Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Pornographic Divination

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on August 15, 2011 at 8:59 am

Phil Johnson over on the Pyromaniacs blog points out the errors, and ridiculous claims of Mark Driscoll.

Read it here

  1. what I want to know is where is the Scripture to back up this “gift”? I believe that this man is not of God but of his father the devil. He is not doing what a discerning pastor should be doing. We should pray for him.

  2. Thank God for Phil Johnson. Reformed Baptist used to be similar. We were not afraid to speak against error and falsehood. How many of our churches have opened their doors to such men as MD? I fear the results. Dear brethren, let us turn back to the old paths. Those taught by men such as Calvin, Owen, Bunyan, Edwards, Boston, Gill, Ryle, Spurgeon, Walt Chantry, AN Martin, Ian Murray, Joel Beeke, and thousands more…

    Mike Waters
    Heritage Reformed Baptist Church
    Ohio

  3. This is the first time I’ve seen a video of Driscoll in action; it is extremely saddening and disturbing. How anyone could claim this man as their pastor is beyond me. I agree with Pastor Waters…back to the old paths!

  4. So now Pastor Mark is guilty of “pornographic divination?” I don’t know how I feel about all of what he said, but you have just accused a godly man of lewdness and witchcraft.

    Does this have anything to do with the Mickey Mouse shirt he’s wearing in the video? And evidently, according to one of the comments, “this man is not of God but of his father the devil…” Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees!

    It is one thing to disagree, and another to accuse a fellow Christian…and Calvinist…of practicing witchcraft. I think the root of it is the conflict between urban/southern agrarian lifestyles which, sadly, are equivalent to worldliness/holiness in some circles. While it’s true that men have itching ears and don’t like to hear faithful preaching, lets make sure that real, but struggling Christians aren’t turned away because relationally, we preach a sanctification so rarified that only a handful of believers are welcomed in community. I find the video confusing, but at worst Mark put his foot in his mouth, which he has admitted on numerous occasions. He is a reforming, growing, godly pastor. His ministry points the lost to Jesus, and to a holy life.

    I don’t agree with Mark on everything, but I have a great deal of respect for him as a Christian, a pastor, and a man.

    Am I of Satan, too?

  5. Matt:

    >Does this have anything to do with the Mickey Mouse shirt he’s wearing in the video? <

    Not to me. It has everything to do with his Mickey Mouse theology. Those "pictures" he is seeing come from a few possible sources:
    1. He's lying — or exaggerating
    2. He's schizophrenic
    3. He's seeing the same kinds of things mediums, fortune-tellers and New Age folk claim to see (BTW — this kind of visualization is also big in Buddism).
    4. It's from God.

    Now, since I believe in Sola Scriptura — how am I supposed to judge which it is? Especially since I do not know him. And especially when he says he's not ALWAYS right.

    Matt, you say "I don't agree with Mark on everything,". Fine. Let me ask you then — do you agree with Mark on his visualization of counselees past sexual experiences and violations that he claims he supernaturally "sees"? That's the issue at hand.

  6. I firmly believe that Mark is

    Steve, I disagree with your assessment of “the issue at hand.” We may agree or disagree with Mark about any number of things. The question is, are we prepared to go so far as to say this man is guilty of witchcraft?

    Of more concern than what pastor Mark may or may not see is what some of his critics refuse to see:

    You think you’re shooting at the enemy, but you’re wounding your own men.

  7. Ooops. I intended to say “I firmly believe that Mark is relating events that actually happened, as he experienced them.” The broader theological implications of this, I don’t know. But a man who has pointed so many to Christ, to repentance and faith, could not be in any way associated with the demonic or with promoting pornography.

  8. Matt said: “But a man who has pointed so many to Christ, to repentance and faith, could not be in any way associated with the demonic or with promoting pornography.”

    Are you sure about this? Can you back this up? I’m not wanting to enter into the debate over Driscoll, but I didn’t want to let this statement pass.

