My Take: A concerned evangelical's open letter to Charlie Sheen
March 25th, 2011
09:23 AM ET

My Take: A concerned evangelical's open letter to Charlie Sheen

Editor's Note: Margaret Feinberg is an international speaker and author of "Scouting the Divine" and "The Organic God." Follow her on Twitter.

By Margaret Feinberg, Special to CNN

Dear Charlie,

As one of your 3 million Twitter followers, I’ve given you the ability to speak into my life in 140 characters or less, so I figure the least I can do is return the favor (with a few extra characters). You’ve been on quite a ride: setting a new Twitterlicious record for bagging the most followers in 24 hours, reducing "Two and a Half Men" to reruns on Monday nights, and displaying behavior that defies any sense of rational behavior (even among warlocks).

“Charlie Sheen LIVE: My Violent Torpedo of Truth” tour selling out in just 18 minutes, Brooke Mueller dropping the restraining order, and a big wet kiss from Jimmy Kimmel may make you feel like a #winner, but as a well-meaning fan, I’m asking you to put away the Tiger Blood T-shirts and pull back from the Hollywood media blitz long enough to consider the following:

No. 1: Though “Yes” people are always more fun to surround yourself with, maybe it’s time to make room for people who will challenge your thinking and behavior. Maybe you need some time with people who don’t give a rat’s tail that you’re Charlie Sheen.

I have two recommendations: The first is a guy by the name of Rob Bell. He’s been stirring up a bit of controversy talking about who or what is really a #winner in his new book, "Love Wins." A lot of people don’t know what to think about Bell or his nebulous beliefs, but I guarantee grabbing a cup of coffee with him will make you think about yourself and life differently.

My second recommendation is someone named Franklin Graham. Yep, his dad is named Billy. But before you roll your eyes, Franklin knows a thing or two about booze and babes from his youth. His story just might surprise you. Plus, he’s doing a whole lot of good through an organization called Samaritan’s Purse. Franklin won’t care that you’re Charlie; he’ll only care that you’re a human being, and you need more people in your life like that.

No. 2: You need some more #losers in your life. As television’s highest paid actor (nearly $2 million an episode), we can all see how you feel like a “a total rock star from Mars” and that you are riding the high of being “on a drug ... called Charlie Sheen.” The porn stars and the private jets make you feel like a #winner, but maybe it’s time to hang with some #losers, people who have lost everything.

On the other side of the world, more than half a million people have lost loved ones, everything they own, or a sense of life as they know it. They go to bed at night and wake up in the morning under the shadows of nuclear disaster and uncertainty. Maybe it’s time to take a ride to Japan sans the goddesses and remember that all the wealth, fame and celebrity status you’ve been given could be used to help others in need.

Please don’t just write a check. Look into their eyes. Listen to their stories. The reality check will trump anything you’ve experienced in rehab.

No. 3: You’re selling out too cheap. The erratic behavior and incoherent ramblings have left everyone wondering when you’re going to crash. Comparisons to Anna Nicole Smith abound. Other than those who purchased seats for your Violent Torpedo Tour, everyone else is being given free tickets to a crash and burn party.

In case no one has told you, you’re more valuable than that. Don’t give them the pleasure. Instead of opting for the crash, pull up, Charlie, pull up. Embrace redemption — it’s never too late to turn things around and inspire us all with goodness rather than just another implosion.

No. 4: You have five kids who need you around. Even if you dismiss every argument, I have some names you can’t dismiss so easily: Cassandra, Sam, Lola, Max and Bob. Some say any media attention is good media attention, but I can’t help but wonder what your kids will think and feel when they Google your name years from now.

Your children need a loving, responsible father, which you can choose to be — and maybe that’s the best wake-up call of all. If you won’t come to your senses for any other reason, do it for them.

As for the rest of us fans, we want you back, Charlie, on your “A” game as an actor, and as a healthy dad. We’re rooting for you!

