I Hate Loving Mark Driscoll

Obama Inauguration Driscoll
Rev. Mark Driscoll, founder of Mars Hill church, has a true gift. Just when I think I’m making at least a modicum of progress toward tolerance – if not actual Christlike love – toward the guy, inevitably he does something to make me despise him all over again.

On the Monday, before President Obama’s inauguration ceremony, Driscoll sent out the following message to his more than 300,000 Twitter followers:

Praying for our president, who today will place his hand on a Bible he does not believe to take an oath to a God he likely does not know.

As of Thursday morning, the tweet has received more than 3,400 retweets and nearly 1,350 favorites. Driscoll’s next tweet was about an iPad Mini giveaway.

I have so many points of struggle with this, it’s hard to know where to start. On a more superficial level, he taps into one of my biggest pet peeves (as pointed out in one of my “Christian Cliche” articles) by saying he’s praying for someone, and then following that with a double-barreled insult. It seems that, when people say they’re praying for someone in this context, it’s effectively saying the person is wrong and they’re asking God to make them different. This smacks of inauthenticity, condescension and contempt. You’re not praying for him; you’re praying at him.

Related: Cussing Christians – Why I’m with Mark Driscoll on this One by Kurt Willems

Further, Driscoll drags the President through the theological mud by suggesting both that he doesn’t believe the Bible and likely doesn’t even know God. This places many subjective value judgments on something I believe can’t be made into a propositional “right/wrong” sort of binary. What does it mean to believe the Bible? Does Driscoll really believe that he – or anyone else – can embrace a thoroughly unmediated or uninterpreted understanding of scripture? This is arrogance of Pharisaic proportions.

And to suggest that anyone, let alone the President of the United States (whoever he or she is at the time) is Godless not only dishonors the office itself; it implies that the accuser knows the inner-workings of another’s heart and relationship to God. I’m no Biblical scholar, but my sense of the Bible’s message on this is that no one but that person and God knows a person’s true heart.

So I’m left here with these feelings about Driscoll, most of which are quite familiar to me by now. I worry that he is leading thousands of people in a direction of rigidity, intolerance and divisiveness. I am angered by his judgments. I am saddened by the number of affirmations his statement has received. And I’m disturbed by the fact that he can so effortlessly shift from denigrating the President to giving away iPad Minis.

Now what the hell do I do with all of these feelings? Part of my jog as a Christian blogger is to call out wrongs where I witness them, which is part of the aim of this post. But as for Driscoll personally, I am at a loss. I don’t want to pray for him. He pisses me off. I don’t like him. I don’t even want to love him. If I do pray for him, I want to pray that he will change, which is in many ways the very thing I’m suggesting he has inappropriately done. I’d like to ignore it all, but he is one of the more prominent voices in Christianity today. His words have tremendous weight. His actions affect the future of the Body of Christ.

So how do I begin to love someone I find so very easy to hate? For me, it starts with the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

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Am I likely to change Mark Driscoll? Chances are he doesn’t even know I exist. And even if he didn’t the odds of him caring what I think are marginal. I don’t matter in his world. So what is the net effect of this hate? It’s poison in my own well, really. And if I don’t contend with it, I run the risk as a public figure of passing that poison on to others.

So I lay it down. I give it to God. I try to imagine Driscoll as a child – literally – and as a beloved creation of God. I also remind myself that God is God, and I’m not. It’s not my job to discern the nature of Mark Driscoll’s character, though I do feel compelled to name destructive, mean-spirited behavior when I see it. But to attack him personally is to, as Paul decries, become the thing I hate. It’s like Luke Skywalker striking out at Darth Vader, only to look down and realize that every act of aggression makes him more like his enemy.

Also by Christian: Ten Antidotes to Christian Cliches

In the end, in an effort to search my own heart, I think my greatest distress comes from a lack of trust. I can’t seem to trust that God will make God’s self known in the world in the ways that we need it to be known. I want people to see God the way I see God (surprise!), and I have a reflexive urge to discredit other perspectives that appear antithetical to that view.

So how do I love Mark Driscoll? Ultimately, I love him (or try, anyway) because as much as I wish I didn’t, I see myself in him. I can’t claim any moral high ground over him when he and I are of the same cloth.

Do I like admitting that? What the hell do you think?

So Mark, my brother, I can’t say with a clear conscience that I love you today, right now. But I’m working on it. And any help you can give me in that regard would be really great.


Christian Piatt is an author, editor, speaker, musician and spoken word artist. He co-founded Milagro Christian Church in Pueblo, Colorado with his wife, Rev. Amy Piatt, in 2004.He is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. Christian published a memoir on faith, family and parenting in early 2012 called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due DateVisit www.christianpiatt.com, or find him on Twitter or Facebook.

Photo Credits: Mark Gail/MCT – MarsHill.com

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About the Author

Christian Piatt

Christian PiattChristian Piatt is an author, editor, speaker, musician and spoken word artist. He co-founded Milagro Christian Church in Pueblo, Colorado with his wife, Rev. Amy Piatt, in 2004.He is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. Christian has a memoir on faith, family and parenting being published in early 2012 called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date. Visit www.christianpiatt.com, or find him on Twitter or Facebook.View all posts by Christian Piatt →

  • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

    It’s always refreshing to hear (or read) that others struggle in the same way that I do, to love the people with whom we disagree so very strongly. I’ll pray for you if you pray for me, Christian – that both of us can get better at loving others the way Jesus loves them.

    • bluecenterlight

      Throw me in there too. It is difficult.
      “Biblically, there is nothing more detestable than a self righteous disciple. He is swollen with conceit that his mere presence is unbearable. However, a nagging question arises. Have I so insulated myself in a fortified city of rationalizations that I cannot see that I may not be as different from the self righteous as I would think?”
      Brennon Manning

  • http://henryimler.com/ Henry Imler

    I’m right there with you on all of this, Christian. I wrestle with this all the time. I find Perry Noble almost as insufferable, but I don’t really care.

    Why?

    Because Noble has zero influence among people in my family/community.

    It’s the opposite for Driscoll. I think I’m more concerned with him because of his wider influence. He is spreading the culture of control, destructive patriarchy, et cetera with his A29 network. I’ve yet to hear an A29er even remotely engage with the stories coming out of Mars Hill. Or TGC for that matter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/submik Mik Clottu

    Wow. You made the point. Thank you.

  • Terry

    Your article is essentially the same tone as Driscoll’s tweet only you used a lot more than 140 characters.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      Christian’s article carries the tone of “I don’t like this guy, and Jesus tells me that I have to love him, so I know I need to love him, but it’s a struggle” – or alternatively, a tone of “I recognize that I’m a sinner in need of help, because I’m having trouble loving this other person.” Driscoll’s tweet carries the tone of “I thank you God that I am not like this tax collector President.”

      So, in short, the similarity seems to be fleeting, at best only surface-level.

      • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.foster.3367 Daniel Foster

        It is an egregious sin to assign meaning to what someone wrote using words he did NOT that is contradictory in meaning to what he actually wrote and the words he used to write it.

        Repentance is called for. I pray Mark forgives you.

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          I am guilty of a great many sins for which I need forgiveness. Misrepresenting Rev. Driscoll is not one of them. But please, if I am wrong, explain it to me.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=536422615 John Anthony

          The same can be said for Driscoll he owes the President an apology, and needs repentence

        • BWF

          Interestingly worded last sentence – you think it’s more important that one gets forgiveness from Mark than from God. Either that or you believe that Mark is God (which is the impression I get from A LOT of his apologists)

  • Jere

    My daughter and soninlove go to Mark’s church. I cringe at recalling my visit there. Thankfully they are looking for something different and I pray that they find something quick. I didn’t raise to daughter to be divisive, intolerant and rigid. Thanks for your encouraging words…for there are other Mark Driscoll’s out there. I don’t think I can choose whom I love….just where I choose to fellowship.

    • Kathie

      They should try Eugene Cho’s church. I enjoy following his writing and tweets.

      • Jere

        Yes…I am a FB follower of Eugene Cho and LOVE his perspective. I’ve given her the information but as they are adults, they get to choose. :) Thank you for the encouragement.

  • Jonathan Starkey

    Very honest. I think you expressed that you are angry well. I can learn from that. I prayed last night Lord help my written responses to be laced with love. So reading your blog is a witness to how it’s done.

    • Jonathan Starkey

      Be ANGRY, yet sin not.

  • Catherine

    MD is like the bully teenager in ones family: he’s family, so we love him enough to wish him the best. We also hope he grows up…some kids are late bloomers ya know!

  • tpac

    “Only God can judge me” —- stop whining

  • hsl2000

    But Christian, isn’t what you are doing, “loving” Driscoll but then cutting him to the quick, pretty much the same as his “praying” for Obama and then making the statements that he did? I’m no supporter of Driscoll either, but I am a middle of the roader who gets tired of the left sometimes sounding at least as intolerant as the right in so many ways.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      Christian said as much in the article, did he not? His struggle is in loving Driscoll like Jesus commands, even though he disagrees so very much with MD.

      • Benjamin

        In that case Christian should have kept quite about his hatred for Driscoll. He didn’t need to voice that. He could have simply voiced his theological disagreement.

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          ..and this seems to be exactly what other commenters have brought up, about how we are shamed into hiding our anger.

  • willhouk

    I have been reading a lot by Thich Nhat Hanh recently. He’s a Buddhist monk, and social activist. He talks about the need to properly place emotion and not be driven by fear, anger, desire, stuff like that. I find it very helpful in this context because I, like you, struggle with Driscoll. I agree with you 100% on him. But one technique Thich discusses is imagining emotions like they are a garden. A garden produces beautiful vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers, kale and the like. However it also produces trash. An organic gardener know that you don’t throw away the waste you compost it so it can be transformed into food for the garden. Such is the same with emotions like anger. We shouldn’t throw them away, rather properly place them, so they can be transformed into useful things like joy, peace, and loving-kindness.

