Dec 302014
 

timthumb.phpSacrificial love is the key to the Christian life…

Why your New Years resolutions will fail…

How to be a sick Christian…

The only resolution you need for 2015…

Catholics fail to behead anyone in 2015…

Michael Kruger responds to Newsweeks hack job on the Bible here and here

To the servants of this world…

Kurshner talks prewrath with Janet Mefferd…

When God seems far away…

Beware of New Years resolutions…

Mars Hill case study…

A teachers guide to discussing faith in the classroom…

Rethinking Islam and ISIS…

Christianity in the Middle East…

Five places progressive Christianity leaves one progressive behind…

What is the churches Big Mac?

Pope Francis on the 15 ills of the RCC…

Growing up evangelical in the 50’s/60’s…

The WW on the problems with Driscolls comeback…

Wenatchee the Hatchet continues his series on Driscolls bizarre teachings on spiritual warfare…

Thanks go to EricL for helping out with this weeks links…

  31 Responses to “Linkathon”

  1. I was watching Jim Gafigan’s comedy special the other day where he equates McDonald’s with all the other things that we consume that have no value, and how essentially everyone had a “McDonald’s”.

    That’s where my mind went with the church’s Big Mac.

    I bet we could come up with a few.

  2. IMO the Driscoll subject needs to be put to rest…

  3. Bryan,

    I don’t think so…he’s making a comeback and there is possible litigation by former members possible.

    To me, this is the most important story in years and its a change in the power structure of American evangelicalism.

  4. There are many important lessons to be learned from the Mars Hill scenario, regarding accountability, celebrity culture, the marketing/commoditizing of God’s church among others.

    There are many things Driscoll will hopefully process long and hard over, then act in accordance with humility and righteousness.

    There are many people who are still hurting who need Jesus to heal them.

    Yet, IMO it’s time for bloggers to let the Driscoll topic rest…

  5. I’m headed to the Rogue River Gorge for the day…I’ll be offline until tonight.

  6. When Driscoll steps away from being “Pastor Mark” and becomes just Mark is when I will believe that he’s changed.

    Until then, he’s still trying to fleece the flock.

    Since when did calling out a false shepherd become “enough”?

  7. reading the Big Mac link it occurred to me that there is a correlation between Driscoll’s crash (he was very good at what he did) and the Big Mac comparison… the Church does not/should not have a product to sell
    Christ is not a product, is not to be hustled to the folks… a good children’s program may “keep the kids off of the streets,” but if that program is administered by corporate loyalists hustling the product to please their “corporate” supervisor, the kids won’t see Christ…
    they’ll see Christ in the man or woman who isn’t so good at pushing the product, but is honest and loving and doing their best to help them in service to their true Master… they’ll, perhaps see Him in the ones who’ll still be somewhere singing, praying, praising and serving Christ when the big mega church has faded away or blown up… they’ll do so without trying to jockey for position, for titles, trying to patch and cobble together a new dynasty out of the fragments of the old… ever tasted a cold Big Mac? ugh

  8. while understanding some think the issue is laid to rest, Driscoll does look like he’s mounting a comeback having resigned from his pastoral role without submitting to the spiritual authority of people in the church he founded. Transcribing and discussing the 2008 spiritual warfare session is pretty insider, since it was a lecture given just to leaders, but it is important to have as part of the public discourse because it should not be interpreted merely as a general discussion of spiritual warfare in the abstract but also understood in the political and governmental terms that can be seen in it in the wake of the controversial 2007 firings and the bylaws changes. Steve Tompkins’ comment about an “ad hominem narrative” points to an internal cultural narrative that took root in the MH leadership culture and the 2008 warfare session Driscoll gave looks more and more to me as though it were the explicit beginning of that. Since others may interpret things differently, they can at least have the content available to consider.

