The inimitable jester Jim Carrey has made surprising and profound statements about suffering, grace and how Jesus shows us the path to salvation. The comedian's comments weren't wholly orthodox, but Christians should listen and learn – his words offered more weight and wisdom than many Sunday sermons.
'I believe that this room is filled with God,' Carrey told a crowd last month at Homeboy Industries, an LA-based centre for rehabilitating former gang members and prisoners, led by Jesuit Rev Gregory J Boyle. The organisation shared the video of Carrey's comments online, which can be watched below.
'You are heroes to me, and I admire you,' he said to his audience of ex-criminals. 'When you stepped through these doors, you decided to be a part of this family. You've made a decision to transcend and to leave darkness behind, and it takes a champion to make that decision.'
Carrey added: 'I've had some challenges in the last couple of years myself.' The actor has previously opened up about his struggles with depression, while it's been confirmed that he will next year face a 'wrongful death' trial: Carrey stands accused of supplying the drugs which enabled the suicide of his girlfriend Cathriona White in 2015. He denies the allegations.
Carrey went on: 'And ultimately, I believe that suffering leads to salvation. In fact, it's the only way...that we have to, somehow, accept, not deny, but feel our suffering and feel our losses. And then, we make one of two decisions. We either decide to go through the gate of resentment, which leads to vengeance, which leads to self-harm, which leads to harm to others. Or, we go through the gate of forgiveness, which leads to grace.'
Carrey then became more theologically explicit, encouraging his crowd that 'your being here is an indication that...You've made the decision to walk through the gate of forgiveness to grace, just as Christ did on the cross.