Jamie Foxx Talks Being Raised in the Church, Why “Just Mercy” is the ‘Most Important Film’ He’s Ever Done, and How He Hopes to One Day See All Races Worship Together

Jamie Foxx stars in the film “Just Mercy” alongside Michael B. Jordan and Brie Larson. The film is based on the award-winning book by Bryan Stevenson. | Warner Bros.

Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx spoke about his faith and criticized those he accused of using Christianity as a “tool to divide.” His “vision,” he said, is seeing people of all races worshiping God together under the same roof. 

In a sit-down interview with The Christian Post, Foxx said that growing up in Texas, where he attended church on Sundays and several other days of the week, was just a way of life. Every Sunday he played the piano in church, assisting the congregation in worship.

“I grew up in church. I mean, church, every single day. Church, church, church, church,” the Oscar-winning actor said.

But somehow, Foxx said, the way many of his fellow churchgoers treated him throughout the week didn’t exactly reflect the compassion, grace, and kindness exemplified by the Christ they professed.

“What I found odd though, the people that went to church treated me bad exactly when I would go on the other side of the tracks,” he recalled. “Those people that went to church and taught us the Bible called me n—-a, right. Treated me bad, ran me across the tracks.”

“In my mind, I thought, ‘Yo, something is off. ‘Cause if there is a Heaven, I ain’t hanging out with them. So they going to have to separate my Heaven, ’cause I don’t want to be around people that called me these things,’” he said.

Foxx revealed that his grandmother, a devout woman who insisted her grandson memorize the Bible, was the one who taught him to be kind to others and extend compassion, even to those he disagreed with.

“My grandmother, who raised our city, made sure I understood the books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, etc.,” he said. “[And] she explained [to me] the umbrella of Christianity.”

He shared how, one Sunday, the pastor preached from the pulpit that those with same-sex attraction are not to be loved “because God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” Foxx recalled. At that moment, his grandmother stood up and replied, “You stop that. God made sissies too.”

“I never understood what that meant,” Foxx said. “As I got older, I asked my grandma what she meant. She said, ‘I run a nursery school. There are little boys that will play with army men, while other little boys would play with dolls. But I had to nurture them and pray for them, and let them know that I’m opening the umbrella of Christianity, which meant that everyone here on the planet, if your religion is really real, should be able to stand under that umbrella. However, we will be holier than thou on Sunday and then on Monday, go back to holding that umbrella only for us to stand under.’”

Foxx said he hopes that one day, the mentality of “umbrella Christianity” will apply to all races, where people of every tribe, tongue, and nation worship together under the same roof.

“I’ve always had this vision, and I’ve done it in certain things where I have people come to my house and we have church at my house, not shown on television or anything like that. But my idea is that at a certain point, black church, white church, Hispanic, everybody goes to church together,” he told CP.

“I think when that very religion, which is supposed to take us to a beautiful place, becomes a tool to divide, that’s where you leave people sort of [disillusioned],” he said.

The actor asserted that up-and-coming generations have a difficult time embracing Christianity because of the “us versus them” mentality promoted by some professing Christians.

“My daughter had a hard time wrapping her mind around religion,” he said. “When she was like 13,14, she said, ‘Dad, all you guys talk about is who’s different and who isn’t. We don’t want to do that.’ So I appreciate the young millennial who has a different mindset and is still attached to their faith, because that’s what we need. It needs to be integrated.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett