Watch the video to see how one reporter and profiles and represents not only Mark Driscoll, but in a way Calvinistic evangelical Christianity. This is important to me to get a pulse on how we might be portrayed. Here are some of my thoughts:
- They kept talking about Driscoll’s image (hipster, indie rocker). This is part of what makes him stand out and it had to be considered.
- Mark Driscoll answered one question well: Sex and Jesus? “I like both. Sex with my wife and I dig Jesus.” That was winesome and goes well with his follow up words on sex (see #4).
- Sermons on edge and topics that make the church blush – I hope people don’t come primarily for the shock factor. His wife’s take on Mark’s talk about sex – “if it’s helpful then that’s great, if not, we don’t need to talk about it.” I don’t think the type of specifics that Driscoll mentions from the pulpit are necessary because of the diversity of ages in the congregation. I think those are better discussed in closed sessions. I think they tried to make them closed sessions. I just don’t think Sunday services should be the context for closed session (in the category of prudence, not sinful/not sinful). I think Driscoll’s discussing of oral sex the way he does from the pulpit is not wise, but I would not say it is necessarily sinful. I feel that I’m a bit fuzzy on not calling it sin, but I don’t have any confident ground to call it sin at this point. May God grant me wisdom in thinking about this.
- Driscoll’s thoughts on sex: “I think that married people should have free and frequent sex. That’s what I think.” I think this too. But the reason we both think that is 1 Corinthians 7:1-5. Mark’s answer is right, but it conveys the truth as merely his opinion and not what the Bible says. The effect is that he looks radical and God’s message does not. I don’t know if he referred to the Scripture and ABCNews just edited it out, but I hope (and will give the benefit of the doubt that) he did refer to Scripture to clearly display God’s message which gives God the glory, not Mark.
- Driscoll’s grin when the reporter mentioned Driscoll has critics is probably not a good display of brokenness and desire for the truth. The report may have hid any brokenness that Driscoll displayed. The important lesson here is that critics are heard (like Driscoll says, “turn critics into coaches”) and prayed for even if they must be firmly opposed.
- Driscoll on Jesus – I think Driscoll’s view of Jesus is needed to be heard and I’m glad he corrected the use of the word “queer.” He presents Jesus as tough and real. Again I think he should have explicitly rooted his view of Jesus as the reading of the New Testament (again, which he probably did and it was edited out). Nonetheless, what Driscoll was able to say about Jesus on the air was helpful and clarifying for those who watch.
- The evangelistic fruit, which was shown in part by a man who didn’t go to church before attending there is something for which to praise God (assuming that the man is saved, but at least he’s regularly hearing the gospel). People need to hear the gospel and be captivated by the glories of God in Christ! I praise God that many in Seattle get the opportunity to hear the word of Christ, and that some by God’s grace believe it savingly.
- The coffee shop and free wi-fi in the church meeting facility – I don’t think this is a bad thing in this church because if people come for this they will hear the gospel and Christ preached. I think if people join the membership of the Mars Hill Church family for these things then it is a problem. At this point, membership process and church introduction is crucial.
- Driscoll’s “beliefs are strict” (referring to the exclusivity of Christ and the pre-determined will of God in the salvation and damnation of people). Driscoll refers to the things he believes (God saves, Jesus is God, the Bible is true, people are going to hell) which was good. Again, I think he should’ve (or did) tie these beliefs directly to the Scriptures clearly teaching this. The reporter tries to influence the culture to see these views as strict. Well, the culture already thinks these as strict. But I think it is exactly this distinctness in our message and the lives it produces that make the gospel attractive to the unbelieving peoples.
- Was this report helpful to the gospel’s proclamation? I think so. He did talk about his beliefs in some core doctrines which I’m really grateful for (#9). It did seem like the message of the report is that Mars Hill Church is growing and needs to be on the radar screens of people. That is a good thing because Driscoll clearly preaches the gospel and applies it to his hearers. I think the report clouded the gospel message and doctrinal truth with Driscoll’s personality and ministry, but that’s not surprising for a secular news station to do and I’m grateful that they did air what they did.
To be clear, I consider Driscoll a brother in Christ and I rejoice that he preaches Christ and the gospel clearly, firmly, and passionately to those God sends to hear him. To God be the glory for this and may he keep Mark faithful and pure before him.