Seattle-based mega-church pastor Mark Driscoll, known for his divisive rhetoric, hopes to help Christians make peace with each other. (Photo credit: Mars Hill Church - http://bit.ly/1fVzmlo)

Seattle-based mega-church pastor Mark Driscoll, known for divisive rhetoric, now hopes to help Christians make peace with each other. (Photo credit: Mars Hill Church – http://bit.ly/1fVzmlo)

Controversial pastor and #1 New York Times bestselling author, Mark Driscoll, has been called a lot of things: bully, sexist, fundamentalist, bigot, and even “the cussing pastor.” But with the release of his new book, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?, the minister hopes to add a new label to his brassy brand: “peacemaker.”

“The bad news is that Christians don’t even get it, according to Driscoll—they’re stuck in their cul-de-sacs,” a press release for the book stated. “Christians are isolated in ‘tribes’ on the Internet, and they spend too much time lobbing e-bombs at each other in cyberspace.”

But given the pattern of extreme speech that has marked Driscoll’s ministry, one has to wonder whether he’s the man for the job.

In January, for example, Driscoll sent the following tweet during the inauguration of President Obama:

Driscoll_Obama

He received thousands of retweets, and offended many Christian Democrats who voted for Barack Obama, who professes to being a Christian.

In A Call to Resurgence, Driscoll resurrects this tweet but he softens the language, stating that the President “placed his hand on a Bible he may not entirely believe.” Driscoll goes on to say, “Obama then took his place as the leader of a nation whose money says, ‘In God We Trust’ without even the courtesy of a punch line to let us know it’s a joke.”

Not exactly the kind of rhetoric that builds bridges and transcends tribalism.

In 2011, Driscoll also incited anger with an offensive Facebook post:

Driscoll_FBThe backlash from fellow Christians was so intense that Mars Hill Church’s elders sat Driscoll down to discuss the issue. He later issued a statement saying the comment was “flippant”.

Driscoll’s list of divisive comments run much deeper than these isolated incidents. He has attacked emergent Christians, called yoga “demonic,” said stay-at-home dads are “worse than unbelievers,compared nagging wives to water torture, and offended egalitarian Christians when he argued that women shouldn’t hold leadership positions in churches because they are “more gullible and easier to deceive than men.”

He famously rules Mars Hill Church with an iron fist, preaching against “sinning through questioning” and once remarked that he wants to “go Old Testament” on dissenters.

When it comes to non-Protestants, Driscoll has joked thusly:

- About Jews / Catholics: “I don’t get the hats.”

- About a Jew: “I saw a man that I will now refer to as Mr. Goldilocks because he had these sideburns that were Goldilock-esque.”

- About Catholics: “there are weird rules like priests cannot get married, which has not worked out so well”

- On LDS and Muslims: “The Muslims. It got so quiet. Everybody’s like, ‘Oh, man. Can’t we do the Mormons and the under britches, can’t we do anything else?’ No, that’s too easy. We won’t talk about the burkas.”

- On students in religious schools trying to keep the rules: “And you know there was some little Nazi walking around checking. That kid, like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna be a deacon, that’s what I’m gonna be.’”

This same Mark Driscoll who has spent years dividing Christians and insulting almost every kind of people group imaginable now wants to put the kibosh on infighting?

To promote his new message of peace and unity, Mark Driscoll showed up uninvited this past week at the Strange Fire Conference put on by another controversial Calvinist pastor, John MacArthur. The conference was largely seen as an attack on charismatic Christians, calling them blasphemers and even instruments of the devil.

Driscoll wanted to protest the event’s “exclusionary” message and hand out copies of his new book. As you can imagine, it wasn’t long before trouble started. Security officers at the event confronted Driscoll to question his intentions, and he recounted the event with a tweet: “Security confiscated my books.”

