Posts Tagged ‘Mark Driskoll’

Watching Mark Driscoll on Piers Tonight made me uncomfortable.   Mark Driscoll is the founding minister of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, and one of the best-recognized spokespersons for emergent-type churches, although he has distanced himself from the mainstream of the Emerging Church Movement.

Driscoll has a new book out called Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together  that raises some eyebrows because he not only takes a pretty conservative view of women’s roles, but he also addresses married sex quite explicitly—at least this seems to be the part of the book that got him on with Piers Morgan.

It was not the content of his answers that made me uncomfortable, rather the overall manner and potential effect of his responses. In my judgment, Morgan—a somewhat hostile antagonist– kept Driscoll on the defensive which diminished the potential impact of his answers.

Honestly, defending faith in a public arena challenges almost all of us!  Don’t you find that public Christians often come off appearing like boxers backed into a corner, subjectively successful in warding off their opponent’s blows, but mostly hoping the bell will ring soon!

One of the best public Christian defenders I ever saw was Billy Graham. I thought often during the interview that as preparation for Piers Morgan, Driskoll should have watched Billy Graham being interviewed by Phil Donahue and others—often being asked the same questions about hell and marriage and sex.  I watched those old interviews again today as well as the Piers Morgan interview to see if I could determine the difference.

The major difference as I see it is that Graham spoke with authority and Driskoll did not. In response to pointed questions, Driskoll’s sentences started most often with “I believe that . . . ,” whereas, in a short collection of interview clips from Graham’s life,  his sentences rarely start with “I believe”—even when asked directly what he believed.  No, his responses are “Christ taught,” “God says,” and “the Bible teaches.”  More than once, Graham says, “It doesn’t make any difference what I believe” and then proceeds to speak as the oracle of God.

All of this led me to think about Jesus and his responses to public interviews by hostile interrogators!  How did Jesus respond in situations similar to Driskoll’s?  What would Jesus do?

  • Jesus spoke boldly.  The temple guards said, “No one ever spoke the way this man does” (John 7:46)
  • Jesus spoke truthfully.  Almost 80 times in the four Gospels, Jesus begins his sentence with “Truly, I tell you . . . “—and sometimes, “Very truly, I tell you . . . .” Jesus is not “The Opinion;” He is “the Truth!”
  • Jesus did not answer every question that he was asked. Read all of John 7 and see how often Jesus leaves the question of his birthplace unanswered, as well as questions about who he was.
  • Jesus chose his battles, not engaging with every potential antagonist! Again look at the beginning of John 7 and notice that Jesus avoids going to Jerusalem with a crowd, but rather goes secretly.
  • Jesus chose sometimes to be silent. “When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?”  But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor” (Matthew 27:12-14).
  • Jesus always acknowledged His Father as the source of his message. “For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken” (John 12:49).

Being a public disciple of Jesus is not easy! I’m grateful for the truths that people like Billy Graham or Mark Driscoll speak in public.  In whatever ways we might be questioned or challenged because of Jesus, I pray that you and I both will do what He would do!

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