Zionica recently published a fresh perspective of the Matthew McConaughey Oscars speech, written by Jeff Shaw, a non-applauding Christian. Most Christian responses I saw on social media were, as Shaw observed, celebratory, but should they have been?
Before you answer, watch his speech.
Now, here’s an excerpt from Shaw’s article:
Now, if I could be so bold as to suggest that God might have preferred that McConaughey keep that credit for himself. As a follower of Christ, I wish McConaughey had not brought God into it. Before we as Christians celebrate every time someone gives thanks to God for something, we should look at what they’re thanking Him for.
The film “Dallas Buyers Club”, for which McConaughey won his Oscar, contains a sex scene between 3 partners, masturbation, strip club nudity, and female genitalia. The “f” word is used nearly 100 times, along with frequent derogatory terms toward homosexuals and graphic references to human anatomy.
So the big question is, was McConaughey really honoring God by saying that it was God who made this opportunity possible for him?
Shaw went on to cite his opinion with appropriate Bible verses, but I’m not sure I entirely share his sentiment.
I did, as he, scratch my head a little after I watched McConaughey’s speech. His thank-you to God was pretty vague and general and he ended off talking about chasing…himself. As a Christian, if I wanted to bring God into my thank-you speech, I’d end off with my desire to chase HIM, not myself.
So, in many ways, I can definitely track with Shaw in his observation. The characters that McConaughey portrays are not God-honoring so it doesn’t make sense for him to be thanking God for an opportunity he probably shouldn’t have jumped on in the first place.
However, when I observe McConaughey, I see a guy who is Gospel-curious. Check out this recent pic of him reading “The Case for Christ.”
Here's Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey reading my book Case for Christ while working out. http://t.co/A3nEfILzXh
— Lee Strobel (@LeeStrobel) March 3, 2014
No doubt, McConaughey stirred up controversy on all sides. Christians scoffed at Hollywood’s lack of applause when he thanked God. Hollywood scoffed at one of their precious A-listers saying the “G” word. And then we’ve got other Christians upset that he’d thank God given the movies he’s been in.
But, here’s my take. Celeb or not, we as Christians all have a “before Christ” identity and an “after Christ” one. Looking at his movie choices, his speech, and then this twit-pic of him reading “The Case for Christ,” I’d say he’s either newly saved or being pursued by God and about to say “all in!”
This is something that I think should be celebrated by Christians. Shaw pointed out some hypocrisy, which yes, was justified, but I think we need to be really careful before we condemn someone for thanking God. McConaughey clearly isn’t a Bible scholar, but he’s taking brave and meaningful steps in giving thanks to God publicly and reading a book about Jesus Christ in public.
I don’t disagree with what Shaw said, I just think we should be having a different conversation about the whole thing.
The sanctification process is a life-long one and to me, it looks like McConaughey is just beginning his journey. I know that I say and do things that contradict what I believe because I am flawed. Hopefully, in five years, I’ll look back at 28-year-old Carly and say, “Man, God sure has brought me a long way.” Like I said before, I didn’t think McConaughey’s speech was right-on-the-money from a Christian viewpoint, but I think it’s AWESOME that someone so rich in money, fame, and accolades is seeking God.
So, Matthew, I applaud you. Keep reading. Keep seeking. No shiny gold award or movie role will bring you more joy than knowing Christ.