  9. Mark,

    Respectfully I do not see how you can say that Mark Driscoll’s “visions” are not the issue at hand. It is what the video is all about. These are Mark Driscoll’s claims that he has made himself, not accustations others have brought against him. You believe God is speaking to him — and showing him these visions — I guess on the basis of his reputation. I think we should only judge him on the basis of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.

  10. Mr. Johnson is a staunch cessationist who does not believe God could possibly act through the continuation of the spiritual gifts. Driscoll disagrees with that interpretation of scripture, based on his experience as he articulates in the video clip, and therefore is a target in Mr. Johnson’s sights (see his work with MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, etc.).
    Given the over-the-top insults of Driscoll on this thread, it appears that Reformed Baptists are also strict cessationists. However, that position cannot be proven Sola Scriptura. It can only be “proven” using the same means paedo-baptists are accused of using – adding your own interpretation to the scripture and using tradition and history as supplements to your arguments. The truth is, the Bible is not definitive on the cessation versus continuation positions. Many very Godly people do not hold to cessation, and they should not be condemned.
    If it is possible that the gifts have continued, then God could have given these visions to Driscoll. Calling this brother Mickey Mouse in his theology or demonic or satanic only reflects poorly on the name caller, and is very dangerous if there is even a 1% chance that Driscoll’s visions are from God. Remember Elisha and the two bears (2 Kings 2:23-25)!
    I believe this four-minute clip is an excerpt from a six sermon series Driscoll did on the spiritual gifts. Before roundly condemning the man, you should hear him out.

  11. Sojourner: awesome commentary, bro!

    Steve,

    as to the sufficiency of Scripture and the work of God, whatever these visions were, they pointed to repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ. And we know that “no demon can open the eyes of the blind.”

    In the case of Benny Hinn, etc. the so-called “miracles” point back to the alleged “miracle-worker” and his lucrative financial empire. “As soon as the money clinks in the chest, a soul flies up to heavenly rest.”

    I’m just seeking to articulate my shock that something like this would appear on a Reformed Baptist website. I have heard numerous RB brethren urge caution regarding Mars Hill and company, even to the point of heated debate, but never question his salvation or the power at work behind his ministry!

    It used to be (and I was raised a Reformed Baptist, now Reformed non-denominational, soon to be Acts 29) that if you didn’t fit the mold you were socially ostracized and labelled. Now, evidently, you can be drummed up on charges of witchcraft.

    Now this video, if anyone noticed, was posted in 2008. Does anyone know if Mark has spoken of these things since then, or if three years (let alone the immediate context) has cleared anything up?

    Marie, are you asking me whether I can prove that Mark is NOT involved in porn or witchcraft?

    If that’s what you’re asking me, I would respond by asking you:

    Since when is a minister of the gospel, who points people to repentance before God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, on trial to prove that his works are the works of God?

    If this burden rests on him, does it not also rest on all ministers of the gospel?

    Let the Inquisition begin!

  12. Matt said, “Marie, are you asking me whether I can prove that Mark is NOT involved in porn or witchcraft?”

    No, not at all! Please read what I said again. I was not addressing the issue of Mark Driscoll- that’s why I said I didn’t want to enter the debate about him. I was asking if you could back up the statement that no man used to point others to Christ, repentance, and faith could be “in any way associated with the demonic or with promoting pornography”

    I know that “no demon can open the eyes of the blind” but we also have the truth that there were those who did signs and wonders in Christ’s name, to which which Christ says, depart from Me. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you said, but it struck me as saying that just because God uses someone to lead others to Christ means he’s legit and not a deceiver.

    I was glad to see Doug Wilson comments on Johnson’s article. They both have good points. I’m looking forward to seeing what they conclude.

  13. >Calling this brother Mickey Mouse in his theology or demonic or satanic only reflects poorly on the name caller, and is very dangerous if there is even a 1% chance that Driscoll’s visions are from God. Remember Elisha and the two bears (2 Kings 2:23-25)!<

    Soujourner

    …"if there is only a 1% chance that Driscoll's visions are from God?" Those are your words. If they ARE NOT from God — where are they from? Wouldn't you want a more sure foundation than that

    We heard Driscoll's experience EXTRA SCRIPTURE — now here's mine:
    I have friends who have become Acts 29 — and/or charismatic — personal friends back to the 1980's. I can not say that even one of them is doing better spiritually today than they were back then. That's MY experience.

