Wednesday, January 28, 2009

...jumps the shark

Here is my extensive review: ignominious.
Here is da link.


Jon said...

I agree completely with your "extensive review."

My wife and I watched it and were disgusted with this idiocy.

SJ Camp said...

I know... I am now just resigning to pray for this brother. I hope one day he will realize that it's not about numbers; it's not about his fame; it's not about culture; and it's not about being relevant or using the latest gimmicks and tricks to add sizzle to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It's about God's glory and His Word being faithfully preached and the proclamation of His gospel.


Andrew Ramsey said...

Mr. Camp,

I will totally agree that Mark Driscoll needs prayer for. but to be fair, I thought the piece was nicely done. unfortunately i did catch Driscoll in a lie as I watched the piece (i think 4 times now)when he was asked about him saying that the modern portrayal of Jesus in the church as a "limp-writed, hippie, queer Christ". He pretty much says it all the time. Although I will agree that that assessment is pretty much exactly how Christ is portrayed in the church today, i think he (Driscoll) needs to better articulate his points.

SJ Camp said...

I do agree in part with you. Were there some good things said? Yes. But overall it was disappointing.

I also don't agree with Driscoll's portrayal of the Lord by those in the culture or the church. I have never heard anyone refer to Jesus in the terms he does. That is his own invention.

This is what I mean my brother; he uses the Lord as His punchline rather than speaking of Him in exalted terms.

Here is my issue overall with the interview: the focus is Mark's pulpit antics, seedy humor, titillating language and graphic stories. It is not the preaching of God's Word. It's all abput him - and he knows it. If he were preaching the Word true and carefully expositing Scripture without these antics, no one, including me - would be writing about him. And why? Because he really isn't a very good expositor if you take away all of the unnecessary distractions.

Col. 1:9-14

PS - What did Driscoll lie about four times? Curious.

Dan Miller said...

Steve, first let me tell you of the tremendous impact you have had on my life - profound. FWIW. I actually quoted a lyric of yours in a message I spoke the other week ("playing marbles with diamonds).

With that being said, don't you think that the perception you got from the interview is in large part to the ABC editor? Isn't an interview from ABC going to naturally focus on "Mark's pulpit antics, seedy humor, titillating language and graphic stories"? Please forgive my directness, but you sound naive in your commentary.

dbru said...

My rebuttal to your extensive review:

Andrew Ramsey said...


just to correct you, I actually watched the interview four times. and I think the comments like the one he made at the beginning of the peasant princess series pretty much sums up his "Systematic theology" on Jesus. Was Jesus a rebel? Yes and no. Yes because he was challenging every single taboo in his culture. no because just limiting him as a rebel kinda dims the other sides of Jesus.

as a missionary, I really only have one problem about mark that really bothers me. He just really seems to be really ethnocentric in his methodologies and his target group focusing on single white males like me who likes to watch UFC. and modern church seems to be just as guilty focusing on one niche.

Just to be fair, The book of Ezekiel does have one place where God calls Israel and Judah "whores". Amos basically calls women "cows of Bashan. is there a time for tough talk like the Bible does at times? yes. should it be used to draw people in to make people believe the Gospel? I don't think so.

I like how Mark Driscoll is at least trying. he does have some good things to say. it is just a matter of eating out the meat and chucking the bones into the trash. We should not however loose our grip off of the saftety rope of scripture!

In His Perfection,
2 Tim 2:15

SJ Camp said...

Dan Miller
First of all thank you brother for your kind words of encouragement. I am so grateful that the Lord uses some of the songs to bless others. SDG!

Please forgive my directness, but you sound naive in your commentary.

I have been to Mark's church before and have heard him preach there. Have listened to most everything he has done in the last three years. Read the books and web articles too.

So my opinion is not isolated to the ABC piece - but hopefully in context. In fact, I thought they were most gracious to him in their critique.

Hope that helps a bit more...

SJ Camp said...

Really fun! Best come back posted here in awhile...

But.. no.

SJ Camp said...

Sorry if I misunderstood you. I believe Mark's systematic on Jesus is faulty. He wants to humanize His actions to the point of crudeness divorced of His deity. IOW, Mark doesn't represent Him as the God-Man in incarnation; but as Dude.

Tragic. He will surely grow up one day. He likes to point to Spurgeon as his model, but he is nothing like him in any regard. There is no loftiness in Mark's preaching; there is little of the terror of the Lord in his gospel proclamation; and he certainly doesn't tremble at God's Word from the pulpit.

I will say this of Mark - he knows how to promote himself to the point of eclipsing all else - including the Lord.

dbru said...

My apologies for a foolish post. It is unfair ever to speculate on a brother's motive. A one word response to the review should have been.......predictable. By the way, as a personal friend of Mark's let me assure you he doesn't know it is all about him, which again shows you the danger of divining motive. At a minimum on that issue, let me assure you that you are misguided.

