Things I Think
1. In 1986, Jimmy Swaggart confessed to moral failure and his denomination imposed discipline that included a year out of the pulpit. It took Jimmy Lee about two weeks to figure out the impact of his absence on the cash flow and he decided to return in three months, lest his “ministry” be destroyed.
He didn’t allow any uncertainty about whether he would return or when, and thus, he salvaged the brand. This is where Driscoll miscalculated…
2. These multi-site/megachurch pastors are nothing more than variety show hosts where Jesus is advertised as a frequent guest…it’s performer based religious entertainment that survives as long as the ratings are good.
3. Before you rejoice that fifteen independent churches will spring forth from the Mars Hill wreckage, understand that those are fifteen churches that learned pastoral ministry from Mark Driscoll…
4. Mars Hill is selling off their properties to pay off the massive debt load they have…none of which was incurred through excessive benevolence ministry. These outfits have tight controls on the money they give everyone but themselves….
5. I have searched the Scriptures and church history for ministers who lived in gated communities before the 20th century…still looking.
6. The problem with parsing out the Driscoll debacle is that it keeps everything all about Driscoll. The reality here is that this man should have been disciplined by the local church years ago…and the reason he wasn’t was because of the idolatry of his board, elders, and parishioners. This is all about idolatry in the church and until we address the root the tree will continue to sprout elsewhere.
7. I will harp on this point until I’m hoarse. The greatest sin committed by Driscoll and Mars Hill was a flat denial of the Gospel…that promises restoration upon true repentance. That is the greatest evil possible.
8. One of the reasons that I love the church I pastor is that it’s a safe place for me to confess my own sins and receive the grace and forgiveness of God. Because it’s safe for me, it’s safe for everyone else…and none of us have to fake holiness we haven’t actually acquired. In most churches the opposite is true…making the good news of the Gospel nothing more than a frequently repeated rumor.
9. One should choose their pastor and church with the same care that they would choose a doctor…not with the same care as what to watch on Netflix…
10. I’m completely burnt out on social media and for now I’m choosing to spend as little time as possible online. Part of the reason for that is I’m very busy with family and working on my book…but the biggest reason is that so much of what we post and read is so negative that you would think that God died and left the rascals in charge. Things are tough, no doubt…but God is still good and He is still sovereign. He is writing history and bringing it to the conclusions He chooses. There is still remnant doing His work and seeking His ways and His grace is still abounding to sinners, of which I am among the foremost. There is still joy in His presence and hope in His word…and that is what I need to focus on these days, lest the darkness envelope me.
Our souls will grow what we feed them…