Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A letter to Pastor Mark



I have listened to you Pastor Mark for many years now. You are very bright, charismatic, and I think do some great things, but you usually aggravate me quite a bit. But in your latest facebook post talking about genetically male effeminate worship leaders, I just had to say something. The truth is, you probably won't ever read what I have to say, and if you do you will most likely laugh at what a sissified hippie I am.

Let me start by saying that you can call me John. Though I am a pastor, I am possibly not going to act as a pastor, nor do I need the title. Most people call me rev as an ironic nickname because I am so very different from their idea of a reverend. I am also going to call you Mark, because you have not been acting like a pastor either. You know, because of your undeniable intelligence, that pastor means shepherd. And part of the job of a shepherd is to keep the sheep in line to protect them from bad things. And sometimes a shepherd has to "man up" as you would say, and go fight the wolves that would tear apart the sheep. I am sure you are quite willing to do both of these things. But a shepherd does not belittle, mock, or injure sheep for looking different, for being weaker in some ways, or for not fitting in. And Mark, that has been what your bullying has done.

Your desire to be a manly man, and to stamp out this feminizing of the church, has not only been ill informed, and self serving, but is also hurting many people, and stumbling others like myself. You see mr tough manly man, things like gentleness, peace, and patience are all fruits of the Spirit, and I struggle to live those out even without you acting like they are girly traits.

Now let me, like Paul, set some things straight. When it comes to being a manly man, I am one of the manliest you will ever meet. I was born John, son of John, son of Jorgen I am 6'2" and 230 lbs of ass kicking muscle. I was a four year letterman in wrestling. My nickname on the football team where I played defensive tackle was kamikaze. I skateboarded in swimming pools with no pads. I was in a punk rock gang.

I was a portuguese bullfighter from the age of 15 to 20 see picture above (not me but what I did for five years) I was a repo man, a bouncer, and a construction worker. I drive a Ford F150 am a brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, and a former pro mma fighter and coach. I have numerous tattoos. I have fathered two children, no sons so I am sure I lose a few points there. I have planted or helped to plant 18 churches I share my faith freely, in many places. I am quite frankly a bad ass.

This is the problem Mark, though all of these qualities can be used for good, for most of mankind they have been used for bad. They have been used to have power over others, to kill others, to keep others in their place, (which is always below us). And this is the kind of behavior you encourage. Make fun of others, exalt strength when Christ humbled himself. Stand over others especially women, when Christ, though God, relied on women for support, showed himself to them first, and depended on them as his only witnesses on the cross (cept for a teenager). Instead of being numbered with the sinners, the traitors, the drunks heretics and outcasts like Christ did, you ridicule and damn them.

But the biggest temptation you put on me, is to take you up on your manly man thing. In my flesh I want to fly up to Seattle and have a cage match followed by a theology debate. And after beating you ugly and stupid, I could then in your concussed state overcome your superior intellect and smart assed comments in a debate was well.

Unfortunately, I follow the hippie, non violent, love your enemy Jesus, that would rather die for you than kick your ass. I really hope you meet Him some day, because the guy you are following is just who you wish you could be when you grow up.

john

112 comments:

Ken said...

I'll supply the airline ticket to Seattle!

Anonymous said...

Holy shit, that was the coolest thing I've read in a while. The end gave me goosebumps.

Pastor Nar said...

Damn. I'm glad you're a Jesus follower! :)

Love you, John.

Ken Silva said...

" In my flesh I want to fly up to Seattle and have a cage match followed by a theology debate. And after beating you ugly and stupid, I could then in your concussed state overcome your superior intellect and smart assed comments in a debate was well."

Thanks for the laugh; like you could do that anyway.

john jensen said...

You have obviously never been beaten into a concussion. It takes away your smarts that's why I would need the
Cage match first

Rev

Anonymous said...

Loving this blog. Articulated many thoughts I have about mark. Keep up the good hippie attitude.

Chad Estes said...

Word

advocate lens said...

Well said. Absolutely brilliant.

ragamuffinpc.com said...

well said friend!

a girl with a smile said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Um... Who's pastor Mark? Or even better.... which pastor Mark?

Anonymous said...

You need a cage match to beat his smarts?

So basically you dont stand firm enough either in your faith or your ability to defend it without bringing someone to a concussed state.

Check your theology, quit calling people out and speak with the person you have grievance with, and I plead with you stop writing hypocritical essays on public forums to try and belittle a man you have not taken the time to understand, nor do you have the heart to.

The internet has given everyone a voice, men like you cant get anyone to listen to them in a face to face conversation so they seek the ignorant masses to follow a side of which they also do not care to understand.

