Culture

Which Church Should Russell Brand Go To?

Jamie Bambrick

Dear Russell Brand,

You recently announced on social media that you plan to go to church and were seeking advice on what denominational matters. Firstly, awesome, go for it. Secondly, I’ve decided to try and provide you an answer, assuming you are a regular reader of TruthScript of course. Nonetheless, the folks at TruthScript are helping me get it to you. So, what is a shaggy-haired former rapscallion to do?

Let me make two points: The first, which starts with the assumption that if you’re looking to go to church, you are doing so because you want to learn more about Christianity. If so, then you want a place that preaches and teaches the Bible. Hopefully, you’re not looking for a place that simply repackages the ideas of the world and slaps a Bible verse on them, nor somewhere that maybe has lots of history and general wisdom but with those things detached from the Bible. A church where you show up and get the random thoughts and impressions of whoever happens to be speaking that week is hopefully not on your radar, either.

The more technical expression of what you’re looking for would be somewhere that holds to the Bible as being the ‘sole, ultimate authority for faith and practice’, or to put it simply, where the Bible gets the final say in what that church says and does.

Now this is where this article will likely annoy some of the readership because that precludes a few kinds of churches from being a good starting point. Both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, with all due respect, don’t hold this position. Such diminishes how tied to Scripture those denominations are. This tenant will also preclude the kind of hyper-charismatic Christianity where the Sunday messages are based on the dreams and visions of the preacher, which is rare but not unheard of. And I say with little respect, this too precludes any church that has caved to wokeness, and instead of being interested in what the the Bible says, simply submits to whatever the proclivities of our progressive elites are at any given moment.

For me, attending one of the above is like heading out to try pizza for the first time, but choosing to go to Poundland and pick up a box of own-brand ‘Pizza Style Meal Dish’ that’s slightly past its use-by date. It might look similar, but you’re getting a poor version of the real thing, and it could end up with a serious stomach bug (or significant misunderstanding of the faith).

But there are lots of great churches and denominations out there who disagree on a number of secondary and tertiary matters, but who hold to this fundamental position of seeking to submit to Scripture. When you show up, ask them if they do, and if they say yes, stick around for a while.

That leads me to point two, which is once you have found a church that looks like that, I would also want them to take you and your walk with God seriously. Find somewhere that a) will ask a bunch of questions, b) will endeavor to answer your questions, and importantly c) will do the work of challenging you in ways that might seem a little bit uncomfortable, but will hopefully help you at least recognise what the Christian positions are in certain areas, and potentially even convince you of their truth.

Here’s an of example of what I mean: in your video you describe things like kindness, gratitude, service and surrender as being universal. Now you’re pointing out something valid: lots of people in various societies and faiths have some idea as to what these things are and seek to live them out. But that it’s not exactly universally the case; societies have also had cannibalism, Nazism, Communism and lots of other nasty things, demonstrating these things to be much less than universal. And secondly, I’d argue that though many people have a broad recognition of them, that is only because we are made in the image of God, who is the exclusive source and only true revelation of these ideals.

There are several other issues I think a good church would want to discuss in this manner, such as the fact that we hold Christianity not merely as philosophical truth but as literal truth, what the nature of true repentance and faith are, and plenty of other issues. Of course, you’re not under any obligation to believe such things, but these are key to the Christian faith, and a good church will hopefully take the time to at least try to explain and defend them as best they can.

After this, you can then consider things such as secondary-level beliefs, what style and size of church you prefer, and where you feel like you “click” with the people who attend. Christianity is not a private faith but a corporate one, so this last point is huge. But if you start with finding a church that believes the Bible and tries to help you understand what it says in some key areas that are relevant for you, you’ll be off to a great start.

I am sincerely praying for your salvation, as are many others. Walk on towards the light of truth. As you do so, you will find the Person of Jesus Christ.

Watch Russell Brand’s original video here: https://twitter.com/rustyrockets/status/1770385061738655933

Watch my fuller response video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcJ7dgOfqRU

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