Dance, Monkey. An Open Letter to John Crist, Re: Lauren Daigle
You’re funny. I’ve laughed at your videos and shared them around multiple times. I’ve never looked to you as a church leader of any kind because as far as I know, your primary contribution to Christianity is to make people laugh.
And that’s nice and everything, but humor is not a spiritual gift. Making people laugh is not listed among the Fruits of the Spirit. Humor is not given for the building up and edification of the church. But that’s okay; there’s nothing wrong with levity. It just means I look to you for comedy and not for your doctrinal opinions.
To be candid, if we wanted your opinion on spiritual matters, we’d ask you. You see, as pleasant a person as you are – and wonderful in many ways, no doubt – you are a dancing monkey.
I’m not trying to be demeaning. I’m trying to be realistic. It’s best for both of us. You should stick to comedy. Your observational humor about evangelical life is often spot-on (very funny, for reals), but your commentary on doctrinal matters is as out-of-place as Lauren Daigle showing her midriff in a worship video.
Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about.
Here are a few things about your social media rebuke of discerning Christians, many of whom are the ones paying you to dance for them, that you should consider.
1. Lauren Daigle hasn’t done “more in the last year than [all her critics] in their lifetimes.” Lauren Daigle is a product of the Contemporary Christian Music market who – because she is pretty – gets to put on stomach-baring shirts and writhe sexily while singing about Jesus like he were her boyfriend. She could be replaced by any number of pretty girls who can sing (they’re a dime a dozen), and she should be replaced by someone with a doctrinal grasp at least as deep as Veggie Tales.
She, like you, is paid to dance like a monkey. Dancing monkeys aren’t any more pivotal to God’s Kingdom than a court jester is to King Arthur’s Court. You’re entertainment. The value of that, in the scope of things, is much smaller than your Facebook shares and Twitter RTs.
2. Equivocating not knowing what sin is (particularly an abominable one, like sodomy) to spending too much time on your Instagram account makes me think you don’t know what sin is. If you were a pastor or teacher, I’d be far more horrified. If you’re asked a similar question, I would respond as Daigle should have, “I’m only here because I’m a dancing monkey. Please direct all doctrinal questions to my pastor.”
Unless your pastor is Andy Stanley (like Daigle), at which point you should address their doctrinal questions to someone else’s pastor.
3. Lauren Daigle said she didn’t know if homosexuality was a sin because she’s “not God” and you, John Crist, accused her critics of being “shallow.” That’s hilarious, bro. It may be the funniest joke you’ve ever told.
4. John, you said in the video that if you have a negative opinion about another person that you don’t know, to keep it to yourself and throw it out. Then, you proceeded to launch invectives at all the Christians (your fan base) who were horrified by Daigle’s pathological ignorance. Yet you didn’t keep it to yourself. Please go back to what you’re good at so that we can like you again.
5. You told us to “shut up” for criticizing Daigle’s doctrine-flop and John Gray’s giving his wife a 200k Lamborghini (in the name of Jesus). But, we shouldn’t have to shut up. No one pays us to entertain them. We don’t make a living (like Daigle) being evangelicalism’s Jessica Simpson or (like you) making people laugh. We’re Christians who are commanded to “train the powers of [our] discernment with constant practice, so that we might be skilled in the word of righteousness” (Hebrews 5:14).
Now, let me be clear. I’m glad you’re a really good comedian. Everybody likes a good comedian. There’s lots of room in God’s Kingdom for funny people (more room than you think there is for critical people). Heck, we can probably use all the comedians we can get.
But John, we don’t need your opinion on anything but on how to make us laugh. I don’t think we need Daigle (worship should be led by people who actually know Jesus) at all. But I do think we need people who can make us laugh (I guess, maybe).
Please go back to telling jokes.
[Contributed by JD Hall]
P.S. The same goes for the political and religious opinions of professional athletes, actors, and actual, honest-to-goodness dancers of any kind.