For heavens sake this post will offer no opinion on whether Mark Driscoll is a bully. So read on and fear no rant against Mark.
Friday Matthew Paul Turner published a guest blog about Mark Driscoll’s recent facebook comment about effeminate worship leaders. I’ll save you the trouble – the guest poster did not find the comment cute. Yesterday Rachel Held Evans wrote a post about standing up to Mark Driscoll for being a bully, and called for others to stand with her by contacting the church about their pastor’s antics.
From when I last checked, Rachel’s post was nearing 500 comments. A below average day for this blog, but apparently big traffic for Rachel.
Annoyingly enough, the Bible doesn’t give clear instructions on how to deal with Christian who are in the public eye, let alone ones who are doing damaging things whilst in that limelight. And I don’t quite know how to handle this.
I certainly can see why so many Christians are angry about what Mark has said, not just this one time, but others as well. And certainly in recent years there have been plenty of things done very publicly by Christians that outright embarrass and damage our collective image. Many have taken to the streets trying to proclaim “hey we’re not like those guys!” in the hopes that Christians may have credibility once again. I practically wore that t-shirt at one point in my life.
But I think we need to ask some good old fashioned questions: What do we stand to gain from publicly rebuking someone like Mark Driscoll? Making him look bad and making “us” (whoever that us may be) look good? Making Christianity not look so oppressive and insensitive? We also have to ask what we stand to lose. Looking like just another group of Christians offended by the outrage-of-the-week? Looking like we’ll tear anyone apart, including one of our own? Looking like we can’t even handle our own family feuds without making so much noise that the neighbors get concerned?
I don’t know. Either way we lose. Though Mark’s said some things that don’t sit well with me, I also get the impression from the New Testament that we are to resolve issues internally for obvious reasons. And so maybe we should just think on it for a bit before we fire off angry e-mails and tweets.
One thing I’ve learned is that you want someone to change and you come at them expecting them to change – well you’ll be waiting for a long time till you’re satisfied. I imagine Mark’s caught wind by now of his name being thrown around, and I imagine it immediately put him at odds with Rachel et al, rather than immediately humbling him. All I do know is that these sorts of matters all kinds of complicated when we don’t actually know the person, and the Bible doesn’t tell us how to rebuke public figures.
Some things deserve a strong reaction, but those things also deserve waiting for a bit before more damage is inflicted.
What’s your response to the mass public rebuking of Mark Driscoll? Are you uncomfortable with publicly rebuking another believer? What should the Christian protocol be were it outlined in Luke 27?