Mark Driscoll’s model of ‘church planting’

by Bene Diction on April 30, 2007

Mark Driscoll is a Seattle mega church leader in the US who started in 1996, now his church has around 2 thousand members and 40 thousand square feet of church space. He has gotten some attention for rudeness in an online debate at the Christianity Today Leadership blog (he apologized) then scurrilous remarks about women and ministers wife’s when the Ted Haggard scandal came to light. He said he didn’t mean what people heard.

He made news in March posting on his blog that he was not well. He is in his 30’s and while I don’t know what the diagnosis is, he is experiencing severe stress symptoms. He has a wife and five kids, a lot of frequent flyer points and is quite the type A personality. His handling of strengths (visionary, hard worker) drives him relentlessly (he wants Mars Hill churches all over the US) and he strikes me as a lonely leader.

His seminars pack in pastors willing to pay a lot of money to learn how to succeed with their church growth. Driscoll has written a couple of books, says he is a charismatic Calvinist, and along with his myriad responsibilities is attempting a masters degree. He is not ordained. Mars Hill in none denominational.

While there is a sprinkling of biblical truth in his speech above, and while I personally have no emotional attachment to where he chooses to tape it, I don’t see his video symbolism making sense to the speech subject.
The video is called Good Soldiers.

His ideas on church planting are like a CEO expounding a US business/ expansion/culture war model, but thousands of pastors and seminary students fans would disagree and correct me.

I’m very curious to see what readers at connexion think of this speech by Driscoll, he taped it for a Florida conference he couldn’t attend because he had other responsibilities. He released it to YouTube April 28, 2007 after… “it was criticized by Bill Hybels from the stage because it did not speak of women church planters. And, not wanting a bigger fuss, the organization hosting the event then made a decision not to hand out the video as they had promised, leaving the guys from our Acts 29 Church Planting Network who had hauled suitcases of the videos to Florida with thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of wasted effort.”

(added by BD 30/04/07)The packaging of the speech “A conversation with Mark Driscoll” has a picture of a man’s hands cocking a gun in a cemetery. The irony seems lost. here is the link to the post The Banned Church Video)
The blow-back in YouTube comments is not surprising, this video has had about 7 thousand views. Driscoll’s post is number 6 today at Technorati.

What is foreign to you as a minster, church attendee or follower of Jesus Christ in this video?
What are you hearing overtly or covertly?
What do you agree and disagree with?
Is Driscoll correct that this how/what church planters and pastors are called to be?

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Richard 04.30.07 at 2:46 pm

I don’t know where to start. It isn’t so much that I ‘disagree’ with Driscoll so much as feeling a complete lack of common ground with him. I recognize some of the words he uses, but he obviously means utterly different things by them from me. His overt sexism is hard to get past, and he appears to believe that the success of the gospel depends upon his efforts (and the efforts of those he sends out). His church may call itself non-denominational, but alot of the language he uses -testing and approving men for the mission, for example - sounds distinctly denominational to me. I don’t object to that as such, of course! I found the video quite disturbing in a strange way.

2

Dave Warnock 04.30.07 at 2:52 pm

What is foreign to you as a minster, church attendee or follower of Jesus Christ in this video?

Everything.

What are you hearing overtly or covertly?

A very different understanding of God, Church, Mission & humanity

What do you agree and disagree with?

Agree with nothing, disagree with everything

Is Driscoll accurate in that this how/what church planters are called to be?

Absolutely so off the the rails it is scary.

3

Kim 04.30.07 at 3:32 pm

BD, full Mark(s) for being so deadpan in seeking responses to this tour de force presentation of the gospel according to John Wayne. Along with the womenfolk - bless their dishwashing little hands! - I guess I’m just a pussy. To get on Driscoll’s Nietzchean nerves, I’d say I pity the poor bastard were it not for the fact that he is armed and extremely dangerous. Theologically, if the video were an essay, I wouldn’t even begin to mark it - it is irredeemable - just douse it in blood-red ink. That it was filmed in a military graveyard says it all really.

4

John 04.30.07 at 4:29 pm

Thank you for posting this. I’ve been reading about it, but not been able to get it first hand.

Is this what the people who say the church is too feminized are really meaning?

Is anyone out there familiar with the masculine theology in Germany before/during the rise of the Nazis? Lots of mixing of military, national, and macho lingo then, too.

5

Steve 04.30.07 at 5:23 pm

I don’t know if any of you have seen Team America, World Police, but the song which kept going through my head while he was talking was…

“Christianity… f*** yeah!”

Setting aside his blatant sexism, I found his condescension toward and judgement of the very people he claimed he was most concerned about reaching (young men in their 20s) disturbing and completely wrong-headed. “Your car is retarded. Get off the fricken computer and get a life, dude.”

And his cult-of-personality approach to leadership has absolutely nothing to do with the work of Jesus in the world.

6

John 04.30.07 at 6:47 pm

After my first inflamatory response, I thought I’d take a stab, a hack, a shot, a (insert combat metaphor here) at answering the questions poses by BD.

