(Photo: Chris Carberg)
It’s a story we’ve heard once before. A Hollywood actor addicted to drugs, joins rehab, finds God, and turns his life around. But this time, the story doesn’t just end there.
For rising entertainer Chris Carberg, now the CEO of a growing Christian resource website called Holypop.com, finding God was just the start of a new, transformed life, one that could never be the same again.
Before becoming a devout believer, Carberg, known for his roles in such films as “Kill Zone” and “Sydney White,” battled a severe addiction to prescription pills, heading down a path all too familiar for many Hollywood hopefuls.
With growing success as an actor, producer, and screenwriter came an increasing appetite and dependency on prescription pills and painkillers, originally intended to relieve his migraine headaches.
“My addiction really had a lot to do with lacking a strong self-image,” the 28-year-old explained to The Christian Post in an email interview.
“One time I took two pills together and felt a calm peace that I’d never experienced. From there it was just a matter of ordering pills online, hitting plateaus and needing more and then spiraling out of control.”
His secret addiction eventually left him passed out at a Kinkos in Orlando at 3 a.m. one day, having overdosed heavily.
The police, who were called to the scene, found him and searched through his car, discovering a large garbage bag in his trunk filled with every pill bottle he had ever owned, what he dubbed his very own “golden calf, trophy, and idol.”
Thanks to an Officer Voyles, a policeman whom he has been unsuccessfully trying to find ever since that day, Carberg was able to survive, detoxing for the next few days and getting himself checked into a rehab clinic in Tamarac, Fla., shortly after.
Following detox, rehab, and a 12-step meeting to get his life back on track, Carberg began to sense that something was still missing, and it wasn’t his pills. He longed for a relationship, and not just any relationship, but one with God – someone he had frequently heard of but never really knew.
Though Carberg had been brought up Catholic all his life, he had up until that point, called himself an agnostic.
He was uncomfortable with what he characterized as “hypocritical organized religion.” He was turned off by Christianity which he perceived was plagued with hypocrisy among its followers – pastors cheating on their wives and priests committing sexual abuse, among other things.
But still curious about God despite the evident problems of the church, he decided to visit a local church in Winter Park, Fla., where a pastor told him something he would never forget.
“At Aloma Church, Pastor Anthony George taught me that while there are lots of false messengers, God and his message is unchanging,” Carberg shared. “I needed to hear that.”
“After that, I leapt into my first healthy addiction. I read the Bible cover to cover, and studied everything about my Jesus. I wanted to devote my life and talents to Jesus.”
Whereas before God was always someone “to be revered but never spoken to lovingly,” Carberg began to finally see God for who He was – Abba, Father – opening up a new, personal relationship with Him.
Setting a foundation rooted in the Word, and not tradition, ritualism, or emotionalism as he dubbed it, the “Kill Zone” writer was able to look past an easily corruptible religion and finally delve into a deep and meaningful relationship with God.
“It starts with the Bible,” Carberg told CP. “Each and every verse of the Bible contains value, truth, and is coded with inspired lessons, meanings and wisdom that can be fed to the Holy Spirit.”
“When you read it, and you get it, it changes you. You can’t be the same person because it turns societal norms upside down and counters culture. The Bible is by far the most controversial book in history because it flies in the face of what we as sinful humans want to believe. It flies in the face of sin...”
Hoping to point others to the same Word of God that challenged and transformed his own life, Carberg founded Holypop.com, an educational community for believers and skeptics, in 2009, seeking to grow Bible literacy.
Now, just six years after his overdose experience in Kinkos, Carberg runs one of the largest Christian resources on the Web, looking to help facilitate relationships, not religions, rooted in Scripture.
“There’s never been a better time to have faith,” he said. “The Internet gives us an opportunity to access more data than any other time in history. The Gospel already went viral, and now it’s doing it in another way. Holypop is helping Bible study go digital.”
His site provides not only a multi-translation online Bible, but also complimentary content as well, which “helps users get a full Bible study experience in one place.”
“We have content from Dr. Elmer Towns, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Dr. Harold Wilmington, Scott Basham, and more. We use all of our easily digestible content to work in tandem with Scripture. Each Bible verse is tied to a commentary, Hebrew/Greek dictionary, parallel and a concordance,” Carberg described.
“What makes Holypop so special is the new media approach we take. We’re building one of the largest databases of Christian thought on the web, and we’re doing it with modern technology. Our new site (which is launching soon) aims to target young people and to feed them tenets of faith that will build a stronger generation.”
“My team didn’t want to make a website for old theologians (not that there’s anything wrong with that),” he added. “Holypop speaks to living everyday faith, and we hope it will connect young Christians across the world as we’ve already seen it doing via social media.”
Created for sinners, as he called them, his website was designed to help people get closer to the truth of Christ.
“I think that when we just try to help ‘sinners’ rather than Christians or non-Christians, you can go a long way, and not leave someone out, someone important, someone that was me six years ago,” the Florida CEO shared.
Focusing on growing and developing Holypop.com, Carberg told CP that though he is putting his entertainment career on hold for now, he was not finished with Hollywood just yet.
He plans to create faith-based productions in the near future, having already written a faith-based script that is currently circulating called “The Last Shot,” a basketball drama, which could possibly become the next “Courageous” or “Fireproof.”
But until then, Holypop remains his main project, praying that God would use the site to bless as many people as he could.
For more information on the site and to look through the resources, click here.