One of your fans,


The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Margaret Feinberg

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Celebrity • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (942 Responses)
  1. Jack

    Do people realize this is all for press? Its a joke for goodness sake.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • pothead

      LOL...that's what makes all this fun. Isn't the internet wonderful. We non-believers have scared he hell out of the god fearing christians. If we we haven't they would be in their pews and not paying any attention to Charliebaby! Charlie is King!

      March 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  2. simmerdownchildren

    you all need to take a bottle full of chill pills and cool it. Congratulations! you all have different opinions...wow who would of thought that people could possibly think differently. It's shocking, SHOCKING! oh and fyi calling someone stupid for believing in something or nothing, is ridiculous. there could be a god and there could not be a god. what knowledge do any of you have to dispute either of those claims.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Tex

      I'm sorry, you may be a retard, my bad for calling you an idiot!

      March 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • cynix

      Tex, it's not "retarded" anymore. It's developmentally disabled. But I think the word you may be looking for is ignorant.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  3. Tex

    I stand by Charlie, because chuck lorre is a bully, and needs to shut up! Charlie is a great dad and a great guy, his only problem is, picking the goofyest women for his wives, they are total idiots, I love his show 2 1/2 men, and his stance on 9/11 truth, you other idiots need to get a life, look around our Nobel "peace prize" winner has gotten the wars to a higher level. Look up "Operation Mockingbird" and learn how folks like Anderson Cooper(former CIA agent) deceives the public with false information!

    March 25, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  4. Mike

    Sheen's a genius. Time Warner re-negatiated his salary higher after being aware of the Aspen incident. Also, Sheen's media histrionics have only increased viewership. Clearly, overall CBS was not damaged Sheen's actions. His show was number one largely because of his actions.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Tex

      Amen bro!

      March 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  5. travelbugs

    Go abroad and teach english...travelbugteacher.com. Learn how easy it is to get away, and get paid!

    March 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  6. Reality

    Sheen violates the basic principle of human existence i.e. "Do No Harm" !!!!....................................


    March 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  7. Michele Cannon

    I just don't see how one can say Franklin Graham and Rob Bell in the same breath. God is not the author of confusion and Mr. Sheen with eyebrows raised would probably pick up the paradoxical views immediately. Not a good witness.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  8. PhooBar

    Don't know or care about either one of them.
    How is this news, CNN?
    Leave crap like this to USA Today and People magazine.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • quorndawg

      Um, you do realize it's posted on the Belief Blog page and not on the front page (other than linked as a hot topic).

      March 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Watch where you are going. This is a religion blog and can post anything it wants on the subject. If you don't know how to read signs go away and learn.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  9. djwazu

    Dumbest advice I've ever heard! what is it about TIGER'S BLOOD you don't get!

    March 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  10. Church

    Another "Christian" busybody with a long nose.
    Who cares about Charlie Sheen? Let his very wealthy father and brothers worry about him.
    The courts will keep him from going too far.
    Charlie Sheen has a disease common to the Irish - Alcoholism - and it has warped his brain, but not so much that he doesn't know what sells.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  11. Shiverfairy

    She's a priest or an Evangecial? which one is it? I thought Priests are not supposed to "judge" others, even in the Bible that people are not supposed to "judge" other people, the only judgement passed is only God himself. no one else. I cannot believe this woman is judging Charlie Sheen for the World to see. It looks to me that she is looking for a publicity stunt to boost her book sales. she is looking for riches herself. A real chrisitan would not judge other people and follow the bible. She is a fraud. Looking for money to boost her sales is disgusting. Supposed to be humble and not being selfish.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • @Shiver

      Actually, she is doing what all Christians are called to do...evaluate, be discerning, and yes, judge. What we are not called to be is condemning. We are all in a position to make judgments about situations, viewpoints, and yes, people. Just because a believer has an opinion a non-believer immediately yells "Don't judge!" Scripture calls us to judge, but never condemn. We are called to offer ourselves to their service when we believe that they need help. If that person chooses to refuse our help that is their choice, but we will still make the offer out of love.

