Tag Archives: Mark Driscoll
You hear it said all around you these days. “We have to broaden our appeal if we are to reach our culture.” ” We have to be relevant if we are to reach our community.” Ok, so far so good. However, the devil is in the details (so to speak). How far can you go in broadening your appeal or being relevant without going too far?
I studied for and received an MBA degree several years ago. I had been studying the seeker and emergent programs for about 8 years prior. I was surprised to find that the methods used in marketing & advertising of consumer goods are the EXACT SAME ONES being used by many of the new-fangled church growth programs.
Let me count the problems with this.
1) God and His word is not a consumer good that can be judged on the basis of the presumed merit in the mind of a shopper. The church attenders assume the posture of consumers and they demand to be entertained or they will simply move on to the next supplier.
2) People cannot be influenced to ‘accept’ God or to ‘make a decision’ for God. Examples where people were manipulated into joining a church instead of being saved show that simply joining a church results in a falling away very soon afterwards. Often, the people are disillusioned and bitter for having been ‘sold a bill of goods’ by a religious system. Contrast this to people who hear God’s word and cry out to Jesus for salvation. They persevere in the faith.
3) Worldly people who are lured into a church because of world-mimicking gimmicks do not last very long in that church. Statistics tell us this fact. The reason for this is that the church is a poor substitute for the flesh-satisfying lies of the world. A flesh-lite substitute will soon be replaced by a fully flesh-satisfying vice provided by the world.
There are more items but this should suffice for this discussion.
So, when the church promotes gimmicks in order to increase their attendance, exactly whom is being fooled? I am afraid the church is the one being fooled. God builds His Church. His sovereign gift of salvation by grace through faith in His Son Jesus is the only “process” that is valid. God directs, we respond. God transforms, we conform to the image of Christ (slowly over time).
So how much cultural contextualization is too much? The amount that confuses the issue of sovereignty.
Never give people the wrong impression of who is God and who is not. Expound upon the greatness of God. Tell God’s WHOLE story. Some people’s lives will be changed. We were never called by God to sharpen His brand. He needs no spiffing up to be marketable in 2011. God is as Relevant now as when He created everything.
As I continue to come across Driscoll’s teachings, I see that in some places he states a very traditional interpretation of Acts and of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. At other times he says confusing things about the gifts being fully functional today as they were in Acts. I conclude the difference to be a clumsy method of conversational speech. He seems to employ a very conversational form of speaking. Lacking formality could explain why he seems to contradict himself.
Addendum: New Information
I continue to seek information on Mark and his charismatic stance. He sometimes seems quite charismatic even claiming to hear an audible message from God (according to one source http://adrianwarnock.com/2008/07/toam08-mark-driscoll-doctrine-of-holy/ ). He also distances himself from some charismatics at times.
I continue to be somewhat concerned at his sometimes crass and crude manner of speaking when he is preaching but that is another topic. I still see him as claiming to believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit as employed by the Apostles continuing to function today which is a clear break from mainstream reformed and dispensational circles. End of Addendum
An editorial from the Truthinator…
Mark Driscoll (aka the cussin’ preacher) has been a star of the young and of the reformed of all ages for years now. He’s hip, relevant, and downright cool if you go for that alternative, grungy look in a preacher. He looks like a 35-year-old who is trying to look like a teenager with the oh-so-predictable t-shirt, blue jeans, and hair that is scrunched up in the front. More importantly than his style preferences is his coarse talk from the pulpit that has raised more than a few eyebrows. Style is not necessarily wrong and Driscoll is certainly not the only style-centric preacher out there; the coarse talk thing is, well, concern-causing shall we say but not today’s topic.
The whole ‘relevant’ thing and coarse talk are topics of discussion for another day but I want to address what Mr. Driscoll believes. Afterall, what he believes should be the reason people flock to him or run away from him, right? I’m sure he’s a nice guy, he loves his family, he wants what is best for his church and so forth. No one is saying he is corrupt or evil. But what does he believe?
I heard him say in an unedited clip exactly what he believes. He distanced himself from Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, and Rob Bell which is good. He said he has no part in the Emergent Village which is also good. He said he stood with the reformers and called out John Calvin and CH Spurgeon’s names for added emphasis. He said he identifies with John Piper, JI Packer, and others. I do not see eye-to-eye with the reformed perspective people on Revelation or Israel but otherwise they are pretty good on God’s sovereignty and a Christian’s life of faith. No huge problem so far.
My main problem with Driscoll’s beliefs lies in the next tidbit of information he revealed. He said he is fully charismatic and believes all of the Apostolic gifts are fully functional today. Woe, what? You’ve got to be kidding me, Mark. All of the Apostolic gifts are fully functional today? You just alienated yourself from most if not all of the reformers you previously mentioned. I don’t understand how he got to this point of belief and I will continue to look for deeper explanation from him but I have to say beware. Beware of anyone who claims the Apostolic gifts are fully functioning today. This is dangerous ground of incomplete understanding. I can’t say that Driscoll is totally off-base because I haven’t studied him in-depth but I do say there is reason to be concerned. Let’s continue to look for more info about his charistmaticism and continue later.