    I was a fundamental baptist in the 70's when the charismatic movement wrought havoc in those circles. I have been a Reformed Baptist since 1982. I guess if you hang around long enough you get to watch history repeat.

  14. Thank you Pastor Steve. You’ve put things in proper proportion.

  15. Steve,
    Thank you for your comments. I’m a bit of an old guy as well, and remember those days too. As a fundamentalist baptist in the 1970s, you probably remember a weekly publication I used to read called “The Sword of the Lord”; I think it is still around. Jerry Fallwell, Jack Hyles, John R. RIce, etc., were the main drivers back in the 1970s.
    This blog kind of reminds me of the Sword of the Lord from that era. It thrived on condemning other Christians who did not subscribe to their gurus’ dogma, which of course they claimed was completely biblical.
    One quick question – would your friends concur with you that they are not better off spiritually, or is that your judgment of them? My experience is that a lot of folks who leave RB churches are actually more spiritually minded and grace-driven. Of course, each experience is different, and I know there are sad stories both inside and outside the circle.

  16. Sojourner,

    “This blog kind of reminds me of the Sword of the Lord from that era. It thrived on condemning other Christians who did not subscribe to their gurus’ dogma, which of course they claimed was completely biblical.”

    This statement sounds condemning towards those who differ from you.

    mw

  17. Sorry, Mike, I didn’t mean to condemn anybody. That’s why I didn’t use words like satanic, demonic, blasphemous, etc. I only meant to criticize. Are we only allowed to criticize/condemn Driscoll on this blog?

  18. Honestly this conversation reminds me of the story of the blind man in John chapter 9. It was obvious that the man was blind and could then see, but the Pharisees wouldn’t believe it no matter what evidence and testimony was presented to them. If you can truly watch that video and not see that something is seriously wrong with Mark Driscoll, then I would suggest to you that you are blind and can’t see the obvious, and that you are harboring the same heart of the Pharisees. A tree is known by its fruit. Perhaps some people are accustomed to that type of perversion and are hardened to it, I am not, and found it to be most offensive and frightening. I feel sorry for anyone who could hear Mark Driscoll speak from his own mouth in such a way and then try to defend him, as a man called of God to shepherd His people, as most pitiable and on dangerous footing.

  19. The Pentecostal church that I was raised in would have rejected Mark’s claims. Why? Because the old school Pentecostals were VERY sensitive to issues of holiness. The first ten years of my adult life was spent in the company of people that made the same claims as Mark (sans the perverted visions) and I can assure you that it was all mysticism and flesh not the Holy Spirit.

    Today I am happy to say that I thank God for the Pentecostal’s who taught me to love God’s Word and the Reformed who taught me to understand it. And this I know for certain that at the end of the day, sola scriptura and the Charismatic movement are unable to abide one another.

    I have always known that MD is an EXTREME Charismatic (wait till you hear about his demon chasing adventures!) and that in ten years he will either be completely different man (theologically) or we will never hear about him at all. It is all just a passing shadow and an empty fad, but the Word of God abides forever!