    It’s been helpful to me to think of things in these terms because it takes the sting and power away from the negative emotions. Driscoll does a good job at being provocative, and he provokes negative things from us. However, it only gives him control over us if we allow ourselves to be effected by him. And we end up the big loser in this. So I have been trying to take that anger, frustration, and sit with it for awhile. Then then allow it to be in the compost bin and be transformed.

    Maybe this helps, maybe not. I hope it does. BTW, saw you at Wild Goose in August. That was a great weekend.

    • bluecenterlight

      I will have to try that

    • http://twitter.com/ilyanovich Kevin Shoop

      LOVE this willhouk. Thanks for sharing these thoughts and the author (adding to reading list). As Christians we have such a hard time with anger because we’re often led to believe anger = sin. So instead of working through it, we often are shamed into just repressing it. I like the idea of anger being transformed rather than thrown away. Christian – so with you – M.D. pisses me off too!

      • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.lachlan.clark Daniel Clark

        A thing I love to do is to remember that God hates my sin so much and yet chose to pour out the wrath meant for me onto Jesus. Helpful, because when I consider the wrongs done against me personally by others I remember that the anger I feel is the same as the anger God feels. This anger he has poured out onto Jesus who died in their place for their sin, same as mine. Forgiveness and reconciliation is made possible therefore, because any further hatred I direct toward those people is my own sinfulness – it reveals that I have a functional distrust in the fullness of Jesus’ saving work on the cross.

  • 22044

    I like Mark Driscoll. The tweet he mentioned likely encouraged a lot of people who are legitimately concerned about the actions & behavior of the current administration. And I think the general point was to point back to the gospel, and how someone who is a child of God will bear fruit that pleases God. Based on being familiar with Mars Hill and its mission, Mark may have been sad when he wrote the tweet.
    But I’m not interested in idolizing him either or changing any minds on this.
    I also appreciate Christian Piatt’s conclusion. We all have brothers & sisters who will be difficult, so that we reach the end of our strength and must rely on God’s to find that unity. It is nice to read this when a couple of weeks ago, there was another post on RLC that suggested that the evangelical church might split. While our flesh may cry out, “Yes!” – the Holy Spirit, if we will yield to it, will guide us to agree, i.e. say “No.”

  • 22044

    I like Mark Driscoll. The tweet he mentioned likely encouraged a lot of people who are legitimately concerned about the actions & behavior of the current administration. And I think the general point was to point back to the gospel, and how someone who is a child of God will bear fruit that pleases God. Based on being familiar with Mars Hill and its mission, Mark may have been sad when he wrote the tweet.
    But I’m not interested in idolizing him either or changing any minds on this.
    I also appreciate Christian Piatt’s conclusion. We all have brothers & sisters who will be difficult, so that we reach the end of our strength and must rely on God’s to find that unity. It is nice to read this when a couple of weeks ago, there was another post on RLC that suggested that the evangelical church might split. While our flesh may cry out, “Yes!” – the Holy Spirit, if we will yield to it, will guide us to agree, i.e. say “No.”

  • Erictt

    Reason #329 no one should listen to or read Driscoll. Seriously, when we “love our enemies” sometimes they remain “enemies,” not friends or even neighbors. So leaving them be might be all we can do. Besides model a different way.

    And can we ease up on Pharisee slurs?: “This is arrogance of Pharisaic proportions.” I think I’d take an actual first-century Pharisee over Driscoll everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. Besides, it isn’t exactly kosher to call out Driscoll for arrogance by repeating Christian arrogance towards Jews and Jewish tradition.

  • I. E.

    I agree with the author: “…. I worry that he is leading thousands of people in a direction of rigidity, intolerance and divisiveness.” I believe this kind of behavior, when exhibited by Christians adversely affect others from wanting to be a part of our religion. No wonder more and more people are wanting nothing to do with organized religion. What good can passing judgement on a President elected twice by the citizens do? Why is it so hard for others to see the love of Christ in us? Shouldn’t that be the utmost goal for any Christian, let alone a Christian leader?

  • Drew

    If you delete Twitter and ignore what circulates around Facebook/blogs, it turns out Mark Driscoll is just a guy in Seattle with a large church and some books that you don’t remotely know personally. I feel like that reframe is sort of important in deciding whether to “love” Mark Driscoll and how much time you should spend sorting how to do that.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      While I agree, it is worth mentioning that it’s not quite that simple. If you felt that the pastor at your home church was preaching dangerously heretical theology, you could simply leave the church and no longer need to fear being influenced by it yourself, but you would still fear for your friends and family that are in a position to be influenced by that pastor. Less time should be spent on Driscoll than he is currently getting, but since his message reaches our loved ones through Twitter and Facebook etc, he’s not simply some guy in Seattle with a large church that we don’t remotely know personally.

      But once again, I agree that he gets far more attention than he should.

    • Jonathan Starkey

      Drew telling other people how they should have reacted again.

    • Drew

      Might want to use a different name… I’ve been using the name “Drew” here since 2011.

      • OtherDrew

        Sorry for the confusion! The Internet: where I’ve been forgetting that among 1.1 bazillion people, someone else might have that name since 2001.

        • Drew

          Well, let’s just say I used to be a regular commenter, so people might confuse you for me.

          • Drew

            I appreciate getting down votes for no other reason than I exist. God bless you, whoever is down-voting me for enjoyment.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            Seriously, dude. I dislike the unexplained downvotes just as much as you do, but your “last post” was four days ago. Swallow your pride, man up, and move on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

    I love the spirit of this article, it’s a reminder and warning to me. I can so easily fall into the trap of being a heartfelt adversary. I’m going to prayerfully reconsider my attitude. Thanks.

  • ledotter

    Seems you people are having the same problem a lot of us a-theists have. It’s hard but I just chalk this kind of behavior up to ignorance (sometimes of the willful variety) and continue to teach by example. But I also put bumper stickers on my car just to let off steam – the current one seems appropriate for Driscoll “It’s PRAY for not PREY on” :)

  • Matt

    I feel your pain on this Christian but I believe I am coming at this from a different side.

    You said: “I worry that he is leading thousands of people in a direction of rigidity, intolerance and divisiveness.”

    Could it be possible that this description could also apply to the president as well? If you don’t agree with his views on marriage, you are against equality. If you don’t agree with his views on abortion, you are against women. If you don’t agree with his gun proposals, you’re against children. If you don’t agree with his health care, you’re don’t care about the sick.

    What made Driscoll’s comments so frustrating is that he stooped down to the presidents level on this tweet. He became a politician.

    • bluecenterlight

      I think that is the key difference. When the president speaks he speaks as a politician, agree or disagree it carries the weight of a politician. Which I think most people would agree that the majority of us trust politicians just about as far as we can throw them. Where as when Mr. Driscoll speaks he speaks on behalf of the church, and hopefully on behalf of God. I think that can and should carry more weight, and responsibility. But your point is taken, the president does have influence, and hence responsibility.

      • Joe

        it took me a while to understand your distinction here, but it’s a point well taken. As a christian, I expect more maturity and humility from a man of the cloth. When we don’t see it, but instead see pettiness, it hurts and angers. the president is in a different role, that of a politician. Love him or like him…

  • mary

    great article and reflection……I am always amazed at what comes out of the mouths and thoughts of so called “christians”. Actually, I am not amazed anymore at all. Too many are hyprocrit to even want to count.

  • http://twitter.com/martinamyd Amy Martin

    Take the whole pastor thing away and Driscoll just strikes me as a someone operating with very typical covert aggressive tactics and behaviors. So, a comment like the one about prayer for the president, isn’t anything more than a passive aggressive zinger, and ultimately another covert grab for power. This case “power” is being both the (self) righteous one, aka “praying” for him, and at the same time the one deciding who (Obama) is in the wrong. A two-for-one in 140 characters or less!

    Yes, people like him, and yes, people like his passive and covert aggressive expressions – because well, people like power, and aggression in any form feels like power and power feels good. Add the mix of the potential “in” club that Christianity so often brands itself to be, and he’s got quite a potential audience.

    I’m sure if I met the guy, there would be things I liked about him. He’s clearly charismatic, and I like snark, and obviously he has a penchant for it. But even if I found things I liked about him, that doesn’t mean I’d be ok, or should be ok, with passive or covert aggressive shows of behavior, or the destruction it causes. Maybe its the old “love the sinner, hate the sin” thing, but I’m not sure. I think it’s more of a: Love people, and love them SO MUCH that when you see the light in them out-shadowed by the darkness, you’re heartbroken by their missed potential.

    When we’re angry – at someone or something, it only indicates that something we value has been trampled. We need to be better at mourning.

    • Joe

      I really thought your post was thoughtful. I’ve lately discussed with my husband a sense of loss towards fellow christians like Driscoll. I’ve thought about it more recently and after reading this article and some of the comments realized that the only response that really works in the end is love to the point of folly. It’s a concept that was big in the writings of Dorothy Day and I’ve always liked how the phrase summed up the love that god has given to the world and the love we are called to give as followers of christ.

  • Macroman

    Are we powerless? Like the leadership of the GOP do we sit on our hands as a few make wild statements? In light of Acts 23:4-5 I don’t think we should we be talking about our leaders in negative terms. God has laid on my heart similar problems concerning Christian leaders….or wolves in sheep’s clothing. Prayer accomplishes much. God laid them on my heart and he took them out before they could do more harm. I spoke to no one but God. Are we not to turn them over to Satin for correction?

    • bluecenterlight

      I think satin provides more comfort than correction ;)

      • Macroman

        1 Co 5:1-5, 1 Tim 1:20 Maybe it is the Christians of today that are more like flies that can only annoy. Maybe I should rephrase “Why are we powerless?” Why can’t we stop Christian leaders from preaching falsehoods through prayer rather than rhetoric?

  • Bill Richards

    “Praying for our president, who today will place his hand on a Bible he does not believe to take an oath to a God he likely does not know.”

    Why do you NOT believe Rev. Driscoll when he SAYS he’s praying “FOR” Obama when you know he in fact prays and believes in prayer, but you believe Barack Hussein Obama when he admits he was born to a Muslim Kenyan father and raised a Muslim, indoctrinated into Islam in an Indonesian Madrassa, but later converted to a Marxist, Black Liberation variant of Christianity at Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright’s Church who he later disowned and threw under the bus?

