Open Blogging

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103 Responses

  1. ok, sing along…

  2. …because

    :: NIGHT CREW!! ::

  3. Excerpt: That same year heavily-armed police raided barber shops around Orlando, Florida; they said they were hunting for guns and drugs but ended up arresting 34 people for “barbering without a licence”.

    http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21599349-americas-police-have-become-too-militarised-cops-or-soldiers?src=prb%2Fcopsorsoldiers

    Gotta watch out for those illegal barbers!

  4. Filbertz says:

    thanks, G-man
    that truly made me smile–Billy Joel just gets better with age.

  5. Filbertz,
    Glad you liked it!
    Sometimes ya gotta just sing =)

  6. Ixtlan says:

    @2
    didn’t sing along, but enjoyed listening 🙂

  7. Ixtlan says:

    speaking of songs, this one is playing in my head and heart tonight……

  8. Scott says:

    Hello everyone! Just thought I’d give a quick shout out.

    As some may know, I got off the truck and into the office about 7 mos ago. I spent 6 mos over in our corporate office on the coast and moved into an office we’ve had for years but had closed down a couple of years ago north of where we live by about 70 miles.

    I’ve been busy at work, I’m on a learning curve as the boss is throwing different tasks and responsibilities my way. I enjoy it though.

    Found a room to rent there in a really nice house with a guy who is my age and shares so many of my interests, not the least of which he’s a believer and is very passionate about his relationship with Jesus Christ.

    He’s really easy to get along with. There’s one other kid that is 25 who graduated from the UO a couple of years ago that’s pretty much just kicking around trying to decide what he’s going to do with his degree in economics From what I was told he’s hardly ever there and is as quiet as a church mouse.

    I intend (Lord willing) to keep this routine for at least another year. We have a beautiful home on 2 acres in southern Oregon and my wife is VERY comfortable here. So, I’m happy to go up and work/stay during the week. I get home on Friday afternoons and head back up on Monday mornings. Beats living in a semi-truck 300 days out of the year, LOL!

    Psalm 37:23-40

    Hope you’re doing well!
    Scott

  9. Scott,
    Great to hear you are doing well – you obviously are “The Comeback Kid” 🙂

  10. Scott says:

    MLD, thanks! God is the “Come on back God” 😉

    I’m eternally grateful for his mercies that are new every morning!

  11. That is good to hear, Scott!

  12. Michael says:

    “So it is with the whole of the discourse. The new law of the Sermon on the Mount, in itself, can only produce despair. Strange indeed is the complacency with which modern men can say that the Golden Rule and the high ethical principles of Jesus are all that they need. In reality, if the requirements for entrance into the Kingdom of God are what Jesus declares them to be, we are all undone; we have not even attained to the external righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, and how shall we attain to that righteousness of the heart which Jesus demands ? The Sermon on the Mount, rightly interpreted, then, makes man a seeker after some divine means of salvation by which entrance into the Kingdom can be obtained. Even Moses was too high for us; but before this higher law of Jesus who shall stand without being condemned? The Sermon on the Mount, like all the rest of the New Testament, really leads a man straight to the foot of the Cross.”

    —J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (1923) (HT: Covenant Nurture)

  13. J.U. says:

    It’s Open Blogging, and we can say what we want. So here’s what I want to say.

    I’ve been reading and sometimes posting on this blog for a few years. Can’t really say how long. Maybe even four or five, but long enough to see some changes. Changes in the regular bloggers. Some come and some go. Some return after an absence – Scott. Some change their blog-names and some change their churches and some seem to have reached the end of their rope and are feverishly looking for some peace and some answers.

    I originally tuned in this blog after a google search about liturgical churches. I was trying to understand different points of view in Christendom and among Christians. I was never looking for a fight, but for understanding. Still, sometimes understanding can come from friction and tension and down right arguments.

    I’ve learned a lot about other beliefs and other systems of worship. I’ve learned it in conversations with people that I like to think of as friends. Even the nock down drag out fights are informative to me. I see passion and caring in the deep arguments.

    I am so sorry to hear about the hurts, some of them inflicted right here. I’m sad about those that say they can’t comment any more. It is like loosing a friend – Josh.

