the internet: taking the bad with the good

"The Internet: Good and Bad" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“The Internet: Good and Bad” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

I appreciate what is happening with Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church because it is a litmus test for how the church addresses the issues of power, coercion, bullying and abuse. I watch with concern.

As I posted on my Facebook page, Mark is our brother and the church is a part of our family. This isn’t about his imperfection but the church’s which is a culture that creates this kind of abuse. We are in this together. Are we not? How Mars Hill Church handles this is how we handle this. That’s how I see it.”

Driscoll gave a public update before his leave of absence. He talks about the internet.

On the one hand Driscoll praises the value of the internet for making his message global.

On the other hand Driscoll blames the internet for an unreasonable attack on him and his ministry.

Actually, he seems to suggest that the internet is good for Jesus. Then he suggests the internet is bad for Jesus.

The truth is, with more exposure comes more exposure.

You can’t expect to lay yourself out before the eyes of so many people without expecting your SELF to be laid out before the eyes of so many people.

With fame comes scrutiny.

You want to be watched? You will be watched!

As an observer of what’s happening at Mars Hill, I think the internet has served the larger human community well. It is a good thing that the ministry there has been exposed because it has motivated the larger human community to call it to account.

Transparency. Accountability. These are good things. Things the church and its leaders should encourage and embrace themselves.

Maybe one day Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill will say, “You know, as painful and humiliating as that whole episode was, we’re now glad it happened. It made us change where we needed to change.”

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9 Responses

  1. Jarred H says:

    Indeed, the other part — which I’m sure troubles Driscoll — is something that those who do social justice work have been noting for a long time: The Internet gives the powerless a voice like they’ve never had before. Those in power have usually had the luxury of being able to make their pronouncements and expecting no pushback because those over whom they had power had no platform with which to speak. The Internet has changed that, and the less powerful and powerless now have a very visible, very accessible platform from which their their voices can be heard. Suddenly, those in power find themselves shouting into the void only to discover that the void can shout back. They don’t always like that.

  2. Jarred H says:

    It’s also worth pointing out that, once again, criticisms and legitimate grievances are framed as “attacks” by those not used to being criticized.

  3. R Vogel says:

    Who will watch the Watchers? Thanks to the Internet…everybody! 😉

  4. You know what words are ringing in my ear? “Be careful what you wish for”. Mark wanted fame and he got everything that goes with it. Just like Aladdin said to Jafar when he wished to become the most powerful genie in all the world…he got everything that went with it. Phenomenal cosmic powers in an itty-bitty living space. Mark has created his own box and now he must lay in it.

    Imagine had he made everything about Jesus and took NO fame for himself.

    Oh but that doesn’t make Mark marketable.

  5. kris799 says:

    Driscoll liked the internet when it worked for him, and didn’t like it when it was used against him. Most of us feel that way about anything in life.

  6. sharoleepeters says:

    Tis a gift to be simple tis a gift to be free tis a gift to come down where we want to be

  7. sharonleepeters says:

    The whole world is watching

  8. Kimberly says:

    Internet is GOOD FOR Jesus but BAD for Driscoll! LOL!

    thanks David! Naked is good!
    agreed… Driscoll… stated…. Mark Driscoll…. “I have requested a break for processing, healing, and growth for a minimum of six weeks while [Mars Hill leaders] conduct a thorough examination of accusations against me,” Driscoll told his congregation today. “I believe that review can best be performed without me being in the pulpit or in the office.”

    HEALING? HE NEEDS HEALING?
    what about the healing of those HARMED?

    loved what was said
    time and again I heard mature leaders express concern. Many of them were convinced he did not meet the biblical qualifications to be a pastor and, therefore, should not be in ministry. Some of them said, with regret, that they were convinced his ministry would eventually and inevitably explode into scandal at some point.
    At the time I was tempted to take this for pessimism or a curmudgeon’s spirit. But then Driscoll’s ministry exploded into scandal. Now I have to see it as wisdom—wisdom that comes from many years of observation and many years of searching the Scriptures. These men knew what we overlooked: Character is king.
    When the Bible lays out qualifications to ministry, it is character that rules every time. The Bible says little about skill and less still about results. It heralds character.

    It is my hope that an enduring lesson for the New Calvinism is that character matters. As Christians and as a movement, we need to allow this example to put to death any lingering pragmatism that judges the means by the results.
    Numerical growth and shared theology are wonderful, but insufficient. It is character that qualifies a man to ministry. God’s Word could hardly be clearer in this regard. Let’s allow this tragic situation to cause us to look with fresh eyes at the biblical qualifications for a man who would be a leader within the church. That would be the healthiest outcome for a movement that prides itself on health.

  9. Kimberly says:

    Lisa B…. you mean like BUYING His New York Best Seller’s list standing! ?

    I have had personal contact with Driscoll and his ministry about his affiliates and was dismissed rather than he and others confronting sin! (and this was abuse) …
    I’ve learned a lot through my process with Driscoll… he does not care about GOD… only marketing a business and Mark DeMoss is only going to SPIN a new market with this…. do not expect any actual change!

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