this recent article from Slate magazine. Looks like they've caught on to some of the concern surrounding the disciplinarian tactics at the Seattle Mars Hill church where Mark Driscoll is the pastor.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post commenting on this as well, where I briefly wondered when other stories would begin to surface. The Slate article links to a couple of sites where other people are beginning to speak out about their troubles at Driscoll's church.
I wonder why we are so intrigued with stuff like this? Is it because we like a good scandal, especially when it involves "celebrities?" There is definitely a voyeuristic tendency in our culture. I'm convinced that if the church had its own version of TMZ it would go viral.
Part of me wonders if people who oppose Driscoll really want him to change. Who would the bad guy be then?
Perhaps the difference is that Driscoll and company are a megachurch that's organized and influential, not that small Midwest Topeka Church throwing potshots at other people, who no one in there right mind would take seriously. One we can ignore (to an extent), but perhaps the other we cannot.
This is a perfect example of why churches need to be tethered to one another, so that there is true accountability. No one calls Driscoll out and the ones who do get fired. That's bad. Perhaps pastors should never be allowed to pastor unless they submit to a ruling body outside of the board or elders, accountability to a bishop or even a college of pastors. Until that happens then maybe the best thing we can do is to keep talking about it and force the issue. Maybe not. I really don't know.
I do think it's going to get a lot worse for Driscoll before it gets better. And I think it will partly be my fault and your fault and everyone else's fault unless we begin to say something constructive.
What do you think?
I'm actually beginning to engage an acquaintance of mine in a conversation about hell. He is certainly Reformed of the Driscoll kind, but he seems willing to talk. Of course, part of the problem with the Reformed and Neo-Reformed side of things is that there is no room for generous conversation that can embrace paradox and doubt and ambiguity that is inherent (I believe) to Christianity. So, I wonder where our conversation will go and if my friend will let me come back to the prison to preach.
And so I close my open stream of conscience. Seriously, what do you think?