Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More on Mars Hill

I'm no fan of The Stranger, but they ran an article on the firing of two pastors that I mentioned a couple days ago (which, by the way, brought more people to this blog than any other post I've ever written. Maybe there is a marketing strategy there. . .)

What caught my interest was this:

Things got even uglier in a September 30 sermon, when Driscoll—who’s been the face of the church since it was first established in 1996—stated, sternly referencing the two dissidents, that “There are a few guys right now, if I wasn’t going to end up on CNN, I would go Old Testament on ’em. There’s no, like, attorneys and blogging, just like I punched you in the mouth, now shut up. That’s clean; it’s simple.”

The article doesn't footnote the quote, so there's no way of knowing if it's legit or not. But Driscoll is known for his provocative, shoot-from-the-hip, confrontational style, so it very well could be true.

It's not my place to stand here and cast stones across the pond. . .but having been a victim of another charismatic, power-hungry pastor attempting to bend the church's will to his every whim, I've got to say it's all sounding too familiar. Setting off warning bells on my radar, if you will.

Way back when, after I got away from that particular pastor, I found this verse and decided that either it would define my ministry, or I'd get out of ministry:

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:2-3)

It's that "eager to serve; not lording it over them" that pulls me up short and causes me to constantly question my motives. And it's a standard I often apply when attempting to discern the ministries of other pastors (well, that and the "not greedy for money," which would be totally different post than this one. . .). So tell me, accepting for the moment that the sermon quote is from Driscoll, how does it line up with Peter's admonition?


Anonymous said...

"The article doesn't footnote the quote, so there's no way of knowing if it's legit or not."

Sadly, Dan, the quote is legit.
Here's a link to the audio of Driscoll's September 30th sermon:


j. dostal said...

Dr. Tub E. Gooberman said...

Yes, I heard it. Couldn't believe my ears. I only know Mars Hill thru Mark's Podcast sermons. I also have a very close friend who is well connected at Mars Hill and has been for a very long time. Like me, he is broken hearted over the situation. I was even thinking of starting an Acts 29 church here in Austin.

Having been a Christ Follower for over 3 decades now, I have seen it all. The last organized church I really got involved with was a Willow Creek (Seeker Sensitive) church. It too became overwrought with both Big egos and nepotism. I also came to see that no one was getting discipled. Then it all made sense suddenly.

Our culture demands that we abjugate personal responsibility for the Gospel to the church. I believe the Seeker movement is the pinnacle of this practice. Simply bring your friends and neighbors to the service and we'll speak to them in a way they can understand. But that is NOT the purpose of the Church. The church is where believers go (primarily) to be discipled to spread the Gospel of Jesus and find strength and sustenance to stand up to the constant onslaught of the culture to ridicule, diminish, and tempt the faithful.

Mars Hill is not like this, so it is disappointing to watch its self destruction. Hopefully, the result will be more believers owning their personal responsibility to walk the walk and make disciples, as Jesus commanded.

The small, home based, Messianic Congregation I now attend gets that, and is small enough that we can be discipled and be disciplers.

As soon as a church starts a building program, the wolves move in.