Witnesses to the confrontation later disputed Driscoll’s accounts, saying that security merely explained that handing out unauthorized books was prohibited. According to their versions of the exchange, Driscoll offered them the books as a “donation.” A video posted online confirms that the security officers accepted the books only after repeated attempts to refuse them. It’s the kind of public spectacle that runs counter to the message of inclusion Driscoll claims to be promoting.

I’m reminded of a famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein: “You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” In the same way, Driscoll cannot continue to take cheap shots at those with whom he disagrees and simultaneously play the peacemaker. You can’t call a truce while firing a cannon.

I hope that Driscoll is having a change of heart, that he is reconsidering his past behavior and changing course. But the book’s jabs and the way he’s chosen to promote it seems to align more with the pattern of behavior he’s displayed for years.

So I agree with Driscoll’s book on its core message—Christians should learn to pick their battles better—but with such a long pattern of divisive rhetoric, name-calling, searing sarcasm, and downright offensive insults, I’m not convinced he’s the right messenger to carry it forward. If Mark Driscoll wants Christians to stop infighting, maybe he should start with himself.

*RELATED: “Is Mark Driscoll this generation’s Pat Robertson?”*

96 Comments

  1. “I’m not convinced he’s the right messenger” – his track record suggests he’s not, that’s for sure. With all he’s said, no one can seriously say that it’s merely a few misstatements. He’s not negligent with his words; at best he’s reckless, and at worst he’s malevolent. He could use a good editor, and at a church as big as the one he pastors I bet they could afford one. I’d extend that editorial duty to Mr. Driscoll’s tweets (especially after the horrendous parenting advice he handed out last week). His message is not only wrong, but it reveals he needs to spend some more time studying and developing good doctrinal understanding of God and his word.

    Thanks for helping us see what all this means in the family of God, JM.

    Tim

  2. Uh, maybe the best (?) part of all this is his recent harsh, condemning words towards pacifists. http://theresurgence.com/2013/10/22/is-god-a-pacifist

  3. I think that if he was serious (and he may be) then he would want to start by actually apologizing for his own divisive behaviour in the past. If there is no acknowledgement of his own sin, then it is likely that he is not going to be able to lead in peacemaking. But if he is actually serious and humble and repentant, then I would praise God for his transformation and support him in reconciliation.

  4. I love it when Christians judge Christians for judging Christians. We get it. You don’t like Driscoll. But somehow, in godless Seattle, God is using the brusque man to make an eternal difference. Thanks for totally throwing his effort at unity under the bus.

    • So, you’re willing to call out the author, but Mark Driscoll gets a pass? Where is some of that repentance that he seems to demand so often from others? Whether he “likes” Driscoll or not, his points about the inconsistency in the stated message and actions is valid.

      • Honestly mate, that argument is very circular. How about we all stop trying to one-up each other by stripping the fig leaves off of our brothers and sisters in hopes of hiding our own shame and just humbly recognize we are all in the same equal level ditch. The body of Christ is just so messed up right now in the American church. It makes me so sad.

        • This is a really good thread, all great points..Kevin, I think, could have expressed his thoughts (which made a very good point I think ) but not sound so harsh. And Tom is correct with his assessment about the inconsistencies of Driscoll ( they are real ) but I think it’s reading a strawman into it to assume Kevin was necessarily giving Driscoll a pass. And I don’t now about Shelby’s assessment of the American church; I mean I know there are some messed up things happening in our churches today, but I believe in a Sovereign God, and the gates of hell will not prevail over the church. I think God knows exactly what’s going on and what to do next.. And I could have minded my own business.. Lol…

    • Well put Kevin.
      Mark Driscoll is used by God (despite his lose/harsh tongue at times), John MacArthur is used by God (despite His rejection of spiritual gifts, particularly the “miraculous”).
      None of us our perfect, only Jesus Christ is. Isn’t Jesus Christ to be our main focus any way in the Christian life?

      There are real concerns in the church, there are so many denominations and points of disagreement. At this time (i feel) we as followers of Christ need to find a non-compromising (Biblically cohesive) ecumenical unity and work from there.

