Woody Harrelson On Christianity

GQ magazine published an interview with actor Woody Harrelson. In the interview, Harrelson is asked about the Gospel and his Christian upbringing.1 He was raised in church studying the Bible and preached his first sermon at age 17.

GQ: Can you tell me about when you preached the Gospel as a child?
Woody Harrelson: I was very religious growing up. My mom still is. We went to church all the time, went to Bible study; we even did Bible study at my house. I went to a Presbyterian college, you know, I was in….all the way, and so I remember doing my first sermon when I was 17, I was in high school. It wasn’t a full twenty-five minute sermon but for like ten minutes I got up and they let me do that and it was on faith.

When asked about his favorite part of the Bible he mentions that he believes the Gospel of Luke is probably the most accurate.

GQ: Do you have a favorite part of the Bible?
Woody Harrelson: …Luke is probably the purest of what was said, but then in John it goes from saying we are all children of God and we all have the power to perform miracles to… “I am the way the truth and the light and no one cometh unto the Father except by me,” and it becomes much more authoritative and you can just see that… you know, I’m just fascinated by all that.

However, that has all changed and he no longer considers himself a Christian.

GQ: Do you consider yourself to be a Christian?
Woody Harrelson: No. I have a strong spiritual life. I can’t say that I have faith that Jesus is my Savior, but I look at Jesus in the same way that I look at, you know, Mohammed. He was giving everyone the goods. So was Gandhi. And to me I think it’s this thing of everyone wanting to make Jesus the Son of God and Jesus the only way to God that is the thing that no longer makes me want to be a Christian.

Interesting that Harrelson’s rejection of Christianity is based on the exclusive claims of Jesus. However, he says that the problem is “everyone wanting to make Jesus the Son of God.” He seems to base his beliefs on who he says Jesus is. If it were simply other people claiming Jesus as God’s Son, I wonder why Harrelson does not reject that claim and embrace Christ on his own terms?

Maybe Harrelson still some conviction and does trust the Gospel of Luke which makes exclusive claims about Jesus. Luke 9:20 (ESV) states, “Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” Luke records many teachings from Jesus including the resurrection and ascension in chapter 24.

Harrelson’s rejection of Jesus is interesting. He accepts Luke as the most accurate recording of Jesus’ life, yet rejects Jesus based on exclusive claims about Jesus, some of which may be found in Luke.

There’s still hope.


  1. Michael Hainey. The Gospel Truths of Woody Harrelson. GQ.com (Language warning!)

tagged as , in Culture,Gospel,morality,relativism,theology

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 cb scott February 13, 2012 at 6:43 am

You know, even when this guy was on Cheers, it was recognizable that he had been indoctrinated to the faith. You are right. There is still hope.

2 Craig February 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm

There is definitely hope!

I came to your blog from the church relevant site top 200 list. They have created a tremendous forum for finding new blogs that impact people.

I hope my blog can be an encouragement to you also.

I write it for encouragement and motivation daily.


Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to watching the connections grow!

3 Brian O February 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Mark, the Woody Harrelson article confirms for my the doctrine of “election,”— that God chose us “before the foundations of the world were laid”(Eph.1:4a), “according to the good pleasure of his will”(Eph.1:5).

Salvation is a complete work of God—1John 3:19 speak directly to the plight of fallen man:
New Living Translation (©2007)
And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.

4 KeithTX February 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Woody claims he was “all the way in”, but he was more likely “along for the ride”. He mentions everyone wanting to make Jesus the Son of God and Jesus being the only way to God, as if this is a recent invention. It’s a shame that though he (in his words) is fascinated by the authoritative statement “I am the way the truth and the light and no one cometh unto the Father except by me” he doesn’t seem to see that it was Jesus himself that makes claim, not “everyone”. I am of the belief that when people know the gospel, or even for a time say they accept it, and then reject it, it is simple because they want to sin and it’s easier to deny Jesus is God than to admit your are a sinner in need of salvation.


5 Steve Martin February 16, 2012 at 8:57 am


I’ll pray for him.

6 Craig February 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm

To whomever keeps coming over to my blog from here – THANKS very much! Hope it’s a blessing!

“Never Fail – What I mean by that, is fail a lot!”


7 John finkelde February 18, 2012 at 7:55 am

I remember the exclusivity of Jesus being a make road block for me until I accepted Christ. It certainly is a game changer

8 hug your chances February 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Hello! I’m an atheist that googled Woody Harrelson to find out what he believes. I was just curious and still don’t know what he is :).
What is certain is that he is cooler than most of us…

9 Frank Viola February 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Interesting. Thx. for featuring this. I had no idea . . .

10 Susie March 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm

“Every” knee shall bow!!!!

11 parkerj May 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm

“There’s still hope.” Yes, indeed.

12 Jennifer January 24, 2015 at 10:02 am

This is blasphemy… I agree with woody… But I do not agree with the esv of the verse repeated from Luke… It’s incorrect… The first versions available did not say that and it’s rather demeaning to his intellect to say he is a contradiction. Mr harrelson. Is not In The wrong…. Ur correction. I. The other hand is.

13 mona September 11, 2015 at 6:28 am

John 3:16-18

14 chloelee October 7, 2015 at 7:42 pm

hebrews 6 For [it is impossible to restore to repentance] those who have once been enlightened [spiritually] and who have [a]tasted and consciously experienced the heavenly gift and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted and consciously experienced the good word of God and the powers of the age (world) to come, 6 [b]and then have fallen away—it is impossible to bring them back again to repentance, since they again nail the Son of God on the cross [for as far as they are concerned, they are treating the death of Christ as if they were not saved by it], and are holding Him up again to public disgrace.


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