Saturday, October 18, 2014

7 Questions God Asks, Losing Kirk Cameron trying Save Christmas, Doctrine, Mark Driscoll resigns, Hillsong & Vatican on gays

Here are some dribs and drabs for you. Links, news, and thoughts.

Sermon Series: Alistair Begg:  Seven Questions God Asks
Many of us are familiar with the questions that individuals regularly bring to God. Yet how many of us are aware of the questions that God brings to individuals? In this series, Alistair Begg examines seven conversations that begin with one of God’s disarming questions. From Adam and Eve in the Garden to the rich young ruler in Judea, the Lord engages these individuals with striking accuracy and exposes their mistaken notions about him.

These questions are as arresting to us today and are as able to penetrate our hearts as they were two-thousand years ago. In this study, we are invited to discover the truth of God’s nature and the reality of our condition as it is revealed in these surprising encounters.
Below is the entire series, click on the link above to get to all of them. Sermons range between 20-25 minutes. I listened to "Why Do You Call Me Good?" and "Where are You?" this morning and I loved them.

Where are You? Genesis 3:9
What is This You Have Done? Genesis 3:13
Why Do You Call Me Good? Mark 10:18
Who Do You Say I Am? Mark 8:29
Do You Think I Came to Bring Peace? Luke 12:51
What Will It Profit A Man ...? Matthew 16:26
What is Your Life? James 4:14

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Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry reminds us of what doctrine is and why it's important, And no, it's not complicated. If you say "I'm a sinner" you just stated the Doctrine of Sin. Doctrine:
The word "doctrine" comes from the Greek word "didaskolos," and it basically means "teaching." It is used many times in the New Testament. Doctrine is extremely important in Christianity. By it we know who God is, what He has done, what the Trinity is, the deity of Christ, His resurrection, salvation, justification, etc. Doctrine is what defines the who's and what's of Christianity. In fact, you can't be saved without doctrine.

It is a doctrinal statement that you are a sinner (Rom. 3:23). It is also doctrinally true that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). In fact, the doctrine of salvation teaches us that Jesus bore our sin in His body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24) so that we could be justified by faith (Rom. 5:1) and escape the righteous wrath of God (John 3:36). Doctrine. It is important. It is vital to our relationship with God and our salvation. Good doctrine is like an anchor that prevents us from drifting into teachings that are false.
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We're losing Kirk Cameron...


You might be surprised to see a negative review of any of Kirk Cameron's projects. Known as a child actor in the 1980s on secular television, and later as a Christian actor in the Kendrick Brothers' Christian movies such as the excellent Fireproof, Cameron has been the Christian poster boy for atheist-turned-Christian boy done good.

However, there has been a noticeable slide in him over the last five years, with several indicators rising to the top and causing concern in the discerning people who notice these things. His movie Monumental was more secular than Christian, and further it was not biblically, theologically or even historically totally accurate. His partnerships with Mormon Glenn Beck, with a Catholic Priest Father Dwyer on the Busted Halo radio show, and now Cameron's complete disaster of a movie "Saving Christmas," have raised the alarm bells to strident proportions.

Just to show that even the secular people get it, here is a hilarious but on the nose review of Kirk's movie Saving Christmas by AV Club

Kirk Cameron to make Christmas safe for Christians
After having bravely made America safe for Christians, Kirk Cameron’s newest movie, Saving Christmas, similarly promises to rescue the Christian holiday for Christians, delivering it from the continued terrorist assault by euphemisms. “Do you ever feel like Christmas has been hijacked by all the commercialism, and those who want to replace ‘Merry Christmas’ with ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Seasons Greetings’—whatever that means?” Cameron says. He remains baffled by these crazy atheist codes for wishing you happy holy days and seasonal hellos without specifically invoking Jesus—all while decrying commercialism, in the opening line of a trailer advertising a Christmas movie he wants you to pay to see. 
On a more serious note though, there are many people, including myself, who are very sad to see his theological drift and his unholy partnering with Mormons and Catholics, even going so far as to call them brothers in the faith.

