American Idol

I was listening to a lecture the other day by a pastor named Mark Driscoll. I’m usually a huge fan of him. I think his vision for ministry is very much consistent with that of the Reformed tradition of redeeming culture, seeking community and mercy, and transforming the city. And on top of that, I think he is hilarious.

However I learned the danger of idolizing folks as I listened to him defend a minority position on elders. Only men who are married can become elders at his church. He gets this from the elder description passages in I Timothy and Titus as they specify that an elder needs to be ‘a man of one wife.’ I won’t exegete (breakdown and interpret) the passage for you, but will say that I don’t hold his position.

But the problem with Driscoll was not so much that he disagreed with the other pastor he was co-lecturing with. The problem was that he was so stinking arrogant, belligerent, disrespectful, (and had to get the last word in), that I wanted to punch him. I really did.

I felt like throwing away his books, deleting his link on my blog, and telling my father-in-law to disregard another lecture I burned for him where he identified the dangers of the emergent church.

A week later I have calmed down. Well it didn’t take that long, I guess. And I realized two things.

1.) Arrogance and dogmatism on unclear and minority matters will only turn people away from you. And fast.

2.) Idolizing people is dangerous on a variety of fronts (besides the obvious replacement of Jesus with another). I was so angry because I held him in too high an esteem. I had idolized him. He’s a dude with issues. I should have expected him to have weaknesses. I do. And I hope that people don’t throw out everything I say when I’m defensive or respond angrily without grace to something they say.

So I can still learn a bunch from him, without idolizing him or becoming a thoughtless groupie.

2 thoughts on “American Idol

  1. Amen, brother! Keep “majoring in the majors”; the world needs Christ far more than they need to se internal church bickering over the marital state of elders.I know we agree thatt there ARE huge points of doctrine that cannot be set aside for the sake of getting along, but this ain’t one of them.See you in church or on the water…Louis

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