Mark Driscoll: The Right Man for the Wrong Job?

The second high-profile evangelical leader in as many weeks has shown himself to be unsuitable to lead the largest protestant denomination in America, due in large part to his fundamentalist position on birth control. Late last week Scoop Burleson broke the first story, remarkably similar in content to this second story. In Burleson’s post, dated January 5, unacceptably fundamentalist views on birth control, held by recently-declared SBC presidential candidate Dr. Albert Mohler, were uncovered. The Burleson article went on to predict that a Mohler presidency in 2008 would most assuredly lead to an abuse of power similar to that of another convention head who also simultaneously held a seminary presidency.

Dateline Seattle

Lightening has struck again, this time in the evangelical wasteland of Seattle, Washington. During his January 6 message to faithful thousands, Mark Driscoll, the multi-campus mega-pastor of Mars Hill Church, concluded services by praying for the repentance of those who “have a negative view of children”, and those who “don’t want children for selfish reasons”. “I know that this is incredibly unpopular.” Driscoll stated at one point near the end of his 77-minute tirade. Many leaving one campus were overheard to say “Boy, am I glad we’re not in the SBC. Driscoll would impose his narrow, fundamentalist views on the whole convention if we were.” Driscoll as much as admitted that his message would jeopardize any chances for a bid for the head SBC position when he stated “I’m gonna get into a lot of trouble for this. It’s trouble I’m willing to get into.”

Although you could not possibly get Paige Patterson and Mark Driscoll in the same room together, with a little massaging of the facts, they could be made to look like two peas in a pod. That, however, is another post for another day. As to whether or not I know of a mystery man to step up to the plate at the last minute this spring in Indianapolis, I am real good at dropping names, so what could be better than dropping an un-name to arouse interest and intrigue leading up all the way to the 2008 convention in Indianapolis.

Closing Notes on this Parody/Spoof

I did not intend to write this post quite the way it turned out. I had intended to write a serious “part two”, addressing the several negative points that Wade Burleson brought up in his post. It just didn’t turn out that way. That is what a trip from Tulsa to Joplin and back between midnight and five will do to you if you’re listening to Mars Hill Audio on the way. Just blame it on Uncle Buster.

Clearly this post won’t make much sense if you don’t listen to the sermon (another link to the audio and video) by Driscoll. OK, so the comments by the congregants were made up, but Driscoll’s message on birth control this last Sunday was real, as well as the cited quotes by him. The convergent aspect of Providence gets real spooky sometimes.

Whether or not you have thought about birth control as a Christian, you really should listen to this message. It was well thought out and respectfully done, for Driscoll, that is. Dr. Mohler may not necessarily agree with the method or the mode of Driscoll’s sermon, but I will bet you he would heartily agree with the overall message of it. If Mohler is a Fundamentalist, then so is Driscoll, and so am I for that matter, and am proud to be among such company. Here’s a concluding paragraph from an article by Dr. Mohler on the subject of birth control. He doesn’t sound like a fundamentalist/legalist on the topic to me. You be the judge:

“Therefore, Christians may make careful and discriminating use of proper technologies, but must never buy into the contraceptive mentality. We can never see children as problems to be avoided, but always as gifts to be welcomed and received.”

My main reason for this post and the one before it is that I just don’t care to have a good, honest man mischaracterized¬† for, as yet, undisclosed reasons. In addition to the positive reasons for a Mohler presidency, as stated in my previous post, I think Mohler should be honored with the presidency so that he can preside in Louisville in 2009 to commemorate the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Southern Seminary. Mohler has played a noble role in the conservative resurgence, far more noble than another man we won’t bother to name, who has been similarly honored¬† Yes, there are negatives. Every candidacy will have them. This will be like every other decision we make in life, weighing our options carefully and prayerfully. I know that some would like to see a candidate emerge at the last minute “similar to a Frank Page.” As for me, it sure would be nice to have someone representing several million Southern Baptists who had a strong, biblical stance on the family and the erudition not to call a woman half his age “honey child” from the speaker’s podium at this year’s convention.

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