Dave Miller said...

I guess I don't understand why you guys bash Mark Driscoll so hard.

He clearly proclaims the Word. He does not compromise the gospel. He certainly is a little bizarre. He deals with topics that I would not deal with in my conservative, Iowa church. I would probably find some things to disagree with him about.

But I do not understand the force of condemnation directed against him. Maybe you folks can educate me.

I know very little about him. In fact, this clip was the first time I've ever heard him speak.

Having watched it, I actually had a much more positive impression of Mark Driscoll than I had listening to all the Driscoll bashers.

I just do not understand why he arouses such intense disgust or hatred, or whatever it is.

SJ Camp said...

Don't drink the Kool-Aid my brother.

SJ Camp said...

Dave Miller
I appreciate your words here.

1. I am not bashing Mark.

2. Mark is more than bizarre; he is blasphemous

3. He does not exposit Scripture; unless of course you think that gay jokes about the Lord Jesus Christ is appropriate for a pastor to make while fulfilling his calling to preach the Word.

I mean think about that my brother. Who would say such things as a believer about the very One who died for his salvation.

We need to pray for this man. And btw, Mark brings this on himself. Don't shoot me, I'm just the piano player.

Grace and peace

Carla said...

Dave Miller said:

"I just do not understand why he arouses such intense disgust or hatred, or whatever it is."

In my case it's certainly not hatred, but it is definitely disgust. Try listening to this recent interview with Cathy Markels and David Wheaton, to understand a little better why so many are in fact disgusted.

When Relevance Becomes Irreverence - The Curious Case of Mark Driscoll

Michele Rayburn said...

I never heard Mark Driscoll's testimony of how he got saved. Did someone curse at him...and he had an epiphany? :)

theoldadam said...

My problem with Driscoll is that he is a part of the culture which hates the things of the church.

He lets the culture, which cares nothing for the church, re-define the church.

Throw out the pulpit, throw out the altar.

Throw out the vestments.

Bring in the rock band, the stage lighting, the hip cool pastor and it's an easy trip into the comfort zone of the 'self'.

The church ought be counter-cultural. His church is anything but.

Dave Miller said...

When you call him blasphemous, is that because of the gay joke?

I have no idea what that is, or what he said.

I didn't see anything on this video that he said that was blasphemous.

The Old Adam

I get the impression that Mark is hip and cool. But it doesn't seem to be an affectation. He is hip.

I am an old-fashioned Bible expositor. That's who I am. Its how I was raised.

Mark came from a different background - he is genuinely hip and cool.

I don't have to be like him, but neither does he have to be like me.

You are upset that he threw out the pulpit, the altar and the vestments. None of those are biblical - they are part of an older church culture.

You don't like the rock music. Is there a musical style spelled out in scripture? I'm more concerned about content and theology than musical style.

It seems that you are not upset because he violates scripture, but because his church culture is different than yours.

I guess I need to research this "gay joke" that Mr. Camp keeps referring to.

Dave Algie said...

The "Gay Jokes" about Jesus that I have seen Driscoll tell make points about what Driscoll declares Jesus is NOT. To insinuate that Driscoll is making jokes about Jesus as being gay is misleading. He ridicules people who would see Jesus that way. Steve, it is no more offensive than you making a point about "God is my girlfriend" songs which could also be misconstrued as being blasphemous. God is my girlfriend? Or singing about a "plastic Jesus". Of course you are not really mocking the Lord and neither is Driscoll. You and Driscoll are taking people to task for the way people portray Jesus.

Maybe you need to rethink your attacks on Driscoll for these kinds of comments.

Kuiperian said...

Andrew Ramsey I want to call you out on calling our brother Mark a Liar when you said

“will totally agree that Mark Driscoll needs prayer for but to be fair, I thought the piece was nicely done. Unfortunately I did catch Driscoll in a lie as I watched the piece (I think 4 times now) when he was asked about him saying that the modern portrayal of Jesus in the church as a "limp-wristed, hippie, queer Christ". He pretty much says it all the time. Although I will agree that that assessment is pretty much exactly how Christ is portrayed in the church today, I think he (Driscoll) needs to better articulate his points. “

(I corrected your spelling errors in your quote)

Mark said he doesn’t "think" he used the term "queer" and did not deny anything else. I have heard him make many references to what he thinks the world’s view of Jesus is such. There is example written in his book Vintage Jesus on page 31 in chapter 2 "how human was Jesus"

So back to the lie, what is a lie?

Webster says “an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker to be untrue with intent to deceive”

I believe he was sincere when he said he doesn’t think he used the term queer, maybe he has but I don’t think so… has he made comments that would mean the same thing, yes, but all he said to the reporter was I don't think I’ve ever used that term.