If people would blindly follow Christ instead of hypocritical instigators such as yourself we would all benefit.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what you say about Mark Driscoll but I disagree with your one-sided view of Jesus. I don't think Jesus could be considered non-violent when he cast out the money changers with a whip made out of cords (John 2:15).

David said...

This sounds like the blog rant of someone who #1, has only selectively listened to Mark's sermons and #2, chose to write against his straw man caricature of Mark anyway.

bundesbedenkentraeger said...

Nice letter, but one question remains: Who is this Mark? Some US celeb unknown beyond the big water?

Eric said...

Dude! I appreciate your approach and your understanding people. I didn't read Mark's post. However, I think people are often too afraid of the "different" to be real people to everyone. Gotta be real, that's what show people Jesus and love and stuff. So, I don't think you need a cage.

For the record: I have been beaten' as such. It is not only humbling but informative. The perspective of your own masculinity changes when you see things through what appears to be a tunnel. ;)

Sergio Lins said...

Where can I can I find what this Pastor Mark has written?

Mark D. said...

i totally agree with this, especially since im a sort of emotional man who would rather talk about his feelings than ever watch football or any sort of sports.

Gordon said...

As was mentioned by a previous commentor, Pastor Mark would be Mark Driscoll.

I can't say I agree or disagree as I have not been a big follower of Mark Driscoll myself, but I can see I disagree with the delivery. I'm not sure Christ's rebuke would have been so boastful and colorful.

Justin said...

dynamite :)

Rob Dale said...

Great post! As the pastor of a Bikers' Church, I could relate to your personal description and yet your desire to follow "hippie Jesus".

Love it!

Alex McLean said...

here! here!

john jensen said...

I did say that I am not as smart or as charismatic as Mark Driscoll, that does not mean that I do not think I am correct. Nor that I cannot defend my beliefs. But as anyone knows a debate usually just confirms what people already believe, and if there is a winner it is the best rhetorical voice not the best argument.

I also said I would not fight Mark, but that his kind of bullying, yelling, manly man stuff makes me want to.

As to Mark being a multi faceted human being with lots of depth and layers... I too am a Shrek. But I see Mark say this shit too many times to think its not part of his actual belief system.

And finally, the boasting... I was doing a spin off on Paul's epistle 2 corinthians 11 sorry if that was not apparent

rev

Anonymous said...

The facebook post by Pastor Mark encouraged readers to "share stories" about the most "effeminate" male worship team leader they had seen. I took umbrage at his post and left a "shame on you", as I am a worship team lead and I enjoy several hobbies some would consider "effeminate" in our society (NOTE: the people responsible for the beautiful art and craft of the tabernacle were MEN!). The post was not edifying, and in response to those complaints, many responded "...just because he's a pastor, does he have to be serious about EVERYTHING?" Well, if the intent was humor, the content and delivery were both beyond poor. In addition, asking people to TELL STORIES is, in effect, asking people to TELL GOSSIP. Last time I checked, getting idle tongues to wag was a sin, too.

I was thinking there might be an apology from Pastor Mark. When you make it a habit to make a lot of public statements, and then you make a public mis-statement, you should apologize for it - but, maybe that's not the "manly" thing to do. Anyway, I'm about 5 mouse-clicks away from "unfollowing" him in f/b and twitter....doubt he'll miss me....

john jensen said...

he has publicly apologized in the past, so I would not rule that out. rev

KitKat44 said...

You describe a man I would love to marry. Thank you for standing firm on what you believe.

Ken Silva said...

Rick Warren tweeted your post: http://twitter.com/#!/RickWarren/status/91213361634746369

Anonymous said...

See Pastor Mark's response to the controversy here: http://theresurgence.com/2011/07/13/the-issue-under-a-lot-of-issues

John douglas said...

"The internet has given everyone a voice, men like you cant get anyone to listen to them in a face to face conversation so they seek the ignorant masses to follow a side of which they also do not care to understand."

Wow
What an incredible point.
If it want fah all dos ignant masses then dis dude would got no nuthin! But cause a dem ignunts out they why dis dude gots a voice. Damn shame! Shame on all yoose ignants! Shame on you! How dare yoose be twittin and tweetin and passing gas in all yo ignance. You
Given dis rev dude a platfoam. The ignants out they makin truble. Les stop em. I thank I got a cussion.

john jensen said...

Read what Pastor Mark said, and it was good. I am glad he responded to the instruction of his community, that is very biblical, and human to do so. We will probably never agree on many things, but it seems he has at least acknowledged his inappropriate behavior.

This blog post was also, irreverent, and though not flippant was definitely meant to grab the issue by the throat. By mimicking the tone and style of Mark I hoped to raise some issues as well as reflect my own desire to be a man that is gentle, kind, and merciful, as well as strong and courageous.

rev

Rich Kirkpatrick said...

