One of the blogs I read regularly is authored by Beth Quick. Last week she responded to a blog written by Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hills Church, who wrote about the failures of mainline denominations. Driscoll included a list of “ten easy steps to destroying a denomination.” I wanted to briefly respond to each of his assertions.
- Have a low view of Scripture and, consequently, the deity of Jesus.
Here Driscoll is right on target. Unless the Scriptures are the final authority of faith and action the foundation of the Christian faith; the life, death, resurrection and accession of Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Son, can be called into question. When that happens a church loses it’s spiritual moorings and will drift into irrelevance.
- Deny that we were made male and female by God, equal but with distinct roles in the home and church.
The question that arises is what Driscoll means by “distinct roles in the home and church.” If by that he means that women are more naturally inclined toward nurturing, while men are inclined toward tasks and thus their differences need to valued then I can agree. On the other hand, if he means that women’s roles are confined to caring for children and those in need, while men are the leaders and providers, I can’t buy into that. What’s more important is each individual’s spiritual gifts and personality.
- Ordain liberal women in the name of tolerance and diversity.
Anything done simply in the name of tolerance and diversity is going to hurt the church. Women should be ordained because that are called by God. It’s the “liberal” part of this statement that makes it part of the problem and the reason mainline denominations are dying, not the “women.”
- Have those liberal women help to ordain gay men in the name of greater tolerance and diversity.
Again Discroll confuses gender issues with theological issues. Liberal women won’t be able to push for the ordination of homosexuals without the help of liberal males.
- Accept the worship of other religions and their gods in the name of still greater tolerance and diversity.
Driscoll has a valid point here. When tolerance and diversity become the main measuring stick by which a position is taken the door is open for all kinds of heretical beliefs.
- Become so tolerant that you, in effect, become intolerant of people who love Jesus and read their Bible without scoffing and snickering.
In my experience liberals are some of the most intolerant people I know. In effect, for liberals everything is tolerated except what they perceive as intolerance. And loving Jesus to the exclusion of any other religion is seen as intolerant.
- End up with only a handful of people who are all the same kind of intolerant liberals in the name of tolerance and diversity.
That’s certainly where the UMC is headed. I’ve had numerous people who have left the UMC because of it’s liberalism. But I’ve never had anyone tell me they’re leaving the church because it’s too conservative. Thus as conservative people leave, the denomination spirals deeper into liberalism, resulting in more people leaving. And on it goes.
- Watch the Holy Spirit depart from your churches and take people who love Jesus with Him.
The Holy Spirit will not stay in a place where Christ is not honored. And since in some liberal congregations Christ is held up only as a good example and a fine teacher who is worthy to be followed, but not as the incarnation of the living God, the Holy Spirit does abandon such a place and takes His power and His people with Him.
- Fail to repent but become more committed than ever to your sinful agenda.
It’s impossible to people to be convicted on sin, when they don’t believe in sin.
- See Jesus pull rank, judge you, and send some of your pastors to hell to be tormented by Him forever because He will no longer tolerate your diversity.
Dante had a special place in his hell for apostate Christians. Sadly, I think he may be right.