    I’ve seen some changes. Some have come and some have gone. I think I understand better groups like the KJV version advocates as well as the red letter Christians. Many are examining their faith and many are explaining their faith journey. Some are trying hard to reconcile their faith with their lives here in the modern world, and some have found a peace and a comfortable niche in one of the denominations that so encourages a peace that passes all understanding. I’m very happy for those that have found their answers and I support those that are still looking.

    I get RiBo’s hurts and responses. I understand what Steve has to say and why he defends his positions so. (When I say I understand I don’t mean I’m so smart I get it all. I just mean I empathize and appreciate these points of view.)

    I’ve read bad things about CC and about abusive churches and abusive pastors. I’ve read of changes in attitude and changes in denomination. I’ve read of falls and restorations and just come-back stories. I’ve read of famous pastors and their failures, and unknown lovers of God’s word. There are tales of success and tales of failure in these comments on the blog.

    I’ve learned a lot from you all and your journeys. I’ve also learned of the passion and caring of our host, Michael. I realize he’s in a tough time in his life and I pray for him every day, as I pray of each of you.

    I’ve always sought a personal relationship with my God. I’ve tried to understand him better. I’ve read other’s writings about God, John Stott being one of my favorites.

    And I’ve learned a lot from the people on this blog. I feel like we’ve been meeting in a favorite coffee spot and discussing and arguing with each other, but always hugging and leaving as friends. Well, maybe not that last line with all of you, but I would give you all a hug.

    Just to identify myself, let me put on my name-tag. I’m an Evangelical and I attend an Evangelical church. I’m not charismatic, but I’m not liturgical either. I’ve never felt abused by a church or a pastor, but I have changed churches a few times looking for a place I fit in. I’m happy to say I think I’ve found it.

    Yet I understand the concerns and the complaints against Evangelical churches and independent churches in general, but I have to tell you I’m pretty happy where I am. I think this is where God intended me to be.

    So God bless you all and have a great Saturday and a great week. I’ll be reading about it on here.

  14. erunner says:

    If you like old historical pictures then you’ll like this.

    http://www.liveleak.com/ll_embed?f=d6d9d5385aee

  15. erunner says:

    Music is up for the week. This week it’s all old favorites from the Vineyard. Feel free to drop by.

    http://morethancoping.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/praise-worship-vineyard-classics-march-21st-2014/

  16. Michael says:

    J.U.

    Thank you for that…very much.
    This is a transitional time for me and the blog and I’m uncertain where either will end up.
    My primary focus has to be on my personal life at this point and I have little left over for here.
    I have some concerns about social media and the church in general that have escalated in the past few weeks and I’m working through and will speak to those concerns as we go.
    At some point, we’ll give the blog a facelift, as, if I continue, I want to focus more on things that educate and edify us, not just inform us of all the wretchedness about us.
    I reserve the right to take the blog up and down as needed to get both it and myself in a healthy, manageable place.
    I appreciate your prayers and I’m thankful that we have done some things that were used of God to do some good.

  17. Michael says:

    I think Adrian has a point.
    The place where I would disagree with Adrian is that Driscoll has a public ministry as well as one to his home church.
    This letter didn’t address any of the public issues at all.
    When all the public railing against Driscoll winds down, the fact remains that his local church is responsible for disciplining him and should they fail to do so, they have the leadership they deserve.

  18. Ryan Ashton says:

    I don’t think he has a point, simply because it is ALWAYS in the public interest to release things pastors want to hide. A church that manipulated the NYT Best Seller list, and fails to see the red flags of Driscoll as a problem, ought to be examined in he public sphere. It is a denonstrative example of spiritual abuse and manipulation. If we don’t see how people are manipulated, we will never learn.

    Besides, with Warnock’s logic, Woodward and Bernstein would never have published the truth about Watergate.

    Where am I going wrong?

  19. RiBo says:

    I disagree, I think the bible is pretty clear, if you claim to follow it jot and tittle, that the “church” is not just the local congregation. It is the responsibility of all who claim Jesus (if you take what the original Greek states and apply it) to deal with others who claim Jesus and go wrong.

  20. RiBo says:

    …but I fully acknowledge that no one takes the bible as literal and no one applies a precise literal hermeneutic, it’s always a mixed bag of picking and choosing as exampled by every flavor of Christian* on the planet.

  21. RiBo says:

    You all appeal to the Pauline Epistles as if the principles Paul lays out are Universal to the whole Church even to today.