You are my hero. I want t-shirt rights.

Anonymous said...

Eph. 4:29 bro. Think it over.

john jensen said...

I do think about it. I think about it a lot. But I don't think "naughty" words are the cause of problem, or are even sin. I think sinful words are. Gossip, and slander, and division and those sorts of things. But then I read where Jesus calls the pharisees sons of the devil, white washed tombs, and snakes. So what do we do? We wrestle with it, sometimes we push the boundaries and need to be pulled back.

It is interesting that you confront me on this while I am confronting someone else for using "good" words to humiliate and mock people.

rev

Anonymous said...

http://theresurgence.com/2011/07/13/the-issue-under-a-lot-of-issues

Some context from Pastor Mark.

john jensen said...

already commented on that above brother, or sister

rev

Eric Castillo said...

Nice!

Bthayer said...

Driscoll isn't that smart, dude. You wouldn't need to concuss him to outsmart him.

theologien said...

I hope you sell tickets, or at least put in on cable TV somewhere. I too find "pastor" mark's words and attitude indefensible. Not just because of this post, but because I am beginning to find a lot of fault with his exegesis and hermeneutics. Just because he is confident in his faith does not permit him to become "un trou du cul. Good post, keep it coming.

Amy said...

Your letter was beautifully written - especially the last paragraph.

Many Thanks!
a

Anonymous said...

Did you say "A punk rock gang"....that's freakin' beautiful right there, genius, I have no idea why this caps the resume of your toughness but it sure is hilarious.

john jensen said...

Yeah not very tough actually but we were the only non Latino gang in our city's gang file :)

Rev

Anonymous said...

Funny how the guy said to read Eph 4:29.

I agree with him/her but they should have mentioned to also read Eph 31-32 as well.

Granted, while the former isn't the main point the blogger is trying to make, come now---his justification is just pathetic. Especially bc he made me stumble once or twice...

Regardless, this blog was a wasted 7 minutes (including this comment) of my life, and the reason why Christianity hasn't progressed due to people bickering and fighting each other like a bunch of nancy's and why I wish we could move the kingdom forward by doing the work rather than arguing.

Sigh...

Josh said...

That was unbelievably awesome.

Nathan Key said...

John, in your defense, anyone who takes issue with your "choice words" should take issue with Paul's as well. I believe a more accurate translation of many of his passages would require some graphic language, too.

In other words, I really like this.

In fact, I think reading these letters gives me a chance to know what first century Christians must have felt when John's, Paul's, Luke's, and the other NT writer's letters were being passed about from region to region. And shared in public forums.

Thanks for the thoughtful response!

Rachel said...

I find it funny that Mark Driscoll states that King David is the role model for a worship leader, ok David danced around with a harp. David was only a warrior because he loved the Lord with all his heart and God was with him when he killed the bear, the lion and ultimately Goliath.

Jeff Germo said...

A huge Amen to your blog, John. Thanks for being brave enough to say those things publicly.

Jeff Germo said...

A huge Amen to your blog, John. Thanks for being brave enough to say those things publicly.

Anonymous said...

I would have agreed with this before I went and saw Mark teach the Song of Solomon here in LA. He has said multiple times that he feels like his calling is to raise up and reach young men. He does that, and when you hear him talk outside of Mars Hill, he has an incredibly humble and passionate heart. I'll agree that some of the stuff he has said has rubbed me the wrong way but that may just mean that he's saying something I need to hear. I think God is using Mark to speak a hard truth to men that need to hear it that way. So if that's not you... don't listen to him.

Jonny Diesel said...

did you remember jesus the ass kicker of john 2:13-17

this passage sounds like premeditated violence if I've ever seen it. how does that square with the "jesus who loves his enemies?"

john jensen said...

Jesus did commit a very premeditated and non violent act of civil disobedience in the temple. He struck no one. He freed animals. He upset the status quo, turned over tables and created quite a ruckus. And then and went and became the presence of God to those that were denied access to the temple, because they were crippled, sick, blind or maybe even effeminate

rev

Matt Doan said...

John,

I understand the tongue in cheek of your post and it sounds like you are doing some amazing things for the kingdom. But for some reason, your post makes me sad.

John said...

John, I absolutely love this post.

Meredith McClendon said...

This needed to be said! Thank you!

Geoff said...

Beautifully done, senor. Keep believing. Keep writing it.

Geoff in Nashville

Myron Penner said...

nicely said

john jensen said...

