Chris Pratt Seems Like a Great Guy. But …

Chris Pratt

I really like Chris Pratt. He seems like a fun, funny, down-to-earth guy who, despite being one of this moment’s great action heroes, doesn’t take himself too seriously. Oh, and he’s Christian. And he pulls no punches when it comes to his faith.

Take his recent acceptance speech at the Teen Choice Awards.

“I love God, that’s my thing!” He tells a screaming audience. “I love him! And you should, too!”

Pratt says that he thanks God every time he’s in front of a large audience,. Every award he gets, every honor he achieves, he seems to give honor to the Man Upstairs. “God is real,” he said at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards. “God loves you. God wants the best for you. Believe that. I do.”

One of the most likable, most influential actors on the scene today, talking about God? Unreal. Fantastic. And oh-so encouraging.

But here’s the thing: As much as I like Pratt, and as much as I like what I’m hearing from him, I know—and I think that he does, too—that the line between hero and villain, between role model and doofus, is the breadth of one big mistake. And we all make mistakes.

I dig superheroes in the movies. But in real life, we have no Superman, no Captain America, no one on whom we can count to make the right decision every single time, no matter the circumstance. When we look to the world for our role models, our heroes, they’re bound to disappoint in some way. Why? Because we’re broken people, that’s why. We fall. We fail.

We’ve seen it even in the world of Christianity. Sometimes I think especially so. Our spiritual leaders—the folks we count on to lead us along a righteous path and point the way home—sometimes seem to fall like leaves in autumn. I’ve seen it all my life. We all have. People who we might’ve thought could do no wrong sometimes … do wrong.

Back in the day, basketball star (and current basketball pundit) Charles Barkley got into some trouble for telling the world, in a Nike commercial, “I am not a role model.”

As abrasive as the spot might’ve been for many, Barkley says something pretty true: “Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”

Moms and dads should be the best role models their kids could have … and yet we moms and dads know that we’re not perfect, either. We fail our kids all too often, and most of us are achingly aware of those failures.

I think there’s a danger in looking to someone, anyone, and saying, “I want to be just like that.” Pratt may embrace his position as role model, and I think in some respects he’d be a fine one … but only up to a point. Today, in this broken world, every hero comes with an asterisk.

Again, I don’t think this is something that Pratt would be offended by. He shouldn’t be.

One of Pratt’s most popular on-screen characters is Peter Quill, leader of The Guardians of the Galaxy. Quill’s no pure-of-heart role model himself. He can be selfish, arrogant and petty. He steals. He sleeps around (or, at least, used to). Few parents would point to Quill and say to their children, “Be like him in every respect.”

But in moments—the most critical moments—he acts heroically, selflessly and sacrificially.

He is, in truth, a little like us. We’re not heroes, either. Not all the time, anyway. But we carry the potential to act heroically every day. Every minute.

Sure, let’s celebrate Pratt and his outspoken love for God. Let’s appreciate that, it would seem, he wants to set an example for the youngsters he knows look up to him.

But even as we do so, let’s remember that no one, Chris Pratt included, is perfect. We should have just one real role model in our lives—the one who literally saved us all. And if some of us mirror Him on occasion, all the better.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Rocketshipper More than 1 year ago
><. can’t log in with Facebook on my phone.  

Ok, here is something I don’t really get.    Why do we care about the personal lives of celebrities?  Really??

All my life there have been “artists” whom I enjoyed; authors, singers, directors, actors, etc. whose output I like.  But with very few exceptions I have almost ZERO interest in knowing anything about their personal lives, their histories, their beliefs and any of that stuff, and I don’t really completely understand why anyone else does.   Obviously they do; for centuries humanity has been entranced and fascinated by the lives of celebrities and the upper class, and we have to deal with the reality, but it still drives me crazy.   WHY?  Why do we care who celebrities are outside of their “art”?   Why would young people look at celebrities as role models?  It doesn’t really make sense to me.

Lol this is probably why celebrity issues never seem to affect me at all.   If I liked a dirextor’s movies but didn’t really care who the director was outside of the movie, then finding out later that the director was Not very nice or did something horrible, probably wouldn’t change my feelings at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By CbinJ
I realize now why I related so well to PIO when I was 14–PIO is truly written for children. Who is this article supposed to appeal to? What mature adult doesn’t realize that all people are imperfect? How immature in your faith do you have to be to think “taking the Lord’s name in vain” has anything remotely to do with the phrase O-M-G or any other similar expression? The worst thing for Chris Pratt’s faith is constant nit-picking by Evangelicals. By all means call him out if he starts falling into the radical Hollywood Leftism spouted by so many other actors & actresses—even those who consider themselves Christian or Catholic (Stephen Colbert anyone? I have never seen a PIO article condemning that piece of work.) 

