Tom Cruise is, without a doubt, a household name, but it’s his status within the Church of Scientology that reportedly makes reaching him with the Gospel so eerily difficult.
Dylan Novak, known online as “The Celebrity Evangelist,” recently shared with CBN’s Faithwire details of his brief encounter in 2016 with Cruise, who was promoting his then-new film “Jack Reacher: Never Going Back.”
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Novak said it is — at times — “terrifying” witnessing to Scientologists. He said in a segment on the “Quick Start” podcast that it’s “by the grace of God” he was able to give Cruise, who is, according to ex-Scientologist Leah Remini, considered “a deity” within the church, a gift bag containing two handwritten notes, a couple Gospel tracts, and a book by Pastor Tony Nolan.
“I’ve witnessed to a few Scientologists,” Novak said. “They’re terrifying. That’s probably who I’m most nervous to talk to. I’d rather talk to an atheist, because you’re starting from scratch.”
While the details of this alleged encounter have not been corroborated by the Church of Scientology, Novak explained to CBN’s Faithwire that a higher-up within the church purportedly sends “bodyguards” with Cruise wherever he goes “to protect his mind” from anti-Scientology content.
The evangelist, a youth pastor based in Tennessee, recalled lining up alongside other fans waiting to meet Cruise at the movie premiere. As the “Mission Impossible” star made his way down the line, his alleged “bodyguards,” Novak said, were ahead of him, inspecting every gift fans planned to give the actor.
“That guy [the bodyguard] comes to me and I try to hug the gift bag to the poster [I had for him to sign] the best I could,” Novak said. “He did not notice it, and I know that’s by the grace of God.”
“When Tom got up to me … he sees the gift and Tom’s like, ‘I really appreciate this, man. Thank you so much,'” the evangelist continued. “And in there, I had two letters for him. I had handwritten him a letter and then I printed off a bunch of stuff just hardcore exposing [Scientology]. Normally, I don’t do that, because, at the end of the day, it’s the Gospel that breaks through to people — it’s the truth of God’s Word. If I start attacking your faith, then you’re gonna shut down to me before you even hear anything.”
Novak said, though, he felt he had to address Scientology.
Cruise — who stayed at the premiere to screen “Jack Reacher” — kept Novak’s gift bag with him throughout the film and left with it still in his hands, a subtle gesture Novak found encouraging.
If you would like to hear Novak’s full testimony and learn more about his unique ministry, check out our extended conversation with him on “The Prodigal Stories Podcast”:
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