Matt it made me sad too but when people I love continue to be hurt by this mans words what do I do? This is my style of communication to flip it if you will. I hope pastor mark reads it and that the humor and hyperbole along with the very real rebuke will at least make him think

Thanks to everyone else

Rev

HannahViera said...

Nice rant. It made me laugh.

Mike said...

Well said.

I love the anonymous comments asking you to talk to the person you're criticizing face-to-face. but that's another subject entirely.

It's also nice to know there is someone else in the world who is called Rev, by people who think you're rather not the reverend kind.

God bless

Kurt Willems said...

John,

This is my first time to your blog. This was awesome! Thanks!!!!!

prunusdulcis said...

Good bit of iconoclasm here john, but I don't think we've reached the nub of the issue yet. Can you link to Mark's problematic quote/video to be clearer? are you confident you've portrayed mark's attitude & theology accurately + balanced? if so, fair points & I back you. thanks for a sharp rebuke in love & for being willing to extend grace to a imperfect pastor.

john jensen said...

I have seen screen captures of the Facebook post not sure how to post them here. You can google it and find it rather easily

Rev

Greg said...

Love your post and i appreciate Mark's response (Esp then part on sitting under authority). What I like to see more thought given to is the impact of edgy statements and actions on the non-believers.
When a pastor addresses a topic like thisnfrom the pulpit he is usually speaking to a group willing to wait for the full story before passing judgement.
In public, social media, non-Christians use these statements as another reason to dismiss Christianity. It damages the kingdom. And to what end.

Anonymous said...

The post was brilliant and so wonderful to read as I am a "sensitive" type and yet I really enjoy watching MMA fighting. We are all complex and multifaceted beings that do not need to be defined by one mans warped opinion of masculinity. My hope is to live well in the tension of my many facets.

I agree with you in your response to "Eph. 4:29..." that this so called "unwholesome talk" or "naughty words", as you say, is not part of the problem. It has everything to do with the things you describe. I am a fan of those so called "naughty words" as they are extremely descriptive and, at times, a powerful attention getter. I'll refrain from my use of them for the time being. :)

This post was a breath of fresh air for me. Thank you.

Cory Murman said...

I appreciated that Driscoll tried to explain himself on that blog post, but it only furthers the problem. The whole "effeminate" issue arose because he was trying to make the Church more palatable to a roughneck with homophobic or bigoted feelings. "Oh, don't let that squirrelly-looking guy turn you off. King David was a badass who killed people." That's not a great approach to explaining anything true about God, the Church, or Biblical interpretation.

Thank you, John, for this post and all it's gruffness. I'm sorry that some readers don't understand literary style.

Russ Shaw said...

I get what Mark was saying about pastors being dudes. His story and mine are similar. I as a young man seeking answers went to a church's (more then one) here in the Seatte area where the pastor(s) was (wait how do I say this as not to offend any one) not some one I could or would be in the least bit intrusted in listening to again.
Sorry couldn't relate to hippie flower power Jesus.
Do you think the struggling men in your city...
Nevermind.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Great post.

mrwbbiii said...

MARK DRISCOLL PURPOSE DRIVEN MACHO MAN !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJmkk1XjrGw

john jensen said...

Russ I get it to. Like I said above I am not the kind to feel real comfortable with singing romantic love songs to a man regardless if you call it worship or not.

But I do not define my masculInity by being a tough guy but rather by being open and honest and trustworthy and courageous none of which does my wife become masculine by doing. I live in long beach we have the most macho of men here and a huge gay population, artist population and "hipster population" Jesus loves and has something for each of them. But my reading of the gospel shows if he had to make a choice he chooses the oppressed and marginalized

Rev

Joe said...

Valid thoughts John, but then you end by seemingly getting all self-righteous hoping Driscoll meets Jesus someday, the Jesus you have seemed to discover and that he has missed. Examine your posture, the Bible says it reveals your heart.

john jensen said...

Joe, are you aware of the word hyperbole? Jesus used it often. Not the word but the practice

In addition did you judge your heart before questioning my heart and my own self discernment? I assure you I did judge my heart and did what I thought was correct, perhaps I was wrong, happens all the time

Rev

jon said...

Thank you for saying it! Mark Driscoll has a pattern of such statements. I want nothing to do with that brand of Xianity. But I would check out your LA-area church, if I were there, you MMA-loving hippie. At least I don't think you'd scoff at me for loving the sport of tennis; it's probably way too effeminate for MD.

-from a gay, one-time son of a preacher man

Curtis said...

Bravo, sir. Bravo

Sean said...

I had the chance to visit Mars Hill seattle while I was in the area. Someone said in an earlier comment Mark Driscoll feels like his calling is to raise up and reach young men. I am 22 yr. old male and I feel that I am the perfect demographic for MD's reach. I was with 2 friends, one a PK, and another who was a female and more importantly a theology major.

