Thursday, July 14, 2011

A follow up on my letter to Mark Driscoll

I was taught two spiritual disciplines that have at times helped me to grow in my pursuit of a Christlike life. On the occasions where they did not help me it was because I did not practice them, not because they did not work.

The one I learned from a friend who shared his father in laws practice of "embracing my own confession". What this means is that before we act, especially in attempts at reconciliation, we must discern our own sin. The way we do this is to recognize that there is always our own sin that causes us to react in anger. "YOU WHO JUDGE ANOTHER DO THE SAME THING" When we can embrace our own confession, and seek God's forgiving mercy we can then in humility speak to another. In other words, deal with your own log, before dealing with the speck in your brothers eye.

The second I learned from, (gasp, dare I say it), my wife. To be fair she learned it from one of her friends, who learned it from someone else and I think they were all women so I shouldn't let them teach me, but in a moment of weakness I did. The discipline is this, when ever you say "so and so is a such and such" you follow it by "and so am I" So, "Mark is a judgmental jackass... and so am I"

The truth is, that was the point of my rant yesterday. I see in Mark, and in Marks depiction of "manliness" many of the traits that I am convicted of myself. I am judgmental. I am mean. I make fun of people that I differ with or disagree with. I am overbearing, rude, and obnoxious. I am prone to shouting, anger and even violence. I feel uncomfortable about expressions of sexuality that are different than my own. And I believe God wants to drive this sin from me, so that I, might be perfected in Love like Jesus was. Which is why when I see my sin reflected in others, it makes me angry. Easier to get angry at others than myself.

My point on Tuesday evening, was not that I am above Mark. But rather, in being a visible leader, Mark encourages a part of me that the Spirit is trying to discourage. Not so I can be less the strong, courageous, man I am, but that I would be tempered with goodness, kindness, gentleness and empathy. My letter was an attempt to give voice to this, and perhaps, help other tough guys to see a different way, and hear a different voice.

I do understand the idea that church in America can be ostracizing for some men, but it is also so for lgbt community, for anyone not of the same race as the church they go to, for people that are ADHD, ect. Mark often criticizes churches for compromising to be more palatable, yet isn't encouraging a male dominated, power based sexism a compromise to the 20-35 year old male demographic? Lets look at Christ for who he was, someone who breaks out of all of our boxes, strong, yet gentle, Non violent, let passionately zealous, loving and just.



Mike Young said...

Very will said! Your vulnerability was refreshing and ironically becomes the strength of the point you were making. While I find myself firmly on the opposite side of the aisle from Mark Driscoll on most things...more precisely on the other side of the room from him, my relishing that places me in the same judgmental posture I so hated in those I disagreed with as I fled my Southern Baptist roots (there I go...doing it again). Thanks for the wisdom. Thanks for the perspective. Thanks for the spiritual marker you placed on my journey today. Thanks especially for the vulnerability.


Jon Philpott said...

I like the phrase "Jesus was radically inclusive", more than I am, maybe more than I ever could be, but I do try.

I appreciate your honesty.

Jon Philpott said...

Nice, apparently "Jesus is radically inclusive" is the name of one Mark Driscolls sermons.

Kelsey Romshek said...

Hey Rev,

I respect your humility, and more than anything, YOUR AUTHENTICITY! While I really enjoy a lot of Driscoll's writing and sermons, I thoroughly enjoyed your first letter. While it was a bit aggressive, I enjoyed your letter, especially being a man who struggles with the balance of being a manly man warrior but yet being loving and gracious as Christ. I was more than blown away by this second post and your humility. Very well written. I will be checking your blog often now for sure. Thank you for being an AUTHENTIC GODLY MAN!

Missy's Musings said...

I'm your newest follower. Loved your real honesty. Loved what you said.
Have been convicted over my own sin in a relationship that needs to be reconciled and GOD used you (again)to show me that once again, i am judgemental and angry and need His forgiveness and grace moment by moment.

Anonymous said...

Praise God you came to this conclusion and wrote about it. I doubt it'll get the publicity that your first post did, but hey, that's church people for you.

Alan Hirsch said...

You are an amazing man Jensen. thanks for insights and humility bro.

Belfast1956 said...

thanks for your humility in trying to speak the truth my friend!

Unknown said...

I appreciate your humility in speaking the truth in love my friend.

Belfast56 said...

well said

steve turner said...

Thanks for both letters Jono, thanks for staying in the race and being bothered. You know what I think, Turner.

Anonymous said...

I think it's great you've followed up with this 2nd post on Driscoll. Like you said maybe you 2 are more alike than you thought. I would agree in that both of your tendancies to be Manly Men should be evidenced by asking forgiveness. That's what's refreshing about both of you.

In the end is the Gospel going forth? If you peel away the secondary issues or make sure those don't become the Gospel I pray that whether someone is New Monastic, Emerging Church, New Calvinist, etc. that Jesus Christ's inclusive call but exclusive way remains.

Personal Sanctification played out on a public stage is only going to be more common in our Global world. I believe you and Pastor Mark both have hearts in Christ....let's call out the true wolves when need be and continue seeking the sheep for His Kingdom.

Jason said...

Great post! I just left a comment on yesterdays post and I basically thought what you just confessed. Thankful for the humility God is often quick to bring. Thank you for the example and for being vulnerable and transparent.

I am a church planter planting with A29 and I continue to see that the gap between what I hate and what I am is far closer than I would ever like to imagine!

Pray for Mark, he is still growing :)

Anonymous said...

I have appreciated both your posts but especially your attitude. I am guessing that the biggest difference between you and MD is your willingness to let others speak into your life who may be different than you. MD is surrounded by good men but ones that fear ever saying anything corrective. They have seen the history--those who differ get fired, so no one ever challenges. Sad for him because he loses great opportunity to grow. He does not listen to anyone in the Seattle pastoral community and only hears from Piper and the Piper Cubs. To his credit MD did listen to some very godly women a few years ago from outside the MHC circle. He repented and a lot of his rhetoric toned down.
The hardest thing is what gets translated into the lives of many young men is not the godly part of MD (and I believe there is much of that) but the hubris. It is just what they want to hear--they can follow Jesus and not change (I hyperbolize, but you get that). I watch all this less than a mile from MHC. I have walked with many of the wounded and bruised who have finally become fed up with the 1% that comes from the pulpit that is utterly toxic.
Continuing to pray for MD as I have for years. I'm going to pray for you too since I wondered as I read your posts if we are not brothers from different mothers.
Keep going.