No Stones for Stapp
A few weeks ago, we blogged the news that Scott Stapp was reportedly involved in a brawl with the band 311 and later showed up drunk for a TV interview. We received some e-mails condemning Stapp, and we followed up in our weekly newsletter by asking readers to pray for Stapp instead. That yielded nearly 200 responses, all of them agreeing that the appropriate response would be to lift Stapp up in prayer rather than judge him. Here's a sampling of those responses.
Who among us can cast the first stone? Are any of us perfect? Haven't we all made mistakes? Where is the love and forgiveness of Christ? You're right, this is an opportunity to show Scott Stapp and the world what God's love is all about. Let's pray we don't blow it.Sarah Redmill
After reading a few messages you received about Scott Stapp, I am more upset about the reactions people have had than what Stapp himself may have done. Why are so many forgetting to be merciful and forgiving—forgetting to be Christian?Jimmie R. Brodersen
If a person decides they are not going to listen to music performed, written, or played by a sinner, then they are going to have a quiet life.Liz Scott
I've read a couple of the responses condemning Stapp, and I am somewhat shocked. What makes us feel so free to condemn a person so harshly? How would these people have responded to Jesus, since he did so many things that either broke religious laws or were forbidden by the religious leaders? I am not condoning behavior like this, but [we need] to proceed with caution when speaking so strongly. Instead of reacting so harshly to what Stapp did, why don't we start a huge prayer chain for him?Faith Illenberg
Isn't it staggering how many Christians are so out of touch with their own iniquity that they're shocked when a "public Christian" sins? Faith in Christ doesn't erase the pathologies associated with original sin, [nor] does it erase our individual demons. Faith in Christ, however, gives us the grace to fight those demons—and to pick ourselves up after all our defeats, big and small. What Christians need to realize is that justice without mercy is no justice at all, and mercy without justice is cheap grace. That so many American Christians have such a Pharisee complex points to something of a cultural and catechetical meltdown in our churches.James Freeman
Mr. Stapp is a Christian, not Christ.Wendell Dixon
Isn't it interesting that in many cases, the very reaction coming from areas within contemporary Christianity is the very thing that they are themselves accusing of Stapp.
As Christians, we find ourselves angered over Stapp's [struggles with alcohol]. We shout out, "What kind of message is he sending?" and vow to boycott. We allow his name to [enter] our coffee table conversations, pulling out our own pieties for display. All for the sake of "the message we send." Personally, let me always err on the side of "What message am I sending?" Are my reactions of disgust, anger and rebuke reflecting and distributing the love and grace of Christ, or am I literally trying to "beat the hell" out of others with my soapbox?Pastor Jim Lane
I learned a long time ago that being a Christian in the public eye does not give me a special ability to rise above the perils of everyday sins. If my Christian brother or sister is down, I'd much rather help them get back on track than say, "How disappointing—this really hurts our image," and turn my back to them because they didn't keep up "the requirements of a quality Christian."