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45 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    For the people who are suppose to be heralds of the truth to become shapers of the narrative is a prostitution of epic proportions.

    We see it commonly these days. Remember Bentley and Rick Joyner? I was aghast watching the little clip.. aghast. But why… it is the new normal.

  2. Jean says:

    “Pastor Mark’s compensation growth should be in line with the growth of the church.”

    Is this compensation philosophy for pastors typical? Appropriate?

    Why or why not?

    Is there a more appropriate compensation philosophy for pastors? What is it?

  3. Michael says:

    I’ve always believed that pastoral compensation should be a reflection of the average income of the people he pastors.
    The business model uses business measures…

  4. Michael says:

    I’m out for a few hours…behave.

  5. Jean says:

    “I’ve always believed that pastoral compensation should be a reflection of the average income of the people he pastors.”

    That makes sense. It means the pastor would be able to afford to live in the same community as his congregation.

  6. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    I have no problem with that , they just gotta make sure the Pastor doesn’t get all these other benefits, housing and car allowances etc.

  7. ” they just gotta make sure the Pastor doesn’t get all these other benefits, housing and car allowances etc”

    A housing allowance usually is not in addition to salary – it is a salary designation.
    My pastor has a car allowance – actually the church buys him the car – but he drives all over doing church business – so why not?

  8. EricL says:

    How can you ever justify a 200K housing allowance? Median house price in Seattle area, according to Zillow, is less than 470K, median rent is less than 2K.

    Is your pastor supposed to rent a separate house for every member of the family?

    Is he paying some kind of crazy mortgage that has 28% APR? Did he buy his mansion on Mastercard?

    Or maybe they wanted him buying another place every 2-3 years, acquiring homes like Joseph Smith collected wives. That block? Oh that’s Driscoll Street, and next year he will start buying the houses on this block. So sad.

  9. EricL says:

    The “a tale of targeting” link is sobering. Such hatred for a professor who raised some questions about children raised by gays, relating it to his own life of having two moms. Not only does our society celebrate the gay lifestyle, they are allowing them to attack others without any repercussions. So sad.

  10. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Yup Eric,

    Homosexuality/Lesbianism is nothing more than Perversion and they should be treated no different by the church than the fornicator and adulterer

  11. Steve Wright says:

    Assuming the same geography, cost of living etc. I believe the pastor of a small church who is raising 6 children should be paid more than an older pastor of a mega church bringing in millions of dollars. whose kids are all grown and out of the house

    The idea that pastors are to be paid almost on a “commission” basis is an abomination.

  12. The Dude says:

    I see great a great blessing for America because of militant gay activism.The church will be cleansed of it’s impurities.A more powerful witness will shine forth.Christianity always does well in times of great distress.Much of Evangelism is slouchy and corrupt….we need a house cleaning ASAP.

  13. Babylon's Dread says:

    First issue, I have no interest in knowing what anyone makes. Further, if the pastor must reveal his salary to all then all who want to know it must do the same. The kinds of judgments that come forth over these matters is carnal and ridiculous.

    Further, it should be accepted that the salaries are market driven just as the church participation is market driven. Driscoll had to leave because his market driven ministry was collapsing. He would have had to take a cut, a serious cut to stay. His life now is still largely going to be market driven. So he will be very public and seek compensation according to his marketability. His leaders declaring him to be free from any immorality is his Get Out of Jail Free card to start over.

    The mega church is a market phenomenon. Reject it if you like but the truth of Protestantism is that the whole thing is market driven. Protestant Christianity is free market religion and it can be explained in market terms much more fully than people imagine.

    This part of the Driscoll matter is the least offensive because it is the reality that everyone on this blog shares. Every person on this blog is worth what the market will bear and you can be scandalized and self righteous and offended all you want but you live in that reality.

    Only the churches that have priests come close to escaping it and they too are dependent upon market share regardless of admission. The market determines compensation. Welcome to America… and in fact welcome to the planet.

    Second, regarding same sex issues… the reason you cannot treat same sex issues the same way you treat a fornicator or adulterer is that the latter do not claim to be a creational/constitutionally based. A fornicator does not say I was born that way and should be constitutionally protected.

    In other words you cannot treat GLBT crowd as sinners because they claim they are not in sin. So forget that spiritual pie in the sky. This is a zero sum game… You will either capitulate and accept sexual orientation as a category akin to race or you will be crushed in the machinery.