    And after Obama virtually mocked the Bible from a pulpit by referring to some of God’s Words from the Old Covenant that no longer literally apply to Christians in the New Covenant but which he used, as he is fond of saying, “Let me be perfectly clear,” to demonstrate how the Bible can not be trusted nor “logically” obeyed or adhered to.

    • Bill Richards

      Barack Hussein Obama manifests more of a superstitious “belief” in the Bible for Good Luck or something, witnessed by his choice to lay his hand upon NOT ONE but TWO BIBLES not his own during his 2nd inauguration, solemnly swearing to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, so help me God,” and then quickly giving a speech about solemnizing sodomite’s sodomy in the bonds of holy matrimony, after attending church earlier in the day with Planned Parenthood’s President whose Abortion Mill he gave $542,000,000 to last year despite the fact they advertise, but do NOT IN FACT DO, mammograms, and slaughtered 333,964 baby girls and boys under the age of 1, amounting to a tax-payer (many of whom like me vehemently objected) subsidy of $1,622 per abortion.

      • Bill Richards

        Is Barack Hussein Obama more believable than Rev. Driscoll? Why? On what theological or rational basis?

        To recognize manifest Godlessness one does NOT need to perfectly know another persons’s heart (wherever that resides within the body; we know it is not within the literal heart, more likely the brain) when another person regularly manifests by his actions and words an opposition to God’s commandments, precepts, tenets, laws, morals and ethics. We’ll know them by their FRUITS – whether rotten or sweet.

        Executive Ordering and/or demanding Legislation that commits or sustains fiscal profligacy, solemnizes sodomy by Holy Matrimony, filicide, theft from future generations, and abrogation of the very Constitution one swore to “preserve, protect, and defend, so help me God” with one’s hand on TWO BIBLES belonging formerly to two Godly men, while hiding behind obsequious “Executive Privilege” and immunizing oneself from moral and ethical scrutiny and laws that the non-Executive is NOT privy to immunity from is a form of Godlessness.

        • Bill Richards

          One of the signs of Godliness is a willingness to pray for people who piss you off; whom you do not like, don’t wish to love, and if you were to pray for would only include supplication that God would change him or her to be more like yourself.

          If true, then unGodliness would be a FAILURE TO PRAY for someone who pisses you off, you don’t like, don’t wish to love; and who prayed FOR someone he didn’t like nor perceive Truth or Godliness within.

          “So Mark, my brother, I can’t say with a clear conscience that I love you today, right now. But I’m working on it. And any help you can give me in that regard would be really great.” AMEN.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=536422615 John Anthony

            I Pray for Bill Richards that his eyes wil be opened to the fact that preachers preach from the old testement and that in so doing they do not mock the Bible, and when lay people do the same they are no more mocking the Bible than the preacher does when he or she does it. I also pray that Bill will learn to stop injecting politics and the lies that come with politics with his faith, I pray that he understand that as an Ambassador that he understand that when Pau said not to get wrapped up and distracted by the things of the word, he meant it. Further I pray that in realizing that he has been lied to by people who wish to rule by way of fear and prejudice, that this is no way for a child of God to allow himself to be duped I pray that he gives up the delusion that mere men can stand in the place of the only Judge. I pray God that you give me the wherewithall to love him in spite of the fact that he spews inaccuracies and obfuscations as though they are true, and as though he could score points spiritually.

          • Bill Richards

            Barack Hussein Obama does NOT behave like Christ — Christ never sanctioned Filicide, profligacy, waste, fraud and abuse, and He never said anything akin to,

            “You have heard it said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh;’ but I tell you NOW ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his husband, and though they can NOT become one flesh they will joyfully commit sodomy until death doth them part.’”

            Obama’s beliefs about and legislation advocating, FORCIBLY funding and endorsing murderous Filicide; his advocacy for solemnized sodomic marriage and his refusal to DEFEND “stare decisis” DOMA; his greedy and profligate mortgaging of the futures of our children, grandchildren, and their progeny for many generations to come via proxy loans from the Chinese and others (now totaling $16,475,684,000,000), together with “printing out of thin air” $1,221,427,415,000 — Up 257% Under Obama — ipso facto debasing our currency and devaluing its purchasing power; his un-Constitutional use of Executive Powers; his obsequious (lying) refusal to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help him God about Fast & Furious and Benghazi Gate diromg which 1 and 4 great Americans, respectively, died needlessly and because of Obama’s abusive powering; the fact he disavowed, disowned and threw under the bus his own Christian pastor, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, who led him to Christ, baptized him, discipled him, married him, and baptized his two daughters; and the unique way Barack Hussein Obama mocks God’s Word from a Church pulpit all bear witness to his lack of Biblical Faith which begs the theological question of whether he’s a Christian or a demigod! The evidence points to the latter.

            Continued below

          • Bill Richards

            Continued from above

            Given the fact that the courts just today found Obama disobeyed the Constitution and engaged in an abuse of power after swearing a solemn oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, so help me God,” plus the fact that he regularly disobeys and abrogates the axioms, maxims, and principles of the great, venerable Godly Theist and Deist men who framed our Constitution (see just below), it is apparent to 5th-graders who are evidently smarter than 51% of the American electorate who voted to re-elect Barack Hussein Obama, Barack Hussein Obama has very little or no commitment to obeying God’s Word nor keeping the solemn oath he swore, so help him God.

            1. A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.

            2. Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

            3. I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

            4. I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

            5. It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes.

            6. Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society.

            7. My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

            8. Never spend your money before you have earned it.

            9. The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

            10. To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

            11. When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

            12. That government is best which governs the least.

            13. But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years?

            14. I place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.

            15. We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds…[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers… And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]… till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery… And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.

            – Thomas Jefferson, avowed Christian who manifested Christ-like behaviors during his life and presidency.

          • NotWilliamJGreen

            Tehehe…. William… how many monikers are you going to use? Let’s see, there’s William J Green, WJS314, Peter Fedora and Bill Richards so far.

          • Joe Pallaza

            Nothing is lost if one or more people with the same or similar convictions speak the Truth in love and out of a powerful erudition and scholarship. Don’t fall prey to majoring in the minors — more than one great Author wrote anonymously and/or under several names, and vicariously through other authors who themselves copied from yet other source material and one another. Any guess who they’d be?

            And no, you’re wrong in your accounting. Focus on the content and not the incidentals and tertiary matters.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            And Daniel Foster

          • Roger Badham

            When an inferior mind succumbs to a superior mind and loses the debate the former’s mind, now depleted, devolves into ad hominem attacks on the latter and seeks to build a coalition of similarly depleted minds to bolster his attenuated self-esteem.

            In short, having lost at the adult’s table the children return to their own for the food fight; the content shared at the adult’s table well beyond their intellectual grasp and ability to digest.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            Fascinating response, since you claim to be upset over ad hominem arguments…

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            …and now Charley Maher. They seem to sniff me out, as if they think I’m foolish enough to not recognize that they’re all William.

          • 22044

            You might have some good points for folks to think and discuss, but that is lost if you’re using multiple handles. That is deception and a lack of fairness, creating an appearance of 3-4 people instead of one.

          • Joe Pallaza

            Nothing is lost if one or more people with the same or similar convictions speak the Truth in love and out of a powerful erudition and scholarship. Don’t fall prey to majoring in the minors — more than one great Author wrote anonymously and/or under several names, and vicariously through other authors who themselves copied from yet other source material and one another. Any guess who they’d be?

          • 22044

            Interesting response. I regret that my assessment is rejected; truth does not get spoken when it’s done so through dishonest means.
            Take care.

          • bluecenterlight

            I think the whole war mongering/ slave owning thing excludes Jefferson from the Christ-like category. But, to be fair, I don’t think it’s possible to be leader of the free world and not have sold your soul somewhere along the way, including Mr. Obama.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=536422615 John Anthony

            Sadly Bill is it evident that you care nothing for the President, the manner in which you have used his name in your thread, the manner in which I speak is your using his complete name as though you were hurling an insult at the fact that his father who while he was a muslim granted that name to our President. It honestly tells volumes about you. In so doing you regurgitate the lie that somehow he is a muslim by association even though he has said repeatedly and has personally behaved as a Christian. There is a difference my friend between policy, and character. This man unlike many who scream how “christian” they are actually in his personal life exhibits more personal piety than they do.

          • http://www.facebook.com/peter.fodera.1 Peter Fodera

            It is MORE sad that you are ignorant to the fact that Barack Hussein Obama used his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, at his first inauguration — if it was good enough for Barack Hussein Obama at his inauguration it ought to be good enough for the world.

            You’re welcome for being disabused. I pray God shares some Truth with you and propels you to learn the facts next time BEFORE you bloviate armed only with ignorance of the same.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            When the President spoke his full name at his inauguration, it was to show the legal weight of the event. When critics use his full name, it is to emphasize his middle name and imply that he is un-American.

            Pride goeth before the fall, Peter. Do not demand thanks for a task that deserves none.

          • Charley Maher

            That’s your feckless unsubstantiated opinion pregnant with enough arrogance and hubris to think you know Peter Fodera’s mind and intent better than himself.

            There is no primary, secondary, or tertiary source that substantiates your bloviation.

            If fact, Barack Hussein Obama himself proved your opinion that it’s for “legal weight” WRONG by using only his middle initial during the 2nd inauguration’s solemn oath after he used his full name during his first solemn oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, so help me God.”

            FACTS are your worst enemy. Hubris is your downfall.

            However Barack Hussein Obama regards himself and articulates his name is absolutely perfect for everyone else to do likewise.