      Why do we make creeds? Why confessions? Not for separatism, but for the sake of truth and unity among the brethren.

      • I think maybe there is a mistake here in equating high church attendance numbers with being used by God. Might Driscoll’s teachings be appealing to so many precisely because they encourage men in particular to indulge their violent, homophobic, and misogynistic impulses? Might he draw people because he gives them a pass to act as immaturely as he does? Just because a guy has a lot of disciples doesn’t mean he’s making disciples of Jesus.

        • Point taken. And those who gather a crowd to hear them trade in biblical fidelity for cultural accommodation are also not necessarily making actual disciples. Real men are responding to a real man encouraging real men to act like real men. I don’t agree with everything Driscoll says or how he says it. But God bless him.

          • Real men don’t talk out of both sides of their mouth, fling their poo to get attention or have to belittle others to make themselves feel manly. Nor do they make excuses for their bad behavior.

            Mark Driscoll are all about finding excuses for acting badly in public and ducking accountability for their actions. Claiming “biblical fidelity” rather than owning up to being obnoxious hateful people.

            [Here is a hint, if you someone does something hateful and obnoxious, chalking it up to "following the Bible" doesn't change its nature]

          • Debbie Kaufman

            Kevin: In reality your comment should read, real bullies are responding to real bullies to act like real bullies.

        • My thoughts precisely. Plenty of people who preach a message filled with anger or hatred have lots of followers. If you want to know where a person’s heart is, look at the spirituality he or she cultivates. Look for love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Mr Driscoll’s public persona doesn’t exactly match with these traits. I have no idea what he is like inside – maybe no one does, except God. But we can only decide whether or not to listen to him based upon what he does. It seems to me that what he does is insult, belittle, and enrage.

        • Just because a blogger becomes popular and is therefore able to provides for herself and her husband by speaking and writing against other Christians and their beliefs, it doesn’t mean she is speaking and writing for Jesus.

        • Patrick McBurney

          I don’t think that is true. I have listen to the guy preach on a number of topics related to men. He has called men to be leaders, and to follow the example of Christ like servant leadership. This requires men who follow Christ to love their wives and seek to serve their families. That is not misogyny in my view. Driscoll can be flippant he can be brusque but tell me where he isn’t biblical. It seems that problem isn’t so much with Driscoll, but with Biblical Christianity.

          • Finally someone speaks reason. Thankyou Patrick. Glad to see a commenter who has actually listened to his sermons rather than just 5 minutes youtube clips, out of context quotes, heated gossip and a oddly inaccurate “public persona” created by people who are very unfamiliar with what he actually teaches (or just have a problem with the Bible he teaches from). I have listened to almost all his sermons in recent years, and have friends/ family that are a part of marshill church. When I hear people describe him, the church, and what he teaches with such spitting disdain as is expressed in many comments…it’s almost laughable because for the most part what they describe is exactly opposite to reality. Consistently teaching dead beat men to be loving servant leaders of their families, who sacrifice themselves for the good of women and children, is hardly the trait of an angry chauvinist. He has a sense of humor, and cracks jokes about all kinds of things, and he preaches the Bible without editing out that parts that culture doesn’t like anymore, so he will naturally offend. The gospel is also offensive…so was Jesus. People not being offended isn’t the litmus test for truth. Disagree theologically, cut giant chunks out of the Bible that don’t suit you, but if you’re going to criticize someone’s character, motive, and ministry than more people need to do their homework…or just learn to be more gracious.

        • “Just because a guy has a lot of disciples doesn’t mean he’s making disciples of Jesus.” Ironically, Rachel, you have no doubt heard the same by making fun of biblical womanhood.

    • I am all for Driscoll making a difference in Seattle. And for the most part, I am fine with him being rude and brash and not very good with words. But I do think it is appropriate call out someone who writes a book on peacemaking and ‘uniting around the person of Jesus’ and in the same week writes a blog post calling Christian pacifists ‘pussies”.

      It is one thing to be brash. It is another thing to be brash while at the exact same time complaining that Christians are not getting along.