I do not know much about Mark, and I can not know his heart, so I will save judgement for a more powerful Man. I do know that the specific message we heard crippled women, and the women were not even noticing. My friends and I left very discouraged, and I vowed I would not return to MH seattle and I would not listen to Mark's sermons again. To me (and I say this meaning to my own self) they are very destructive, they reinforce ideas I do not wish my life to be about.


John what you said was powerful, and more times than not what someone like Mark probably needed to hear. I understand using his attitude to prove a point, but at the same time I want to encourage you, like Jesus did. Live a life worthy of the calling you have received, you are a great and powerful man of God. Pray for those you disagree and quarrel with.

I want to go to a question, that is your own.

When people I love continue to be hurt by this mans words what do I do?

What would have happened if you had used your anger as a platform to build up those who were affected by this mans words, instead of a platform for hate?

Finally, if you really did want Mark to read this and respond. It may have been better to come at this without revealing the desires of your flesh. (The cage match) If someone wrote to me, no matter how true or deserved it was, and said something similar. I would feel no obligation as a Christian to respond to it. If someone however wrote exactly what you said excluding that, I would feel a great responsibility to the person for speaking their mind and fulfilling their obligation to keep me accountable. Food for thought ;)

John, I am thankful you have spoken your mind. I am sure you a great Pastor and have a wisdom beyond that which you think.

Wishing you and yours all the best!

john jensen said...

I appreciate your comments bro, but how was that a platform for hate? And how do you assume that I don't, day in and day out build up those that Pastor Mark belittles?

In addition, I would suggest you read my other post, which probably rounds out this one.

As to wanting Mark to read it, I did want him to. I addressed him in his twitter feed, and many others did as well. I said I figured he wouldn't read it, because he probably wont, but my desire is to be faithful not successful.

rev

Steven Kippel said...

Hey you should take this to him in private, like the Bible says...

Or...

1 Timothy 5:20
But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning.

It really is ridiculous that Mark continues to bully faithful men of God because they're not "macho" enough for his sensibilities.

Doesn't he realize that a lot of musicians aren't macho because they were smaller than other people in school, so they weren't on the sports teams. They were picked on for being different, and if they're skinny enough they're called "gay" or worse on a frequent basis. They play guitar to express themselves. And now they're using their guitar skills to lead God's people in worship, and follow the Lord humbly in their service.

Yet Mark thinks they deserve even more ridicule, and they need to be shunned and derided as sinful because they weren't born with an abundance of testosterone.

I know this because I am one of these guys. I've been leading worship for about a decade now, and I'm still pretty skinny, and people still call me "gay" on a regular basis.

john jensen said...

I am sorry for your treatment at the hands of God's people my brother.

rev

Brian said...

mate this is beautiful, can I come with you and we'll hold him down, hug him and dress him in a pink jumper. It worries me how his Jesus is very like John Wayne... keep doing what you are doing, this is a prophetic letter and pastor Mark needs to read it.

Burton said...

I really hope you tried to contact Mark before you decided to go slandering him in public over something that is merely your opinion. It's so sad that Christians are always the first to cannibalize their own. Mark has done a tremendous job of spreading the gospel in a very godless place.

Your rebuke didn't provide any scripture, merely offering your opinions on what you didn't like about him and serving to puff up your own accomplishments. If Mark was actively pursuing a sinful lifestyle, by all means publicly rebuke him (lovingly), but how dare you get on your high horse and call out a man of God for something so petty.


Friendly fire, man. That's what's killing the gospel in this country. Perhaps there are bigger fish to fry (i.e. false prophets) than some of our own who have produced more fruit for Christ than most of us ever will.

May God have mercy on us all.

john jensen said...

Did u read the post above? The word of God says to reprove elders publicly as Paul did with Peter. And though I didn't chapter and verse I did mention the fruits of the spirit calling some out by name. Everythin I said was based upon the scriptural principle of incarnation, and following Christ as a disciple

And further more to accuse me of slandering Mark, when he has slandered teacher after teacher after teacher who have proven ministries is a bit rich. Oh wait isn't that what you are doing to me as well?

When mark sins so blatantly in public Hurting my friends and relatives I must speak out in public. If not for his sake for theirs. In addition you think the gospel is furthered by not standing up against a bully? Every non Christian I know talks about people like Mark as why they would never step into the door of a church. Christ was numbered with the sinners the traitors and the heretics and "friendly fired the leaders of his time" I will take my stand with him

Rev

Makeesha said...

fan freaking tastic and abso fricking lutely BRILLIANT!

Mia said...