          • 22044

            Come on, be fair. Snommelp is fair-minded and I rarely see hubris from him.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            Much appreciated. Though to be fair, I do sometimes fall prey to hubris – rarely around here, but on occasion on other sites, when I’m the only commenter with any sort of theological background. When I’m responding to militant atheists who pretend to know how to interpret Scripture, that’s when hubris arises.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            The only thing I said regarding Peter’s mind is that he is demanding thanks. That is not an assumption – it is abundantly clear from “you’re welcome for being disabused.” You do not say “you’re welcome” unless you are thanked, or, not being thanked, when you expect that you should have been thanked. Pointing out the obvious is not hubris. Creating several puppet accounts to make it seem like the community agrees with you, on the other hand, is hubris coupled with deception.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=536422615 John Anthony

            What is even worse is that you hide and use his name as an insult rather than the proper usage. But hey if that is what floats your boat, go for it,

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzanne.andersonhurdle Suzanne Anderson-Hurdle

    I am so tired of hearing that our President isn’t a Christian. Does anyone listen to what he says when he speaks? I sure hear a lot of the same words I’ve read in my Christian Bible; many of the same ideas I’ve heard from Christian preachers; many of the same attitudes I’ve seen from fellow Christian believers walking the walk. I wonder how Pastor Driscoll makes his judgement about the President’s apparent lack of belief in the Bible and how he knows that the President “likely doesn’t know” God? It just amazes me that over 2,000 years later, we have gotten much better than those Pharisees whom Jesus was quick to criticize. I will actually pray for Pastor Driscoll, for Mr. Piatt, for our President, for myself, and for all who believe…that we might work toward unity in the Spirit and not disunity; that we might work to find the things that we have in common – like the cross of Christ!

    • Frank

      Suzanne even Jesus Himself said that not everyone who does things in my name will I recognize. It’s not unreasonable to question the Christian faith of someone who supports abortion on demand and rejects Gods perfect plan for sexuality and marriage. Not to mention a host of other Obama policies.

      While I don’t agree with everything Driscoll says and I don’t always like his approach I see no problem at all with his tweet. After all we are known by our fruit and Obamas fruit is certainly questionable.

      • http://www.facebook.com/suzanne.andersonhurdle Suzanne Anderson-Hurdle

        Frank, I guess you will have to count me among those who have “questionable” fruit, as I support gay marriage, am pro-choice, and yes, am a Christian. Please tell me where to find God’s “perfect plan for sexuality and marriage” so I can pass it on to my family and all those with whom I minister. Somehow I have missed this in my reading of Scripture…I wonder how you feel about past Presidents’ policies on war, the death penalty, poverty, welfare, etc. We would be wise to heed Jesus’ words in Matthew 7 about judging others.

        • 22044

          Suzanne,
          If you’re interested, the Bible is clear, both in the gospels and in Paul’s letters:
          any sexual relations outside of a committed marriage relationship is outside of God’s “perfect plan for sexuality and marriage”.
          And someone who would call themselves a Christian is a new creation and no longer wishes to pursue less than God’s best (II Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:20).
          Regarding Matthew 7, we don’t judge people’s hearts, but we judge and call them account for their actions. It is then their responsbility to examine their hearts and allow God to change them.
          As a Christian, we have to express these truths because we are all on a journey of increasing holiness and godliness, and we need each other.

          • Frank

            Thanks! I have nothing to add to your spot on, theologically sound, scripturally supported answer.

            So Suzanne make your case scripturally that God condones or blesses homosexual behavior otherwise all you have is a cultural position not supported by your faith.

          • 22044

            Thanks for the feedback Frank – blessings to you. :)

        • geoffrobinson

          You are looking for God’s plan for marriage? Matthew 19.

          Who am I to judge those outside the church? But discernment is not judgment. Not the same thing. We have the ability and can excommunicate and for good reason.

          Can we have full knowledge of anyone’s heart? No.

          But what did Driscoll say? He doesn’t believe the Bible, and based on his previous comments that looks very accurate. And he *likely* doesn’t know God.

        • daithi duly

          I suggest Suzanne that you really have to admit that you have not been reading the Bible, or you simply don’t like what it says. Also we are not discussing other Presidents but Obama. If you see no problem in things that the Bible condemns then yes, that is questionable.

  • LeapingLemur

    Thank you, Rev. Driscoll, for reminding me once again about the parable of the Pharisee who prayed loudly and publicly to tell us how much better he is than everyone else.

  • Beth, CSM

    Most, including Christian Piatt, put their political beliefs ahead of Christ. If they didn’t this post would not have written. Viewing anything Jesus Christ said from either a liberal or conservative mindset misconstrues it all.

    • Beth, CSM

      “been written…”

  • http://twitter.com/dukeofsurf Dennis Laing

    “You’re not praying for him; you’re praying at him.” And he was “preying on” the president – using an extreme statement to further his own glory and diminish another. I cannot stand Obama’s policies, they are reckless and immature, but I’m less a fan of Driscoll’s.

  • Jonathan Starkey

    I believe one sign that this is a good letter. Is that if you handed this letter to Mark. He probably would not be too offended, if we were all really looking for truth.

    He might add further insight to clarify what he meant, when he said what he said, or he might ponder what you wrote.

    Now if you were just walking around bitching about Mark Driscoll. That’s a whole other subject, but in this letter I don’t see that that’s what’s happening.

    • Jonathan Starkey

      With that in mind. Do you think you should send him your letter. ie Matthew 18 “if you have an offense with your brother, you should go to him directly?

      Wisdom from the Desert:
      A hermit was fasting and not eating bread, and he went to visit another hermit. By chance, some other pilgrims also came to visit this hermit, and he made them a little vegetable soup.

      When they sat down to eat, the fasting hermit took a single pea which he dipped in the soup and chewed it.

      When they got up from the table, the hermit that was hosting them took the fasting hermit aside and said, “Brother, if you visit someone, don’t make a display there of your way of life. If you want to keep your own rule, stay in your cell and never go out.”

      The brother accepted the advice, and thenceforth behaved like other people and ate what was put before him.

      —-

      The one hermit projected his role on everyone, and the other pulled the brother a side and rebuked him in private.

      • Jonathan Starkey

        I always think about this when I share anothers failings publicly for some reason.

        • Jonathan Starkey

          But then again in an anger management book I have (Anger: Handling a powerful emotion in a Healthy way by Gary Chapman). I states if a person has been confronted by others over and over again on the same abuse issue, such as a persons anger, and they have failed to listen, and the abuse still continues with justification. Then it probably would not be in your benefit to confront them either.
          —-
          Spirit guide us.
          —-
          I’m like a flounder on dry land… torn.

  • Heath

    In the mornings I try to look at this site, The Resurgence (Driscoll’s site) and a Church Planting site. I also follow Driscoll on FB. I must admit, I cringed when I saw that post from him. I have no idea what the President’s heart is and if he knows God or not. I know not what his views are on the Bible. I’ve seen some soundbites from the President, but that doesn’t give a full view. And as such, I don’t want to state publicly what his stance is. I have some guesses, but I do not know. So I was not a fan of what Driscoll stated in that post…

    But, if you are looking for a reason to ‘love’ Driscoll, you can look at some of his other tweet/FB posts. There was one earlier this week. A woman saw him in town. She had been a victim of sexual assault and met Jesus at Mars Hill Church. There is a blog on his site (not sure if he wrote it or not) that is titled ’14 Things You Can Do to Fight Human Trafficking and Help Victims. Go to YouTube and search for “Jacob’s Story”. Then go to Unearthed website where Driscoll challenges men to stop the demand that fuels Human Trafficking and sexual assault.

    I wish he had not made a post like that. With out knowing for SURE I don’t want to judge. (But from time to time, I do judge. More than I’d like to admit to some total strangers) But there is a lot of good that he is doing. He is furthering the Kingdom. He is fighting oppression. Much like many on this site are wanting to do.

  • Drew

    This post is probably my last at RLC. I say “probably” because it is always tempting to respond to inflammatory, dysfunctional articles and posts. However, I recently arrived back from a missions trip and have decided that I need to keep ridding my life of garbage so that the focus can be on Christ. Articles like this are the definition of garbage that clutters up our lives.

    You see, RLC was originally a movement within Evangelicalism to reform Evangelicalism. Tony Campolo is an Evangelical Christian, and adheres to relatively moderate to conservative theology, such as believing homosexuality is a sin. Tony Campolo did not seek to destroy Evangelicals or to make Evangelicals into DNC Party members. Tony, as an Evangelical, simply wanted Evangelicals to get back to the Bible and in particular the Gospels. In other words, Tony is an Evangelical, that loves other Evangelicals, that wants Evangelicals to be even more true to the Bible.

    What RLC has turned into is an extremist, militant, hardline, liberal ecumenical movement that wants to destroy Evangelicalism. There are hardly any Evangelicals in the movement anymore. Rather, the vast majority of RLC’ers are non-Evangelicals or jaded ex-Evangelicals. The hatred towards Evangelicals and conservative theology is palpable on this website. It’s no longer about reform from within but rather attacks from outside, seeking to defeat conservative, traditional, mainstream theology.

    RLC wouldn’t have published this article a few years ago, which is telling of where this movement is headed. You have an extremist, militantly liberal, non-Evangelical saying that he loves to hate a mainstream Evangelical? This movement is no longer about reforming from within, but rather, smearing from the outside… Non-Evangelicals saying how much they hate or dislike Evangelicals on a daily basis.

    How does this further the kingdom to be part of a non-Evangelical movement that hates Evangelicals? This is what I’ve had to ask myself, and the answer is that it does not further the kingdom at all. If anything, this website has drawn people further away from Christ. Not only is bad, non-Evangelical theology rampant on this website, but most of the articles are divisive as I have mentioned before, non-Evangelicals trashing Evangelicals. I hope everyone that visits RLC or donates to RLC asks the same question – is this really furthering the kingdom? The clear answer is “no.”

    With that, I’ll say “Farewell, RLC.” Good intentions, bad results.

    • 22044

      You’ll be missed if you decide to leave, but focus on Christ should come first.
      Regarding movements in general, the call for the evangelical church to focus more on Jesus is likely happening; the church is not as much known for speaking out on just a few issues but is reaching out better with the full message of the Gospel. When that’s the case, a “movement” is supposed to recalibrate its mission and communication, or otherwise become perpetuating for its own sake and eventually cause more harm than good.
      A couple of other movements that would fit that criteria would be the labor movement of the early 20th century, and the environmental movement that started in the 1970s.
      A last day/post is coming for me at some point, and for everyone else too. Be blessed with however you are led!