P.S. Peter Quill is a great character. The MCU (so far) has been one of the most conservative things to come out of Hollywood in a long time. And Pratt’s Jesus line in Infinity War was one of the funniest lines in the movie & a joking but respectful shout out to the faithful. There was a reason it was Peter Quill who said that line & not another character.
By CbinJ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Meh...I can't judge Chris Pratt's heart, but I can be a fruit inspector. Words are easy..growing fruit is directly related to abiding in the Lord's vine. Where is the fruit in his divorce or his statement of separation and life choices? Was Christ in the center of those things in his life? Or is his Christianity post all of that? 
Miss Priss More than 1 year ago
You seem to be assuming that his divorce was up to him. Maybe it wasn't. Neither he nor his ex-wife went into the reasons why they divorced. For that reason, let's not speculate about it. 
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By CbinJ
Taking the Lord’s name in vain has nothing to do with saying O-M-G or the line in Infinity War. Taking the Lord’s name in vain involves attributing things not of God to God. For example, when a terrorist screams “Allahu Akbar” while committing a terrorist attack, he is attributing/ committing that evil act to/ in the name of God. Blantant Biblically illiteracy like this is what drove me away from the Evangelical circles I used to frequent. I would rather hear “Oh my...” (I can’t even write the harmless phrase because PIO censors it.) than no mention of God at all. Tell me O-M-G is against the 3rd Commandment, & I will show you all the anti-God people who switch “God” out for “gods” or “god” or a harsh profanity just to avoid giving any reverence to His name.

Also, I think that line in Infinty War can be interpreted numerous ways. In the context of the story, Peter Quill is one the few characters that would know & possibly believes in the Christian God because he is from Earth. Also, GOTG is allegorical in some very interesting ways. Peter’s mother is mortal & his father is a God. His hero name is Star Lord. He sacrifices his life & immortality to save the galaxy. He can hold the Power Stone, & yet, always gives up power to do the right thing.
By CbinJ
Cinnamon C 9 months ago
"Taking the Lord’s name in vain has nothing to do with saying O-M-G"

If you truly believe that, you do not know the true and Biblical God, the Creator of the universe.  He is holy, almighty and above everything.  When we speak of Him, we should speak of Him in reverence and in worship.  His name (God is who He is) should never be used to accentuate a sentence or to get our point across.   He will not be mocked.  His name should never be profaned. You should look up what "vain" means. 

Furthermore, when people say OMG, they are indeed using God's, the Creator of the Universe, name.  Nobody says oh my allah or oh my buddha.  People like Pratt say "Jesus Christ" or "oh Jesus" all the time using God's name.  That is indeed taking God's name in vain.  

Before you start talking about "biblically illiterate evangelicals", you should really ask God to search your own heart.  We should never compromise.  If we love God, we have to be all in.  I say that about myself first.

Do not be blinded because you are a fan. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So you like him, but what? Your title really does a poor job at describing what the reader should expect from the article.  You like Chris Pratt, but he's a human and we shouldn't look at him like anything but human?  You aren't starting what YOU personally don't like about him, yet that's what your title implies you will be discussing.  Perhaps a better title would've been, "Hollywood Role Models are Still Just Human" or "Jesus the Real Role Model".  I'm not a writer, so I don't know, but I do know that it was a misleading title and I didn't care for the content.
Joshua Kroeger More than 1 year ago
Right, everyone, including Pratt comes with an asterisk.  He was, after all, called out for mocking God in Infinity War shortly after its release.  He’s been in numerous other...less exemplary roles, like the lovable goof Andy Dwyer in Parks and Rec.  Etc.
Tricia More than 1 year ago
Yes, I was really surprised by that line in Infinity War, I wondered why he did that? Also a bit of taking God's name in vain in Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. Otherwise, (I guess that's like an asterisk, isn't it?) I like him and am pleased that he uses his fame to honor God :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By CbinJ
Taking the Lord’s name in vain has nothing to do with saying O-M-G or the line in Infinity War. Taking the Lord’s name in vain involves attributing things not of God to God. For example, when a terrorist screams “Allahu Akbar” while committing a terrorist attack, he is attributing/ committing that evil act to/ in the name of God. I am so tired of Biblically illiterate Evangelicals. (This is directed at the writers of PIO—whose job it is to know things like this—not you Tricia.)
By CbinJ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think I may be one of the only people in existence who hasn't watched Guardians of The Galaxy........
-Davidiswise The Clown 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But who cares?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
no one. just my random musing. 
-Davidiswise The Clown
Miss Priss More than 1 year ago
You should watch it. It was very funny.
B Evans More than 1 year ago
Well put.
Julienne Dy More than 1 year ago
Thank you.