What is foreign to you as a minster, church attendee or follower of Jesus Christ in this video?

The guns and soldiers images. Warrior cult words and images. Of course, he seems to come from the “spiritual warfare” legion, so this language is more familiar to him.

But even the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” talks more of dying to make men free than battling and waging war. Even the Timothy verse he quotes in the beginning is Paul saying “suffer” like a soldier.

The militancy is the most striking thing to me. Fight Club meets metal band meets Jesus.

What are you hearing overtly or covertly?

Sorry this is so long

This is war. Body count. Body count. Body count. Men. Men. Men.

The quality of the leader/church planter is crucial to the success of the church.

Purity.

Boot in the rear. Boot camp. Banging their girlfriend. Young men are out of control and dangerous. They need to be yanked into shape by their elders.

Jesus Christ is not a gay, hippie in a dress. Hell is coming, boys. Shape up.

If you want to win a war, you’ve gotta get the men.

Church teaches men how to have sex with their wives at least one time a day. Male headship. Warrior cult. Stepford wives.

“by God’s grace, force them to become the kind of men that are needed”

penal substitution

Jesus as warrior, king, and hero. Ascension into heavy same as blood-covered soldier returning home (to his waiting wife?) Odysseus? Is this the gospel or the Iliad?

What do you agree and disagree with?

The qualities and character of the church planter/pastor are important. Not everyone is gifted for this kind of work. That seems fair enough.

Starting a church is different from running an existing church. I think he might be correct here, but that is probably more a sign that we get too complacent too fast. All our churches should be in constant ferment of growth and response to the world around them. They need the energy of creation always at hand.

Having a clear sense of mission is important. Knowing what you are trying to do (in broad terms) helps guide your decisions.

I’ve never heard of using grace to force someone to do something. But, maybe that’s my wishy-washy Wesleyanism. Kicking butts for Jesus is not an evangelical program that I find in the NT.

I see the power of the warrior image. And, I know this is not the first time in history it has been used. Is there something valuable in that language and image that can be separated from what is dangerous in it?

I also think he emphasizes too much the importance of human action and not enough the importance of God’s action. The Holy Spirit is not in Driscoll’s army.

Is Driscoll accurate in that this how/what church planters are called to be?

Only God knows. I’ve heard mainline UMC folks makes similar points about the special challenges of planting a church. I’ve heard mainliners worry about the lack of men.

I’m not sure if my Annual Conference even has an active United Methodist Men’s chapter anywhere. So, I see the facts on the ground that inspire the macho-talk. Domesticating the gospel to professional wrestling culture, however, seems just as bad as domesticating it to any other worldly value system.

I wonder what Christ was doing letting all those women be active in his ministry.

7

Arni Zachariassen 04.30.07 at 9:24 pm

I discovered the Mars Hill podcast last summer and listened a lot to it while on tour with my band (long drives…). Most of it was Driscoll preaching. I kind of liked it in the beginning - he’s funny and has some good points occasionally. But when he, in a sermon about gender (un)equality, called the egalitarian position (to which I subscribe) “feminist” and the complimentary position “chauvinist”, it was too much for me. I haven’t listened to much of his stuff since.

I must say that I find most of what Mark says in the video somewhat disagreeable. It’s hard to make out what he really means behind all the militaristic metaphors and rant-like comments, so I can’t really say exactly what I agree and disagree with. As some/most/all of you have already pointed out, the militaristic stuff is weird and I find it somewhat unsettling. What does he mean by “body count”? Of course, as already noted, the gender bias is not very nice either.

Oh, the stuff about Brian McLaren and homosexuality didn’t do him or the kingdom any favours. He asked for forgiveness, which is cool, but the original comments made me want to dismiss him as an idiot and never listen to him again. I wish the church would just shut up about homosexuality for a couple of years (same goes for intelligent design). We’re/they’re doing nothing but damage.

8

dh 04.30.07 at 10:23 pm

John, I really don’t see any correlation to the “Nazi’s” that you are trying to infer from the video. However, while you seem to be sarcastic, your further response (non-sarcastically) pretty much I agree with. I do however, disagree with you not believeing that Grace can be “tough Grace” in that Paul mentions “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and rulers of this dark and present evil age.” So to say there isn’t any “fighting for Jesus” (if I’m infering correctly from your response) seems to false in light of the NT and OT (Scripture) says. For Kim and to a lessor extent you, John, Jesus is also the “Lion of Judah” as well as the “Lamb of God”. Kim, I thought you would get a kick out of that. :) (just being humorous on the “Lion” part). :)

9

dh 04.30.07 at 10:26 pm

I forgot to add. I don’t believe Driscol is against women in ministry. I think he believes there is a proper “covering” for women to be in leadership not unlike Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, Anne Graham Lotz, Joni Erickson-Tada, etc. If I did misunderstand Driscol and he believes that these women are not Biblical then I will take back my support for Driscol on what he has said. However, I don’t believe that that is the case. I’m open to any further insight into his belief on the subject and am open to retrack if need be. :)