  14. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    The BoO declared him guilt-free before the BoE said he had sin that required a restoration plan and it appears Driscoll quit his pastoral office and membership of MH before the BoE had a chance to inform the church.

    It’s the conflicting messages and the implications of those messages from the BoO part of the BoAA on the one hand and the BoE on the other that makes the situation unique. It looks like the MH leadership doesn’t have a coherent or unified conclusion and Driscoll quit anyway. So basically this makes it seem that Mark Driscoll and Andrew (who left MH in 2012) to be pretty much the same kind of guy with respect to their reactions to MH restoration processes. Then again, perhaps who could blame Driscoll for not wanting to be on the receiving end of pastoral care in the church culture he shaped?

    The reason the salary matters in a case like MD is less the number itself than the way he pilloried his own flock for not giving enough during a period of mass layoffs and admitting the church had a fiscally insoluable approach in the past while having just bought a house for a million bucks outside the city of Seattle. Mark can live where he wants but the gap between his public rhetoric and his private life is what has made him look more and more like a hypocrite. Nobody could make the same criticism of Osteen, for instance.

  15. Em says:

    “…..because it is the reality that everyone on this blog shares. Every person on this blog is worth what the market will bear and you can be scandalized and self righteous and offended all you want but you live in that reality.”

    I have to take exception to this observation a bit… no, every person today is not worth what the market will bear… that’s corporation-speak and it is evil
    one may not be compensated according to his value in today’s world… the corporate bean counters and human resource people have distorted ‘value’ into a game of “find a way to not pay” and there are other players, but it is an artificial game of keep away that will have a bad end, I fear
    just sayin… but I don’t really know, do I…

  16. victorious says:

    Over on Throckmorton’s blog a person offered this comment about Driscoll and Gateway church. ” Inviting him on stage is like inviting an alcoholic to a bar”.

  17. Please Note says:

    FYI…

    If anyone is interested, King5 here in Seattle has a sister station here, Kong6/16…and they just advertised that at 9:00 they’ll have Driscoll on to talk about the impact this has had on him and his family…

    He didn’t seem very interested in publicizing the impact his actions had on others that were forced out of ministry there, but this looks more like the reframing things into a victim narrative that Michael mentioned above.

    Anyway, it’s King5/Kong6 TV here; might also be available online for those interested.

  18. victorious says:

    I fear for the man’s soul. No evidence of sonship.

  19. victorious says:

    Thanks PN.

  20. brian says:

    What a great move on his part, he really might beat my 3-6 month goal for being back in the mid management of a different franchise. But he is definitely on the right track, play the sympathy card, leverage and if need be use your friends and those widgets in the machine (parishioners). I admire that and with such a sincere smiles and humble attitude. That was real classy touch in a gawdie kind of way. I think Mark is going to be fine once he gets past this trial that he is going to have to endure with the lessening of Salary (book sales) and a possible reduction in his meager residence allowance. I dont know how he is able to stand up to such adversity and persecution. I think the helicopter might be some type of stealth tech that is watching Brother Mark because he is such a media magnet do to his strong stand on traditional marriage, following through with church discipline, and being consistent in his application of said church discipline. *DWISNWID management style has shown to be a powerful application, especially when applied by him on others.

    *Do What I Say Not What I Do.

  21. victorious says:

    When all this happens I read my Bible and am reminded that Cain whimpered under the weight of his consequences and Esau shed some big tears over his loss too. They both became influential people apart from God while marketing some kind of a connection to him.

  22. Chris Long says:

    Regarding BD’s #13: There’s def. some truth here. I personally don’t care for seeing some pastors making ridiculously huge salaries as I do think there can be a point at which it really becomes a “fleecing of the flock”. But, at the same time, I think these attitudes that many sometimes express regarding pastoral salary make it seem like if a pastor isn’t poor and broke or even “no higher than middle class” than they aren’t a true servant or are in some way doing wrong. BD is right – a lot of this is carnal and it cuts both ways. As to homosexuality, if anyone’s interested, there’s a rather long and substantive look at this on my website including where we as the church have failed here. http://www.laughandlift.com/personalarticles/gaymarriagechurch.html

  23. brian says:

    “whimpered under the weight ” I can report I have not cried for any of my many fallen family members who have passed, knowing how that is contemptuous within the evangelical wing of the faith unless it supports some type of apologetic agenda. To my shame I did cry in private and I know God will punish me for that indiscretion, but like Jesus said, let the dead bury their dead. Or in more modern colonial deal with it move on and get over it. I get that, twice on Sundays. I was wondering why is it that the more holy in the evangelical ranks can have their memorial services but us in the rank and file, well all we want is attention and grieving is a sign of lack of faith and slapping Jesus if the face. The first thing that drew me to the Christian faith was the utter hope it offered, after 33 + years in it, I have repented of that view, needing hope is a sin and I get that. I dont but heck I will fake it.

