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2009.01.16

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pmc

How disappointing....Peter. You are better than this.

peter lumpkins

pmc,

Two quick replies: 1) You are welcome to agree/disagree 2) You are not welcome to agree/disagree and remain anonymous. This site will not devolve into a G&T2U blog.

Have a great day. With that, I am...

Peter

Byroniac

Peter, just out of curiosity, why is Driscoll's Calvinism not relevant? You yourself make reference to John MacArthur's estimation of Driscoll, which included his soteriology. I understand soteriology is not the main idea here, but I personally would be interested in reading of differences in treatment from Reformed versus non-Reformed believers and reasons behind them. OK, I'm guilty of trumpeting a side issue, but I still would find it interesting.

peter lumpkins

Byron,

Look again, my brother. I made no remark concerning Driscoll's soteriology. I quoted Hansen's article; that's all.

I do not care at this point whether Driscoll is a flaming Calvinist or a wild-eyed Liberal. The concern here is whether or not base vulgarity is appropriate or inappropriate as a means to communicate Divine truth.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Byroniac

Peter,

All I said was that you made reference to John MacArthur's estimation of Driscoll, and that incorporates what you said, that you quoted a portion of Hansen's article.

Though it is a side issue, I think it is relevant, and perhaps even interesting, at least to me. I do not understand why this issue cannot be or at least is not relevant to the discussion at hand. However, obviously I wish to respect your wishes on your blog. And on the matter of base vulgarity, we are certainly agreed.

volfan007

I just listened to Driscoll's sermon on humility...well, the first fifteen minutes of it...I believe that Todd told us to listen to the first 10 minutes, and we'd all hear the confession and repentance.

First of all, like Peter, I never heard him repent of using nasty, vulgar language in the pulpit. Todd, how can you get that out of what he said?

Secondly, I was a little disturbed at how he called people "lunatics," who had questions about the rapture. At the very beginning, where he's inviting people in his Church to ask questions that I guess he plans on answering in sermons, he asks people to vote, and vote out the rapture questions. In fact, he said that all the people voting must leave deep in the woods, and be lunatics...because they're asking questions about the rapture.
Weeeeellllll, does he realize that he probably just slapped some of the people in that very audience in the face??!!?? Does he not understand that some of the people who asked those questions, and who voted to hear those questions answered were probably sitting out there listening to him speak? And, why in the world would he think that people who are concerned about understanding the rapture are "lunatics?" I guess I'm one of those "lunatics," because I believe in the rapture????? Really??? Also, he just insulted country folks with his statement as well, or with his attempt to be funny for the crowd. He insinuated that "lunatics" that lived "deep in the woods" were asking such things. Well, another slam against country folks. Wasnt that nice?

David

Todd Burus

All,
First, I do not know what more you guys are looking for in his repentance. He apologized for his "attitude," "actions" and "words." Now, I guess you guys are looking for him to say "I apologize for saying F--- from the pulpit," but I charge you guys (1) to actually find examples of his cussing so you have reason for your outrage, and (2) to deny that such language is covered by him repenting of his words as he did in the linked sermon.

Moreover, Peter cited Tony Jones as a witness of Driscoll using the F-word in the pulpit, and though I have questioned the credibility of Jones' criticisms, even still, aren't we to not admit charges against an elder that lack the witness of two or three (1 Timothy 5.19)? To my knowledge, Miller and MacArthur don't claim Driscoll used the F-word, but nonetheless this charge has been asserted multiple times above by commenters who probably haven't listened to Driscoll once, and are even less likely to have ever heard him swear. This is not biblical accountability, this is an ignorant mob mentality, and we should not be sucked into such pursuits.

volfan007

"Ignorant mob mentality?" Todd, what? As for me, I was just asking did he say it. I had heard these things said about him before. Also, if he did, which Peter cites sources, I said that that was awful. Why would he even be asked to speak at SEBTS, if that's true about him? I then went to the sermon you told us to listen to. I heard nothing that showed that he was repenting of nasty, vulgar language in the pulpit. Yes, I did hear him say that he was sorry for not being more humble...that his actions and attitudes and words did not display humility. But, where was the confession about nasty, vulgar language in the pulpit? Todd, you're reading more into that than what's there. Seriously.

