Many people are calling for forgiveness for Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church so that he and the church can get back to preaching the gospel as effectively as it had and get back on the road to success, just like it was before things started unraveling.
Andrew Jones of Tall Skinny Kiwi has written a good summary of what’s transpired up to now.
My question is: “What is the gospel?” Like this cartoon attempts to portray, isn’t the gospel about how we treat people, rather than how effectively we convert them?
Marshal McLuhan wrote years ago that “the medium is the message”.
This means that it’s not just the words you say, but how you say it and the culture it emerges from and the community it creates.
It’s become more than apparent that Driscoll’s and Mars Hill’s gospel is about abuse. It’s not about the emancipation of the human being, but the heavy-handed control of them.
This is not just about a few behavioral issues. The church’s behavior emerges out of its attitudes, beliefs and theology. Driscoll didn’t preach a healthy theology but struggled with some unhealthy behaviors. Rather, the unhealthy behaviors were born out of an unhealthy theology.
Driscoll abused people because this is his idea of how God treats people. Driscoll’s and Mars Hill Church’s god is an abusive god, a god who scorns gays, dismisses women, ridicules differences and bullies anyone who disagree with him. Their god is a god who presses his agenda with complete disregard for those who challenge it and are harmed by it.
No wonder they behave this way! Because their god behaves this way.
So all eyes are on Driscoll and his church this morning. What’s going to happen? Certainly not just a slight adjustment of policy. What is required is a complete overhaul of not just practice, but belief. Not an easy task!
Are you a survivor of church abuse? Come talk about it with us.
Sophia is a survivor. Read her story.
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