Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Brian (emerging church) v Mark (40 year olds who hate emerging church)

So over at Leadership Journal's Blog there has been an old school Christian beatdown taking place, and it's my pleasure to bring you up to date...

LJ published an article by Brian McLaren (one of the most influential evangelicals) that they posted on their blog. Here's some of the highlights from the first round

I hesitate in answering "the homosexual question" not because I'm a cowardly flip-flopper who wants to tickle ears, but because I am a pastor, and pastors have learned from Jesus that there is more to answering a question than being right or even honest: we must also be . . . pastoral. That means understanding the question beneath the question, the need or fear or hope or assumption that motivates the question....

we need a five-year moratorium on making pronouncements. In the meantime, we'll practice prayerful Christian dialogue, listening respectfully, disagreeing agreeably. When decisions need to be made, they'll be admittedly provisional. We'll keep our ears attuned to scholars in biblical studies, theology, ethics, psychology, genetics, sociology, and related fields. Then in five years, if we have clarity, we'll speak; if not, we'll set another five years for ongoing reflection. After all, many important issues in church history took centuries to figure out.

This post, as you would expect, received a ton of the normal responses... Including one that got posted from a pastor who has "struggled" with homosexuality throughout his entire ministry.

And then things got real interesting.

Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, director of the ACTS29 church planting network, author and one of America's Top 50 most influential pastors posted what may be the least classy response by a megachurch pastor (as he points out a few times in his post) one could ever imagine. Even if you believe me, you MUST go read what he wrote... Here are some of the most jaw dropping comments, starting from the beginning

Well, it seems that Brian McLaren and the Emergent crowd are emerging into homo-evangelicals...

As the pastor of a church of nearly 5000 in one of America's least churched cities filled with young horny people this really bummed me out. Just this week a young man who claims to be a Christian and knows his Bible pretty well asked if he could have anal sex with lots of young men because he liked the orgasms. Had I known McLaren was issuing a Brokeback injunction I would have scheduled an appointment with him somewhere between 2011-2016.

Lastly, for the next 5-10 years you are hereby required to white out 1 Peter 3:15 which says “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” from your Bible until further notice from McLaren because the religious right forget the gentleness and respect part and the religious left forgot the answer the question part. Subsequently, a task force will be commissioned to have a conversation about all of this at a labyrinth to be named later. Once consensus is reached a finger painting will be commissioned on the Emergent web site as the official doctrinal position.

In conclusion, this is all just gay.

While that may seem like enough, there was also a little bit of a personal attack on Doug Pagitt, which originally made some kind referencence to Doug and beastiality that was later edited out by the guys at LJ.

McLaren wrote a very thoughtful response to all the backlash he was recieiving that was basically an extension of his first post with a gentle rebuke of the sarcastic (or hateful) tone of some of the responses.

I know that some of you get tired of McLaren's insistance on conversation instead of black and white statements, but is it really to much to ask to have a conversation about topics of such great controversy without it turning into a name calling, figer pointing session?

While that question was meant to rhetoricalcal, I know that the answer is a resounding NO! I mean after all WE are RIGHT and THEY are WRONG! And do you know I know they're so WRONG because so and so has sex with goats.

This my friends is the Body of Christ.


At 2/01/2006 11:59 PM, Blogger Andy said...

Apparently there's more than meets the eye here (as always seems to be the case).

Driscoll seems to have been an original member of the emerging church movement, known at the time as The Young Leaders Network, but has recently backed away from the group (although his new book Title seems to have him embracing it) You can read more about the history by following both of these links...


Also... For clarities sake, the contriversial statement comes after the quote from Pagitts book on Driscoll's post. I've got the last sentence from Pagitt's quote and Driscoll's slam...

This will require us to not only draw new conclusions about sexuality but will force to consider new ways of being sexual.”
Although I am unsure exactly what Doug meant by this last statement for safety’s sake I would strongly recommend that all farmers, particularly those surrounding Minneapolis, lock up their sheep at night effective immediately.

At 2/02/2006 4:46 AM, Blogger Liza said...


What was most disturbing: the responses to Driscoll's least classy statement ever. It sounds like a lot of people want to start throwing sucker punches in the name of Jesus.

Well, at least they're passionate about something.

Also interesting to note- strangely significant that he mentioned sheep as the catchers of bestial love. Ancient Israelites shunned shepherds because it was commonly thought that to be a shepherd was to engage in this practice, along with being a petty theif and generally just dirty.
Puts the appearance of the heavenly host in a different context, and I wonder what God was trying to say. Mark Driscoll.

At 2/02/2006 9:22 AM, Blogger Jake Sikora said...

liza's right, i'm probably more disturbed by how many people are like "oh yeah, good one driscoll, i'm a pastor and your comment finally put it just right. you weren't over the top at all and anyone who is offended is too sensative."

in addition, Driscoll called Padgitt McClaren's Tonto which is especially offensive since Padgitt is Native American. This is just insane. I can't believe 1. that people like this exist and 2. that they aren't fired for saying these things. If there wasn't reason enough to not be an evangelical...

At 2/02/2006 3:12 PM, Anonymous joey said...

The pastor who has struggled with homosexuality states that "we" have already lost the "war" on sexuality citing that after loosening a stance on divorce, adultery and fornication are "swirling down the drain" along with divorce. He seems to indicate that he believes the action that should be taken is a vocal and staunch stance on these issues to avoid the "slippery slope". It seems, however, that such a determined approach stiffles dialogue which many would agree is the solution to the churches horrible understanding about sex. Silence has killed our ability to see the beauty in that part of creation and McLaren is simply promoting that we are no longer silent but that we speak. Whether or not homosexual relationships can be beautiful and life-filled is another topic of discussion but I wonder if this pastor's personal experiences have shaped his fairly defensive stance.


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