  20. DS,
    More name calling and demagoguery. That’s why I joined this blog, not because I am defending Driscoll’s video.
    Apparently, anyone who disagrees with you guys is a heretic, satanic, demonic, perverse, a Pharisee, blind, pitiable, on dangerous footing, and so on.
    You and I will stand before the same God as Driscoll will, with nothing in our hands either. If he was wrong about cessation, but his love for Christ was real, then he will be forgiven that error. I would rather be wrong about cessation than carry an angry, condemning spirit towards all who did not hold my views.
    For the record, I do not speak in tongues, prophesy, etc., and I lean toward the cessationist view. However, the Scripture is not so clear that we should label those who hold alternative views the way you RBs have. Your own Robert Gonzalaz has some very reasoned arguments on why cessation is the correct interpretation, but he does not viscously attack those who disagree. Albert Mohler also holds to the cessationist view, but he often shares a stage with Acts 29 guys.
    DS, Steve, and Mike – the problem here and on the pyro blog is not Driscoll. It is the vitriol, condemnation, ridicule, and outright hated of a brother who has a different view than you.
    I did watch the video, and have listened to his entire series on spiritual gifts. I’m not thrilled with the language in the video, and I have not had the experiences he relates. I wouldn’t call out someone the way he apparently did. OTOH, I have heard numerous RB preachers relate supernatural experiences (and rightly so), absent the colorful language.
    Unless you are prepared to label Driscoll a non-believer, then you guys are out of line. There are plenty of heretics out there for you to go after with your RB guns blazing.
    As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Scripture is less clear on this issue than it is on believer’s baptism. Yet I don’t see you RBs going after your “Presbyterian brethren” when they baptize babies, like you have on Driscoll. Why is that? Is it because they dress like you and talk like you?

  21. Sojourner,

    I agree some of the terminology used above is too much for me. I do not call MD a “witch” nor you a “pharisee.” Yet, let me clarify:

    You must know that the title Pornographic Divination (unless I am mistaken), is taken from Phil Johnson (who is not a RB). Furthermore, you must know that every post on this blog does not necessarily reflect the views of those who oversee it. In addition to this, you seem to have a distaste for RB (or at least a certain kind). You mention, Bob G above, as perhaps an improvement.

    Let me put it like this. We have allowed men within our churches precisely because those on the front lines have not raised an alarm. This is not a small issue. It is huge. RB and others in places of leadership have the responsibility to protect as well as proclaim. I, for one, am glad for men that do both. Men such as John MacArthur and Phil Johnson. Men that oversee this blog. I fear that some RB are so afraid to be labeled as judgmental and unloving (or “old” RB), that they have failed to warn and speak out.

    Must we speak with respect, humility, and tears? Yes. Have we always done that? No. Yet, do not mistake merely speaking as being unloving and proud. In fact, it is the very essence of love.

    Love…does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth…

  22. Sojourner,
    Is your concern that it is RB pastors who are censuring MD? Would you likewise be upset if it were other Charismatics that dismissed MD’s claims? Brother as one who has come from the outside (specifically from the Charismatic movement) into the ranks of Reformed Baptists, I can assure you that we get more criticism than we give out.

    For example I have heard Dr. Piper praise every group of Christians (including Charismatic Catholics) but have only heard him (wrongfully) disparage one group by name: Reformed Baptist. Even the RB man that you mention above is known to have publically castigated RB churches while often praising other groups.

    This is not to deny that we must seek with God’s help to be humble and careful in this area. Yet we would not be faithful to our calling if we were to remain silent on such egregious matters.

    BTW when I was trying to think my way through these issues (Charismatic claims) it was the RB men who graciously, patiently yet firmly helped me the most. Me thinks that there is much straw-man attacks that go on.

  23. Mike,

    Nothing in any of my posts justifies your statement: “…you seem to have a distaste for RB (or at least a certain kind)”. In fact, I do not. My posts have only been related to the vicious nature of the comments on a blog with the name Reformed Baptist attached to it. I haven’t seen the love you mentioned. I’ve seen haughtiness, anger, and self-righteousness, to be frank.

    I do have a distaste for the character assassination and bashing coming from some who apparently think they have more of God than the next guy. Jesus directed the type of language in this blog (He used brood of vipers, whitewashed tombs, hypocrites, etc.) only to the pharisees, who, while religious, were not believers. No where did He use words like demonic, satanic, and so on, to describe Christians; nor did any of the other NT authors. Are you guys prepared to state that Driscoll is a non-believer?

    That said, Mike, your comments are of a more appropriate nature. You should also make them to Phil Johnson, who started this unseemly discussion a full three years after Driscoll’s sermon. An argument can be made without a slash and burn approach that is dishonoring to our God, who, BTW, is not a Reformed Baptist, or in any other box where we frail sinners try to put Him.

  24. Sojourner said, “An argument can be made without a slash and burn approach that is dishonoring to our God, who, BTW, is not a Reformed Baptist, or in any other box where we frail sinners try to put Him.”