This is beautiful John, thanks for it. I am deeply concerned about an underlying implication in much of Driscoll's ministry that if you are not behaving in line with 1950's gender norms you are in some way hampering the gospel. It is completely unnacceptable and, as others have said, he is creating a new category of sin based on his own personal predjudices and insecurities.

Holding people up for public ridicule because they don't fit in with the group is exactly what Rachel Evans called it, bullying. Bullies are never happy with themselves. You come across as a man at peace with who he is. I pray for Mark Driscoll that he will come to the same place, and that he does not continue to tear down others as he remonstrates so publically with himself.

Anonymous said...

As a feminist follower of Jesus, it bothers me that the idea of "feminizing" the church is considered to be a bad thing. I think perhaps, thats just what the church needs. I'm also bothered by the idea that using the term "girly" (to describe gentleness, peace, and patience) is considered to be derogatory. The real problem is that we've convinced people that to be girly is bad. On the other hand, as a mother of a 5 year old girl, I would not say that many GIRLS are gentle, peaceful, or patient -- those perhaps are more WOMANLY traits.

john jensen said...

I understand what you are saying, but a church that makes either men or women feel ostracized for being what they are is not what we are after. SO the feminizing of the church, is in my opinion just as bad as the years and years of masulinizing (is that a word?)it. Maybe not as bad, but not healthy :)

As to your other comment you are correct. My use of girly as derogatory was insulting, I am sorry. I was in character however, but I often don't notice such things as I am a product of a still patriarchal, male dominated society. Forgive me.

rev

Brian Kraft said...

sir, you should open a dojo for hipsters and teach them how to grow proper, non-ironic, facial hair.

also i loved your article and plan on sharing it with all my friends...on facebook.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am surprised and pleased at your quick willingness to apologize without a hint of trying to defend yourself. You are most certainly forgiven. Thank you.

As for feminizing the church, I am in whole hearted agreement that what we are after is a church that doesn't ostracize or marginalize anyone. When I say that what the church needs is to be feminized, I just mean to swing the pendulum back to the middle. (Which I think will require a whole lot of feminization in order to offset the centuries of patriarchy.)

john jensen said...

I agree, and even try to use feminine language for God at times, as well as non gender language. It is hard sometimes though to not slip back into old patterns, feel free to remind me at any time. I want my wife and daughters to thrive in a church that celebrates their unique image of God.

rev

simon said...

Anyone defending Mark Driscoll needs to know if he is so much more than what he posts on youtube, where is it? He's taken this man thing a little too far. I really think some cage time would humble him. He's on a rabbit trail that is gaining him alot of followers but he isnt really doing anyone any favors besides maybe trying to 'man up' the church.

simon said...

Anyone defending Mark Driscoll needs to know if he is so much more than what he posts on youtube, where is it? He's taken this man thing a little too far. I really think some cage time would humble him. He's on a rabbit trail that is gaining him alot of followers but he isnt really doing anyone any favors besides maybe trying to 'man up' the church.

Timothy Bitz said...

Bro, thanks so much for posting this.

I am a fan of Mark. That doesn't come w/ Rose-coloured glasses though. I appreciate the fact that he can talk candidly from such a public position. I also appreciate the fact that he is incredibly gifted. Typically though, people that have glaring gifts...have glaring weaknesses.

I say all that because...the 'Manhood Gospel' just leaves young men- who have had little training to 'become a man', and little support in that realm- pissed off, hurt, discouraged, unloved, and perhaps even uncertain if God really cares. I am climbing out of that boat.

Real talk, thanks, Rev. Keep brining it...

Anonymous said...

This is classic Emerging Church vs. New Calvinist/Reformed banter. I think it's more than just his Manly Macho ways that bother you. I don't have to agree with Driscoll on everything nor would I agree on everything with you. I will tell you that it's refreshing from what I see that Driscoll seems to apologize when he's said some things over the years (one of which is the same foul mouth that I could care less about but others get offended). This is much different than many pastors I grew up with who seemed so perfect all the time when you know they aren't. You also mentioned difference in his Theology? I hate to speculate but I'm curious....do tell?

john jensen said...

I don't think I really fit in the emerging church as much anymore. As they define themselves they become more liberal. I am more liberation theology, and would probably have more in common with the new monastics. I would have serious problems with Calvinistic theology. And I really believe that the ecclesiology that we see in the mega or meta church models are unbiblical, and create consumer Christians.

But... my problem with Driscoll is his bullying, sexism, not his theology. To suggest otherwise is speculation, I am being pretty honest. Make sure and read my follow up.

rev

Anonymous said...

