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."Lorrie Babcock Hendrickson, President
Music City Christian Fellowship
As any seasoned Christian knows, the sooner you make a public step of faith, the sooner Satan bombards you with all kinds of junk. The key to remember is that we are all still growing—no one is perfect, and the only person we should be looking to as a role model is Jesus Christ, the one and only superman.Jason Cossette
We should allow time to not only tell the truth of the situation, but also give Stapp a chance to move beyond this and have the chance to show his colors for Christ. Grace is needed, not condemnation.Pastor Frank Purvis
Stapp is in a working environment that requires a lot of emotional strength and closeness to God to come out in one spiritual piece. Yet their personal lives are watched and scrutinized by their "brothers and sisters" in such an ungodly way. But there comes a point when these judgments become unbiblical. Where would we all be if the world watched us with such unforgiving and hypocritical eyes?Matt McGowan
No wonder so many do not want to embrace Christianity, when many of us are still filled with judgment like the Pharisees of Jesus' time, more interested in displaying their self righteousness than living out [God's mercy and love]. I am once again sadly reminded of a bumper sticker I saw on a vehicle recently which said "God, please protect me from your followers."Kurtis Lamar Hutton
I too was disappointed when I heard of Stapp's recent actions. But I was more disappointed for him, not in him. The guy is human just as I am, and unless I'm reading my Bible incorrectly, we've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Let's cut Scott some slack and pray for God's continued work in his life.
Yes we would like Christian celebrities to be role models and live to a higher standard, but in reality they are regular people like you and me. So we need to lift him up in prayer instead of dragging him through the mud. Isn't that what Jesus would do?Sarah Workman
Sometimes I act like a jerk, so does that mean I am not a Christian?Marc Woernle
If a Christian falls, he should stand up again in Christ. Stapp, it doesn't matter what you did—as long as you remain in Christ.Elvi Sodirijo
This is the time [Stapp] most needs our understanding as a family. If we are going to judge him negatively, it is the same thing as putting to misery our brother.Sheryl Immotna
Scott is a new Christian in the sense that he is now following his heart and realizing the relationship he has with Christ. He is a "baby" Christian and we need to lift him up, not criticize him. Let's lift up our new brother, not tear him down.Michelle Escobedo
We Christians are some of the most critical people I have ever met. Instead of being full of love and forgiveness, we quickly jump to judgment. What would Jesus do? My prayers are with Scott, his message in music and with those who have turned away from him.Julie Castillo
I was a big Creed fan, and I still believe that God placed a beautiful gift in Scott Stapp. I am not his judge, and I believe that we as Christians should be praying for him and encouraging him to be strong against the Enemy.Lisa Stevens
I think Stapp continues to struggle in his relationship with God, perhaps with pride and perhaps with addictions as well. I don't think he's trying to fool the public; I think he's having a hard time dealing with life. When I read about the brawl, it did not outrage me. It merely made me sad and makes me want to pray for him even more.Laura McBride
Greater than our own reaction to his actions, what should Stapp's response be to all of this? If all of these allegations are true, I think he needs to humble himself and seek God's forgiveness. And if these things are true, he needs to humble himself before his considerable fan base, perhaps via some public confession? Finally, the toughest step of all, maybe Stapp needs to give up the music scene (at least for awhile) and get a job outside the spotlight.Max G. Bunyan
I'm proud to call Scott Stapp a brother, along with anyone else who proclaims their faith in Christ, regardless of their nit-pickable actions.Tony Carter
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