Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Theological Truth and Behavioral Lies

I have a good friend that I think the world of.  But there are a few....small....issues that he has.  He is a bully, a drunk, he made a pass at my wife, he is a criminal, he tortures small animals, and, well, a bunch of other stuff like that.  To be honest, I am fairly embarrassed when people start talking about all of his faults with me.  When they really press me about why I continue to allow this behavior to continue and why I never stand up to him I luckily have a fantastic answer that shuts those "haters" right up!

He is a huge Buckeye fan!!!!

Sure, he is a bad guy, but at least he cheers for the right team.  Now, if he happened to cheer for a more Northern school, clearly I would have a completely different approach to dealing with him.  But as long as I can pencil him in for being for the "Right Team" then I am fairly comfortable on ignoring the rest........

Mark Driscoll has recently resigned from his position at the church he co-founded amid a swirl of controversy and confusion.  Without trying to bullet point all the sordid details here, the question we have to ask ourselves in the midst of all of this is; "How did it get to this???"

Knee Jerk reactionism is possibly the single worst way to develop Theological or Doctrinal positions.  Whenever we create a position, or promote a "champion" as a reaction to an observed "problem" we run a great risk of making bad decisions in our haste and desire to correct the problem. 

For the Orthodox(I recognize this is a loaded, yet undefined in this context, word) Church the 20th and 21st centuries in America have been a trying time.   At the beginning of the 20th century topics like; Biblical Inerrancy, Biblical Sexual Ethics, Creation, etc were virtually unchallenged.  If you had asked someone in 1900 if they knew of any churches, or, pastors, who taught that the Bible wasn't trustworthy, or, that salvation wasn't from Christ alone, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who taught in opposition to that.  Today, you could throw a stone out your window and hit someone who listens to a Pastor, attends a Church, or reads "academic" material, that reject these historically consistent positions. 

With the advent of the internet and social media these fringe views began to exponentially increase.  For many traditional Christians there was a great desire to see someone effectively articulate a message and Theology to combat this.  Enter Mark Driscoll.

Whatever you may think of him, he was effective.  In many ways he created the new media template for Churches and Ministries as he forged a path through the wilderness of secular culture and began reaching people previously thought unreachable.  He was young, "manly", irreverently funny, hip, and Theologically Pure. 

And that last one is the problem.....

Now that the cover has been pulled back many people have come out of the woodwork to claim that they knew all along that he had some serious problems.....yet why didn't they do anything?

Because he was on "their team".  He was spreading their message more effectively than anyone else, so they didn't want to mess it up by dealing with little things like, manipulative behavior, temper tantrums, abusive leadership, etc. 

Sure, he was a bad buy in many ways, but come on!!!  He loves the Buckeyes!!!!!

Now I am a nobody....I think the only person who regularly reads this is my mom.....Hi Mom!!!  But if you happen to stumble across this blog let me challenge the Church to something.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Theology IS important.  But as we look to develop and entrust our churches and ministries to the future leaders, let us hold theology in one hand and the Fruits of the Spirit in the other.  If a man can articulate appropriate Doctrine, but he does so through anger and a lack of grace, HE IS NOT QUALIFIED.  People do not need a good spokesperson for Theology, they need humble servants who live as loving members of the body. 

When you look for a church, and look for a pastor, look for the fruits of the spirit being clearly visible in their life.  Do not accept anything less.