Thanks John for your post. I took it in the spirit in which it was given. I do think the underlying issue here is 1) egalitarian vs. complimentarian view of gender roles, and 2) expectations of spiritual maturity in pastoral leadership. I will say that an apology that includes a plug for a future book seems to fall short of an apology to me. Perhaps (my cynical side suggests) it was all a ruse to promise the forthcoming book. Only God knows for sure.

Joe said...

John-

Hyperbole I get. I carefully & thoughtfully stated my concerns describing your actions "seemingly" as they appeared to me then asked you to judge your heart. I won't assume a posture of superiority as you have in your letter to Mark.

FYI: Mark or his assistants will read your letter, but they won't join the mud pit or cage with you for that matter. Slandering others publicly won't lead to reconciliation with them, but it will get you a bunch of fans, so you have succeeded in that. Cheers

thad said...

I'm curious how many of those immediately jumping to the "you should go directly to Mark with this" critique offer the same suggestion to Mark when he repeatedly airs his opinions about others publicly, both broadly and specifically. I'm also curious if any of them have ever tried to get the time with Mark necessary to have such a discussion. I'm sure it's pretty easy to get to him.

None of that is an effort to skate around biblical instruction. I think you (John) have sufficiently pointed out that there is indeed a biblical place for public rebuke.

But I also think it's fair to note that men like Mark exist, thrive, and profit from an incredibly public platform that makes it utterly impossible for all those who witness their sin to address that sin personally. When you decide to accept the enormous personal benefits of fame and nearly unfettered freedom to distribute your opinions -- righteous and un- -- to thousands of people, you voluntarily move from a private realm into a public one. And not a public realm like the one Paul knew - public in a way that Paul never imagined. Mark cannot assume the public benefits of his virtuous actions in that realm and escape the public consequences of his sinful actions in that realm.

Feel free to find fault in John's methods here, though the irony of those who criticize John's use of hyperbolic language while defending Mark is almost too much to bear. I suppose it's a reminder of just how difficult it is for all of us to shake our tendency to sympathize with those most like us while criticizing those who aren't - certainly no small part of the point John is making.

From what he has shared, my theological perspective would vary from John's in notable ways, but I share his concern with Mark's ministry - a concern not primarily about paper doctrine, but lived theology. While I do admire that Mark has been willing to submit to authority and publicly repent in the past, his ongoing posture continues to consistently communicate arrogance, dismissiveness, and the obvious superiority of "men like him." The value in John's words here, I think, is the willingness of other "men like him" to call Mark to greater humility in this area.

Mark's response to the backlash over this most recent incident is certainly far better than stubbornly defending his words. And yet I'd be far more encouraged by an acknowledgement that the words were not merely an unwise way to publicly air his perspective, but a public revelation of a privately sinful spirit - an acknowledgement we all could stand to make from time to time, no doubt.

What John is advocating for here ultimately is not the downfall of Mark, but a better Mark - a better pastor - and not just one who is smarter about how he publicly reveals his private perspectives. I think John is openly "praying" for a Mark who changes through and through. The fallacy of the common objection to that prayer is in the assumption that such a transformation would require Mark to be less bold, less funny, less truthful. Hogwash. Mark is enormously gifted, and his personality is part of that gift. It need not be dulled to be conformed even more to the nature of Jesus. But it does need to be conformed to the nature of Jesus, even more than it has been so far. And it is not sin for brothers and sisters who witness Mark publicly use that personality to affect others in ways that are damaging and sinful to publicly say so - and to urge Mark to do what he publicly urges all of us to do: find more of Jesus, less of Mark.

bipolarbears said...

Holy pickle shavings! This is the best blog I have read in weeks! This could earn you a "Dove" and "ESPY" Award built into one! God TV or CBN could have their first "Christian Sponsored Sports Event" if you go to Seattle! The possibilities are endless! You win! Free raspberry jam under everyone's seats to take home! This article is brilliant, awesome, etc....

john jensen said...

Joe, did you read my other post? Does Mark "assume" a posture of superiority when he makes fun of others? When he says others are hell bound for not following his belief system? When he is screaming that his own child knows a Jewish scholar has nothing to offer a Christian on the understanding of the Old Testament? Perhaps in your defense of Mark you are holding the powerful to a scale that is weighted in his favor.

For the record, I have no intention of stepping in a cage with Mark and said so.

rev

Anonymous said...

What Mark hasn't learnt yet is that qualities like gentleness, patience, love and peacemaking are very attractive qualities in men to godly women who are seeking a godly husband.

beakerj said...

Rev, I think I love you. Strength poured out in gentle service is so much more masculine than all that macho BS. But you've led me into the temptation of wanting to see MD's ass kicked...off to repent.

luke said...

