The rebuttals have been rebutted:
The viewpoint has been clarified:
And the post has been removed.
None of that, though, is what’s prompting me to come out of my blog coma and post. I’d like to take this opportunity to say STOP. Everyone. JUST STOP.
Was the post out of line? Yes. Was it in poor taste? Absolutely. Was it inappropriate for anyone calling himself a Christian, let alone a Christian leader? Probably. Is the internet the place to call him out on that? No.
I know, I know, Driscoll started the whole thing by posting online. You’re right. The Jesus we follow absolutely said to do unto others as they have done to you. Wait. That’s not what he said at all. It’s kind of the opposite of that, actually. Yes, I know, we’re supposed to discipline sin before the church. The thing is, though, that (a) public accountability should only come AFTER a private confrontation (according to Jesus in Matthew 18) and (b) the internet isn’t the church.
It’s probably no secret that I’m not a Driscoll fan. We’ve got some philosophical and ideological differences that have little to do with ministry and nothing to do with salvation. I’m ok with that. I’m wholly convinced that Jesus loves me in spite of myself & the same is true for Pastor Mark. I respect his ministry & the fact that God’s given him an amazing platform. In general, I feel like this is just another instance of his being needlessly divisive. As a former leader in the Emergent church, he’s been uniquely gifted with the opportunity to unite emerging and traditional congregations. Instead, he’s a pulpit shock jock. This is not new information. It’s who he is and his ministry doesn’t seem to be suffering from it. Any umbrage I may have (and I’m not alone given the reaction on the internet) is my problem, not his.
The beauty of the church is that we don’t have to agree with one another about anything other than Jesus. We have to love each other. We have to hold one another accountable (side note: anyone claiming any of this has been about accountability is kidding themselves), but we don’t have to agree. Unless you’re married to Mark Driscoll or attend Mars Hill, you don’t have to defer to him as a spiritual leader. You can choose to do so, but it’s not Biblically mandated. I feel like it’s not a surprise to anyone that I’m not a Driscoll fan. To be fair, since I’m a feminist woman called to ministry, Driscoll’s probably not a fan of mine. That’s ok. Peter and Paul weren’t BFFs either. Their ministries each thrived.
If you know me at all, you’ve probably heard me express the opinion that if the church would act like we love each other, the world might start to think we love them, too. All this back and forth is making a whole lot more of us, and a whole lot less of Jesus. The world isn’t seeing Jesus in the posts, or the rebuttals, or the rebuttals of the rebuttals. They’re seeing Christians tear each other apart. I’ll say it again (in all caps, both for emphasis and in case you missed it the first time), IF THE CHURCH WOULD ACT LIKE WE LOVE EACH OTHER, THE WORLD MIGHT START TO THINK WE LOVE THEM, TOO. That’s the challenge, isn’t it? Why are we letting this ridiculousness get in the way of that?