Archive for March 2, 2009

There are two polarizing words in ecumenical circles that conjure feelings of “in need of deliverance” and “is that cat saved” – Mark Driscoll.

A "Mark Driscoll Inspired" church marquee

A "Mark Driscoll Inspired" church marquee

Consider, this is a pastor of a megachurch whose sermons – you know, like discussing dogma and all things God – are so peculiar that YouTube won’t even publish the bulk of them.

I can’t imagine how his church bookstore deals with the drama message titles like, “Biblical Oral Sex” and others that require a parental advisory sticker.

No, this isn’t rap music – it’s Jesus stuff, only minus the Jesus to some. However, is it buffoonery proselytizing or just what is necessary to touch a largely godless society? Check the article in the New York Times and judge for yourself:

…An anonymous audience member has just text-messaged a question to the screen onstage: “Pastor Mark, is masturbation a valid form of birth control?” Driscoll doesn’t miss a beat: “I had one guy quote Ecclesiastes 9:10, which says, ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.’ ” The audience bursts out laughing.

OK: A.) No kidding that dude was anonymous, much like most of the folk in Christendom dealing with lust. B.) Nice rote memory of the scriptures. And C.) How many were offended that I even posted that excerpt. Come on, show of hands.

However, it works for someone because this is the same droll and vulgar guy has almost 7,600 members in seven campuses. People all over the theological map have opinions mixed up more than Sybil’s (or Herschel Walker’s) brain pan.

Conservatives call Driscoll, “the cussing pastor” and wish that he’d trade his fashionably distressed jeans and taste for indie rock for a suit and tie and placid choral arrangements. Liberals wince at his hellfire theology and insistence that women submit to their husbands. But what is new about Driscoll is that he resurrected a particular strain of fire and brimstone, one that most Americans assume died out with the Puritans: Calvinism, a theology that makes Pat Robertson warm and fuzzy.

So, I got to thinking and would like to pose this question to the Wall Watchers out there: “Is what this guy is doing working, and is it necessary?” Here’s some chum for thought:

  • If he was so opprobrious and unmannerly in the pulpit, why are droves of people who call themselves Christians gathering to hear him in it? Maybe, just maybe, it’s because folk are tired of seeing the reprobates on TBN and need some reality with their Jesus cocoa.
  • Is cussing in the pulpit shock value to sell a few books and get a few headlines, or – God forbid – is that truly par for the course to get the attention of the unrighteous? In the real world, people do… oh, what’s the word… um, it’s a taboo word in churches these days… oh yeah, SIN. Now, pastors should live according to the precepts of God, but should also be a person of pragmatism and show that anyone can do it.
  • Are people so stained with skepticism by the country club they see on Christian TV that they are willing to sit through an hour of BET’s Comic View and hope to get some spirituality out of it? I hope that is nowhere near the case. In order to reach the lost, you need reality, but you also need righteousness! Jesus was not only man who dwelled among us, but he was a man like us.
See, he knows sports humor too.

See, he knows sports humor too.

So, the ubiquitous question: WWJD? To get people’s attention these days, who knows. But I doubt it would be to throw eff bombs and follow up with “Oh, and my Daddy loves you.”

That said, I’ll bet Jesus would seriously rock some “True Religion”.

Makes sense… and a little bit of irony, right? See there, he can be funny and keep it clean. What a funny guy. G’head Jesus! Teach Marky Mark a thing or two.

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We are finding out more and more about the fabled “stimu-less” package, and the groaning continues.

Big wigs getting more office decorating money. Insurance agents and bankers need more… well, more insurance and banking funds. And whatever else equals mismanagement these days.

Well, thanks to WOW News’ Faith & Reason (shout out to the lovely Cathy Lynn Grossman), we learn the bill may be a lot of things for a lot of folk, but for religious schools across this land of ours – the bill is iconoclastic. Great.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was in a huff Tuesday, calling the stimulus bill “anti-religious,” according to Politico‘s Andy Barr. The former presidential candidate, and Southern Baptist preacher, was unhappy, Barr said, “because both the House and Senate versions would ban higher education funds in the bill from being used on a school or department of divinity.”

stimulus-bill-and-piggy-banksSo, does the ACLU have anything to do with this? Seeing how it’s their mission to tell this country public education is sacrosanct but talking about Jesus is a sin.

I guess a school whose mission it is to exalt God and education is a bad thing?

And most of those shriveled-up fossils in Congress who get to pay for private and parochial school (because they have the cash under the mattress) for their kids who no predilictions about this bill just want to kill that kind of schooling for the rest of us.

Well, the kind that aren’t engulfed with cypress trees and iron-rod fences.

It’s just not fair that this country is fledgling and everyone needs help, but those tools on Capitol Hill are playing duck-duck-goose to decide who is worthy enough to get it?

Odd how the party-in-charge largely considered to the impious crowd are the ones boisterous enough to shout out the only people who think this is a ska-ruuu job of the highest order.

Yep, for a guy boasting change, this sure seems like business as usual. Pity, folk had high “hopes” for you.