But, Todd, did you have to use "ignorant mob mentality?"

Anyway, did you have a problem with his rapture statements?

peter lumpkins

Todd,

Please be restrained from addressing "all" here as if the dominant position represented is one akin to me. To the contrary, there have been more "nahs" than "yeas" toward my position.

Therefore, your crude description about an alleged "ignorant mob mentality" present here kisses the threshold to a sub-Christian response and is entirely unfair to those few who have not only agreed with my concerns but those who, while not agreeing, remain much more neutral than I about it. Please consider such before you emotionally spew again.

Now to the point: Your every attempt to dismiss the sources I've offered have unfortunately failed. And, your one attempt at offering counter-evidence ends up hurting rather than helping your point, Todd. Sorry.

With that, I am...

Peter

Todd Burus

volfan,
No, I don't have any problems with his rapture comments because I know the larger body of his theology which this coming from. And his redneck comments, that's just what he says. Remember, he's not in West Tennessee preaching at a premillennial dispensationaist church. He's in Seattle, the capital of grunge rock and Starbucks, and he's seeing more transformed lifes than most any ministry in America today. Recently he shared a story about how a local amateur porn competition is using him and his church as the theme for this years entries. That means that he has people video taping themselves having sex on Mars Hill's property and showing his sermons in the background of their hardcore love scenes. That's the city he's in, it's not Nashville and should not be treated as such.

I do not expect everyone to like Driscoll, but what bothers me, what I called an "ignorant mob mentality," is the attacks on him by people who are only getting their information from second and third hand sources and, as I brought up, possibly acting outside of the biblical grounds for bringing a charge against an elder. We should not be so quick to black-list a man who is literally killing himself for the cause of Christ when most of us can't get away from our computers long enough to evangelize our neighbors.

peter lumpkins

Todd,

I cited public information by reputable people, reputable whether or not you agree with their stances on any number of issues. Quoting sources responsibly should be encouraged, not denigrated.

To bring up that I or anyone else who questions a person's actions am "possibly acting outside of the biblical grounds for bringing a charge against an elder" is so fundamentally absurd, it's all I can do to acknowledge it. What you've just done is sliced your own finger, whittling against others who do not possess similar admiration for someone you obviously do. Indeed you have a pretty good track record slamming "elders" with whom you are not in agreement.

For the record: the only question brought up in my main post is this: the "cussing pastor" teaming with SB academics is surely an oddity if ever there was one.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

David,

Todd's statement to you is interesting: "Remember, he's not in West Tennessee preaching at a premillennial dispensationaist church. He's in Seattle, the capital of grunge rock and Starbucks..." Unfortunately, while he physically is in Seattle, UTube, his website, etc. etc make his ministry global, not just Seattle. Thus, Todd's retort is not well-taken.

Grace, David. With that, I am...

Peter

Todd Burus

Peter,
Since this apparently wasn't clear, the only source I "denigrated" was Jones. Miller's and MacArthur's statements are dated, i.e. they were made before the time of Mark Driscoll's public repentance, and therefore I asked you to take that into consideration.

This seems similar to me to the apostles being weary of Paul because they heard how he killed Jews and Barnabas having to come and vouch for him saying that his life had been transformed and they could trust him now (Acts 9.26-27). I am not denying Miller or MacArthur's criticisms, in fact I agree that those are accurate accounts of who Driscoll was at those times (2003 and 2006, respectively). However, what I am saying is that they represent a man who has since repented (whether it was adequate for you or not) and thus should be given a fair hearing for the evidences of change he is showing now. Isn't the Christian life all about grace , transformation, and forgiveness?

Steve

I guess a good accumulation of evidence on Driscoll's behaviour would be found here.

http://stevenjcamp.blogspot.com/search?q=Driscoll

Steve

peter lumpkins

Todd,

The question is not about grace, transformation and/or forgiveness. Neither the sources I cite nor the conclusion I drew negates such. And to frame the debate in such terms attempts to put the critics on the defensive, rather than deal with the issue at hand. No thanks, my brother. Additionally, the situation with Driscoll and Acts 9 is not even close.

