John Crist Demonstrates the Poor Thinking Skills of Modern Christians

In a recent rant on Instagram, Christian comedian John Crist demonstrated just how bad modern Christians can be at critical thought. Now, to be honest with you, I had no idea who John Crist was until about 5 minutes ago, though a quick check of YouTube showed some of his comedy to be marginally entertaining. But perhaps he should stick with entertaining rather than trying to lecture believers on matters of substance.

The subject of Crist’s rant was the criticism Lauren Daigle has received regarding her failure, when questioned, to communicate the clear teaching of Scripture on the issue of homosexuality. There is no doubt that Daigle is wrong. Perhaps she is merely Scripturally illiterate, or she is capitulating to maintain her popularity, but she is wrong. In her interview with radio host Domenick Nati, she repeats the error that so many Christians have accepted – the conclusion that if I get to know someone living in immorality, and they don’t seem like a terrible person, then I must be wrong to think that their lifestyle is immoral. This is incidentally, precisely the trap that LGBT+ activists themselves have set for Christians, and they count on the fact that most modern Christians are unable to escape emotional thinking to reason Biblically on ethical matters.

However, let’s get back to Crist. In his video rant he makes several critical errors:

First, he makes the erroneous implication that Lauren Daigle’s success ought to place her beyond the criticism of us common folk.
He says that Daigle has done more for God’s kingdom than his listeners will do in “five lifetimes.” However, Daigle’s prominence in Christian culture is precisely why the ideas that she communicates should be open for criticism. She is in a unique position to influence the minds of multitudes of Christians who are already caught up in a culture of uncritical Christian personality worship that sees a successful, lucrative career as God’s rubber stamp of approval on the lives and utterances of Christian artists, pastors, and celebrities.

Second, he implies that Daigle’s “hundreds of songs lifting up the Name of the Lord” should somehow make her immune to criticism over bad theology in a single area.
However, one’s bad ideas aren’t nullified by right ideas in another topic. Daigle is wrong on this issue, and an infinite number of right utterances otherwise won’t make her any less wrong. However, the issue gets even more complicated when we consider the reality that modern worship music owes its widespread success partially to its generally noncommittal, equivocal lyrics that allow the listener to bring whatever meaning he wants to the song and leave with happy feelings regardless of whether he is living as a faithful, obedient, Christ-follower. So, hundreds of such songs may not be quite the asset to Daigle’s case that Crist thinks them to be.

Third, he incorrectly places homosexuality in the category of minor disputes and conflicting personal preferences between Christians.
Crist equates spending too much time on Instagram and cutting people off in traffic with a Christian’s position on the issue of homosexuality. He presents them as issues of personal preference, but no Biblically literate Christian would make such a mistake. Scripture’s clear condemnation of homosexuality, and Its insistence on sexual purity leaves no room to conclude that LGBT issues are simply a matter of individual judgment. Consequently, a Christian’s views on LGBT+ topics very often form an accurate test for how high of a view of Scripture they take, and how corrupted their worldview has become by secular ideologies.

Finally, he recycles a version of the trite maxim that if you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say anything at all.
While this may have been a favorite suggestion of your mother employed to keep peace among you and your siblings, it should come as no surprise that it is not a meaningful axiom in theological or philosophical discussion. Christians who have chosen to place themselves in the limelight (in Daigle’s case, for a handsome profit) are opening themselves up to criticism. It should be evident that if you want to influence others, you should yourself be ready to answer criticism. While most of us don’t know Daigle personally, it is incumbent upon us to evaluate the worth of the product she produces.

Now, I must end with adamant insistence that Christians need to recognize the difference between making judgments about the worth of a person as an individual (which we are clearly in no place to do), and evaluating the choices that person makes, or the ideas they communicate (which are fair game, especially when that person has chosen to be a prominent influencer). Furthermore, mean-spirited personal attacks are never appropriate for Christians, and anyone who has leveled such garbage at Daigle should be strongly rebuked.
Crist, (though his heart may be in the right place) is one of a multitude of Christians in whose thinking emotions have displaced critical thought and Biblical reason. His arguments here are but one example of this favorite heresy of our time.


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