by Joshua Maloni
Kirk Cameron has a tendency to draw the ire of celebrities and talking heads for espousing Bible-based family living - a concept that's very un-Hollywood these days. But he's not afraid to speak up for what he believes in.
"Ah, yeah, it doesn't always make me that popular, does it?" he said. "My pastor once said ... in one of his books, he said, 'You can either please God or you can be popular. Pick one. But you're likely not going to be both.'
"Jesus was well known, but he wasn't popular among the people of his time. They tried to throw him off a cliff 10 times before he ever made it to the cross - and he was saying everything right. And he was the most loving person on the planet."
Unlike other "famous Christians," who sometimes change their tone when pressed publicly, Cameron doesn't water down his message.
"For me, I understand that you can't serve two masters," he said. "Jesus said that. You can't serve God and money. Often, people say what they say - whether they're on television or in front of friends or whatever - based on what's going to be most advantageous to them. In my opinion, what's most advantageous to me is to honor God.
"God is the one who sent the savior to save me from my sin. So, I'm not going to deny Jesus and deny his word before men, because I don't want him denying me before the father and the angels in Heaven.
"When I'm on my deathbed, I'm not worried about what Piers Morgan thinks of me. I'm concerned about what Jesus Christ thinks of me. I learned to live for an audience not of thousands of people, but of one person. And that's Jesus Christ. Now, I don't always do that faithfully like I should. But that's my goal. That's my aim as a Christian.
"I want to hear, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.' You've got to pick. You can honor God, or be popular. Maybe God will make you both, but likely not. And you need to decide who you're going to be true to."
Since Cameron's smash TV series "Growing Pains" wrapped in the early 1990s, he has largely worked in faith-based productions such as "Left Behind" and "Fireproof." He recently released a new film that he said traces the history of America's success.
"I just did a film called 'Monumental,' where I re-trace the escape route of the Pilgrims out of England, to Holland, where they stayed for 12 years before they came across to America on the Mayflower," he said. The goal was to rediscover "the secret sauce. What was the playbook that they were using? How did they run those plays to ultimately develop the ideas for the richest, freest, most prosperous and strong nation the world has ever known?
"And the reason that I did that was because I'm concerned that we're losing it as a nation. We're losing it economically, morally, spiritually. And my kids are in this world. I want to go back to the playbook. I want to run those plays again."
When he's not acting or producing, Cameron takes to the streets to preach the Gospel as part of "The Way of the Master," with ministry partner Ray Comfort. Their mission, they say, "is to inspire and equip Christians - to teach them how to share the gospel simply, effectively, biblically ... the way Jesus did."
For more information on Kirk Cameron, visit www.kirkcameron.com.