood) when Christians position themselves only as adversaries of worldly corruption rather than allies spreading God’s message of peace and chesed. The world’s system may be opposed to God, but the world is also populated by people made in His image, people for whom Christ paid the ultimate price.

So you might want to expand your circle of fellowship beyond guys like Forerunner, because it seems a lot of folks are stuck on what he is against, rather than what he is for. Not saying you should throw him under the bus, or leave your church, or anything like that.

Mostly I’m just saying keep studying the Bible… all of it.

Anyway, that’s probably enough for now.

Blessings to you and your family, and keep Christ first.

Oh, and if Charlie Sheen calls, feel free to tell him that you don’t have any tiger blood, but you were redeemed by lion’s blood.

About the author, Jelani Greenidge

Jelani Greenidge is an UrbanFaith columnist based in Portland, Oregon. A writer and musician, he blogs at JelaniGreenidge.com.
  1. Well said, Jelani. I was not as impressed with the interview as you were. I saw two very young, kind of awkward guys, with the one (Angus) seeming to just regurgitate some new knowledge that he’s obviously very taken with. I would agree with you that he needs more grounding in the scripture and should expose himself to a wider circle of Christians so that he can make his own decisions about the faith. As for his apology, I saw that more as something that maybe his publicist recommend he do after his clearly zealous attempt to share his new-found faith. But I could be wrong; maybe he came to it on his own that he should clarify his comments. Either way, he’s got some growing and learning to do and I hope he finds wise people that can mentor him well. I just can’t help and think about how he started on the show as a young, impressionable kid (I wonder that no one in his life at that time thought the subject matter was too adult for a child that age) and now as an older, but still impressionable young person he’s seemingly fallen in with someone whose doctrine may not be entirely sound. Guidance is something he definitely needs.

  2. That was a really nice, encouraging piece about a kid who’s dealing with an awful lot of flak right now. I hope someone near him can bring it to his attention!

  3. Thank you for this sane commentary. The poor kid, he’s really being attacked in the media / blogosphere right now.

  4. Thank you for this. As a Seventh-day Adventist I really appreciated your plea for balance centered in the heart of the message of all is scripture: namely, the redemptive work of Christ on our behalf. Ours, like all faith traditions, is one of broad diversity on the spectrum of belief and practice. I believe that Angus is much closer to the center than he came off in the video. He seemed to be a little star struck by Hudson, who is a very powerful personality and clearly made some statements he wasn’t ready to make. I wish Hudson would have stopped the tape and advised Angus to really think through the ramifications of his statements. Even write them down and bounce them off of his pastor. Unfortunately, it seems they both got caught up in the moment. I’m still very optimistic abou Angus as he seems to be surrounded by a loving local congregation that seems to be more interested I. His well being than in garnering any notoriety. Hudson did after all, only fly out for the interview.

  5. You forgot to tell him to check into a mental hospital immediately.

  6. For all those negative comments made about Angus, I say give the kid a break, he was a child actor, his parents set him up for that, he grew up on the show. He didn’t just walk in the studio and say I want a job. Lord knows what he has been exposed to on that show through the years. Obviously, to make such a public statement he wanted off the show. So many child actors have been swallowed up in the hollywood fast lane, and unable to cope and handle success. For one reason or another he came to a crossroad in his life, where as he has reached out to religion. Becoming a true christian is far better then getting (staying) into drugs and alcohol. No one has the right to call him a hypocrit. As far as the money he made (if he has access to it) so what, it’s his money he earned it. Just because he’s a christian he does not have to donate it all to the church. Even if he came back years later to play on the same kind of sitcom, or If we got a big news flash, that Angus Jones was found with a prostitute or drugged out on crack, I would not call him a hypocrit. I would consider him a young man that lost his way.