    Yet, you then break apart that Universality and seek to say “that’s just for an individual church location!” when it comes to verses like

    1 Timothy 5:20

    “rebuke before ‘all'”

    Greek word is panton: every, all manner of
    Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole — all (manner of, means), alway(-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no(-thing), X thoroughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.

    Does “all” mean all?

    Very convenient picking and choosing of the Christian*.

    Either Paul’s Epistles apply Universally or they don’t. Pick one.

  22. Michael says:

    I don’t think we need to decide right or wrong, we simply need to be a bit more thoughtful.
    Mark Driscoll is the pastor of a local church and his continued occupation of that position is dependent on the support of that group of believers.
    Should they choose to continue to support him after all the disclosures made, that’s really their business.
    I do believe that the issues of his plagiarism and his horrible exegesis of certain books of the Bible is a public matter as these books and sermons are marketed to the public.
    The question I have (among many others) are how much is too much?
    Mark Driscoll will not be in my church on Sunday, nor will he or his teachings have any effect on our time of fellowship together.
    He is not and cannot abuse any of our members.
    He does not contribute to my understanding of Scripture.
    His church and the people that follow him are the only ones who can bring discipline and repentance to bear on him.

  23. Michael says:

    The New Testament speaks of the church both as a local body and as a universal one.
    In terms of governing, it appears to put the onus on the local church.
    I do not question what Paul is saying, I question why we don’t take these issues seriously on the local level.
    Paul is not responsible for our abrogation or abuse of our responsibilities.

  24. RiBo says:

    “His church and the people that follow him are the only ones who can bring discipline and repentance to bear on him.”

    Doesn’t seem to be what the bible says if we are to take Paul’s words as Universally applicable and literal.

    From a practical sense, you are probably right…though pressure can be brought from outside his local congregation to bear on him.

  25. RiBo says:

    “I do not question what Paul is saying, I question why we don’t take these issues seriously on the local level.”

    Because no one takes the bible seriously on all matters. No one sees the bible as applying to their situation very often. All pick and choose and find all manner of wiggle room to dodge explicit commands.

    Even you have acknowledged that you don’t meet the Pastoral Qualifications, yet you’re a pastor. You then say that none can meet that Standard so it must mean something else.

    Well, that’s one of a gazillion examples of why the bible is not to be taken literally and why no one does in practice. It’s a smorgasbord of pick and choose.

    There are no true literalists. All are liberal from one degree to another.

  26. RiBo says:

    Why did you shut the blog down for a couple of days?

  27. Michael says:

    I shut it down because I chose to.
    It needs a lot of work on the back end and I needed to address that.
    I am having a difficult time personally as well and I do not need the additional stress this was creating in my life.
    As I stated before, I have no clue where either myself or the blog will end up, but I do know it will change.
    It may go down again as I work through everything.

  28. Michael says:

    When we see the exercise of discipline in the NT (such as 1 Cor 5) it’s the local body that’s commanded to take appropriate actions both in discipline and restoration.
    The rebuke in the presence of all would have meant in front of the entire church, after the actions of Matt 18 were taken.

    The qualifications for pastoral ministry;

    “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”
    (1 Timothy 3:1–7 ESV)

    “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”
    (Titus 1:7–9 ESV)

    I’ve never met anyone who always in every way meets all those qualifications.
    I have met people who were continually repentant when they failed in them.
    We can therefore surmise that either no one is ever or will ever be qualified to be an elder in the local church or the key to these standards is recognizing how high they are and working toward them while acknowledging and repenting of our failures when they happen.

  29. PP Vet says:

    We are certainly a long way from understanding what love is, and how important it is.

    Certainly it is most important. Above all things important.

    So one could actually say, in a sense, that the single most important qualifier for any leadership role is to be a loving person.

    Maybe everything else is negotiable 🙂

  30. RiBo says:

    Michael, yes, agreed that that is the common rationale, but that’s also the rationale used by a Driscoll, Driscoll’s congregation or any other to justify and rationalize “well he’s not perfect! None are perfect!” which is what SH, BG and everyone else claims.

    …yet the “Sheep” are expected to be perfect and are not treated with nearly as much blanket blind “grace” as the pastors in many of the situations we’ve both covered.

    Quite a double-standard and quite convenient on the part of many pastors.

  31. RiBo says:

    Christians* are very gracious to themselves and very gracious to rationalizing and justifying their imperfection…yet not so much to taboo sinners like homosexuals and atheists and any others they view as “evil” and more sinful than themselves.

