Showing posts with label bethlehem baptist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bethlehem baptist. Show all posts

Friday, November 14, 2014

What John Piper Said When He Finally Addressed the Issue of Mark Driscoll......What We Wish He Had Said Instead

Posted by Christine Pack

Dr John Piper (L) and Mark Driscoll (R)
Mark Driscoll, former pastor of the Seattle-based megachurch Mars Hill Church, recently resigned amid charges of spiritual abuse, bullying and plagiarism in what was once pointed to as an oasis of biblical truth in the largely unchurched Pacific Northwest. (A comprehensive detailing of the problems with Mark Driscoll's leadership and his resignation can be found here.Driscoll, who was still a relatively unknown pastor up until 2006, was introduced to the world by widely respected pastor and theologian John Piper at Piper's annual Desiring God conference at which Dr. Piper highlighted Driscoll as one of his keynote speakers. From there, Driscoll rapidly grew in influence; he authored several books, keynoted at countless Christian conferences nationwide, pioneered the multi-site church model, and set up the Acts 29 network which serves as a worldwide church-planting mechanism and which eager young church planters taken with Driscoll's edgy, brash way of doing church have used to set up their own churches.

Since his resignation, Driscoll has reportedly fled the biblical process of church discipline at Mars Hill, perhaps in favor of setting up another church elsewhere with those willing to turn a blind eye to his sins and unresolved conflicts at his former church. (For documentation of Driscoll's having fled the discipline process, follow this link to hear audio of Mars Hill pastor A.J. Hamilton speaking at the 10-19-14 Mars Hill church service, beginning at the 37 min mark.) Understandably, many eyes have now turned to Dr. Piper, who has said that he considers Driscoll to be like a son to him. In a recent interview, Dr. Piper was asked if, given the magnitude of the scandals now associated with Driscoll, he had any regrets in partnering with Driscoll over the years. In essence, Dr. Piper stated in the interview published 11-13-14 that despite "mistakes that Mark may have made" or instances in which "he might have walked out of step with the truth," that he had "no regrets" over partnering with Driscoll, and that despite some misgivings he had, he felt that Driscoll was on the whole a solid teacher. (The entire interview can be read here, and listened to here.)

After this interview with Dr. Piper was released, Janet Mefferd of The Janet Mefferd Show wrote a brief statement detailing what she wished Dr. Piper had said, in lieu of what he actually said, about his association with Mark Driscoll. (Lest we forget, it was Mefferd who held the now infamous interview with Mark Driscoll in the fall of 2013, during which she asked him about plagiarism in his newly released book. Mefferd, in preparation for her interview with Driscoll, who was making the rounds on talk shows promoting the book, had read Driscoll's book A Call to Resurgence in preparation for her interview with him, and had discovered several instances of plagiarism.) Mefferd's statement of what she wishes Dr. Piper had said instead of what he actually said:
What John Piper Should Have Said 
I recognize that a lot of people have heard me promote Mark Driscoll, and today, I am here to apologize. I deliberately overlooked obvious evidence of Driscoll's lack of godliness and lack of ministry qualifications early on, simply because I liked his doctrinal statement and wanted to be supportive of a Christian outreach effort to pagan Seattle. Unfortunately, I made a huge mistake in doing that. I knew about Driscoll's ungodly character a long time ago, and I chose to overlook it. Given the further evidence that has now come out about his lying, his serial plagiarism, his deception with ResultSource, spiritual/verbal abuse of so many people and continuing lack of true godly sorrow about all that he did, it is clear that Driscoll was never pastor material, and as an older and more mature Christian, I should have recognized that a lot earlier than I did. I should have refused to help him increase his platform, but instead, I made choices that helped him increase that platform. And by doing so, I unwittingly enabled him to hurt a lot of people and ultimately destroy a church, all while dragging Jesus' name through the mud. I am thoroughly embarrassed and ashamed at my role in propping up Mark Driscoll. I knew better. I also should have spoken up a lot sooner than I did as the revelations about his duplicity came to light. And so, I am here to apologize. I am deeply sorry for my sin, my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I hope you will forgive me for my lack of discernment and judgment. And especially to the victims of Mark Driscoll, please forgive me. A shepherd has the biblical responsibility to love and care for Jesus' sheep, and I have failed in that. You matter to Jesus, and those who could have protected you - like me - fell down on the job. I am so sorry. Most of all, I ask the Lord to forgive me and to help me to exercise more biblical faithfulness in the future. (online source)

