First read this. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
First, I don’t talk much about Fred Phelps or the Westboro people because a) they are just ridiculous, b) they defy all reason, and c) simply don’t deserve our time or attention. I’d rather poke my own eyes out with a rusty nail than give another second to these hate-mongers and their agenda. So, I won’t talk about them anymore.
Instead, lets talk about Mark Driscoll. He’s had his own share of controversies. (Check out this article here and this one here.) A minor one is his frequent use of “cussing” as a tool to grow his church. That one I don’t care about because I think its just stupid. Immature behavior draws in immature people and while I get that we need to be all things to all men, there’s no need to do this from the pulpit. There are much more effective ways of communicating (see Graham, Billy) that keeps a Man of God above this kind of base behavior. The church – even if its an old warehouse or home depot or brand new building – still has some reverent significance to me.
That said, I freely admit to dropping a few bad words here and there in my counseling work with teenagers to catch them off guard and improve my “cool factor.” I really don’t need to, of course, because I am really rather cool already, but . . .you already knew that or you wouldn’t be reading this blog.
OK, I’ll admit it, cussing is sometimes just fun. (I hope my mother’s email is broken this morning so she didn’t see me write that.)
The bigger controversy for Driscoll seems to be the way he has presented his positions on gender roles and sexuality in general. He appears to be somewhat homophobic or at least uses language that is inappropriate towards those who disagree with him. He also has said some pretty ridiculous things about wives of church leaders letting themselves get fat and unattractive as a potential explanation for why men feel the need to cheat. But bigger than that is that he freely talks about his personal struggles with pride and ego.
If you recognize pride is a problem for you, you shouldn’t boast about it even if done in the attempt to be humble and “real.” It feels like your proud of being proud and that makes my head hurt to think about. I’m sure Mr. Driscoll has done great work for the Kingdom by reaching tons of people who might not have understood the gospel message without him and his work. And there’s no contest about who I’d rather have lunch with between him and Fred Phelps. But what I’m mostly afraid of is the two of them getting together in one of those cosmic-crisis moments where we have to hold our collective breath to make sure the sheer force of their respective egos doesn’t cause the world to collapse.
Good luck to them both in their future endeavors. They won’t be back on my radar anytime soon.
TOMORROW IS FAVORITE THINGS WEDNESDAY!