I think saying someone is lying publically like this, essentially calling them a liar is pretty serious and you don’t have a good case to do so.

SJ Camp said...

Dave Miller
I have sung "rock" for many years and really like contemporary music. The style of dres, pulpit or not is not the issue ever for me. I cannot stand legalism.

It is the content and manner in which that content is communicated. Do the homework.

christsightings said...

Mark and preachers like him need to go away. He and those like him blur the line between holiness and worldliness. The last thing the Church needs right now is for the Truth it proclaims to be ambiguous.

I challenge men posting in his defense to read these articles from sisters in Christ who have had enough of Mark's crude teachings.

Enough is enough dudes!

eric opsahl said...

He does appear to have the endorsement of a few well respected pastors like Piper. I can only assume, if he has that relationship, that Piper and others, correct him when needed? It is inconceivable to me that a man of Pipers influence and respect would ignore these supposed issues, especially heresy. Perhaps there is another acceptable side to Driscoll’s ways than we see. Even though I don’t see some of his ways as being acceptable, I’m thinking that I may be looking thru my narrow lens (I hope it’s based on Scripture), especially with the endorsement of Piper. Have you ever attempted to call Mark and address some of these issues? I think he once commented that he wished MacArthur would have called him before publically criticizing him, because he would have flown to meet MacArthur at his office.

olan strickland said...

Steve, not only is your review extensive it is also exhaustive.

Jesus was murdered because He was a rebel? Jesus was murdered because He was righteous! He refused to transgress the commandment of God for the sake of men's traditions and He always used logic and Scripture to explain that what He was doing was not in violation of God's Word. He even paid taxes to keep others from stumbling. Classifying Jesus as a rebel is no more right than those on the other extreme who would classify Him as effeminate.

Today rebellion is the "new righteousness" and it appeals to men who are natural born rebels.

"For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached..." (2 Corinthians 11:4).

theoldadam said...

From my pastor:

Most traditional congregations make an effort to integrate some kind of popular style into their ministry. I was a youth pastor early in my ministry and this was always a part of the package. But youth, popular-oriented ministry was always recognized for what it was…a step along the way toward a fuller and more mature engagement with faith and life. Our youth programs, at least in the Lutheran churches I was a part of, also included education ministry involving church history, historic worship, other church traditions, and so forth. Young people were encouraged to “give up childish things.”
The “shirt-tail” preachers, perhaps with good intentions, have driven a deep wedge between the historic church and these current fly-by-night churches by making an orthodoxy out of adolescent anti-establishment sentiments.

It is important to remember that since the sixties American culture has been pathologically youth-oriented. Many cultural forces (market, entertainment, etc.) have a real stake in keeping people focused on the adolescent and popular. All this catering and pandering to youth has taken it’s toll. Now, young people expect to have everything geared toward them in order to feel comfortable.
Historic worship, at least in my tradition, reflects the accumulated struggle of a centuries-long effort to preserve a worship that is counter-cultural in the best sense. So, there is a tremendous tension that arises between the popular culture and the historic worship of the church. That tension alone bears witness to the fact that what the church and world are up to regarding the reality of God are very different, even at odds. In this sense, the historic liturgies, while perhaps wildly unpopular, are exceedingly relevant.

Darrin said...


When one reads Calvin much, and then hears Mark's crass content from the church stage combined with him refered to as a "Calvinist" (as in that clip), it is sobering to think of how Calvin might feel about that reference, considering the high view he held of God's sovereignty, Christ's work, and the Word.
But then it hits - if that's true, how does CHRIST feel about it? If the historic theologian would be appalled, what about the holy Son of God?

As Olan and others have indicated, painting Jesus as a rebel is problematic. He is the eternal reigning King - we rebeled against Him! All of us, including youth, should focus on SUBMISSION to God, not rebellion to church and society. But we don't like that part so much.

"If thou wilt play the mountebank [a peddler who attracts with stories, jokes, etc.], use not the pulpit for thy stage." - Puritan quote

parsonsipe said...


Wow. I usually do not post unless I have something of substance, but I want to affirm your pastors post. I simply could not agree more. Excellently put.

Thanks, Steve. It is past time we stop sitting back in our recliners enjoying the "show", and be willing to take a stand against all that demeans the holiness of God. It has always been a benchmark of my own weak preaching that we must have return to the wonderful tension between God's immanence and His transcendence. Somewhere the transcendence has been tossed aside.


Psalm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
donsands said...

"The last thing the Church needs right now is for the Truth it proclaims to be ambiguous."

The Truth of the Gospel, and the Scriptures I have seen from Mark are very orthodox. At least in his book Vintage Jesus his doctrines are orthodox.

His manner of speaking, and communicating are crude at times. And his wholesomeness as a pastor of the Lord is in question by many good Christians.