    Mike Waters agrees.

  25. David Charles,

    In your earlier post you said, “…in ten years he will either be completely different man (theologically) or we will never hear about him at all.” Are you exercising the gift of prophecy, or just wishing and hoping?

    As far as censuring Driscoll, no one should be, RB or other. You can disagree with him, not appreciate him, keep away from him, listen to him or whatever; that is fine. But to savage him the way he has been on this blog and on the pyro blog is offensive and un-Christian.

    As far as Charismatics go, I only know three of them, and have never heard them mention Driscoll one way or the other.

    I am interested in your other comments, however. If I were in your camp, I would be asking why do so many other good folks have problems with us? I hope you agree that Piper and Gonzalaz are not bad guys. Why do you have a reputation like that?

    The fact is that God is greatly blessing the work of many biblical churches outside your camp. I went to a Catalyst conference in Dallas in May with about 4,000 other believers, and was overwhelmed with the intense love that some have for Christ, and who are making a huge difference in a lost and dying world. I’m thinking of LeCrae. I’m even thinking of Rev Run. I doubt you guys would be caught dead in the building as these brothers, but they love Jesus, and they believe His word properly.

    Why are you guys so intent on squabbling with everyone who does not agree with you, and holding onto your orthodoxy like it is the family jewel chest? You can love Jesus and His word, and be a little different. You can love guitars, flip flops, and even rap music, and Jesus at the same time.

    When you read Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”, do you envision the church as a great fortress intent on keeping the world out, do you envision a battering ram pounding against the very gates of hell in the battle for the souls of men? I hope you say both, with an emphasis on the latter!

  26. hmmm – not overly familiar with Driscoll (by choice because he tends towards crudeness which, in my mind, seems to be in direct contrast with the 1 Timothy 3 description of a pastor/elder).

    That said, two things come to mind when I view the video. First and foremost, if he isn’t 100% accurate in what he sees he’s treading on very thin ice – he could do incredible damage to someone’s life by speaking out on what he “sees.” There have been many lives ruined because of false recovered memories and we certainly don’t need the Bride of Christ adding to the problem.

    Second, he’s speaking to an audience, sharing his “sights” in a fairly graphic manner. Do the listeners need vivid details of someone’s illicit sexual encounters? Is this an appropriate topic for the pulpit? There’s something rather prurient in both his interest in these things in people’s lives and in sharing his “experiences.”

  27. Sojourner:

    Mark Driscoll makes ridiculous (and maybe even dangerous claims) in public and somehow it’s Phil Johnson or Reformed Baptists who are judgmental?

    Have you heard what Mark Driscoll recently said about cessationists? If not, look it up and tell us if he was being loving, big-hearted and tolerant. He wants us to be like him — he wants to take a movement with him — and I believe he’s wrong. It’s not just Phil Johnson warning the church — the lines have been drawn and MD has thrown his lot in with the open revelation crowd and has openly condemned those who refuse to agree.

    You make some good points, Sojourner — but there are other points to consider also — and “why can’t we all just get along” goes both ways — and only goes so far — which is why various “denominations” do exist — in fact — need to exist. Acts 29 is a new denomination, and I strongly disagree with some of their doctrine.

    I can get along with Presbyterians just fine — until they tell me they will not associate with me unless I am a paedo-baptist. I can get along with YRR guys — unless they demand I believe just like them — worship just like them — and that I am a legalist if I don’t.

    As a pastor of a local church — I take my responsibilities very seriously. Some things are a matter of “taste, style and Christian LIberty”. Some people will be more “comfortable” in one church over another — even if the doctrine between the two churches is the same — and I have no problem with that. Some things are matters with serious doctrinal consequences. I beleive the kind of “direct revelation from God” that Driscoll is claiming and encouraging is a serious doctrinal error.

  28. Sojourner said, “Unless you are prepared to label Driscoll a non-believer, then you guys are out of line.”

    I believe that Mark Driscoll is not born again of the Holy Spirit. There are a lot of men with megachurches who are not born from above. They use the name of Jesus and lead thousands astray. Why is it so preposterous for you to believe that this could be true of MD?