10

Mike Swalm 04.30.07 at 10:32 pm

i’ve always wanted to drink herbal tea in a cabriolet with jesus, listening to the spice girls and smelling my aromatherapy car freshener.

in answer,
What is foreign to you as a minster, church attendee or follower of Jesus Christ in this video?
firstly, everyone’s mentioned it, so the man thing. gotta be a man!!! secondly, it seems as though driscoll thinks his words will be better received if he peppers his sentences with politically incorrect language. i have no problem with many of the words he uses (except “retarded”) but it seemed to me more intentional than part of his actual personality. maybe just me. thirdly, as someone has stated, the “cult of personality” idea here really bothers me as a pastor, and as part of a team. yes, jesus built his team around himself. he was God incarnate. i am not. i need “partners”, accountability, fellow-workers, not just mini-mikes who can bow to my whims.

What are you hearing overtly or covertly?
maybe i answered that above. i’m hearing overtly that we win the battle when we win the men. apparently jesus died for men and women, but wants more men.
What do you agree and disagree with?
i disagree with nearly everything he said, though i’m pleased he’s trying to teach men how to buy homes for themselves.

Is Driscoll accurate in that this how/what church planters are called to be?
no. no he’s not.

mike

11

Pam 04.30.07 at 10:58 pm

Not directly answering the questions, but I’ll answer “everything is foreign”. So, some comments.

My first comment is off the wall - Who is he looking at? He seems to be looking into his own mind. That’s just creepy.

His concept of pastoral ministry seems weird. Maybe it’s a “Methodist thing” but I think that, in some ways, being a church planter and being a “pastor” are two different skill sets. He said that “a man” can’t be a pastor until he gets a congregation together - with apologies to all the sane guys here - typical macho-male way of looking at pastoral ministry: “Individuals don’t count except as they are part of the empire I build.”

12

graham 05.01.07 at 12:04 am

What’s a retarded car?

13

BD 05.01.07 at 12:41 am

A step up from a moronic motorcycle?

Mr. Driscoll’s target audience was internal and US based until his gift was refused. He chose to make it available to a wider audience.

I’m glad this is on YouTube.
We need to see this.

How would Driscoll and his staff chose to frame and package his church planting message if he was asked to deliver it in Australia, the UK, New Zealand or Canada?

If we read in the not to distant future Mr. Driscoll has taken extended leave because of a breakdown, it won’t be a surprise.

14

BD 05.01.07 at 2:28 am

Driscoll did speak at a church planting evangelical conference in Canada a couple of weeks ago.

http://www.willingdon.org/refocus/default.asp?id=760

He says things are bad and getting worse, he asks what the appropriate response for evangelical pastors is.
I’m not clear on why the ministers present find him funny, his speech peppered with abrasive, bullying, indolent equal opportunity mocking. Content gets lost.

“Your nation is a mess, my nation is a mess, yours is messier”

Four priorities:
1. Jesus. Get your Jesus straight.
2. Men. The weakness of the Canadian church.
3. Ecclesiology. Jesus is senior pastor with male elders, this is a hill to die on. This is a big boy job.
4. Missiology. You have pagan tribes of poor bizarre lost people here, your city is the domain of Jesus.

The current attention he is receiving for ” The Good Soldier” has morphed into a gender debate on US blogs, and a war between leadership camp followers.

After Driscoll’s video was played at the Orlando conference last week Hybels said: “After that video I would like to acknowledge that there are women in this room and they have spiritual gifts.”
Driscoll’s video/CD was not banned, they were available to attendees in Orlando.
Driscoll is not a misunderstood victim.

Blogs talking about Driscoll’s ‘banned video’ make Technorati top 10, is skilled marketing by Mars Hill at others expense.

15

Larry B 05.01.07 at 3:44 pm

I would just refer the OP to Richards post immediately prior to this one.

16

David Faulkner 05.01.07 at 3:46 pm

There’s an account of what did and didn’t go on at the conference in question on Tall Skinny Kiwi’s blog .

17

David Faulkner 05.01.07 at 3:47 pm

Sorry - tried to add URL for Tall Skinny Kiwi: try this.

18

John 05.01.07 at 5:07 pm

dh said …
do however, disagree with you not believeing that Grace can be “tough Grace” in that Paul mentions “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and rulers of this dark and present evil age.” So to say there isn’t any “fighting for Jesus” (if I’m infering correctly from your response) seems to false in light of the NT and OT (Scripture) says.

What I was reacting to specifically was his comment that “by the grace of God we have to force” people to do x or y. The juxtaposition of “grace” and “force” refering to our actions struck a bad chord for me.

This is probably my Arminianism coming out. Even God does not force us to accept salvation. If He does not, how do we humans force it down others’ throats?

That said, I think you infer properly that I am uncomfortable with the “fighting for Jesus” language and imagery when it turns militant like this.

I know first hand that grace can be tough. Words of love can be rebukes. Powers and principalities are not passive enemies of God’s kingdom. But I think the warrior language can easily turn from “you must be strong with God to not submit to evil” to “you must kill your enemies.”