 Additional Resources 

Mark Driscoll: A Timeline of His Downfall

Thoughts On Driscoll and The Biblical Qualifications For A Pastor

Former Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll Considering New Ministry, Still Has Not Repented, Sought Reconciliation Say Former Mars Hill Members/Elders

Documenting the Problems with Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll [UPDATED]

Janet Mefferd's Interview with Mark Driscoll - 11-21-13

Mark Driscoll's Failed Publicity Stunt That Ended With Him Lying About What Really Happened

Mark Driscoll Repents? Not So Fast, Say Phil Johnson and Chris Rosebrough

John Piper and Mark Driscoll: Lessons Not Learned? (Pyromaniacs)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

An Open Letter To John Piper

Posted by Christine Pack

Dr. John Piper
When I heard the news that John Piper had invited Rick Warren to be his keynote speaker at the 2010 Desiring God conference, I literally laughed. I thought it had to be a joke.  It was even a couple of days before April 1, so I think I can be forgiven for thinking someone might be playing an early April Fools prank on me.  The Desiring God National Conference, where Rick Warren will be speaking, is scheduled this year for October 1-3 in Minneapolis.  This is an annual event held by John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church.  John Piper, who has also authored many books, is widely well regarded in evangelical circles as being very doctrinally solid. So, I don't think I'm overstating it to say that many of us are simply in shock at hearing this news.  The blogosphere has exploded with back and forth talk on this topic.  Tweets are furiously twittering.  In just the past few hours, my inbox has had more than 100 messages about this issue.

With a white-hot spotlight on this topic right now, I'm going to take this opportunity to publicly address Dr. John Piper at Desiring God on this issue.  So here goes....

Rick Warren
Dear Dr. Piper,

I want to express my shock and sadness over Rick Warren being invited to speak at the 2010 Desiring God conference.  As a new Christian, I trained to be in leadership with Celebrate Recovery, a Saddleback ministry.  As time passed during my training, I became more and more uncomfortable at being under the authority of Rick Warren.  While I was learning how to lead groups in going through steps that would ostensibly free them from addiction, I began to privately think to myself: "These people don't need 12 steps to get sober, they need one step - to see God as He really is, high and holy."  And these groups I attended did not lift God up high and holy. I heard nothing of the glorious gospel, of wretched sinners being under the wrath of God, without merit and without hope, but that God, being rich in mercy, intervened into this bleak and hopeless situation by sending a Savior, Jesus, who gave himself up as a sacrifice for sins, so that all who would repent and place their faith and trust in him would be set free from the curse of sin.  When I asked about this, I was told that yes, this was definitely a "weakness" of the program.  A "weakness" of the program.....proclaiming God rightly?  But you see, this is everything....

I thank God that he graciously opened my eyes to the unbiblical nature of the Celebrate Recovery program, which led me to research Rick Warren, and what the whole Purpose Driven movement was all about.  Dr. Piper, I hope you don't feel it is ungracious of me to ask you please rethink your decision to invite Rick Warren into your church. You have done so much over the years to protect the purity of the gospel message, and I hope that your eyes are beginning to be opened about the unbiblical nature of Rick Warren's teaching, which undermine the gospel in so many ways.  I hope that you will do some more research about Rick Warren, and if you do, I think you will see that the gospel Rick Warren proclaims is "another gospel." (Galatians 1:6-9)

With kindest regards,

Sola Sisters

 Additional Resources 

Pastor Bob DeWaay Visits Rick Warren, Asks Him To Preach Christ

Redefining Christianity: Understanding The Purpose Driven Movement

Redefining Christianity - 15-part Radio Program