By the way, it is the people who are calling for Mark to repent who are showing true Christian love for him. Not the people who write articles excusing his sin. Mark Driscoll needs to repent for Mark Driscoll's sake first. Remember that he will answer for every dead body in his pile. The blood of his listeners will be upon his head. The key verses make that abundantly clear. No one is suggesting that Mark Driscoll should not have his walk restored. It is his ministry that is forfeited. That is not bitterness, anger, or malice. That is the Bible.
"I am deeply saddened by the spiritual condition of many Christians. We love to be arm chair quarterbacks and diss pastors and Christian leaders, yet we have no idea of the demands they encounter and the pain they feel. Our sinful tendency is to pull others down. We may think that somehow this makes us look better. If we are truly concerned about the body of Christ, we will hold our tongue." -- Shane Idleman
I am deeply saddened by the spiritual condition of many pastors today. Who would think nothing of abusing the sheep of the Lord in order to defend someone in the good ole boys club. Someone correctly pointing out that plagiarism is theft and theft is not allowed in the Bible is not an arm chair quarterback beloved. Someone who says that a pastor should not steal tithe money or try and cheat a Bestseller list is not "dissing a pastor." With all due respect, the difficulties of the job are irrelevant to this discussion. Is Shane suggesting that we should water down what the Bible says because the job of pastor is difficult? I might add that Mark Driscoll lived in a million dollar mansion at the time everything became unraveled so spare me the "woe is me" angle. If Pastor Idleman wants to know the true sinful tendency it is to cover up sin. It is as old as the Garden when Adam and Eve were hiding from God. We see it with David and Bathsheba. We see it in this article by Shane Idleman. In order to prop up his fellow pastor, Idleman is forced to tear down anyone who stands against him.
"Strive to develop the type of love that protects and defends others. For instance, why not believe that God is going to use Mark's past to help others?" -- Shane Idleman
Glad you asked Shane. The answer is the Bible tells me not to believe that. What part of this is escaping you? Mark Driscoll resigned in disgrace to avoid a deserved discipline that was coming 16 months ago. These are not trivial matters to be swept under the church rug. If we cannot expect to hold someone like Driscoll to account for his behavior then we will hold no one responsible. He willfully and maliciously hurt the very people God called him to protect. Then he preached to everyone else not bloodied that these people were just a pile of dead bodies to him. He stole their money. He cheated. He stole intellectual property and tried to pass it off as his own. He did all of this, has admitted to all of this, and apologized for none of it. He has repented of none of it. Every time he has preached since leaving Mars Hill he has tried to paint himself as the victim. Yet despite all of this Shane Idleman thinks it is love to protect and defend this record. Not to protect and defend the sheep. To have the hubris to actually ask why not believe God will use this unrepentant past to help others is staggering to me. I understand why Shane Idleman came to this point. It was not after careful prayer and biblical Berean work. It was his starting point.
"Stop yourself when you're tempted to gossip or belittle others, and turn the conversation if someone is taking you in that direction. The Bible is clear: If you have not love, it profits you nothing (cf. 1Corinthians 13:3). -- Shane Idleman
When your starting point was trying to prove a personal grudge instead of hearing what God might have to say you end up using the Bible. Leveraging it through proof-texting. The problem is that in order to get the Bible to say what you want instead of what God wants, you must wrest verses horribly out of context as we have already shown. Idleman finishes the butchery with not understanding the famous love verses from 1Corinthians. Beloved, what is love as Paul espouses for us here? Is it to turn a blind eye to sin and offense to God? Is it love to beat the sheep of the Lord to protect your friend? No. Love here is true love as God requires both towards God and man. How do we love God again?
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. - John 14: 15 (ESV)
Not stealing is one of the actual first commandments. Mark Driscoll not only stole the tithe monies but the plagiarism as also theft. How do you think you have love, show love, or will profit from love by defending that against the Word of the Lord? How do we love each other then?
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." - Mark 12: 30-31 (ESV)
Pastor Shane seems to be implying that it would be loving to pretend what Mark Driscoll did never happened. Just look the other way. There are two problems with that. First off, it dismisses the real victims here. How is it loving to the former 12,000 congregants of Mars Hill Church in Seattle? How is it loving to embrace someone who bragged about running over his own sheep with the Mars Hill bus? Secondly, how is it loving to Mark? He is going to answer for every careless word and deed as we all must. If I ever found myself in a situation such as this I would want people who love me to come alongside of me and tell me to repent. Not blindly support my new church plant when the bodies are still warm from my last. One last quote from Pastor Idleman:
"We should consider the total portrait of one's life, character and ministry and evaluate on that basis. A few poorly chosen statements, angry outbursts or controlling decisions made over the course of many years shouldn't define a person." -- Shane Idleman
Pastor Shane Idleman has tried vociferously to pretend that Mark Driscoll's offenses were just a handful of oopsies while defaming anyone who dared to stand up for what the Bible actually says regarding these offenses and the pastoral office. Perhaps to Idleman, referring to the sheep you have slaughtered as a pastor as a "pile of dead bodies" is just a "poorly chosen statement." Perhaps when he viciously attacked his own sheep and staff repeatedly for years, that was just "angry outbursts" to Pastor Shane. Perhaps stealing over $200,000 of tithe monies to cheat the NY Times Bestseller List was just a "controlling decision." I do not think I am out on a limb here to suggest that God does not see it that way. I do not think He sees it that way at all.
Reverend Anthony Wade - February 18, 2016