Monday, September 06, 2010
Blogging Along with Mark Driscoll Part 2
Proverbs says, "Rebuke a wise man; he'll thank you. Rebuke a fool; he'll hate you." Amen to that. And I know that the more out of line I am myself, the more I tend to bristle at criticism.
He goes on to point out that non-Christians are just as capable of hypocrisy as Christians are. His example? Seattle. It's the least generous city in America, the city that gives the least to charity. "See -- here's our deal. We are cause-oriented. 'What about the poor?! What about low-income housing?! What about single mothers?! What about homelessness?! What about the needy!? Somebody else should totally do something about that!' That's Seattle." That's a LOT of people.
4. Good trees should produce good fruit. (c. 38:00) "Jesus is confronting here one of our most deeply held cultural myths: "We're all good people and sometimes we do bad things." He refers to times we'll see on the news somebody who did something really horrible -- a murder, say -- and everybody says about them, "But he's really a nice guy. Yeah, he did thing thing, BUT..."
"Oh, that's a fantastic apple tree. But all it produces is grenades." Really? .... "I see girlfriends say this about their boyfriends. 'Yeah, he's drunk, unemployed, can't find his pants, and he hits me, BUT, ya know, deep down, he's a winner-winner-chicken-dinner real sweetheart kinda guy. That's who he is.' No, he's not. He's Satan, down deep."
And he talks about how Jesus comes to us, uproots our bad tree, and gives us a whole new tree. New thoughts, new desires, new life. Amen to that! And those of you who think I'm a piece of work now should have known me before Jesus got a hold of me. Not that I'm not a piece of work now, mind you, but if you're starting where I started there isn't much of anywhere to go but up.
"God doesn't want you to do better or try harder. He wants you to be uprooted, replanted, born again, regenerated -- new heart." What makes Christianity different isn't the values, it's that you're actually given the power, with the Holy Spirit working through you. Amen to that. There are times where I've had patience, grace, love, where I've wondered, "Whoa! Where did THAT come from!? 'Cause it sure weren't me!" Holy Spirit. Changes you from the inside out. (And YES, I have a long way to go. You should see where I started.)
And I really want to see that happen in other people. I've witnessed at a distance (Norma McCorvy, for example.) but seldom saw it up close. Probably because I'm a lousy evangelist. Mostly I've met people who've already been transformed. At about 44:50 he gives an example that I can totally relate to. Only I'm not fruitful like she is. My bad. Totally my bad.
"New person. New life. You get to start over."
This is making me want another dose of what I got back then. REALLY want it. It's as if Jesus went through and really cleaned out a room, but the rest of the house is a pig sty. I want the rest of it cleaned out, too. What He did there, I want it ALL OVER.
5. (c. 48:30) Truth plus obedience equals a rock solid foundation.
Now, I know obedience ain't popular. But here's the analogy. (This is mine, not Driscoll's, so if you think it's dumb, don't blame him
Which dogs get to have the most freedom? OBEDIENT DOGS.
You have an obedient dog, he gets to go to the park and play Frisbee without a leash. He gets just turned loose in the yard. He gets run of the house while his owner is at work. It's the disobedient dog that gets cooped up in his crate all day, and has to be on a leash in the park, and gets chained to a dog house out in the yard. The disobedient dog -- for his own good -- gets hemmed in on every side. The obedient dog gets freedom. Obedience is actually liberating. It's one of those paradoxical things about Christianity.
Back to Driscoll.
Every time we sin, we're saying we're smarter than Jesus. But He's giving us a solid foundation for our lives. "Don't set up your life in such a way that you're fine as long as nothing goes wrong." Because things WILL go wrong. And you'll be totally screwed if your foundation isn't strong. This is how Christians end up divorced, or on the abortion table.
c. 51:41: "Is your problem a truth problem, or an obedience problem?"
Are you filling your mind and heart and life with truth, from Scriptures and wise teachers and good friends and worthwhile reading? Or are you like Mark's proverbial bag of chips, full of air and lies? Reading stuff that's not true? Listening to people who don't speak truth? I used to fill myself with the Playboy Philosophy. No truth in it whatsoever. It led to heartbreak and divorce. I remember when I was younger and it was popular for shrinks to tell people that their thoughts were just thoughts, and couldn't do any harm. It turns out that evil deeds start as evil thoughts. Those who bought into this lie often ended up as sex offenders. And a lot of women end up on the abortion table because they were feeding on lies: that sex and procreation can be totally separated; that all sexual urges are perfectly natural and healthy and should be indulged; that abortion facilities are full of honest and truthful people who are only there to serve; that just thinking that you can't cope means you really can't and aren't fit to be a mother; that abortion only removes some tissue and doesn't do any lasting hurt of any kind. A truth problem, big time.
c. 52:50: "Let me give you a piece of good advice: Don't believe everything you think. Okay? Meditate on that."
Then he launches into the obedience problem, when you know what you're supposed to do but you do something else anyway.
"Counseling can be pretty hard, but counseling is pretty much asking three questions and enduring awkward silence. .... First question: What's the problem? (They'll tell you the problem. Awkward silence) What has God told you to do? And they'll usually tell you! And then you leave an awkward silence. And then the third question is, are you gonna do that? And then you pray. That's counseling!" Then he gives an example, a man for whom food was a problem. "Are there any verses in the Bible on weight loss?" "Well, no. There's not First and Second Dietitians. I think you just need to -- eat less and exercise more." The second example was a nagging wife with a depressed husband.
I think I have more of a truth problem. I've forgotten who I was and where I've come from and how I was set free. I need to spend some time really, really remembering that. Getting it down solid and firm. THEN my words and actions will be much wiser and more fruitful.
I have plenty of facts, but not enough truth about my role, the role of the Holy Spirit, and just how this plays out. I've forgotten.
Alas, I can't hook up in one of the Mars Hill Community Groups. Gotta ask them if they have means of hooking up remote folks.
at 9:33 PM