Tuesday’s 10: Thoughts on the Newest Mark Driscoll Controversy

In case you have not yet heard about the interview Mark Driscoll did over in Britain – wait, are you sitting down? – he needlessly offends a number of people, namely all the not-famous pastors throughout the UK. Especially the old ones who wear clerical robes.

If you want to read up on it, go here, here and here.

Following are 10 thoughts on all of this.

1. This is getting very predictable. About every six months, Driscoll says something ridiculous, gets a lot of attention, blames others, does not apologize and no one within his own tribe ever calls him on it. You see, only if he uses really bad language is anyone going to call him on it publicly. Because the fruit of the Spirit is clean language.

2. The celebrity pastor. Driscoll sees the presence of the Spirit in the life of a church through the singular phenomenon of young, well-known male preachers. In other words we are no longer discussing the celebrity pastor as an underlying issue which we need to careful of. It is now the clear standard by which we measure faithfulness and success in ministry.

3. The missional problem. Obviously as long as you are missional (whatever that means), you can be insulting. You can go too far and justify your actions by your works as a pastor. You can be unkind but it’s OK because you have a big church with a lot of conversions.

4. Actually. I would love to live in a culture where there were no famous young pastors. Just faithful ones.

5. “But you used to love Driscoll.” I also used to need a diaper.  Both have a lot of crap in common. And I grew out of both in just a few years.

6. I am not a liberal in my theology. I’m very conservative in my theology. But I am also broad in my desire for unity. I’m getting to the point where I would rather be associated with some of the more liberal theologians than guys like Driscoll who bully and ridicule and defend themselves with their spiritual bona fides.

7. Jesus or Mesus? Go listen to the interview and you will wonder. Or not.

8. Was the interview combative? Nope. But what if it was? Shouldn’t that be OK? Or should Driscoll assume all interviewers agree with him. He could have easily just said, “Hey, you are going to disagree with me on this but here is what I believe…” But he didn’t. He called the interviewer annoying. That was before he insulted the interviewer’s wife.

9. Jonathan Edwards was a sissy. I mean, he wore one of those “dresses” too. Didn’t he? As well as Calvin. And all the reformers. Too bad they didn’t live in a  culture where it was acceptably masculine to wear a Mickey Mouse shirt.

10. The great problem. The great problem for the church is not that we aren’t sufficiently missions-oriented or don’t evangelize enough. It seems if that should be our focus Paul would have said something about our need for it. But he did say a lot about love and kindness and patience and peace and unity. The only reason this will not be a big deal to many people is because we don’t care about what Paul cared about. We would rather correct people than be kind to them. And it will continue.

5 thoughts on “Tuesday’s 10: Thoughts on the Newest Mark Driscoll Controversy

  1. Robin January 17, 2012 / 3:10 pm

    #5 made me lol!

  2. Michael MacCaughelty January 17, 2012 / 5:08 pm

    Thanks Matt. I am so with you on #5. Glad I outgrew my diapers. What's your thoughts on the dust-up over the Jesus>Religion youtube poem by Jefferson Beethke? Seems like some responders are missing out on the fact that it is POETRY and therefore intentionally contains hyperbole.

  3. Bob January 18, 2012 / 12:08 am

    I listened to the entire 1 hour interview. I backed up 8-10 times and replayed parts that I needed to fully digest. So I spent 90 minutes listening to the full interview and I cannot disagree with Driscoll.The interviewer does not believe in Hell (he says so himself), and his wife is his pastor. He chides Mark for not allowing women to be pastors.The interviewer is the prime example of what Driscoll was speaking to as the problem in Britain. How do you blame Driscoll for this? No Hell? Women pastors? And Mark is the problem???Driscoll's point is that the "faithful" pastors in Britain are either men in robes, or women who are not biblically qualified to be pastors.It seems like you want an ear tickler and Mark refuses to be that. Sometimes God steps on toes… oh well…

  4. Mark January 18, 2012 / 5:12 am

    Since when did Britain and Brierly become the answer to the questions Driscoll was asked? Also, let's say Driscoll is 100% correct in his assessment of British Christianity. Given that, Driscoll was not very pastoral in offering advice. Instead, he used his rhetorical smart-aleck skills.

  5. Jonathan January 23, 2012 / 5:56 pm

    The point about UK pastors is a little in vain because he is measuring the state of the British church (to an extent at least) with an American stick, and it doesn't translate. I've not listened to the interview, but I can assure anyone reading that there are plenty of faithful pastors in the UK who are neither women nor robed up. And none of them care if they are not famous (well, that's probably not true but those might secretly wish they were more famous in the same thought know that that is not a godly nor a valuable desire, so they sit on it). I count my former pastor as one of them, and he deliberately forsook opportunities to become famous for the sake of faithful ministry locally. We loved him for that. I don't think Mark needs to worry quite so much. The solution to the malaise in UK churches is not the one he suggests, but there are plenty of people working really hard at the right solutions, and the gospel makes progress as a result – not in a Mars Hill style, but most UK faithful aren't very worried about that either.

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