Russell Brand says Christ is becoming 'more important,' desires a 'personal relationship' with God

A screenshot of actor Russell Brand in a YouTube video from September 15, 2023.
A screenshot of actor Russell Brand in a YouTube video from September 15, 2023. | Screenshot: YouTube/@RussellBrand

Comedian and podcast host Russell Brand said in a recent social media video that he finds Christianity and Jesus Christ increasingly important as he grows older and desires a "personal relationship with God."

"The reason I wear a cross is because Christianity and, in particular, the figure of Christ are, it seems to me, inevitably becoming more important as I become more familiar with suffering, purpose, self, and not-self," Brand said in a Saturday video, which he filmed while kneeling on a yoga mat.

The 48-year-old actor said that he has been "reading the Bible a lot more," as well as Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Life. He said when he was growing up, Christianity appeared to him either "really irrelevant and old-fashioned and sort of dusty," or too modernized. Both those routes, he said, did not appeal to him when he was younger.

Things have changed after he has achieved "a certain amount of adulthood," he said. He has now come "to recognize that you need, I need, a personal relationship with God."

"It occurred to me that if instead of always talking to myself inwardly, I could replace one of those voices with an indwelling God. It says in Galatians it's our job to die, so that as Christ died on the cross, he might be reborn in us," he said in an apparent reference to Galatians 2:20.

Brand's video was met with an outpouring of support and encouragement from users on X, many of whom said they were praying for him.

Pastor Greg Laurie responded to Brand by posting a long letter addressed to him in which he explained that he was once put off by Christians until he heard the Gospel.

"The word 'Gospel' means 'Good news,'" Laurie wrote in part. "We are all sinners and we have broken God's commandments and fallen short of His standards. But the good news is that God loved us so much He sent His only son to die on the cross for our sins and then rise from the dead. Jesus is alive and ready to come into your life, Russell!"

Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon wrote: "If he's not a Christian already, he may get there soon. The important question he needs to answer for himself is not whether Christianity is useful, but whether it's true."

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. replied to Brand's video simply: "Brilliant!"

Brand has suggested in recent months that he is on a spiritual journey leading him toward Christianity as he has faces allegations of sexual misconduct.

In December, he revealed that he was reading the Bible and The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis, a 1940 book that explores the role of suffering in a Christian context.

In September, a joint investigation by The Times of London and Channel 4 found that four women alleged Brand had sexually assaulted them between 2006 and 2013 during the height of his film career.

A subsequent report from The Sunday Times alleged that Brand assaulted a girl who was 16 years old at the time during an allegedly "emotionally and sexually abusive" relationship. Another woman told The Times that Brand raped her at his Los Angeles home in 2012, though she did not file a police report.

Brand has denied the "very serious criminal allegations" and maintained that while he was "very, very promiscuous" in the past, all of his sexual relationships were "always consensual."

During an interview with Tucker Carlson last year, Brand said, "Like many desperate people, I need spirituality. I need God, or I cannot cope in this world. I need to believe in the best in people."

He acknowledged that he "didn't have enough self-discipline to resist the allure of stardom" and "fell face-first into the glitter, and I'm only just pulling myself out now."

Brand said in a 2018 interview with Relevant Magazine that he believes "the teachings of Christ are more relevant now than they've ever been."

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