When do we let go of people’s past actions and let them mature and grow in Christ? Right now Mark Driscoll is being raked over the coals for things he has done in the distant past and though I am not a fan, this current episode of attacks against him provide an interesting situation to think upon.
We all know what Jesus said to Peter when the latter asked him a question on forgiveness– we are to forgive 7 x 70 or in more modern terms we keep on forgiving. But in today’s world forgiveness seems to be done more in word than in deed or it is tossed aside completely in order to dismiss what some person says.
A lot of times, the sins of a person’s past are held long over the heads hindering the ability of the guilty to find true redemption and healing. Many people subscribe to the old saying ‘a leopard cannot change their spots’ but that isn’t a biblical teaching and ignores Christ’s redemptive work.
Here are some links to some websites that continue to hold Mr. Driscoll’s past actions over his head:
Mark’s seemingly funny story about writing as William Wallace II might end up becoming his worst nightmare yet. Because Mark’s Internet ramblings as William Wallace II from 14 years ago have allegedly hit the Internet. Not just at my blog. But at lots of places. You can read the backstory about “William Wallace II” here.
If people are not allowed to change then what good is preaching the gospel to them? If Jesus can’t change people then how can we love and follow him? If a person repents and God does not remember their sins any more why do those who call themselves Christian continue to remember those sins and use them to deprive the new believer of the fullness of the Christian faith?
But that isn’t the only website (the last line of that quote is actually a link to others similar blogs. You just have to go to the link and find the active button)
Rachel Held Evans weighs in on the issue
In the past, I’ve been critical of his bullying tactics and his views on sex and gender, but lately it seems the influential Seattle mega-church pastor has made plenty of news on his own, as it was recently revealed he plagiarized, used church funds to buy a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, and engaged in other alleged misappropriation of funds.
I find it funny that someone who despises many different biblical teachings is criticizing another person for erring on biblical teaching. But not in a ha-ha funny way but in the sad shaking of the head way. You will notice her mentioning of Driscoll’s bullying, views on sex and gender and so on yet what would Jesus say about her bullying and her views on sex and gender?
This is not some obscure pastor with no platform. He’s not a random internet troller who is best left ignored. (Ibid)
I find the second line very illuminating as ‘internet troll’ is a label given to many who disagree with people like Miss Evans. It is a name used to attack and hurt those who disagree with another person, it is also bullying– if you want to stick to the strict use of the word.
Not everyone is going to agree with everything you say but to label them a troll for having a different opinion is not right but demeaning and dehumanizing. So her criticism of Driscoll is hypocritical at best and shows that Miss Evans cannot forgive 7 x 70 but holds people’s sins over their head when they say things she doesn’t like or agree with.
Believe me. But it makes me even more sick to consider what will happen if we don’t, if his leadership goes unchallenged and he continues to hurt people with his teachings (Ibid)
These words precede the previous quote and my reaction is– really? What about your false teaching Miss Evans? How harmful is it and what damage will you do if you go unchallenged?
I am sure Miss Evans would be very angry if her past words were held over her head and used to try to destroy her especially if she has truly repented of her evil ways. She would not be alone in that protest as others who repent and started a new life would find their growth hindered by others using their past hatefilled words against them.
So why are they doing it to Mark Driscoll?
Notice that Jesus did not hold the sins of Zachias against him when he repented but forgave his sins and let him begin to grow in the faith. We read countless stories of similar behavior in the Bible yet in the modern world, the trend is to ignore what the Bible teaches and do what humans think is best.
We must ask the question: Where would we be if God held up our past sins against us and used them over and over to beat us down? People mocked the Yankees for giving Steve Howe many chances to straighten out yet where would we be if God did not give us chances over and over?
This is one of the most powerful and influential pastors in evangelical Christianity.
But he doesn’t have to remain so. (Ibid)
Is it right for an outsider to call for another person’s job and end their career? I do not think Miss Evans would appreciate it if outsiders called for her removal from the internet or have her career as a public speaker ended so why is she doing it to Mark Driscoll?
Jesus said, ye who are without sin cast the first stone. That verse doesn’t just apply to men who accuse women of sins but applies to all those who seek to destroy another person because they do not like him or her.
The removal of Mark Driscoll from his position is up to the congregation of mars Hill church. It is not within the authority of outsiders like Miss Evans, Jim West and others. who have taken a dislike to the guy. to call for his removal or ruin his career.
Yes we can point out his errors and warns others if Mr. Driscoll has been led astray into false teaching but we do not have the right to call for his firing. We are not without sin and if we cast the first stone we should be prepared to find stones cast back at us.
This is one reason why I oppose the continual hunting and accusing of old axis soldiers. I also oppose their being put on trial for crimes committed long ago. The war on old men needs to stop , for WW2 needs to end and forgiveness needs to reign. we return good for evil not evil for evil and putting old men on trial for things they may not have done is wrong.
Forgiveness helps us clear our eyes of the beams which blind us and allows us to proceed with justice, mercy and compassion. No such men may not deserve such treatment but then, where would we be if God did not act with grace, forgiveness, justice and so on to us, when we reoent for our past crimes and ask for mercy, love and compassion?
The old Nazis need forgiveness as much as any criminal or new believer needs. So does Mark Driscoll. How will they change or seek true repentance if we do not act like Jesus taught and wants?