Controversial Remarks

December 06, 2006

Ethics Daily had an article today about the controversy surrounding pastor and blogger Mark Driscoll. Following the Ted Haggard affair, Driscoll wrote about pastor wives in a way that many believed was blaming Haggard’s wife for Haggard’s problems. Driscoll has since apologized for the remarks. Driscoll also offered an important point for each of us to consider. He wrote:

But I also learned that as my platform has grown, so has my responsibility to speak about my convictions in a way that invites other people to experience charity from me, which means inflammatory language and such need to be scaled back.
Amen! It is too bad it took a controversy for Driscoll to learn that. But at least he learned it (some Christians seem to be slower learners and keep making the same mistakes over and over). Hopefully, more Christians will realize the importance of being careful with their language so that we invite people in and not drive them away. And hopefully, many Christians will learn this before making a controversial mistake.

2 comments

  1. LeMay Curtis10:13 AM

    1) Pastor Mark Driscoll leads a non-denominational church. Nothing in his website mentions any denominational affiliation. Why do you refer to him as "Baptist blogger?"

    2) Driscoll's unvarnished, straight-talking style is arguably one of the factors behind the phenomenal growth of Seattle's Mars Hill Church. While you and others are clamoring for Driscoll to be more warm and fuzzy in his style, he is managing to reach a demographic that other churches have not been able to reach - despite all their coaches, consultants and "communications" experts. While you and others chide Driscoll to be more "careful" with his language so as to "invite more people in and not drive them away," it appears that many men and women have accepted Driscoll's invitation, while the church growth experts and wannabes wring their hands and ask, "Why?"

    Could it be that lost people are starving for the gospel message from someone who "shoots from the hip," talks in their language, and does not mince his words or cloak the gospel in "Christianese." Instead of critcizing Driscoll, why not aspire to duplicate the results in our own cities? Why are we not as effective?

    "But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice." - Philippians 1:18

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  2. LeMay Curtis: Thanks for you comment. First, you are correct the church is non-denominational; I believe Driscoll is of a Baptist background but have removed the label since he does not use it. Thanks.

    Second, this was not a critique of his whole ministry or comments. This was just to say that in this one occasion his language was inappropriate. And he even admitted it was! He obviously has done a lot of good ministry work and has helped bring many people to God. And I hope that will continue, which is why he has to be careful not to let his mouth get in the way of the ministry. No one is perfect; we will all make mistakes. We must not blindly support someone no matter what they say.

    You rightly end by saying the only thing that matters is that “Christ is preached.” That is a good point and further proof why Driscoll was wrong in this case. He was not preaching Christ but bad-mouthing wives of pastors. He has learned his lesson from this episode. I posted this not to get on to him more but to praise him for realizing the importance of being careful what we say. I now hope that you, too, will be as wise as he.

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