      It is also appropriate to illustrate when Driscoll is modifying reality by changing the words of his tweet about Obama. Some might call that lying about what was really said.

      This is not about judging people for judging. This is about people wanting to hold others accountable for something they don’t want to be held accountable for themselves.

    • “Effort at unity?” I don’t think so. Pastor Driscoll’s idea of “unity” is everyone uniting to agree with his opinions. Finding unity means being willing to entertain the notion that someone who disagrees with you may actually be just as intelligent and sincere as you. Seeking unity does not mean telling everyone to stop disagreeing with me and come to believe the same things as me!

    • A serious attempt at unity would be taken seriously. Sadly, his words and actions don’t match his stated intent. A little genuine humility would go a long way.

    • What effort?

      Other than constantly insulting anyone outside his own church, there has been no genuine efforts done. Insincerity drips from his comments. Much like your own “Leave Mark Alone” bull.

    • I love people like Mark Driscoll. Their mean and nasty comments, their misogyny and testosterone-driven irrationality simply drive more and more fence sitters outside the christianist fold. Keep talking Mark! (And Pat, and Ken, and Dobson). The younger generation listens loud and clear and is voting with their hearts, minds and their feet.

    • Anne Oppermann

      Kevin, I disagree. The tactics his church uses amount to spiritual abuse. I have family members who attend and I have witnessed firsthand how harmful it is.

    • So nice to hear you use that term, “under the bus.”
      It is one of Mr. Driscoll’s favorites.
      Remember when he said, “There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus, and by God’s grace, it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done…”?

      http://joyfulexiles.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/preaching-paul_edits1.mp3

  5. This seems to be a symptom of a much larger problem. When we buy into a Christianity that depends on getting as much publicity as possible, selling large numbers of books and stirring the pot to get more twitter mentions, there are dangers. Some publicity is bad publicity, if it does damage to the name of Christ–or, even worse, to the Body of Christ. Being outlandish and “in your face” and straightforward may get lots of press. But it’s hard to believe that Jesus intended for us to speak truthfully as an excuse to insult, berate, or abuse other human beings. Believing in Jesus should not be an excuse for bad behavior, and it seems that many pastors fall into that in order to get their name on social media.

  6. i have not really read or heard much directly from Mark Driscoll but his name has popped up various times over the last years and usually with eyebrow-raising context and so i have been somewhat reluctant to find out more and in the last three weeks i have had video clips and articles and news stories arriving on my social networks and so i feel like i know him a little better after all that and i share your concerns… [i also hear the teach people not to judge by judging the person who is judging caution and it does seem like a fine line but i do believe that those who have public ministry are called to greater scrutiny and that there is a sense of duty in protecting those who look to us for leadership to be able to point people towards Jesuslike examples and away from closely following those who are not...]

    which for me is really the whole crux of this thing – any time we put a human’s face and name on the gospel we are likely to get into trouble – the focus really should always remain on Jesus – so the whole idea of an ‘Act like Men’ conference makes me a little nervous when the definition of the “men” we are trying to “act like” is not the solid example of Jesus Christ.

    John the Baptist had an absolute Twitter winner in John 3.30 when he said, ‘I must become less, He must become greater’ and so any time a ministry starts to sound like it is more and more about a person and his name is being thrown around more than Jesus’ name is being spoken, be concerned, speak up, go somewhere else…

    go back to Jesus, to Matthew 22 – love God, love people – always a great place to retire toor start again from…

    strength in Him
    love brett fish [follower of JESUS]

  7. I think Driscoll is careless in how he uses words and his appearance at the Strange Fire conference was in line with his brash verbal tone. It isn’t a trait I like, but it is also annoying when people ignore whatever truth they hear just because someone isn’t PC in their tone.

    There are real spiritual problems creeping into the Church and I think Driscoll’s tone many times is to bring attention to those problems. Several of them you totally dismiss in your article.