19

Mark Byron 05.01.07 at 5:42 pm

Driscoll seems to be in a genre of evangelical thought that calls for a machoization of the church to reach the guy who isn’t interested in the touchy-feely Jesus of the modern praise chorus.

His concept of the church planter seems to be that he’s less of a pure pastor and more of a spiritual Green Beret in enemy territory, developing a cadre of guys who are on fire for God to expand the Kingdom out from, more a teacher and mentor than a shepherd. That’s not too far off, but he seems to have a too-worldly take on the 21st century guy and what the church should be offering him.

I’m not the sex-and-money crazed guy that he seems to be marketing to, but there is a market for what he’s offering. I’m still digesting whether what Driscoll is up to is expanding God’s kingdom or distracting from it.

It’s not the cup of tea for most of the folks here, including myself, and as a conservative-leaning American, I’m probably more in Driscoll’s camp than most. However, there are a lot of churches that aren’t my cup of tea but that are reaching people that need to be reached in ways that a church that I’d be comfortable in wouldn’t reach.

One advantage of a diversity of styles of presenting the Gospel is that it reaches a broader swath of people than a single stock model. Consider that idea before you bash the John Wayne Gospel too much.

20

John 05.01.07 at 6:56 pm

One advantage of a diversity of styles of presenting the Gospel is that it reaches a broader swath of people than a single stock model. Consider that idea before you bash the John Wayne Gospel too much.

A word of truth - as long as what does finally reach the people remains the gospel.

21

dh 05.01.07 at 9:21 pm

John, I see your point and you and I (while it may appear we are way off) are not too far off. However, I think what Driscol is saying might be taken out of context. I think the context for the “type” of the “relay of the Gospel” is based on accurately discerning the type of person who is hearing the Gospel who is outside of the Kingdom. Some people would be “turned away” or have “their hearts hardened” by this type of “presentation”. This points to Believers to “rightfully discern” the audience of the Gospel. When a person is so hard hearted like Pharoah or like many of this present generation, a tough message is needed to “wake them up out of their stupor”. To others in this generation a “kind word of soft Grace to soften ones heart” is needed. So while I agree that Driscols message of delivery CAN (in the extreme cases) be bad, I also think there is a time for his type of message that turns out to be in those cases the most appropriate. When one reads about the past revivals in Wales, Azuza street, early 1800’s with John Whitfield, Billy Sunday, etc. you can see how the message was “tough love and Grace” with a “repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand” type message and the response by the audience and/or generation to these people “woke them out of their stupor” and many hundreds of thousands of people came to Christ and entered the Kingdom of God. At the same time, when one reads about Billy Graham and the Jesus movement of the 1960’s and 70’s the message was a soft message of Grace to a hurting world of people who needed someone to stand with them in their grief for encouragement to accept Christ as their Savior. Many hundreds of thousands of people came to Christ and entered the Kingdom of God under this type of message as well. So you see, we can’t just use a blank statement like Richard and Kim use to these type of messages because there are times and places for each type of message. It is all a matter of the strong responsibility of Believers who are sharing the Gospel with proper discernment or on one hand people enter the Kingdom of God or the other hand the message is a “clanging gong and a clanging cymbel”. I hope John and Mark Byron you are both encourged encouraged by my statements. I admire those who are balanced like yourselves and I appreciate those who keep people from being extreme but at the same time don’t reject outright those things that can be so beneficial to the Kingdom of God. May God truly bless you both. Your fellow brothers in Christ. DH

22

dh 05.01.07 at 9:29 pm

It is also a matter of defining “force it down others’ throats”. Some may say a message of “repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand” is forcing and at times, if not discrning the audience of the Gospel, it can be that but other times it is not the case and therefore NEEDED to “wake them out of their stupor”. I hope this gives further clarification to what I said previously. Before we state a particular “delivery of the Gospel” is wrong/good we discern: 1) the particular audience to whom the Gospel is presented and 2) the attitude/heart of the deliverer giving the Gospel (is it for God’s glory or man’s Glory). Does this make sense guys? Do any of you have further insight into the discussion and reponses given in addition to my response here? Any thoughts?

23

BD 05.01.07 at 9:55 pm

There have been some excellent comments here, thank you.

I needed a reality check.
I did see Tall Skinny Kiwi John, that’s what sent me off looking for people that had been at the conference, sourcing the buzz.

Internet Monk has a good correction for Driscoll Mark, on a different vein than what we pursued here. He takes the ‘John Wayne’ gospel and deals with it very clearly, an older paster to a younger.

I agree God uses whomever he will, and I’m not bashing this video because his style isn’t my cup of tea.
People here at connexions are not squeamish, nor are they ignorant of the urban environment, or pastoring or planting.
I don’t see the usual Calvin/Armenian squabble either, (Yay!) there have been well thought out responses.

At least we are talking about what/why/how.

I don’t think putting military imagery on the world wide web for the church of Jesus Christ is wise. Not in the spirit is was tossed out here. Not one bit.