A critical mass of sorts has been reached. Michael John Beasley wrote an Open Letter to Cameron two weeks ago,

Open Letter and Appeal To Kirk Cameron, But Also to Glenn Beck, Father David Dwyer, and all Their Respective Employees and Listening Audiences

At Christianity Today, Sunny Shell gracefully and biblically reviewed the Saving Christmas movie, Kirk Cameron's 'Saving Christmas' Belittles Christians. Here is an excerpt:
On Friday, November 14, 2014 Kirk Cameron's "Saving Christmas" will be opening in select theaters across the country for only two weeks.

This movie is all about making fun of any Christian who doesn't think like or agree with Kirk Cameron and his company. According to Kirk and friends, one of the main purposes of "Saving Christmas" is to dispel the beliefs that most of our traditional Christmas practices e.g., decorating Christmas trees, feasting, mistletoe, gift exchanges, etc., are from pagan origins or fabricated myths about actual people who lived during the fourth-century—namely Saint Nicholas of Lycia, commonly known in the United States as Santa Claus.
Here is the part about belittling Christians. Mrs Shell wrote,
To ensure I was clear regarding one of the main purposes of this film, Darren Doane who not only plays the lead character, but also scripted, produced and directed the movie, tweeted this to me the other day, "but the film does make fun of Wannabe Berean [sic] unimaginative Christians who need to lighten up."

Source
By this we know that Doane and Cameron don't take atheists to task, but take fellow Christians to task who are concerned about the excesses of Christmas consumerism and traditions, and bemoan the lost focus on Jesus, and they do so in a belittling, mocking way.

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. (Colossians 2:16)

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (Romans 16:17)

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Appropos of nothing except I liked the quote (becuase it used to apply to me before I was saved)...speaking to University Students recently, Alistair Begg said of the sin-drenched mind,

"Human reason and intellectual capacity forms the basis for their unbounded confidence. I said to them, I'm not sure they liked it, "Do you realize your intellect is not a citadel that unaffected by sin? Do you realize you can't think properly?"

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Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Church
Yes I know the Mark Driscoll thing has been discussed to death. Driscoll resigned from Mars Hill as pastor, but the interesting thing to me was the circumstances of the resignation. His elders said he was not disqualified from ministry because he didn't perform "heresy, immorality or criminal activity." While the bible does list those as disqualifying events from ministry, those are not the ONLY disqualifying events. Sola Sisters explains at the following link.

Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll Resigns, Claims He Is Not "Disqualified From Future Ministry"

As devastating as this is issue is to the Driscoll family, the Mars Hill congregants, to the faith and to God, the problem this indicates is much larger. It is my opinion that Western Christianity (and maybe all of Christianity) is undergoing a monumental collapse. The church has been inflated with so many tares that it has become bloated with false members. Like a helicopter trying to rise with too many hanging on, many are falling away (or sovereignly revealed to have been false all along).

Source
[True Christianity will never be overcome. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18]

For example, Hillsong Pastor Brian Houston said this week that he will not take a biblical stand on Homosexuality issues. He said "it is an ongoing conversation" and "we're on a journey with it". NY Times reported,

Brian and Bobbie Houston of Hillsong

Megachurch Pastor Signals Shift in Tone on Gay Marriage
The pastor of one of the more influential global megachurches has declared that his church is in “an ongoing conversation” about same-sex marriage — saying that it is appropriate to consider the words of the Bible alongside the changing culture and the experience of people in the pews.
This blogger stated it more specifically- Hillsong grooming its members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 2)

And you know what? So is the Vatican.

Vatican stuns Catholic world with greater openness toward gays and lesbians
VATICAN CITY — The world’s Catholic bishops on Monday (Oct. 13) signaled a move toward greater tolerance of gays and lesbians, an about-face so unexpected that leaders of the church’s right wing called it a “betrayal.”
By no stretch of the imagination can Hillsong, Mars Hill or the Catholic Church be considered true churches. Not when the Mars Hill Pastor has failed the benchmarks for qualified ministry so repeatedly and so obviously. Not when the Mars Hill elders dispense with half the scriptures for pastoral qualifications- either demonstrating massive ignorance of scripture (in which case they themselves are disqualified from eldership) or by having willfully set them aside (again, an act which disqualifies them from eldership).