  24. Andrew says:

    Over on Throckmorton’s blog a person offered this comment about Driscoll and Gateway church. ” Inviting him on stage is like inviting an alcoholic to a bar”.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    Probably more like a gambling addict be invited to a casino since it appears to be all about money and I sure Driscoll got a huge rush of adrenalin being back on the stage.

  25. Keith says:

    Driscoll dropped the ball many of a time it sounds like. After reading many of the comment under the video you posted I was rebuffed by the Holy Spirit. Prayers for him as a brother is what’s called for–especially if some jackasses were tossing “baseball” size rocks at his kids. Pisses me off to hear crap like that. Prayers for the people sinned against over the years by Mark are also in order.

  26. Andrew says:

    Keith, in all likely hood, it was probably kids throwing rocks at kids and it sounded like his kids were ready for return fire. Kids will be kids and they should be disciplined for it if they find out who did it. It sounds like Mark was turning this into an embellished David and Goliath story but do we really know the truth? Was anyone injured?

  27. Bob says:

    Good Morning!

    PP has some interesting comments and stuff posted these past few days. A couple of things strike me, the idea of mega-churches and how they are bad to many and this pastoral salary thing.

    On the first subject:

    When I read the comment about mega-churches it occurred to me that at one time, while not called mega, a whole community would literally have to belong to either “the” church or a church in their city. To not be a church member would exclude one from many things, including local commerce.

    On the second:

    The full time paid pastor, teacher, priest thing may be a necessity but it is hardly a requirement. It seems to me that many start with “the call” and end up in a profession. When does the line get crossed? My guess is really early in the process and is part of the danger of being a “full time” clergy.

    Of course the question remains, “If you go full time in the “ministry” can (or should) you live at a higher standard than your average constituent?”

    Hey the whole Mark D. stuff in the end really makes me sad.

    It a blessed Wednesday! I’m going to live in it.

  28. I agree with you EM @ #15.

    “… that’s corporation-speak and it is evil”

    True servants of the Lord Jesus Christ are not “worth what the market will bear.”

    They are not lovers of this world and its ways.

    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2014/10/faithfully-and-exclusively-his.html

  29. papiaslogia says:

    Victorious – Your #21 is spot on. Kudos sir!

    Gives me much to contemplate.

  30. Bob says:

    Davisdsurfer

    I’m going to be a bit contentious here over your #28 posting.

    I hear that kind of stuff all the time about people not being of this world, not being worldly, a different kind of people, lovers of this world and so on. I even went to the link and read the post you referred to and agree with it and yet the picture posted there shows men sitting around that look no different to me than many others I know who don’t go to church.

    I’m typing this message on my Macbook Air, I own an iPhone, and iPad, a TV, drive a car about ten years old (I’m thinking of buying a new one), and quite frankly I like all this stuff. I’m a consumer right up there with the rest. So what makes me different than those you refer to? Not much. I am still married to the bride of my youth, my sons are grown and struggling with their life and identities like all men do. Maybe it’s being married to one woman and not having tattoos which make me different and not worldly (in love with this world)? Naw I don’t think so.

    David I’m being contentious with you because I find that such statements (and I’ve done same before) aren’t really who we are at all. All of us seem to not only love but embrace the fruits of this world. How then do all or any of us differ from the world and culture around us? If there was a police line-up could they pick you or I out as the Christian?

    I believe there is an answer, and Jesus said it well in Matthew 25 about what defines those who love Him or don”t. Sadly I believe men like Mark D really take more than they give and I ask the question, “do I do the same!”

    I often wonder why our churches (and individuals) always want to be on the receiving end of giving and not on the other end? Yeah I’m included in that quotient too often.

    Blessing and peace to you!

  31. Jean says:

    This may be an oversimplification, but when we talk about “this world” or being “worldly”, I identify with what Paul wrote in Rom I, which appeared to place at the root of sin in the world: idolatry. Of course being in the world, but not of it, is easier said than done, but we proclaim Christ’s lordship over our lives and by doing so we maintain citizenship in 2 worlds, one passing away and one eternal which is yet to come in all fullness.

