Connecting with Culture
It’s been said that culture is ‘what we make of the world’, but what does that look like as Christians? How can we begin conversations about what’s goin...
It feels like everywhere I look online, I’m confronted with posts and videos dissecting Johnny Depp’s legal case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. There’s commentary on who’s winning the PR battle, video compilations of the most dramatic moments, and the opinions of various celebrities on the case.
In brief: in 2016, Amber Heard filed for divorce against Depp and accused him of physical abuse. Given the horror of domestic abuse, many were confused and angry to think the Hollywood star could have stooped to such evil. Depp claimed the accusation was untrue and is now suing Heard for defamation.
The trial is yet to complete, but Depp has stated he’s already ‘lost everything’; his career and reputation have been ruined by the allegations.
I’m too far away from the facts of the case to make a judgment on who is ‘in the right’: Depp, Heard, or neither. But I’m left reflecting on Depp’s words about the state he finds himself in. What happens to the identity of one of the most famous men on the planet when he feels like he’s ‘lost everything’? What is he left with?
Another person in the public eye is the recently retired Irish rugby player Andrew Trimble. During an interview with the BBC, Trimble, a man of Christian faith, states that although he loves the game, he is ‘defined by something more important’. His faith supported him when he was omitted from the 2015 Rugby World Cup due to injury. Faith gives him an ‘eternal perspective’, which makes him happier whilst playing the sport. If his career comes crashing down, due to injury or whatever else, all is not lost.
The Christian message declares that all human life is valuable because we are created and loved by God. Although God’s gifted us all in various and diverse ways, our ultimate identity needn’t rest in what we do and whatever benefits come from it. I don’t know Depp’s religious views, but I do know this is good news for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, as it is for Andrew Trimble, and for me.
In practice, if we let this message transform us, the people we encounter in our daily lives may be surprised and curious to find that although we work hard and aim to achieve success in life, we’ve found treasure that is greater than any job title, fame, or promotion. Perhaps that’s treasure our culture is hungry for.
Dr Luke Martin
Founder, The Creed and Culture Project. For more info on CCP’s event on ‘Identity’ on 18 June, see here.
Image: Harald Krichel