      • Drew

        The discussions can be and have been positive at times, but I find it to be the case less and less. It’s no longer Evangelicals reforming Evangelicalism, but rather ecumenical liberalism militantly trying to destroy Evangelicalism. The tone has changed, and it has been reflected in the articles and in the comment section. I have a choice to make – to spend time here or spend time elsewhere. I’ll spend time elsewhere. The missions trip I went on brought this into focus, how much time we spend on things that are unimportant. This is wholly unimportant.

    • http://www.facebook.com/peter.fodera.1 Peter Fodera

      Wowee. We Agree! But while I understand your heartfelt “knee-jerk” reaction to wish to leave, I beseech you to prayerfully consider taking a sabbatical and then return OCCASIONALLY and offer us your excellent insight and wisdom. We need minority voices here and you’ll NOT be alone; there’s at least 1 or 2 others of exact or very similar sentiment — like me. Thanks.

      • Drew

        It’s not knee-jerk; it’s been a long-time coming. I will come occasionally, but still will probably not post much. I never came here in order to be a minority voice; I came here because I agreed with the premise of the movement and with much of what Tony Campolo speaks about. Over time, I became a minority voice, as the website and movement devolved into ecumenical liberalism. So, I will not stay here in order to be a minority voice… I have other things to do with my time. I can go to other websites that are more positive rather than negative, I can serve more, I can pray more and spend more time with God… all things I’d rather be doing than listening to liberal, non-Evangelicals list everything they don’t like about mainstream Evangelicals.

    • Jonathan Starkey

      The debate about what it was, and where it is at, or what it is and what it should be is a pretty subjective one. I sometimes say that about our church. (I have to wonder if anyone gets it just right for you?) They no longer post articles that I feel are what RLC’s used to be is a pretty broad stroke.

      You liked it when it was cool?

      I agree some articles appear divisive. Some don’t.

      More wisdom from the desert:
      A brother asked, “I have found a place where my peace is not disturbed by
      the brethren; do you advise me to live there?” Abba Poemen replied,
      “The place for you is where you will not harm the brothers.”

      • Drew

        This need not be subjective. Look at all the authors and their backgrounds and tell me how many are Evangelical, and how many are non-Evangelical or ex-Evangelical. Then let me know if this is truly a reform movement within Evangelicalism or if it is an ecumenical gathering of liberals that dislike conservative theology and Evangelicals.

        • Jonathan Starkey

          Hey, if your gonna leave leave, but if your leaving because you’ve identified as “ecumenical gathering of liberals” that’s your problem.

          • Drew

            It’s unfortunate that you’ve decided not to take my challenge and rather bloviate.

          • Jonathan Starkey

            I don’t need to take your challenge A) Because I have full knowledge that this site is ecumenical. And B) I’m well aware that people on hear may or may not be liberals. I’m not sure they would label themselves that way. They might want to avoid such labels. They may consider themselves conservative. And most would identify themselves as evangelical, but we are understanding that the word “Conservative and Evangelical” have been hijacked in the West. Anti-ecumenical is just xenophobic anyway.

            But when you say Ecumenical Liberal gathering your saying it as if it were a bad thing. Of which I believe it is not a bad thing.

            But in Drew fashion I’m sure you’ll pick this a part.

          • Jonathan Starkey

            I would say that most RLCs would identify with this statement by Bruxy Cavey.

            Now out of this word “euangelion” comes this word “evangel” or “evangelistic.” Evangel is short form in English for the Gospel itself. Evangelism is the act of spreading the Gospel, an evangelist is one who evangelizes. Being evangelistic is being passionate about the Gospel and wanting to tell other people. And then there is that word “evangelical.” Evangelical an adjective to describe a group of people who are Gospel centered, they have a Gospel culture they are very “evangelical.” They’re all about the Gospel, what a beautiful thing to be. If that is what you mean by Evangelical then sign me up. …

            At least I’ve found that most on RLC are attempting to be or it is their desire to be “Gospel Centered.”
            —-
            If by evangelical we mean one who spreads the good news that there is another kingdom or superpower, an economy and a peace other than that of the nations, a savior other than Caesar, then yes, I am evangelical.
            - Shane Claiborne

          • Drew

            I disagree. Evangelical is more defined than that. Evangelicals are typically theologically conservative and have a high view of Scripture. That is not found on this website anywhere. Vestal dedicated an entire post to a low view of Scripture.

          • Jonathan Starkey

            So what do you think of the Common Prayer movement, are they pious enough, do they love enough. I see a lot of pious and devout brothers and sisters here at the RLC. Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove, Chris Huertz, Tony Compolo, Shane Claiborne, all I believe have a deep love for the scriptures and have a great prayer life. Sooo, and the Gospel is all of Jesus life, birth, a life lived, death and resurrection. It’s all the Gospels. I didn’t know I was going to be pigeon hold on my definition of evangelical.

          • Drew

            I have no idea what the Common Prayer movement is.

            I am not questioning the sincerity of the authors on this website; I am questioning which authors and which articles are being published. It has to do with the leadership of the movement and the editors of the website.

            As for the authors you mentioned, Tony is the reason I came to the website in the first place, and although I disagree with Shane on some things, I have a deep respect for him. I don’t know much about Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove or Chris Huertz.

            It’s not just a deep love for Scripture that defines an Evangelical, but rather, a high view of Scripture. There is a difference.

          • Drew

            I’m not saying that ecumenical liberalism is bad; what I’m saying is that it was not the intent of the website or of the movement. If all theological liberals want to unite under the banner of liberal theology, that is their pejorative. However, I do not wish to be part of that movement. The movement I signed up for was to bring Evangelicalism back to the Bible.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            I would define myself as an evangelical by both your and Jonathon’s definitions. I don’t agree with the names that you are calling us, and I find most of the articles and comments here broadly consistent with what I believe.
            Maybe it’s just that I don’t much care who’s the president.

          • Drew

            I’m talking about the authors, not those who comment, and it’s not an indictment of the authors, but rather of the editors, Tony, and everyone else responsible for the direction of the website and which authors and articles are getting posted. Again, you have a mighty thin skin, trying to be offended when you should not be.

            If most of the articles here are consistent with what you believe, you are probably not a Evangelical. I’m curious what denomination you belong to and if you believe what your denomination stands for.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            I have a thin skin because I express a concern over your definitions of us? How interesting. Many would say that I have a strong EQ because I can express my feelings, none the less.
            I am a Baptist. I serve in my church, I am FB friends with my pastors and many others who attend, so they can see exactly what I do and write, I am accountable and feel there is no benefit in hiding stuff.
            I also served with YWAM for three years, and have served on third world mission fields, some hostile.
            I served in the Australian army including in an airborne unit (I left because I had problems with killing people for a job).

            I work with street people here in Melbourne, that sometimes gets pretty hairy. I’ve had knives pulled on me and once had one held to my throat. I ended up buying that guy a coffee and sharing the gospel with him.

            Now, call me a coward again.

          • Drew

            The action was cowardly. Obviously I don’t know enough about you as a person to judge you as a person, but I have every right to say how I perceive your specific action.

            Baptist is a good denomination, but you are from Australia, which is more liberal than the U.S. as a whole, so it’s hard for me to compare an Australian baptist to an American baptist.

            Just so you know, some of the articles are fundamentally opposed to what Baptists believe, so if you are not seeing anything that challenges your beliefs, I would ask you to be more discerning. Kathy Vestal posted an entire article about having a low view of Scripture, for instance.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            Do you even read what I write? I have said that I am often discomfited by what is written, that doesn’t make them wrong or right, it just means that I have to know why I believe what I believe. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t…but I like to know why on both counts, not just blindly believe what I am supposed to believe, because I want the title “evangelical”.
            So Australia is more liberal? Interesting. How much time have you spent here Drew? I’ve spent literally years in the US.
            Who are you accountable to Drew? Do your pastors know what and how you write here?
            The church I attend is considered a hotbed of political conservatives, I love them but I don’t always agree with them. We can engage without name calling and still appreciate each other. We serve together and learn from each other.
            Please reread what you wrote about me. You called me a coward, not my actions, you owe me an apology. And by the way, the action was not cowardly. I responded as soon as you made clear that you wanted a response. Man up and take responsibility for your words.

          • Drew

            “I find most of the articles and comments here broadly consistent with what I believe.”

            You wrote that, David, not me. You are not telling the truth when you say “sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t.” You said yourself that you agree with “most” articles and comments.

            Congratulations on living in the United States. However, i don’t have to live in Australia to know that overall Australia (and most other first world countries) are more liberal than the United States. If you want to say something to the contrary, be my guest. The fact that you have lived in the U.S. for a bit isn’t an argument for or against what I said in and of itself.

            Again, there is no need to be overly-sensitive and overly-emotional. Your actions were cowardly, and you decided to correct them, my responding to me rather than down-voting me. I have said I appreciate you dialoguing rather than clicking a button saying you disagree with me. I retract nothing, and I appreciate you changing the way you respond to comments, by dialoguing rather than clicking buttons.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            Any clear reading of our dialogue has brought out the truth Drew.

            Again, for the fourth time, I responded to your posts in the SAME SESSION that I down voted you. I have engaged you, toe to toe. It’s easy to call someone a coward from behind a computer screen. Others have not engaged you and chosen to down vote you, I totally get this and support them. Look what happens when someone tries to dialogue with you! You call them names, accuse them of being overly sensitive and generally act like a pig.

            You are the classic bully, and you either ignore bullies or put them in their place, depending on your ethics and/or capabilities. Most have chosen to down vote and ignore you. It looks like I should have taken that path.

            I’m bored with this exchange, and you clearly lack the EQ to understand what’s happening.
            Peace.

          • Drew

            David,

            Please do not wish me blessings and peace when you’ve spent an entire post being ignorant and hateful. God does not like an insincere heart, so masking your hatred with a few kind words is not fooling anyone.

