I am writing this article from New Orleans, Louisiana during the city's most decadent party of the year--Mardi gras. Parades everywhere, bars open 24/7, open alcohol container laws, public flashers, colorful beads and coins flying through the air are what make this a pre-Lent party destination for hundreds of thousands. I, however, am here for a different reason; Chelsea and I are on location, filming a new Growing Pains reunion movie with all the Seavers.
As you can imagine, I'm desperate to see my unsaved TV family members come to the Lord, and my heart is thrilled by this opportunity to share the gospel with them. But I have a problem. Let me give you some behind-the-scenes, Seaver family background. E! Entertainment recently did a special on my spirituality in which they interviewed my TV family, airing their negative comments about my conversion to Christianity. Even the Growing Pains producers were wildly frustrated with me, due to my "content issues," and they didn't hesitate to voice their disapproval, and as a result, I'm a bit nervous about talking with them about the things of God.
So here I am on the set, welling up with zeal to share my faith with these people I love, while at the same time feeling like an evangelistic chicken. Have you ever felt that way with people closest to you? My heart pounds with compassion to speak with Ben, Carol, Jason and Maggie (Chrissy is a believer!), but that stifling fear of rejection and ridicule is always there to try and shut me up. If you could see me in the spiritual realm, I would be the guy in the chicken suit--covered with feathers, walking around the set with webbed feet, pathetically struggling to open his beak and let out even a single "chirp" for the Lord.
In light of my dilemma, I asked the Lord to open doors for conversations about the gospel and fill me with courage and compassion for the lost. Shortly afterward, the doors began to open. The cast and I were at a swanky restaurant reception when Alan Thicke (Jason Seaver) told me that he'd heard from a friend of his that I had preached a provocative message ("Soundly Saved") at a church recently and that he wanted to talk about it. He then shared some of his spiritual beliefs with me and I had a brief opportunity to do the same with him. A feather from my suit fell to the ground.
On the way home from the party, Jeremy Miller (Ben Seaver) said he had seen an episode of The Way of the Master and was interested in seeing more. We talked briefly about the program and I gave him the "Private Screening" DVD and a copy of, Hell's Best Kept Secret. He said he'd check them out and let me know his thoughts. Later, he saw The Passion of the Christ, was in tears, shell-shocked, and said he was ready to listen to the CD I'd given him. We went to dinner and he asked for another copy of the CD to give to his girlfriend.
The next day, I was talking with Ashley Johnson (Chrissy) about The Way of the Master and gave her a copy of "Soundly Saved" when I heard "Oh Kirk, I want one of those!" It was Joanna Kerns (Maggie) wanting to learn more about my new ministry.
To top it off, Joe Scarborough and MSNBC called me, wanting to do a 15 minute interview regarding my views of The Passion of the Christ and Christianity in Hollywood, which will give me a chance to declare the true, biblical gospel to millions of people. On the way home, I asked my taxi cab driver if he had seen the movie. He said he hadn't and that he was a French atheist--a "child of Voltaire." I reasoned with him about the existence of God and the truth about his sin and desperate need of forgiveness. I told him I'd pray for him even though he didn't yet believe in God, so that listen to his conscience and come to his senses and embrace the gift God has offered in Christ. He thanked me and took a "Good News/Bad News" Ice Breaker to read later.
In the past few days, I have had the privilege of sharing the gospel with drivers, cameramen, electricians, police officers, and local visitors and teenagers. It seems that God in His grace saw my weakness, and responded to my prayers by sending me special encouragement and opportunities to share my faith. If you fear sharing your faith, pray for chicken mercies. Watch as God opens the doors, and then be sure to walk through them.