    For one the emergent movement is not of Christ. I don’t suggest attacking people but the movement denies the deity of Jesus and the need for a substitutionary atonement for sin. That’s deadly poison. If there are people in the movement who hold to orthodox beliefs, that’s great, but it is the exception not the rule.

    And many may not like the way it was said but yoga is demonic. An ex-yogi told me himself that there is no Hinduism without yoga. It is the pathway to nirvana. Yoga in America has been “cleaned up” to a degree, but I think any Christian should be careful what they allow themselves access to.

    We all must be careful how we judge others’ circumstances, but stay at home dads aren’t clearly following the biblical model for men of leading, providing, and protecting the family.

    Last, when you criticize his statement comparing nagging wives to water torture you find yourself disagreeing with Psalms 19:13, not that I think that description can only be applied to women. Men can put the ones they love through torture as well. It is a harsh statement, I grant that, but instead of taking offense we should all receive warnings like that with humility.

    We should be careful in our criticisms of the critical in order to avoid making the same mistake.

    • Agreed. He regularly reaches out to, encourages, and prays for other Bible teaching churches, works together with other ministries, crosses those “tribal” lines, and even his upcoming R13 conference has several speaker that disagree on secondary issues…but unite under the person and work of Jesus Christ, the authority of the Bible, and the gospel. He regularly talks about holing fast to those foundations but yet being gracious in secondary matters..and regularly practices that. some people don’t like his tone, but for the generation and culture he is ministering in it is actually needed and refreshing. Paul wasn’t exactly a PC wall flower…neither were the other apostles or prophets in the Bible. He has hard words, preaches hard truths, and will no doubt offend, but from what I have seen he does practice unity where there should be unity…and disagreement where there need to be disagreement.

  8. When self-imposed Christian leaders like Pastor Driscoll preach homosexuality is a sin, the younger generation sees a church that disguises ignorance, bigotry and misunderstanding under the banner of Christ. The younger generation has rightly discerned that this a mockery of Christ’s message and His teaching and want no part of it. If Driscoll wants to talk about the ailments of the church, he first needs to take a good long look in the mirror.

    • You’re right about Driscoll needing to look in the mirror, but homosexual behavior is still a sin (1 Cor. 6:9-11), It’s a spiritually destructive, and sometimes medically destructive addiction.

      We need unity (whatever that means), but we still need Christians who are willing to tell the truth about things.

      • Actually it isn’t any of the above. Your citation has nothing to do homosexual relations among consenting adults (The Bible is always absent on the notion of consensual relations).

        Why should there be unity? If anything Christians (or at least those who actually believe in Christ’s love of humanity) should try to disassociate themselves from Bible thumping bigots and loudmouths as quickly as possible.

        The truth is Christians like yourself do the religion a disservice by representing the faith as one of bigotry, dishonesty and obnoxious behavior.

        • Larry, your statment – “Your citation has nothing to do homosexual relations among consenting adults (The Bible is always absent on the notion of consensual relations).” — is bogus. Just because something has been repeated almost ad nauseam in the past few years doesn’t make it truth.

      • What Larry said. Doc Anthony, If you’re going to declare “homosexuality is still a sin” then please do some actual research beforehand. Research Greek words words like arsenokoites and malakos and Hebrew (phonetic) words like shacav and to-e-vah, and learn the differences between mish-cab, mish-che-be and ye-tzu-e. Learn the context in which they were used. Then make a declaration. But maybe an white-English-20th century version of the Bible is the only way God’s word should be read?

        • And so you’re claiming I’ve done no study and research on malakoi, arsenokoites, toevah, etc? Why are you making unsupported assumptions without at least checking first?

          Meanwhile, Larry is simply mistaken. As Robert Gagnon pointed out on page 329 of “The Bible and Homosexual Practice”, it’s precisely the “consenting adults” (Larry’s phrase) who are “entirely without excuse” under malakoi and arsenokoitai. Paul is not condemning victims of homosexual rape, but “those who willingly engage in same-sex intercourse” as Gagnon points out. So yes, homosexuality is still a sin.