    The world (which is passing away) pulls us in the direction of idolatry. So, how does one determine for one’s self if he/she has a healthy or unhealthy desire for “stuff”, how much, what brand, what price, etc.? This would be an interesting discussion topic, because it’s something we all wrestle with and, if we’re parents or grandparents, it’s an important subject in parenting.

    In the context of the MD compensation issue, how does a pastor who earns on the order of 20x his average pew sitter, with a $1m home, ask “Joe the pew sitter” who’s married with 2 children to tithe 10% of his 40k/year salary to the church with a straight face? There’s probably a way, but it’s escaping me.

  32. So if the Apostle Paul bought his underwear from a merchant – did that make him ‘of the world’?
    I don’t get the talk about owning ipads and living in big home.

  33. Daniel says:

    Jean (#31), your last paragraph is dead on. Reminds me of an A29 “church” I formerly attended. It was during the summer time and at that point in the year, the “church” had already received more in giving than their entire budget for the year. The “pastor” told my wife that he was attending a conference where he hoped to learn how to get the people in the “church” to give more money.

  34. Jean says:

    MLD,

    “So if the Apostle Paul bought his underwear from a merchant – did that make him ‘of the world’?”

    Not a problem. All those dudes wore togas – commando style 🙂

    “I don’t get the talk about owning ipads and living in big home.”

    I don’t get what you don’t get. But, you can probably find what you’re looking for in the Gospels. Jesus talked a lot about money and wealth.

  35. Em says:

    re; my comment @ 15… I was responding to the “worldly” worth of a participant in the economy today… there are many measures of “value” – does value equate with worth? dunno

  36. Bob says:

    Jean:

    What if I said, “sell all your stuff, give it to the poor and follow what I say.” You’d say, “sure…” and walk away think I was just another nut case. But when we read what Jesus said to the man in scripture most of us say, “well that was for that man, not me, I don’t have that kind of love for my stuff!”

    Of course MLD would say, “that was the law and now we are covered by the Gospel so it doesn’t apply. It is just God showing us we can’t live up and need Jesus’ sacrifice. There’s nothing wrong with me owning stuff.”

    Which is right? Did Jesus really mean His message would be “Law and Gospel,” or does He want any of us to sell our stuff and (we forget this part) give it to the poor (not the church)?

    I like my stuff, I know it will rust and decay and I can’t take it with me. Does that make me worldly and not just living in this world?

    I think we would rather complain about how bad Mark Driscoll is than face Jesus sometimes.

    BTW I consider my stuff a blessing from God, does that make me a “prosperity Gospel” kind of guy?

    Oh well this thread is about dead over to today’s message on “not enough.”

  37. Jean says:

    “Which is right? Did Jesus really mean His message would be “Law and Gospel,” or does He want any of us to sell our stuff and (we forget this part) give it to the poor (not the church)?”

    Bob, it sounds like from your last paragraph that you’re burned out on this thread, so I won’t belabor the issue. But I would like to respond briefly:

    To use a theology of “Law and Gospel” to say that Jesus’ teachings do not apply (or only apply insofar as they drive us to the cross) is IMO tantamount to calling Jesus a fraud, and I reject such a theology.

    As to the rich man to whom Jesus said to sell his stuff and give it to the poor, Jesus was making a point we can all learn from, but that point isn’t that every rich man must sell all his stuff, otherwise Jesus would have said the same thing to others, for example, Zacchaeus. In addition, there were women of means (wealthy? I don’t know) who traveled with Jesus and his disciples who supported them financially. Obviously, they couldn’t have done so if they sold everything they had. So, to put it succinctly, I don’t think Jesus said to everyone that to be a disciple one must to take a vow of poverty.

  38. Bob, you have it wrong – and you have my response wrong. When you say I would say “There’s nothing wrong with me owning stuff.”
    Can you show me somewhere in scripture where just owning stuff is wrong. How am I to give a tithe of my increase if I own nothing to increase on?

    So, now that I don’t own anything, don’t you have to give me your stuff? Wait, then I have stuff and have to give it away and, you guessed it now I have no stuff again. Where does it end?

  39. But now to teach you on that verse – Jesus was speaking to that one particular guy … not the masses.

  40. Bob says:

    Jean:

    I’m not “burned out” over this thread at all. It’s just the newest and latest thing in PP threads is about finishing the process of disciplining Mark D. For many that is more fun than considering if the text about Jesus and the rich man is also speaking to them.

