The faith of Chuck Norris in 7 quotes
He's the Karate champion turned actor, whose name is now synonymous with unbeatable macho strength. He's the focus of a thousand Internet memes which suggest he possesses almost infinite, God-like abilities... and yet Chuck Norris is the first person to point to a higher power than himself. The jokes may go that he counted to infinity... twice, that he built the hospital he was born in, and that death once had a near-Chuck experience, but when the man himself speaks, he often uses the opportunity to talk about his own hero: Jesus Christ.
When the world has set up Norris as the ultimate symbol of strength, here's a few of the things the action hero, now 77, has said about his faith in something even greater.
On how his early faith fell away...
'I gave my life to the Lord at 12. I was baptised at 12. Then it grew stronger. And when I got to go to a crusade for Billy Graham, unfortunately a lot of times in the entertainment industry, sometimes you lose sight of what's really important in your life. I lost a marriage because of it.'
- from an interview with CBN's The 700 Club
On how reading the Bible brought him back to his Christian faith...
'I was always angry, and I had a huge hole in my heart. Nothing made me happy. Then I got married to a God-fearing woman, and at home she would read the Bible every morning. After a while she said, "do you want me to read aloud to you?" So I sat down, and she started reading the Bible aloud to me, every morning. Eventually I said, "Well, let me read it," and so I started to read it aloud to her. And then it was like the Lord said to me "Chuck, it's time to come home. It's been long enough." And now my heart is filled up again.'
- From an on stage interview at the 2015 NRB convention
On how his mother's faith shaped his own...
'She loves Jesus with all of her heart and soul and made sure we understood that. She influenced me spiritually and instilled in me a sense of responsibility that carried over in my later adult life. She always told me "God has plans for you," and I didn't know what she meant. I think I do now.'
- from an interview with the Baptist Press
His message to young actors: try your faith...
'The thing is, I know a lot of actors, and, just look in their eyes. They try to be happy but you can see that they're not. And you see them out partying, trying to fill that void. I did it, I was partying myself to death, trying to fill that void that I had. You see it in all the actors out there trying to fill that void by drugs, alcohol, all the things that are not going to cure that void that they have in them, until they really find their faith. The actors I meet that have their faith, you can see a brightness in their eyes. And the ones that don't have it, you can see that darkness in their eyes. So, I just say try it. Try your faith. Just try it out and see if it works for you – I know it will and it worked for me.'
- from an interview with Hollywood.tv
On how his own powers are limited compared to those of Jesus...
[In response to an Internet joke that Chuck Norris' tears can cure cancer] 'There was a man whose tears could cure cancer or any other disease, including the real cause of all diseases – sin. His blood did. His name was Jesus, not Chuck Norris. If your soul needs healing, the prescription you need is not Chuck Norris' tears, it's Jesus' blood. Again, I'm flattered and amazed by the way I've become a fascinating public figure for a whole new generation of young people around the world. But I am not the characters I play. And even the toughest characters I have played could never measure up to the real power in this universe.'
- From a column written by Norris for WorldNet Daily
On how his national martial arts schools programme is based on Christian principles...
'The martial arts is a philosophy that is pretty much the principles in the Bible. Even though we can't talk about Jesus, we can talk about what Jesus talks about in the Bible – love, loving your neighbour, being good people. Even though we can't quote Scripture, we can [paraphrase] what Jesus says in the Bible or what the Apostle Paul says or what St. Peter says. We can say that in an indirect way, which we do.'
- from an interview with CBN's Laura Bagby
On how God has guided his life and career...
'It's amazing because people come up to me and say, "Chuck, you're the luckiest guy in the world to be a world karate champion and a movie and TV star." When they say this to me, I kind of smile because luck had nothing to do with it; God had everything to do with it.'
- from an interview with CBN's The 700 Club