Denzel Washington has long been one of the rare outspoken Christians in Hollywood. On Saturday, he once again shared his faith in explicit terms.
As first reported in The Christian Post, the two-time Oscar winner was a featured speaker at the “Better Man Event” — a religious convention hosted by First Baptist Orlando in Florida. There he told the crowd of fathers, sons, and husbands, “The world has changed. What is our role as a man? The John Wayne formula is not quite a fit right now. But strength, leadership, power, authority, guidance, patience are God’s gift to us as men. We have to cherish that, not abuse it.”
Washington also shared some advice for men seeking success: “Stay on your knees. Watch me but listen to God,” he said, adding, “I hope that the words in my mouth and the meditation of my heart are pleasing in God’s sight, but I’m human. I’m just like you. What I have will not keep me on this Earth for one more day. Share what you know, inspire who you can, seek advice. If you want to talk to one someone, talk to the one that can do something about it. Constantly develop those habits.”
At one point, the 66-year-old challenged the young people present to resist the selfishness of our present age, saying, “[The Bible] says in the last days we’ll become lovers of ourselves. The number one photograph now is a selfie. So we all want to lead. We’re willing to do anything — ladies and young men — to be influential.” He continued, “Fame is a monster and we all have these ladders and battles, roads we have to walk in our given lives. Be you famous or whoever’s out there listening, we all have our individual challenges. It’s cliché [but] money, don’t make it better. It doesn’t. Fame just magnifies the problems and the opportunities.”
The star of such films as “Glory” and “Training Day” is known for cutting against the Hollywood grain, not only in his faith but also in his willingness to buck cultural trends.
In 2017, he said fatherlessness was more to blame for the incarceration rate in the black community than systemic racism.
“It starts at the home,” he said while promoting a film about a criminal attorney. “It starts with how you raise your children. If a young man doesn’t have a father figure, he’ll go find a father figure.” He then added, “So you know I can’t blame the system. It’s unfortunate that we make such easy work for them. I grew up with guys who did decades [in prison], and it had as much to do with their fathers not being in their lives as it did to do with any system.”
Then, in 2021, Washington refused to join other stars in Hollywood disparaging cops and calling for police departments to be abolished.
“I have the utmost respect for what [the police] do, for what our soldiers do, [people] that sacrifice their lives,” he said. “I just don’t care for people who put those kind of people down. If it weren’t for them, we would not have the freedom to complain about what they do.”