Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Driscoll’

Why the ‘New’ Tolerance Is Actually Intolerant.


Mark Driscoll
Mark Driscoll

After the release of our book Real Marriage, my wife, Grace, and I had media interviews set up with a number of folks in the mainstream press. But the interview I was most concerned about was with CNN’s Piers Morgan, who seems to enjoy kicking evangelicals as much as David Beckham likes kicking soccer balls.

A few days prior to my interview, Kirk Cameron had been a guest on the show, and Piers took him to the proverbial woodshed for his biblical views on homosexuality and gay marriage. I decided to handle the show alone, rather than subject my lovely wife to what I was sure would amount to juggling live grenades in front of an international audience.

To be honest, I feared that if Piers Morgan was unkind to my wife, I would lose my cool and our interview would result in a legendary YouTube clip featuring me vaulting over the desk while yelling my dad’s old construction-worker words to extend what the apostle Paul calls “the right hand of fellowship.”

By God’s grace, however, things went well with Piers. He was an enjoyable guy for the most part. We are both Irish, formerly Catholic and stubborn, so it felt familiar. I brought him a nice study Bible, and he thanked me, saying I was the first person to ever give him such a gift. The show was edited fairly, though I was bummed they took out the segment where I told him that one day he would be sitting across the desk from Jesus Christ to answer God’s questions and that he was not ready for that day.

Which Definition of Tolerance?

At one point, our discussion turned to the subject of tolerance. Piers gave a lot of weight to the issue, as do many in our culture today:

Piers Morgan: Do you think you’re a tolerant kind of guy?

Mark Driscoll: I love people very much and—

Morgan: That’s not the same thing.

Driscoll: Well, how do you disagree with people that you love? That’s a very difficult issue for everybody, but for a pastor in particular, because—

Morgan: But do you preach tolerance?

Driscoll: I’ve preached that we should love our neighbor, that we should accept—

Morgan: But tolerance. Tolerance in particular.

Driscoll: You keep hammering it. What do you mean by tolerance?

Morgan: Tolerating people who may have a lifestyle or a belief that you don’t agree with.

Driscoll: Yes, we have to. When Jesus says, “Love your neighbor,” He knows you’re not going to agree with all your neighbors, but He wants you to love them, to seek good for them, to care for them.

Our conflict was around the old definition of tolerance (which I hold) and the new definition of tolerance (which he holds). Theologian D.A. Carson explains how the definition of tolerance has changed from accepting that lots of people have different views, some of which are wrong, to agreeing that all views are equally true.

The Old Tolerance vs. the New Tolerance 

The old view of tolerance assumed that (1) there is objective truth that can be known; (2) various people, groups and perspectives each think they know what that objective truth is and (3) as people/groups disagree, dialogue and debate their conflicting views of the truth, everyone involved will have an opportunity to learn, grow, change and possibly arrive together at the truth.

The new tolerance is different from the old tolerance. The new view of tolerance assumes that (1) there is no objective truth that can be known; (2) various people, groups and perspectives do not have the truth but only what they believe to be the truth and (3) various people, groups and perspectives should not argue and debate their disagreements because there is no truth to be discovered, and to assume otherwise only leads to needless conflicts and prejudices.

Absolutely No Absolutes

A few things are perhaps most curious about the new tolerance. One, it denies moral absolutes while holding to the moral absolute that there is no moral absolute. I know that’s confusing. It’s like saying, “There is no such thing as absolute truth”—to which the question should be asked, “So does that mean you’re lying when you want us to believe your absolute statement that truth does not exist?” You cannot say absolutely that there are no absolutes. I hope you see that the statement itself saws off the very limb it’s sitting on.

Two, the new tolerance is dreadfully intolerant. Ask average people arguing that every moral view is equally valid and respectable whether they think it’s right for big corporations to destroy the planet, that women at one time could not vote or that people once smoked on airplanes, and see if they are willing to truly welcome, embrace, celebrate and tolerate everyone and everything.