I'd let you baptize me into the family anytime you want! 1mil hits?? Ha!

john jensen said...

only if there is a poster of it :)

I may have exaggerated a bit around 17,000 so far, more than the rest of my blog its entire five year life

Jason said...

It looks like you just bullied Mark by blogging your credentials, and than saying your flesh wants to beat him up. By saying that you wouldn't really do that, but that your flesh wants to is really no different than what Mark did. He really wouldn't want to hurt an effeminate male worship leader, but he made the flippant comment on facebook and probably did. All the blogs and hate towards Mark are not helping anything. He was wrong, he admitted it and I am sure in his flesh he will act stupid again. Unfortunately for him he has thousands of "fans" on facebook who get to tell him what he should and should not do, but we are all allowed to make the same kind of mistakes in our slow sanctification (often really slow sanctification process), and people are quick to forgive.

kyle stowell said...

fascinating...

BobB said...

You assert your "manliness" way more than Driscoll ever has. Chill, dude. Stop tearing down what other people have going on in their ministry. Anyone can sit around and blog about what other people need to fix in their lives. It is easy... that's why kids do it. And, to everyone, stop swearing to show how cool and hip you are. It makes you look silly, especially once we see a self-proclaimed "Pastor______" screen name.

john jensen said...

Have you read 2 cor ? Do you get satire? Have you listened to Driscoll rip others?

Rev

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, and yes. I have also read you rip on Driscoll. :) :) :) :) :)

john jensen said...

The difference is I am right :)

The point is actually that I am being judged by a scale that he is not being judged by. If fact, they are using my accusation of his injustice, to label me unjust. Not sure how that works. Did he say what he said? Yes Did his own elders condemn the action? Yes Did he issue a semi, half hearted not really apology? Yes So how come I am the bad guy?

I didn't call him a spawn of Satan

maybe that will be my next blog :)

rev

simon said...

"The internet has given everyone a voice, men like you cant get anyone to listen to them in a face to face conversation so they seek the ignorant masses to follow a side of which they also do not care to understand."

The internet has given Driscoll a platform to do the exact same thing only his media empire is powerful and far reaching. He's grabbing biblically ignorant young men and telling them that this is what Jesus is and how you should follow him. It seems the more powerful a man gets the more he will push the border and let his message just go on and on. Being a man's man is not the latest fashion or handling your bidness like a bro. Face up to the fact that Jesus didnt act like driscoll. Period. Your panties are in a bunch because your teacher gets punked and called out. As far a friendly fire, Jensen isnt about that. he's about exposing people to the concept of the real Jesus. Not that mark driscoll doesnt have good motives but empire building he is doing is the same as any other coorporate entity. You have a product to sell. Differentiate your product and find the market and SELL. If you are the spokesman, you live it. Me thinks that you are just pissed that a little blog post is unsettling to the theological structure you are building your life around. Check yourself. And dont forget the latest affliction T shirt and the faux paux hair do gel. There is a small commmunity of people who know what manliness is. Thats cool. There seems to be fewer who know what being christlike truly is. You dont find Jesus doing much but helping the poor, the sick and hanging out with people outside the church.

john jensen said...

Nice

Cary said...

I knew a pastor of a small church in rural Missouri who felt led by God to "grow out his hair." He was at the right age for a mid-life crisis sort of thing, so I think everyone kind of thought that's what it was.

Long hair on men has not always been considered the manliest of traits.

Anyway, after about a year or so, when his hair was flowing down his back, an Indian (as in Native American) mom and her 2 sons drove up to his church. They asked who the pastor was b/c they needed to talk w/him. He told them he was the pastor.

The kids were excited because he had long hair, just like them.

Turns out they had been kicked out of a few churches in the area and were really looking for a good church to go to. So, of course, they were able to attend his.

I thought that was a cool story.

Bam.

Neal said...

Great post Rev! Been enjoying the banter in the comments. How's the book on leadership going?

Matt said...

hey rev,
my name is matt-- i seem to remember a guy who used "therev" handle on a jj chat forum many years ago. i recall this guy was well-read in aquinas, and i think you are that guy! how awesome that i have e-bumped into you again.

anyways, somebody emailed this post to me, so i wanted to share an article i wrote this past summer:
http://theotherjournal.com/2011/06/28/the-confessions-of-a-cage-fighter-masculinity-misogyny-and-the-fear-of-losing-control/

love to see binding the strong man on your book list. much peace to you brother.

-matt

Anonymous said...

"I really hope you tried to contact Mark before you decided to go slandering him..."

By definition, slander is not "slander" if the statement is true. The truth is always a sure defense against an accusation of slander.

More: The New York Times - "Who Would Jesus Smack Down?"
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