John Crist, a homeschooled son of a pastor who marketed himself as a Christian comedian (yes, his last name is Crist), has cancelled the rest of his 2019 stand-up tour and seen his planned Netflix special for Thanksgiving put on the shelf, after he confessed to sexual sinning.
Crist, with 526,000 YouTube subscribers, puts out comedy videos like this one, offering pickup lines from Chick-fil-A.
In reality, multiple women alleged that the comedian was trading tickets to his shows for sexual favors, and worse. A report on Wednesday in Charisma News documented allegations that “Crist has exploited his Christian reputation and platform to harass, manipulate and exploit young women over the last seven years.”
“The one thing that stopped me from believing he was creepy is John so proudly parades his face as a Christian,” said one of the women. “I’ve let myself believe that just because someone is a Christian means they won’t do something intentionally bad. But the truth is, John invited me to his apartment with the intention of sleeping with me after shaking hands with my boyfriend.”
Crist’s 2019 tour had ranked among the top 30 of all tours this year, according to Pollstar.
The Netflix announcement for him last month boasted: “Get ready for the divine comedy special of the year as the country turns its eyes upon John Crist with I Ain’t Prayin’ For That. The son of a pastor and one of 8 homeschooled children, Crist evaluates the weakness of millennial culture, how to be a “good” Christian, dating in the modern era and more. Filmed while on his Human Being Tour at the Lyric Theatre in Birmingham, John Crist: I Ain’t Prayin’ For That launches globally on Netflix on November 28, 2019.” It’s no longer in the Netflix directory.
He also has an upcoming book scheduled for release in March 2020, “Untag Me: The Subtle Art of Appearing Better Than You Really Are.”
The Charisma News team, in exposing Crist’s transgressions, wrote: “Yet some evidence suggests certain Christian leaders have been aware of Crist’s behavior and—through inaction—let it continue unchecked. This is why Charisma believed it necessary to warn the body of Christ about what Crist has been doing behind the scenes. To be candid, our editorial team does not relish being in this position. We sifted through and gathered information for months before deciding to move forward with the story. Though the allegations against Crist are not criminal, we believe they are newsworthy for three reasons. We believe pastors and leaders who book Crist at their ministry events need to know the person they’re signing. We believe leaders who make Christianity part of their public persona—whether or not they are formally in ministry—should held to a higher standard. And above all, we believe the body of Christ must police itself and has an obligation to protect the innocent and vulnerable among us.”
Crist was dating country singer Lauren Alaina earlier this year, but they already split by the time she began performing on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
For his part, Crist currently has 1.2 million Instagram followers, another 2 million on Facebook, and 197,000 on Twitter.
Crist responded to Charisma with this statement:
“Over the past number of years, various women have accused me of behavior that has been hurtful to them. While I am not guilty of everything I’ve been accused of, I confess to being guilty of this—I have treated relationships with women far too casually, in some cases even recklessly. My behavior has been destructive and sinful. I’ve sinned against God, against women and the people who I love the most. I have violated my own Christian beliefs, convictions and values, and have hurt many people in the process. I am sorry for the hurt and pain I have caused these women and will continue to seek their forgiveness. I have also hurt the name of Jesus and have sought His forgiveness.
Over several recent years, I have privately sought and received regular professional treatment for my sexual sin and addiction struggles. I’m committed to getting healing and freedom from my sin and have decided to cancel my remaining tour dates this year and to postpone all future commitments in order to devote all my time and energy on getting healthy spiritually, mentally and physically.
Those closest to me—my family, team and close friends—have known about this battle for some time, and now you do too. I’m ashamed of my behavior and I’m so sorry for hurting so many people. I don’t blame anyone but myself. I’m responsible for my actions and I’ve repented and am taking full ownership. I realize it will be difficult for some people to ever forgive me, and I accept that as a result of my bad decisions and actions.
My entire career has been lived out on stage, and even though I’ve shared many of my life struggles with my audiences, I’ve lived in constant fear of the darkest parts of my life being exposed publicly. My greatest fear has been that those who have loved and supported me would hate me if they knew everything about me. I now humbly seek forgiveness and mercy and love—not just for me, but for those I’ve hurt along my path. I’m so sorry.”