I’m pretty sure if an old guy smoking a cigarette while buying stocks in oil companies and gun makers and bemoaning it was a big mistake to let women learn to read was sitting on a plane next to a feminist on staff with Greenpeace, she would not defend his equally wise and welcomed alternative lifestyle to the flight attendant who was being intolerant for asking him to put out his cigarette.

Morality as Wine Tasting

Today morality is more like wine tasting than banking. In banking, there is a right and wrong answer. If you deposit $1,000 in a new bank account and a week later try to withdraw $80, you would not be willing to agree to disagree when the teller says your account is empty.

But we don’t see morality like banking anymore. Instead, we see it more like wine tasting. In wine tasting, everyone has their favorite blends and no one is necessarily right or wrong—it all depends on individual palates. No one has the right to declare as an absolute truth that simply because they prefer a specific grape or vintage, it is superior to all other wines.

The problem is, the God of the Bible sees morality like banking, not wine tasting. This is why Jesus referred to sins as “debts” in the world’s most famous prayer (Matt. 6:12).

Today there are not sins. There is only one sin, and that is calling anything a sin.

Source:  CHARISMA NEWS.

Mark Driscoll is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church, based in Seattle. He is the author of more than 15 books, including his latest, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future? This article was originally posted on theresurgence.com.

Mark Driscoll Arrives at Worship Service in Hearse to Illustrate Dying Church.


 

Mark Driscoll
Mark Driscoll pulls up to a worship service at Mars Hill U-District Sunday night in a hearse (left); Driscolll preaches to more than 500 college and grad students. (Mars Hill Church)

In an effort to hammer home his point that the church is dying, Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll pulled up to a worship service at Mars Hill U-District Sunday night in a black hearse and was wearing a formal funeral-style suit.

The stunt also served as a promotion for his new book, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future? which releases Nov. 5—the same day leadership conference Resurgence 2013 kicks off.

More than 500 college and grad students showed up to see Driscoll preach at the 400-seat auditorium. He spoke to the congregation about how we got the Bible today, why it should be trusted and why it is true.

Driscoll’s sermon included topics ranging from the number of manuscripts of the Bible’s different books to how close they are to their origin dates. He encouraged students to continually test everything they hear throughout their college years against Scripture.

“I was really excited for students to hear the truth of the gospel compared to what they’re going to hear day in and day out on campus,” says Drew Hensley, lead pastor at Mars Hill U-District. “People are telling them this is what you should believe, this is what you’re made for, and it’s absolutely against everything we see in Scripture. For Pastor Mark to come out tonight and share that Scripture is truth, it’s authority, you can place your faith and life in it, and it sustains you, I think that’s huge for students.”

“One of the things we see time and time again with our students is they might start really strong, and then a lot of lies come in,” Hensley continues. “They sacrifice Jesus on the altar of grades for the idol of career. We see waves of college students and their ups and downs when they start to believe in a false identity. To see their identity doesn’t have to be rooted in all of that but it can be rooted in Jesus is amazing.”

Sophomore Mahlon Houck says Driscoll’s message affected him.

“I definitely have less fear in leading a community group and not really feeling like I need to force the Word on people,” he says. “I just need to let it speak for itself, because it is true and it changes lives.”

In a letter addressed to “Christian” that was meant to promote the leadership conference, Driscoll writes, “Christians are being ostracized, gay marriage is being legalized, the bandwagon has stopped carrying us and has started running over us. The church is dying, and no one is noticing because we’re wasting time criticizing rather than evangelizing.”

“The days are darker, which means our resolve must be stronger and our convictions clearer,” he adds. “This is not the hour to trade in work boots for flip-flops. You didn’t think you were here to kill time listening to Christian music until Jesus returned, did you?”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Gina Meeks

Mark Driscoll: Christians Are Ostracized, Bandwagon Is Running Over Us.


Mark Driscoll
Pastor Mark Driscoll teaches on themes from his new book at a Resurgence pre-conference luncheon. (theresurgence.com)

Pastor Mark Driscoll is encouraging Christians to evangelize in these days when “the church is dying.”

In a letter addressed to “Christian,” Driscoll says believers must focus more on evangelizing.

“Four years ago, Newsweek magazine proclaimed ‘The Decline and Fall of Christian America,’” he writes. “Their words, written on the cover in the shape of a cross, ring disturbingly true today.”

