Mark Driscoll shot an 8-minute video to be used at a conference in Florida. It was shown and well-received among the audience. But it was not distributed, although the Acts 29 fellows brought several copies to hand out (per an agreement that was made with the leadership at the conference). I think you would benefit from watching this video. Some of the things Driscoll says are raw, but I like the way he puts contemporary garb on the message so that it might be understood. He mixes satire and sarcasm to get his point across. Enough said, just go to the link and let me know what you think. I will admit, the graveyard setting seems a little hokey to me.

My favorite line in the video is with about a minute ten seconds left. He says our culture thinks Jesus is “a marginalized Galilean peasant hippie in a dress rocking out to the Spice Girls driving around the Middle East in a Cabriolet hoping to meet nice people to do aroma-therapy with while drinking herbal tea.”
What he says about the guys who are our age is spot on. I see it all the time at work and see the need to get in their faces a little to confront them with genuine life.

Banned Video

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This post has 4 Comments

  1. Hey Matt,

    Interesting hearing Driscoll’s video, especially in light of my thoughts about becoming a Catholic priest. I liked what he had to say, but I’m not sure what to make of some of his other commentary on He really gets a kick out of poking fun at liberal Christianity, and while I’m on the conservative side (as much as I hate those labels, I guess there’s a reason they exist), I don’t see what good is accomplished in making fun of other Christians or referring to conservatives as the “real Christians.” Isn’t it God’s responsibility to judge us? While we shouldn’t tolerate liberalism, we shouldn’t presume to know how God will judge them either.

    Still, it’s interesting to hear what goes on next door to my workplace, at the PC(USA) headquarters :) Alternative names for the Trinity… makes me feel like my job is actually productive.

    Anyway, I do have two questions about the video. Driscoll says that the most important variable in a successful church plant is “the man,” being the head pastor, because he needs to be a good, high-quality leader. My question is, where is Christ in that picture? Aren’t church communities supposed to be centered around Christ, rather than their pastor?

    My second question is, what was that he said about having sex with your wife “at least once a day?” Was he being sarcastic?


  2. 1. Driscoll is operating with the presupposition that Christ will be the cornerstone of the Church. So he doesn’t feel the need to mention it. It is highly evident in his preaching and teaching. It is like people who insist on mentioning prayer as the first thing you need to do for x. We know we need to pray. And so Driscoll is talking primarily to a group of church planters and churches who desire to plant churches. This is why he is going right to the pragmetic side of things. He is assuming a lot b/c he had 8 minutes for the video.

    2. He was definitely saying it tongue in cheek. Men definitely want to haev sex with their wives. It is a good and natural and beautiful thing. He was saying it humorously, but saying out loud what men think, but don’t say.

    Question for you: How does one go about planting a church in the RCC?

  3. That’s makes sense. The reason I asked, though, is because I notice how churches like Sojourn tend to revolve around the head pastor and his personality. Of course, I think God is using those gifts to draw people to a pastor who will in turn point them to Christ, which is pretty similar to how Catholics view Mary (someone who models the Christian life and draws us closer to Jesus). I suppose what I see is that Catholics have the sacraments, and especially the Eucharist, around which the Church is literally and physically centered. But in a Reformed/Baptist community, while they are centered about God’s Word, it seems to be more abstract because you’re relying on the pastors to interpret the Bible.

    The RCC doesn’t call it “church planting,” but a new church/parish is typically founded by the diocese, either by splitting an existing parish or establishing a new parish in an area that doesn’t have any Catholic churches. It’s definitely more of a top-down approach. I’m not sure if they still draw parish boundaries, but it used to be that each diocese was divided into parishes and the Catholics within each parish’s boundaries attended that parish. Therefore, establishing a new parish meant carving out territory from one or more existing parishes.

    To think of it in more Protestant terms, each parish is a satellite church of the cathedral, and each cathedral is a satellite of St. Peter’s. :)

    However, I consider lay ministries (or apostolates) to be more like the Catholic equivalent of church planting since they have more of an entreprenurial feel, beginning on a grassroots level and usually seeking nothing more than a stamp of approval from their pastor and/or bishop. There’s a Catholic youth conference every summer in Louisville called “Ignite Your Torch” that is organized by a couple of local apostolates (JP2 Generation and Catholics For Life). Laypeople are in charge of those ministries and they do all the organizing for “Ignite,” so while it’s growing into a pretty big event with 250+ students, the archdiocese is mostly uninvolved in it.

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Less Hype. More Humility.

