Fame can get pretty crazy. There were times when young Kirk Cameron had to be driven from his home to the set of the hit television show Growing Pains in a bulletproof car. This was not because Kirk was a Christian; it was because he was a TV star with some fanatical fans. From 1985 to 1992, Kirk Cameron starred as the lovable teen troublemaker Mike Seaver, and Kirk became a worldwide teenage idol at the peak of his teen success on the popular sitcom. The downside of fame is that Kirk’s family also had to deal with kidnapping threats, stalkers, and a lack of privacy. When Kirk Cameron was growing up as a child star in Hollywood on Growing Pains, he was not a Christian. Therefore, he was not controversial.
But his experiences caused him to start thinking about salvation and his own mortality. In his testimony, he talks about having it all according to the world’s standards, but still feeling empty, like he was missing something. Kirk later shared:
“I was rich, I was young, I was famous, I could do anything I wanted with whomever I wanted…I thought that I was too smart to believe in a fairy tale like that [God].”
The Way of the Master web site reads “About Kirk Cameron”: But much more noteworthy than his acting career was his conversion to Christianity. Kirk was not raised in a church-going home and describes himself as a devout atheist from a very young age. By the age of 14 he was so convinced there was no God that he laughed at those who thought there was. But that all changed one afternoon as he sat in his sports car pondering the first Gospel message he had ever heard.
When he was 17 years old, Kirk met a young girl that he liked and her father invited him to go to church. Her father told Kirk that he didn’t have everything because he didn’t have the Lord. Because he really liked the man’s daughter, he decided to go along to church with them one Sunday. Kirk shared that as he listened to the message on the holiness and the love of God, he felt guilty, but he also felt a sense of hope. He really wanted to believe. Cameron started reading the bible and going to church; changing his language and changing his life.
In more recent years, Kirk played “Captian Caleb Holt” in the 2008 blockbuster movie, Fireproof. Kirk played “Buck Williams”, a character from the Left Behind series. He has grown as an actor, but more importantly, Cameron has shared the Gospel with millions on television, radio, through his Way of the Master ministry, and at churches and public appearances. Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church, Dr. David Jeremiah said that he had never heard the gospel presented more powerfully, more correctly, or more clearly than when Kirk Cameron shared with their church.
Fast forward to March 2, 2012 when Kirk Cameron appeared on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” to promote his new film, “Monumental”. During the television segment, Piers Morgan steered the interview away from the movie and to the subject of homosexuality. I am proud of Kirk Cameron for not avoiding the trap and for answering honestly when Morgan kept prodding him about his views on gay marriage.
Cameron responded to Morgan by saying, “Marriage is defined by God in the garden between Adam and Eve, one man, one woman for life, till-death-do-you-part.” He said that he would never attempt to re-define marriage and that he did not support gay marriage because of his Christian beliefs. The statement ignited outrage from homosexual activists, Hollywood, and liberals in the elite media.
Gay gossip columnist and activist, Perez Hilton, labeled Kirk a “bigot,” “disgusting,” and called him a “homophobe.” GLADD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) stated that Cameron was “out of step with the majority of Americans.” The classy Rosanne Barr tweeted “kirk or kurt or whatever cameron is an accomplice to murder with his hate speech…their peers r killing gays in uganda.”
In an L.A. Times blog, the lone conservative voice on The View, Elizabeth Hasselbeck sadly noted that she did not agree with Cameron at all, but did go on to say, “I do believe that the beauty of this nation is that he can, upon being asked, or of his free will, stand up and say what he believes.” Co-host Joy Behar finally agreed that Cameron had a right to free speech, but said she thought he should “just shut up.” Behar is a consistent example of liberal intolerance.
GLADD spokesman Herndon Graddick concluded “his views are harmful and have no place in modern America.”
Notice the recurring theme that Christians and our faith are not welcome in the Christian nation of America. Not surprising, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos set up a segment by saying that Cameron “kicked off a Twitter feud with his condemnation of homosexuality, and the heat is blowing back on him…”
NBC’s Ann Curry got into the act by saying that Kirk “set off a firestorm” with his comments on gay marriage. Curry began her interview with Cameron – which was supposed to be to promote his movie “Monumental” – by asking if he was “encouraging people to feel hate towards gay people”. Starting with his response, here is part of the interview:
Cameron: “When you take a subject and reduce it to a four-second sound bite and a check mark on a ballot, I think that’s inappropriate and insensitive…”
Ann Curry: “Do you feel any responsibility, saying words like that, that it might encourage people to feel it’s okay to mistreat gay people?”
Cameron: “Nobody should mistreat anybody. Homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals should not be mistreated…the interviewer that asked me this question used the words with me saying “I think your views are destructive.” We all have our convictions formed by different things and mine are informed by my faith. They’re formed by the word of God, and I found that to be an anchor for me, a compass, and a guide for me. When people start bullying one another and calling each other names for those different convictions, then I think you get into problems. I’ve also been on the receiving end of that.”
Ann Curry: “Why do you even talk about it then…This is not the first time you’ve made comments that have caused people a lot of alarm.”
Cameron: “That’s a good question. I was surprised, frankly, that people were surprised by the things that I’ve said. I have been consistent for 15 years… I’m a Bible-believing Christian. What I would have thought was more newsworthy is if I had said something that contradicted the word of God, if I had contradicted my faith.”
It’s hard to miss Curry’s elite attitude in the way she framed the questions, as well as asking Kirk why he even talks about his beliefs. This is astounding because interviewers ask the questions and the interviewee responds with an answer. They think that even though a Christian is asked a specific question, they don’t need to “stir up hatred” by answering the question! You can also tell which side of the issue she is on by noting that she said his “comments have caused people a lot of alarm.” This is her opinion; it is not journalism.
Jesus Christ is divisive and doctrine divides. Either the entire Bible is true and Christ is the Way or Christianity is wrong. There is no middle ground and this is one reason things get so heated. Because the Christian-bashing went on and on, Kirk released a statement to ABC News to clarify his position. He reinforced the fact that it is his life’s mission to love all people. He wrote:
“I should be able to express moral views on social issues, especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years — without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach ‘tolerance’ that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square.”
“I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect… “I’ve been encouraged by the support of many friends (including gay friends, incidentally).”
I have a greater respect Kirk Cameron, not only for what he stands for, but because of how much class and love he has shown in his handling of this “controversy”. Let’s get in the bunker with him as soldiers of Jesus Christ and do our best to promote the truth of God’s Word in bold and loving ways. We are called by Him to stand for truth.
Finally, I thought it was interesting that in an interview with Christianity Today about Kirk’s movie, Monumental, he was asked what he thought was the biggest problem in the church today. The very first thing he said was, “Apathy in the church.” Most of us understand that our time is short. We understand that we are here to proclaim the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. There will always be people who hate us. Will we be faithful or fearful?
But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:11-12