If you are that well known as a leader not correcting your information is unethical, at least we didn’t get tangled up here about it being ‘banned.’
The larger message got through and this has been an interesting conversation.

This is foreign, the difficulty of the presentation and message goes beyond a cultural motif or a theological camp.
I’m impressed at how clearly commenters have laid out what they heard, about what they agree and disagree with and why.

24

Richard 05.01.07 at 11:32 pm

Mark wrote: “I’m not the sex-and-money crazed guy that he seems to be marketing to, but there is a market for what he’s offering.”

There’s a market, sure. But proclaiming the gospel isn’t marketing. If this video is representative, what Driscoll is offering may be popular but whether it is true to the gospel of Jesus Christ I’m not at all sure.

25

Mike 05.02.07 at 5:36 am

Driscoll Is Great!

He sometimes uses a turn of phrase that makes you cringe, but his message is spot on. Men are the core of any church and, unfortunately, many men have bought into the idea that being being masculine and leading as God intended is somehow sexist or out of touch with modern mores. Wake up! We are in a battle and emasculized, passive metrosexuals are not the hope for the future of the church. Rather, men who boldly lead and love as Christ did will transform a church influenced and twisted by worldliness.

26

Pam 05.02.07 at 5:46 pm

Men are the core of any church and, unfortunately, many men have bought into the idea that being being masculine and leading as God intended is somehow sexist or out of touch with modern mores. Wake up! We are in a battle and emasculized, passive metrosexuals are not the hope for the future of the church.

This “masculine” (sic) version of Christianity that Driscoll is pushing is, in my opinion, everything that Jesus preached against. This form of religion puts success and numbers and power at its core; it’s about “and the first shall be first and the last shall be last.”

The reason that the church is full of the elderly is because the elderly are the last who shall be first; they are among the forgotten people in Western society.

I can understand that young men want the power and the privilege that they see men of the past having had in the church; but that doesn’t make that model of Christianity correct.

27

dh 05.02.07 at 6:01 pm

One said the “Gospel isn’t marketing” but does this statement from Romans 10:14 sound like marketing “How can they hear in whom they haven’t heard and how they hear without a preacher?” or “The Great Commission”. I will say that 1 Cor 1:17 says “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” that sharing the Gospel should be under the Spirit and not solely under “mans wisdom”. So I agree with you there. However, let me leave you with one quetsion: Wouldn’t sharing or preaching the Gospel actually be “Marketing under the power of the Holy Spirit”? When I read the definition of marketing it sure does come close to sharing the Gospel and preaching only with the addtion of being under the power of the Holy Spirit. Any thoughts? I know many react to marketing but when one looks at the definition of the terms and the like then one can get by the symantics of the terms and get away from the intitial reactions therein.

P.S. Richard, to judge and say that “you aren’t sure” on what Driscol says is the Gospel I think is really judgemental in light of the responses and replys here clarifying and understanding Driscols statements. When one understands the balance of how the Holy Spirit draws people and gets away from the rejection outright from pop culture (no one can tell anyone anything, that there is no personal responsibiity and that no definitive statements should be agreed to) then one can discern the Spirit as opposed to human spirit. (if you get my drift on the capitalization).

28

Richard 05.02.07 at 7:19 pm

DH - I know we’ve had this conversation (or something very like it) before, and I didn’t convince you then. I suppose there is no reason to suppose that I’ll convince you now. But let me try anyway.
I think we operate with different understandings of what ‘marketing’ is. You appear to believe it is no more than (as it were) ‘advertising and selling’ and from that point of view the verses you quote do sound a bit like marketing. But in reality, marketing is more than simply offering goods for sale as attractively as possible. Marketing has to do with determining the desires of a customer, and then fulfilling those desires. It may not seem like much of a distinction, but actually the difference is profound. In business terms, it is the distinction between product research — how do we make the best widgets? — and market research — how do we persuade people to buy our widgets?

What Driscoll is doing is much more than changing the packaging. He is tailoring his product (God, forgive me for using this language!) to match the perceived needs of his target market. In doing so, I believe he is doing violence to the content of the gospel. You can’t use the kind of macho ‘chicks are cool but it takes a real man to be an evangelist’ language without changing what the gospel says. At least, that’s what i think.

29

dh 05.02.07 at 8:58 pm

but aren’t we supposed to share the Gospel as attractively as possible to the Glory of God under the power of the Holy Spirit? Doesn’t the Bible mention (in reference to sharing the Gospel) “sprinkled with salt”? Isn’t “sprinkling with salt” offering the Gospel as attractively as possible? Shouldn’t we take into consideration the context of the audience who is hearing the Gospel to make it as attractive as possible? Isn’t that the whole idea of Jesus using parables? To help them understand and/or attractive to the people? So in the broader context what is such the big deal with “marketing the Gospel” when even using the “making attractive” Scripture addresses it? I will say the bigger issue is under the power of the Holy Spirit and for the Glory of God. If one does the “marketing of the Gospel” without the Holy Spirit then I will agree it is a “clanging gong”. However, that is besides the point in this conversation when address those who have the problem with the term. I believe the “problem with the term” is misguided and should be addressed to those who “share the Gospel” not under the power of the Holy Spirit as opposed to the term “marketing the Gospel” outright. This also can be besides the point when proper “discernment of the Spirit” is needed to determine if the person “marketing the Gospel” is outside or under the power of the Holy Spirit. One must correctly “divide the word of truth” and therefore be very careful when saying “one is not under the power of the Holy Spirit” when in fact they are and vice versa.