What are your thoughts on Driscoll?
Someone needs to ask this question so I suppose the Truthinator will be the one who does. Are adherents to the Emergent Church concept actually Christian? Hold the phone, Emergents, because I know you guys are ready to pounce with the oh so predictable, “Don’t judge lest ye be judged” gem.
Here is why I ask this question. The hallmark of the Emergent situation is people do not like, appreciate, or connect to traditional Christianity. These people want hip music, stylistic interpretation rather than expository preaching, calming monologues in a performance vein rather than pulpit-pounding, erudite ego stroking rather than the conviction that comes from learning what the word of God says and etc.
Don’t deny it because you know it is true. Where is the proof? Look in the mirror. Ask yourself if this is true. You know that it is. Read the books and blogs from the Emergent gurus. Emergents want a more user friendly and inclusive community gathering instead of fellowship in Christ’s suffering.
The reason I ask whether Emergents are really Christian is that most if not all of the driving force factors that build the Emergent movement are contrary to what the Bible says that God is and what He demands. Keep reading.
Here are just a few but enough to cause serious consideration of my thesis. 1) Jesus – Sometimes he is heralded by Emergents but never as the Christ of the Bible. He is “JC”, “Rad Dude Jesus”, “Breakdancing Jesus”, or several others of a variety of fictitious manifestations. Even the Emergents who actually talk Jesus give Him attributes He doesn’t actually maintain and take away unpalatable ones (in their eyes) that are true.
2) All inclusiveness – Everyone goes to Heaven regardless of what they believe or there is not even a Heaven at all and everyone dies and are gone from existence. Both of these ideas are common in Emergent “thinking” but neither are true because neither are found in the Bible.
3) This is the final point I will mention here but there are others. The Bible is not believed by ANY of the Emergents (do some research and you will find drift or even exodus from core Bible truth). Emergents replace, twist, spin, delete, and insert Bible teachings. All of which are prohibited by the Bible. I am not talking about disagreeing on gray areas such as exactly when the rapture of the Church will occur. I am speaking of items such as atonement, Christology, Soteriology, creation, Heaven, Hell, the reality of God, and so forth.
When people do not believe such foundational truths, they cannot be classified as belonging to that group who do believe. This is very simple. Let me give a quick example then I am out of here. Let’s say my neighbor claims to be an avid tennis player. I see him dressed in tennis clothes and carrying a racquet many times per week. Once at the courts, however, he doesn’t play tennis but plays cards with friends instead. Looking the part does not define the person.
The Bible defines several things about those who are called of God into eternal salvation. A few of these include falling upon Jesus as their only hope, changing to become new creatures (over time) in their inner beliefs and outward behavior, and producing lifestyle outcomes that resemble what the Bible teaches about the character and nature of God Himself.
Are Emergents actually Christian? Some may be but I am doubtful that many if any true Christians could stay in an environment that does not believe God’s word or truly worship Him. While it is above everyone’s paygrade to determine the validity of a person’s claim of belonging, the Bible is very clear that not all who make this claim actually belong. I encourage you to read up on what the Emergents believe. It will take some time but this is of vital importance. This movement is sweeping the country and many Emergents are influencing our young people daily. Counter error with truth; it is the only way.
It is a modern-day epidemic. You will hear a preacher say something like, “If you want to know you can have Heaven as your home, then ask Jesus into your heart” or “Raise your hand if you have made a decision to allow Jesus to be Lord of your life” or something similar but is this true? Sometimes, you will not even hear mention of the need for salvation. Instead you will hear a preacher say something like, ” We would love to have you as a part of our loving and thriving congregation, please sign the tear-out in your welcome kit and become a member today” or ” Your wonderful life could be made much more fulfilling by having Jesus in it; send a text to 2125LOVE and you will be assured of eternity in Heaven” but is this true?
In the clip of the Paul Washer sermon, you will hear Paul challenge some of the inaccurate and eternally damning assumptions made by too many people. Paul shares with us what the Bible really teaches about regeneration.
Who is a Christian? The one who confidently proclaims Christ but lives like the world or the one whose life changes 180 degrees for a Godly instead of worldly existence? God is the judge. Make sure on which side of the aisle you are standing. (Thanks to www.illbehonest.com)
Paul Washer Regeneration Salvation Repentence New Nature Evidence of Salvation Calvinism Transformation Carnal Christian Sin New Creature Church Worldly Decisionalism Easy Believism Saved Lost Eternity Heaven Hell God Jesus Cross
In these present days of man-centered dogma delegating what can and cannot be taught or preached in churches in America, I think a little cleansing is due. Let’s look at some teaching that is Biblical but not often taught: The fear of God. J. Randall Easter of Azle, TX brings this brief message about the fear of God. (Thanks to www.apprising.org)
But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:5)
Fear is something that mankind deals with on several different levels. Fear causes mankind to hide, rebel, lash out, slander, panic, and to be something that they really are not. The fear of man is a great snare that binds men and constrains them to simply be tossed around by the greatest pressure. Pressure comes from one side and they move the other way and then a greater pressure comes from the other side and they move the other way. Unstable men are unstable in all their ways. Jesus makes it clear who men are to fear. It is not the government, the religious leaders of the day, the employer, or the influential people of the community they Jesus tells us to fear, but rather we are to fear God. It is God and God alone who should cause mankind to tremble. The fear of God is to affect the way that we speak, act, make decision, set priorities, establish goals, love our spouses, train our children, serve our churches, and live in our communities.
