16.1.09

Humility?

I found this interesting about Mark Driscoll - it seems he's making quite a name for himself but is he really presenting Christ-likeness?

"Not only are those who do not hold to Calvinism seen as rejecting the true gospel, but those who are not complementarian are also seen as holding to a belief that rejects the true “complementarian” gospel which keeps women in their “proper” place. Like many New Calvinists, Driscoll advocates traditional gender roles, called “complementarianism” in theological parlance." (W I M)

Driscoll's preaching has the flavour of something I don't like about it. It is aggressive, authoritarian, he doesn't like being questioned and his hot-topic is the feminisation of the church and what should be done about it.

There is hope for Driscoll though, as there is for us all. Driscoll is aware of his faults. He says:

I believe that humility is the great omission and failure in my eleven years of preaching. I believe that this is my greatest oversight both in my example and in my instruction.

I therefore do not claim to be humble. I do not claim to have been humble. I am convicted of my pride, and I am a man who is by God’s grace pursuing humility....And so I’ll start by asking your forgiveness and sincerely acknowledging that this has been a great failure.

Will we see a meeker man? Emmm. Not sure.

And so maybe the lesson for me here is to not worry too much about Driscoll but to admit that we are in process, in the making, pursuing by God's grace, humility. Should we expect our pastors, preachers etc to be further along? Again, not sure.

The Americans reflect self-consciously on their breeding of celeb Christians. Does Britain have celeb Christians? Perhaps. Nicky Gumbel will preach and teach at St John's on Thursday 22nd January. I expect though, he'll be quite different to Driscoll. I have met the year 2000 version Gumbel through those famous Alpha DVDs. I wonder if he'll be slightly different, 8 years older.

Mark Driscoll's apology

7 comments:

DespizdNRejectd said...

You raise a good point, one that needs an answer: if we're all "in progress", then should we criticize Christian leaders?"

I think the answer is found by reading James and Paul. A leader must be one who exemplifies the goal to which the rest of us strive. They must display spiritual maturity to a level not yet reached by the majority, because they are to be held to a higher (not a lower!) standard. Paul's demand that they be "above reproach" is not to be taken lightly.

Seeing that more than the required "two or three witnesses" have attested to Driscoll's vulgarity, ego, and iron-fisted rule, the man should step down and sit under the mentoring of those who do not suffer from such lower-than-average vices. He is acting like the worldly and fleshly and immature Corinthians.

In today's church-hopping world it is truly a challenge to administer church discipline, and in this case I think all other elders can do is warn people about Driscoll. But warn they must! And yet they do not; in fact, some who should know better seem to approve of him.

After all, people get saved, right?

No; this is the other common mistake. We cannot brush off everything with this disclaimer, or even as we're already seeing, people will be doing just about every vile thing under the sun "for Jesus".

DaveW said...

This:

Driscoll advocates traditional gender roles, called “complementarianism” in theological parlance."

always annoys me.

“complementarianism” is not a theological term. It is a marketing gimic to make "male headship" sound more attractive.

Egalitarians believe that people complement each other.

“complementarianism” believe that women only complement men by submitting to them. We should call it what it is (except those words are not suitable for a public place).

Sorry about the rant.

Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel said...

Mark Driscoll is allegedly the twenty-second most influential pastor in America with sermons downloaded more than a million times a year. He has been recognized by Christianity Today, Inc., as one of the most influential young preachers in America. And yet he thinks this sort of thing:

" In Revelation, Jesus is a pride fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up. I fear some are becoming more cultural than Christian, and without a big Jesus who has authority and hates sin as revealed in the Bible, we will have less and less Christians, and more and more confused, spiritually self-righteous blogger critics of Christianity."

I wonder if this was in part the bruised ego of a person responding to his critics.

Driscoll is a New Calvinist. He does believe God destined us to either Hell or Heaven. There is a difference of functionality advised for women, and you're right Dave, egalitarians believe in the complementarity of the sexes and complementarianism is about more than this, much more. The lists of roles for women advocated by people like Driscoll and Piper just prove how much they are actually swayed by culture. For Driscoll, women are forbidden from taking on preaching roles in the church.

It seems strange that their idea of Adam as the “federal head” of the human race translates into the man as head of the home. The new Adam is Christ, so the logic goes - Christ is the Head of the Church and so the head of the man and the woman. If women are to submit to the federal Adam (the man of the house), Christ's power is nullified.

Driscoll is authoritarian and yet his methods of discipline seem under-hand. When a renegade elder refused to repent, the church leadership ordered members to shun him. “They are sinning through questioning,” is something that Driscoll has been known to preach.

Driscoll is really capturing the attention of men in their twenties and thirties and everywhere. Only last week I chatted with a guy in his twenties in my church who thinks Driscoll is brilliant and it's his thinking he's absorbing.

Will Driscoll's prayer for humility really translate into a different kind of theology? I don't think it will.

Rachel said...

It was me who removed my own comment above - because I made so many mistakes in it.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I don't have a blog and not a big fan of posting / commenting, but the Driscoll stuff I did feel bound to comment on:

To be fair to Driscoll, the quote summarising his views is an almost offensive characature (and let's remember they're hardly opinions he made up: whatever we think on the issues, it's blindingly obvious most churches for most of history have held to what is now termed 'complimentarianism'). He doesn't talk about 'keeping women in their place' and whilst he believes Calvinism, in as much as it reflects the NT, to be the best expression of biblical theology he certainly doesn't believe that if you're not a Calvinist you don't genuinely believe the gospel. He also regularly opens himself up to being questioned, after services, at the end of sermons (even setting up systems so people can text in annonymously if they don't want to stand up), at conferences.

The guy has had the humility to repent publicly of arrogance, he has been behind the planting of hundreds of churches, started a worldwide movement and both directly and indirectly brought thousands to Christ. Now granted 'success' is not a cast-iron guarentee of righteousness (Muhammed was pretty 'successful')but given his ministry we'd need to be able to show pretty clearly that he has abandoned the gospel or committed heinous sin before calling him to step down. The fact that you can find a number of people in the 'blogging' community and elsewhere who don't like him is hardly surprising: if every leader who we could find 'two or more bloggers' dissaproving of had to resign, we'd soon be out of ministers!

And without wishing to be too blunt, from a quick flick through, Piper, Ware, and Grudem join Driscoll as four of evangelicalism's leading lights who have all come in for pretty stiff criticism on this blog, mainly ,as far as I can see, because of their position on women in elder-ship roles. It seems impossible to hold to 'complimentarian' belief and not be scolded! Who's next? Packer, Keller,Virgo, Stott, Lloyd-Jones, Spurgeon, Wesley, Whitefield... It all seems a little excessive and aggressive. These guys have quite obviously held to the gospel, to the Word of God and hold up Jesus and him crucified and risen. They have given their lives to his service, and sacrificed much for the kingdom. Is it really our place to stand at the sidelines throwing stones? I'd suggest not.
With love in Christ
James

Rachel said...

Dear James

sorry

See http://hrht-revisingreform.blogspot.com/2009/01/my-monster.html

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