    This isn’t the first time he has been called to task for his crass language, a strange interpretations, e.g. the Song of Solomon, he has a history of it. We are not to judge those outside, but we are to judge inside the church. I don’t hate MD, I hope and do pray that the Lord will save him. This isn’t an issue of hating, it’s one of love for the church, its future, its purity.

  29. Kudos to edie p for her thoughtful, measured, and respectful concerns over the video. This is how Christians should react. This is the entire point of all my comments.

    Kudos also to DS for his clear statement that he thinks Driscoll is lost and hell bound. DS, is it safe to say that your position is that there is no possibility that God would act in the way Driscoll claims, that cessationism is fact and fait accompli, and that anyone who does not agree is in blatant error and disobedience to Scripture, because God has made it 100% certain that you are right and those who disagree with you are wrong?

    Lastly, kudos to Steve for his taking the pastoral office very seriously. That is the proper approach to the office. Steve, is it not possible that since Driscoll is human, he may be a little fed up with being called names and condemned by zealots who make personal attacks on him a way of life? It comes with the territory of being a megachurch pastor, but is it not possible that his comparing cessation to worldliness is a result of the frustration brought on by these withering attacks? I don’t know the man, but I know it would wear me out.

    A civil, Christian discourse is all I am asking from you guys. A more Christ like approach to expressing concerns about Driscoll is here: http://romeocat.typepad.com/.

    My apologies, but you guys come across as angry legalists, not because of what you say, but how you say it. Could this be why a “big” RB church has 100 people in it, while millions are going to hell all around you? Do you even notice them?

  30. Dear Sojourner,
    I can only go by what Mark Driscoll says. He says God gives him visions, explicit pictures of rape, violence, molestation. I don’t believe the Lord works on a pastor’s heart that way. It has nothing to do with cessationism. God doesn’t have to show a mental video of these things to make Mark Driscoll aware of sins of the past, to make him a godly pastor/counselor. I have a honest question for you, why would God do this? Why would God show Mark Driscoll visions of a grandfather molesting his grandchild? I can’t ascribe this sort of thing to our God who hates these things, they are an abomination to Him. Why would he put these pictures in a man’s mind, especially the mind of one of His undershepherds? God tells us to flee such things. Can’t you see how contradictory it is, what’s going on in Mark Driscoll’s mind as to what God calls us to. We are to think on what is good, true, etc.

    There is a huge contradiction here and nothing more. We have God’s Word, His will to pursue holiness and godliness, and then we have the words of Mark Driscoll who is in obvious sin, not only seeing things sexual in nature but repeating them. We are not to think of those things. And so I ask you, are these visions from God?

  31. DS,
    I don’t know; God knows. God has never given me visions like this, but He has shown me things, usually through His word and through the still small voice. I hope we can all say that.
    This I will tell you – I have read a couple of Driscoll’s books, listened to about 20 or so of his sermons, and closely examined the Acts 29 website. I believe he is a Christian, and if he is in error and/or prideful, God will deal with him on that, for his good, and God’s glory. I don’t line up with him in every area theologically or even in speech proclivities, but then I’m not a 40 year old born and raised in Seattle who didn’t come to Christ till adulthood. I’m not his judge. I think I can see a heretic when I see one. Thank you for the civil response.

  32. Some further thoughts on all of this:

    Matt said: “But a man who has pointed so many to Christ, to repentance and faith, could not be in any way associated with the demonic or with promoting pornography.” Perhaps not, but consider this from Acts 16:

    16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
    17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
    18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

