I love Will Smith. I think he’s such an awesome actor. But we part ways on issues concerning Jesus. We do not worship or speak of the same Jesus together. Al Mohler pointed this article out on his radio program the other day.
Of particular interest, Will Smith says,
“I love the nature of humanity’s search for meaning. For me I’m certain about my relationship with the model of perfection of human life that’s laid out with the life of Jesus Christ. I’m certain of that. So I’m at home and not fearful when I sit in a mosque or a synagogue or a Buddhist temple, the same way that I’m home in the Church of Scientology. I like anywhere people are searching for the truth, and I respect their path and I’m intrigued by their path. I think when you are certain in and of what you believe in, you can open your mind to seeing the ways of others. I’m not bothered when someone says “Allah” because they’re talking about God—we are talking about the same person. I was in India recently and my hotel was near the Taj Mahal. Five times a day there would be a call for prayer, and it was the most beautiful thing. I was lying in my bed thinking, no matter what your religion is, it would be great to have that reminder five times a day to remember your Lord and savior.”
Can you point out the presuppositions to his religious worldview? Emphatic doctrines he speaks? Here are a few.
“For me I’m certain about my relationship with the model of perfection of human life that’s laid out with the life of Jesus Christ.”
– For Smith, Jesus is primarily an example, maybe even one of the best moral teachers ever, and surely a supreme model to follow. But He is not The one and only Savior of any who would believe in Him, as Jesus said of Himself.
“I’m not bothered when someone says ‘Allah’ because they’re talking about God—we are talking about the same person.”
– Try telling that to zealous Muslims (or Christians for that matter :]). He assumes everyone is ultimately worshiping the same God. “All roads lead to Rome.” This is a predominant presupposition in our culture. True Christians believe if someone does not worship God via Jesus Christ alone through the Gospel He has proclaimed, they are worshiping an idol, a false God. Jesus even said of the unbelieving Jews that they were followers of their “father, the devil.” Is this any less true of those non-Jews who reject the one and only Messiah, and spurn Him and His salvation?
“I like anywhere people are searching for the truth, and I respect their path and I’m intrigued by their path.”
– Smith reduces truth down to a subjective taste preference, not an absolute objective reality outside of ourselves. And this based on his presupposition above that we all worship the same God.
On the contrary, Jesus says of Himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
In Acts, Peter says to the Jewish council, “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:11-12
It seems Smith has grossly misunderstood what the Scriptures have said. May we pray for his conversion.
In postmodern religious thinking, it’s all about the search itself, the look for spirituality, not about ever arriving at any solid knowledge of the truth. This thinking defies Scripture itself. In fact, a few verses speak of this kind of thinking and the people who adopt it:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, HAVING THE APPEARANCE OF GODLINESS, BUT DENYING ITS POWER. AVOID SUCH PEOPLE. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, ALWAYS LEARNING AND NEVER ABLE TO ARRIVE AT A KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-7
Not all of these are necessarily prescriptive of postmodern people, but surely much of it does speak particularly of those who have “the appearance of godliness, but [deny] its power,” and who are, “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” Paul was speaking in a particular context, but at the heart of all those sins is unbelief. Unbelievers can do many “good” things in the eyes of other men. But if they are not done with a heart that is giving glory to God via Jesus, the acts themselves are sin in God’s eyes, the only eyes who matter ultimately. The only thing can result from such people is sin, because whatever is not from faith is sin (Romans 14:23). And it may not be that the sin is as visible as the one’s spoken in these verses, but at the heart of all of it is unbelief and that is what matters to God.
Can Will Smith’s “Gospel” really be called good news, the very meaning of the word, Gospel? I think not, because it simply amounts to do-gooderism and moralism, which leads to self-righteousness or despair. Avoid such thinking as well as such people who teach in such a manner. By God’s Spirit coupled with the Scriptures, God’s Word to us, you can come to a true and solid knowledge of the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the one and only Savior who can save you from the wrath of God to come. That is what the Scriptures have been given to us for, to convey to us the good news, absolute truth.
Postmodernism is simply a bankrupt system of thinking and living. And Will Smith’s gospel is no true Gospel but simply another burden put forward by sinful man that keeps him in bondage to sin and decay. We need Christ, the Jesus of the Bible, to save us from the inside out. Only He can accomplish such a thing, not man’s inherent goodness and moral power, for we have none.