09 October 2007

From "Expository Thoughts"

I haven't read much about pastor Mark Driscoll, but from what I have seen, he seems to be a walking contradiction. Reformed and Emergent, missional in his vision yet verbally vulgar in the pulpit. Caleb Kolstad, over at Expository Thoughts sheds some light on the man. While he does call pastor Driscoll to account for his shortcomings (we all have at least one), he does make sure to mention those places where Driscoll is to be commended concerning doctrine.

You can read more there. Caleb offers this warning to those in the church--pastors and laypeople alike--who stray too close to having "fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness" (Eph. 5:11).

Friends I’m by no means a cultural fundamentalist. I watch some TV, read some blogs, surf the net, go to some movies, try and keep up with some of fashion of the day, etc, etc. I think we need to understand our culture without becoming like it (in areas where it is unholy). Mark Driscoll will watch programs like the MTV music awards show and then quote from it during a sermon or lecture. If you don’t think that’s an issue consider the words of Dr. Rick Holland, “A leader’s liberty is a follower’s license.”

Some will argue that a pastor needs to do things like this in order to understand and communicate with his (Seattle based) culture. One of the problems in ministry today is that many pastors (youth pastors in particular) know MTV better than they know the book of Hebrews. The Bible says, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. It also says, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

Another problem is that shows like the O.C. and Desperate Housewives may help us to better understand our culture (and in some instances even our audience) but the very things that appeal to unbelievers (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life) appeal to our sinful desires as well. That is why i am really concerned for men like the XXX pastors; the guys who go around to porn conventions in what appears to be an honest attempt to preach the gospel to porn stars and producers. Now some may argue here that Jesus Christ was able to spend time with prostitutes so don’t judge other people…The Apostle Paul said he beat his body and made it his slave lest he fall and become permanently disqualified. That is my great fear for those of us who are not “cultural fundamentalists.” Let none of us (esp. we pastors) abuse our Christian liberties and thus provide more occasions for our sinful desires.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely. Let’s not be unwise when it comes to understanding and reaching the lost! Let us be known by our love for Jesus Christ not that we know all the characters on shows like South Park. Let our lives by marked by a unwavering commitment to personal holiness. We pastors need to chew on the wise words of Dr. Rick Holland who said, “A leader’s liberty is a followers license.”

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