  9. I must be getting more and more like little “b” brian here on the blog. I don’t give a rats behind about Mark Driscioll and to hear everyone else’s concern I must be on the fast track to hell (thus the comparison to brian 😉

    Who cares if he has changed or not? If he has changed, is anyone here going to attend his church? buy his books and tapes? Sit and discuss at length his new teaching?

    Time to ignore the boy and move on.

  10. MLD, to your 11:

    I care whether he’s changed because people still consider him a spiritual authority, still buy his books, still listen to him, and still think he is the victim in all this.

    So long as there are brothers and sisters in the Church who have their heads up their rears to such an alarming degree, the work of exposing a false shepherd will not be over.

    Maybe it’s futile, but I think its necessary. To paraphrase Edmund Burke, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Boz T: Silence enables evil.

  11. Em said, ‘Christ is not a product, is not to be hustled to the folks…’ Has anyone noticed how many Christian ministries (radio, TV) are advertising that someone has promised to match your year-end donations dollar for dollar so the effect will be like giving double? This is nothing more than dishonest advertising and I bring it up only because it drives me crazy when Christian ministries resort to worldly methods of raising money. We have a pretty broad radio ministry that goes all over the world so I know how much it costs to do. But do we have to resort to this type of marketing? Is God really running on that tight a budget?

  12. Ryan,
    “So long as there are brothers and sisters in the Church who have their heads up their rears to such an alarming degree, the work of exposing a false shepherd will not be over. ”

    Perhaps our concern should be for those “brothers and sisters” – for MD, not so much

  13. Roger Olson’s article about growing up in the 50s and 60s Evangelicalism I think addresses some of the antidote of celebrity Christianity. It’s a long article and you will cringe at some of the cultural beliefs of those days, but you will also see much that is missing today.

    It will get you thinking. (At least it did me) How can we regain some of that separateness from society today?

  14. fyi, Though I was not given all the inside info on it, a major parachurch ministry about 20 years ago had one of those “anonymous donors to match double” ads but what was really behind it turns out was some sort of investment scheme that collapsed – it was hushed over and I could not get further info on it….but my guess is that this is what is behind a lot of those claims……or of course it could be flat-out deceit too.

  15. In looking things up, I believe it was the New Era Philanthropy pyramid scheme I am referencing. Though there have been others under this “double the donations” idea – New Era was the one that involved a whole lot of huge ministries and seminaries

  16. Steve, you are absolutely correct. I know that some large mission organizations lost 10’s of thousands that they invested. We had friends in one mission involved.
    I think Focus on the Family was hurt in that scam also.

  17. Thanks for the info. I now see dozens (literally) using it as a means to increased donations year-end. I am sad because of what may have made the church out to be. After reading the Driscoll link Bryan included, it was worse… 🙁

  18. The 15 ills of Roman Catholicism article misses their biggest sickness: unbelief.

    I’ve mentioned it before here that while there are significant differences between the EO and the RC, I have more in common with traditional Catholicism as written on paper than I do with any Protestant group. Unfortunately, very few Catholics seem to believe in Catholicism anymore.

    We have a lot of elderly Roman Catholics on our Meals on Wheels route and none of them practice genuine Catholicism. They have New Age junk in their houses, newsletters from heterodox organizations, study with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, pray Native American prayers, believe all religions are equally good, etc. The only RC person on our route who seemed to value authentic Roman Catholicism was an ancient Vietnamese lady who died recently, may her memory be eternal. The only other person on our route who seems to have a grasp on Christianity is the elderly black Baptist lady who one holy woman, let me tell you.

    A few years ago I attended an RC mass (a funeral) they played a CD of Frank Sinatra singing “I did it my way,” with the priest commenting that he hopes that song, that anthem of all rebels everywhere, is played at his own funeral. Communion was passed out by women in tight pants and hot pink sweaters. I went to another RC funeral more recently and things were done in better order but the songs were so awful I was embarrassed for them. Of course you can go on YouTube and find examples of dancing bishops, altar servers on rolling skates and mardi gras-type processionals.