I lean toward being very sensative to the people of God when discussing the sexual teachings. Of course, there are the one on one, shepherd and sheep discussions, which are fine behind closed doors and confidential.

The language of Christ, which proceeds from the Church, especially the pastors and elders, needs to be godly, holy, righteous, and full of grace and beauty. And surely this is being done by many genuine pastors and teachers in the Church today.

Why doesn't Mark see that his language is offensive to any in the Church? Or perhaps he does, and doesn't think he is.

I have to leave him right there. He has nothing for me that I need.

I hope the Lord is working through him to preach the Word, and edify the people in his church, and so they become more conformed into the image of Christ.

He not conformed to this world. Have your mind renewed. God is washing our dirty minds clean with His grace and the precious blood of Christ.

May the world see us as grateful and humble people, who know without the death of our glorious Jesus Christ, we would all be consumed.

Whenever the world hears the Church speak the name of Jesus Christ, (especially from the pulpits), may they be overwhelmed and even confused with the reverence and awe we affirm to His holy name.

Rick Frueh said...

It does not matter to me if a pastor comes in informal attire, or has very long hair, or sports a beard, or really anything external. I really do not care if he has tattoos as well. But what comes out of your mouth is important, and should set a standard even when you are attempting to be relevant.

If you become careless enough, you will continue to move ever so slightly further into the shock genre which as we have seen puts the emphasis on you and not on Jesus.

I know, Steve, we would have probalems with some of the theology of Shane Clairborne, however, his lifestyle and communication makes people wonder why he lives that way and if Jesus does desire us to reach out humanitarianly. The emphasis with Mark is Mark.

People today are not just interested with the old ways presented in new but sanctified forms, they want new ways communicated with irreverence and styles that are appealing to the flesh.

I have heard Mark preach the gospel, but unfortunately that is not what he is known for. When our methods far overshadow our Savior we must reject the methods wholesale. The man has a gift, but he has chosen to shine that gift through the prism of scandalous speech, if there is such a thing anymore.

Dave Miller said...

I am not trying to be difficult, but you dismissed my last comment with an insult - "do your homework."

I tried. I tried to find this gay joke that you are talking about. I tried to google it. All I found was him saying that the Jesus presented in the Christian world today is effeminate.

What gay joke?

It seems to be fundamental to your anger toward Mark D. I am trying to understand why you guys are so passionate against him.

I find a whole bunch of people saying a whole bunch of things about Mark Driscoll. When I read or listen to Mark Driscoll, he often does not seem to be saying exactly what his detractors say he says.

Can someone provide me a link to this gay joke? Not just someone disparaging him for the gay joke, I've seen plenty of that. The joke itself.

Dave in Sioux City who wants help with his homework.

blackreformingkid said...

I used to think Driscoll was cool (even had his RSS feed on my blog), then he starts to make these smutty statements about masturbation, Christian nymphos and oral sex, and I had to cut his line off. I'm 18 - I don't mind being frank and upfront. Driscoll's means of doing so is an offense to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

blackreformingkid said...

And for the record, a pastor can turn up in torn jeans and a rolled-up-sleeves shirt with white exclusive trainers on his feet or a three-pieced suit with cufflinked shirt and matching hankie in the breast pocket. That isn't my issue with Driscoll - it is his continually smutty talk which worries me. There are, I believe, some redeeming things about him - but you can tell a lot about the heart of a man by what comes forth from his tongue...

Dave Miller said...

I want to make it clear. I am not a Driscoll supporter. I knew very little about him. I heard the horror stories about him on various blogs (SBC blogs were buzzing about him recently).

I heard these horrible stories about him, so I started to check things out. That's how I ended up here.

My point is that when I read him or listen to him he doesn't seem nearly as awful as the stories that I hear about him.

I have addressed sexual issues in church - its not easy. He seems to lack inhibitions in talking about this. But the Bible is pretty direct about sexual issues.

I am not his apologist, but I am seeing some disconnect between what he says and what people say about him.

There seem to me to be two possibilities. Mark Driscoll has a side I haven't seen, or you folks are engaged in ungodly slander and character assassination.

I'm trying to figure it out.

Michele Rayburn said...

What's going on with Mark Driscoll reminds me of some of the cults I'm studying...and he does seem to have a "cult following".

And the similarity is this: they are like a Trojan Horse. You think you are hearing all this great preaching, and, oh, he's even a Calvinist.

But then the Trojan Horse opens its door and out comes an army of unbiblical ungodliness, dressed up as truth. And then the army runs back into the Trojan Horse, and everyone says, "What army? What unbiblical teaching? What was ungodly about what he said? Everytime I hear him he preaches a great sermon."

