December 16, 2017

The Driscoll Debate: iMonk vs Turk, Part 2

skelUPDATE: Justin D. Barnard at Mere Comments has a much more useful and on point critique of Driscoll here.

First of all, let me thank Frank for the opportunity to have a good discussion about the issue of pastoral accountability in the internet age (a very important topic) and for having such a constructive and positive dialog. Though I expect to be denounced to the lower reaches of the pit by a couple of commenters at his place, Frank’s been a first class conversation partner, and has said nice things about another post of mine to boot.

I have very little to say in response to Frank’s SECOND POST, available now at his blog, but I will say a bit.

Frank’s conception of a “global pulpit” or “addressing the global church” is a slippery, ultimately subjective concept that primarily seems to be meaningful in the minds of a small group of theo-bloggers. I think that a room full of non-internet using Christians, even conservative ones, would need considerable help working with Frank’s idea that the orthodoxy of the “global church” is presided over by an unelected jury of successful pastors such as John Macarthur and C.J. Mahaney.

In fact, as meaningful as the ministry of Piper, Macarthur et al are to me and many of us, I’d step to the microphone and have to stand in a long line to say that none of those men exercise any authority over me other than as brothers in Christ from whom I may receive a rebuke.

As many of you may know, in April of 2006, I was fisked for three days by James White at Alpha and Omega Ministries. (I am a big fan of Dr. White and benefit greatly from his ministry. I am not in any way disrespecting him with this illustration. For apologetics, he is the best.)

I was never contacted by Mr. White. I was never informed by his elder board or his ministry board that I was out of line with my influence on the “global church.” I had never mentioned Mr. White or contacted him. Yet Mr. White held me up before his audience for several days, working through a post I had written on the differences I had with some versions of being a “reformed Baptist.” It was a thoroughly public scouring.

Mr. White’s well known chat room crew apparently passed on my post as treading destructively on the subject of reformed orthodoxy, and someone must have said I was a rising liberal, emerging voice disguised as a Calvinist, who needed his wings clipped. Mr. White performed surgery on me, in public on his blog, for three days. I didn’t like it BUT IT WAS HIS PERFECT RIGHT TO DO SO.

In considering this incident of public rebuke from a brother- and that is what it was and that is what I evaluate it as- Mr. White was not dealing with me as a church member under his care. He has no covenanted authority over me to which I have ever agreed to submit. His place as an elder in a church and his position of respect and popularity still create NO FORMAL RELATIONSHIP to which I must respond.

What I must do is ask “Is God speaking to me through this rebuke?” If I judge that God is speaking to me, then- and this is important- I am not to go to Mr. White for further instructions on how to repent and what repentance is adequate. I am to go to those leaders to whom I am accountable.

Or- and this also is crucial- we might ask why Mr. White didn’t seek out my elders- I have three levels of authority over me- and inform them that I was disagreeing with the reformed faith. Of course, those to whom I am accountable would likely have heard all those rebukes with puzzlement because their theological commitments are different than Mr. White’s.

Now—I agree that my blogging put me on a larger stage, and I agree that once on that stage, others on that stage may rebuke, react or correct.

I agree that I must consider this as the possible work of the Spirit.

But there exists NO WORKABLE AUTHORITY STRUCTURE that involves Frank Turk or any other internet critic that can place these Driscoll issues out of the realm of rebuke and into the realm of specific accountable repentance, i.e. we know when he’s repented, how and if it was sufficient.

The only way we will know that Driscoll has repented is, apparently, when Frank says so, and as much as I trust and affirm Frank, I’m simply not ready to sign on to giving individuals- pastors, bloggers, etc- that kind of jury duty.

Frank has a standard of repentance in his mind that he derives from scripture and experience. I’m sure it’s wonderful. But I have not agreed to it, and unless Frank has contacted the Mars Hill elders, I don’t think anyone else has agreed to it.

Who has the last word on Driscoll? The blogger in the UK who says Driscoll is a Jesus rejecting apostate who teaches Jesus was a pervert? The people on the floor of the SBC who haven’t listened to or read a word of Driscoll? The mob with torches in Missouri who clearly loath Driscoll as a danger to the church? The major pastor who indicted Driscoll in 4 posts on his blog? Some assortment of bloggers and pastors?

