I may get the anger of someone stirred up over this, but it seems to me to be just too important to leave anything unsaid any longer.
Many of you know of Mark Driscoll, the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle; he has spoken now more than once for Pastor John Piper’s ministry in their Desiring God conferences. Some of you probably are not familiar with him, so you may disregard this plea.
The important and very public issue in this email is Driscoll’s continued improper and dirty language from the pulpit and his justification of it by using or twisting Scripture to justify it.
Below is a paragraph of a believer who has recently listened to Driscoll from the most recent Desiring God conference and is grieved by his conduct from the pulpit; please read their concern and prayerfully consider if an expression to Dr. Piper and Desiring God Ministries is not in order at this time because of their wide influence;
“Driscoll is not actually in the “emergent” movement, he came out of it and is conservative and reformed in his doctrine… but he does have coarse joking, sexual jokes and other filth in his sermons. He claims he has repented of it, but it has continued without any breaks. I just got done listening to his sermon at Piper’s conference and he basically defended all of his language in the pulpit as imitating Jesus (for example in Matthew 23) and Paul in Philippians 3 and Galatians (although he brought up tons of other texts)… the problem is, that most of his language is in the sermon just to be funny, not because he is dealing with bad doctrine or false teachers… he uses bad language in a flippant manner and everyone laughs… but when Jesus and Paul used harsh strong language, the result was not laughter… we don’t hear the disciples laughing in the background of Matthew 23 or anywhere else. Driscoll seems to have one mode… funny, and that is just not the right tone for the pulpit. He was a comedian before he got saved and he seems to not be able to distinguish between a pastor and a comedian… or he has refused to put down the idol of being the funny guy. I plan on listening to the Q&A with Driscoll, Piper and one of the other speakers… I hope Piper steps up and does something to redeem his name.” – end of quote
As many Christians who love and appreciate Dr. Piper’s ministry ought to speak up to them about this and ask them to take a public stand separating themselves from Driscoll on this; perhaps they are going to; we will see; but their silence about it only validates his approach, which can only hurt the testimony of their ministry, cause many to believe that such a thing is somehow valid in trying to relate truth to this world, and most of all, dishonors the Lord and the purity of the gospel and His Word.
There is a time to be silent and there is a time to speak up and act, especially when truth is on trial; this seems to be one of those times; it very well may be that Bethlehem Baptist leaders and elders have already take a good stand on this; if they have, it will encourage them to hear from as many as possible; if they have not, its all the more important for them to hear from many who appreciate them. When they were being tempted to compromise their position on baptism, different brethren in and outside of their church encouraged them to not do it, and they changed their mind and did not compromise.
My encouragement to you, if you feel led by the Lord to do so, is to email Dr. Piper specifically at Desiring God or at the church, and express real concern about this; be gracious, be humble, but be clear and uncompromising, encouraging them to do what is right and publically renounce such a practice and viewpoint. Let’s be their friend, because faithful are the wounds of a friend.
Also, feel free to send this to as many believers as possible who love their ministry.
– Mack T.