Mercy for Mark Driscoll

This post is intended to send a message, to myself and to my readers: You and I are not better than Mark Driscoll, and God is watching.

Those of us who preach are far from perfect. In fact, if every preacher who ever made a mistake were to step down and stop teaching, there would be no one left as under-Shepherds to the Church.

If you’re reading this, chances are you are well aware of the charges of plagiarism to Mark Driscoll. This morning, the day after Thanksgiving, I was made aware of two related post on Twitter regarding the matter. The first, by Chris Rosebrough:

and the second by Janet Mefferd:

Before I write anything else, let’s get something very clear:

  1. I am neither defending Mark Driscoll, nor excusing the charge of plagiarism.
  2. I do not approve of Mark Driscoll’s ministry as ‘sound’.
  3. I have been uncharitable, and far short of demonstrating mercy towards Mark Driscoll and others on this blog, and for that, I repent and ask forgiveness.

So-called ‘discernment blogs’ can be overly harsh. Often times, the motive is blog hits, increased visibility in the Christian blogging meta-sphere, whatever. 5ptsalt is not a ‘discernment blog’, but I have been guilty in the past for being far too harsh in my words when I should have displayed more patience, grace and mercy in addition to the concern for upholding the Truth as it is in Christ Jesus, according to Scripture, than I have. I was wrong to do so. The Church is the pillar and foundation of the Truth, and it is our responsibility and duty to be jealous for it, in both the Name of God and His Word.

Mark was wrong. Tyndale was wrong in setting a new publishing ‘low standard’.

Brethren, we’ve all been wrong, we’ve all sinned against our Lord, more times than we wish to admit. Today, November 29, 2013, we are wrong. We haven’t arrived at perfection. We are not there yet, and you and I  stink of sin just as much as Mark Driscoll or any other Christian. The holier-than-thou attitude is ancient, and is still present.

I read this passage this morning, and it hit me like a ton of bricks, only I survived the blow – this time:

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. – James 2:13

Hardheartedness reaps just what it sows, even in this life. Show mercy, receive mercy. Demonstrate your faith by works.

Yes, those who proclaim false doctrines to the Church should be marked, and held accountable to the Church and before God.

At the same time, we must remember who we ourselves are, sinners who, even though we are being transformed on our journey to perfection, are yet imperfect, tempted by notoriety and all manner of sinful, selfish desires.

We must show mercy to those who profess Christ. Yet we must condemn false teaching and sin, in love. And the Word of God alone must be our final authority in it all.

I’m not asking for anyone to excuse Mark Driscoll for his faults – or mine.

I remind the Church of the grace and mercy shown to us, while we were yet sinners, undeserving of the love of our Creator, and our duty to demonstrate the same mercy shown us, to others.

God bless.