And then awhile later, a few weeks or so, the Trojan Horse releases its army again. And everyone is so acclimated that they don't even notice it anymore. And they say, "What's wrong with that? He said nothing wrong. He just preached the truth. He's just saying what other people say about Jesus, but he didn't say it. And he is who he is. We can't expect him to be just like everybody else."

And this vicious cycle goes round and round.

Sara in MN said...

Dave - Since your question has not been answered I will attempt to. In MD's sermon series The Peasant Princess, the first message, he talks about Song of Solomon being an allegory and references that some might be thinking they will get to heaven and have sex with Jesus (I HATE even typing this), and that the guys would really have a problem with that thought. That is just my summary. Here is an article that is VERY factual with a lot of links and direct quotes with sources.

Also, just go to the Mars Hill website and watch the first sermon in the series if you want to see and hear it for yourself.

I am sorry, but if a pastor repeatedly says things in sermons that I am offended by and need to censor for my children...there is a problem with it for me. I don't particularly want to explain things I have heard come from his mouth to my children. At our church we hear more about things like justification, sanctification, missions, loving our neighbors - not crude talk that makes many cringe. I prefer to feel encouraged and exalting my Father when I leave church, not feeling gross and dirty from things I have heard. We intentionally try to guard our hearts, minds, eyes and ears...why willingly subject oneself to it at CHURCH of all places.

Andrew Ramsey said...


I Screwed up, I broke one of the commandments by lying about mark driscoll. and I appologize and repent for doing so.

Rick Frueh said...

"But the Bible is pretty direct about sexual issues."

Please enlighten me to the Biblical directness about anal sex, or masterbation, or oral sex, or sex toys, or many other sexual nuances today that Mark expounds upon. The Scriptures declare sex outside of marriage as sin, and within marriage here is the complete book on the scope of sex Biblically:

"The marriage bed is undefiled."

Pretty direct and succinct, but hardly explicit. Since when are pastors experts in sexual techniques and/or problems? I missed that course in Bible college.

As far as the gay joke, I do not know what you are referring to, but Mark suggested that anyone who interprets the Song of Solomon as a metaphorical narrative of the believer and His lord is implying a homosexual relationship. Just so ya know.

Dave Miller said...

I guess a lot of the "frankness" of the Bible on sexual matters depends on how you interpret Song of Songs.

But in the law, there is a list of sexual practices that are banned - including various forms of incest, bestiality and homosexuality.

None of the sexual topics you mentioned are covered on that extensive and graphic list.

When I preach on scriptures dealing with sexual matters, it is a constant balancing act to be direct, to be biblical and to be tactful. I would not approach things like Driscoll does, but I am not sure I am as offended by it as some of you are.

I haven't read a lot of Driscoll's stuff or listened to his sermons. I did read (well, speed-read) "Porn Again" recently.

Aaron said...

It's exaspirateing to watch Mark Driscol becuse for every one or two things I agree with him on. He says four or five things that are either completelly off the wall or completelly offensive. I alsdo findmy selfsaying whenever The "Sex thing" comes up I findmyselfsaying "shouldnt this just be kept in the Pastor's Office and not boradcast all over creation?

LivingDust said...

Perhaps in 20 years, Pastor Driscoll will look back and say "I wish I could do that period of my life and ministry all over again. I would do it differently." I have never met a 38 year old Pastor who possesses wisdom and Pastor Driscoll seems to be no exception. However, I would never doubt his sincerity and desire to see people repent, believe and obey.

Brian said...

I attend Mars Hill Church.
There are aspects to comments on this site that I too at times struggled with. Allow me to pass comment ...

Mark's context is Seattle. Very liberal and not a lot of believers around. Mars Hill Church emerged out of the university district. His use of language and humor reflects his personal background and the background of the people he has been focused on ... mostly young folk and particulary young men. It hasn't always been appropriate and he has matured and changed over time. As his popularity has grown, more people from outside the Seattle area and from outside the church demographic have been listening in and his style can offend many. Especially when you don't have the context of being there in person vs podcast etc.

I have a 9 yr old daugher and there are definitely some sermons I do not want her listening to. MHC will let folk know ahead of time and usually also arrange special kids Sunday school classes on those Sundays, as they did during the Song of Solomon series.

Early on, I have struggled with some aspects of Mark's language and the style of worship. The deciding factor for me staying was the fruit I was seeing in my own life. I have been a Christian for 28yrs and I have never grown as much or felt as challenged as I have by Mark's preaching. I find him really, really solid and on the odd occasion I don't agree, I have been spurred to read my Bible more. Over time, Mark continues to mature and manage his language. He has realised that he isn't just speaking to the people in the room. And I have gotten more used to the rockout worship, although I still prefer more traditional worship.

There is so much garbage and misunderstanding spewed on these blogs. I urge you to temper your reaction, exercise caution in propagating what you read unless you're sure of the facts and most of all, understand that God is using him in a great way - people are coming to know Christ and older Christians like me are growing in new ways.

