Just in the past 3 months, I’ve read or heard firsthand these accounts and I’ve intentionally and obviously not used names here…
A Christian communicator was arrested for DUI, complete with vomit in the car. He had been speaking to a student group about making godly choices.
A Christian singer had to be stopped from going on-stage by another band’s manager because he was too drunk.
A nationally known communicator attended a “ministry think tank session” with some other leaders at a restaurant. He, being the only one who abstained, had to drive everyone else back to their hotel, because they had had too many to drive.
After a Christian cruise, people were whispering about a certain music artist who “obviously has a problem and someone should help him.”
The Christian speaker arrested for DUI—the various media outlets picking up the story went to his ministry web site and used his own mission statement and Christian by-lines against him. Why? Because they’re evil? No. Because they can.
Think for a moment about how much evidence you have to see from someone to speak up? To offer help? Where is your personal line drawn in asking questions? How big does the red flag have to be to get your attention?
Let me be clear—this article is not about alcohol, even though its abuse is the common denominator of each of the very true stories. This is about us as Christian men evaluating when we will help our brothers. When will we risk offending for the sake of the relationship? What evidence do we have to see before we stop ignoring and start helping, or at least attempting to?
The media and the lost world are going to show no mercy for the Christian leader who blows it, and mocking Christianity will surely be the point, so we as the Body must show mercy, especially when God lets us see into someone’s life BEFORE the downfall happens.
For the Christian speaker who was arrested with vomit in his car—why was he to the point in his life where he was out of state, at a ministry event, drinking alone while driving? It’s obvious now that something was very wrong in his own heart. How many of his friends knew about his alcohol abuse? How many guys looked the other way when he went past “moderation?” Who would he call to bail him out? Who will help him since he’s just lost his platform and his job?
To close, as we ask ourselves these important self-reflecting questions, I am certainly not advocating these men were victims. Not at all. I’m only promoting we help each other, even when it is not fun or cool and, honestly, it just gets nasty and draining.
Gentlemen, the stakes are high and the world is watching, ready to scream “hypocrite” at the first opportunity. And that’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?
Some friends don’t help,but a true friend is closer than your own family. —Proverbs 18:24 CEV
There are “friends” who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. —Proverbs 18:24 TLB
Tripp Lee July 9, 2014
Staying "real" "transparent" with "no holds barred" is tough but through Him and with Him possible. Not pretty - gets downright dirty and nasty in the muck at times - but vital toward staying in right relationship with Him and with our brothers in Christ (think 3SG here): one of the only ways I've found in this life to model what He tells us in Scripture, that we will be "overcomers." And, don't ever forget we don't fight FOR a victory, He's already done that. We fight FROM a victory.
Robert Noland July 10, 2014
Great word, as always, Tripp! Thanks for engaging.