“Christians are being ostracized, gay marriage is being legalized, the bandwagon has stopped carrying us and has started running over us,” he continues. “The church is dying, and no one is noticing because we’re wasting time criticizing rather than evangelizing.

Driscoll, the lead pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, says we must strengthen our resolve.

“The days are darker, which means our resolve must be stronger and our convictions clearer,” he says. “This is not the hour to trade in work boots for flip-flops. You didn’t think you were here to kill time listening to Christian music until Jesus returned, did you?”

“Stand firm in God’s grace,” he encourages. “Hold fast to the Word. Jesus is alive. Quit licking your wounds—stand up, dust yourself off and get to work.”

Driscoll is a leader with several other pastors for the Resurgence movement, a resource for Christian leaders. Resurgence will hold its second annual conference Nov. 5-6.

According to the conference website, attendees can expect to “learn a lifetime of lessons from ministry leaders who have seen God’s faithfulness as they responded to His call.”

Speakers include Driscoll, Rick Warren, Matt Chandler, Greg Laurie, James MacDonald and Crawford Loritts.

The main event will be in downtown Seattle, with smaller satellite locations in Bellevue, Wash.; Reno, Nev.; Orlando, Fla.; and Albuquerque, N.M.

On the website for his upcoming book, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future? Driscoll says the time for Christians to step out is now.

“This isn’t the time to wait or debate,” he writes. “Hell is hot, and forever is a long time. Lost people need to be reached, churches need to be planted, and nations need to be evangelized. Let’s have some amazing, Jesus-empowered stories to tell our grandkids.”

A Call to Resurgence, which is described as a “clarion call for Christians,” comes out Nov. 5.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Pastor Mark Driscoll Explores Issues of Indentity in New Book.


Mark Driscoll
Mark Driscoll hopes to help readers resolve with the publication of his new book, “Who Do You Think You Are?”

“Who do you think you are?”

This is the crucial question that Pastor Mark Driscoll,New York Times best-selling author and founder of Mars Hill Church, hopes to help readers resolve with the publication of his new book, Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ, set for release on Jan. 8.

Two decades of ministry work have taught Driscoll that the issue of identity underlies nearly every struggle. “I believe we have an opportunity with this book,” he says, “to fill a massive and very practical biblical need for a wide range of Christians, across virtually every denomination, tribe, and theological nuance. And that is the need to understand who we truly are and where our identity lies.

“The fundamental problem we have in this world is that we don’t understand who we truly are—children of God made in His image—and define ourselves by any number of things other than Jesus. Only by knowing our false identity apart from Christ, in comparison to our true identity in him, can we finally deal with and overcome the issues in our lives.”

Driscoll’s first release since hitting No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list with Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship and Life Together in early 2012, Who Do You Think You Are? was written to serve seasoned believers and those new to the faith alike as an exploration of the identity question and an practical examination of what it means to be “in Christ,” as the Bible says.

Consumers inundated with holiday messages about who to be, what to buy and what to look like will find great encouragement in Driscoll’s book. Research also indicates that depression spikes in the winter months. In other words, the book’s January release couldn’t come at a better time.

“In an age when marketing tries to establish our identity through purchases, pornography tries to establish our identity through beauty, and culture tries to establish our identity through performance, I believe this book is enormously timely, helpful, biblical, and practical,” Driscoll says.

“People are chasing the fruit of sin (drugs, alcohol, addiction, anger, depression, suffering, sexual sin, etc.) but not the root of sin—identity. They’re living for their identity, rather than from it. And it’s their identity that writes their testimony and determines their destiny. If it’s not rooted in Christ, then they’re doomed to misery. If it is, then they’re free to live joyful lives, loving God and loving others. I can’t imagine anything that matters more.”

Driscoll’s writing draws on years of experience as the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church, based in Seattle, with 14 locations across multiple states. Outreach Magazine recently recognized Mars Hill as the nation’s 28th largest and third fastest-growing church. Driscoll reaches an even greater audience online. His weekly podcast often ranks No/ 1 on iTunes charts, and listeners download more than 10 million of his sermons every year.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Mark Driscoll Compares Twilight Saga to Pornography.