Not when Hillsong's prosperity gospel infects the global church, and Hillsong conferences touting spiritual teaching and personal renewal include such rank heretics as TD Jakes, Kong Hee, Joel Osteen, Victoria Osteen, Judah Smith, Rick Warren, Jesus Culture, Steven Furtick, Louie Giglio, Christine Caine, Bethel Live, Bill Hybels, Louie Giglio, Joyce Meyer and Joseph Prince! Those names are poster children for heresy itself.

And of course the Catholic Church we already know is false.

Yet how large are just those three entities? Considered Christian by most of the world, their size and membership means their leaven is spoiling the entire loaf. The bread inflates with rank leaven.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)

How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matthew 16:11)

Catholic Church: 1.2 billion members worldwide. Vatican is the world's sole absolute monarchy. One of the oldest hierarchical religious organizations in the world, and the longest successive monarchy.

"We must have no truce, no treaty with Rome." Charles Spurgeon

Hillsong: 30,000 members in Australia; extension churches also in London, Cape Town, Paris, Kiev, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen and New York, there are 680,000 Twitter followers of Hillsong music and more than 4 million Facebook fans. President of LifeWay Research Ed Stetzer, says of the Houstons’ impact, “I’d guess that globally, they’d be in the top 10 influential evangelicals in the English-speaking world."

And this is the "church" that will NOT take a stand on homosexuality...

Mars Hill: a multi-site church based in Seattle, Washington with 15 locations in 5 U.S. states, 260,000 sermon views online every week, from 2004-2012 Outreach Magazine ranked Mars Hill #4 in overall "Top Churches to Watch in America". In 2011, Preaching magazine named the founding pastor Mark Driscoll 'one of the 25 most influential [English-speaking] pastors of the past 25 years.' 10 Million views on Youtube and almost half a million followers for Mark Driscoll and another 63,000 for Mars Hill Church.

And this is the church whose elders say that plagiarism, twisting scriptures, lying, and bullying are not disqualifying events for its pastor.

Never fear. No matter what seems to be happening to the church is only happening to the false church and only happening because God is allowing it. Jesus keeps His sheep unspoiled. He will take His true church out of the world to be living bread for His name forever.

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 13:36-43)


18 comments :

  1. I've also noted Kirk Cameron's lukewarmness; I hope he pulls it back (or gets a huge wake-up slap).
    A "church" that can't take a Biblical stand on the sin of homosexuality should not be counted as a Christian church.
    Good informative article, Elizabeth.

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  2. Sorry -- but only the Catholic Church (maybe the Orthodox Church as well) has managed to preserve it's stance on numerous issues the rest of the Christian world has caved on (abortion, gay marriage, etc.) I think you need to dig deeper... http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/10/18/pope_francis_speech_at_the_conclusion_of_the_synod/1108944

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    1. Dan, the Catholic Church has caved on the largest issue of all: salvation through grace alone, who Jesus is, hell, and other fundamental biblical stances. Sure, they are kinda moral on some social issues, but so are the Mormons, Buddhists, and Quakers. The RCC is a satanic organization founded by the devil and run by unsaved, unregenerated men, many of whom were shown to be pedophiles. They are not related to the One True God in any way. Sorry.

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    2. Dan

      Dan has left a new comment on your post "7 Questions God Asks, Losing Kirk Cameron trying S...":

      Elizabeth: Here's what the Catholic Church actually teaches -- if you care to dig deeper and not delete my post. It's always best to start with the primary sources when forming an opinion about anything....
      Blessings,
      Dan

      [This comment has been edited to delete the Catholic stuff]

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    3. Dan,

      I agree. Primary sources are best. That's why I read the catechisms, Papal bulls, Pope speeches, and doctrine. The truth is, what I said originally

      the Catholic Church has caved on the largest issue of all: salvation through grace alone, who Jesus is, hell, and other fundamental biblical stances. Sure, they are kinda moral on some social issues, but so are the Mormons, Buddhists, and Quakers. The RCC is a satanic organization founded by the devil and run by unsaved, unregenerated men, many of whom were shown to be pedophiles. They are not related to the One True God in any way. Sorry.