For the record--hopefully for the last time--the dates you offer do not add up. Tyler's date goes to 2005, Hansen, MacArthur, and Jones' remarks are after such. Perhaps they were wrong. Nothing has come forth to challenge them, however.

In conclusion, unless you have a public statement by Driscoll dealing with this, Todd, there is little remaining to discuss.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Steve,

Thanks for the link. Steve Camp's position is, in my view, much stronger than mine concerning this. I noted also no one accused him of, how can I say it?...oh yeah! An "ignorant mob mentality"!!
:^)

Hope things are well downunder...

With that, I am...

Peter

Todd Burus

Peter,
Nice to see you are not interested in actually facing this yourself. Tyler's date is the evidence coming forth to challenge MacArthur's criticism (and Hansen is just rehashing MacArthur so it's not a later date), but you aren't interested in checking up on it. I myself have listened to probably every Driscoll sermon delivered at Mars Hill going back to 2003 and it is only there in those earlier ones that you find any instance of a swear word. I would agree with Tyler that if you listen back to 2005 (all of which are available for free to the public, interesting concept) you would not hear any cussing. Anyways, most of MacArthur's complaint is about crass language, not swearing, which is an issue that Mohler took up on his show on September 19 in you want to listen to his opinion.

The fact of the matter is, Driscoll's public statement just wasn't good enough for Peter Lumpkins and so you are going to continue raking him over the coals. It is a question of "grace, transformation, and/or forgiveness." If Driscoll has repented and his life shows the change then the comments preceding this transformation should be viewed discerningly in light of that, which is not the route you took. This is like Acts 9 and it's a shame that you put your personal opinions and prejudices ahead of your integrity in continuing to propagate this type of uncharitable attitude.

peter lumpkins

Todd,

I do not mind disagreeable commenting here. I put up posts that many times are fairly provocative. Hence, it can only be expected.

To my recall, however, I do not think we've ever had a discussion on my blog or elsewhere when, at the end, it fails to become personally about me--my integrity inevitably is always, for you, the issue. This has been the record of about three bloggers (including you) over a three year period. Not bad, all in all, I suppose.

Nonetheless, for edification's sake, I encourage you to find another place to log your dissent, dissent where you are not tempted to make the blogger, instead of the blog, the point of contention.

With that, I am...

Peter

Byroniac

Peter, good comment in #62. Though I no longer believe in Dispensationalism, and am no longer even premillenial, I am sensitive to insulting language, as I have friends who are Dispensationalist. Insulting the natives in faraway places is fine, but they might be watching you on YouTube and remember if you ever come to visit! (Disclaimer: I have not seen the video yet, so this is based on secondhand information).

Byroniac

Steve, the blog post from February 22, 2008, has an excellent article by Carla Rolfe on this same subject.

peter lumpkins

Byron,

Thanks, Byron. The issue as you say is insulting language...

With that, I am...

Peter

jasonk

Maybe Driscoll used foul language because he never learned to tell untrue stories from the pulpit, or to stand around at pastors conferences and gossip about other pastors, deacons, or mean-spirited people in the church.
After all, that's the traditional way many pastors let filth come from their mouth.
I admit that I am uncomfortable with the idea of a pastor using foul language from the pulpit, but I don't see how it is any different than a pastor who steals his material, lies when he tells stories, or gossips.

volfan007

Jasonk,

And your point is?


So, do you think that the things you mention excuse foul, nasty, vulgar language in the pulpit and insulting words? It almost sounds like you're defending and excusing this behavior because a fellow five pointer does it, and a non-Calvinist has pointed it out. You're not being a little sensitive and defensive, are you?