If it’s the global church here, do we need to call a church council, or will the theo-blogosphere just have to do? Will we all get an email, telling us when Driscoll is all right?

I will say this again: Anyone can critique, rebuke or protest. When angry feminists protested at his church, he invited them in and listened. Blog away, Frank and Co. It’s MD’s responsibility to listen to you. But when it comes to what does adequate repentance look like, your opinions are going to be just that- Opinions. Only his elders can hold him formally accountable.

Comments

  1. HOW DARE YOU! How dare you treat these things in such a rational, spiritual and gracious manner?!?

    Seriously, I think the way you’re looking at the issue is the only responsible way to do so. Or as Paul put it, “to his own Master he stands or falls.” I’m not a fan of Driscoll, or an accuser of him – frankly, his impact on my life has been close to nil, about the same as that of Piper and MacArthur. But regardless of what you, me or Rev. Tinkling Brass has to say, he has to be answerable to God and the people God puts in authority over him. That’s the only way it works … much to the disappointment of some, I suppose.

  2. I am going to double post this on your blog and Frank’s blog.

    Could the solution perhaps be the solution of the Early Church? When one has a debate that is so strong that it is splitting the Church, then one gets together to “have no little debate” about it, Acts 15. If it takes Seven Ecumenical Councils to solve a bunch of problems, then that is the way one has to go.

    The Orthodox would agree that the Church was in need of Reformation in the Middle Ages. But, we would also point to this type of discussion as precisely the tragedy of the Reformation. In its insistence on sola scriptura to the exclusion of the possibility of the Church as a visible entity, the Reformation made impossible the solution to dilemmas such as the current debate over Mark Driscoll.

    The divisions in the Church and the resultant inability to even agree on what Scripture is saying mean that it is somewhat useless to argue about Mark Driscoll in a “global” setting. One can only argue about Pastor Driscoll in a very limited local setting (such as the USA) and then argue that, somehow, this has global implications. The sad news? It does not. In fact, most Christians in the USA will not even realize that the discussion has taken place as they do not travel in the circles in which the discussion is viewed as being important.

  3. You had me until…. It’s MD’s responsibility to listen to you.

    Really? MD (much less anyone in the blogosphere) has a responsibility to listen to Frank? I think no.

  4. sue kephart says:

    First I want to say that I am sorry you had this bad experience with this man Mr. White. This is not how Christian people need to treat each other. Regarding this Mark Driscoll fellow I would agree with Fr. Ernesto in that most of the Christian world has never heard of this fellow or this dispute so it is hardly a global setting.

    Guarding anothers reputation is a Christian value. Even if we don’t agree with the guy or his ideas. We don’t gossip or blog hateful things about someone else. If we have a dispute with someone we take it to them privately.

    Since your tradition is not set up as mine I don’t know who holds authority to discipline this man if that is what is needed. But I don’t suppose it is bloggers or others who are not part of his church.

    As far as him influencing others there is a world of stuff in the religious realm that can influence others. Are we doing our jobs in teaching people to be discerning when reading or listening to a whole host of material?

  5. On Frank’s blog commenter Ben searched the web and found the offense that Driscoll is being harangued about. (I attempted to post over there but for some “strange reason” my comments never show up in the meta. I think he banned me after the baptism discussion.

    Ben said
    “So he quoted Ecclesiastes 9:10 (“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”) in a joking manner when asked about masturbation being a sin.”

    This is what this whole dust up is about? Really? (It’s actually a pretty funny joke.)

    Frank, in your effort to show how this is an offense you urge your readers to try this affirmation on for size, as though this is the position of those who disagree with you and repeating it will get them to see how wrong Driscoll is.

    “According to the Bible’s standard for Christian behavior, anyone should be allowed to make jokes about masturbation in public without any shame.”

    In addition to being such a roundabout way of arguing the point as to be obtuse, it is also completely nonsensical.

    The bible never addresses telling jokes in public without shame. This statement makes your beef with him center on his lack of shame for a joke he told.

    Try something a little more clear and able to be proven or refuted like “Scripture absolutely forbids joking about masturbation.” Keep it in the realm of sin or no sin,not some amorphous feelings “of shame” arbitrarily determined by by people who differ in sensitivity of conscience and faith.