      I'm sorry that you did not see the love in her heart that came through loud and clear in her words, but that says more about you than about her. Yes, that was my judgment of your post, but I do not condemn you for it. I just offer an opinion.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Judge not that ye be not judged.
      Judgment is mine saith the Lord.

      Don't be messing with language to prove you have the right to be judgmental. In your religion God is the only judge.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • @Shiver

      "Don't you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide even these little things among yourselves?" (1 Corinthians 6:2)

      "judgment must begin with God's household" (1 Peter 4:17). (We are God's household in case you are wondering.)

      Again, we are called to judge, but not to condemn. We are to use our judgment, led by the Holy Spirit, to offer guidance where we see others go astray of God's Word.....that includes being open to others judging us when we go astray as well. It is to be done with love and patience and not condemnation.

      March 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  12. Asperigas

    JESUS said many things. Charlie should listen!

    March 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • pothead

      You are hearing voices again! That is an illness that can be helped with a little pot or a good shrink.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  13. Wzrd1

    Some of my favorite bible passages:

    "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, she must be silent" Timothy 2:12

    "This is what the Lord Almighty says ... 'Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' Samuel 15:3

    "Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us / He who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks." Psalm 13:7

    "In the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error" Romans 1:27

    “And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, ‘If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return victorious from the Ammonites, shall be the Lord’s, to be offered up by me as a burnt-offering.’ Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah; and there was his daughter coming out to meet him with timbrels and with dancing. She was his only child; he had no son or daughter except her. When he saw her, he tore his clothes, and said, ‘Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low; you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and I cannot take back my vow." Judges 11:30-1, 34-5

    "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you." Genesis 22:2

    “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22

    “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” Peter 2:18

    March 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Enoch_knows_whos_names_are_written

      Wzrd1: If you are the same one that post on every Military or Muslim story, I now understand why you are such a Muslim sympathizer.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • cynix

      Obviously one of those people who only quotes the parts of the bible that are convenient to his twisted way of thinking. Too bad - it's people like you who make the world cruel, intollerant, and ignorant.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • cynix

      "Love one another as I have loved you."

      March 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Pat in IL

      Taking a word, sentence or paragraph out of context, or omitting others in the scriptures that say the opposite is ignorant and self-serving. I hope you are able to read further, discern the words in their context, and grow in wisdom and maturity.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  14. Pedro

    All Charlie needs is two Mormon missionaries on his door, they'll clean him right up and make him into something!

    March 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Most amusing.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  15. djwazu

    Lady Chartlie doesn't need your advice! Now If you can get him some rocks....... oops I forgot he doesn't do that no more
    Besides you're no godess!

    March 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  16. Cheen

    Thanks but this is WAY TOO MUCH to read, I don't have time to read that much.

    I'm a WINNER that's all there is to it.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  17. Sheila Burd

    charlie Sheen needs help – BUT everyone needs Jesus- cant get to Heaven without Him. AND YES- there is a Heaven and a Hell. Earth is just our temporary home- thank Goodness:)

    March 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Dixie Normous

      That's right..so be a good christian and follow in Jesus footsteps (except don't be Jewish)

      March 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      I decided as a teenager being forced to attend a Baptist church that I did not want to go to heaven. I do not want to be stuck with a bunch of bigots and abusers. Abusers? They tell their children they will go to Heck if they do anything the parents or church do not approve of. They do not allow questions regarding the faith or science. They tend to use corporeal punishment to make sure you go to heaven. They believe God commands them to physically chastise their kids, often for having the wrong opinion. I don't want to spend eternity with these clowns.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  18. BL

    I never thought I'd side with Charlie, but she lost me at Franklin Graham, one of the most intolerant and spiritually ignorant people on the planet. Basically, mind your own effin business!