The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Author and popular Mars Hill Church pastor Mark Driscoll has made his feelings on The Twilight Saga clear. He is warning Christians to not treat the hit series as harmless entertainment, and explains that it has actually inspired real-life demonic behavior.

In a blog entry titled “A Father’s Fright of Twilight,” Driscoll writes, “Twilight is for teenage girls what porn is to teenage boys: sick, twisted, evil, dangerous, deceptive, and popular.”

Millions of fans lined up to see the final installment, Breaking Dawn Part 2, which brought in $141.3 million dollars in its debut weekend, scoring the eighth biggest opening weekend of all time.

But these moviegoers did not just consist of teenage girls. As Driscoll said, “Tragically, many will be driven by their parents, including some cougar moms encouraging and joining their daughters’ obsession with handsome young males.”

Driscoll and his family will not be joining the fans of the vampire series.

“I have ranted on this garbage-tastic phenomenon before” he writes,” and find the whole genre profoundly troubling. The popularity of supernatural soap operas has inspired some real-life demonic trends. Overreaction? Tell that to the kids biting, cutting, drinking blood—sometimes while having sex—and sinking deeper into the occult.”

The pastor shared several news stories about young people acting out in vampire-like ways.

Teenagers obsessed with theTwilight vampire saga, or those simply fascinated with fangs, reportedly have been biting each other—hard—and then licking or sucking the blood,” he quoted NBC News. “‘These are kids who think they are real vampires,’ said Dr. Orly Avitzur. […] ‘Having that thick, warm copper-tasting blood in my mouth is the best thing I can think of!’ wrote a teenager identified as ‘GothicGirl10’ this year. ‘Sometimes my boyfriend lets me feed off him. I let him feed off me as well.’”

Driscoll also quoted part of an ABC News story, in which a 15-year-old girl “said a boyfriend tried to pressure her to allow herself to be bitten. ‘He said, “I love you and that’s the way I want to show you,”’ she said. ‘I didn’t give in because it was kind of idiotic.’ She said some of her classmates, mimicking on-screen vampires, even cut their skin so they can taste one another’s blood. ‘That means you’re stuck with them, they have your blood inside of them and you have their blood and so you’re closer to each other,’ she said.”

In another story, Driscoll discusses a documentary the UK’s Channel 4 produced about the growing vampire subculture, which features a group of teens in Texas who consider themselves to be real vampires (and werewolves). “When I drink someone’s blood, I feel like I own them in a sense. Like they’re mine,” one explained.

“Please pray for these kids. If you know them, speak with them lovingly, honestly, biblically, and quickly. Satan is real, clever, and a deceiver who ‘disguises himself as an angel of light’ (2 Cor. 11:14),” Driscoll says. “He’s not going to come at us with a pitchfork and horns. More likely, he’ll attempt to lure people towards darkness with methods like ‘harmless’ entertainment, possibly in the form of bad acting and melodrama.”

Driscoll, who has a teenage daughter, explains his devastation at reading the most popular pages that come up in a search for “teen vampire.”

“There, girls the same age of my 15-year-old daughter are talking about ‘awakening,’ which is their word for converting to paganism (like the Christian word ‘born again’). In a perverted twist on Communion, their sacraments include the giving of your own blood by becoming a ‘donor.’ This is entirely pagan. These storylines offer eternality without God and salvation; in the place of Jesus’ shed blood, girls and boys shed their own blood to be awakened to their own salvation of a new spiritual way of life filled with sex and occult behavior.”

Although Driscoll said he and his wife do not shelter their daughter from these sorts of things, they “do not treat things like movies, books, and TV shows as harmless entertainment, but rather a potential threat to her well-being to be aware of so she can walk in wisdom by God’s grace.”

He explained that he is particularly concerned for Christian parents “who are naively allowing this filth into their children’s lives, buying these books and driving kids to see these movies.”

He ended the article stating, “To such parents, ‘It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God’ (Phil. 1:9–11).”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

GINA MEEKS

Go Beyond the Sex Questions.