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    4. Dan said:

      Unfortunate that you deleted the "Catholic Stuff", but I guess I'm not surprised. Perhaps you can re-read it on your own time as you seem to have grave misunderstandings about the Catholic Church. Perhaps you could point out exactly where the Catholic Church has it wrong on justification in the sources I provided? And when, exactly, in history DID the Church get it right?

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    5. Roman Catholic dogma says, faith alone is not enough.

      "As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence." 44 DV 9 Cathechism of the Catholic Church http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm

      That the scriptures are not for the people.

      "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome"

      Catechism of the Catholic Church (958) discusses the unbiblical notion of purgatory, and worse, intercessory prayers for the dead.

      RCC believes and teaches that salvation is not complete, meaning the Lord's grace is not complete nor is His work complete. RCC dogma says, Those "who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified" (CCC 1030)

      there are many examples of the unbiblical nature of Catholic Dogma. This is not a Catholic debate site, but if you care to go to an ex-Catholic's site, Mike Gendron, you can learn more about why those who believe in grace alone and faith alone have assurance of salvation and attainment of heaven, without tradition or works, purgatory or anything else except Christ's FINISHED work on the cross. By the way, Jesus is not still on the cross. . go here http://pro-gospel.org/

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  3. If you resign from a pastorship, you *are* disqualified from future service.

    But I want to register a concern with this:

    "By no stretch of the imagination can Hillsong, Mars Hill or the Catholic Church be considered true churches."

    Unless you have access to more personal information of the situation at Mars Hill, I don't think you can say this. Perhaps you could be right, but it wouldn't be a truth you could *know* to be true, you'd just be right on a hunch. And we shouldn't ever base theological judgments on hunches. There were all sorts of abuses, apparently, at Mars Hill, but how much of that affected the average attendant? The theology, as even Tim Challies (a very particular man if there was one) asserted, was accurate and orthodox.

    The basis of whether a church is "false" or "true" seems to me should be a theological judgment. Let's not deny the blatant reality that total theological orthodoxy doesn't have anything to do with the personal sins of those who hold to it. Classic Biblical example: David: the adulterer, murderer, etc, who was so on the ball with his worship that most of the Psalms are his, for our edification. Are we not to learn from what came out of his mouth because of how poorly he handled his own house from time to time?

    I would say that Mars Hill would be an unhealthy church, but it's still a church. I think you're painting with too broad a brush when you say that a theologically orthodox church which has issues of sin in the congregation (a point of reminder: that's EVERY church) is comparable to one that not only has sinful abuses but isn't even orthodox on any single doctrinal issue except the existence of the trinity, making it utterly heretical.

    All I would want is some measured concern rather than condemning all the people associated as being members of some pagan community, when there is no indication that the church is struggling to maintain orthodoxy, only in putting it in practice.

    Hope you don't see this as an attack, but I put this much thought into it because I really want you to not be careless in statements like the above one of yours I quoted.

    And maybe you have the bona fide gift of discernment, and can know this without being involved. But then I would ask you to be gracious to the weaker brethren, and not put a stumbling block out for those of us who can't rely on hunches alone but have to go more carefully in our studies of current ecclesiastical events so that we don't make mistakes.

    Thanks,

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    1. My dear young, pseudonymous Hakam Adam,

      I thank you for your concerns, and I’m grateful you give me an opportunity to dispel them. This will be in two parts.

      A question, where does it say in the bible if you resign you are forever disqualified from service? I missed that one. This would mean that David Platt, who resigned to take a job as IMB president, can never be a pastor again, or Don Green, who resigned as one of the pastors at Grace Community Church to plant a new church can't be the pastor of his new church. I'm confused by your statement. Help me out by leading me to the scriptures.

      1. You assume I said what I said carelessly. I did not. Please do not assume or go on hunches, something you accused me of but did yourself anyway.