I do agree that women and men have an equal calling in sharing the Gospel but I don’t believe Driscol said this particular phrase “‘chicks are cool but it takes a real man to be an evangelist’. I think he is saying women and men need to be free to operate within the calling God has given them as Believers and if one is not a Believer they need to become one and as Believers do ALL that God has called you to do with no holding back no matter how it may be received. (this is a side issue from the “making attractive part” because some will not respond no matter how attractive it may be presented under the Holy Spirit.) I believe women can be part of the “macho thing” you call out. The scripture “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and power and rulers of this present dark and evil age.” applies to ALL people and I believe Driscol would agree with me on that one. With the concept of “Spiritual warfare” explained then I don’t believe Driscol is doing violence to the context of the Gospel. I believe it is a misunderstanding of Driscol for people to believe that from the statements he has made and a taking out of context the statements of Driscol as well.

Richard, does this all make sense? If you would like clarification let me know. With these issues it is easy to overgeneralize and that is what in a discussion should be eliminated or at least reduced as much as possible the effect therein. I really have enjoyed this discussion. I think I see a little into what you think on this but I still think you are actually reacting to those who share the Gospel under mans power alone and not under the power of the Holy Spirit with regard to Driscol and for that I think that might be a “hasty generalization”, misunderstanding or a potential, I repeat potential lack of discernment of what the Holy Spirit is doing or not doing through God’s people. I’m not saying you are incorrect in your analysis because it can be hard to “know the heart” of people sharing or receiving the Gospel. I’m just saying care and thoughtfulness is needed before saying what you are saying. I sense you are “trying” but it is more a misunderstanding and an overgenerlaization with regard to Driscols words. I’m not saying the response is inappropriate because many times how something is said makes people “cringe” not unlike when you use the term “fundamentalist” losely and my reaction therein (using a personal, humble example of myself for proper analogy). Does that make sense? :)

30

Pam 05.02.07 at 11:09 pm

DH, Driscoll is an outspoken supporter of ‘complimentarianism’ - the new politically correct word for male-headship. Complimentarians most certainly believe that women must not teach or lead men.

Sure, women can be part of “the macho thing”. My only problem with that is that “the macho thing” is against the teachings of Jesus and is anti-Christian. Conservative American Christians (speaking as a person born and raised in that genre) have been preaching this macho anti-Christianity for generations. It’s 180 degrees the opposite of what Jesus taught. They may be conservative Americans but they ain’t Christians.

31

dh 05.03.07 at 2:52 pm

Pam, it is my understanding of Driscoll that you might misunderstand a little what he is saying with regard to women in leadership. His views (if I understand him fully and I think I do) don’t say that women can’t teach or lead men but that there must be a male (head covering) for that to be done. He is not against women teaching or leading men altogether but that there must be a covering. Therefore, Anne Graham, Joni Erickson-Tada, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, etc are support6ed by Driscoll. I know many men who have been taught and led by these wonderful Christian women in leadership and it is my understanding that Driscoll’s views support these women. I also don’t believe his views are against women who preach but are under a covering by way of being a co-pastor or associate pastor in the church. Therefore, I don’t believe his views are against women preaching altogether as well. I agree with these views and I don’t believe they are anti-Christian or that I’m not a Christian or that Driscoll is not a Christian. Jesus never addressed women or men for that matter in leadership. However, God through the Apostle Paul DOES mention these things. I will say in total support of you that any Christian who says women can’t preach or teach altogeth is wrong and un-biblical. Does this specifically make them not Christians? no but it is definitiely un-biblical. If my understanding of Driscoll is wrong and he is against women preaching or teaching altogeth I will “eat my words” “retrack them” and 100% agree with you (other than the “ain’t Christians part).

32

John 05.03.07 at 5:19 pm

dh said …

I admire those who are balanced like yourselves and I appreciate those who keep people from being extreme but at the same time don’t reject outright those things that can be so beneficial to the Kingdom of God. May God truly bless you both. Your fellow brothers in Christ. DH

I would say it is less balance than it is absolute conviction that I don’t know all (or many) of the answers.

I appreciate the distinction between Billy Sunday and Billy Graham that you make. I am not convinced that Mr. Driscoll would make the same distinction. I do wonder if he would say Billy Graham is giving us the gay hippie Jesus.

I also think Richard makes an important point about marketing. Here is a secular example. When Honda starting building cars for the US market - as opposed to just exporting their Japanese cars - they had to figure out what Americans wanted in a car. One way they did this was by hanging out at Disneyland to see how Americans used the truck of their car. (This story comes from a book called Competing for the Future)

My point?