          It’s not about bigotry, it’s about the Bible. Do you guys still follow the Bible?

          • Bullcrap.

            Citing an apologist like Gagnon means that you are not bothering to research seriously. People like him merely find excuses for pre-existing dogma. Not seriously study such things.

            The fact that Christian apologists constantly ignore the language/translation issues involved with the OT is one of many reasons not to take Christians at face value on such things.

            Nowhere is the notion of consensual relations discussed in the Bible. Marriage was a commercial transaction during its writing.

            Yes, its about bigotry and finding excuses for it which are still socially acceptable in public. Claiming bad behavior is “following God’s word” just means you are too much of a coward to admit your real motivations. Its all about finding excuses not to love thy neighbor or looking at the plank in thine own eye.

            It would be best for Christianity that there is no unity. Some people are not worth associating with for the sake of appearances.

          • Only two reasons to oppose same gender orientation Larry: religion and the “yuck” factor (read aesthetically displeasing). Religion is by definition based on “faith” that is, no replicable or verifiable evidence to prove it is true. Its irrational, Larry, just based on what somebody or some old book told you augmented by vague numinous internal experiences that “feel right” to you. The “yuck” factor is completely subjective, based on one’s personal taste and neuro-chemical makeup. I find cilantro disgusting and cannot imagine how anyone can consume the stuff, but I don’t condemn other people who like it.

  9. Is it really about the messenger or the message? You (person reading) and I are no better then Anyone else in the world. Was Paul the murdering man really the best person to be used in our eyes, probably not; regardless he was used in a very powerful way through God the father, his son, and the Holy Spirit. I’m not refuting that Mark Driscoll said offensive things to you, but if it’s god word or message, who cares about the messenger. We are all sinners, who are you to judge? Only Jesus has the ultimate right to judge, that’s the truth that I live by. Just thought i’d call it as I see it! I hate seeing a message being discounted on the account that it was written by a sinner, because we are all sinners; not to mention that you’ve taken a lot of your claims out of context of what he was saying when he said those things. God bless you all!

    • Was Paul a murder when he was writing the New Testament letters? No. He was several decades from the point. And he fully admitted his wrong doing.

      I understand your point that the message should be more important than the messenger. But this is about more than personal hurt. And while some of those things might be out of context, most of them are not or were intended to be quick quotes (on twitter) and don’t really have a fuller context.

      The words that come out of our mouths are important. James talks about how how important our words are. And it seems that Driscoll revels in using words to shock and then later sometimes repents but often suggests that others misunderstand.

      It is one thing if there are occasional misunderstandings. But if it is a near weekly occurrence (and with Driscoll it is) then there is something that is problematic about the speaker, not the hearer.

  10. Driscoll indeed “isn’t the right messenger” (especially with those so-called “jokes” he’s addicted to). However, Driscoll didn’t get it wrong on issues like yoga and the emergent church, and it IS appropriate to call attention to those issues and problems.

  11. Isn’t Christianity itself a form of tribalism? Nearly every Christian seems to feel some delusional need to defend this pathetic religion and thereby assume superiority of their belief over the beliefs/actions of other Christians. It will never end because religion assumes superiority over people themselves and over simple common sense. Believe it or not, the world has bigger problems and in fact Christianity is part of the problem.

    • “Nearly every Christian seems to feel some delusional need to defend this pathetic religion and thereby assume superiority of their belief over the beliefs/actions of other Christians.”

      Your post demonstrates the exact same sentiment, except for you, Christianity is the Rival Team rather than the Home Team.

  12. I’m growing heartily sick of people using “divisive” as a perjorative in response to doctrinal stands that they disagree with. Doctrine is supposed to divide. Jesus said he came not to bring peace, but a sword. There must be factions, in order that those who are approved might be manifest. If someone speaks out boldly based on his best understanding of Scripture, and you disagree with him, point out where you disagree in a spirit of humility, peace and love. Lashing out against someone for being “divisive” just reveals that either you don’t take doctrine seriously, or you don’t love other Christians enough to care what they believe, or both.

