What Your Favorite Childhood Celebs Say About Their Faith

What Your Favorite Childhood Celebs Say About Their Faith

15 young celebrities talk about religion, or lack thereof
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As a millennial, I would say that the mid-late 2000s were our glory days when it came to TV shows, movies, and music icons. Every episode we watched taught us a strong moral about trust, honesty, the value of hard work and much more. But where are all of our favorite celebs now? What are they saying about religion now that they've all grown up?

1. Zac Efron.

I was raised agnostic, so we never practiced religion, but my parents were very strict.”
Zac Efron first stepped into the spotlight as Troy in the “High School Musical” movies. He is a self-proclaimed agnostic, meaning he claims neither belief nor disbelief in God. Sources: Hollowverse

2. Vanessa Hudgens.

Of course, I wouldn’t give you Troy without Gabriella. Vanessa Hudgens has recently revealed in an interview with current boyfriend Austin Butler, from "Glee", that she has renewed her faith in Christianity. Butler is a member of Hillsong, a Pentecostal megachurch based in Sydney, Australia. Hudgens said,

"They really focus on you having your own personal relationship with Jesus, which is wonderful."

Vanessa Hudgens was raised Catholic and seems to go to church regularly. Sources: Hollowverse, IBtimes.

3. Selena Gomez.

"Now for me I respect people (and) whatever boundaries they set for themselves. So I'm more lenient towards that. I am Christian, so I understand," she said. "For me it's just ultimately about what it is."

Gaining early fame in her role as Alex on "Wizards of Waverly Place, Gomez was raised Catholic. She has been quoted saying “God is so good!” and “God bless everyone!” as captions on Instagram photos. Her most recent album was titled, "Revival" in reference to her Christian faith. Sources: Hollowverse, WorldReligionNews.

4. Daniel Radcliffe.

“I'm an atheist, but I'm very relaxed about it,” but, “[I’m] a militant atheist when religion starts impacting on legislation.”

The lead actor in the "Harry Potter" series was raised by a Jewish father and Protestant mother, but considers himself an atheist, especially when religion begins to influence politics. Sources: Hollowverse, Salon

5. Emma Watson.


“I already had the sense that I was someone who was more spiritual than specifically religious... I'm really interested in those things that are more far-reaching than culture, nationality, race, religion.”

According to Christian Today, the "Harry Potter" costar is also quoted saying, “I think it’s amazing to make a film that celebrates faith and that gets a conversation going, because it’s such an important subject." While Watson has referred to herself as Christian in a BBC radio interview, she doesn’t seem to claim any specific denomination or theology. Sources: Hollowverse, FoxNews, HuffingtonPost.

6. Nathan Kress.

“With everything I do, the choices I make, the words I say, and the thoughts I think, I do everything I can to put it through the filter of my faith. By that same token, my identity comes from my relationship with God. I am not 'Nathan Kress, the actor who happens to be a Christian.' I am 'Nathan Kress, the Christian who happens to be an actor.'"

Popularly recognized as Freddie from “iCarly,” Kress is an outspoken evangelical Christian who believes it is his duty to be good role model in Hollywood. In the same interview, he goes on to say, “I know that the only reason I'm in the business at all is because God led me to it, and He opened all the doors necessary to bring me to where I am in my career right now. He blessed me with the skills required to make it in Hollywood."

"I owe it all to Him, and I never want to forget that. He has guided my path thus far, and He is the only one I trust to continue guiding me for the rest of my life.”

Sources: NewReleaseToday

7. Miley Cyrus.

“That’s f–king insane. We’ve outgrown that fairy tale, like we’ve outgrown f–king Santa and the tooth fairy.”

In the interview with Paper (excerpted above), Cyrus is referring to Christians that believe Noah’s Ark was an actual vessel.

Cyrus was baptized Southern Baptist and was raised by Christian parents in Nashville, Tennessee. In an interview in 2010, “Hannah Montana” starlet said: “I am very spiritual in my own way. Let me make it clear, though -- I am a Christian. Jesus is who saved me. He’s what keeps me full and whole.” It is not clear what made Cyrus reject her faith so vehemently, but maybe it had something to do with having an upbringing in Hollywood. While her current faith is unclear, she has said some positive things about Buddhism. Sources: Hollowverse, Happysonship.

8. Demi Lovato.

“Sometimes it seems like God just keeps throwing crap my way and I get SO angry with him… But there’s never a doubt in my mind He’s gonna pull me through it all. I know you’re there God. But um... Really dude? He never fails to show me He’s by my side though. Even in the tough times.”
By all accounts, it seems as if the "Camp Rock" star is a good Southern Christian girl. However, she does show a lot of support for the LGBT community. She wrote in a Facebook post,
"I grew up learning in Sunday school and bible camps about a God who loves all no matter where you came from or what you've done. A man named Jesus who forgives people of all sins including horrible things like murder if you simply ask for forgiveness and accept him into your heart," she wrote. "Now I'm no bible thumper but I truly believe that same Lord and savior loves ALL no matter who you are or where you've come from and especially who you love."

