A Criticism and A Prayer
August is TMC’s version of Football Camp. The leadership staff has been doing the ministerial equivilent of three a days for the last three weeks, and everyone is dead tired. School begins Tuesday, and all the new students and SLS staffers are excited to be able to sleep again. Rather than try to write a well-ordered post at this point, I’ll just put the following two thoughts down.
1. I realize that Mark Driscoll’s ministry style has nearly been talked to death. However, look at Paul’s description of a minister approved by God. “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach” (1 Tim 3:2). There are no options, no escape clauses. I’ve listened to some of Driscoll’s sermons and read part of his Confessions of a Reformission Reverend book, as well as actively read his blog for a number of months. I was amazed at how much of he talks about sex. Very few of his sexual remarks are intended to teach or instruct the biblical position on the topic, but rather are sugar-coated, shock-value marketing ploys. We’re frustrated when a good movie is ruined by an absolutely irrelevant sex scene written into the script solely to cater to a base audience. Why are we not outraged when the gospel is interlaced with irrelevant, sexually-driven hooks? Sex sells in church just as well as it sells in the theater. Striptease sermons and “above reproach” don’t equate.
2. How would God bless His kingdom on earth if we prayed for Christian ministries instead of (only) criticizing them? I’m tempted to make this thought part of the previous one, but it is applicable beyond Driscoll and Mars Hill, so I’ll keep it separate. I read Brothers We Are NOT Professionals this summer. In the last chapter, entitled Brothers, Pray for the Seminaries, Piper pleads with pastors to pray for the institutions training the next generation of leaders. Here at Masters we pride ourselves for being absolutely uncompromising on the Scriptures. Sadly, we’re also adept at holding those who are not as uncompromising in contempt. God loves Biola. God loves charismatics. God even loves arminians. Do we? Even more than love, do we pray for them with nearly as much zeal as when we criticize them? There is a place for discussion and critique. But let us also pray for spiritual growth and renewal! God will judge us how we judge them, which is one of the scariest concepts in the Bible.