            The reason I say “ignorant” is that because I have been on two mission trips internationally (just got back from one a few weeks ago and is one of the reasons I am leaving this website, to better used my time) and have studied abroad in Europe. It was a wholly ignorant statement, and you are wholly ignorant of me, yet you feel free to tell me what experiences I lack, when in fact I already have them. Let this be a lesson to you, that you should not assume what experiences or what character that other people possess, especially from a quick internet conversation.

            The reason I say “hateful” is that because you launched a slew of ad hominems at me. While I challenged your action, you are challenging the essence of who I am. Calling me a bully, saying I lack EQ, saying I generally act like a pig, is questioning my overall character rather than a specific action. If you would have stopped here, I would have been fine. However, you then say I am not interested in relationship or in the truth? I’m sorry, but those are lies from the pit of hell. That is Satan speaking to me, not David. I rebuke you for saying lies from the pit of hell and being a spokesperson for Satan, David.

            I answered all your questions except for the irrelevant ones. I’m in a small group with one of our three Pastors, and we have a good relationship, but I do not give him a log of all my activities. I belong to a Church, not a cult.

            In the end, you are part of the reason I’m leaving, David. You seem like a pretty good guy, then all of a sudden, you are speaking for Satan, spewing ad hominems, being ignorant towards me… all because you don’t like my opinion on people who down vote me? This is what I realized on my international missions trip, that this website (and maybe online dialogue in general) does little to further the kingdom. I have no interest in Satanically having my Christianity called into question because I don’t like being down voted without an explanation.

            I’m going to get back to the Kingdom work… enough of this nonsense.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            Yawn.

          • Drew

            Ditto.

      • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

        I love that you’ve started quoting the Desert Fathers. Founts of wisdom, those men (and few women).

    • Bill Richards

      It may be debatable whether this forum is “FURTHERING the Kingdom of God” but it is CERTAINLY examining it, hashing it through, and exploring the many facets of the wondrous and magnanimous Kingdom of God which simultaneously eludes the wisest of wo/men and is available to the youngest and most innocent of children.

      People need not AGREE on everything about the Kingdom of God in order to wish to be part of it AND Understand it Better given its nature as eternal and infinite while offered to temporal and finite wo/men.

      • Drew

        Is serious examination and exploration taking place here? In my opinion, that has not been the case for quite a while.

        • Bill Richards

          I disagree. Many of the rebuttals have been Biblical, theologically sound, erudite and a few even include citations . . . but recently RLC began banning imbedded citations and I’ve written to RLC and Tony about this, asking them to restore this capability.

          • Drew

            I forgot that you are a troll and have various screen names. Never mind we got into this conversation in the first place, William Green.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            :)

    • http://www.jimmyspencerjr.com/ Jimmy Spencer Jr

      I can assure you that while Tony does not agree with every article on the website—he is more than aware of its content, and approves of the dialogue that our articles are trying to generate, and he has positive personal interaction with the majority of the RLC voices you consider Non-Evangelical. I just wanted to state this for the record so that people reading this blog do not think that Tony is “asleep at the wheel” or had his message hijacked as this comment implies. It is a complete mis-representation. Perhaps you don’t know Tony Campolo as well as you seem you claim.

      To be honest—I find that many of the people commenting such as yourself are a style of new fundamentalists—and while there is nothing ‘wrong’ with that—perhaps it is not representative of what I feel evangelical represents. So, it goes both ways.

      I think the conversations here are important for people interested in dialogue, and put important vocabulary to what many Evangelicals feel is happening. I for one am grateful that Tony has organized a team to curate this conversation.

      • Frank

        Very little posted in th least 6 months here haven been conversation generators. They have been either political commentary or stark criticism of fellow Christians. And that’s fine. There is nothing “wrong” with that but it certainly is NOT red letter. It’s something else.

        • Drew

          Precisely why I am leaving. It’s no longer conversation by Evangelicals for Evangelicals but rather rantings and ravings from the ecumenical left that want to see Evangelicalism and conservative theology destroyed. Count me out!

          • http://www.jimmyspencerjr.com/ Jimmy Spencer Jr

            Gentlemen, this is EXACTLY the point. You guys dont get to solely define what “Evangelicalism” is—and who is ‘in or out’. Many of the people you define as “left” “liberal” and “ecumenical”—would be self described Evangelicals. They have the right to do that—despite your objections and continued efforts on the blog :)

          • http://www.jimmyspencerjr.com/ Jimmy Spencer Jr

            Perhaps Evangelicalism has changed—and you guys now have more affinity to fundamentalists? No shame in that.

          • Drew

            “You guys.” Exactly who are you referring to, my stereotyping friend? Anyone who disagrees with you?

            When I say “ecumenical liberals,” I mean “ecumenical liberals.” Watts and Piatt are not Evangelicals. Vestal and Guyton are ex-Evangelicals that claim they have been “scarred” by Evangelicalism. If you look at the author list, most of the authors are not Evangelicals. The common thread among the authors is not Evangelicalism, but rather, a love of extremely liberal theology. Are there any authors on the website that embrace moderate or conservative theology? (Piatt’s mom is the only one I can think of).

          • http://www.jimmyspencerjr.com/ Jimmy Spencer Jr

            the ‘you guys’ refers to you and Frank. who both disagreed with me in this comment thread. I think you just look to pick fights drew. I don’t have any clue who you are…so its not personal.

            The vision of RLC says the following “The goal of Red Letter Christians is simple: To take Jesus seriously by endeavoring to live out His radical, counter-cultural teachings as set forth in Scripture, and especially embracing the lifestyle prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount.”

            Nowhere does it say we are an Evangelical organization—so once again I think you are making assumptions about RLC that are causing issues. RLC is a big tent for people from all walks of life who want to take the words of jesus seriously. Not just Evangelicals. Liberals also. Ecumenicals also. Left-leaners also.

            We designed it with Tony that way.

          • Drew

            Frank rarely engages the content of posts; I always engage the content of the posts. That is the fundamental difference.

            You are engaging in extremely selective reading when you copied and pasted that paragraph. Did you read the paragraphs before that? “First, RLC holds to the same theological convictions that define Evangelicals… Second, we are Christians with a very high view of Scripture…” Maybe RLC is no longer an Evangelical movement, but originally it was, and to say otherwise is to be either ignorant or to bear false witness.

            I’ll say it once more, for all of those interested – “First, RLC holds to the same theological convictions that define Evangelicals.” Certainly that is no longer the case, you even admit that yourself, Jimmy.

          • http://www.jimmyspencerjr.com/ Jimmy Spencer Jr

            Once again…Evangelicalism is not strictly defined by your narrow definition. You do not have that right. You certainly are not extended the right to define Evangelicalism for everyone on this blog. RLC has the right to create a big tent of dialogue— and if you, or Frank, or William (or whomever) do not agree with RLC operating understanding of Evangelicalism and who is included in that conversation—no one is forcing you to return and debate and argue. Please, let people who actually want to have these conversations do so—without your voices. Goodnight.

          • Drew

            I’m not surprised that you support silencing dissent. The people who claim they are the most tolerant are generally the most intolerant folks around.

            RLC can be an ecumenical, liberal movement. I am not saying that it cannot. What I am saying is that it is different than the intent and origin of the movement. You say I am trying to “narrow” the definition; I am saying that Tony has already narrowed the definition if you read the website.

            Since you have ignored it yet again, I will say it yet again – “First, RLC holds to the same theological convictions that define Evangelicals.” Until you internalize this point, you will not understand where I am coming from… you will continue to talk past me, not with me.

          • http://www.jimmyspencerjr.com/ Jimmy Spencer Jr

            and I say again that RLC fulfills and hold true this statement.

          • Drew

            …except it doesn’t, Jimmy. Most of the authors admittedly do not have a high view of Scripture, and most of the authors are not Evangelicals. Vestal posted an entire piece about having a low view of Scripture. If what you said was true, Jimmy, I’d still be here, but what you say is not true.

          • Drew

            I appreciate the cowardly down votes with no explanation. Have enough time to log in to comments, have enough time to down vote, but don’t have enough time to engage with people.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            I’ve down voted a couple of your comments just now Drew. I saw them as angry, unhelpful, unsubstantiated name calling. I like some of the things you say, but I count myself as a fairly serious Christian and you are calling me some unkind names merely because I don’t always agree with you.
            We will never sort stuff out as a team while this kind of bullying crap goes on.
            I suspect the other down voters are just not interested in engaging with this kind of low brow dialogue.
            I’m not a coward, I don’t hate you. Just don’t like the way you played the last few rounds.

          • Drew

            You seem to be an extremely sensitive person. I am not angry, nor have I engaged in name-calling, nor am I bullying anyone.

            If you have been down-voting me without engaging me, then yes, you have been a coward. I appreciate you finally responding to me rather than down-voting me, and hope in the future you respond to others like an adult, instead of down-voting and running away.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            I am pretty sensitive, thanks for noticing.
            Calling someone a coward over the Internet was very courageous of you. I’m impressed.
            As soon as I saw that you were hurting over having no recourse to a down vote, I responded. I’ve been responding to you all the way through. And then you still call me coward? Hmmm. I think you owe me an apology.
            Maybe this could be a learning time for you. Why do people down vote you, but not bother engaging? Lets think about that….should only take a couple of seconds.
            Get back to me on it :).

          • Drew

            “You have been,” meaning, not commenting and down-voting is something I think is cowardly, but down-voting and commenting is something I respect. I do respect you for dialoguing finally.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            Wasn’t “finally”. It was immediately that I read you pieces.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            You claimed you were leaving, Drew. Why would I write a comment to entice you to respond when you have made it clear that you no longer wish to comment here? Therefore, I downvote and move on, to show that I disagree with you without accidentally snaring you in an activity you claim to be seeking to avoid. But then again, you are using a guest account, and downvotes don’t send email notifications even to those with actual accounts, so the only way you could see is if you were lying about leaving.

        • http://www.jimmyspencerjr.com/ Jimmy Spencer Jr

          To be clear—people like me have stopped commenting and engaging because of the vocal minority that are determined to fire bomb every post. I commend Drew for recognizing this and moving on to a place that more suits his understanding of Christianity.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            It’s a shame I started commenting after you stopped – it’s always nice to have the authors involved, to help clear up confusion. That said, I can completely understand why you stopped commenting.

