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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Tyler Perry Betrays his Faith and his Message

A few days ago, Tyler Perry did what is all too common these days among those who have surrendered themselves to the Hollywood hook-up culture: he proudly and glowingly announced the birth of his child with his long-time on-again, off-again girlfriend, Gelila Bekele, a 28-year-old Ethiopian model.

The 45-year-old Perry, in an interview with EXTRA, said, “We're having a baby. She and I are very excited. I'm happy. I'm really excited about it.” During the interview Perry noted how the pending birth of his son (Perry inadvertently revealed the child’s gender) which “God has allowed” to come into his life—as if the boy just fell from the sky—has already changed his life.

“The greatest gift that I'm being given right now,” Perry declared, “is the opportunity to give the little boy in me everything I never had. So that's what I'm so excited about. This beautiful human being that God has allowed to come into my life, for me to get to know, because they come in their own personalities and who they are, and just shepherd and usher him into whatever the child is supposed to be is what, I'm gonna do.”

Tyler Perry disappoints on so many levels with this news. Perhaps we should not be surprised from an enabler of liberalism, but when Perry burst into the national spotlight about a decade ago, his story and his story-telling seemed to be a refreshing departure from what Hollywood usually presents.

In an interview in 2005, Perry said that “family and faith” were very important to him, adding that “I am a Christian, I am a believer, and I know had I not been a person of faith, I couldn't be here in this place, and I wouldn't be walking the path that I'm on now.” Perry also discussed his efforts of working the themes of faith and family into his films.

Much of Tyler Perry’s story is admirable. He overcame a very rough childhood; he has openly acknowledged being the victim of both physical and sexual abuse. One of the reasons Perry has given for the physical abuse he suffered is that the man who raised him, Emmitt Perry, was not his biological father.

On this, Tyler Perry is probably correct. As I’ve noted before, one of the most dangerous places for a child in America is in a home where the man present is not the biological father (ask Adrian Peterson). Again, this is especially true within the black family. Tyler Perry almost certainly knows this. Yet, his actions have created a scenario where his own child may face such a situation.

After all, how likely is it that Perry and Bekele will marry, commit to one another for life, and give their children both a mom and a dad in the home? I certainly hope this is the case, but Mr. Perry has given no indication that this will happen. Given the culture of Hollywood, it is much more likely that we will soon hear that Perry and Bekele are both in other “relationships.”

As almost any real parent rooted in sound morality knows, marriage and parenting require a great deal of sacrifice and selflessness. And parenting certainly is not about giving the “little boy in you” everything you never had. Career paths and plans may have to be altered, and more time will need to be spent at home. Marriage and parenting are hard work!

Whether we’re talking marriage, money, or monogamy, because of the efforts of the great deceiver, doing the right thing is often difficult. Of course, we all fall short. However, once a Christian recognizes the error of his ways, the proper thing to do is repent, not celebrate. For a highly public figure like Tyler Perry, this repentance should take place somewhat publicly, or at least he should publicly display an attitude of repentance.

This is especially the case given the devastation that out-of-wedlock births have brought to our nation, particularly the black family. It’s one thing to stumble, fall, and then surrender to God and allow Him to pick you back up and place you on that narrow path. It’s quite another to fall and then wallow in the filth with those who say that your faith is a lie and you can do whatever you want as long as it makes you happy.

Tyler Perry spoke at the funeral of Whitney Houston. He also laid hands on and prayed for TD Jakes. He has been open and unapologetic about his faith. He has said that he believes that God has called him to tell his story. This makes it all the more important that he speak and live the truth when it comes to the defining moral issues of our time.

During his 2005 interview, Perry was asked about his reaction to Bill Cosby’s outspoken criticism of the black community. Cosby has been one of the rare bold voices speaking truth when it comes to the breakdown of the black family. Perry noted that “Dr. Cosby and I are saying the exact same things.” Of course, as even most children know, what we say matters little if our actions don’t support our words. In other words, it’s not enough to have fictional tales that reflect the biblical truth on marriage (or any other issue); your personal life should bear such witness as well.

Copyright 2014, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

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