Russell Brand

Actor Russell Brand Goes from Bad Lad to Baptised

3 May 2024

3.2 MINS

Russell Brand’s Damascus moment might rightly cause some scepticism.

Britain’s Hollywood export is more a Magdalene than a Saul of Tarsus.

Aside from the 2011 Arthur remake, Brand’s filmography is full of soft porn, drug abuse, homo-eroticism, and sexual innuendo.

He’s even been at the centre of unproven sexual assault accusations, that the Australian public broadcaster has described as being “allegedly predatory behaviour.”

Despite that apparently politically motivated controversy, Russell the comic, and once free-sex hedonist, is now a Christian.

He was baptised by full immersion in the River Thames last weekend.

New Life

Recalling the experience on X, Brand said,

“It was an incredible and profound experience. Many aspects of it were intimate and personal.”

Brand talked about his long quest to find “tranquillity, peace, and even transcendence through different substances.”

They were all disappointing, he recalled.

“Yet, something occurred during the process of baptism that was incredible, and overwhelming.”

“I felt changed; transitioned. I still live in the real world, with its frustrations, but I feel as if some new resource within me has switched on.”

He also said he understood the cynicism.

“Some people will just see me as a celebrity, but I don’t see myself as a celebrity, because I was me when I was a little boy. I was me when I was a junkie. I was me when I was poor.

“I recognise that anything on social media could be exploited or utilised.

“For me, I’ve made the decision, and I know what the decision is. I’ve made it for myself, and I’ve prayed that it would be relevant to my family. In particular my children.”

“My wife’s already Catholic, she’s already made her own choices in this life, including” marrying me, he laughed.

“This is new for me,” Brand continued.

“I’m learning. I will make mistakes, but this is my path now, and I already feel incredibly blessed, relieved, nourished, held – I wish I could tell you exactly about, because they were amazing individuals involved.”

“There incredible, and bizarre incidents that took place.”

“This is new to me, it is a joy to me,” he stated, while adding that he planned to talk about it more, because this was “his ministry.”

“I’m so grateful to be surrendered in Christ.”

Seeking Meaning

Anticipating cynicism, Brand said in an earlier baptism announcement,

“I know a lot of people are cynical about the increasing interest in Christianity, and the return to God.”

The reasons are obvious, he explained.

“As meaning deteriorates in the modern world, as our value systems and institutions crumble.

“All of us are becoming increasingly aware that there is this eerily familiar – awakening, and beckoning – figure that we’ve all known all of our lives within us and around us.”

To this, Brand added,

“For me, it’s very exciting.”

This was part of his pending baptism announcement made on 26 April.

There, Brand asked how other people felt about their own baptism.

Responding, actor and Christian Kevin Sorbo reached out saying,

“Russell, I have some wonderful movies I would love to send you. Get in touch with me.”

Them Before Us founder Katy Faust replied, “I see the joy of redemption on your face. Welcome to the family.”

Others, like Charlie Kirk, Glenn Beck, Candace Owens, actor Matthew Marsden, and commentator Robby Starbuck, echoed that same welcome.

Viewed on X 4.7 million times, with 57,000 likes, a majority of the 9,700 comments were positive.

Many more shared pictures, or recounted their own baptism.

As one X account stated, “Some of the biggest sinners have become saints.”


Despite him brandishing a tarot card 24 hours after being baptised, Brand’s baptism was months in the making.

In January, he declared, “I need a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

He also shared about reading the Bible more, as well as taking time to walk through The Purpose-Driven Life.

Through an update posted online, Brand said he chose baptism because he had “reached a point in his life where he realised the material world was not enough.”

“My pursuit of my own agenda always leaves me cold, and looking for more. You can never have enough of what you don’t really want.”

Choosing baptism is a “surrender, undertaken in gratitude, and sincerity.”

“It’s not something I’ll be able to undertake perfectly. But I fully understand that I’m not the centre of my universe.

“For all the exotic exploration. For all of the various drugs, and substances. For all of the esoteric practices, I’ve found it in that humble place: In Christianity, and in particular in the figure of Christ.”

Who would have thought Russell Brand could become a potential modern-day Paul of Tarsus?

Yet, here he seems to stand.

To paraphrase a sceptical Spectator:

Russell the rogue, is now a rogue reborn.

With God, all things are possible.


Image courtesy of D. B. Yong/Wikimedia Commons.


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One Comment

  1. Rod Lampard 7 May 2024 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Addendum: Russell Brand credits Bear Grylls for helping disciple him. My takeaway from his “week 1 as a Christian” update is just how horrid the “he’s not really a Christian” has been.

    I empathised by RB, not because he’s a celebrity, but because 28-years ago, I experienced the same “he’s not really a Christian” dismissals.

    I understand the skeptism, and yes, Paul issues the imperative to test all things, but he also encourages (Rom. 14) to walk alongside those who are new in Christ.

    Pray for RB, pray for me, pray for every repentant sinner whose life has been wondrously interrupted by the saving grace of Jesus the Christ, and transformative power of the cross.

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