Charlie Sheen, Hedonism, and How America Defines Winning

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[Since publishing this article, I’ve had the honor to appear on the Generations Radio program, where guest host Adam McManus and I explored the subject for nearly a full hour. You can listen to the program by clicking here. – SAB]

I can still remember “Charlie Sheen Meltdown Day” like it was yesterday.

It was February of 2011. I was doing my then-routine walk around the Seattle waterfront and downtown area while listening to The Alex Jones Show on the ol’ iPhone. Charlie Sheen, a close friend of Jones’, was the guest. I didn’t expect much when the interview started, but man oh man…did it ever end up becoming one bizarre, surreal, off-the-charts crazy display of man-centered, maniacal pride and arrogance.

Sheen rambled on for the better part of an hour, elaborating on his self-perceived superiority in any number of they’d-be-hysterically-funny-if-they-weren’t-so-sad ways.

He went on and on and on about how supernaturally awesome he was, how he was like an F-18 in that he was fully capable of obliterating all who would dare challenge or rise against him, and he proudly went on about his ongoing “relationships” with a gaggle of porn stars that he described as “goddesses”. He blathered on about being magical, about having “Adonis DNA”, and the like. You get the picture.

He occasionally punctuated his self-elevating rant with weird, seemingly random, almost epileptically inserted interjections of the term, “Winning!”

It was sometimes hard to tell whether a given insertion of “Winning!” was intentional or the product of a more Tourette’s-like issue.

After the interview, the “Winning!” thing quickly became a Sheen-meltdown-inspired meme.

The one thing Charlie wanted us all to know is that he was a winner. He was winning life. He was a winner and all those who would challenge that notion or dare speak out against his understanding of reality were…um…not winning.

While Sheen’s interview may have made for captivating radio in the trainwreck-in-slow-motion sense, it was painfully sad to experience. This was clearly a man given over under the wrath of God…and he thought he was winning something (or everything, actually).

Kind of like America.

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In the wake of his live, internationally broadcast, 45-minute-ish psychological self-expose, Sheen was canned as the highest paid television actor of the day on the fantastically pathetic Two and a Half Men, and it’s been pretty much downhill since then, leading up to this week when reports broke that Sheen is HIV positive and has been for some time.

Apparently, Sheen fought the reality – and disclosing the reality – of his HIV condition for as long as he could. HIV/AIDS didn’t really fit with the “Winning!” narrative.

In this, Sheen seems to be an excellent representation of modern American culture, including many of its most supposedly “conservative Christian” components.

We love to view material success as proof of God smiling on us. We love to enjoy our unmatched comfort and ease, flaunting ourselves as a “shining city on a hill” worthy of the adoration and emulation of the rest of humanity. And “We the People” love to do all of these things while utterly dismissing the detailed commands of Christ when it comes to the way we manage our business, economics, law, civil government, art, education and pretty much everything else.

We see shiny toys and temporary material prosperity in spite of our open rejection of God’s clear Word on economics, business, and the like, and we proclaim ourselves to be “Winning!”

We see porn shops and strip clubs “legally” operating all across the fruited plain in direct violation of God’s Word, and we imagine that the temporary material prosperity and relative peace we experience is somehow, some way proof that we are “Winning!”

We walk and drive right by the thousands of “legally” protected baby mass murdering facilities operating openly killing baby boys and girls for convenience and profit to the tune of 1,000,000+ each year, and we imagine that because we have some temporary illusion of material prosperity and peace that we are somehow “Winning!” (See: Selling murdered baby parts in America? Sure. Why not?)

We see and read about Muslims and witches and even Satanists openly worshiping their false gods in the land in the name of All-American/Anti-Christian versions of “freedom” and “liberty” and we imagine that since God has allowed us to experience a temporary mirage of relative peace and prosperity, it must all be good and we must be “Winning!” (See: Note to ‘Merica: There is no “God-given right” to worship false gods. Repent accordingly.)

We imagine that we can claim Christ as Savior, reject Him as Lord, and the fact that we are then allowed to live for a little while longer with what we imagine to be true prosperity and peace once again proves that we are “Winning!”

But what if Charlie Sheen’s temporary wealth and easy access to his wild, worldly lifestyle of choice was never evidence of his winning anything at all and was instead only evidence of the wrath of God pouring down upon him in the form of blinding illusions – illusions of incredible but fleeting material wealth and the temporary ability to effortlessly pursue a self-absorbed life of extreme hedonism?

You know, like America.

America, where we thoughtlessly murder over a million of our own children in the name of freedom, liberty, convenience, and profit each and every year…while going to war all over the place to prevent ISIS from doing similar things on a much smaller scale.

America, where we claim the “God-given right” to worship any false god we like, including Satan himself.

May God grace Charlie Sheen and everyone else in the proud, hedonistic land temporarily known as America with brokenness, repentance, and supernatural restoration.

Charlie Sheen can’t ultimately “win” anything apart from submission to Christ as King in practice.

Neither can America.

May we repent and submit accordingly…while there is yet time…

~

Since publishing this article, I’ve had the honor to appear on the Generations Radio program, where guest host Adam McManus and I explored the subject for nearly a full hour. You can listen to the program by clicking here or on the graphic below. – Scott

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1 COMMENT

  1. I would not say the term "winning" is killing us. I think it has become merely another part of the American pop-culture zeitgeist. Obviously, Charlie's strange phrases came from his addiction to drugs. The drugs warped his mind and caused chemical imbalances. It is likely why he continues to party and find other things such as sex more pleasurable. With the goddesses at his home, he seems to be living in a state of euphoria at all hours of the day.

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