  32. RiBo says:

    Paul also says this quite literally and specifically…but you’d never know he said it as the “church” doesn’t nearly apply this:

    1 Corinthians 5:12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.

  33. Michael says:

    RiBo,

    You will get no argument from me on whether or not pastoral authority has been abused.
    If I am ever found to be one of those men, the congregation I serve will take swift, painful actions.
    That’s what they’ve been taught to do and what they believe is true to Scripture.
    My expectations for them when they sin are no different than the one’s I have for myself…true repentance will always bring forth grace and mercy.
    No repentance will bring forth discipline.
    We (myself and the congregation) are in this together, not separated by office or gifting.
    If our beliefs on these matters to not extend to Mars Hill, I have little I can do about that.

  34. Michael says:

    PP Vet,

    I would agree that love is the single greatest qualifier…

  35. RiBo says:

    Michael, do you speak out publicly against homosexuals? Against any other outsiders?

    You state you aren’t responsible for Driscoll who is a part of the “universal church” as someone who claims to be a believer…yet I assume you speak against those outside the church publicly on your blog and in your church?

  36. Michael says:

    RiBo,

    I’ve spoken out against Driscoll.
    I’m not responsible for how his congregation deals with him, nor do I agree with the lack of actions they have taken so far.
    I affirm the Bibles teachings about homosexuality and all the other sins it mentions.
    What I teach is this….that our job is not simply to identify those who are sinners, but to be ambassadors of the love and grace of Christ to them.
    The ‘church’ has erred, I have erred, in simply identifying those who reject what we believe as the enemy, rather than being simply sinners like ourselves who Christ died for.

  37. RiBo says:

    “I’ve spoken out against Driscoll.”

    Yes and many other pastors, which I commend.

    Agreed, the church marks as enemies the ‘outsiders’ and often spends most of its time judging them instead of doing what Paul said…which is to judge inside the church.

    Then when judging inside the church, most cry “don’t judge!”…and those same folks then point the finger at outsiders as ‘enemies’ and judge them.

    Quite an interesting contradiction in Evangelicalism in general, despite what the literal teaching of Paul says.

  38. Michael says:

    Conversely, tomorrow we will gather together and rejoice in our fellowship and in the Lords presence among us.
    We will study the Scriptures together, receive the Lords Supper, and pray for each other and the needs we all bring.
    All over the world, people will do the same…mostly in small churches where the pastor is only known by those he serves.
    People will be cared for, prayed for, and loved.
    I love the church.

  39. RiBo says:

    Ya, I’m cool with parts of “the church” and I think there is good in the church as well as bad.

    I also think “the church” has the right to hold its moral opinions and that religious freedom is important (where it doesn’t cross reasonable lines and most Christian* sects don’t…whereas Islamic sects tend to cross some lines).

    I think that, in general, the Christian church is a good thing and does a lot of good and has been a good influence many times, despite the bad it’s also done and the bad influence it’s been at times as well.

    In the hierarchy of “Good” and “Evil” I think the Christian church since the Enlightenment has probably done more good than evil…whereas Islam had done more evil than good.

    I think the Atheists/Agnostics are evolving as well and probably more “good” than “evil” in terms of their influence on society in terms of “good samaritan” type good vs. the previous iterations like the Eugenicists or the Stalinist-type atheists.

  40. RiBo says:

    Agreed. “Love” is the “new law” and the way to go. Doesn’t mean we don’t try to right wrongs, but from a doctrinal/theological/philosophical perspective we have to be gracious and “love” others even when we disagree.

  41. RiBo says:

    Humans, “we”…”us”…really are the two God Narratives displayed in the bible:

    We fight between “love” and “hate” and “grace’ and “wrath” and “good” and “evil”

    We are really very much the dual-narratives of “God” in the bible packaged in human skin and flesh.

  42. Jim says:

    Michael,

    It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. It might even be called obedience.

    I’d shut this thing down. People can find plenty of places find someone who’s “wrong on the internet”. The strife here is unhealthy.

  43. RiBo says:

    Rand Paul said something very profound, IMO, recently when he addressed UC Berkley crowd. He made the observation that you can get any group of humans together and present 10 things and there will be disagreement on 7 of the issues and maybe agreement on say 3.

    He asked the question of why we spend most of our time on the 7 things we disagree about rather than the 3 things we agree on.