I feel sorry for the guy ... he gets it from the conservative Bible belt folk and the PNW liberals too.

Brian said...

Oh ... I had to add a comment on the sex talk.

1. don't believe that sex is all that people at Mars Hill hear about.
2. I am extremely grateful that it is being covered. I have appreciated the extremely frank and straight talk and when I look around the room I see a lot of people I know could benefit from it too. Where else are people going to get answers to questions like "is anal sex ok?" from? Oprah? Sports Illustrated? These are real issues that people grapple with. And Seattle can be depraved so people new to Christianity have a very distorted view of what's permissable and what's beneficial.

Rick >> "Pretty direct and succinct, but hardly explicit. Since when are pastors experts in sexual techniques and/or problems?"

COME ON!!! You may think that is direct, but for many people sitting in the congregation here, that isn't direct enough and certainly not explicit enough to directly address the questions people have. Again, where do people get this from if not from their pastor? They have a question and they will look for an answer. As a pastor, I would not want them to get that answer from other places in this city!

Psalm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Psalm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
donsands said...

"Condemning your brothers without a proper trial is not good fruit. Jesus did not even condemn those who betrayed Him, But on the cross He said, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. Keep in mind that He speaks of those who betrayed Him to Death."

Jesus did condemn them many times. Especially in Mtthew 23.

Psalm, your comments are way too long.

Dave Miller said...

There is a constant tension between upholding truth and purity in the church, and maintaining unity in the Body - recognizing that we are all sinners under construction, gradually being conformed to the image of Christ.

I appreciate people like John Mac, and the author of this site, and others who anchor the church - confronting fads and trends that many just accept without analysis or discernment.

On the other hand, I think sometimes there is a tendency among people on this side to drop the h-bomb too often, to condemn as false, impotent or heretical too many people and too many ideas.

It is a balancing act. How do you uphold standards without a spirit of arrogance, superiority, rigidity, even legalism.

Rick Frueh said...

A pastor's calling is the gospel, and the expounding of God'Word. He is not an expert in plumming, or cars, or finances, or a vriety of issues. And he is not an expertin sexual techniques.

Where can they get that kind of counsel? A trained Christan counselor.

SJ Camp said...

Dave Miller
Thank you for your last comment here. That really sums up my heart. Balance is the key. Please forgive me if I fail to rightly represent that balance between grace and truth. We are all under construction and praise the Lord He is not finished with us... Amen? We are all works in progress; sinners in constant need of His grace every step of the way.

Thank you my brother.
Titus 2:12

SJ Camp said...

I agree with you brother! Amen.

Most of your posts are too long and are not in keeping with this thread. Please move on or change your tune.

Grace and peace,

SJ Camp said...

Amen! Even if Pastor Mark's motives are sincere, certain things are not proper for all to hear from the pulpit and would be better discussed in a more private counseling setting.

I will continue to pray for Mark for discernment and wisdom on these things.

gigantor1231 said...

S.J. and Y'all, especially Driscoll supporters

The word of God guides us and is very clear when it comes to Elders, Pastors, Deacons, Teachers etc... how they are supposed to conduct themselves having been honored with such a great responsibility. The bottom line is they are all subject to a higher judgment in their calling, with that in mind everyone in those positions need to keep in mind that they are representatives of God through Jesus Christ, in other words God is holy and pure and never has or will need to use scatology, gutter talk, foul jokes etc... to enlighten hearts to the truth of the Gospel, neither should His servant leaders.
I think the best example of this is the letters to the Corinthians. In them we find a very relevant example of a debauched city and it's debauched residents. Paul never saw fit to be foul or lude to communicate to Corinthians. So, Why should Mark display a different example to those that he ministers too? If Paul did not feel it was necessary to be filthy, crass or crude to relate why does Mark feel it is necessary? I would be interested of your answers in light of Paul's example.

Michele Rayburn said...

Hi Gigantor,

I thought someone else might weigh in on your question, but since no one did (it looks like everyone's gone for the weekend!), I thought I'd just share with you some excerpts from a similar comment that I made on Steve's other post called,
"Imputation, Substitution, Justification-The Heart Of The Gospel" (Jan. 24 '09 at 14:40).

You cited a really good example of Paul writing to the debauched Corinthians and how he didn't lower himself to their level.

In fact, in my comment I had cited a verse from 1 Corinthians, when I said:

I think that perhaps Mark Driscoll misunderstands 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 which says in part:

"...I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."

The Apostle Paul isn't saying that he became like them in an irreverent way, but that he tried to put himself in their place, to relate to their circumstances.

In fact, Paul wasn't even talking about relating to their sin in these verses, but only to their circumstances.

"Relating" this to Mark Driscoll, he is not just trying to identify with their circumstances, he is also partaking of their sin by being just like them.

