'Lord of The Rings' Actor Shares His Faith Journey to Christianity

Sean Astin's career in Hollywood has entailed numerous film projects including the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "The Goonies," "50 First Dates" and more, but his Christian faith has been an aspect of his life that has remained mostly private.

Astin grew up in a multi-faith family with his parents, actor John Astin and actress Patty Duke, holding Buddhist and Catholic beliefs, respectively. But it was his Jewish birth father that triggered his need to find a religion of his own.

"He said something interesting at one point when we were leading a somewhat agnostic existence. He just said, 'pick something.' We said, 'What do you mean?' I assumed that he meant pick Judaism. He said, 'Judaism, Christianity, Hindu, Muslim,' he goes 'you need community. Pick something and stick with it.' So, I think we arrived at a Christian posture," said Astin, according to Beliefnet.

Prior to finding his current faith, Astin says he begged his adopted father to let him become Catholic but he would not allow it and always imparted his Buddhist beliefs in him, leading Astin to study the religion in depth at one point. Now he and his family attend a church in the Midwest where he practices Christianity.

"My Christianity takes a long time to unpack but, basically, if you wanted to cut right to the judgment of it all, we were all baptized in my wife's Lutheran church in Indiana," said Astin.

In the past, Astin's Christian beliefs have been portrayed in films such as "Amazing Love," based on the story of prophet Hosea, and he will star in an upcoming comedy film, "Moms Night Out," about three housewives that break away for a night out in the city, which has a Christian undertone that celebrates the beauty of marriage and family life.

"I think, in my life and my family, we very directly relate to circumstances in this movie. This movie is like my family. The situations in the film are very much like the situations we face," said Astin.

He also lent his voice as the character of Matthew in the audio Bible recording project, "Truth and Life Dramatized Audio New Testament."

"I don't actually walk around wearing my faith on my sleeve or anything but I went to Catholic school for three years. You get to certain passages about the Last Supper or the Crucifixion and I've heard them a lot in church and they were spoken by a priest. And now the words that were being uttered by a priest to a congregation are coming through my eyes and sound! These massive ideas are being poured out and it gives you goose bumps sometimes. You're portraying revealed truth!" said Astin, in an interview with Catholic Online.

Although he refrains from making constant public displays of his beliefs, Astin assures that he is a firm practicing believer, stating in a separate Beliefnet interview that his favorite prayer is, "Allow me to be an instrument of Your will," which he has invoked "a few thousand times" in his life. 

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