    As to your second assertion,

    “The objective of Christian sanctification is that we should strive toward becoming ashamed of things which we do which the Bible does not define as sin.”

    My question is who made that up? You?

    To say that Christians should be morally ashamed of things not clearly condemned in Scripture as sin is to bind them up under false guilt, and place upon them the same load of man made religion that the Pharisees laid on the backs of others but were unwilling to lift a finger to ease.

    C’mon, dude,you seem way too sensitive about this masturbation thing. 🙂

  6. Ben Cheney says:

    Patrick – fwiw, I find Frank’s Haloscan thing to be pretty flaky, especially if you try and post after using the “preview” function. If your comment doesn’t show up there, try reloading the comments page and copying your post in, and publish without previewing. Hope that helps, unless you are actually banned in which case you’re on your own! 🙂

  7. Patrick,

    I think the assertion about being ashamed of actions not clearly defined as sin ties in with an earlier post of Michael’s this week.

    I think it has to do with Paul’s statement that “All things are lawful but not all things are profitable”, and the conviction of not a few Christians that ultimately anything not spiritually profitable (idle words, vain babblings) should be avoided (1Tim 6:20, 2Tim 2:16); that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom 14:23, I don’t think that’s what it means, but I have heard it quoted to support this notion).

    And of course Christians of all traditions have a Tradition of interpreting Scripture pretty widely — masturbation is a case in point, the only direct reference condemns Onan’s denial of offspring to his brother’s wife, everything else Christians have had to say about it throughout church history is based on conjecture and extrapolation and while much of it makes sense it is no more binding on anyone’s conscience than MD’s jokular assertion that it should be done with all one’s might (even though it sounds more pious).

  8. Werther says:

    Am I right in assuming that these are names of famous American Baptists?

  9. Expanding the circle of authority over individual pastors (i.e. the “global” church”) will only increase the number of those who might be personally offended by that pastor, and will not improve the effectiveness of discipline. If anything, it would lead to a bureaucratic morass with little impact whatsoever.

    This is like expecting a Washington official in the Department of Education to deal with a student out in the middle of the country who somehow gets on national television and butchers the English language in an interview. “I seen the plane crash over yonder.”

    Good grief, before you know it, we’d have self-appointed evangelical watchers dissing Sister Wendy Beckett for showing a nude statue in one of her art critiques.

    The other issue I have with this concept is this: Who gets to decide when wrong has been done and who put those individuals in charge?

    Popularity does not equal correctness and the ability to stir up the blogosphere with heated rhetoric does not qualify one to a position of authority.

    Disagreement, debate and criticism are one thing, but the expectation of control is another thing altogether, and at the risk of a DC investigation into my educational background, I have this to say: You ain’t the boss of me.

  10. I think I can hazard a guess about when Frank would consider Driscoll repentant: When he stops selling his “apostate” books; has new books published in which he recants his emergent views and preaches “traditional” theology; deletes all online sermons under his control that have bad words in them and reference sex; dismantles the Acts 29 church-planting movement or at least no longer associates with the churches planted; and resigns his high-profile pastorate until such time as he can demonstrate via low-level, public ministry that he has been correctly discipled.

  11. dac:

    It would be good to finish that thought. It’s my responsibility to listen to critical voices and determine if God is using them to speak to me. Considerably different.

  12. Let me give two examples where a public mechanism for repentance of public sins was set up- in both cases beyond the local church- and NO ONE BUYS IT even though the authorities say all is going well.

    Todd Bentley
    Ted Hagggard

    Let me give one where I do buy it:

    Gordon Macdonald

  13. I’m not from his church or area, but I’m fairly sure that in Gordon’s case, the repentance was intensely private FIRST, including all the necessary parties esp. those in authority over him. The public announcements came LATER, as they should. This step was appreciated, but I’m not too sure it was ‘necessary’. Sure increased my respect for the dude, he could preach at my church any day.

    Greg R

  14. Haven’t read Frank’s second post, but I will later today (I can only take his blog in small amounts), but I do appreciate the topic discussed, THANKS IMonk and Frank for that.

    The only things effectively done with Franks set up are:

    1)colossal amounts of time and band width wasted.

    2)prided manufactured in enormous, unheard of amounts as we concratulate ourselves for another “chastening” well done (whether received or not). Gag me.

