Aussie Russell Crowe and his wife Danielle Spencer live ‘down-under’ but he’s no stranger to Hollywood and audiences around the world. He starred in Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind and The Insider – just to name a few. He has been playing heroic figures on the big screen for well over a decade.
Because of some religious ambivalence on his parents’ part, it seems Russell grew up with very little spiritual influence in his life.
“Though we didn’t really go (to church) as a family, my mother was totally fine with the idea of me going to church on my own, so I’d go and have a look at a Catholic service or a Presbyterian service or an Anglican service. I went to a temple. The Baha’i faith is something I looked at as well. Although I wasn’t brought up in a religious household, I’m a very inquisitive person about it, and, just the same as with my acting, I’ve taken things from various sources that mean something to me. I couldn’t tell you that I follow a particular doctrine…” (1)
Crowe’s three year old son was baptized in a chapel he built in Australia for his wedding. Now his second son, one year old Tennyson will soon be baptised. Crowe has never been baptised so he thinks at 43 it’s time for him to be baptised, along with Tennyson.
“I’d like to do it this year,” the Oscar-winning actor told Men’s Journal. “My mom and dad decided to let my brother and me make our own decisions about God when we got to the right age. I started thinking recently, `If I believe it is important to baptize my kids, why not me?’” (2)
Mr. Crowe thinks at 43 that its time to be baptised. Really, Crowe is having profound spiritual thoughts. But it doesn’t seem like he’s found the answer yet. He said he couldn’t tell someone what particular doctrine he followed. It seems he’s not sure what to believe or where to find the truth.
Baptism at 43 is not the answer. Baptism will be another milestone in his life – but it definitely will not shore up his chances of getting to Heaven or making himself right with God. Baptism is not the way to Heaven. Having a right relationship with God starts with the acceptance of God’s Son.
Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father (God) except through me.” John 14:6.
Baptism is not the way to God – Christ is. The Bible teaches that people who already have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as their Saviour are to go public about their relationship by the symbolic act of baptism. But baptism is not a cleansing ritual to help a person get to Heaven.
Crowe is also doing a lot of thinking about the Bible’s Ten Commandments. In an interview back in 2005 he said:
“I just have this thing where I look at the Ten Commandments and think to myself, that seems like it was written by somebody other than a human being… it just seems like if we adhered to those 10 really basic rules and applied them to everything—even traffic rules and parking fines-we could take thousands of laws off the books. There are some pretty fundamental things in there: respect your parents; don’t kill people; do to others what you’d like them to do to you. That, to me, sounds like a foundation on which to build a society.” (3)
Russell Crowe was dead right about where the Ten Commandments originated – God! Read Exodus 20. But adhering to the Ten Commandments is NOT a way to Heaven. The Bible is very clear about that. They were given so we would understand what God’s holy standard is and to show us how far every one of us falls short of meeting His requirements.
Romans 3:20 tells us that by knowing the Ten Commandments, we understand what sin really is and how impossible it is for a person to make themselves right with God because of our innate sin. Romans 3:23 says we’re all in the same boat. None of us can make the grade. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Because we fall below God’s standard, we must look outside ourselves to Jesus Christ for salvation.
Galatians 2:16 couldn’t be clearer:
“…Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
What we do – whether we get baptised or try to keep the 10 Rules will NOT get us even a centimeter closer to Heaven. Eternal life is not based on our works. It is based solely on our acceptance of the work Christ finished on our behalf 2000 years ago on the Cross.
You have just read about Russell Crowe – but what about yourself?
Read: Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5 and Isaiah 64:6