Saturday, December 02, 2006

Toward Mutual Understanding: Mark Driscoll Meets with His Critics

UPDATE on Sat 2 Dec 2006 @ 10:53 AM ET

After a meeting between Mark Driscoll and his critics, the protest against Mark Driscoll by People Against Fundamentalism scheduled for tomorrow has been called off.

Paul writes

"People Against Fundamentalism is hereby calling off the protest of Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church’s Ballard campus on Sunday, Dec. 3. We will be issuing a press release as soon as possible on Saturday morning and contacting the media with this important information.

However, it is likely that not everyone will hear that the protest has been cancelled.

So, I will reach a hand of reconciliation across the plate to Mark on Sunday in order to get the word out to the city and protesters that Mark has repented of his inflammatory rhetoric. I will be there on Sunday—not in protest, but as a witness of Mark’s repentence—holding a sign saying, “Thank You Mark For Apologizing."

- Paul's full post

After the meeting, Mark Driscoll posted,

"...I also learned that as my platform has grown, so has my responsibility to speak about my convictions in a way that invites other people to experience charity from me, which means inflammatory language and such need to be scaled back. I was also sad and sorry to hear that various things I have said over the years have been received very personally by some people who felt personally attacked. A female pastor had a very good insight: as my platform has grown, so has my audience, and that in some sense I need to consider myself the pastor of two churches. In Mars Hill where I labor as a pastor who deeply loves his people, they are gracious with my faults and flaws because they know me and they know of my love for them. But outside of Mars Hill, for those who do not know me or my pastoral affection for people, the perception of me can be very different. Therefore, I need to learn how to function most effectively in a new role as someone given a broader voice to speak for Jesus. There is much to learn. To be honest, this is all new to me and comes quicker than I would have hoped for; I wish I was at this place in my fifties or sixties, following a longer period of maturing. However, Jesus obviously has something different planned for me."

- Mark's full post

Rose Madrid-Swetman, who was also at the meeting and had written an open letter to Mark Driscoll, said:

"Here are a few things I have learned:

Words on a blog or on a paper are one thing—people in a room who those words touch are quite another

Truth and mercy – a powerful combination

We are all life long learners on this journey where confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation is one of our highest callings.

That Mark and I may have serious theological differences but at the end of the day we have both given our lives for the sake of the gospel

I am hopeful that reconciliation has begun and will continue – time will tell.

I want to thank Mark for coming to the conversation as a peacemaker and not a street fighter. I pray God’s best for him and for Mars Hill Church."

- Rose's full post


djchuang said...

wow, what a meeting, the protest has now been officially called off, much progress has been made in mutual understanding, and change of hearts all around is happening.. a very God moment..

Anonymous said...

"That Mark and I may have serious theological differences but at the end of the day we have both given our lives for the sake of the gospel..."

AMEN! I would only ask that more thought be given to the message of the gospel and what its actual contents are as the foundational basis of common ground.

Personally, I am finding that focusing here can unfold some layers of thought that are not the gospel Paul was so bolding proclaiming and made a defense for in Galatians. If this common ground isn’t foundational, it is next to impossible to find it elsewhere in the "practical living" aspects of the faith.

radioguy said...

Politically Correct Censorship?

Here is a link to the KIRO News interview of the instigator of the protest against Pastor Driscoll. Judge for yourself:

Brad Cooper said...

Thanks to Rose Swetman for opening my eyes. Before reading her enlightening letter to Mark Driscoll, I was bound to take the Bible far too literally. Now, however, I realize that Paul and Peter and the rest of that motley crew that wrote the New Testament were really just victims of the ideology of a patriarchal society. And they only thought they were speaking and writing down God's words. I'm sure thankful that the apostle Rose has set me straight.

Apparently, Paul and Peter did not understand all the ramifications of the atonement. But now in these last days, God has revealed it to us through his daughter Rose. If they had understood it, they would never have written things about women being submissive to the authority of men (e.g., I Corinthians 11:3-10; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:11-15; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7; etc.). And as strongly and clearly and repeatedly as they state this idea of women being in submission to men, they must have been really deceived.

But now it has become clear to me that the revelation given in Galatians 3:28 trumps all of these other passages of Scripture. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if we really need all of that other stuff in the New Testament. It's probably just a waste of time reading it. We can keep the passages about the atonement and then just figure out how to apply it ourselves. We can surely apply it better than the New Testament writers. After all, we're not blinded by cultural ideologies like they were.

And even in choosing passages about the atonement, we need to be careful. For instance, Philippians 2:5-11 teaches that Jesus was equal with God yet submitted to him. And thanks to Rose, we know that it is not right for someone to submit to someone else who is their equal. In fact, now that I think about it, I've been submitting to my bosses at work and the lawmakers of this state and this country for far too long. And I don't think that I am the least bit inferior to them. And submitting to their authority is like admitting that they are better than me. Wow! I really think I'm getting the hang of this. This whole thing is really setting me free. Thanks for such transformational teaching, Rose.

I'm sure that some reading this will comment that the tone of my sarcasm bothers them. It bothers me, too--in much the same way that it bothers me when Paul says he wishes the circumcision group would just go the whole way and emasculate themselves (Galatians 5:12). I am yelling at the top of my lungs because it is time to stop playing games with the teaching of Scripture. It's time to stop pretending that it is all very civil or a matter for academic debate or that everyone has a right to his or her opinion or blah, blah, blah. There are times when that is true. It is not true when the teaching of Scripture is so very clear--as it is on this subject.

This issue is not about justice. It is about righteousness. It's not so much about women submitting to men as it is about everyone submitting to God.

In the passages about women submitting to men that are cited in the second paragraph above there are some very clear warnings. More than that: All Scripture is God breathed. It comes from the very mouth of God. And God does not stutter. Too deny this basic teaching is to call the writers of almost every book in the Bible a liar, because it is taught in very clear terms throughout. This is not fundamentalist teaching. This is the teaching of the Bible. If you do not accept the Bible's teaching just be honest and say so. People who label Driscoll as a fundamentalist simply do not want to submit to God. They want to pick and choose what they will accept from the Bible. In other words, they are the final authority. They have made themselves the gods of their own lives. How very postmodern of them.

Rose and associates claim that Mark Driscoll is vulgar. I have only very limited experience with Mark's teaching and lifestyle, so I am in no position to judge that. But it is hypocritical for Rose to comment on his vulgarity when she writes such vulgar stuff. To adopt the ideology of the world by finding one or two verses that can be made to appear to agree with it (but at the same time denying the clear teaching of several other passages of Scripture in order to do so), is nothing less than vulgar (common). To deny the authority of Scripture is to deny the authority of Christ himself. And to deny Christ's authority while claiming that he is Lord is nothing less than taking his name in vain.

It's time for repentance to begin within the Church. If we will not repent and submit to God's Word, how can we expect a lost world to do so?

Let God be true and every man (and woman) a liar. To Christ alone be all glory and honor and power and authority.

Brad Cooper