  15. For those who don’t know, Christian teacher and author Gordon Macdonald had an affair while he was President (?) of Inter Varsity. He resigned, went through a long process of restoration, and is back in useful ministry. The matter is referred to in Macdonald’s writing in a general way- no details- but I know of no one who isn’t impressed with the process, the seriousness or the changes.

    greg r: Macdonald had a serious private process and its up to the evangelical world to buy the results or not. I assume apologies were part of that, but they weren’t to the world in general, at least not that I read, other than what he says in books like Rebuilding Your Broken World.

  16. ms

    …listen to critical voices and determine if God is using them to speak to me

    Sure. Absolutely. But there is a range of value to be placed on those voices. My wife and kids? Number one. My pastor? Top of the list. My church leaders? Right up there. My small group members and other church members that know me – also at the top.

    Everyone else? Not so close. I am not going to waste any sleep over internet meanderings by a bunch of self styled vigilantes on the web. They can say what they want – they may even be right, upon occasion – but to place any serious value on what they have to say about me? No.

  17. Oh I totally agree. But God speaks through Balaam’s donkey and even through me sometimes. So you never know.

  18. While I am definitely a fan of MD and I do agree with the idea of the local church handling any sin in his life and ministry, I also think that it is naive to think that his elders are going to do anything about this. Given the history of his church, I would be shocked if any of his elders are not in lock-step with him about how to “do church.” Therefore, it is unlikely that Mars Hill is going to do anything about his behavior.

    Oh, and I think the joke using Ecclesiastes was brilliant. It is a great example of how someone uses proof-texting to make a point. By making that joke I think MD illustrated the clear absurdity of the argument, which was the point.

  19. You know Jason, my best friends may agree with me alot, but they aren’t afraid to tell me when I’m an idiot. Several make it a daily deal.

  20. But somehow I don’t think you’re quite as intimidating. I like his preaching, but I’m afraid that his hubris may end up being his downfall. Hopefully his elders are elders and not just raving fanboys.

    I’ve worked in a ministry where the board of directors were all hand-picked by the president. Unity in ministry is great, but there needs to be room for dissension too. Hopefully Mars Hill has that.

  21. Jason: Several people have said that all Driscoll’s elders are “hand picked.” In every elder led church, the elders are “hand picked” by the elders as a group. Usually requiring unanimity.

    I have no firsthand information on how the elder board works at MH, but I am not inclined to believe those who portray Driscoll as a dictator. Listen to any of his recent messages on the MH Global expansion and see if you conclude it’s a one man show.

    peace

    ms

  22. iMonk: I really appreciate the interaction. I guess what scares me is that the ministry I worked in dealt with bondage to various sins. When someone helps you find freedom from a lifetime of pornography and depression you tend to look up to him as a hero. That’s what I saw with the Board of Directors there. I thought the same way for a long time too. There are a variety of reasons why I don’t serve there anymore though which would be inappropriate to discuss publicly.

    What makes me nervous is when I read the story of Pastor Jamie Rasmussen and what a huge influence MD was in his life, for example. It’s just hard to imagine him confronting MD about something, though I hope I’m wrong.

    I also am confused about why MH added City on a Hill church in Albuquerque as a satellite when it seemed to be a thriving church in its own right. I hope that it’s not empire-building.

    As a member of a megachurch adding satellite campuses I sometimes wonder where ministry ends and empire-building begins. What I’ve come to realize is that I either trust my elders or I don’t. Unless there is evidence to the contrary I am to think the best of brothers and sisters in Christ, so that is what I want to do with MH and my own church. I have concerns based on my own experiences and I sure hope that they’re unfounded.

    Thank you for being a rational, gracious voice in the blogosphere. I sometimes disagree with things you write, but I am always thankful for them as they force me to think things through in a rational, biblical manner.

  23. But God speaks through Balaam’s donkey and even through me sometimes. So you never know.

    are these in some kind of order..?? ass-cending perhaps.. ; and yes , GOD does speak thru you, keep up the work at school and elsewhere.

    Hope the book progresses well, praying on that today;

    Greg R

  24. Re: The “global church” and a “global pulpit.”

    To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a “global pulpit” and the only “global church” I’m aware of is the “una sancta,” that is, the one, mystical body of Christ and all who are united to Him by baptismal faith.
    this “global” talk betrays the inflated notion of self-importance held by many a blogger.