A healthy fear of God is what is greatly needed in our churches today and it is the very thing that will bring lost men to repentance. Churches are filled with people pleasing, back patting, high-fiving; emotional babies who seek to make sure that the whole thing is about them. Jesus says, “Fear him!” Jesus says he will tell us who to fear and then he specifically shows that we had better fear the one who holds man’s eternal destiny in his hand. Eternity! Eternity! The word is filled with fear and it is filled with hope. Mankind will have to stand before this God some day. Man will stand before the One who utters his voice and causes the earth to melt, who judges in righteousness and truth and who will not allow anything unclean to enter into his presence.
Dearly beloved, meditate upon the Lord your God today and seek to have a right vision of him. Examine your life and see how it is that you worship, pray, study Scripture, treat your spouse, train your children, and how you live in the world. Are these areas of your life reflections of your fear of God? What is the first thought that comes to your mind when a difficult situation comes your way? What is your first area of refuge when trials come? If you have a healthy fear of God, he will be the one who has the greatest effects upon you daily life in all these areas.
J. Randall Easter, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Briar, Azle, TX.
Daily Bible Study Acts 9 Daily Bible Study Acts 9 Daily Bible Study Acts 9 Bible
Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 9:22-43 Let us continue to follow what God is doing in the Church during its formation. How does this compare with what is happening in the “church” today?
Verse 22 tells us that Saul/Paul confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus proving that Jesus is the Christ. Now we know that it was not the lesser of the Jews he was confounding because, in every other situation we have seen, the leadership of the Jews is always out in front of the confrontation. It was true in the very beginning. The Jews who were leading the battle against Jesus were the leadership and that continued. So do not think that Saul/Paul was sneaking around and talking to the lowest level of Jew only. He was confounding the leadership and proving that Jesus was indeed who He had said He was.
How did Saul/Paul do this? I would say that he did it the same way he continued to do it throughout his ministry. He taught that Jesus is the Son of God who died, rose, and ascended to be with the Father. He taught that there is salvation in no other name except Jesus. This is the same message Paul taught throughout his ministry. The power of God was also involved without question. God’s power was at work to accomplish His purpose. Saul/Paul was only as able as God made him to be.
Now, I would like to combat the thought popular today that “since modern people do not want to hear about doctrine, we need to be relevant to them and meet them where they live”. This type of thinking is bankrupt. It implies that God and His word is not relevant unless man gives it the right to be. This is an abomination! God is Holy, Holy, Holy. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-encompassing. He determines what is relevant.
The “relevance to the world” crowd are working from the belief that man is sovereign in determining whether or not he will accept God. They may not admit it but it is true. Why else would a person think it necessary to the relevant to a group in order to tell the group what it needs to hear? They are trying to get the group’s approval or buy-in.
We have already covered the fact that God is sovereign and determines those who will be saved and is justified in doing so. God predetermines and calls those who will be saved unto Himself. This is why God is always relevant. People need to hear the truth so the elect will come to God in repentance (which is a sign they are the elect).
Saul/Paul could talk the talk and reason with the educated. He was a well-educated pharisee before his conversion. If he had wanted, he could have argued Jewish beliefs all day long. As an educated man, he could have also argued Roman politics and world events. He did not do this however. He preached Christ alone as the savior of the world.
Next, look at verse 23. After many days, the Jews plotted to kill him. Here we go again. Not much has changed. The Jews realized they were in trouble of loosing their hold over the people. Saul/Paul’s message threatened to undo their religious system. Their hardened hearts were not capable of repenting (apparently) and thus they planned to kill the messenger so as to remove the problem.
Wow, what a religion! They could not win the argument with facts and they did not apparently have a great deal of faith in their religion so they plotted to kill Saul/Paul to quiet him.
What does this tell you about Saul/Paul and his message. There was real power there. If not, would the Jews desire to kill? Maybe. Saul/Paul’s message was considered blasphemous to them. However, watch how they planned to kill him. They were not planning to walk up to him and kill him publicly. They waited at the gates to catch him. This may suggest the Jews were not acting with the popular opinion of the population of the area.
Regardless of the exact reason for their plans, Saul/Paul was not to be stopped. God made a way for his escape. Saul/Paul was a force to be feared by the Jews. He carried the message of redemption to his part of the world.