Tag Archives: Word of Faith
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?
Last time we saw the early church in Antioch fasting and praying and ministering to the Lord. The Holy Spirit called for Paul and Barnabas to be separated from the others to take the message to the gentiles.
Let’s talk for a moment about a Spirit-filled church. Many times we hear folks refer to themselves as a Spirit-filled church. The proof they offer can be the handling of snakes without getting bitten, the speaking of tongues, the manifestation of various healings and miracles… and so forth. But, what is a Spirit-filled church, really?
John MacArthur says that a Spirit-filled church is one in which its members walk in obedience to the will of God. God reveals His will through scripture so a Spirit-filled church will be deeply committed and obedient to the word of God. An examination of Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 shows how being filled with God’s Spirit and allowing the word of God to richly dwell in one’s life produce same outcome.
I’m afraid at this point that I must detour for a moment in order to hit upon an important topic. Many people today talk about “God showed me” or “God spoke to me and told me” and other such things. These things that “God spoke or showed” usually result in you being asked to send money to the one who received the revelation. Don’t do it! God reveals Himself in His word. Every claim of revelation or inspiration must be thoroughly examined against what is taught in scripture.
There is also a rising tide of false teaching existing today. Much Emergent, Prosperity, Word of Faith, Roman Catholic, New Age, and other teachings are competing against the truth. And since the word of God is not richly dwelling in the lives of people, many are falling headlong into deception.
Our scripture today shows an excellent example of this. Verse 6 says that Paul and Barnabas had been across and throughout the entire island of Cyprus preaching and teaching Jesus. Luke makes a point, however, of mentioning this next bit of information as opposed to anything else that occurred on Cyprus. A local Roman official, Sergius Paulus, summoned Paul and Barnabas so that he could hear their message.
Luke notes that Sergius Paulus was a man of intelligence. His job as a local leader would have required him to learn of the teachings of traveling evangelists. He doubtlessly kept himself informed of all the news about the happenings in his area. The scripture seems to insist, however, that this man was interested on a deeper level that simple curiosity about Paul and Barnabas. Regardless of his reason, he seeks to hear from God’s men.
Now note how the proconsul is flanked by a messenger of Satan. A Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. I remember in school when studying math that sometimes a problem would have variable noted as A and another noted as Bar A (A with a bar above it). There was a huge difference between the value of the A and the Bar A. As a matter of fact, there was no relation at all between A and Bar A.
There was also no relation at all between Jesus (the real and only Son of God) and Bar-Jesus (a false prophet of Jewish descent). This Bar-Jesus was attached to the proconsul for some reason. Scripture says that Bar-Jesus (also known as Elymas which was a Greek word for magician) opposed Paul and Barnabas. He tried to stop them from giving the word of God concerning Jesus Christ to the proconsul.
We are told in Ephesians 6 that ” our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Telling someone about Jesus will be met with resistance by the enemy forces because hearing the gospel message is the method God uses to call His elect unto Himself. ” Faith comes from hearing the word of God” we are told in Romans 10.
So Paul and Barnabas are opposed outwardly by Bar-Jesus but spiritually, they are opposed by Satan and/or his emissaries. This is very important to understand. I will end today’s lesson with this truth and pick up next time with it as a reminder. Giving someone the word of God about salvation through Jesus is not an academic exercise where someone simply weighs the information intellectually and makes a decision. Heaven and hell are in a struggle that God allows to take place when someone is confronted with the gospel. We will look more deeply into this in the part 3 of this text.
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The Bible study text is from Acts 8:1-25. This is the third section dealing with this passage of scripture. We left off last time talking about a ‘conversion’ that was false. Simon the sorcerer wanted to get the goods but not the Savior. He wanted to increase his money-making skills and saw a chance to increase his personal following by manipulating God.
We know from scripture that Simon was renowned in his town. We know from historical writings that he was a Gnostic shaman. We also know from the way Peter treated him that Simon was not a true convert. Notice Peter did not rebuke him saying,”You are a Christian now, you should behave as someone who is redeemed by the blood of Christ.” Peter instead told him to repent of his wickedness and pray that God would forgive him. Peter also told Simon he was engulfed in bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity. These are hardly descriptors of someone who is redeemed but off the track.
The point is this. God is not mocked, fooled, or manipulated. As a matter of fact, it is God who saves by His divine will. God sovereignly chooses and refuses. I use the Old and New Testaments as my source for this information. God sovereignly chose some while rejecting others. Can I explain this to you fully? No, and neither can anyone else. God alone knows the depths of Himself.
We do know what the Bible teaches however. Do a search in your concordance for ‘election’, ‘selection’, ‘predetermination’, ‘called’, and ‘chosen’. You will find a world of information from scripture showing God’s sovereignty.
Peter had great insight from God. He walked with the Lord and was given responsibility for fathering the first Christian people group (Church). We do not have such insight but we study God’s word. Jesus talked much about fruit and fit. If a tree does not produce fruit or the right type of fruit (fit), something is wrong. What is the right type of fruit? Consistency more than inconsistency with the law of God and the life of Christ. Being conformed to the image of Christ is a sure sign of a transformed life.
What should we learn from the example of Simon? Christ transforms lives. We do not seek Christ, He seeks us. He saves us by His grace through faith. The preaching of God’s word produces conviction and repentence in the lives of those who are saved. It is not a money-making sceme to get involved in.
Simon, much like the rich young ruler, did not want the real deal or the total package. It seems as though they preferred a man-designed system that could be manipulated and used for gain. Christ represents the end of self and enslavement to Christ. The way of Christ is narrow and only one gate (Jesus) leads to the way. This is the exclusive way to Heaven.