      2. You make a mistake to claim that theology and behavior in pastors and elders should be separated. You’re wrong, morally and theologically.

      3. You use an Old Testament example to make a New Testament claim. This is an error.

      4. I do have some more knowledge.

      5. Mars Hill was never orthodox.

      As to #1, I never write anything I haven’t carefully considered, researched and prayed over. Mt 12:36 says we must give an account for every careless word we utter. Therefore I try very hard to minimize the carelessness.

      As to #2, Pastors and elders are held to a theological standard AND a moral standard. As a matter of fact, MOST of the qualifications are behavioral/moral and NOT theological. They can be found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.

      As to #3, David was a sinner, yes, as we all are. However, he paid dearly for his sins. Though he was a man after God’s own heart, anointed king, and selected personally by God Himself, when David sinned, there were consequences. For example, his moral failures caused David to be DISQUALIFIED from building the temple -because he was a man of war and had shed blood, some of that blood he shed was the blood of Bathsheba’s husband. (1 Chron 28:3). His sins caused the DEATH of his own son. And worse, read 2 Sam 12 to see the list of David’s sins, and the promised as consequences. Many consequences and disqualifications there due to moral failures. David was forgiven, but he suffered for it.

      In the NT, Paul talked about himself being disqualified. He beat his body into submission ‘so that I myself will not be disqualified’ he said in 1 Cor 9:27. He was talking about being morally disqualified if his body should become master and if he let it lead and rule him.

      continued below

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    2. ---continued from above----

      As to #4, I have read testimonies of ‘the average attendant’ how Driscoll behaved. Driscoll disqualified himself on many fronts by a pattern of abusive behavior. As a matter of fact, he was never qualified to begin with. He never met the qualifications outlined in the bible, but simply started a church one day after he claimed “God spoke to me.” There never was a submission to elders, an accountability, a training up, or any eldership anointing for Driscoll.

      As to #5, Mars Hill “orthodoxy” was never orthodox. Not unless you include the Pastor’s pornographic divinations, audible speakings of God, claims of personal revelation, warped view of husband-wife relationships, bullying, lack of accountability, disdain of the pulpit, swearing, and the Rape of the Song of Solomon as orthodox. Orthodox? Hardly!

      As for MH elders, they demonstrated a pattern of silence and collusion with Driscoll. The ones who spoke up were fired, the elders who allowed this will be called to account. BIBLICAL Church discipline was not followed. (Matthew 18:15-17). They failed James 4:17 and also engaged in the sin of tolerating sin (Rev 2:20). If they didn’t know Driscoll was sinning then they should be disqualified as elders.

      In addition, the elders who remained stated publicly that the only disqualifying benchmarks they held Driscoll to were “ immorality, illegality or heresy.” I maintain that Driscoll drifted into heresy when he preached the Song of Solomon in Scotland, which caused a furor, walkouts, a stern letter of rebuke from John MacArthur (which “pastor” Driscoll dismissed in front of his elders in scorn and disgust, again, an indicator of disqualifying behavior) and ignored entreaties from other pastors who spoke to him from outside of Mars Hill for his abuse of those scriptures.

      I further maintain that the elders, as I said in the essay, are either willfully ignorant of the qualifications of pastor, or are willfully setting them aside. In either or both cases, this disqualifies the elders from leadership.

      If the pastor *and* the elders are not adhering to biblical qualifying standards, and allow a long-term pattern of abuse and reproach, ignore entreaties from congregants and peers in the faith, then it’s not a church.

      I DO paint with a broad brush, because the bible does. The scripture says in 1 Timothy 3:2, “overseers should be above reproach.” Pretty broad standard.

      I offer to you this essay, Should Fallen Pastors Be Restored? http://www.gty.org/resources/articles/a256/should-fallen-pastors-be-restored

      Please read it, it might bring light to the parts of this issue you’re missing. I welcome challenges to what I’ve stated and earnest questions of how my thinking brought me to a certain point, but I would also remind you that it is better to ask questions and get information before rebuking, something I myself need reminding of also.

      ---end---

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    3. "A question, where does it say in the bible if you resign you are forever disqualified from service? I missed that one."