Marketing is not just about sprinkling your message with salt. It is about redesigning the entire product to meet the needs of a market. There is an important difference.

My ears - and from limited hearing of Driscoll’s message - I hear some re-engineering of the gospel going on here. Maybe I’m wrong about that. It could be that once he gets people in the door his vision of discipleship loses some of the blood and sex edge.

33

Pam 05.03.07 at 5:21 pm

Thanks for the clarity, DH. I do not believe in the concept of “covering” either. Neither for women nor for men. (If the “for men” reference is obscure, there are places where men are considered covered by other, more “senior” men in the congregation.)

34

dh 05.03.07 at 6:00 pm

Well, I guess I do believe in covering for men as well. When John Mark was under Barnabas and the Apostle Paul he was under the “covering of senior men”. Even when the Apostle Paul, Barnabas, etc. were under the “covering of the church” they all considered themselves under the “covering of the church from Jerusalem”, etc. I will say for further clarification that in one situation “senior” and in another situation “covering” doesn’t make the one “covering people” greater than the people being covered because all are equal in God sight “other than the differences based on levels of Sanctification” but it is a matter of gifting and category than status and whos better.

35

dh 05.03.07 at 6:22 pm

John, Richard never mentioned “redesigning the whole product to be more attractive”. He mentioned “Marketing has to do with determining the desires of a customer, and then fulfilling those desires.” How is this particular view of marketing not sharing the Gospel? To me sharing the Gospel is more than just sending the message. One must take into consideration the people who the message is being sent to. This must be under the Holy Spirit and the Bible mentions this as “discernment”. One must discern what the needs, personality, etc. of non-Believers and share the Gospel without going against God’s Word. I don’t see that type of understanding of the Gospel as negative or reject it because it seems like Martketing. To me if we just share the Gospel without taking into the consideration the needs of the people then in one sense we are a “clanging gong to them” and in another sense “it isn’t mixed with salt”. Heck, Jesus took into consideration the audience of the message He gave which was the Gospel. He recognized that people were sick and healed the sick, when they were poor He fed them, He used parables (it seems equal to the Honda example) to make the message more attractive (if anyone knows about parables back then no Jewish leader used parables it was revolutionary to use parables not unlike the “redisigning” you mentioned with the Honda cars), etc. One should reject outright the fact that the Gospel IS Marketing under the power of the Holy Spirit. I have no problem with this nor should anyone else. However, when the relaying of the Gospel message goes against Scripture or is not under the power of the Holy Spirit then that is another thing. In that case I would say the opposite. Does that make sense?

36

dh 05.03.07 at 6:24 pm

“One SHOULDN’T reject outright…” sorry for the typo. :( on my part the weekend is almost here. :)

37

Ted 05.15.07 at 5:20 am

I have listened to quite a few messages from Mark Driscoll on itunes. He has mentioned in the Spiritual Gifts teachings from the 1 Corinthians series last year that women and men (as a whole) can have all the gifts of the spirit. He differentiates between having the office of pastor and the gift of pastoring. I recommend that some of you actually listen to more of what Mark is preaching and get over yourselves. Don’t limit your knowledge of Mark to the few video’s he has appeared in. Let go of what you desire and listen to what he is saying. You may not like his metephorical way of communicating (he can be quite bombastic) but you have to consider who his audience is. Mark communicates everything he says with his Seattle audience in mind as his audience. He cares alot more that the lost in Seattle understand what he is saying than the “religous” community approving of his methods or approach. I’m a Methodist from Georgia and I can get what he is doing.

38

Bene D 05.15.07 at 1:41 pm

“I recommend that some of you actually listen to more of what Mark is preaching and get over yourselves.”

Some of us have Ted, and you are correct,
I think we appreciate he has a unique audience, and some of us actually have gone past a few video.

I get what he is doing, but I’m not from Georgia or Seattle, nor are most commenters here and personally I’ve had quite enough of the guy.
This isn’t about believers from countries represented here needing to get over ourselves.

He can do whatever he wants, what he believes God has called him to.
You are correct, his approach is uniquely US-centric, that’s fine.

He has copious opportunity to work where people get what he is doing and can approve his methods and approach.
He is our brother, God bless him.

39

dh 05.15.07 at 5:02 pm

Thanks Ted for the clarification. It DOES seem people are misunderstanding his position and that he DOEs seperate the office of pastor and the gift of pastoring and that he DOES approve of women like Joyce Meyer, Anne Graham-Lotz, Joni Erickson-Tada, Beth Moore and the like but only in terms of the covering by a male pastor. It seems to me from your reply he doesn’t have a problem with women co-pastors which I too approve of. To me this isn’t a US centric issue but a biblical one. We may disagree but to lambast Mark Driscoll without doing any research into what he truly believes or attempt to define what he is trying to say I think does a disservice to the body of Christ. I have heard many hear use terms that get misinterpreted or taken out of context. To reject outright without looking at the context, defintions and/or what he truly believes really is.