I don't know if Driscoll's ideology/methodology comes from a perverted understanding of 1 Cor.9:19-23, but maybe he should take a look at those verses and reconsider where he has arrived at in his thinking.

So, yes, I think it would be wise if we followed Paul's example, as he followed Christ. Paul said, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1)

gigantor1231 said...

Michele Rayburn

My sentiment exactly! When we understand the magnitude of what He has done for us and Who it is that has done it, how can we presume that we are going to lead someone to Him when our method is exactly opposite of His character? By unholy means leading people to a Holy God! This is simply the fruit of a warped mind, a mind that does not think according to the spirit but according to the flesh.

Michele Rayburn said...


" can we presume that we are going to lead someone to Him when our method is exactly opposite of His character? ...not...according to the spirit but according to the flesh."

Well said.

SJ Camp said...

I agree with Michele as well. So does the Apostle Paul when saying: 2 Cor. 4:2 "But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God."

Thank you brother.

gigantor1231 said...


Wow, that passage is very direct;

"but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God."

So, we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. Meaning we do not do anything to impugn His character or cause others to stumble. We do this by the open statement of His truth, we speak it just as it is. No softening or changing for the sake of 'relevance', speak it as it is.
So, what of those that need scatology, coarse joking, entertainment, etc... the Word of God answers that as well;
2 Cor. 4: 3, 4

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Psalm said...

Sorry, I thought it was about Judging others. I just wanted to see if maybe their were 2 Jesus' here being talked about. One of Judgment and another of, God so LOVED the world, He gave His ONLY son. And I just thought maybe some chose the wrong one, is it me? God forbid, I should Love my brother Enough to endure stoning for it. I must have missed the memo. God so hated His Son, that He turned Him over to the world to be Crucified. Then maybe man would learn how to be good Judges. Are we not talking about Driscoll? I know him not, I follow him not, I see where he has toned down some and while that may not be enough to please You maybe God has moved on and is fulfilling, Matthew 24;12 and because Iniquity shall abound, the Love of many shall wax cold. Read the whole chapter, its good eaten.

The Scriptures are not written of the world out there, they are written of YOU. It is the whole of the Church that is in error, less You make God a liar.

Hope this is not too long, but all I have today.

donsands said...

Jesus said, "You will know the wolves in sheep clothing by their fruit."
We need to see fruit in people's lives who call themselves preachers of truth. There will be good fruit and bad fruit. We had better judge, and so not be deceived. Certainly this is done in love, knowing "But for the grace of God, there go I."

Jesus said don't judge by appearance, but JUDGE righteous actions. He says to judge.

Paul says, don't judge those in the world, but judge those in the church.

Jesus called the religious leaders of His day, "children of the devil". That's harsh judging.
Jesus told them that they didn't love God, even though they said they did.

John the Baptist called the religious leaders in his day, snakes and hypocrites.

Now we aren't to be full of judging all the time, and that's not what happens here at Camp on this. But we need to judge with love and compassion.

It's a simple and clear teaching of Scripture. Don't you see the charge from our Lord to judge?

Joe said...


I caught only a portion of the interview on television, and am still debating whether I will try to watch the whole thing. However, given my background, it has been very interesting for me to watch Driscoll's popularity rising. I just returned from a college men's retreat, and heard many of my peers and a few of the speakers praising Driscoll for his "in your face" style of preaching, among other things. However, when I questioned them about his methodology (in that he often has been known to preach in ways that are not edifying to the body or glorifying to our Savior Christ Jesus), many of them admitted that he was guilty of those faults, but tried to justify such things with what good things he says. It would appear (as the rapper J'son might say) that they (Driscoll's followers) are clinging to the man who has the mic in his hand, rather than to the God who holds their lives in his hands. In typical fashion of today's mile-a-minute, I need this done yesterday culture, many are choosing to accept the quickly available word of man, rather than reexamining what God has to say in the matter.

In the Word, much of this weekend (at the retreat) was spent discussing chapter 5 of the book of Ephesians, and in thinking of Driscoll, verse 4 stood out to me:

"Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving."

If the believers in Ephesus were called to such standards of conduct, should we not hold a pastor to at least as much, if not more? Driscoll will one day have to give an account for his actions (and will be held to a higher account as a pastor), and I pray that he would not continue to be a stumbling block who might lead others astray.

Just as another brief point, I find it particularly interesting that a man who is quoted as having said "theological innovation is inevitably the road to heresy" would go out heralding a "new Calvinism". There are many theological points of his that I would agree with, but there are other places (I have not done extensive research, and only have limited insight at this point) where I struggle greatly.