    This speaks for itself, at least in suggesting the possibilty that a demonic power can “point people to Christ.”
    And is it really unbiblical to suggest that a nationally-known Christian leader may be in serious error? I would say that Biblically, it is absolutely necessary. As far as Driscoll’s salvation goes, I know several pastors who would say that it is difficult to know sometimes where their own congregants are at spiritually, let alone someone they do not know, and that from a distance. We may like to say, “well, we don’t know their heart…” but we are not expected or required to know their heart. We are to judge with a righteous judgement, as Christ said. As I see it, one of the problems we have is that the spirit of the broader evangelical/charismatic church has drifted into confessional churches and is causing a kind of low-grade fever. If this isn’t dealt with, it becomes an infection and then a cancer. I do not know what the state of his soul is, but I don’t hesitate to say that Mark Driscoll should not be pastoring anyone, under any circumstances.
    Finally, I do understand the appeal of ministries like Driscoll’s to certain kinds of people, but what I’m curious about is why someone who is bent in that direction would even want to spend time on this blog? Frankly, when I saw the video of Driscoll all I could think of was “Vineyard Church, 1991.” I am so happy to not be there anymore, and to be in the “old paths.” By God’s grace, may he keep me here.
    If you love Driscoll, then go that way. But what in the world are you doing here?

  33. Jude,
    So only agreement is allowed on this blog? We’re not allowed to express a view that differs from the post? I peruse this blog every now and then to see what you guys are discussing; is that not appropriate?

  34. >As I see it, one of the problems we have is that the spirit of the broader evangelical/charismatic church has drifted into confessional churches and is causing a kind of low-grade fever. If this isn’t dealt with, it becomes an infection and then a cancer.<

    Jude

    That was very well said. Thank you for your comments.

  35. Jude and Steve,
    Putting Driscoll aside, I am interested in the implications of this comment. Does it extend to style of dress, music tempo, etc.? For example, my church considers itself to be baptistic and reformed, yet we have a band with guitars, drums, keyboards, and vocals, but we only do congregational signing. This past Sunday the band played A Mighty Fortress, but with a much more uptempo arrangement, and our folks loved it because they love the Word and the reformation, and they also love Luther. We have a very young church with a lot of college students and previously unchurched young adults, and they dress casually, some even in shorts. I myself usually were sandals to church in the warm weather. We find this style to be effective in reaching previously unchurched people, as well as people who have been bruised by their church experience.
    My question to you guys, asked very respectfully, is this type of church profile to be resisted, considered a low-grade fever, etc? Are we a lesser church than a more traditional, Trinity Hymnal type of confessional 1689 RB church?

  36. Sojourner: I used the term “low-grade fever” to describe what I think is a lack of discernment, and even a lack of desire to think Biblically about anything, including what we saw on the Driscoll video. As far as music, dress, etc., the real issue for me is does Christ have the preeminence? (Col. 1:18) Are we thinking Biblically, and if not why not? Do we recognize our own presuppositions and prejudices when we decide to fall on one side or the other of a certain issue? You mentioned “reaching previously unchurched people”…what does it mean for you to “reach” someone? When I was being saved, I had long hair, drank all the time, listened to rock music, etc. I was raised a Roman Catholic, but as a self-described pagan I first heard the Gospel on very unhip, old-time Christian radio. I became driven to know God, and wanted to go to church…and for me it was important to find pews, stained glass, an organ, old people and a steeple. This said to me “church” and spoke to me of the Other World, a world I wanted to know, and that was not like this one.

    The primary purpose of “worship” is just that: worship. There may often be unbelievers present, but how they are reached is God’s business. God saves sinners. We do not save sinners, nor do we make it easier in any way for God to save sinners by dressing in a particular way, using a special lingo, playing a hip style of music, or arranging the chairs in a certain way. As I see it, doing these things betrays a non-understanding of the Gospel.

    I hope that clarifies things.

  37. It does indeed. Thanks Jude!

  38. Steve Marquedant wrote:
    “We heard Driscoll’s experience EXTRA SCRIPTURE — now here’s mine:
    I have friends who have become Acts 29 — and/or charismatic — personal friends back to the 1980’s. I can not say that even one of them is doing better spiritually today than they were back then. That’s MY experience.”

    How very sad.

