In full transparency, I never really watched John Crist’s YoutTube videos. I think I ran across one of them on social media awhile back – I’m pretty sure I even shared it – but, realistically, I can call myself neither a fan nor a follower of his.
Even still, my heart broke earlier this week when I heard that he’d canceled his tour due to an admission of inappropriate sexual behavior. Watching the response to this news on social media has been equally concerning.
Celebrity Christian Culture has been as topsy-turvy, as of late, as is the most gravity-defying, scream-generating, jaw-grinding amusement park roller coaster ride into which you and I can imagine buckling ourselves.
In case you don’t remember:
In August, former mega-church pastor and author Joshua Harris announced on Instagram that he had abandoned his faith. Shortly thereafter, Hillsong Worship artist, Marty Sampson, did the same. Last month, Beth Moore preached behind a pulpit and John MacArthur told her to go home. Right after that, the world started looking sideward at Kanye for dropping a Jesus-drenched album, and now John Crist publicly admits some pretty ugly stuff.
With the possible exception of Kanye’s conversion, most of this press is negative. It’s no secret that Christianity has been having a bit of a Public Relations crisis for a while, and very little of this helps. So, what can you and I take from all of this?
Sin is real, it’s powerful & it’s everywhere.
Society scoffs at the idea of sin these days, but it shouldn’t. Sin isn’t an imaginary boogeyman that’s used to frighten children into trembling obedience.
It is real, and it’s both destructive and deceptive. It’ll take down the ones who are getting all of the attention just as easily as it takes down the loner on the back row who never gets noticed.
We are all affected by it, like it or not. And that means that all of us are susceptible to its destructive tendencies. That’s why we have to talk about it in our homes and in our churches. Sin kills, steals, and destroys (Jn. 10:10). It ultimately produces death (Js. 1:15) and it lives inside us (Mk 7:20) which is why we must learn to subdue it (Gen. 4:7).
Celebrities (even Christian ones) are just people.
We all have teachers whom we love for having instilled in us the convictions which have allowed us to develop into the people God desires us to be. Right now, some of us are living a life that might have turned out differently had we not received their instruction. And we love them for it.
That’s all well and good.
But no matter how well they communicate the Scriptures or inspire us to live differently, they are still people. There is no two-tiered, sin-immune structure into which high profile Christians — with enough education or status — can eventually step. That kind of thing just doesn’t exist.
We need to be cautious about assuming that church leaders, Bible teachers, or otherwise visible Christians (like Kanye or Crist) have somehow attained a spiritual maturity that places them beyond the reach of sinful desires. We set ourselves up for heartbreak when we forget that Jesus is the only one capable of being totally trustworthy. Everybody else is going to stumble sooner or later (Rom. 3:23). And when they do….
Christianity is still true.
I think the most saddening thing I encountered as I researched for this blogpost was the number of people who expressed a reluctance to pursue or even consider Christianity viable as a result of Crist’s behavior — and others like it. John MacArthur’s dismissive comment toward Beth Moore has caused some women to reinforce their resistance toward Christianity because of the perception that women are second-class Christians.
Others have bemoaned Kanye’s public conversion for fear that he will mess up while the world is watching and make us all look foolish. (For what its worth, I’m #PrayingForKanye. Go Kanye, go! ….or more precisely… Grow Kanye, GROW!!)
Listen up: I know there are those who will say that sins committed by professing Christians can all be chalked up to hypocrisy, and that it amounts to evidence that Christianity is false.
But Christianity isn’t based on Christians. It’s based on Christ.
More to the point, it’s based on the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh; the long-awaited, Old-Testament-prophesied Messiah of the Biblical God. His death on the Cross was provided as payment for sins, while His resurrection proclaims that the payment has cleared the bank.
It isn’t the faithfulness of Christians that makes Christianity true. It’s the Resurrection of Jesus that makes Christianity true. (1 Cor. 15:3-8)
As long as Jesus really did walk out of His grave, Christianity is the real deal.
And when we commit ourselves to walk according to the Lordship of Christ, we will, gradually overcome the dominion of sin by living obediently to Jesus. The public failures of any Christian should serve as a reminder that the Bible is telling the truth about us, about sin, and about our ever-present need for our Savior.
Hi. My name is Lori and my goal for the SpoonFed Soul is to grow an online community of women who desire to see their lives transformed into instruments of healing and hope at the hands of the Divine Physician, for the good of the world and the glory of God. I hope you’ll join me.
If you’d like help in establishing a daily quiet time with God, I have a resource called ‘How to Have a Quiet Time With God in 15-Minutes Each Day’ and you can DOWNLOAD IT HERE.