  13. I don’t see a heck of a lot of difference in many of those that criticize Driscoll and Driscoll himself. It’s almost as if they have the attitude that if he can be a butthole, then we will too. I quit following him some time ago on social media because he annoyed me. He and I are much closer theologically than many of his critics. If he annoys everyone so much, why do they

  14. Austin Triplett

    Isn’t this such a great opportunity to focus on God’s grace to save and use such men as myself, the author and Mark? We would willingly put the man to death for his mess ups instead of focusing on the fact that Christ willingly went to the cross for ours. I think essentially that is what we must focus on in church unity. Unity comes by focusing on Christ and not on ourselves or others. That is how we become peacemakers.

    • “We would willingly put the man to death for his mess ups”

      No, we would willingly point him to Christ and the word of God in order to attempt to get him to stop doing destructive things and improve doing Christ-like things.

      Cheers,
      Tim

  15. Driscoll is the textbook definition of a sociopath. Just another cult leader who habitually lies and offends people because he just can’t help himself. It’s pathological. Unfortunately, he is hurting countless people by controlling them and taking their money,

  16. “There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus, and by God’s grace, it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done.” — Driscoll

    Listen here:
    http://joyfulexiles.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/preaching-paul_edits1.mp3

  17. We all think everybody else should stop attacking each other and unite. The challenge for any of us is the same, surely, whether we’re famous church CEO’s, well-established bloggers or (getting steadily closer to home…) bloggers nobody’s ever heard of. Namely to love people we don’t like – easy to say, harder to do, and nigh impossible to fake.

    At a rough estimate, for every 200 blog items I’ve read criticising other Christians for criticising other Christians, and demanding that The Other Person demonstrate love, I’ve barely read one that actually demonstrates love. Nobody’s denying that true love knows how to disagree, challenge or ask tough questions. But there’s a way of doing those things that actually makes it easier, not harder, for our hearers to hear us.

    “Unity” is a big word in a culture where doctrine is so highly valued. I’m never going to reconcile Mark Driscoll and Rob Bell in a single blog post that neither of them will read. There are evidently a lot of people reading this (and other) blogs who have developed strong views, based on whatever experiences and for whatever reason. So have I, come to think of it. But every time we click “Post Comment” it’s an opportunity to demonstrate love. Or not. Everything we do, however small, is ministry.

    I don’t think we Christians have got the hang of the blogsphere yet, to be honest. Put it this way: I’m glad we don’t visit each other’s church meetings like we visit each other’s blogs.

  18. JM, While Driscoll deserves some criticism, you did not note distinctions that make some of your examples apply to him and others miss completely. If you can’t tell the difference between those who hold a high view of the bible, those who think of it as another good book to be admired but not authoritative, and those who simply despise it, then you are not qualified to be commenting on the vocational behavior of pastors and priests in the Christian faith, be they Protestant, Ana-baptist, Roman, or Orthodox. If you can tell the difference, then you did your readers a dis-service by not using this knowledge in the writing of this post. And if you did this intentionally, then…

  19. As Paul Harvey use to say, here’s “the rest of the story.”
    Driscoll’s recount of the event and invitation to MacArthur.

    http://theresurgence.com/2013/10/25/see-you-in-seattle-pastor-john-macarthur

    • Brendt Wayne Waters

      Wait! Are you implying that the “divisive” pastor is being humble and gracious? Be prepared for the “can anything good come from Seattle” crowd to rip you. I’ll be praying that it isn’t too painful.

    • Adam, I read that “letter” and wondered why he posted it for the world to see. It seems more like the type of letter one person sends to another. (“Hey sorry about the mix-up the other day. Want to be my guest as a speaker at my place?”) By publishing it, he is not really reaching out to MacArthur. He’s reaching out to potential book buyers.