David

jasonk

Not at all, David. I don't know why you call me a five pointer. 4.5 at best. But mostly I just believe that it is God who saves, not us. If I witness to a man, and he repents of his sin and turns to Christ, I believe that God did that, not me. If he spits in my face and walks away, it was not because I didn't sell him on the product right. I've always felt that because I put it all into the hands of a sovereign God, that makes me more reformed in my theology than most people around here. So no, it has nothing whatsoever to do with my theology.
And it has nothing to do with my attempt to excuse anyone's use of foul language. I think that language is often subjective. My wife, when riled, can spout off some words that will make a stable boy blush (God love her), but if I say the word "crap," she tells me not to cuss. I'm not sure that the New Testament deals specifically with using curse words, except for when it says that we are not to let any unwholesome words come out of our mouths.
Ah, so what are unwholesome words? I would say that the "f" word is unwholesome. George Carlin used to talk about the words that would get you into trouble--they're all unwholesome, and I think that it would be better if one did not use them in the pulpit, or in any other course of civil conversation. Like someone else here pointed out, it just reveals a lack of vocabulary if you cannot express yourself in a civil way.
But are there other ways we let unwholesome words come out of our mouths? Sure. People who would tar and feather Bro. Mark Driscoll for using foul language (a practice which I am convinced he has repented of), would not think twice about telling a "tall tale" from the pulpit, because it is a good and effective illustration. Who cares that it isn't true? Well, I do. Or when a pastor engages in gossip or course jesting, it is just as foul and undignified as cursing in the pulpit. Do you agree? I think it goes back to the words of our Master, who said that we would have a hard time condemning a murderer, when there is hatred in our hearts for another.
We act all offended at the former actions of a Mark Driscoll, when our mouths drip the foulness of lies, gossip, and course jesting. It just shows that we all have a long way to go.
That's it, David. No sensitivity or defensive posture here. Just a call to reality and honesty.

peter lumpkins

JasonK,

I think David's point is entirely missed. He was responding to your statement: "...I don't see how it [using foul language from the pulpit] is any different than a pastor who steals his material, lies when he tells stories, or gossips." The fact is, JasonK, such response is often employed by those who are rationalizing a particular behavior. It reduces to "but you do too..." We're glad you are not doing that.

On the other hand, it's confusing when you follow up with "I would say that the "f" word is unwholesome....and I think that it would be better if one did not use them in the pulpit..." Be better? How about be against Scriptural teaching since "the New Testament... says that we are not to let any unwholesome words come out of our mouths"?

In addition, you write: "People who would tar and feather Bro. Mark Driscoll for using foul language... would not think twice about telling a "tall tale" from the pulpit, because it is a good and effective illustration. Who cares that it isn't true? Well, I do." No one here is advocating untruthfulness. Nor are sermon illustrations necessarily in the same category as you attempt to make extremely foul language.

And, contrary to your insistence on them being "true," illustrations--that is, points of light--are not intended to fit correspondence theory, unless, of course, one presents an illustration as time-space reality (think parables).

Finally, you assert "We act all offended at the former actions of a Mark Driscoll, when our mouths drip the foulness of lies, gossip, and course jesting." I have to ask: Whose mouths? What lies?

Even more, this same line of argument is once again used by those who'd rather no criticism be raised about particular actions of particular people. That's why, JasonK, David's point is clouded.

With that, I am...

Peter

jasonk

Thank you Peter. I'll address your comment point by point.

First, do I believe that people should avoid the use of profane language? Yes. Not just in the pulpit, but everywhere.

Second, the point of all this is the New Testament teaching on unwholesome speech, right? I mean, you will never find any place in the Bible where it says which words are proper and which are not. It is often subjective. And it isn't only about certain words in our vernacular.

Third, you ask "whose mouths? what lies?" I am referring to many of the people who would stand up and criticize one who uses profane language. We who act so shocked and offended, what offensive language is coming out of our mouths? Gossip, lies, course jesting? I think of the man who is so offended by a person who has committed adultery, who stands up and criticizes their lack of character, self-discipline, etc. Who rallies people together and raises the cry of criticism. And yet he is at the same time entertaining lust in his own heart for another woman. Jesus said that man is just as guilty of adultery as the man who actually committed the act.
I have been to the pastor's meetings, where gossip is passed around. I have sat in sermons where pastors use illustrations, and not just telling the story, but personalizing it, and it is so obvious that it is not true. Is this form of speech offensive? I think so.
It is going after the splinter in our neighbor's eye, ignoring the plank in our own.

peter lumpkins

JasonK,

Thanks. First, that " It is often subjective. And it isn't only about certain words in our vernacular." is irrelevant. We're not discussing abstracts but particulars. The specific words are cited. Plus, since we agree on the morally inappropriate use of the particular words, "subjectivity" is moot.