          • Drew

            Jimmy, I know you do not like me, but there is no need for a fellow Christian to stereotype me and be derogatory towards me. I do not “fire bomb” every post. I post a lot of positive comments; you just fail to read them. I am not leaving this website so much as RLC has left me behind in order to cater to ecumenical liberals.

          • Frank

            Sorry but that seems like a cop out and you neglected to speak to my point.

          • http://www.jimmyspencerjr.com/ Jimmy Spencer Jr

            I would surmise that people who come to RLC generally are looking to get away from people exporting fundamental attitudes and systems of belief on them. So they just don’t engage on the comments section—and it fails to generate conversations.

          • Drew

            Fundamentalist = Everyone who disagrees with you

          • http://www.jimmyspencerjr.com/ Jimmy Spencer Jr

            Not true. There are liberal views I disagree with also…the ‘liberals’ (as you would call them) ACT like Jesus and dont come on the RLC comment boards and bully people. Good night everyone!

          • Drew

            Liberals are immune from behaving badly? You sure do enjoy stereotypes, Jimmy. Perhaps it makes it easier for you to understand the world?

          • Frank

            Well if that’s how you see things it explains a lot.

            People who are bored are usually boring. Perhaps there is very little actual substance to engage with? Aside from Tony and Shane there is very little posted compelling enough to be stimulating. Most are posting an opinion based on a limited and culturally driven understanding of Red Letters with a blatent political bias.

          • http://www.jimmyspencerjr.com/ Jimmy Spencer Jr

            …and if that is how you feel…I would politely ask you go dialogue somewhere that is more to your liking and allow people who actually enjoy the posts to do so. Common courtesy. Goodnight.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            I can speak to the truth of this one – after having the misfortune of speaking an opinion that, though consonant with the view held by certain vocal commenters, was not the exact same view, I was shouted down to the point where I do my best to avoid that topic of conversation almost entirely.

      • Drew

        Thanks for bringing this to my attention. It makes me even more discouraged than before that Tony has been actively involved in the direction that this movement has gone. I wonder if he realizes what is happening, or if he enjoys the support he is getting from the ecumenical left that badly wants Tony as their cheerleader too much to care about what is happening to his movement.

        This is my point exactly – this is not a movement that is speaking to Evangelicals. Rather, it is a movement that is now speaking “at” Evangelicals. Most of the content is negative and most of the authors are non-Evangelical or even worse, jaded ex-Evangelicals that have an axe to grind.

        I admire the fact that in my last post you are willing to yet again stereotyping me, as you have done many times previously. You have no interest in getting to know me or learn what I believe, but find it more convenient and comfortable to write me off with a stereotype. Congratulations, I hope you are proud.

        • http://www.jimmyspencerjr.com/ Jimmy Spencer Jr

          It does not take a genius to figure out you dont like the posts here. I am not here to define you—but I am qualified to add some relevant RLC background so you can have a better perspective on what your claiming about Red Letter.

          • Drew

            I used to like a majority of the posts; now I like a minority of the posts. The posts have changed over time. I post positive comments all the time.

    • bluecenterlight

      I for one am sad to see you go Drew. Although we bump heads and find each other frustrating at times, I do find you to be a thoughtful well reasoned person. I think if we were to have discussions outside the chat room environment we would probably be able to chuckle over our disagreements and still emerge as brothers. As an evangelical, I like many, have felt that the evangelical movement has been hijacked by the right wing political machine. Those of us who do not agree with right wing politics ( I personally do not care for politics of any sort, I see it as silly distraction ), have felt marginalized, pushed into the corner, and labeled as liberals. Evangelicals as a whole are so far right, any attempt to move to the middle is going to be viewed as a push to the left. I still hold out hope that there is a place for me in evangelicalism but, I have to admit that hope is starting to fade. Maybe you are right, maybe it is time to separate, and this has simply become unfruitful. I just know that God is not a God of division, and the church divided is not the church at all. I believe that God at some point will tear down the walls that divide us. I think the only way that happens is for us to lay down our views of the world, and unite around the simplicity that is in Christ. I don’t have answers for all the problems of the world, thankfully I’m not responsible for that, non of us are. But I think we all have to realize that we’ve been too concerned about the things of the world, and not concerned enough about the kingdom. Now is not a time for talking, now is a time for action. Each of us need to get off our collective asses and be Jesus to a broken world, however God leads us. I am glad to see you on that path, and hope God might cause our paths to cross one day :)

      • Drew

        Sadly, anyone that is not in the bag for the Religious Left or Religious Right these days is marginalized, silenced, and labeled. (Kind of like being an Independent in today’s political arena, neither the R’s nor D’s like you much). Just look at Jimmy Spencer and his attempt to marginalize me (essentially called me a troll), silence me (told me to stop posting or leave the website), and labeling me a fundamentalist. (Maybe it should be called “Love without an agenda… if you’re a liberal”) At the same time, I get flak from guys like Frank and William Green and others that think I’m a liberal. By and large, the intolerant faction of the Religious Right gets the press because of their size, but the intolerant faction of the Religious Left is just as intolerant or even more so, albeit they are a smaller group.

        My main problem with the website is that it started as an Evangelical reform movement within Evangelicalism, and now is an ecumenical liberalism movement. In that sense, yes, I am leaving because of a divide (I embrace moderate or conservative theology, not liberal theology). However, a secondary problem is the “spiritual junk food” nature of the site as of late. It’s one thing to make this movement into an ecumenical liberal movement. It’s a wholly different thing to make this movement into an ecumenical liberal movement that is hostile towards and attacking of Evangelicals and Evangelicalism. Articles like this by Piatt – a non-Evangelical attacking a mainstream Evangelical – do nothing to further anyone’s walk, including my own.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

          Mate, stop it! You’re telling others off for labeling you and then pigeon holing us in the very next sentence!

          • Drew

            If someone calls me a fundamentalist, and I am not, then it is either slander, bearing false witness, or stereotyping.

            If I try to describe a movement accurately, and it is the truth, then it is none of those things. It’s not an indictment of any on individual, but rather, of the movement itself. If I say Philadelphia Eagles fans are harsh, is that a stereotype or a relatively accurate assessment of the group as a whole?

            I have cited authors that broke the mold of what RLC has become. Tony is fairly moderate theologically, although extremely liberal politically, and Piatt’s mom is conservative theologically, and it seems like somewhat conservative politically. These are really the only two authors that I can think of right now, perhaps there are a few more.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            My experience is that a “liberal” is anyone to the left af any right wing commentator. You are some people’s “liberal”. I describe myself as a centrist politically, and an evangelical religiously…..and although often discomfited, I am entirely at home with the dialogue here.
            Peace my brother.

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          Jimmy “marginalized” you by asking you to stop putting on a show and actually leave like you claimed you were going to. That is hardly an attempt at silencing you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

      Drew, while I don’t agree with your assessments of RLC, or those of us who engage here, I have a often appreciated your voice and I want to wish you well. Thanks for being here for a time.

      • Drew

        I did not directly say anything about those commenting. There were a few bad apples. At times, I suppose I was a bad apple. By and large, those in the comment section are good folks.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

          I think you’re good apple with a few bruised bits….like me.
          And, I am a Red Letter Christian. I admire the folk (authors, editors, commenters, even William Green sometimes), who engage here. They are my tribe.

  • Kevin Womack

    Thanks for communicating my exact feelings so perfectly. Much appreciated!

  • bob bob

    To Driscoll’s credit he is correct about the President’s opinion of the Bible. Several times in his senatorial career in IL and in DC he chastised scripture and those who would follow it. That is ironic considering he used two Bibles. That being said I can see how it is a back-handed compliment of sorts. Was he showing concern for the President or seeking to point out how to pray for him? There have been several good articles about the President’s view of and definition of Christianity and they are completely the opposite of a Biblical perspective that Driscol would attempt to find. Tweets are terrible at trying to find motive because there is not much there to work with. Honestly, it is difficult to say if the tweet was made out of concern or resentment or some other ill motive.

  • bluecenterlight

    I would love to see RLC post some articles on the rising contention between Calvinism and Arminianism grace vs. election. It seems that those on the election side, Mr. Driscoll and John Piper to name a few have become rather militant in their Calvinism, tossing around the beloved term “heresy ” for all those who disagree. I remember the same thing happening when open theism became a popular debate. It is funny to me that they admit that their doctrinal stance raises more questions than it answers, and yet they have no problem being dogmatic about their beliefs, to the point where you are not allowed to differ and be in leadership. It’s amazing to me that we take the mysteries of God, things that are fun to crack open a beer and sit on a front porch and speculate together, and start to attack each other with our conclusions. I guess that’s why I love the Anabaptists, theology is a great hobby, it however is not Christianity. The times when the church has been the most concerned about doctrinal purity, were the times we have been amazingly horrible. I guess we do not learn from history.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      Given the nature of this commenting system, I wouldn’t dare ask for your contact information, but I’d just like to say that if I knew you in real life, I would love to sit on the porch with you drinking beer and discussing things like atonement.

      • bluecenterlight

        I agree, that would be a blast. It’s nice to have in depth discussions with level headed people. It seems few and far between nowadays.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

        Yep, colour me there.

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          If I ever make it back to Oz, I’ll be sure to let you know. It’s a big country, but hopefully we can find ourselves close enough together to share a pint.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            You make it here, let me know. There’s a spare room in exchange for good conversation :)

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            It’s a deal – provided you let me know if you’re ever in or around Virginia in the USA.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            I’m there around once a year. I’ll let you know when the next trip is on. I’m based in Melbourne.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            Ah! I was so close, when I was there six years ago, long before I found this site. Go figure.

  • http://en-gb.facebook.com/rhbrandon Bob Brandon

    Love, as agape, is in no way necessarily tied to affection. It is essentially about putting the interests of others ahead of our own. So, regarding Bro. Driscoll – for he is my brother no less – I want only the best for him. I know that I’m not the one to make that determination, but I also know Who Is. The best I can do is be agape where I am, as badly as I accomplish that.

