Actor and comedian Russell Brand, 48, was baptized in the River Thames over the weekend, calling it an “incredible and profound experience.”

He posted a picture of himself hugging his dog on Sunday – the day he planned to be baptized – expressing his gratitude with one word: “Blessed.”

On Friday, April 26, Brand announced he was “taking the plunge!”

“What’s been explained to me is an opportunity to die and be reborn, an opportunity to leave the past behind and be reborn in Christ’s name, like it says in Galatians,” Brand shared.

He seemed to reference Galatians 3:26-27, which says, “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (ESV).

Brand thinks part of the reason people are turning to Christianity is the meaninglessness found in today’s culture.

I know a lot of people are cynical about the increasing interest in Christianity and the return to God, but to me it’s obvious. [This happens] as meaning deteriorates in the modern world and our value systems and institutions crumble.

Brand has been on a public spiritual journey over the past couple years.

On January 21, 2024, Brand posted a video on X explaining why he wears a cross.

The reason I wear a cross is because Christianity, and in particular the figure of Christ, are, it seems to me, inevitably becoming more important as I become more familiar with suffering [and] purpose.

I’m reading the Bible a lot more, and I’m reading Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. …  It’s taken quite a lot to recognize that you, that I, need a personal relationship with God.

On February 27, 2024, Brand shared that he was reading The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming, by Henri Nouwen.

The roots of baptism stem from the beginning of Christianity. Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist as an example to his disciples before his command in the Great Commission.

And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20, ESV).

The early church quickly followed Jesus’ mandate. In Acts 2, we read that the Holy Spirit was poured out among the Apostles at Pentecost. After this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Peter gave his first sermon.

Now when [the Jerusalem Jews] heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself’” (Acts 2:37-39, ESV).

Likewise, we read in 1 Peter,

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21, ESV).

It’s difficult to tell from afar how well-formed in the Christian faith Brand is.

Just one day after his baptism, Brand posted a video on X, holding a tarot card. He asked his audience whether they were comfortable with “hybrid modalities” of spirituality.

Was Brand posting this video out of a willingness to learn? Or is he attempting to syncretize various religious practices – with Christianity just being “one among many” of his spiritual practices?

The answer isn’t clear.

Christianity is an exclusive religion, in the sense that it makes exclusive truth claims. When one becomes a Christian, he is supposed to forsake all other religions in exchange for Christ, because Christianity is the only true religion, founded and established by God Himself – Jesus Christ.

In this way, choosing Christianity is not a matter of subjective personal preference, but of objective reality, because the truths of the Christian faith have been revealed by God.

Though Christianity makes exclusive truth claims, it’s important to remember that all are welcome to become Christian.

We read in Acts 4,

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11, ESV).

Like many in Hollywood, Brand has a checkered past. As the Christian Post reports, “He was recently suspended from earning income on his YouTube channel following a series of sexual misconduct allegations dating back to his movie career’s peak between 2006 and 2013. The allegations, which Brand has denied, claim that his relationships, while consensual, were part of a broader pattern of inappropriate behavior.”

But as we read in Romans 6:3-4,

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (ESV).

No matter how well-formed he is in his nascent Christian faith, consider praying for Russell Brand. It’s clear he is on a spiritual journey that is still unfolding. Pray he’ll continue to discover the Truth, which we can all find in the person of Jesus.

Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6, ESV).

To learn more about the Christian faith, check out C.S. Lewis’ classic Mere Christianity. You can also listen to Focus on the Family’s award winning Radio Theater: C.S. Lewis at War.

If you want to better understand the Bible and be part of God’s redemptive mission, check out RVL Discipleship: The Study.

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Related Articles and Resources:

Mere Christianity

RVL Discipleship: The Study

Focus on the Family: Faith

Photo from Twitter.