We love heroes, but even more than heroes, we love to see heroes fall. As a culture, we can’t get enough of our celebrity news gossip. We especially love it when a Christian celebrity falls. This lends validation to the fantasy that God doesn’t exist, and therefore we are not responsible to Him for our actions and lives. It’s not surprising when non-Christians rejoice in the sin of Christians.
It makes sense when the world celebrates iniquity; what doesn’t make sense is when Christians do the same thing.
I have been appalled at the way many Christians will rejoice when a Christian leader they don’t agree with is exposed to be guilty of some heinous sin. Just like the world, they find this Christian’s sin to be validation that everything they taught was false. While this is a genetic fallacy, there is a deeper issue here.
How can we as Christians celebrate the sin of another, let alone a member of the Body of Christ? It’s like some are just waiting in the bushes for a Christian leader to fall so they can assure themselves they don’t have to listen to anything they said. This is not love, and it is not how we as Christians should respond.
When we rejoice in the sin of others, we reveal we have not love, but jealousy in our hearts.
As Paul informs us in 1 Corinthians 13:6-7,
“[Love] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Even if we do not agree with the teachings or beliefs of a particular Christian leader, to wish their downfall as the result of a devastating sin is pretty darn sickening. Not only does the fall of any Christian harm the Christian Faith as a whole, but it causes terrible destruction in the lives that particular Christian affected. Yet rather than mourning these tragedies, many Christians have responded with glee. They are not expressing the love of Christ.
The frequency of which Christian leaders seem to fall is very unsettling. It’s frightening to consider how many may be living a double-life, and to realize that we ourselves are capable of the same thing if we seek to rely on our own strength rather than Christ. Because so many have failed, there are numerous amounts of Christians who have come to the conclusion that it isn’t really possible to live the way God calls us to live. All we can do is keep saying we’re sorry.
Yet this isn’t too surprising either, since it really is impossible to live righteously—on our own. As soon as we stop relying on God, we will slip. We are all sinners in need of forgiveness and sanctification. What is surprising is how many Christians will cannibalize their own, even those who make the same mistakes they do.