Transformers: Redemption of Shia


By Camron Owens

“Religious” isn’t a word often used to describe those in show business. The lifestyles of the rich and the famous usually seem fit for “The Wolf of Wall Street,” rather than Christian groups like Intervarsity or IlliniLife.

Last week, America’s sweetheart Shia LaBeouf gave an interview about how he became a Christian during the filming of his latest movie, “Fury,” in which he plays a Christian World War II soldier.

“I became a Christian man, and not in a f***ing 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. And you can’t identify unless you’re really going through it,” the actor explained to Interview Magazine.

Reaction to this quote has been mixed to say the least, and not without good reason. Many Christians and non-Christians found LaBeouf’s comment to be aggressive. It uses strong profanity, and LaBeouf is known for his intense and often ridiculous antics. The star’s career has been a roller coaster ride since he went from goofy and charming child actor in Disney Channel’s “Even Stevens” to a sought after Hollywood star.

Over the past few years, LaBeouf’s actions have been strange to say the least. This year alone, he wore a paper bag on his head with the words “I am not famous anymore” to a Hollywood premiere, held a public art exhibit where people could come and yell at him and got into a fight at a Broadway play.

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Based on these actions, it makes sense for people to doubt the sincerity of LaBeouf’s comment about his newfound Christian faith. These antics don’t coincide with the typical obedient, straight-laced behavior that people think Christians should have.

As a Christian and Shia LaBeouf-enthusiast, I am hopeful that these comments were sincere and that the actor has developed a loving relationship with God. That’s what Christians hope for everyone. By embracing this Christian faith, LaBeouf could be an incredible witness to others and hopefully get his life and career back on track.

But claiming you’re a Christian does not necessarily make you a Christian. I believe that being a Christian takes effort. It is just like any other relationship. You have to try to fully commit to God.

Some could argue that celebrities claim to be Christians in order to feel as though their actions are justified.

Christianity means many things to many different people, but I believe that Christianity is about love. We were created in love, and it is through that love that we should approach God and His creation. I believe that one of my jobs as a Christian is to love others, even though it can be really difficult at times.

In September, Kanye West told a crowd that he was a “married, Christian man” during a rant about the media. Obviously, when thinking of Christianity, Kanye West isn’t the first individual who comes to mind, nor do his actions exude godliness. Kanye is egotistical, brash and rude; he even says so in many of his songs.

But, so am I. I don’t have cameras showcasing my behavior, but I make bad decisions and hurt people. I don’t always love others or put God first like I should.

Despite these behaviors, God still loves me.

Whether these individuals are serious about their faith or just making claims to gain attention, I ask, would it really be outlandish for either of these people to consider themselves Christians? I consider myself a Christian, and, in many ways, I can relate to these two celebrities. I’m not perfect, despite what Bruno Mars lyrics might lead me to believe. Other Christians and I are not the clean-cut stable individuals that we see in Ned Flanders on “The Simpsons.”

We might be battling addiction, anger or have starred in one too many “Transformers” movies, but that’s okay. It comes down to your relationship with God.

There is no qualifier for what makes someone a Christian. I think that trying certainly counts. God will connect with those who make an effort to connect with him, because Christians believe that God wants to connect with us.

LaBeouf further described his experience as “a full-blown exchange of heart, a surrender of control.”

So whether LaBeouf’s comments are legitimate or referring to the character he played, his religion is between him and God. Ridiculing and laughing at these so-called religious celebrities should not be the Christian response. Instead, we should welcome them, pray for them and encourage them in their faith. It is through their stories that others can be inspired, and we may also find similarity to ourselves.

Camron is a junior in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected].