*Update for Sept 26th* – Seeing that I’ve got similar feedback as the first comment in the thread, I’ve updated/edited this post to make it stronger.
On behalf of your adopted family (namely all Christians worldwide), welcome to the family! We rejoice, along with Heaven (Luke 15:7), that you’ve come to recognize the fact that you’ve previously lived a life of moral rebellion against God (i.e. “sin”) in thought and deed, renounced and turned from your previous life of sin, called out to Jesus to provide the righteousness you lack and save you from the coming and just wrath of God upon the sinful world, and are now trusting in the person and work of Christ to save you from your enslavement to sin, the coming consequences, impute his own righteousness to you and one day, raise you from the dead into a body fit to live forever more on paradise earth with the Trinity and all redeemed and resurrected believers.
We know you are excited about finding Jesus and coming to faith, and many of us remember the joy and excitement of when we “came to our senses” about ourselves, the Bible, Jesus and the gospel. The time you’re in now is one of many delights, and we wish you God’s best in dealing with all the various challenges you’ll face. We hope we can be a helpful resource to help you learn and grow and would love to see you both happy and holy for the rest of your life.
All that being said, we’d like to give you three warnings:
1. Plug into a local church. Now that you’re a believer, you’re part of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-13; Col. 1:18-20) and as part of the Body of Christ, are inescapably connected to other believers (Rom. 12:3-5). You need to find a local expression of that body; a local church, where you can learn to serve fellow Christians and learn to enact all the various qualities of Christian character (i.e. Rom. 12:9-21). You also need to obey Christ’s command to be baptized (Matt. 28:19), which is both a step that should follow confession of faith (Acts 8:36-38) and is a ceremony in which you publicly identify with Christ in his death and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-11). This should be done in a local church where you can have pastors over you who can care for you (Heb. 13:7; 1 Pet. 5:1-4) and under whom you can learn the virtue of submission/humility (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:5), an essential for any Christian (Phil. 2:1-11). To cut yourself off from being part of the regular life of the church is to intentionally and horrifically stunt your spiritual growth.
2. Take Time to Grow. You used to have an opinion that was widely heard because of your media exposure and celebrity status, and that hasn’t changed…but the expectations of you have really changed. We love and embrace you, but you need to understand that you now answer to God and he will hold you to account for all the careless words you say (Matthew 12:36-37). Your careless words are heard, and heeded, by a whole lot of people because of who you are and the exposure you get, so you really need to learn to guard your tongue (James 1:26). In addition to that, the Bible gives warnings about the dangers of being in a position of spiritual influence while still being a new convert (1 Timothy 3:7) and also talks about how Christian leaders will be judged by the absolute highest standards (James 3:1-2). We’d love to try to look out for you and help protect your from pride and you own horribly dangerous tongue (James 3:3-11). Please take a decade or so to learn and grow your biblical knowledge and moral character before you start tossing your two cents worth into theological debates on topics that you have known about for a relatively short time. Please take time to learn to be humble and serve people; those are rather important virtues in your new-found faith (Psalm 147:6; Proverbs 3:33-34; Matthew 18:4, 20:26). Some of us would love to help; just ask and we’d be delighted to help you sort out truth from fiction with regards to some of the new ideas that you’re learning about (like eschatology, supersessionism, textual criticism and Bible translations, blood moons, social justice, church history, etc.).
3. Watch Out for the Wolves. There are a whole lot of people in Christianity that will want to take advantage of you. They will want to utilize your fame to further their own. They will want to be seen as your mentor. They will want you to be in their movies, or endorse their books, or be on their radio programs. They will want pictures of themselves with you (preferably hanging out and looking cool) that they can share on Twitter. They might call themselves “prophets” or “apostles” and will tend to be obsessed with certain issues (like some of the “new idea” issues I previously listed). They will try to get you to jump on their bandwagons…and you most likely will be really tempted to do so because, to be honest with you, you’re really easy for certain people to manipulate. I know you don’t think you are, but you need to understand that almost everyone is. Some of those people who try to manipulate you (not all) are what the Bible calls “false teachers”; they look really spiritual and sound really convincing but they’re actually frauds (the Bible refers to them as “wolves” that hide out around the sheep – Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:29-30). They also have a strange way of convincing really smart people of really bizarre ideas because false teachers have demonic power behind them and their ideas (1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). Don’t be frightened though; if you are patient and take time, study your Bible (and both ask the Lord for understanding and avail yourself to the pastor & other online resources you have available), and evaluate what everyone says against the Bible, you will find the truth being revealed (Isaiah 8:11-20; Acts 17:10-11). As you’re sorting through all the various ideas that come your way, stick as close as you can to the teaching of the Bible and listen to the guys who consistently explain the Bible reasonably and base their teaching and beliefs on the Bible alone (not their own experiences, dreams, visions, or claims of “hearing the voice of God”).
We have all started as confused and gullible spiritual babies. We have all bought into bad ideas (for a time). Many of us have grown, and some of us have grown up quite a bit. You can certainly do the same.
I hope this helps you, at least a little.
I’d love to recommend some folks for you to learn from as well, like Albert Mohler, John MacArthur, James White, and Phil Johnson, just to get you started. Those are some guys who have well-established track records of taking God and the Bible really seriously, and they have a whole lot of teaching/resources online that can help you. They’re all well studied men who, though they disagree on various issues (and that’s okay), will help you learn a whole lot more about Christ, the gospel, the Bible and serving the Lord. As well, they’re guys who you’ll find consistently giving solid and biblical answers to the hard questions that you’ll be running across when you encounter the tsunami of no-so-well-studied Christians and Christian leaders/pastors who are all over the place.
There’s a whole lot more I’d love to say, but I don’t want to overwhelm you.
May the Lord bless you abundantly and protect you from everyone who would want to use and abuse you,
P.S. – I’d love to avail myself to you as well, but I’m under no delusions about whether any celebrity converts will actually find and read this open letter…or care what I have to say. This is mainly a somewhat constructive way of my expressing my vast frustration at this idiocy, among other things.