  39. to those who are for Driscoll: doesn’t it raise some red flags when a guy who claims the name of Christ and calls himself a pastor 1. uses profanity in sermons (I’ve watched a video where he did) and 2. goes on in detail about receiving some so-called vision about sexual encounters? I don’t even know whether to call him a Christian. I would ask those who are for Driscoll to think and pray about this and compare this man to the Scriptures. These are serious errors he is making. I am angered and saddened by his actions. We need to pray for him that the Lord would show him his sin…

  40. Sojourner

    Style is not the issue. Here in SoCal we have different styles of worship among our RB brethren and we get along quite well. What Driscoll said has nothing to do with style and everything to do with visions and open revelation.

    If I were looking for a church — I would put doctrine number one and style number two. All things being equal — I would go with the church style I preferred, but I would rather endure a style less comfortable to me than endure bad doctrine. I would not attend a church where the preacher is getting direct revelations from God.

    Sojourner — I don’t know what your journey has been — but I do find it curious that you do not want to take Mark Driscoll to task for this serious error. Do you think Driscoll is in error?

  41. Steve M. said, “I would not attend a church where the preacher [claims he] is getting direct revelations from God.” I added “claims he” because I know that’s what Steve meant. Right Steve? I agree with Steve. This clip by Driscoll and his recent comments about cessationism being a form of worldliness, etc. make me even more convinced that I would rather learn things from others than MD. Anyone who has dealt with molestation knows that grandpas don’t admit their guilt as he described. Also, he said in his talk that dealt with cessationism that either some have not done their homework in the patristics concerning things charismatic or we have been lied to, or something like that. Not a safe guide, IMO.

  42. Question. Is it just me, or does it seem that those who describe us as overly strict and judgmental about music and dress, speak allot about music and dress?

  43. Mike, that is a fair question, and I would be happy to take a shot at answering it respectfully, in the spirit of good give-and-take, on the assumption that it is asked for the purpose of being answered. However, the moderator had been selective in what he allows me to post, so I’m hesitant at this point.

    Steve, your last question (Do you think Driscoll is in error?) is also fair, and I would like to try to answer it as well, but am hesitant for the same reason.

    Would the moderator allow me a little room here?

  44. Hello!!!

    Do you think make a difference to know that these statements Driscoll took nearly four years ago, before some of the public criticism that made him and his repentance in relation to their language? Perhaps it would be good to confirm whether this same pattern was repeated in the last two years. I mean the kind of language used to describe these experiences, not their belief in the miraculous gifts.

    Thanks.

  45. Rafael,

    I understand the concern. We have all made statements in the past we would not make today.I know I have. But have you ever heard any of your pastors say anything close to what MD said in the video? I think the answer is no. Suppose they did and that their message was on the internet and suppose they knew that many Christians were deeply disturbed by the graffic language and suppose they had been confronted about graffic language before. What would happen? Should the standard of judgment be the same for your pastors as for other pastors in Evangelical churches? The issue here is not age or years of experience or the audience he is seeking to reach. Some things simply should not be said via the pulpit – i.e., describing sexual sins as MD did. BTW, this has nothing to do with continuationism, on one level, as you state above. Could you see C.H. Spurgeon saying such things? Why not?

    As far as this being four years ago and prior to MD being confronted about such graffic language in the pulpit, if this is the case, I think he should (at the least) have his guys listen to every message they have posted on their site and take the ones down that have such content.

  46. Thank you Richard. Your response answer very well my question!!!

  47. Rich:
    Perhaps is more useful to separate the discussion between what is a stand continuity in relation to the issue of gifts, and what is the appropriate use of language in the pulpit. In the Christian world can you find brothers non-cessationism that do not use language (mahaney) and to the critical Driscoll, as well as cessation can be found using inappropriate language. What do you think?

  48. Graffic language depicting sexual sin of the type MD used in the video (and elsewhere) is wrong no matter who says it. He seems to say things like this more than others and gets more detailed than others. We must remember that what’s wrong for MD is wrong for the rest of us; and what’s wrong for the rest of us is wrong for MD.

  49. Rich:
    Sorry, but I think I mistyped what I meant. I will repeat it more simply: Improper use of language is something we see in different people regardless of the position they have to say on the subject of spiritual gifts. In that sense, I agree with you. It is understood better now? Forgive my English.

  50. I think we agree, brother.

  51. *graphic

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