I too agree with Ted on this and it seems that BD still seems to use flatery that seems different than what he has said previously with regard to Mark. I still stand by Ted on his statement here: “I recommend that some of you actually listen to more of what Mark is preaching and get over yourselves. Don’t limit your knowledge of Mark to the few video’s he has appeared in.”

To me the audience doesn’t matter except to a point. As long as what is said is consistent with Scripture and the heart is right when saying it then really it doesn’t matter except to a point. No man knows the heart of a person but God but the fruit of being consistent with Scripture is clearly evident in Mark Driscoll.

40

Peter 10.31.07 at 6:52 pm

Just to let you know Mark Driscoll is coming to Edinburgh in November to do a men’s conference and leaders event… if you’re interested check out http://www.menmakers.co.uk

41

s. dahlheim 11.23.07 at 9:38 pm

Dissent at Driscoll’s church is not tolerated.
It was once an elder-led church, with a plurality of elders sharing equal authority. Now, Driscoll and a handful of his hand-picked buddies control a fortune in real-estate and funds, they are no longer elected but have lifetime tenure, and his elders have been stripped of authority.

More: http://blogs.king5.com/citizenrain/2007/11/controversy_brewing_at_seattle.html

42

Nrpeugh 10.15.10 at 1:31 am

You misunderstand his teachings on women. He clearly states in numerous sermons men and women are equal. His teachings I tend to agree with; his vocabulary and aggressiveness is what throws me off a little.

43

Richard 10.15.10 at 7:35 am

No, I think I understand Driscoll’s teachings on women….

44

PamBG 10.15.10 at 11:13 am

“Ontologically equal and functionally subservient” is of the same order as Segregationist “Separate but equal” or George Orwell’s “All animals are created equal but some are created more equal than others.”

It’s amazing how people can seriously think that “Ontologically equal and functionally subservient” can be a statement of equality when it comes to men an women but if someone said that about Jewish people or Pakistani people or what have you, it would be quite clear that the statement really meant “We don’t think they’re equal and we don’t want to interact with them on an equal footing.”

45

Kim 10.15.10 at 11:56 am

I trust, Pam, that you put on your head-scarf before submittting your comment (cf. I Corinthians 11:2ff.). ;)

46

Tony 10.15.10 at 1:41 pm

The only thing I agree with is that many people (both in and out of the church) do have the wrong idea about Jesus. Apart from that, I think Driscoll is likely to be an abusive pastor who leaves a trail of hurt and damaged people in his wake. This is not the way of Jesus.

47

PamBG 10.15.10 at 2:12 pm

My experience is that it’s a minority opinion in male-headship congregations that women are allowed to preach even with a headscarf.

And, at least in my day, people were quite straightforward about saying that women were inferior. All this complementarian stuff is just obfuscation. I guess it helps people to deceive themselves that this really is “equality”.

(Oops, am I allowed to use a big word like “obfuscation”?) ;-)

48

dh 10.15.10 at 4:45 pm

I agree with Nrpeugh. Pam mentioned “but if someone said that about Jewish people or Pakistani people or what have you, it would be quite clear that the statement really meant “We don’t think they’re equal and we don’t want to interact with them on an equal footing.”

I have a different opinion than you but I don’t follow or believe with this thought in mind. I believe that seems to be an extreme overgeneralization. At my church we have a woman pastor but I have no problem with it in that the woman pastor is a “co-pastor”. (headscarf is in reference to headship as refered to in the passages around this one for proper context with no pretext).

I’m sorry people told you straight up that woman were inferior. That truly is not the case with me or others that I have associated with with regard to woman not preaching in church. I’m sorry you believe we are deceived. I do agree that there are some, in fact many, who have the view of woman that you refered to. They are the ones that give the rest a bad name.

49

PamBG 10.15.10 at 11:37 pm

I believe that seems to be an extreme overgeneralization. At my church we have a woman pastor but I have no problem with it in that the woman pastor is a “co-pastor”

How about “Well, I don’t want an African-American being President, but I would have been OK with the color of his skin if there had been a white man who had the real leadership standing over him.”? That’s OK then, is it?

50

Richard 10.16.10 at 1:31 am

Once we start letting these people get ideas above their station, who knows where it might lead?

51

Kim 10.16.10 at 10:04 am

Pope Palin (also known as Grizzly the Great)?

52

PamBG 10.16.10 at 1:54 pm

Uppity women and minorities are the destruction of civil society. ;-)

53

Tony 10.19.10 at 12:30 pm

I agree with PamBG - the idea that men and women are equal, but only men can hold the office of pastor is a prime example of a cognitive disssonance. It does not compute!!

If men and women are equal that then they should be able to equally do all roles in the church. Otherwise they are not equal.

I just came across a paper by Rich Nathan, a Vineyard pastor from the USA, on this subject: http://www.joshuahouse.org/mediafiles/women-in-leadership-paper.pdf

(I don’t agree with everything Nathan believes, but in this case I think he’s spot on).

54

Noname 01.03.13 at 6:36 am

He is ordained.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>