TheBlaze posted a story earlier this week focusing on outspoken Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wa., who gave a wake-up call to Christians regarding the state of American culture.
In his new book, ”A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?” Driscoll says we live in a “post-Christian culture — a culture fundamentally at odds with faith in Jesus.” Driscoll believes that culture is changing and church attendance has dropped due to the lack of social benefits that the church offers, leading him to question the future of Christianity.
Here's what some readers of TheBlaze had to say about the issue:
Perhaps if we followed Jesus’ example of humility, grace and love when dealing with non-Christians, rather than using our faith as a weapon of condemnation, we’d have more of an influence on the culture. We have spent a long time trying to force (or even legislate) morality on people when only God changes the hearts of men. Let’s try putting down the bullhorns and picket signs, pray for God’s mercy and practice a little Matthew 5:16: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Not sure what Driscoll is thinking, from various Blaze reports, to pack the pews for Jesus you need some rock music, open bar, a preacher with tattoos and coarse language.
Give me a church with all that and a stripper pole on stage, and I might show up.
If Christians were 1% as righteous as they want everyone else to be, there would be no turning away from God in America.
When Christianity ‘falls’ and is pushed out of the mainstream, it will grow stronger and spread. It always happens that way. It definitely will never ‘die’ or need a funeral. For a pastor to say it could be ‘funeral or future’, makes me question this pastor’s authenticity. How can there be a funeral when Jesus has conquered death? That’s what our entire faith depends on… to say it is possible to have a ‘funeral’ at all makes me skeptical of this pastor.
Look at places like China. The underground church is huge and growing. If Christianity continues to be demonized, and eventually falls out of the ‘mainstream’ acceptance it has had for our history, it will only strengthen us. Every time someone attempts to stomp it out, it only serves as the vehicle to spread and encourage believers. It may make our physical lives much harder, but it will enrich our spiritual lives.
Anyone else read the article and came away with the feeling “Well, this was a lot of words for what amounted to a glorified ad for his book”?
Seriously. The entire build-up of the article comes to “so buy my new book if you don’t like the state of things!” I have no problem with capitalism, but co-opting Christ to push your product has always left a sour taste in my mouth.
Seems like one of the most blatant problems with Christianity in general (and mega-churches in particular; Mars Hill has between 5,000-15,000 attend weekly) is that people are encouraged to turn their brains off, tune their ears into their pastor’s message, and never question the folks getting rich off of them.
Somehow I doubt Driscoll would agree.
Radicalized Christians seem to always believe the end of society is just moments away because churches are becoming more and more empty. Well...at least their warped and extreme version of the Christian church. Some of the real problem Christians think the fictional rapture is coming. They have so much childish fear over the real world; it’s easier to hope for death and the non-existent afterlife. Their unsophisticated ways and lack of education have caused them to be the shame of this country and the butt of jokes by normal Americans. Unfortunately these people are very dangerous, far more dangerous to this country than any external threat. They fight against real freedom and crave a Christian theocracy. They vote out of spite and hate and the same is preached in their churches. The Christian fundamentalists are out of control in their last efforts to return this country to the dark days.
I agree with much of what Driscoll is describing. I would go further in stating that all Christian churches that are not loudly preaching the gospel of Christ are hurting our society. It is not you and I who CONVINCE people to become Christians. It is the gospel itself that does it. Men hear it and either are stirred into change by the Holy Spirit or reject it. It is that simple. The only thing that will change our society at this time is the gospel and a falling of the Holy Spirit on men. If you truly care to save this country, I suggest that believers block out time every day to get on their faces and pray for God to move in this country. I am.
Another man writing a book that people who agree with him will read and be reinforced in their minds what the truth is. However we know the truth. The problem in the west seems to be a total lack of discipline in the church. People do not need or want, wish washy pastors who coddle and coo at them. Here in the Philippines we run a disciplined church and it’s full of love. People know what is expected of them, and they do it. Also, the church is a family. 24/7 not for a couple of hours on Sunday. We are Christians inside and out and are to act the same wherever we are. People leave the church in droves as the church no longer offers tough love and strong solutions but try to woo people into filling their seats and their collections.
Should not be a surprise..The Bible teaches in the Last Days Christians will leave their faith to love the world. I love hearing the elders in my church talk about how evil the generations have become. And how Holy they were back in the day. As if this evil generation actually did not root from the Christians' lack of teaching the truth and compromising God's word along with being a corrupt Christian themselves. We as Christians in every generation should bare the fault of this Evil generation...and it’s going to get a lot worse as churches like Osteen's teach falsely. And the leaders who know better stay silent...all we can do as Christians is teach God's word the way it is...and question our leaders when they teach outside the Bible.
