Manly Mark Driscoll vs. Feminine Rob Bell
I HATE missing the previews to a movie! So often the previews end up being better than the moive itself. This is frequently the case with articles I read; only its the comments that end up being better or more informative than the actual artical itself. (Then again, I also LOVE reading YouTube video comments! They at times make me literally LOL!)
I recently read an article written by Steven J Patrick titled “Mars Hill Church: The Grand Idea Face-Plants Into Ugly Reality”. It was moderatly entertaining, which is what I always look for in an article, but it was the comments that were even more engaging. I will sum up the article, which isnt hard to do, then present a few of the comments.
I think the following excerpt sums up Mr. Patrick’s position:
SNIPPET ONE: Those who speak without fear or self-consciousness in front of large groups of people tend to fall into four categories: bosses, con men, actors, and psychopaths. And, on the surface, they all look pretty much the same.
SNIPPET TWO: Having attended and/or watched both those churches and seen them in action, I find it crystal clear that Driscoll is attempting – maybe even subconsciously – to elevate himself to the status of the “New Jerry Falwell”; an effort rooted in the fact that The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease. Driscoll appears to have a soul-deep understanding, as Falwell did, that the path to personal stardom as a minister/politician is to say whatever outrageous, controversial thing pops into your head, as long as it produces SOME reaction. THAT is how Liberty Baptist Church grew: Falwell ticked people off with his carny antics and his followers rallied around him, forming an “Us vs. Them” bond against the outside world. Every simple, vaguely-disillusioned person within that area of Virginia who felt that the world was not quite “right” gravitated to his message of Assigning Blame for their ills to something, ANYTHING outside themselves.
SNIPPET THREE: I saw Rob Bell, one of the founders of the Mars Hill “movement” onstage with the Dalai Lama at Hec Edmondson Pavilion during his last Seattle visit. I was taken by his gentleness and direct ideals and started to look into him and Mars Hill. I watched all of his videos on youtube and admired their style and content and simple, elegant truths. This, I thought, is a wonderful idea: religion which recognizes us and doesn’t judge all us rock ‘n’ roll-era kids and try to tell us that the things we love, the lives we lead, have to be gutted, purged, and reassembled to make room for God. No authoritarian old guys in suits, no fancy robes and collars and surplices, no thees and thous – just people of the generations after Elvis, trying to communally reach toward God. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
NOW TO THE GOOD STUFF:
I’m curious how ‘Doing unto others as you would have the do unto you’ translates to not speaking the truth to your congregation about an extremely mainstream movie that has an obvious bias? I saw Avatar. I thought the effects were stunning. I thought the plot was complete bogus.
Also, the greatest commandment according to Jesus is actually to ‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.’ Those who do not love God will have certain unavoidable problems with those who do.
Mars Hill preaches Jesus Christ, Him crucified for our sins, and our need to turn away from our sin and TO Jesus. This DOES create “confrontation & division” with the world, Jesus said it would (Lk 21:17). They most definitely do not promote chauvinism to anyone but Christ and their only superior truth is The Truth of Jesus Christ of the Bible.
Granted, you will get the few people who hang onto every word that someone like Pastor Mark says but that doesn’t mean that’s Mark’s fault. You can find those people in any circle. I’ve found in my 1+ year of attendance that Mark is very consistent in stating that Mars Hill is about Jesus, not himself or anyone else.
Finally, I am deeply grieved by your very confident comment that ‘without reservation….NOTHING’ in the Mars Hill campuses you’ve visited has do with the God you know.
Mars Hill is not perfect – because HUMANS are part of the Church. HUMANS are not perfect. Please show me a Church that is perfect Steven! However, Mars Hill does preach Jesus Christ crucified, our need for Him, and our need to repent in order to be at peace with God. If that has nothing to do with the god you know, I hope you either recant or realize that you don’t know the God of the Bible.
Mars Hill played a significant part in God making me the happiest man I could ever be. God’s continuing to change me and I hope He uses me to lead many people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. http://www.lifeofconk.blogspot.com is my testimony if you feel like reading it. Best wishes. -mc
Posted by Charlatan at 2/25/2010 3:04 p.m.
This post above is really nothing more than a predictable apologist for Mars Hill, trying – very lamely – to turn the issue into Mr. Patrick’s faulty beliefs and not Driscoll’s overbearing nonsense. Unable to come up with any logical arguments, the writer falls back on her own Mars Hill-influenced worldview to “refute” what Patrick wrote.
“Please show me a Church that is perfect Steven!” he/she whines, and then tells him that his statement that what comes out of Mars Hill has nothing to do with any God he knows will send him straight to the bowels of heck because of ONE point of scripture. He never said anywhere that none of the core views of all Christians don’t overlap. He simply said that the arrogant, judgmental, narrow, chauvinistic attitudes that Driscoll espouses run directly counter to the Golden Rule – which our intrepid respondent attempts to “refute” by selectively elevating another one of Jesus supposed utterances, (all of which are a little suspect, because the entire Bible was written by exactly the same HUMANS the person clearly admits are not perfect.), Luke 10:27. Okay, everybody wait for it: here comes the reply that “the scriptures ARE perfect because they’re “divinely inspired”! Funny how Christians always have some metaphorical rock to hide behind when any argument threatens to leave them stuck. It’s the Golden Rule…UNLESS IT ISN’T!! I guess 2000+ years of practice makes being slippery and manipulative pretty easy.