Sources: Holloverse, ChristianPost

9. Justin Timberlake.

“I think the term for me would be more spiritual than religious.”

'N'SYNC boy band member, Justin Timberlake, grew up in Memphis,Tenn. and was raised a devout Southern Baptist. Timberlake hasn’t said much about his faith, but he does have some religious tattoos including a cross on his left shoulder. He also has a very large image of a cherubic angel across his back. Sources: Hollowverse.

10. Raven-Symone.

“I’m a very spiritual person, and I believe that there are amazing special gifts that people are blessed with. It just depends on whether you want to listen or not.”

Symone gained popularity for her lead role in “That’s So Raven” as well as the popular movie series, “The Cheetah Girls.” Symone seems so consider herself a New Age thinker. According to religioustolernace.org, the New Age is in fact a free-flowing, decentralized, spiritual movement -- a network of believers and practitioners who share somewhat similar beliefs and practices, which many add on to whichever formal religion that they follow.

In fact, she doesn’t seem to know much about other religions saying, on "The View," that all religions are about “being good.” Symone has said that she believes her religious views are private and tries to keep them to herself instead of offering them to the public to dissect. Sources: Hollowverse, TheBlaze

11. Shia Lebeouf.

“I became a Christian man, and not in a f**king bulls**t way -- in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. But it was a real thing that really saved me.”

Lebeouf initially gained fame amoung our generation in his goofy role in "Even Stevens." His dad is Christian, but his mom is Jewish. He had a Bar Mitzvah and was baptized in a Pentecostal church. Recently, however, "Transformers" actor said he found God while filming "Fury." Some are skeptical that this was just a scheme to endorse "Fury," but only he knows where he stands with his faith. Sources: Hollowverse, ReligiousNewsService

12. Nick Jonas.


"I've had an incredibly intense journey with faith and religion and my own growth. My belief in God is still very strong and important to me as a person and I think that's all that should matter," he continued. "I grew up in a church environment and still have love for the church."

Nick Jonas, like his brothers, is an evangelical Christian. Their father and manager is an ordained Evangelical preacher. In his younger days of Disney stardom, his brothers and he rocked purity rings. However, he has taken his off since dating former Miss Universe Olivia Kulpo. Sources: Hollowverse, USMagazine

13. Josh Hutcherson.

“I'm not a religious person in that sense. But at the same time I do believe in some sort of something, just not sure exactly. But yeah, I'd like to think that they see what I'm doing and that they're proud of me."

Hutcherson gained fame as a child in movies like, "Zathura," "Bridge to Terabithia," and "RV." The above quote is from an interview in which he was asked if he believed his two uncles were looking down on him from above. To me, it seems as if Hutcherson wants to believe in some kind of afterlife but hasn’t thought much about it. Sources: sheknows.

14. Justin Bieber.

"I’m a Christian, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins. I believe that I have a relationship and I’m able to talk to him and really, he’s the reason I’m here."

For all you “beliebers” out there that made shrines to the teen idol on your bedroom door, you’ll be happy to know that Bieber seems to be a devout Christian, despite all of his recent discretions. More recently, in an interview with Complex, Bieber said:

“If we can understand that we’re all imperfect, let’s come to God and come for his help. You’re not weak by doing that. I think that’s a common misperception of Christians, that you’re being weak because you can’t handle it. None of us can handle this world, dude! It’s eating us alive. But, man, I don’t wanna have to do it on my own.”

Sources: Hollowverse, WorldReligionNews.

15. Taylor Swift.


"And when I got home, before I said amen/ I asked God if He could play it again."

Pop star Taylor Swift is a Christian, although her denomination is not clear. She doesn’t talk about religion, except for in her songs, but plays the part of a conservative Christian girl. By all accounts, she seems to be a class-act role model in the sleazed-up music industry. Sources: Hollowverse

While it seems our favorite celebs have all gone into different directions, let us not forget the lessons their characters taught us growing up; mainly, that family is the most important thing. Unfortunately, this generation of rugrats won't be so lucky.

Cover Image Credit: onionstatic.com

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An Attendee's Review Of Passion's New "Whole Heart" Album

Digitally-released today, and powerful in the conference or the quiet.
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So, I had the opportunity to attend Passion 2018 earlier this year, and it was pretty incredible, especially the worship music. A lot of it is new, and the friend who invited me told me how on the first day, you're actually kind of learning the new songs. By the end of the conference, however, these become songs you've started to get to know.

I say "started," because, with worship songs, I feel like they're like those Everlasting Gobstoppers you used to eat as a kid. As you go along, more begins to stand out to you the more you listen.

God speaks to you through one part of the song while you're at the conference, but you really let the words marinate, you listen to them again, and God speaks to you in different ways as you pass through different phases of life. You can remember the ways God spoke to you when you worshiped Him at the conference, and sometimes you hear different parts as you worship in the quiet places of your own life.