  • Blaine Gross

    The best bishop is a bad bishop. Not because of the good he/she does, rather because of the growth caused.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.fodera.1 Peter Fodera

    Further to the prescient discernment of Rev. Mark Driscoll:

    Harry Reid “invented” the tactic of Pro Forma Senate Sessions to prevent the honorable George W. Bush from making recess appointments. President Bush did in fact honor these sessions and never made an ILLEGAL appointment during these Pro Forma Senate Sessions.

    However, Barack Hussein Obama abrogated his oath of Office to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, so help me God” by making appointments while the Senate was in LEGAL Session, and a federal court today ruled

    OBAMA ABUSED HIS POWER AND ABROGATED HIS OATH OF OFFICE SOLEMNLY SWORN TO GOD!

    ABUSE OF POWER TODAY; IMPEACHMENT TOMORROW!

  • Wally

    All the talk surrounding Christian behavior and so little reference to the Bible.
    Maybe this mode of conversation is exactly the point, folks who say they are Christians espousing largely secular or pluralist wisdom.

    Maybe it is important to draw distinctions and not reduce words like ‘Christian’ or ‘love’ to mean so little.

    Whether love MD or hate MD, Biblically, you’d still be compelled to pray for him, against what you hate and for what God loves.

    Matthew 5:43-48
    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  • K

    It is correct that we aren’t to judge another’s salvation as if it’s final. We are required to look at the fruits of people’s labors. The fruit of Obama’s labors are in every way opposite of biblical practices. Thusly, it is easy to say he likely doesn’t believe in the Bible or know Yahweh. Someone who KNOWS Yahweh is very unlikely to stand for any of the things Obama stands for and certainly wouldn’t stand for all of them.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      “Someone who KNOWS Yahweh is very unlikely to stand for any of the things Obama stands for….” Any of the things Obama stands for? Because those who know the LORD should care for the widowed and the orphaned, and all others of God’s children unable to care for themselves. Those who know the LORD should care for immigrants. Those who know the LORD should care for His creation. You are welcome to disagree with Obama, but claiming that “[t]he fruit of Obama’s labors are in every way opposite of biblical practices” is simply untrue, and seems to show both a lack of Christian love and a lack of understanding of the God we worship.

      • David

        True biblical compassion, as opposed to social gospel compassion, is a choice, usually resulting in action, that each person voluntarily makes on his own with God’s Word and Spirit being his instructor and motivator. It is tyranny for anybody, man or government, to compel an action of someone else and call it compassion. The good Samaritan used his own resources to aid the beaten and robbed man left along side the road. But today, many well meaning good Samaritans think that reaching into somebody else’s pocket/purse to help the beaten and robbed and needy is a compassionate act. Of course ‘they’ would not do that because that would be stealing. But get enough voters together and have civil government do the pilfering and behold it is no longer stealing. Sorry, words do have meanings and that does not describe compassion.

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          I’ll repeat myself:

          You are welcome to disagree with Obama, but claiming that “[t]he fruit of Obama’s labors are in every way opposite of biblical practices” is simply untrue.

          K was very specifically talking about how Obama was not and could not be a Christian. I was very specifically refuting that claim.

          And, in spite of your opening quip, your comment does not appear to have any Biblical support, anyways. Just the usual buzzwords – tyranny and stealing used to describe any and all government action we don’t like.

  • Brendon

    Best blog post I’ve ever read on this site. Thanks, Christian.

  • Macroman

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”- Martin Luther King Jr. In either Mark O or the presidents case we are dealing with professed Christians. In either case both are leaders that are not necessarily following Christ in words and actions. What I stated in my earlier post on this topic is that we should not speak evil of either of them. Acts 23:4-5 Although we can not speak evil we can change their direction through prayer. This is what the apostle Paul directs the church in Corinth to do and he states he is doing to Timothy.

    Part of what has formed the president is hate. The freedom theology is a response to hate (Rev Wright). Spiraling around him is coded hate rhetoric as Colin Powell points out. Personally as a foreigner Christian from the “True North” I never really understood all the coded hate rhetoric despite years living in the south. I also never came to grips with Christians spouting hate on either side of the equation or the segregation of churches. To me all this was foreign and should be foreign to a Christian.

    Unfortunately like Jimmy Hoffas grave once your eyes are open to the problems of hate talk you find it everywhere in the country. The connections to the social issues of the day in this country are manifold. The talk between Christians in this country concerning politics, safety, crime and immigration all are tainted by the history of hate in this country. The main problem is many christians, like Mark O. do not realize that they are perpetuating the problem, but are claiming to be standing on truth.

  • audie

    The president is pro-abortion, even to the point of wanting to allow babies that survive an abortion to be allowed to die (infanticide). He’s for redefining “marriage” to allow those who practice sexual immorality to say that they are “married”. His health care bill forces religious organization to provide abortion-causing drugs. On top of that, his character is that of a whiner who can’t handle critique and criticism, he blames everyone else for his own incompetences.
    Driscoll called it, period. He’s right.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      Are abortion and marriage really the only two issues that define us as Christians? Because in that case, I’ve been doing it all wrong for decades – I’ve been teaching my congregation about following Jesus, instead!

      • Daithi Duly

        Ah I see, you preach your own brand of morality never condemning people who don’t do your list of “Sins”. Why has debate gone to this stinted, shallow level? Can’t I say that Abortion is wrong, meaning Obama’s policies are sinful, without getting the nose bit off me? It seems that Conservative and Liberal Christians are just as bad as each other.

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          You’ve certainly pulled a lot of assumptions out of my insistence that Christianity is more than just a stance on abortion and gay marriage. Funny how my insistence that Christ’s teachings are more complex than that draw from you the accusation that I have a shallow theology…

          • Daithi Duly

            I am rather just tired that every single post on RLC seems to be of the entirely same genre.

  • culture shock

    He has offended your mind and revealed your heart. He is your brother. Don’t you have anything better to do than moan? I smell jealousy and its aroma is bull pies.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      If you smell jealousy, then you are not sniffing anywhere near this article.

    • otrotierra

      Yes, Barack Obama is your brother and has revealed much about the heart of U.S. religious fundamentalism. God and the world can see how Mark Driscoll and his supporters treat their fellow christian brethren.

      As for your concerns about Christian Piatt, where is all that jealousy you speak of? Please point to specific passages in Piatt’s commentary.

  • Jim

    What would be really funny is what if he is right? Funny in the sense of the context of this article.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      If Rev. Driscoll is right about Obama, then it still changes very little of the meat of this article. The main point was not that Christian thought Driscoll was wrong; Christian’s main points were that (1) Driscoll appeared to be echoing the rhetoric of the Pharisees, and (2) Christian needs forgiveness and help to love MD as Jesus loves him.

      • Daithi Duly

        Hmm, in my mind that would leave us all unable to comment on anyone else. We can point to evidences of Salvation such as a conscience towards that which is condemned in Scripture. Obama is the most Pro Abortion President to date and his use of drones lead to countless people being killed. Driscoll may say things you don’t like but his action have not led to the death of anyone. It seems that if someone allows people to murdered he can still be a Christian but woe to anyone who condemns someone who I like!

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          Once again, you assume that I’ve said a whole lot of things that I don’t remember saying.

          • Daithi Duly

            I just find it funny how many people seem to claim they know that Driscoll is unsaved while saying with confidence Obama is a believer.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            Which is, once again, something that I have no recollection of saying. If I did, please show me. If not, then respond to someone who actually said it, instead.

  • Jim

    As another side comment, I have never heard of Driscoll referred to as Rev. Pastor, yes. And there is a huge difference. So I wonder why the author chose such a title? Maybe it is out there and I do not know about it.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      Could you educate me on the difference? Because I’ve been using them essentially interchangeably – Reverend with the last name, or Pastor with the first name.

  • Daithi Duly

    Wow instead of picking someone unregenerate and a non believer you choose to pick on a brother in Christ. Obama has unleashed the floodgates of Abortion openly mocked the Word of God and is complicit in many wars around the globe and you choose Driscoll as the one you struggle with loving? I don’t like your “not only dishonors the office itself” very right wing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/larry.knight.125 Larry Knight

    I think Mark Driscoll spoke the truth. Mr. Obama supports the murder of unborn children, and approval of a lifestyle that God says is sin. He is *not* a friend of Israel. God said in His Word that He will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel.

    The problem is not Mark Driscoll. The problem is Christians as a whole. We as the Body of Christ have dropped the proverbial ball. We have not been to the world what God called us to be (Matthew 28:18-20).

  • Deep Throat

    He is false teacher in a sermon he said both arminians and calvinists are christians and can be members of mars hill. Later in two other sermons he said all arminians are humanists and they should not be allowed to hold office in the church. He also has a hell fire style of preaching. Most of his members are younger conservative baptists who left smaller local churches. Mars Hill is not what we think it is. When they planted a church in Southern California they had an option to plant it in down town or Hollywood but instead they picked orange county. Who goes to that church? More conservative baptists stolen from other churches.

  • joris

    I don’t understand that anyone can listen for more than ten minutes to this Driscoll character in his church without getting heavy spasms in their guts. I sense he’s under a certain satanic influence. The list is to long to even begin with. If you still believe in organized religion, go to another church!

  • Curt

    Mark Driscoll knows and admits very often that he is not perfect and makes mistakes all the time. Whenever someone is in the spot light all of the time of course there sins are going to be made more apparent. We all have sins and I dont think speaking of other peoples sins is going to grow ourselves. Mark Driscoll does preach the bible and Christ Crucified. I believe we should all unite under Christ, despite our imperfections and disagreements, we would get much more done for the cause of Christ!! We all fall short of the glory of God and we all deserve Hell!!! Praise Christ that we have been choosen to be grafted in and adopted to the family of God!!!!

  • Sherry Riordan

    re Driscoll’s Obama tweet: I wonder if Prez Bush “W” would have gotten a disrespectful tweet like this after having condoned waterboarding/torture, starting a war and not funding it, deregulating Wall Street for greedy ruch ficks and crashing the economy, giving tax breaks to the rich while trashing the middle class even further ETC.

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