    I think that is a rather simple and wise observation and question.

    I think there are some basic “good” things we can all agree on…no matter our philosophical/theological/doctrinal bent.

    Love your neighbor.

    Help the powerless. Help the weak vs. the strong. Help those who have legit need.

    Don’t hurt kids physically or sexually.

    Be accountable in church, government, business and don’t lie so much.

  44. Michael says:

    Jim,

    I’m to the point where I don’t have a choice.
    We’ll either get it right or go away.
    There are still a lot of things I want to share and explore, but my health and family have to take priority.

  45. Jim says:

    Good.

  46. Jtk says:

    I love it here.

    I love Michael, our blog-meister, who PASSIONATELY speaks. Many of the times, I wholeheartedly agree.
    Michael’s bold “notes” (ala jazz) and distinct “flavor” need to be experienced widely in the Body.
    Never shut up, Michael.
    Please.

    I love the community here, especially the diversity and “walking civility” (like “walking pneumonia”. Ha ha).

    I love that when I have questions and ask them here, I get thoughtful and accurate (but obviously not always enjoyable) answers.

    Have a good Saturday, y’all!

  47. By the same token, I think we need to stand up for pastors who are falsely accused or who are subject to ambush. I ran into Brian Brodersen yesterday at El Pollo Loco – I work directly down the street from CCCM

    I gave him a warning that he was a ‘target’ of a blog and that he was being ambushed about beating his kids. I gave him my advise which was to not respond.

    A mere 15 min conversation, and he was quite gracious.

  48. Rick from Seattle says:

    Facebook allows people to block. Use a Facebook site to do Phoenix Preacher, and people will not even see comments by someone they have blocked. And Facebook takes care of all the web costs and maintenance.

  49. PP Vet says:

    What JTK said. But your health comes first.

  50. RiBo says:

    Brodersen is a public figure and pastor of a big church and in a position of trust. If he hurt his kids as other Smith family members are alleging, then he should give an answer. If he didn’t then he should give an answer. The public allegations made by extended family members is enough to warrant a response and if he’s innocent of the allegations it’s probably in his best interest to address it publicly. You gave him really bad advice IMO, but you give really bad advice in general so I’m not surprised.

    Lots of people are “quite gracious” even some of the biggest scoundrels you’d ever meet…and lots of people are big jerks, but don’t hurt kids and live a relatively good life. The ‘gracious’ metric is pretty weak stuff.

  51. RiBo says:

    I’ll take an ungracious jerk who doesn’t hurt his kids and is transparent over a gracious child abuser any day (not directed at BB, just in general. His kids haven’t come forward, right now it is allegations from other family members). The other issue is the allegation made by family that he protected a molester at CCCM. That’s a serious charge, and whether he likes it or not or whether MLD tells him to not answer or not…he’ll end up having to give an answer one way or the other in due time.

  52. RiBo says:

    Brodersen’s best move if he’s innocent is to come forward and address the allegations and give specifics and ask his kids to vouch for his story. It wouldn’t be an end-all be-all but it would probably quell a lot of the questions. If both kids said nothing happened, then that would help his cause a lot.

    I think he’ll be compelled to give an answer on the other allegation once it gets in another venue. My blog is the least of BB’s problems on that one.

  53. Michael says:

    As that is your story compiled from your sources it would be better if you and MLD took it over to your blog.
    I don’t have enough info to comment one way or the other and I think MLD just wanted to restart the strife here…which informs me how much he cares about what I’m doing.

  54. Actually my first comment about protecting some pastors was in line with something JU said – but read through any lens you want Michael

  55. Michael says:

    MLD,

    If you want to debate this issue, go to that blog.

  56. I don’t want to debate him – as I said, at first I wasn’t addressing him – but he thinks everything centers around him.

    I will be quiet. 🙂

  57. RiBo says:

    “….I think MLD just wanted to restart the strife here…which informs me how much he cares about what I’m doing.”

    Yup. That’s what he’s best at. MLD’s like the sibling that flicks his other sibling in the ear…then the other sibling whacks him…then he points the finger and says, “He hit me! He needs to be punished!”

  58. RiBo says:

    Remove or edit #57 please. I’ll ask nicely once.

  59. Michael says:

    Never ends…I should have known better.

  60. On a lighter note, I took 3 of the grandkids to Dave & Busters for lunch and to play the games.
    My 10 yr old grandson is a product of my son and his ex wife – his ex who was a notorious atheist along with her family when she was married to my son – has since married a non religious Muslim.

