In the wake of his recent sexual harassment charges, I realize that comedian John Crist is no Christ! But this goes for all of us, doesn't it? If we believe Romans 3:23 is true (i.e., "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"), then we shouldn't be surprised when one of our own falls from grace. For my part, I sin every day, I make a million bad decisions every day, and I realize just how far from the perfection of Jesus Christ I am every single day. He is the great I AM, and I am nothing.
So, when I read the latest stories about John Crist, I am not surprised learn of his transgressions. But my lack of surprise is more than just a simple appreciation for the truth underlying Romans 3:23. My "anti-amazement" is also governed by an awareness that I have personally failed John and many other Christian celebrities...and so have you. Think about it. We put these men and women on pedestals. We lift them above our heads in their gold-plated, gestatorial chairs, woo and scream at their concerts, bat our round eyes at them, and otherwise convince them through word and deed that their imperial clothing is squarely in place. We give them license to believe our groveling press, and then when their hubris naturally evolves, we give them license to believe their own press. So, why are we surprised when they fall?
We do no one--neither ourselves, our children, our church families, nor our famous Christian brothers and sisters--any good when we treat them like celebrities. Doing so only feeds their pride, temptations, and feelings of invincibility. The best thing we could have done for John was treat him like John, the fellow Christ-follower rather than treating him like John, the Christian Seinfeld or John, the rich and famous comedian. We failed John Crist. Sure, he's culpable for his own actions, but we certainly had a major part to play in his fall. Shame on us!
Of course, there's nothing we can do to change the past, so let's all covenant to pray for John, his victims (most certainly), and his family. Let's pray for healing and spiritual revitalization. And let's pray that we, the "fans," can dismantle all of the celebrity pedestals we've created and start seeing others like God sees them...as fallen individuals, created in the image of God, who, without God's grace, are nothing.