Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners


What I Learn From Comedian Russell Brand

Comedian Russell Brand, a.k.a. rock star Aldous Snow, poses for the camera.

If British comedian Russell Brand (of the movie “Get Him to the Greek”) can be crude, he can also be downright hilarious, as evidenced by the below videos.  “We’ve Got To Do Something” and “African Child” are ridiculously funny caricatures of celebrities and rock stars who trumpet their various “do-good” crusades in high-profile ways.  (I considered posting the whole Youtube clip of “African Child,” but because some of the later parts may really offend some of you, I’ve gone with this abbreviated version.)

But, as I watch these I can’t help but see some biblical irony in Brand’s critique.  Isaiah 64 describes “all our righteous acts” as little more than “dirty rags.”  Even our best works- maybe especially when we do them in plain view for all to see- are little more than efforts to justify ourselves.  To make ourselves look good or earn ourselves a distinguished reputation.

And it seems Brand’s lampooning need not be reserved just for celebrity rock stars.  It might also be generously dished out to celebrity pastors and churches whenever they run up the flagpole a particular cause.  After a while they can start sounding an awful lot like Brand’s “African white space Christ” (for full context you’ll have to check out the full Youtube click, without my endorsement, of course).

In short, there’s a lesson in addition to the laughter here:  God’s mission asks us to leave our self-inflated “do-good” impulses and savior complexes at the door, even as it gestures to a non-negotiable life of service to God’s world.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image


Previous Posts

Are You Opposed to People Owning Guns? Via John Piper
[caption id="attachment_5235" align="alignleft" width="339"] Jim Eliot and 4 other missionaries were killed in Ecuador by Auca Indians. The missionaries had guns but chose to fire them in the air rather than at their attackers who had spears. The Aucas have since embraced Christ in great number.[/ca

posted 11:40:36am Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Mental Health Break— "Sea Song" and Lisa Hannigan
This week the theme of the sea put to music especially touched me as our family grieves the loss of my granddad.  My granddad was a lifelong sailor and lover of the sea, and we will scatter some of his ashes on the sea where he used to command our family's annual regatta from Shelter Island, New Yo

posted 11:16:49am Jul. 18, 2014 | read full post »

"Admiral John": A Granddaughter's Remembrances
It feels a bit like Groundhog Day: wasn't it just a couple months ago that I was sharing a granddaughter's reflections upon the death of a grandparent?  This past Saturday, my granddad John slipped away suddenly to join his late wife Peggy of 68 years who had been his companion until two months ago

posted 11:58:22am Jul. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Hostility Re: My Post on Guns in Georgia—A Lesson
Fellow saints and sinners, it's with some sadness and more fascination that I write after seeing the onslaught of fierce and even violently ad hominem attacks in response to my post from two days ago about Georgia's new gun rights legislation.  From here on out, these sorts of responses won't be to

posted 10:36:22am Jul. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Free Grace Sticks Excerpt
Thanks for bearing with yesterday's

posted 11:30:37am Jul. 11, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.