What You Likely Share in Common with John Crist
- The sharp-as-a-tack wit
Well… it’s something you might be less likely to brag about, but if it makes you feel any better, this commonality is something true of most people in our culture, regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual expression.
Indeed, that’s the reason for this post, because if you discover you do share this characteristic in common with Crist then there’s some things you will want to do about it.
But, before I make any assumptions about you, let me go ahead and lay all my cards on the table first.
I personally share this one thing in common with John Crist: past sexual sin.
Now, admittedly, there are two key differences:
- Almost all my sexual sin is further back in the past than Crist’s recently exposed sin.
- Almost all of my sexual sin took place entirely in my head in the form of sexual fantasy.
So what about you? Are you anything like me? Or John?
Do you have sexual sin in your past?
Not even far back in your past?
Not even in your mind?
The Past is still a Part of You
It can be easy to forget and move on from bad choices made when we were young and foolish, and if you have wholeheartedly confessed and repented of past sin (making amends where you were able), this is good and healthy.
That’s what grace is for. Not so we can sin without regret, but so we can repent without shame.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. – Psalm 103:11-14 (ESV)
Even if we’ve dealt with our past sexual sin, it doesn’t change the reality that we still did those things.
And apart from God’s intervention in our lives we likely would have done more! (But that’s a subject for another post.)
Much of my sexual sin took place between me and my wife, Julie.
Before we were married.
We never went “all the way” before our wedding night, but if Julie were to share all the intimate details online (like five different women did of John in the Charisma article) I’d be truly ashamed.
And if all of that sin had just taken place over the last few years (like John’s) instead of 26 years in my past, the humiliation would be great.
Now you might counter, “Isn’t it more horrific that much of what John Crist did was manipulative, deceptive, abusive, and often without consent?”
Well, it depends on who you’re asking.
If you’re asking me, then yes, what Crist did was far worse than me messing around with my wife before we were married.
To elaborate, if it was my wife John was trying to woo then I would want to… ah… Let’s just say it would involve a drastic surgical procedure, and leave it at that.
Or if it was my daughter being pressured for sexual favors, I think death would satisfy me. As long as it was painful.
Yet all of the victims of John Crist’s sexual predatory behavior were other men’s daughters. Some of them, other men’s wives.
But my opinion on such things matters little, because neither you nor Crist have to answer to me.
But we all have to answer to God.
And to God sin is sin. And sexual sin is sin. Which means that sexual sin is sexual sin. John’s. Mine. And yours.
As You Think, You Are
And this leads us to the second difference I noted between the sexual sin in my past (and maybe yours) verses the sexual sin in John Crist’s past.
Almost all of the sexual sin I am guilty of never happened in real life. It happened in my imagination. Some of it involving porn, but most of it simply in my mind.
But the meek and mild Jesus saw little difference there.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” – Matthew 5:27-30 (ESV)
You must understand, Jesus isn’t downplaying the wickedness of adultery in the above passage. Instead He is making the opposite point:
Lust is as evil a sin as adultery itself. A sin so damning it would be better to go blind than to let that sin lead you into hell.
That’s what Jesus has to say to good little Christians who would never consider adultery (or the sexual predatory behavior of Crist), but who have lusted after even just one person.
Even. Just. One. Person.
So what about you? Do you think you’re a better person than John just because you’ve kept all your sexual sin mostly (or completely) in your head?
Are You like John Crist?
Please understand, I am absolutely not justifying John Crist’s behavior anymore than Jesus was justifying adultery. If the allegations are true, Crist is guilty of great wrong. And unlike my sexual sin (and hopefully yours), his choices have impacted countless others in egregious ways.
I’m just pointing out that my own sexual sin is just as wrong in the eyes of our holy God as John’s. And if you’ve been guilty like me, so is yours.
So where does that leave us? Well hopefully it leaves us facing the truth about ourselves:
Our dependence on God’s grace is greater than we could ever imagine.
And then hopefully cherishing God’s grace all the more, both for ourselves and for John Crist.
I’m not saying Crist shouldn’t pay for his behavior, but instead I’m asking what should we be doing to right the wrong of our sexual past?
If you’ve never dealt with your past sexual sin, that’s an important conversation you want to have with a trusted same-gender friend or mentor.
And as you do that, I encourage you to grow in your understanding of how to “go and sin no more.” It’s not just as easy as, “Well I’ll just stop it!”
However, freedom from sexual sin is possible! Even freedom from sexual fantasy! (Yes, I know this from experience!)
Do you really think Jesus commanded us to do something that was completely impossible? Perhaps, impossible on our own, but impossible with His Holy Spirit power?
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:25-26 (ESV)
To help you grow in sexual wholeness, we offer the following free resources:
- Our Hot Topic page on SEX is designed to help you grow in your understanding of God’s GOOD gift of human sexuality
- Our Hot Topic page on PURITY is packed with inspiration and instruction on saving sex for marriage
- Our Hot Topic page on PORN can empower you to become a freedom fighter
And you also can’t go wrong with checking out our FMUniversity YouTube channel featuring videos like this dramatization of the sex talk you probably remember, but have tried to forget from our Relation^ology series.
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!