    I have met the guy a few times at family events, he seems like a nice guy who is very good to my grandson … taught him chess a a couple of other useful talents.

    So, back to Dave & Buster’s, he wins 1,000 tickets and starts dancing around and says “thank you Allah.”

    I couldn’t believe it, it cracked me up – I had never heard someone who wasn’t blowing up a building say that.

  61. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    MHC just obliterated all the sermon series MD preached prior to 2008 and a few things from 2008 and 2009 in the last seven days.

  62. Jtk says:

    And what do you think of that, WTH?

    What would MH have to do to “make it right” to you?

    Just curious,

    Those-who-live-by-the-podcast-die-by-the-podcast-JTK

  63. Dropping this on here.
    I know MLD has talked about something like this before.
    Good article by Russell Moore.
    http://theaquilareport.com/should-churches-stop-performing-civil-marriages/

  64. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I think leaving everything preached and taught up as it was and demonstrating by one’s conduct from the pulpit that real change has occurred would have been wiser.

    I think it’s going to be increasingly difficult for MD to tell young guys to man up and not be cowards given the lengths to which his team is going to erase any and every potentially self-incriminating statement Driscoll has said from the pulpit.

    Driscoll and MH have said for years that real repentance involves confession of the specific and that the confession doesn’t involve blame-shifting. So far it looks like MH’s BOAA blamed “outside counsel” for the idea to use Result Source and has decided to stand by its executive elders amid “false accusations” while the BOAA has practically admitted to all the allegations except the plagiarism in seven books. By the ethical standards MH leadership insists upon they have both given a half-hearted confession and shifted blame. Driscoll’s open letter posted to The City would not pass muster as a confession if the person doing the confession in a MH setting where not in the leadership culture.

    I’ve been trying to articulate for years that there’s a dangerous double standard in what is acceptable for the rank and file vs the leadership class. While Driscoll was regaling people in 2011 for not giving enough and how much MH historically stunk at giving Sutton Turner was about to sign that contract with RSI. While Driscoll was regaling the flock in the spring of 2012 with how they needed to step up he was buying a million-dollar house in Snohomish county. Then by June 2012 he conceded there were systemic deficits at every MH site and yet nobody sinned even though he said MH had a financial model that wasn’t good for the long-term future.

    This pile-up highlights a worrisome trend in which the leadership culture excuses in itself what it will rebuke in others. Driscoll has, to date, never addressed the other six of seven books with his name on them that have plagiarism problems. Even for the Trial study guide the PR response was to blame research assistance. A public apology from MD for the unscrupulous way in which his PR team tried to blame people that MD had named and praised for their work in 2009 would be fitting.

    If the Mars Hill leadership is capable of actual confession by its own definition, and repenting, then a great deal of good may yet be possible. But so far the signs are not encouraging. There wouldn’t be a reported 20 former pastors seeking mediation if we found the recent words and events encouraging. It’s not impossible to hope that good things may happen but it’s hard to be optimistic about the brand.

    On the other hand, behind the scenes the relationships that have been reconciled from the blow-ups of 2007 have been very encouraging.

  65. Michael says:

    WTH,

    Just for clarity, you’re speaking of relationships healed between former employees, not between people and Driscoll, correct?
    The website purge is disturbing at best…

  66. Ixtlan says:

    When you lose this type of credibility, you probably ought not to get it back. The best Driscoll should do is attempt to hang on to his market share, continue to get grey, fat, and irrelevant. I don’t know if he was given a large platform or through his savvy marketing and edgy appeal simply stepped up and took hold of it. What obvious in the history of Mark Driscoll is that he squandered it.

  67. Derek,
    The problem is Christians have just as low an opinion of marriage as the pagans. The pastors may stand up and say that they will only perform Gospel centered marriage, but how many of the rank and file will follow the opening phrase in the article?

    ““Churches should only marry those who are accountable to the Church and to the gathered witnesses, and who are held to their vows. ”

    How many people will actually make their wedding vows accountable to the church?

  68. What Christians do you know that have such a low view of marriage?
    Is this an overwhelming amount that attend church?
    Or just the ones that put that they are Christian on their FB profile because they feel they have to put down something?

  69. I think that it is well documented that Christian marriages, at least in America, are in no better shape than the world. If manny ECC didn’t think they were going to hell for divorce, the numbers would jump.