      Sorry, I wasn't specifying that I was focusing on this context (specifically, then, it seems that if you resign, that pretty much ensures you fail the "of good report with those outside," qualification). I wouldn't hold to it if it could be seen that circumstances changed so that the qualification was no longer disqualifying him (in other words, if his reputation changed, perhaps he could pastor some day again...but I hesitate because I wonder what sort of stumbling block that might be to those who've been hurt).

      "Please do not assume or go on hunches, something you accused me of but did yourself anyway."

      In my defense, I wanted to express a concern but not state either way what you were doing, (I left room for it being special knowledge) just what it could look like to someone without your level of understanding of the issue. Just intending to leave it for your consideration.

      Rather than argue the details, which I have no motivation to do, since I openly affirm that I'm speaking without a deep level of knowledge on Driscoll (having essentially only seen the youtube video clips of him teaching, which are arguably selected by the uploaders for being the best, and therefore not likely to showcase issues in the church), I'd like to ask, since I've had trouble finding the details, if you could link to where you might've blogged in more explicit about what you're mentioning in point 5 etc, so I can rest my conscience about it. As noted, the main reason for me pushing back a bit here is because I don't know enough to feel comfortable heartily agreeing with the forceful condemnation you're making. Thanks if you do.

      But looking back at your replies, I just want you to know that I wasn't arguing that Driscoll was disqualified. I was more concerned with how you made the apparent leap from his disqualification to = "his church is a false church."

      I don't think even the 7 churches in Revelation (excluding Laodicea which was described as apostate), despite the issues in some of them, were still considered "churches" and weren't regarded as false churches or apostate, again, notwithstanding the 7th to the contrast of the other 6.

      So all I was really hoping to say was that even if Mark's a bad bad guy, does that mean that when the members were going to church that they weren't really going to church? They weren't "encouraging and building up one another" (1 thess 5:11), they weren't "serving one another" (Galatians 5:13), they weren't "instructing one another" (Romans 15:14)?

      I find that a very hard statement to follow. Not the Mark thing. Amen to that. But can you justify the "it's not a true church" statement? I have a hard time seeing the connection.

      Thanks,

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    4. I'll just be safe and qualify that I know we both understand the difference between the global church and a local church. Driscoll's Mars Hill was a local church.

      From MacArthur, on a church's priorities:

      The first thing a church should be is have a high view of God.

      The second thing a church should be is have a high view of Christ.

      Third, a church that is consumed with the glory of God and the majesty of Christ is really going to be a wholesome, healthy, holy place

      Fourth, it is a place where the Scripture is exalted

      None of these describe Mars Hill. Mars Hill fails because its founder and pastor does not adhere to seeking the fundamental priorities of a local church.

      Further, it is a flat screen church. MacArthur on flat screen churches:

      "I don’t think there’s any place in the life of the church for a flat screen pastor, I really don’t. Look, if you’re going to be a pastor, what is required of you if you’re going to be a pastor? You go to 1 Timothy 3, you go to Titus 1, and it lays it out. Your life has to be above reproach. You have to have proven that you’re the leader of your family. You have to be hospitable. You have to be not given to anger. It gives you all those qualifications. How do you know anything about a flat-screen face three miles away from where you are? What kind of shepherding is that? What kind of pastor is that? That’s no pastor at all. That is not a pastor."

      So Mars Hill failed biblical standard because of its multi-site set-up.

      Mars Hill was founded on grunge Christianity, entertainment musical worship, and emerging church ideals (an unhealthy focus on the culture)

      http://www.gty.org/resources/articles/A172/Grunge-Christianity
      "The problem with the "grunge" approach to religion is that it works against the sanctifying process. In fact, in one of the messages I listened to, Driscoll actually boasted that his sanctification goes no higher than his shoulders. His defense of substitutionary atonement might help his disciples gain a good grasp of the doctrine of justification by faith; but the lifestyle he models--especially his easygoing familiarity with all this world's filthy fads--practically guarantees that they will make little progress toward authentic sanctification."