Evangelicals appear to be preoccupied with sex. One megachurch pastor and his wife have written a book challenging married couples to a “sexperiment” of making love for seven days straight.
 
Mark Driscoll’s controversial new book on marriage contains a chapter titled “Can We?” in which he and his wife answer questions they are typically asked in counseling situations, questions related to different sex acts.

This post is not meant to be a critique of Driscoll’s book (I haven’t read it and don’t plan to). Nor do I want the comments section to degenerate into a fiery back-and-forth about what activities are appropriate for married couples.

Instead, I want to offer a pastoral look at the underlying issues that prompt these questions and encourage pastors to go for the heart, not merely the surface, when approached with questions of this kind.

1. Recognize the legitimacy of the questions.

First, we should not be surprised that new converts are asking pointed questions about what activities are appropriate for a married couple. We live in a pornified culture.

The majority of young men today have drunk from the polluted wells of porn for years.

 Perhaps previous generations of young couples didn’t find it necessary to seek pastoral counsel regarding sex acts. (Many of these discussions have historically been relegated to the family anyway.)

But we must also recognize that previous generations were not drowning in a sea of simulated sex acts in the way ours is.

Therefore, we cannot and should not chastise new converts for asking specific questions regarding sexual activity. Paul did not chastise the Corinthians for asking about meat offered to idols.

We should expect that new believers (and old believers, for that matter) who have at some time or another been hooked on pornography will have a view of sexuality formed (or better said, deformed) by what they have witnessed.

There are specific, graphic kinds of questions that arise in this cultural context, and a pastor who seeks to be a missionary in a pornified world ought to expect the uncomfortable questions.

2. Go beyond the surface of the questions.

Many pastors recognize the legitimacy of the questions but don’t go any further. They offer a few reflections about mutual consent, relegate the decisions to the couple in the privacy of the marriage bed, and stress the principle that all (or most) acts are permissible.

This approach may be regarded as relevant and in touch, but frankly, I don’t think it is culturally contextual enough. I believe we are better missionaries and pastors when we use the questions as a way of discerning the heart’s motivations. The questions are the entryway into deeper, richer conversation about the beauty of marriage.

Imagine this scenario. A wealthy couple in your congregation comes to you for advice regarding some purchases they’d like to make. “Would it be okay, pastor, for us to buy a bigger TV for our living room?.

 We already tithe and give to missions, but our current TV is a little small.” Most pastors will appeal to the freedom they have in Christ to make the purchase and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

But the conversation continues. Their next question is about purchasing two more TVs the same size. Then the husband asks about getting a fourth car, although there are only three drivers in the family.

And the wife says something like, “Well, our neighbors have four.” Next thing you know, they are pelting you with questions about making this purchase or that.

And suddenly, you realize that the way you might answer the first question about an individual purchase is not the way you should approach all these questions. The stream of questions reveals a problem with materialism.

Or imagine this scenario: A young man who appears to be in great shape physically asks you about the appropriateness of eating fast food. You explain that in moderation one can enjoy a Big Mac.

 But he then asks what moderation consists of. Can he eat fast food three or four times a week? If he works out, can he eat all the junk food he wants? And is it wrong to plan each day around one’s meals?.

 Suddenly, you realize that your initial answer to a question about fast food is not the way you should answer all his other questions about food. This guy is obsessed with food, and so now your tactic changes. You begin to ask him questions in order to discern his heart and get to the underlying issues.

The same thing is true of sex. You may answer one question in a particular way, but if a husband or wife is constantly asking, “Can we? Can we?” there are probably bigger issues under the surface. There are presuppositions regarding sex, satisfaction, reproduction, intimacy, neediness, lust, and servanthood that may need to be challenged by the gospel.

3. Challenge our culture’s obsession with sex.

If we only recognize the legitimacy of the questions but never go beyond the surface of those questions, we are missing an opportunity to counter our culture’s obsession with sex.

 It’s not enough to stress our freedom in Christ and grant carte blanche permission for couples to mutually consent to an assortment of sexual activities. Instead, we ought to use the questions as an opportunity to challenge our culture’s warped view of sex and to offer something of beauty in response.