    News flash: The whole world isn’t watching, and most of the world doesn’t really care, and God didn’t make you pope when you signed up for a blog account.

    Question: Has anyone read Matthew 18:15-20 recently?

  25. wcwirla: really, this is quite a revealing matter in terms of what the blogosphere thinks of itself. It’s why I said at the outset that a room full of non-internet addicts would hardly understand what you mean. “The preacher told a crude joke. Ha!”

  26. Poor Gene Scott. Where were you with him, Frank? Scott had a personally funded global network- tv and shortwave- on which to cuss 24 hours a day.

  27. Frank Turk’s entire argument hinges on assuming that Driscoll sinned. He knows it, and you can tell he knows because his entire argument is built on the initial false dichotomy (is it shameful to joke about masturbation…yes/no), and its the reason why he pursues it so hard in the follow up comments.

    The problem is that Driscoll didn’t make a joke about masturbation. He made a joke about people who use the scriptures to justify masturbation. And honestly I can’t think of a better response than ridicule to such a position.

    And this is where we really see this is a matter for the local church. I have absolutely zero doubt that Turk has never been confronted by someone trying to justify masturbation by using the scriptures. And I have absolutely zero doubt that Driscoll has, probably multiple times. As a result Driscoll ridicules the idea in public and Turk does not, and both are acting properly due to the differences in culture.

    One other thing: you either believe in the local autonomy of the church or you don’t. You don’t get to believe in the authority of an eldership when things go the way you want, but then turn into a Papist when things don’t go the way you want. It doesn’t matter if Augustine/Pelagius had a positive outcome if the scriptures support a congregationalist theology, that type of argument smacks of the very pragmatism that Turk has written against when it comes to how certain churches pursue evangelism.

  28. Scott Eaton says:

    Well said, Rev. Cwirla. You said what I’ve been thinking.

  29. T: Yes, I hear a great longing for a bishop (or more) in this discussion. Oh wait…..I believe I see one…

  30. Bishops will clarify?

  31. sue kephart says:

    T

    Bishops will clarify?

    No, Bishops will have authority.

  32. So in reading Frank’s second article I came across…

    “The first round of objections to the criticism was: “You should take this to him in private and not out in public.” However, when it was disclosed that both Phil and Dr. MacArthur had actually taken the concern to MD privately and his response was less than engaging, the tune changed.”e

    Ah, that’s the catalyst to this whole affair, because McArthur and Phil are hopping mad too. I guess it’s just okay to manufacture a controversy about a “joke” that never happened, the greater good is served by getting this “heretic” MD off our turf. By all means watch the video. There’s no joke. There’s just Driscoll telling a story about a guy that felt Eccl. 9:10 was a biblical justification for masturbation. And you know what, this 5 pointer found it funny (and sad) – not because of the alleged punch line, but because the guy had so badly interpreted Scripture.

    But I guess when controversy is all you have to stay relevant to the Christian community, you have to start making stuff up in order to be heard. This is a good example why I believe the Piper’s, Keller’s and Mahaney’s of the world will be far more effective in fighting heresy going forward. First, because they don’t manufacture controversies to get attention. Second, because when an actual controversy exists they actually heed those Scriptures that speak about gentleness and respect.

    “But when it comes to what does adequate repentance look like, your opinions are going to be just that- Opinions. Only his elders can hold him formally accountable.”

    Or at least those who provide an argument we would consider credible to provide such discipline, and of those we know who are looking to offer such accountability for the sake of Christ’s edification, and not those who are just trying to retain relevance within a traditional Christian culture – oh, the irony.

    Enjoyed the article, Michael.

    Brad

  33. Dan Allison says:

    Clearly, the reason Driscoll attracts so much attention is that he is doing so much good for the cause of Christ. I’m 53, and sometimes he makes me cringe and seems, in my estimate, to go over the top. But in a world filled with Paula Whites, Benny Hinns, hatemongers like the Westboro “Baptist” gang, and gun-toting anti-abortion vigilantes, coming down on Driscoll for making a few old geezers like myself uncomfortable seems petty and vindictive. Let’s keep praying for Driscoll, but let’s defend the Gospel against those who really do it damage.