    Recently someone did a poll (conducted quick interviews) with people coming out of a major RC cathedral. They were asked if they agreed with the RC’s teaching on homosexuality. Not one person agreed that homosexuality is a sin, not one.

    THIS is the kind of thing Francis needs to address. They are throwing away their venerable heritage.

    But it is true, they didn’t behead anyone last year.

  19. ^^^ The Sinatra song was played as the Communion hymn, by the way, which made it worse.

  20. Roger Olson’s Growing up evangelical in the 50’/60s was, for me a good read… if it hadn’t been for the extended family evangelical bent of those years, would i have ever entered the family? … among those good people were folks who had daughters my age, who invited me to “come” along … they did so because their faith was evangelical

    Olson:
    “Yes, we have thrown out most of the bathwater—the legalism, the disdain for non-evangelicals, the over emphasis on “the imminent return of Christ,” the anti-intellectualism and equation of even high culture with “worldliness.” But have we also thrown out many, if not all, of the babies with it? I suspect we have”

  21. “The Sinatra song was played as the Communion hymn, by the way, which made it worse.”

    Worse is that Sinatra was excommunicated from the RCC because of his divorces – so it’s surprising that it would be played at communion. 🙂

  22. the 15 ills just may be the root of cause of what Xenia has seen in the RCCs

  23. It seems to me the article on servants is close to be a manipulation to get more people to serve the church, not really an appreciation of servant hood.

  24. I agree that the MH story and other cases of moral failure have humbled us all during 2014. I also agree that we’ve touched on this MD story quite a bit and it’s time to move on so this will be my last comment on this topic.

    A pattern we’ve seen repeatedly over time is that when a man in the pastoral office falls……… he most often resigns and simply leaves the local fellowship in an unrestored state. This is the easy route to take but a fallen elder who steps down humbly and who acknowledges his sin can still be restored within the local church. Just because an elder steps down doesn’t necessary mean that he has to leave the fellowship. The problem with leaving the local church is that it doesn’t allow for restoration of the broken relationships nor of the fallen elder. When the easy route is taken, oftentimes the restoration process is often carried out by men outside the local church handpicked by the fallen elder but this only undermines the restoration process and the local church body he fled. Also those outside friends who come to the aid of the fleeing man to help him open up shop across town actually become participants in the unrestored person’s sin, whether they realize it or not. Finally it is the responsibility of the local church to restore the fallen brother.

    In my opinion a disqualified elder can still remain and be restored in the local fellowship if he repents and submits to the other elders and to the prescribed restoration plan. The man many never again stand behind the pulpit but that is much better than just leaving the church unrestored. If the Lord will never turn away a repentant and contrite heart shouldn’t the local church do likewise?

    I say this because MD is a gifted teacher and he is certainly restorable but the process must be carried by the local church elders of MH.
    Peace

  25. Francisco is a wise man…

    and this will be my last comment 🙂

  26. ironically, because MD’s instructions from 2008 would go on to inform the counseling and discipline of the rank and file that’s actually more reason to discuss it, far back as it was. It’s not like Bill Clem wasn’t around at that time. When he mentioned in the article Bryan linked to that there was a certain amount of junk that was put up with because the growth seemed to merit it …

  27. MLD I need to tell you something I had to clean off my glasses as I was drinking some juice when I read your comment. I hope you have a nice new year.

  28. Wanted share this with others for prayer and for encouragement and strength in our own time of need. To the weak, He is ever so strong.

    http://trustinghim4everything.blogspot.com/2014_12_01_archive.html

  29. My prayer if I have offended any, I am sorry I came here trying to find some answer I did not find that. But I should not have subjected you to my pain, and anger, I am sorry for that. It will not happen again. I am sorry Michael for any pain I have caused you, it was not my wish. I was speaking to specific communions but did to wish to post personal issues to avoid causing pain for my fellow family members. I will agree I am not part of the family and I would never impose that on others. I just wanted to say I am sorry if I caused any of you any pain.

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