Mark Driscoll has a horrible view of women, that we cannot be pastors or other church leaders, and that we must have a man as our head, even single women. Because of that, he has no credibility with me. It causes me great pain that someone like this, who deep down sees women as inferior, is seen as a believable critic of our culture.
Mark Driscoll preaches next to my office. Here in WA state it speaks volumes that he has two successful churches in very liberal areas. Like him I’m tired of the church services that cater the secularists. Just don’t ever compromise your values. Mark I’m praying for your mission. God Bless you & your wife. You’re doing something right...just read how angry you’ve made the godless. That’s what happens when you bring Gods message.
This pastor is right on! We, as a people have to stand up to whatever evil we see. Call it out and shame it! Whether it is the sex-trafficking and sex addiction, etc. to the bullying at my son’s school. Problem? Too many are afraid to do the right thing! It’s all a bunch of administrators/politicians busy LOOKING BUSY, instead of solving the problem!
As individuals we can make a difference when we talk with others and stand together.
He believes that there’s been a paradigm shift in society from “morality to personality." Mr Driscoll is correct there has been a paradigm shift but not from morality to personality, the shift has occurred based upon doctrine. He may find it odd that the Apostle Paul warned of this very action in the book of Colossians (ch 2) where the Apostle uses the word philosophia which is only used twice in all biblical text (Colossians 2 and Acts 17). What the Pastor is observing is a paradigm shift which is being forced via ideological subversion from Christian doctrine to philosophia doctrine.
The failure mode occurs when these pastors and priests are not learned enough to observe the signs which indicate philosophia is creeping into the church. Philosophia focuses its parishioners on Metaphysics and Dialectics as the answer to life’s largest questions instead of the word and laws of our Father and Christ. Further under its assumed assimilation name “Liberation Theology” it has literally changed the meaning of most of biblical text.
But not to worry as this was always going to occur in the End Times and is part of the prophecy of those times as stated by Christ himself in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. The famine for the End Times as quoted by Christ is defined in Amos 8:11 “for hearing the words of the Lord.” America is having those words purposefully exterminated by the current Marxist/Leninist Obama administration.
This coming from a hyprocrite like Mark Driscoll. I know for a fact he’s about promotion and publicity, not the gospel. Driscoll is arrogant and controlling. He’s the last one I would listen to about what needs to be done in the church. Why doesn’t TheBlaze ever contact someone like a John MacArthur and ask his opinion? Probably because he’s not as sensational and “hip” as Driscoll. Driscoll is a fad and a sorry excuse for a “Pastor.” Mark is about Mark and getting his name out there not Christ. I wish TheBlaze would quit promoting this guy.
Christianity cannot and will not die. It is the living Christ embodied in mankind and Jesus is not going away. The numbers can decrease and the organized church can fail but Christ cannot. How the church and the faith are marketed are up for discussion but not Christianity as an entity. The problem is that a shrinking church body of believers means that the number of unbelievers has grown in converse. That is tragic for those who don’t believe and not for those who do. Except for one thing. Those of us who do believe are compelled by love and duty to share what we know with others. Suppose you knew a bridge ahead was about to collapse but you didn’t warn others of the danger? Could you live with yourself when they died? It doesn’t matter much how we tell the story or how much heat we take for delivering an inconvenient message. We still have to tell it. No, Christianity can’t die. Christianity is the source of life itself and when all else is gone, Christianity will be the last thing standing...in eternity in the presence of Christ himself.
The premise of the article should be rejected. Christianity cannot die, because Jesus lives. The foundation on which Christianity is built is eternal because it is rooted in a person, not a doctrine. What may be on the wane is the number of people truly following Jesus as savior and Lord. In this, there is truly nothing new under the sun..
12 men and one risen Lord was the beginning. The environment was openly hostile to the faith, yet in 300 years it became the faith of the whole world. There is not a single area of life or culture that has not been affected by Jesus. Horrible persecutions, political machinations, apostasy, and apathy have not diminished Jesus one bit. The gospel still changes lives, still brings hope. Following Jesus fully still brings about whole lives and whole families. The problem is that the church in America has been to a large degree reshaping Jesus to look like us. Christianity in our culture now looks like the American dream. When there is little difference between the believer and the unbeliever in practice, there is no contrast. The “salt loses its savor."
Church, we are not seeing these things because the gospel is untrue, or because Jesus is somehow less Lord and King. We are seeing them because we are not following Jesus! Wake up. Pursue Jesus and forsake sin!