In conclusion to my largely heterogeneous statement, I would just like to say that I am glad we are still able to have open discussion on such matters as this. Some good friends of mine, who hold many of the same theological views as me, very much enjoy Driscoll's teaching. Others cannot make it through an entire sermon. While watching what he does very carefully, we must not make ourselves into false prophets by presuming to know what will happen in the future without God (a very good description of worrying I recently heard). The end of the matter is this: Christ reigns supreme, and whether we fall under the judgment of heresy or see the total theoligical purification of a pivotal pastor is ultimately in the hands of a God who is working all things for our good and to His glory.

Psalm said...


Judge righteously! Yes....

I, ONLY, defend this man because He is not here to defend himself, if he were, I would be on the same side as You laying some very scary words on him. I do not support him but, as your Christian Brother he deserves to be offered a chance to see his error and repent, is this not Righteous judgment? I have been to the mars hill website and read the faith declaration and it reads just like A1, He barks like a dog, and here we judge like pharisees. Where is the point where Christians stop judging in secret and instead make first contact and try to repair the damage before it becomes another Jonesgate or Koreshgate.

We are getting somewhere, no one threw stones this time.

If we speak the truth, WE do not know how the people of Jesus time spoke and knowing the kind of people who made up Jesus deciples, They may have used some words of the times that were not kosher. As You well know these people were outcasts, vagabonds and thought of very wickedly by the church of the day.
Maybe Mark was one of them, hey Mark was one of them. They were out there trying to lead the Scum of the earth ( so the church would say )to Jesus.

donsands said...


Steve's blog isn't secret. I believe mark visited here in the past.

There's no doubt in my mind that Mark would be gracious, and perhaps disagree, but I think he may also be convicted, and perhaps that would help him fight the good fight of faith and godliness, which we are all fighting.

I appreciate Campi putting these things before us. It may help others who look up to Mark Driscoll, and yet were uncomfortable with his crudeness, but felt, "Hey, I must be the one who's wrong. I'm just a lay-person, he's a pastor with a church of 7,000 members. And I have been blessed by him."

The Bible is our fianl authority Psalm. I know you agree. And we can share it's truth in love in many ways, and it will encourage, edify, and also convict and cut.

I pray that you see this blog thread isn't secretly judging like pharisees. That's a wrong mindset altogether.

guy said...

Steve, you are such a hater.

Go play your piano and remain happily entrenched in your own brand of worldliness -- imposing the culture of the 1950s, Ozzie and Harriet, Howdy Doody, etc., on today's lost people.

To be accepted as a Christian, one must also reject all cultures but that one, or even pretend they don't exist.

My review of your attitude:

SJ Camp said...

I thank you for your post here today.

I didn't meant to communicate hatred against Mark to anyone here. Please forgive me if that is what my brief comment meant to you for surely that was not my motive.

But let's refocus here for a minute: the gospel itself is the power of God unto salvation. It doesn't need embellishment, cultural additions, gimmicks or techniques to impact souls for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Again, my sincere apologies.

guy said...

Steve, I couldn't agree more.

If MD is preaching the genuine gospel, then clashes over cultural preferences should be irrelevant, or at best, secondary. Yet you have fired salvo after salvo at him from this blog, and for all I can discern, 99% of your objections to him and his ministry are that he doesn't fit your idea of how a pastor should behave culturally.

Your complaints stem from your own cultural context of choice, which is something like Edwardian meets I Like Ike, with a lot of notions of what propriety is and how it equates to holiness. So you point at "Mark's pulpit antics, seedy humor, titillating language and graphic stories."

I don't think your cultural goggles allow you to see that Mark's pulpit antics are nothing compared to Ezekiel cooking his food using dung for fuel as a sermon illustration, his seedy humor not very different than the aftermath of Ehud's assasination of the king in Judges; his titillating language pales in comparison to Malachi 2:3 and Ezekiel 23, and as for graphic stories, we are talking about the Bible, right? Noah's daughters, Onan, Jephthah, Jael and Sisera, Psalm 137:9; 2 Kings 25:6,7; I could go on and on.

I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself if perhaps Mark is being consistent with the Bible, but you are insisting that he be conformed to your culture. It isn't the prevailing culture, or even a contemporary culture, but retro-worldliness is still worldliness.

It grieves me to see other Christians shoot at this guy, when is on the mission field in an essentially pre-Christian culture. The internet allows people in other locales to see what he's doing, but many tend to judge it through the lens of their own idea of normal. If Victorians could have watched Hudson Taylor on streaming video, I expect he would have gotten a lot of flak for dressing Chinese and having a Chinese haircut.

However, if MD is not preaching the genuine gospel, then I will join you in denouncing him. Meanwhile, it's probably a better use of your blog to focus on TBN, The Shack, Rod Parsely, TD Jakes, etc.

Chris said...

Phil Johnson unleashed on Mark Driscoll this morning at the Shepherd's Conference first general session for the day. He referenced Driscoll's appearance on nightline.