    March 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Dennis

      Greetings Friend- Samaritan's Purse is about helping those at their most vulnerable moments. This does not seem so intolerant.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  19. SDCyclist

    It's upsetting to me when people feel compelled to comment on other people's lives and offer advice, no matter how heartfelt it is. I've learned to never offer anyone advice unless they ask for it. No matter how good your intentions, unsolicited advice is only going to cause resentment in the person you're giving it to. Ultimately, the compulsion to comment on other people's lives and offer your advice says more about you than it does about the target. It takes a lot of hubris and lack of humility to comment on the life of a person you've never met and know nothing about, no matter how public a figure they are. Ms. Feinberg needs to look inside herself and examine why she felt the need to spend hours writing an article directed at someone whom she knows very little about personally. How full of oneself do you have to be to actually believe you're advice is warranted, wanted, or will make any sort of difference whatsoever? Having said all that, considering she's a religious evangelical I'm not surprised by her essay at all. I don't believe for one second that she's "concerned" about Charlie at all. That's not what's motivating this essay. It's the insatiable need all evangelicals have to deflect attention from their own miserable lives. Giving advice to others all the time is a great diversion from taking care of your own business. Typical, and quite sad, Ms. Feinberg.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • rickjocko

      Do you realize that you are doing the exact thing that you are telling her not to do?? Giving her unsolicited advice? Not only that, but you are also passing judgment on her.. Wow, double whammy

      March 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Advisor

      Thanks for the advice...

      March 25, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Ray

      Part of being a true Christian is actually cross-examining yourself regularly and daily, believe it or not.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • ...

      Actually telling someone they are wrong is one of the hardest things to do, if it is done in a loving manner. You set yourself up for a lashback, many times you set yourself up to lose a friendship. I'm sure she realized many people would write comments like yours, they always pop up the same on any subject where Christianity is involved. You are correct though... life would be so much better if no one cared about each other.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Particularly true in the comment section of an open letter to someone else. If the writer had meant this only for Charlie it would not be posted for the world to read and comment on. I suspect most of us comment for the Commenters who are mostly quite aware of the fact that the author of any article or the subject of any article is not going to read any of it.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Pat in IL

      This is the pot calling the kettle black.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Jebus walked around giving people advice without being asked to. Followers of Jebus do it all the time. It is a sickness with them shoving their faces into every possible subject area.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Great Grany 5

      It takes a lot of magnification in discerning just who is advising whom! I like Charlie's "2 and a half men" but has all of that been the big price of his life now? Sometimes we all have to grow up and stop slobbering.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  20. JWill

    wow, what a said day it when instead of reading this article for what it, some suggestion on how a man who is very obviously crashing and burning while people buy tickets to witness first hand, people are instead focusing on the fact the suggestions came from someone who has put their faith into a specific religion.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Raevyn

      That's because people are tired of "Christians" acting like their faith gives them some sort of extra credibility. The bottom line is that religion is just a way for people to tell everybody else what to do and how to do it, as is amply demonstrated in this article.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • SLY 1

      All sheen is, is a bonafide crack head, coke sniffer, and a HOE master, jus like his father = a nut case that belongs locked up.
      Normal people spit on freaks like him.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Religion IS the opiate of the masses. This man wants Charlie to become addicted to fundamentalist Christianity to solve his problems. Be addicted to some Church and give up personal responsibility for your own acts. If asking Jebus into your heart does not work, as it does not for millions who were raised in it, you are then truly a mess without hope. It is not a path to freedom or health. It is a placebo that usually wears off.

      Charlie is mentally ill. Religion does not cure that and can make it far far worse when the placebo effect wears off. Then the blame is shifted back onto the ill person for not believing enough. He does not need your lack of compassion or your taunts or your promises of eternal life. He needs to decide he is sick of being sick. When he does his family is ready with open arms. He has a strong and loving family so he does not need strangers trying to convert him with open letters. This letter is addressed, in reality, to those who read it. He is, like so many of his ilk, pretending to be intimate but is actually preaching.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.