  34. sue kephart says:

    Speaking of authority in the Church my tradition Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is a merger of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the Lutheran Church in America (LCA). Both had a balance of authority local congregation vrs the heirarchy. ALC stronger at the cong level, LCA stronger at the heirarchy. The merger was a many year process and had to decide which why to go.

    Then David Soul’s (famous on the Mod Squad at the time) brother Pr. Soul (don’t you love the name) barricaded himself in his church when members of his cong. went to the Bishop to have him removed(too long a story as to why). After much protesting outside the Church by pro Soul and anti-Soul cong members,the Bishop came to the Church to try to speak to Pr. Soul (probably hoping not to attacted too much local media) and WOW the national press!!!because of course his famous brother outside the church in support of his brother. Making the bishop and the ALC look very bad. So the LCA won that debate.

    [MOD edit: All of this is way off topic, but the last one was beyond the pale.]

  35. A point of doctrine/theology/church practice that I have not heard discussed much in the last 20-30 years is the subject of church structure and organization: congregational, presbyterian, episcopal, etc. Forgive me if I’m mixing terms and contexts. The ignorance of a fairly well-read layman may well show a general ignorance on these topics, and show the importance of church members having a working knowledge of even a seemingly obscure subject. If your church tradition is “congregational”, then the idea of a global church authority is meaningless, and much of Frank’s critique meaningless. If our Lord intended a universal church structure, organization, etc. then identifying the legitimate structure(s) and convincing MD to submit to it is important (which is what Frank appears to be attempting). It seems Frank has a vague and fuzzy idea of some kind of global church structure and authority that should be operating here, while Michael is arguing a congregational position. Fuzzy theology can lead to fuzzy debate and people arguing past each other, and this seems like a great example.

  36. It occurs to me that debates like this must make Roman Catholics roll on the floor with laughter or just shake their heads in derision. Obviously the RCC has its own internal issues to deal with and based on the recent Papal Encyclical not everyone is marching in lock-step, but at least there is a clear structure for dealing with loose cannons.

  37. Jason: Almost all Presbyterians do as well. So do most mainlines, not just Catholics. And it’s not a scientific judgment, but I don’t believe any connected denomination I know of except maybe the OPC would remove Driscoll over the masturbation joke. Just my opinion.

  38. ALL: At Frank’s site, in the comments, he’s now detailed what Driscoll needs to say. So the problem can now be solved. Can someone mail this paragraph to Pastor Mark?

    “It turns out that jokes about masturbation, tho funny, are actually a violation of Eph 5 and Paul’s warning to us that we shouldn’t even mention the crude things the lost do as a joke. I was wrong to do that, I am sorry to my church, my critics, and most of all to my savior who bought me for a price. In gratitude to Him, I should do better, and in the future I’ll seek to do so.”

  39. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    On Frank’s blog commenter Ben searched the web and found the offense that Driscoll is being harangued about….

    Ben said
    “So he quoted Ecclesiastes 9:10 (”Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”) in a joking manner when asked about masturbation being a sin.”
    — Patrick Kyle

    THAT’s what this is all about? Driscoll made one slightly off-color joke and now they’re calling Jihad against him? THAT’S WHY ALL THE FLESH-TO-PILE-OF-ROCKS? THAT’S WHY THE BURNING STAKE AND FIREWOOD?

    GET. A. LIFE. (Preferably far from mine.)

    In the circles where I run, such an “earthy” joke — or other sign he’s human and not just another baptized-in-vinegar Church Lady — would build Driscoll’s Street Cred to the point they might actually listen to him!

  40. Can someone give me an article where Driscoll invited the feminists? All I can see is when they threatened to protest he gave a non-apology and they backed off.

  41. I’m sorry that I can’t. This was a while ago, when Driscoll got a lot of negative publicity for the first time because the local paper gave him a weekly column. The protests from local feminists got pretty fierce, and I recall him talking about a meeting- maybe at his home- where he invited them to come over and pretty much have their say.

  42. HUG,
    If I recall correctly it wasn’t even all that much of a joke other than ridiculing someone who would quote Ecc 9.10 in defense of masturbating. The hand wringing outrage over all this reveals far more about the world the critics live in than it does about Driscoll, or scripture.