      Call me a cynic if you will, but I don’t know how else to read this “letter.” He could easily have posted an article defending himself, but instead he couches it as a letter from him to another pastor. It’s transparent, and almost laughably so.

      Blessings,
      tim

      • Tim, Maybe because the world had seen posts like Jonathan’s? … Maybe since MacArthur has publically criticize him and the world thinks there is a rift that he wanted the world to know that he wants to reconcile…. Maybe neither of those. Perhaps we should assumes the best of other Christians until proven otherwise. Isn’t that what love does?.

  20. Nicole Ramanathan

    I don’t know why everyone thinks there is something wrong with infighting. Infighting is important. Its called being brothers. Its called caring about our faith and teaching every word Jesus commanded. You know making disciples. Infighting is inevitable. The only reason, Driscoll and others are so unhappy with is the Victorian mentality of American Evangelicalism. Where its always more important or even more “Christian” to be nice than to be deferent to biblical truth. We need infighting. We do not lack Christian unity because of people defending orthodoxy. We lack it because of false doctrine. Because of lies. Which is why denominations are important. Confessions are important and preaching is important. Well that’s all. Sorry for ranting.

  21. How do you solve a problem like Mark Driscoll?
    How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
    How do you find a word that means Mark Driscoll?
    A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

    Many a thing you know you’d like to tell him
    Many a thing he ought to understand
    But how do you make him stay
    And listen to all you say
    How do you keep a wave upon the sand

    Oh, how do you solve a problem like Mark Driscoll?
    How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

  22. Jonathan,

    Just catching up on some blogs…I am glad I don’t follow Driscoll, so I really don’t know much about what he says. I am glad because there is too much hatred in this world, even among various Christian denominations. I don’t understand what is really accomplished by creating division among the church.

  23. Read “A Note on Uberveillance” by M. D. Michael. Newport News Police and Virginia State Police had Dr. Lawrence Chang implant me w/o my knowledge and consent. It enables torture. They use it as a sensor and pulse energy projectiles at you. I had a heart attack. It enables voice to skull communication. See Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence by Springer page 9. See Mental Health and Terrorism by Amin Gadit. See Bio Initiative Report 2012. See Forbes.com and search Brandon Raub. Law enforcement tases citizens into “excited delirium” (see at nij.org) to make them act in ways they normally would not. There are 3 reasons to have it implanted 1) mental health, 2) criminal record, and 3) infectious disease. All the mass shootings are the work of law enforcement. They want to take away your right to bear arms and make America a police state. They torture people into a state of what the national institute of justice calls “excited delirium.” People are suddenly going crazy, they’re being tortured.

  24. Mark Obenauer

    Mark Driscoll is many descriptions, and he is also an extraordinarily divisive self promoter. We have seen his kind before. Go back eighty years in time and he would have been an ally of Frank Norris and his ilk. I have heard Driscoll described as a post modern neofundamentalist and I believe this description aptly fits.

  25. Mark Obenauer

    Regarding publicity: I have heard press regarding spiritual abuse at Driscoll’s church, but I haven’t heard similar accusations about John MacArthur’s, a clergyman some deem equally divisive, ministry. I don’t find the two clergymen equally divisive. Now I may not agree with MacArthur on some points of religious doctrine, but I mostly agree with him. I particularly agree with him that Christians should pray for their leaders rather than curse them. Something I haven’t witnessed from Mark Driscoll and his ilk. If you want division, then make political views a religious gauge for orthodoxy.

  26. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get set up?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% certain.
    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  27. The article on Mark Driscoll and unity is flawed in some key ways. Is Mark not allowed to disagree with other religions and even call them demonic? This is his belief. If you say he is not one who unites people, maybe this is true. I don’t know. But I am concerned about all this “we are all the same in the end” mentality. How can this be when religion A says this and religion B says that. That shows how far apart the religions are from one another. Jesus Christ is the only true way. It’s o.k. to say so. I am fine for doing so. This doesn’t make me a divider. It makes me a truth teller and one who takes a stand.

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