This is why people lose patience with Christians. They assume this smug superiority whenever they talk about their beliefs, church, pastor, or ideals but then fly into frothy rages when their flighty assertions of the Ultimate Truths are met with resistance. NOT A WORD of this person’s screed was anything but opinions – the second-hand teachings they got from “pastors” like Driscoll and his message that, hey, it’s not YOU that’s effed up, it’s the rest of mankind. Liked the little bit at the end, too: I’ve preached to you and slung scripture in your face and basically said that you’re headed straight to perdition…but, hey…uh, OH! I’m a Christian, so I better says something to prove I’m really Godly…uh….“Best Wishes!!!!”
God save us from the Zeal of the Newly Converted…
Posted by JeffSHRP at 2/25/2010 3:48 p.m.
I had the joy of watching Rob Bell speak at Hec Edmondson and then very recently at Mars Hill Graduate School (no relation to either Driscoll or Bell’s Mars Hill). One of the Graduate students asked the question of how he was to interact honestly with his GLBT community when every time they heard the name Mars Hill (the name of his school and the name of Driscoll’s church) they would shut down. Rob Bell recommended changing the name of the Graduate School. He then when on to explain how he believed one should respond to churches one disagrees with. There are over 30,000 suicides per year. There are 27 million people currently in slavery. If the greatest concern we have is that other Christians aren’t Christian enough by our standards we are missing the point. This is a slightly crude summary but I’m no Rob Bell.
Trust me when I say I understand where you are coming from. My good friend is a gay Christian and the Mars Hill crowd hasn’t exactly been kind to him. My agnostic and atheist friends use Driscoll quotes as anti-church ammo. Still, I have visited Mars Hill in Ballard and have seen things I believe having something to do with God. Sincerity in a worships pastors voice. Kindness is a woman who introduced herself during the greeting period. Donations being give by members in the congregation to aid the people of Haiti. While I was leaving I also saw loving mothers and fathers with there children coming out of the church. To say nothing coming out of the church is of God is making possibly too broad and definitive a statement. I wouldn’t make Mars Hill my home church and I definitely disagree with much of Driscoll’s theology but I think we can find some common ground to engage in a dialogue.
I’m sorry if this comes of as pretentious, preachy, or condescending, that is sincerely not my intent. I enjoy reading what you write and will definitely continue to follow your posts. Thanks!
Posted by unregistered user at 2/25/2010 4:00 p.m.
God is dead, Avatar sucks and Mars Hill is a joke.
Posted by unregistered user at 2/25/2010 4:10 p.m.
Jeff, thanks for verbalizing my feelings a little better. It’s difficult for people to see past us flawed Christians and see the perfect Jesus – we always get in the way like the pharisees of the Bible. Steven, I still hope you either recant/reconsider the god you know.
And my ‘best wishes’ were and still are sincere Charlatan.
Posted by Steven J Patrick at 2/25/2010 5:22 p.m.
“Steven, I still hope you either recant/reconsider the god you know.”
I have nothing to recant. I don’t go to churches. As you yourself admitted, churches are full of humans – fallible, imperfect humans. My relationship with God is private, between Him and me. I trust God’s power and wisdom enough to believe that he will lead me in the proper path for my life without the involvement of others and their messy, human group-think and peer-group pressures. I believe Luke 10:27 and practice it, daily. If you’re telling me that God alone is not sufficient to the task of leading each human being to the fulfillment of his or her life, I submit that you’re the one who doesn’t know God. The God I know is merciful, kind, and wants the best for each of us. He doesn’t draw artificial divisions between the greater and the lesser, the believers and non-believers, the anointed and the “incorrect”. He is available to ALL…and that includes gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals, people who make billion-dollar-grossing movies, and WOMEN. He doesn’t discriminate on any basis. And the mere fact that Mars Hill espouses the setting apart of these things disqualifies them, in my OPINION, from any claim to following the Will of God.
I have nothing to “recant”. I know God personally, not as the product of received wisdom and I trust that HE – not some showboat pastor – will show me The Way.
Best wishes to you, too.
Posted by unregistered user at 2/27/2010 4:02 p.m.
I have heard Rob Bell preach many times at Mars Hill in Michigan, I wish that all Christians could hear him in person, watch his videos on Noomas and feel the joy, the love, and the presence of God was in my heart and mind, I have never felt closer and happier when listening to the word of God in my 56 years of life.
Please do not use the words of Mark Driscoll and compare them to the Mars Hill where Rob Bell preaches. I wish all Christians could hear and feel and know that God is definitely in the heart and presence of Rob Bell.
Posted by Steven J Patrick at 2/27/2010 6:36 p.m.
I regret that I gave the impression that Rob bell has anything to do with Mark Dricoll. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bell talks about love and acceptance and his “Nooma” series is a lovely, lyrical, thought-provoking retelling of God’s message – a far cry from Driscoll’s shallow, self-absorbed “Street Fighter Jesus” that he’s using to further his unchecked personal ambitions. I apologize for the impression that they’re allied. They’re not and Bell deserves better than that. -END
Finally, Guess Which Action Figure Mark Driscoll/Rob Bell Would Pick To Play With