The reason our world is so enamored with sex (evangelicals included) is not because it is so satisfying but because for many it is so unsatisfying. We know there is something cosmic going on when a husband and wife come together.

We know there is supposed to be something sacred about the act of marriage.

But so many in our society are missing it. And too many times, evangelicals respond to sexual disillusionment by turning our focus toward the act and not the marriage, and thus we fail to lift up something substantive. We offer a Christianized version of RedBook magazine’s “tips to spice up your love life.”

Perhaps it’s time that we shift focus from “Can we?” and “Can’t we?” to a better question: “Why do you ask?” The conversation following that question will surely be more pastorally fruitful in discerning the heart than if we focus merely on the do’s and don’ts.

By Trevin Wax.

Mark Driscoll Talks About Sex, Porn and Marriage in New Book.


 
 Grace and Mark Driscoll Grace and Mark Driscoll

Do you want to know the truth about sex, friendship and married life? Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife, Grace, are getting more than a litle real in their just-released book, Real Marriage.

In Real Marriage, the Driscolls promise to leave the platitudes and self-help fluff at the door. Based on the synopsis and table of contents alone, it’s clear that Real Marriage is not just another book on marriage.

The Driscolls confront issues like submission, finances and sex, including the “Can we do that?” sex questions couples are too embarrassed to ask their pastor. Chapter titles include, “New Marriage, Same Spouse,” “Sex: God, Gross or Gift?,” “Selfish Lovers and Servant Lovers,” and “The Porn Path.”

“My wife, Grace, and I have taken the biggest risk of our ministry life together and written what may be the most brutally honest, controversial and—we pray by God’s grace—helpful marriage book on the market. You can be the judge,” Driscoll wrote in a blog post.

Driscoll says he read all or part of 187 books on marriage while writing Real Marriage. In his view, most were way too tame, written to answer the questions of previous generations with very different questions, written mainly for women in a way that would be off-putting for most husbands, inaccessible for singles who are now the majority of adults in the U.S., and lacking nearly any real honesty from the author about the sinful painful parts of his or her own life, as if marriage were a picnic without any ants.

Real Marriage spends significant space exploring Scripture, statistics, culture and the rarely discussed topic of friendship in marriage. The couple also shares highly personal details about their own pasts and relationship. Additional topics include everything from finances to date nights, dealing with family, overcoming bitterness, forgiveness, abuse, anger and reverse-engineering your marriage.

“We knew the project would be a hard and challenging time as we recalled some of our hardest times, but by God’s grace, it was a unifying and life-changing experience that has made us better friends and lovers,” Driscoll says.

A major, nationwide Real Marriage church campaign launches today, as well, with an 11-week sermon series from Driscoll, a 10-city tour and a major mobilization of the 500-church Acts 29 Network.

By Jennifer LeClaire.

Gay Protesters Launch Obscenities at Mars Hill Church.


church protestors
(Patrick Mannion )

Nearly two dozen banner-toting protesters made a scene in front of Mars Hill Church’s new campus in southeast Portland on Sunday morning.

The angry pro-homosexual protesters were shouting obscenities at congregants as they left a satellite location of the Seattle-based church, according toThe Oregonian.

“Shame on you bigots,” the paper reports one woman yelled at worshippers as they left.

“Shame on you homophobes.

You’re not welcome here. You’re going to burn in hell.”

Mars Hill first launched in Seattle in 1996, led by Mark Driscoll in the living room of his home.

Today the church has multiple campuses, including the new one at the college campus.

Mars Hill Everett launched with 787 adults and kids at two services on Sept. 18.

The services are held in the Everett Community College Fitness Center.

Driscoll has preached against homosexuality, so Tim Smith, lead pastor at Mars Hill Everett, told The Oregonian he expected a protest.

The protesters had reportedly scheduled a kiss-in for the first service, which was originally set for Sept. 10.

Instead, some of the protesters shouted profane words at children and adults alike.

“That’s not how we would go about it,” the paper reported Smith as saying.

“But they have the right to say what they want to say.”

By  JENNIFER LECLAIRE.

Tag Cloud