      So Mars Hill fails because its teaching, its raison d'etre, (grunge, relevant, emerging) works against sanctification

      We already discussed how Mars Hill failed because its founder and pastor fails qualifications of overseer. So do its elders.

      Can a church founded by an unregenerate man on unbiblical reasons with multi-site campuses and an unhealthy attachment to the culture which works against sanctification, actually be a church? No.

      Can Mars Hill folk edify, have fellowship, build each other up? Yes. But it's not in spirit and in truth. It's just in the flesh. Can good fruit come from a bad tree? No. It is the same with a Catholic church. Or a Mormon Church. Or a Jehovah's Witness church. Or Osteen's Lakewood Church. Can those folks get together, hear some scripture, enjoy fellowship, and build each other up? Sure. But not in biblical truth. Those churches have no kingdom relevance.

      Can the Masons build each other up, hear some scriptures, have fellowship? Sure. So can the Rotarians, the Kiwanis and the Shriners. They aren't churches either. They are clubs.

      Driscoll was outside the true Vine. Can any good come from being apart from the vine? No. John 15:1-3, Mt 7:15-20.

      Jesus was not growing Mars Hill Church. I'm NOT saying that all the people there are not saved. I'm saying that that Jesus was not its head. So that is my thinking on that. Mars Hill was a phenomenon. But it wasn't a church.

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    5. That's something I'll have to think about. Yes, my understanding is that the Church is no less than the sum total of all believers on earth, and not to be confused with a congregation, but I had the idea that a 'church' is simply a building, and so the idea of a local church to me was merely a group of people meeting for auspiciously Christian purposes in said building, no matter how broken their interrelationships might be.

      If the believers in a local church are a "congregation," and the church building is the "edifice," could you elucidate which of these (also throwing in "leadership" as distinct from the congregation if you draw such a distinction) is the subject of your comment? I'm not prying for something to criticize, but just hoping to get the nuance straight so that I understand you from a sheerly grammatical perspective.

      And pardon me if it's tedious, that I've kept questioning on the point. 'Really doing it for the sake of understanding, promise.

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    6. Irrespective of location or building type, my understanding is that "a local church" is the body of people who meet on a regular basis under submission to overseers and elders for praise, worship, song, edification, teaching and training in righteousness.

      The local church is somewhat organized because the pastor must give an account for our souls. As the canon was written, we do have biblical prescriptions for church structure under leadership of godly elders and overseers.

      "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you." Hebrews 13:17.

      That's why we become 'members' so the pastor knows which sheep are his.

      Acts 20:28 also says,
      "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood."

      They have to know which are their flock. It's one reason why the multi-site, casual approach doesn't work.

      1 Corinthians 16:16 and 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Corinthians 11:8 also speak to an identified membership in a local congregation or church. The Greek word is ekklesia- it means assembly.

      As for location, the first century church met in houses, (Acts 1:13) barns, outside, the temple, and the synagogues. The edifice does not matter, the bible does not state one way or another as to where to meet, but IS clear on what is to happen when we do meet.

      Though I'm personally fond of churches looking like churches. If the people are supposed to be distinctive, so should the building.

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  4. Hi Elizabeth,

    Sola Sisters did a masterful job covering all the details about Driscoll. I am in agreement, the man never was qualified to be a pastor from the get go. What has been done by him throughout the years has brought so much reproach on Christ's name.

    I also have deep concerns about the spiritual health (honestly, the lack thereof) at Mars Hill. I see them as having a serious systemic problem, stemming from their leadership, who cannot seem to (or worse, do not want to) understand 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1 plainly as written, since they wrongly believe MD is not disqualified from the pastorate. I agree, these goings on are the Lord's sifting the tares from the wheat.

    Very sad to see the direction Kirk Cameron is heading, much prayer is needed there.

    Hillsong is no shock.

    -Carolyn

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  5. Kirk Cameron: Halloween masks mocking Obama celebrate Jesus defeating Satan
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/10/kirk-cameron-halloween-masks-mocking-obama-celebrate-jesus-defeating-satan/

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    Replies
    1. this is a spoof, right? Like The Onion or something...right? please say right.

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