Reformed Articles

John Crist
1. I’m very selective about what celebrity Christian scandals and apostasies I comment on. It’s only noteworthy when people tumble from their pedestal because people put on the pedestal in the first place. 

2. I’ve only seen a few clips of his routines, but he’s clearly a very gifted comedian. But there’s never been any correlation between talent and virtue. 

3. Success corrupts some people by providing new temptations–as well as the opportunity to act on those temptations. They may have been decent people before they became famous, and their moral downfall is the result of success.

4. In other cases, they has a trail of misconduct before they become famous, yet that remained unreported so long as they were nobodies. But once them became public figures, that exposed them to public scrutiny, and their shady past caught up with them. Their ambition was their undoing. Had they lived and died in obscurity, they might never have been found out. 

5. I don’t know if he’s in legal jeopardy. Assuming he dodges imprisonment, his career is irreparably damaged. Of course, you always have fans who make excuses for their idol. 

6. It’s lethal for an entertainer to become unpopular. Once his audience turns against him, he’s cooked. I think that’s what sunk Mel Gibson’s career. Likewise, as Michael Jackson’s image became ever weirder and more perverted, that burned into his popularity. 

If your constituency no longer likes you, if it can’t separate the charming onstage image from the offstage scoundrel, then you’re finished–unless that was your image all along. Kinda like Sinatra’s tough-guy, mobster persona. 

7. A dilemma for Crist’s comedy schtick is that much of it involves Babylon Bee-style spoofing foibles and follies in certain pockets of evangelicalism. Christians only find that funny if they think the comedian is one of us, on our side. That the satire good-natured ribbing rather than mean-spirited. 

If, however, they find out that the comedian is a creep, then the satirical judgmentalism leaves a sour aftertaste. It’s like husband-and-wife comedy teams who make fun of each other onstage. That can be amusing so long as the audience believes the couple is truly in love offstage. But if it’s known that their marriage is on the rocks, and the sniping asides aren’t acting but a public spillover of their mutual detestation in real life, then that hits the wrong note. It’s not funny anymore.

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