I also got an opportunity to listen to the album a little early and write a review, and I absolutely love it. Needless to say, some of you may have been counting down since the conference, but the day has arrived-- the "Whole Heart" album is finally available! It was released today, and features the following 11 songs:

1. Whole Heart (feat. Kristian Stanfill) (lyrics + chords)

2. Almighty God (feat. Sean Curran) (lyrics + chords)

3. God, You're So Good (feat. Kristian Stanfill) (lyrics + chords)

4. Reckless Love (feat. Melodie Malone) (lyrics + chords)

5. Heaven (feat. Sean Curran) (lyrics)

6. More Like Jesus (feat. Kristian Stanfill) (lyrics)

7. Hallelujah, Our God Reigns (feat. Brett Younker) (lyrics)

8. Ghost (feat. Crowder)

9. Ever Almighty (feat. Melodie Malone) (lyrics)

10. Great Are You Lord (feat. Matt Redman) (lyrics)

11. All My Hope (feat. Crowder & Tauren Wells) (lyrics)

The theme surrounding the album is, as Kristian Stanfill from Passion put it "a deeper devotion and discipleship to Jesus." It features the Passion Band (also including Brett Younker, Melodie Malone, and Sean Curran) and some of the conference's guest artists (Crowder, Matt Redman, Tauren Wells), and the songs are live - so in the background, there are over 30,000 students worshiping alongside the artists.

I really like looking along at the lyrics of songs, and since I was able to find all of them online except for "Ghost", I sat down and really listened to its words-- and I think it might be my new favorite right now. At the conference, it was "Whole Heart," but the powerfulness of the words in "Ghost" is really resonating with me at present.

A lot of my friends that attended the conference with me loved "God, You're So Good," and really, all of them are great. These are songs I'm going to end up singing throughout the day, and not even minding when they get stuck in my head.

So whether you buy this album to listen to the songs again, or to hear them for the first time, it's a great way to bring the worship from Passion into your house, your car, your friend group, wherever. Passion was amazing, and it's cool to be able to kind of "relive" that experience through the music.

However, our God is far from stagnant; he continues to work and move in our lives even as we disperse from the experience of the conference. Isaiah 43:19 says, "Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" These songs remind me incredibly great our God is, and how he truly deserves my whole heart in worship.

(P.S. Snatch your own digital copy, available through iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Music and more, here through the Passion Music site!)


Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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2018 Black Panther Review

A Movie Far Beyond It's Time
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Author's Note: I saw Black Panther the day the movie came out and I wanted to share my thought on what I thought. There will be spoilers so please read accordingly. Please let me know what you think and enjoy!

My thoughts before I saw the movie:

Now as someone who grew up with three brothers and who's dad sells comic books as a hobby I have certainly read my fair share of comics. The amount of single issue comics and graphic novels I own is quite overwhelming. Despite that I have read very little of the Black Panther comics and went into the movie with a neutral but upbeat attitude. I decided to see the movie on a whim because everyone was talking about how great the film was. And let me tell you they were right!

The Cast and Characters:

Before seeing this movie I had never seen a single one of the cast members in anything else except Martin Freeman and Michael B Jordan. But my golly I will never forget any of them! The energy and emotion each of them put into this film is beyond incredible. Every single one of them is not only unique in design and character but believable! They each have their own struggles and goals but overcome and achieve them together! But by far my favorite character was Shuri. She is T'challa's sister but by no means is she forgettable. A lot of people have discussed the incredible femininity and female representation in this film and while there are many wonderful other female characters in this film she's my favorite. She is young and doesn't like her cultures traditions but is an absolutely genius. She does everything from invent her brothers suit to help stabilize the vibranium in Wakanda's mine. I love her spirit and willingness to fight when necessary.

The Villain:

The saying goes that no good movie is complete without a sympathetic villain and Black Panther is no exception. Michael B Jordan plays Erik Killmonger who happens to be T'challa's unknown cousin. Erik has grown up outside of Wakanda and therefore knows the harsh realities of growing up as a African American. He wants to become king of Wakanda so he can show the world who's really in control. I honestly felt so hard for him as a character. He grew up with nothing while T'challa had everything. Erik's views and life are sad relatable to many people today. What made it even worse is that he is only a villain due to circumstance. His problems are real and his cause is truly one worth fighting for. All he wants is the equality of his people. The only reason he becomes a villain is that he has no other choice. He figures out that he has to do what he has done his entire life, fight for what he wants. Bottom line he is a amazing character and if you don't care for him by the end of the movie I will be shocked.

The Plot:

The main story line of the film is T'challa's struggle on whether or not to share Wakanda's knowledge and power with the rest of the world. His father kept their home secrets for years but because of that the rest of their culture has gone without and has barely survived. What I love about the movie is how they make this so relevant to today. They discuss immigration, culture, and racism. All very hot topics and deep issues of today. Yet while this film dives deep into each of these issues it does so with class and decorum, while not shying away from the truth. I honestly wish we had more films that go beyond just a movie like Black Panther did.

Final Thoughts:

After seeing this I can honestly say this is by far my favorite Marvel Movie. With all of it's incredible talent and raw passion the film hits you just where it needs to. I can never forsee Marvel topping this, not even with Inifity Wars but I can't wait to see them try!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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