  43. I don’t get the whole thing, I really don’t. I don’t much care for Mark Driscoll personally – but…. really?

    I’m glad that these two blogs are trying to have a conversation with one another, as it’s so much better than the typical Christian practice of lobbing grenades – so hats off to you both on that one.

    But the source of the conversation leaves me kinda confused. I mean, by this logic Martin Luther would have been run out of town on a rail – and no one should ever read Augustine’s confessions.

    Of course, I think a good colloquial interpretation of “μη γενοιτο” is, “Are you smoking crack!?” So I guess I’m out in left field here on this one…

  44. “It turns out that jokes about masturbation, tho funny, are actually a violation of…Frank Turk’s sensibilities.

    OK, Frank is very sure this is sinful. Wow, what next, when do we get the list of approved TV and radio (should I just assume that all cable is no go ?). All this tells us more about Frank Turk than about Mark Driscoll, and I guess if Frank’s your guy, you can chest thump and say “SHOOT, yeah…..” wait, that’s really a bad word morphed…sorry, my bad.

    Unicorn dude said it best: GET A LIFE.

  45. Wezlo: Far from it. You are totally on target. By Frank and Dr. Macarthur’s standards, the dirty talk and anti-semitism of Luther completely disqualifies him as a God called minister. No arguments or context necessary. It was the “global” church and he was the ultimate public figure.

  46. Jeremiah Lawson says:

    Andy D, I think that incident might have been roughly 2006 and possibly connected to People Against Fundamentalism.

  47. Let me clear up one possible misunderstanding.

    Let’s say that I have an affair and the only one who knows is some blogger who intercepts an email.

    He calls on me to resign as a minister, etc.

    Now he’s totally right, and God has busted me, and I know it.

    BUT, I’m not formally accountable to this guy. I am in the body of Christ with him, but his accusation is going to either 1) pierce my conscience and I act on it because it’s true or 2) he goes to my elders and they confront me because they have FORMAL authority over me.

    NOW—tweak this a bit. Let’s say I use a crudity in an interview. A blogger says this is sin and being flippant, and calls on me to repent or resign the ministry.

    I don’t see it that way. Let’s say I regret it, but I do not believe it in any way compromised the Gospel.

    The blogger writes me. I say “Thanks for your concern.” He writes posts, ignites his army, calls my mother, etc. Still, it’s HIS problem.

    When my elders say “Let’s talk about this,” then it becomes my issue and I MUST (no options) look at it as God possibly dealing with me over this.

    In one there is no question of whether it is sin. In the second, there is some question and discussion necessary. The blogger won’t think that, but that’s the difference between the blogger and the people formally charged with oversight.

  48. When my elders say “Let’s talk about this,” then it becomes my issue and I MUST (no options) look at it as God possibly dealing with me over this.

    Bingo: and the blogger-gestapo , methinks, has a difficult time believing this will ever happen, or not soon enough to …ahem..please the LORD. There are MANY situations, IMO, that could fall into this category, and saying less, rather than more, in the absence of relationship, has served me well. God is not impotent, the wheels grind slowly, but they do grind, and if MD, or myself, have a problem, GOD is going to alert the appropriate others. This will be an ‘inside job’ or it won’t happen.

    Am I the only one who is a little uncomfortable with so many folks casually slipping into the mantle of JESUS and PAUL, and giving us the ultimate word on strangers’ (alleged) sins ? This creeps me out more than some salty talk from a rough edged preacher of the gospel.

    Greg R

  49. sue kephart says:

    Is the problem that this pastor may have told a dirty joke or that he implied that you can’t justify your behavior by quoting Scripture?

    By the way, my beyond the pale examlpe is true. No one at his church who knew him could believe he committed these crimes but he had.

  50. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Of course, I think a good colloquial interpretation of “μη γενοιτο” is, “Are you smoking crack!?” — Wezlo

    My favorite comment along those lines is “WHAT ARE YOU USING FOR REALITY?”

    Unicorn dude said it best: GET A LIFE. — Greg R

    Because I’ve seen far too much of this sort of behavior among fanboys, and I’ve gotten very cranky in my old age. You can only experience Invincible Ignorance and human stupidity so many times before you just SNAP.