I’ve never seen a Russell Brand show, but I find his spiritual journey interesting. I mentioned him in this space a year ago because he began making public comments about Jesus. “The teachings of Christ are more relevant now than they’ve ever been,” he said. He was on a Godward trajectory.

Brand is a British comedian and actor. His father abandoned him as an infant but took him as a teenager to a prostitute in Thailand. He suffered from bulimia and illegal drug use. He lived a reckless, promiscuous lifestyle, yet he became successful. His troubled past and high visibility are the makings of a dramatic conversion to faith in Christ.

That’s what he says has happened. After months of public comments, he received baptism as a Christian. He describes it as “an opportunity to leave the past behind and be reborn in Christ’s name like it says in Galatians.” Perhaps he refers to “You who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (3:27) or “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (2:20).

“It’s been a big change,” Brand says. Given his past, I hope so. Given my or anyone’s past, dying to self and living in the identity of Christ ought to be a big change. “Repentance means that you have to continually change,” he says. “I need to surrender myself to an ever-present, internal and accessible Jesus.”

Brand credits his faith for bringing new people into his life. He mentions finding strength in prayer despite his failings. He has read C.S. Lewis and Rick Warren. “I know there’s so much more to learn,” he says. He addresses his TikTok audience directly asking, “Let me know if since I’ve been talking about this publicly, it’s made you think about Christianity differently.”

It’s not for me to say if someone’s faith is authentic, but I see some markers here. Brand has been talking about a person, Jesus, not just religion. He notes the need for repentance and benefits of prayer. He notices an exciting change in his mindset. He has a hunger to learn what God has said in the Bible. He realizes the importance of Christian community and learning from the wisdom and experience of fellow believers. He is ready to engage non-believers and help them find their way to Christ as he has. So, my question here is not about Brand, but about you. Are these marks of authentic faith present in your life?

Last year, Brand said people are “looking for fulfillment in things that will only leave them empty.” That describes his own stumbling experience of the blind leading the blind. While secular seers veer past truth, you need not look far to find it. “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him” (Psa. 145:18).