Second, your main point seems to be "I am referring to many of the people who would stand up and criticize one who uses profane language...It is going after the splinter in our neighbor's eye, ignoring the plank in our own."

Excuse me, JasonK, but what you appear to me to be doing is rebuking, in a round-a-bout way, the person's concerns--concerns with which I thought you agreed--raised pertaining to the use of vulgarity in the pulpit. To quote Jesus' "log in your own eye" wisdom pertaining to those who raise questions about such behavior is to rebuke the one who has raised the concerns as if they raised them illegitimately. Was this not the intent of our Lord? Unjust judgment?

If I am correct, what exactly is your point? For me, this is terribly confusing.

With that, I am...

Peter

volfan007

Peter,

It's confusing to me, too.


JasonK,

we'd all agree that personalizing an illustration that you were not a part of is not good. We'd all agree that coarse jesting and slander and gossip is not good. Who said that they werent? That's not what we were talking about here? How did you make that leap? Are you accusing Peter, or me, or someone else in this comment thread of doing these things?

Peter is using facts. Peter is dealing with a man who is/was using coarse, vulgar, nasty language in the pulpit. And, you go off on Pastors who lie in thier illustrations and spread gossip????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????

That's why I asked you if you were being a bit defensive, or trying to just defend a fellow, reformed brother? Jason, reformed, five pointers are guilty of doing bad things as well. They're not innocent, nor right about everything just because they're reformed in their theology.

BTW, when you said,"But mostly I just believe that it is God who saves, not us. If I witness to a man, and he repents of his sin and turns to Christ, I believe that God did that, not me. If he spits in my face and walks away, it was not because I didn't sell him on the product right. I've always felt that because I put it all into the hands of a sovereign God..." I agree totally with you!


David

Byroniac

JasonK, I'm with Peter and David on this one. You're right about the things a pastor should not do, but so are Peter and David. The culture has affected us as Christians so much that I believe we have relaxed our standards for men called of God to preach, often without realizing it.

While I cannot put it into words exactly what a pastor is to be, because I know men are called of God, gifted for the office, and molded into the people God desires them to be, I can tell you that I believe these men are called to personal holiness and separation from the world to which they witness. The world has its preachers in droves: six for a nickel and a dime a dozen. But I tend to pay more attention to those who live out the holiness of their calling and remain separate and undefiled by the world, not hating the people in the world, but loving Christ more than human opinion.

peter lumpkins

David,

Thanks, my brother. I was beginning to think my 'blinders' were working overtime, driving my confusion...

Byron,

Grace, brother. Know I am scared stiff, frozen solid. Too much you are agreeing with me lately. Maybe I'm under a dark cloud of judgment ;^)

Always a privilege to have you here (David too).

With that, I am...

Peter

jasonk

I'm honestly not accusing anyone of anything, not specifically anyway. I just remember what it was like when I was a pastor, railing against the sins of others, while in my own heart was enough sin to send the lot of us to hell. When God broke me of my pride and judgmentalism, I came to a place where I am slow to criticize someone whose methods are different than my own, especially when I don't know the entire story (and usually, I don't know the entire story). I have friends who follow the (former) example of Driscoll. Their language is "colorful" at best. But they are reaching people for Christ, people that would never darken the door of most churches. I can't explain it. It sometimes makes me cringe. But I ask myself, if a man uses a profane word, and I spread gossip, which is worse? I know which one many people would say is worse, but I'm not sure which one really is worse.
Here I am rambling again. But I hope no one thinks I am lodging accusations against anyone specific, other than myself.

peter lumpkins

JasonK,

Thanks again for clarification. And, I thoroughly appreciate the fact that your comments are spiced--both rightly and humbly, I might add--with a sense that you yourself have not arrived. All of us, I confess, need much more of that spiritual herb in our lives.

Peace. With that, I am...

Peter

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