Mark Driscoll: How Should We Respond?

August 23, 2014

Categories: Grace

Mark Driscoll has been in the news quite a bit lately. And to be honest, the press has been pretty bad. Driscoll has been accused of plagiarizing, using church money to increase the sales of his book, and making derogatory comments on his church website under the pseudonym William Wallace II.

Christians have had all sorts of responses to Driscoll. Many Christians are angry. Some call for forgiveness. Acts 29, a large church network that Driscoll started, sent Driscoll and his church a letter removing them from the Acts 29 network.

If you have talked with me about Mark Driscoll over the past few years, you know I have been critical of a lot of what Driscoll has stood for. I don’t agree with many of his views on women, sexuality, and faith in general. We just see the world differently.

If I am completely honest with myself, there was a part of me that felt satisfaction as Driscoll was dragged through the mud these past months. There was a part of me that thought, “Ha, I knew it! I was right about him all along.”

But lately I have been working to change that attitude in myself.

The main reason is it just isn’t very loving.

But also, I think part of my reaction to Driscoll had to do with my pride. I am starting to realize that whenever I look down on someone else, or judge someone else, it usually means I have forgotten I too make mistakes and don’t get everything right.

Looking down on others and judging them was not what Jesus was about. Jesus was about offering grace and mercy to those who needed it (which was everyone).

In one of my favorite teachings by Jesus, he says this:

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eye. (Mt 7:1-5)

In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul makes this same point: You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. (Rom 2:1)

Instead of judging others, Paul recommends we leave the judging up to God.

I think these passages can be used to inform a gracious response to Mark Driscoll. To be honest, I don’t know him at all. I haven’t had a conversation with him. I don’t know his heart. I don’t know his past or his hurts. I want to be in the business of working on the planks in my own eye, rather than judging the specks in someone else’s eye.

So my response is grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

Discussion: Do you struggle with judging others? What do you think about the balance between grace/mercy and judging others for their actions?

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  1. John August 24, 2014 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Just read this morning at the end of Jude…”Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way: Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.”
    If Driscoll is owning his sin and seeking forgiveness then my heart is full of compassion for this man in his brokenness. If he is being arrogant and hiding his sin my heart is tender that he is so broken that he can’t see that he is in chains. Either way I want to have a heart of grace for this man.

  2. Josh Hook August 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    John,
    I really like how you said irrespective of Driscoll’s response, you have a heart of grace for the man. I think it is so difficult to have grace and love for someone when you disagree with his or her actions. If they have hurt you in some way, it is all the more difficult. I also think the framework of ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ is a difficult line to walk. I’m curious what others think about this. How do we truly love and accept someone even when we are faced with the consequences of his or her actions?

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