“Mark Driscoll’s sermons are mostly too racy to post on GodTube, the evangelical Christian “family friendly” video-posting Web site. With titles like “Biblical Oral Sex” and “Pleasuring Your Spouse,” his clips do not stand a chance against the site’s content filters. No matter: YouTube is where Driscoll, the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, would rather be. Unsuspecting sinners who type in popular keywords may suddenly find themselves face to face with a husky-voiced preacher in a black skateboarder’s jacket and skull T-shirt. An “Under 17 Requires Adult Permission” warning flashes before the video cuts to evening services at Mars Hill, where an anonymous audience member has just text-messaged a question to the screen onstage: “Pastor Mark, is masturbation a valid form of birth control?”  Who Would Jesus Smack Down?

Today, pastors who cuss are perceived as being bold, courageous, and  blunt. These pastors are uplifted by many because they are bold in their speech without any fear. While it is true that they are bold, courageous, and blunt, this does not mean that their example is right.

Cussing pastors are:

  • Bad examples.
  • Examples of rebellion.
  • Laying a bad foundation for future generations.

Before I write any further, let’s ponder 2 Peter 1:1-9 for a moment.

2 Peter 1:1-9 (NASB)
1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

The foundation that is being laid by these ministers who cuss from the pulpit/stage is one that is transforming the church into a place where God is not truly feared. For many years, sects of Christians have been on a crusade to promote a “big tent” form of Christianity based on the premise that God is love. While it is very true that God is love, He is also a God who is to be feared. What we are witnessing is the formation of a Christianity that does not fear or respect God’s rules.

Proverbs 1:7 (NASB)

7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 8:13 (NASB)

13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.

The Driscoll effect:

What will our future church be like if this trend continues? What will result because we sit idly by as pastors like Mark Driscoll are given the silent pardon by men/women who know better? I simply do not understand why so many people are willing to pardon men like Driscoll all because they slap “reformed” in their description. The true spirit of the Reformation is to question what we are being taught in the name of sola scriptura.

If any Mark Driscoll defenders are reading this blog, I urge you to think about his actions over the past years. Driscoll has been throwing up red flags of caution for some time now. Many Mark Driscoll defenders will point out that he teaches the true Gospel and that he is not afraid to speak the truth. While this statement is true, some of his poor decisions leave us scratching our heads. What comes to my mind is when he preached at Radicalis. No matter how doctrinally sound the message Driscoll preached at Rick Warren’s Radicalis (Rick Warren’s Radicalis Conference), he did not correct Warren’s ecumenical false gospel, nor did he truly present a counterpoint to Warren’s heresies. By appearing with Warren, he gave credibility to Warren’s ministry. This is not the first time Driscoll has given credibility to a false teacher. When Mark Driscoll preached at Crystal Cathedral, he called Robert Schuller a brother in the Lord (See: Mark Driscoll at Crystal Cathedral – FAILURE). The cussing pastor failed miserably in both these instances. What Driscoll did achieve was to help the ecumenical movement spread a little farther in its quest to redefine Christianity.

I know some of my reformed brothers/sisters will disagree with me about Mark Driscoll. The question I ask each of you who defend him (and others like him) is does the Word of God truly matter to you? Do you really care that God said a pastor should live godly (1 Timothy 3:1-7 ), that we should abstain from all appearances of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:21-23 ), and that we should live in a way that the world cannot condemn us ( Titus 2:7-8)? Do you really believe the Bible in relation to these passages? If so, then why do you support and defend people like Mark Driscoll? I know what I am speaking is very blunt and direct, but these are questions that must be asked.

Our faith is worth the struggle:

There are a couple of things at stake here that have implications that reach far beyond what is evident today:

  1. Our future generations are at risk. The example we are giving them will be a foundation upon which the future church is built.
  2. We are teaching people that God really did not mean what He said. We are defining some of God’s commandments as archaic traditions that are not applicable today. We are teaching that relevant culture defines Christian culture and our behavior. This is a deadly teaching that will result in apostasy. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 (NASB)
14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

Christian culture:

Christian culture is clearly found in the Word of God. God’s requirements, which He gave us through the Apostles, have not changed. God wants us to strive to be like Him in everything that we do. We are commanded to avoid coarse jesting, cussing (Col 3:8), gossip (Proverbs 20:19); not to live in a way that is wicked; and to be set apart from the world in our deeds, our life style, and our words. Christian culture is not a culture that makes us better than our neighbors; it’s a culture that helps our neighbors see Jesus in our lives.

The Bible makes it very clear that the only way we will escape the world around us is by death. We are instructed in God’s Word how to live in the world and not to be part of the world. This does not mean we follow a bunch of legalistic man-made codes of conduct which are useless (Col 2). It means that we follow God’s commandments by living within the barriers God gave us. Why did I say barriers? Because God gave us rules to live by concerning our language and how we are to conduct ourselves.

Jesus told us that His yoke is easy and His burden in light (Matthew 11:28-30). He also told us not to be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). Our time on earth can be very hard and trying, but when we learn to look to Jesus, He will help us through it. If we love Him and truly make Him our Lord, then we will have victory. In my opinion, the best way to begin a successful walk with Christ is to immediately ask for forgiveness as soon as we are convicted of our sin.

To sum all this up, I want to stress that we should not pardon open sin and rebellion just because we like preacher A, B, or C or blogger D, E, or F. We must contend for the faith even when it is not popular within our own camp. In the end, our actions (or lack thereof) have implications that affect people in ways that we do not see immediately. We shall reap what we sow.

James 3:1-12 (NASB)
1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.
3 Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well.
4 Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.
5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.
7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.
8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;
10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?
12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.

  1. Rich says:

    Very valid points. The one the struck me was the point of deconstructing biblical authority and Gods commands by allowing culture to redefine Christian culture. Mark Driscoll et al., know how to do the culturally relevant piece under the title of reformation – what is compoundedly dangerous is if that reformation has been built and staged by the worlds doctrine and not Christs. We can have all the right words but our spirit and attitude can be as evil as Satans. Evry man beware – adopt the attitude of holy men gone before which is humility and fear of God!!!

  2. Dexter says:

    Has Mark Driscoll really earned this cussing pastor title? I’ve never heard him swear in any of his preaches. He is an excellent teacher of the Word of God and is reaching a demographic otherwise untouched by the western church.

    In regards to Piper’s and Driscoll’s associations with Rick Warren, I personally find it hard to take such a solid position and I think anyone that finds it easy to take a solid position on such matters is biased.
    I say this because if we were to look at preachers through the lens of our doctrine al beliefs (depending on how defined they are), few preachers would meet our expectation. They’d have to jump through the hoop of arminian or calvinist, contemporary or traditional, musical emphasis or non musical emphasis, etc.

    I’m not saying this to defend Driscoll or Piper, even though I do listen to and enjoy both preachers, I say this as a defence for their decision. If they were too scrupulous in who they associate with, it would appear bad for the Body of Christ.

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