    But the question I was asking is how many Christians do you think would put the church in charge of their marriage by making the church the guardian of the vows?

    I am all for the church getting out of the “civil marriage” business and stop being agents of the state and tell the homosexuals to go find another venue.

  70. If manny ECC = suppose to read if many RCC…

  71. Before the end of the year, gay marriage will be the “law of the land” through judicial fiat.
    We need to take a broad view ahead and realize what is next.
    It has already happened in Britain, gay couple sued for a church wedding.
    It will happen quickly here to. Events seem to be speeding up.
    I think the Church as a whole needs to start having this discussion sooner rather than later.
    Later will be when the lawsuits start.

  72. A quick way out for a pastor would be to tell the homosexuals that part of his wedding dialogue is to proclaim “Christian marriages are between one man and one woman and that all other marriages are church frauds.”

    See how many homosexuals would want to go through with a wedding in that church.

    The caveat is that he would have to make that same declaration at straight ceremonies.

  73. MLD,
    There is no way a caveat like that is going to stop the inevitable.
    That will just be red meat.

  74. I think its pretty awesome that anyone wants to make a lifelong commitment. Having a “high view of marriage” means being committed daily to the love of your life, no matter what, ebb and flow, highs and lows.

  75. Steve Wright says:

    At least among male homosexuals, according to their own most famous and influential spokesmen (Dan Savage, Andrew Sullivan, Zach Stafford as some prominent google-worthy examples)) there is little male commitment in any sort of monogamous sense NOR IS THERE ANY DESIRE FOR IT.

    Anyone discussing homosexual “marriage” as if it is about a lifelong commitment of “forsaking all others” is woefully naive…and no, that is not fundy right-winger pastor Steve saying so…like I said, it is their own words.

    Here is one quick example, the author in his own words in the mainstream Huffington Post – we could look up scores of others.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zach-stafford/monogamish-two-is-company_b_2664725.html

  76. brian darby says:

    Aspects of Pastor Driscoll, he puts backsided in seats, that is holy and always will be. Trust me on this it is holy. Driscoll is a tool, in and out of the limelight, after this week I have come to understand politics it is about image, nothing more. I use to think it was about service to the people they say they serve. I have begged God that I repent of such utter pathetic nonsense. But I cant seem to reach that spiritual level to my utter shame. You know I grow tired where I need to repent of being a human being and much of the twaddle that spews out of these hipsters is utter nonsense and we all know it.

  77. brian darby says:

    You know Pastor Steve in my work I have known several couples that are gay, all of them are involved in long term relationships 20+ years and they are far more conservative the me. I have known people who are gay who hid in the “closet” for decades and lived in shame. They did not “chose” this lifestyle. I get that the gay card is a big ticket item and that they are all out to get our kids and convert them to the “homosexual” agenda.

    I disagree with gay marriage for people who are not gay, I agree with you on that one. But anyone who things it is a simple “choice” does not understand. I have known several people who are gay and wish to remain Christian and the utter absolute pain they feel. I get that they mess up the apologetic, in my experience that is an awful sin. My point is that is not simple, just like most other issues, like age of the Earth, Evolution…… I could go on.

    do not take this as an attack I just dont really get it. If you can offer some insight I would appreciate it.

  78. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Michael, about your #68

    yes, I was referring to reconciliations that have happened between former members and staff. There are former pastors who have since reconciled over the things that happened in 2007. I’ve also heard of former pastors who played a part in the trial process of 2007 who have gone and apologized to other former pastors and to former members. The people who used to go to MH have already generally learned who those people are. A lot of us were at a Christmas party last year where we got to see firsthand which relationships have been reconciled and that was encouraging.

  79. Based on our culture at large I’ve observed, with a nod to Steve Wright’s comment and a single edit,

    “Anyone discussing “marriage” as if it is about a lifelong commitment of “forsaking all others” is woefully naive…”

    …which is why when I meet anyone who is faithfully committed to their spouse I count them as part of those who are to be commended. =)

  80. unus e multis. La cucaracha! says:

    I am insane. I keep doing the same thing (reading this blog) and expecting a different outcome. Except for brian. He’s coming out. I’m going in.

    My opinion about being gay is that it’s mostly or all environmental. Little innocent boys are bullied by bruser moms and woosey dads or they are abused and twisted by chicken hawks. There are many reasons to hate oneself. Just my worthless 2 sense.