Please. Embedded in our consumeristic culture, there is the assumption that newer is better than older–though I prefer aged beef and cheddar to new. There is the assumption that grand and renovated and powerful is preferable to meek and lowly and weak.

The church often adopts this form of communicating in an effort to gather people into its doors. “God is doing awesome things here at Church _______.” The fact is that God is doing awesome things everyday and everywhere. He’s sustained your life. He’s given you sight and hearing and legs. And if you have none or only one of these, he’s still given you life and a mind to engage the world around you. Truly miraculous. What is more, is God not also doing something in the old, decrepit church that meets faithfully every Sunday? Is God not at work in the mundane? Is the changing of laundry and washing of dishes and working through an argument devoid of God’s presence?

I see so many churches trying to drum up excitement about the latest outreach or project, when what our culture needs is the staying power and sobriety of faithfulness in the ho-hum drudgery of going to a job you hate or a marriage that is contentious. What we need is not more hype, but more humility. More service and less heavy-handedness. We need more gentleness and less power grabs.

If we don’t, what then becomes of the senior citizen who is tired? What becomes of the baby who is sleeping? What becomes of the unemployed and outcast and burdened? They are forgotten. They are seen as less valuable because they aren’t producing the kind of energy requisite for assumed faithfulness to the disciples’ call.

In reality, we need less loud voices and red faces and sweaty brows and more silence and calmness and a deep well of contentment.

The New Economics Will Be People

So I went to a coffee shop this morning and was struck by the utter efficiency they were churning out drinks. In fact the team lead said this much as encouragement to the six other workers behind the counter.

I walked in. Smiled at the barista. Was greeted with a blank stare as he continued to froth the milk and deliver the piping hot skinny latte with extra foam to the drive-thru. I walked to the register and was passed with nary a glance…even when the team lead said “Hello.” No she didn’t look at me, but made sure that her metric of greeting a guest in the first ten seconds was met. A box that is checked. That’s what I was. A large dark roast with no room for cream and sugar. And surely there was no saccharin here. There was utility and efficiency.

In all our pandering for growth our marketing of environment is nothing more than a marketing tool. The timers and grids for efficiency have crowded out the thing that matters. The only thing that matters in products.

You see, the products that are pushed are labeled as though they were made for you. In reality, the products being sold to you have (for the most part) been made for the manufacturer. People have merely become a means to the end of bigger, faster, better.

In the new economy, people will matter more.

They won’t matter because they need to matter to grow the business. Too often companies tell you that you’re important because they want your money. They don’t want to make a difference as much as they want their new car or luxury vacation.

I want to say this loud and clear. In the new economy, people will be the end in themselves. They will no longer be viewed as a metric or a number. In the new economy, mom and pop will be sought after. Because, after all, we all know that the verbiage of how you matter to company x is just verbiage. It’s merely eliciting a response for another end.

In the new economics, people will want to matter. They will flock to the place where they are known by name. And not just to tout the “community” of an establishment. Did you notice the subtlety of that one? No, people will know your name because they know you and you matter. Your name is not known just to brag that you matter and sell the belonging you too can have if you buy your next skinny latte with extra froth…hold the pandering.

We are not there yet because executives are still measuring. Measuring people. Yet, what the new economy will have to embrace is not a spreadsheet or a graph. They will be forced to embrace people. Not to grow their graph. But to grow their own soul.

On Conformity

As much as I hate to admit it, Christians push conformity. Conformity to the wrong things. Being shaped by a group and set of ideals is inherent to being part of a group–be it Christian, straight edge, atheist. But I am speaking about and to my tribe.

Over the years, I have had the privilege of being a part of several different denominations and have seen this shadow overtaking much of the piety of its adherents. It wasn’t meant to do so.

Do you homeschool? The correct answer depends on the group you’re talking to. Do you go on mission trips? Do you adopt? Do you run around incessantly from meeting to meeting showing how you are making an impact for the kingdom?

We have steered far off course when we get away from the simplicity of the Gospel. Of a life changed and being changed by the Gospel. That is, before Christ’s ascension, he said to merely teach all that he commanded. Yet. Yet, much of our passing on of information is not what Christ taught. They are various implications and applications of what he taught. And so,

Might I encourage you to be slow in conforming to the standards? Not just of popular culture, but of the popularity of whatever group you find yourself milling about. The shadow looms to block out the sun of joy and hope. It chokes out the simple call to humble obedience to Christ, changing out a yoke that not even the teachers can bear.