    I appreciate your description/interpretation of the rich man encounter and I actually have my own spins on it. But why do you quickly come to this conclusion, “but that point isn’t that every rich man must sell all his stuff, ” By the standards of the First Century I am more than a rich man and admittedly like my stuff and I think most of us are like me. Do I turn away after Jesus speaks like he did and is turning away from Jesus’ words limited to the story of the rich man?

    Lot’s of good stuff in scripture and it is my observation many don’t want to hear those words at all they just want an easy system of works, sacraments and confession. Yes those are harsh words and I don’t apologize for them because I am preaching that to myself as well as any who will hear them.

    The Sheep and the Goats has been in my mind from the very day I read and heard those words from Jesus (over 40 years now). Every time I walk by a beggar, see or hear someone in need I wonder if I’m going to be a sheep or a goat. Do I take care of Jesus though others?

    Just loaded Yosemite on my Mac and it works great! Love these worldly products and it’s cool to be a part of the Apple cult.

    😉

    Let’s get Mark D. Maybe it’s more fun?

  41. Bob says:

    MLD

    There is nothing wrong with me owning stuff.

    You have a pension for taking things the wrong way.

    I am actually poking at the Lutheran “Law and Gospel” you all teach. You get to mention the cup and the body, baptism ans such so I’m just taking a whack at the L and G a bit.

    I also think we need to listen to the words of Jesus and ask how we compare to the characters of the scripture. Could a practicing and faith Lutheran have the heart of the Rich Man, Zacheous, or even Peter when he said he would defend Jesus? I think so!

    BTW How can you believe in giving tithes when you don’t believe the Law is for today? Oh I’ll make it official, I don’t believe tithing is mandated to we Greeks in any form or fashion. However, I do highly believe in giving until other needs are met.

  42. Jean says:

    Thanks Bob. I understand your point well and share your concern. Although I responded quickly, I didn’t come to my conclusion quickly because it’s an issue I’ve studied and wrestled with personally, and probably will continue to wrestle with. Wrestling with Scripture and God is not always a bad thing; it often produces growth.

    We shouldn’t give Lutheranism a bad rap on this issue. The Lutheran 3rd use of the Law is often misunderstood, even, I imagine, by some Lutherans. Here is the confession from Article VI of the Formula of Concord:

    “[W]e unanimously believe, teach, and confess that although the truly believing and truly converted to God and justified Christians are liberated and made free from the curse of the Law, yet they should daily exercise themselves in the Law of the Lord, as it is written, Ps. I :2; II9 :1: Blessed is the man whose delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law doth he meditate day and night. For the Law is a mirror in which the will of God, and what pleases Him, are exactly portrayed, and which should [therefore] be constantly held up to the believers and be diligently urged upon them without ceasing.”

    There is a lot more detail in Article VI, but it backs up this basic confession, which I think get’s it right biblically.

  43. “I do highly believe in giving until other needs are met.”

    I do not own, but I do need an ipad. Should I give you my mailing address?

    Where did you ever get the idea that the law is not for today? How can one preach law and gospel if there is no law.

    You need to call on your long term memory to think about what I have actually said in the past.

  44. Bob says:

    MLD

    “You need to call on your long term memory to think about what I have actually said in the past.”

    It is pointless to ever debate anything you say and I never said you didn’t say there was a purpose for the Law today. I fully understand the Lutheran points and liturgy about these subjects, I just disagree with where it is taken.

    Oh and if you really have a need for an iPad and can’t afford one I would be more than happy to give you one, and I really mean it.

    Keep looking up!

    Been up all night got to sleep!

    PS.

    Jean:

    For the Law is a mirror in which the will of God, and what pleases Him, are exactly portrayed, and which should [therefore] be constantly held up to the believers and be diligently urged upon them without ceasing.””

    Also the confession you quote, while it sounds and reads reasonably well, does what many (including me at times) are guilty of, it only quotes the part of scripture necessary to support the remaining interpretation.

    They left this (and much more) out from Psalms 119

    They also do no unrighteousness;
    They walk in His ways.
    You have aordained Your precepts,
    That we should keep them diligently.

    The grace of God is easy, walking in His ways is very difficult.

    Oh and I’m poking at MLD because I rarely read people who are so sure they have it completely or almost right. I don’t, and that I am sure of (and so is MLD 😉 ).

    Night!

  45. Jean says:

    Thanks Bob. Excellent points.

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