  81. PP Vet says:

    Unhealthy behavior leads to unhealthy people and an unhealthy society.

    It is not about religion or prudery or being unloving.

    I love and accept alcoholics and thieves and homosexuals. I understand their life situations are complex and nuanced (that is nicely captured in a way by Brian D above). They like all of us are subject to forces within and outside of themselves that I cannot claim to grasp.

    I believe that there is, in a sense, no more “sin”, since everything is “lawful”.

    But everything is not healthy.

    I thank God that He delivered me from, and continues to deliver me from, unhealthy behavior. And He can do that for you.

  82. unus e multis. La cucaracha! says:

    ( |o )====::: is a liar. I was not commended by him but rather insulted. Go away.

  83. PP Vet says:

    “if your Christianity doesn’t work at home, it doesn’t work. Don’t export it.”

    Skip Heitzig, quoting Howard Hendricks, with a statement that appears on the Internet 90 times.

  84. Some of the reasons the PP comes and goes may be attributed to Oregon Osmosis…
    http://jonsquared.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/living-in-oregon-according-to-jeff-foxworthy/
    🙂

  85. ( |o )====::: says:

    Expressing one’s views does not make someone a “liar”. It makes someone different, and that makes all the difference

  86. Derek – that’s good work.

  87. unus e multis. La cucaracha! says:

    Here is what makes ( |o )====::: a liar: “…which is why when I meet anyone who is faithfully committed to their spouse I count them as part of those who are to be commended. =)”
    When I posted that I had been married and faithful to my wife for 39 years you called me self righteous.

  88. “When I posted that I had been married and faithful to my wife for 39 years you called me self righteous.”

    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    Without context, perhaps a link, I have no idea what you’re talking about.
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    39 years?
    Good for you.

  89. RiBo says:

    According to Jesus and the bible, if you’ve ever looked at another woman with lust in your heart, if you’ve ever looked at p0rn, if you’ve ever watched a hollywood movie and lusted during a sex scene…you’ve committed adultery and cheated on your wife.

  90. RiBo says:

    “”You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29″If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”–Jesus Christ, the bible

    Tough standard. Seems to pretty much wipe out all the self-righteous no?

  91. RiBo says:

    Personally, if I started ripping out body parts I’d be a pretty ghastly sight LOL. I don’t think there’d be much left of me 🙂

    Doesn’t make sense. Jesus says “go and sin no more” which is the Standard…the bible lays out a bunch of “sins” and then in the NT says that if you even think it, you’re guilty….let alone act on it…so as it is with much of the bible…you probably have committed adultery or other hell-worthy sin post-salvation…so you’re going to hell! 😉

    I’ve got a fork I’d be happy to lend you if you’d like to gouge your eyes out…

  92. unus e multis. La cucaracha! says:

    In what context is it self righteous to say one has been married and faithful for 39 years? Only in the context of judgment. It’s hard to type with one eye and one hand. iAye! iCarumba!

  93. unus,

    Let’s try this again.
    Would you please post a link proving I called you self righteous?

    No link, no dialog.

  94. RiBo says:

    The context seemed to be you were asserting your self-professed “faithful for 39 years” juxtaposed to others. The assumption seemed to be that you were more righteous if what you stated is true.

    My point was that if you are a literal bible person and believe the bible to be the sole authority for truth…then it is most likely false that you’ve been faithful for 39 years as you’ve probably looked on another women with lust in your heart at some point during that time…and according to Jesus Christ and the bible, you have not been faithful for 39 years.

  95. RiBo,
    Let’s let unus reply with a link.
    If I have indeed aggrieved unus then once documented with a link I will review and respond.
    Otherwise, my simple, “39 years? Good for you.” will be my statement to this unknown individual, except to with unus many more years of abiding love.

  96. As I read Jesus’ statements, He is more concerned about fidelity and forgiveness than the nitpicky fine points of exact transgression. Grace is pretty awesome that way. 😉

  97. unus,
    Let me do this.
    You claim I have aggrieved you.
    You bid me carry your load of offense, imagined or not.
    I will go an extra mile, or two, or as many as you need until we agree that lifelong love is what God wants for each and all of us.

    May you and your bride never be without the love you share.

  98. ok, break done, my Maruchan Instant Lunch is gone, back to graphic design

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