I was sent link to this blog and I have to say that I was not surprised in any way by the story. Simply because even at a distance I’ve noticed the things that the story outlines, Driscoll doesn’t hide much but at the same time there are parts of this story that I guess were more surprising than I would have thought. I remember seeing his video with Chan where he basically attacks him for building up his church to be lead by leaders who have been developed and grown together. I sat in a service with a youth group years ago where he proceeded to curse and completely confuse and turn off our entire group. I also have a handbook on sexuality from his church where he states overtly that he believes masturbation to be an expression of homosexuality (imagine the mass confusion if our teenage population if we were to spread something so silly like that, can you imagine the straight guys masturbating to content from Porn-HD or elsewhere thinking they are homosexual while watching heterosexual porn?!) I’ve seen sermon after sermon filled with guilt trips and mandates. But if I were under a microscope like he is I’m sure I’d have a lot of criticism too.
Honestly, it is such a shame that there are still people out there that preach such intolerant views. In our Church, everyone is welcome regardless of their sexuality. How you identify sexually, and how you choose to live your life is totally up to you and a private matter. Personally, I do not care whether you identify as heterosexual, homosexual, or pansexual. It doesn’t matter to me if you use sex toys like anal beads during sexual intercourse with your partner, nor does it matter what sexuality your partner identifies with. As long as you are a good person, you will be welcome to worship alongside me. That being said, there is no denying that a lot of the terminology surrounding the way that we talk about sexual identities has changed over the past few years. Accordingly, you can learn more about this fascinating topic by researching ‘what is a pansexual?’ online.
Anyway, going back to my earlier point, I remember being drawn to his concept of masculine faith, and as I searched it out I began to notice that his approach was dangerous. I felt this way because he tapped into the male need to rise up and embrace testosterone and lead, but he didn’t leave it at lead. Instead, he took it to a level of control.
If you have been around the church for long then you know that historically the controlling church parents of our youth are exactly what pushed many away from the church in the first place. It was NOT a model that was effectively passed down to the next generation. It is incredibly clear to me that MarkD’s approach will have the exact same effect on the children of these “masculine” men of faith that he is guilt tripping into action. Admittedly it is an easier faith, one where we control and direct, but not the faith of reliance and submission and service that Jesus exemplified.
The thing is, that I know incredible numbers of people who have had similar experiences in their own churches. They are hurting and exiled themselves, if only all of them had been able to find that “joy.”
I am posting this link because I think its an incredible story that all of us should learn from and take note of I am conflicted though, the publishing of this document and blog leaves me with stirred thoughts and emotions. It is appropriate to do this? And I suppose in this context, given that the process itself was so public would add to the validity, either way I appreciate their own wrestling through the process of whether or not to share and admire their courage in doing so.
I’ve heard incredible stories that have made me frustrated at degrees that really make it difficult for me to justify staying quiet… but I suppose I’ve been in similar positions where others have asked me why I’ve kept quiet too.
Either way, this is an incredible epidemic in North American churches. We are to build each other up and respect one another and NOONE has special ability to hear God above anyone else. But now I’m getting ahead of myself.
Take your time and pray deeply through this and consider how it might affect you, perhaps as a leader acting like this, or perhaps as someone longing to be free to follow God and free to be released from the selfish leadership above you…
For an added site check out my post from Wade Burleson bellow on the authority vs. Legalism contrast.