Disney Star, Joshua Bassett, Sparking Conversation with Outspoken Faith Journey
It has been a roller-coaster lately for popular actor and musician Joshua Bassett. Earlier this year, the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star sent ripples across social media for an out-of-character religious tweet.
At the time, many fans assumed his account had been hacked. Shortly after, however, a viral video emerged of Bassett being baptized and publicly sharing his testimony in a church.
The video was viewed by millions and sparked instant backlash. Bassett, who has previously identified as LGBTQ, was criticized for being baptized in a so-called “anti-LGBTQ” church. In response, Bassett tempered his endorsement of the church but doubled down on his commitment to Jesus: “My heart is for Christ and Christ alone!”
Bassett’s public spiritual journey continued at the recent Kids’ Choice Awards, where he used his short acceptance speech to proclaim the love and peace he has found in Jesus.
Once again, the viral video drew a wide range of passionate responses and perhaps also exposed some cultural double standards. Many Christians who are typically averse to celebrities preaching their views from the awards stage have celebrated the evangelistic moment as powerful and bold. Conversely, critics who usually celebrate such behavior suddenly took issue with the religious spiel. In one revealing social media exchange, a well-known contestant on Canada’s Drag Race and an outspoken proponent of kid’s Drag Story Hours in public libraries condemned Bassett for attempting to influence and “groom” children with his religious views.
Christians have been down this road before (see: Kanye West). While the intense scrutiny of the public eye has made Bassett’s spiritual journey a spectacle, Christians can be prayerful that God will continue to work in this influential actor. Regardless of what comes next, it is clear that Joshua Bassett has got lots of people talking about Jesus and faith.