Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In Mission ... don't forget Empowering!!

There is a lot of talk about "Mission" today and this is tremendously exciting. That is our call after all! My favourite conference up until the "Grace and Glory Conference" was "Together on a Mission". So much is expressed in that name! There is nothing whatsoever comfortable about being at "TOAM" - if your idea and concept of a conference is to come and sit comfortably while academic speakers expound your favourite texts and make points for you to take away in a notebook - then "TOAM" is not for you! I consider it more a "working" conference. You will worship! You will laugh! You will cry! You will PRAY! You will get motivated! You will come away changed!

But this short clip by Rob Rufus - speaking at Mobilise last year - brings a balancing word;

Terry Virgo was excited by recent events at Mark Driscoll's church. And to be sure we can always rejoice when there is any news of any stirrings among non-Christians. But we must never forget that any news like this isn't necessarily an opportunity for techniques to be copied, but an opportunity for passion and longing to grow that we would encounter Him! And from that encounter, our lives will be changed and non-Christians will take notice!


Anonymous said...

I notice you carefully select which blogs of Terry Virgo's you add to your so-called "Grace and Glory" update column. Any mention of Mark Driscoll or the up-coming conference equals exclusion from the update. Any reason for this?

Anonymous said...

(concerned anonymous this time not angry anonymous)

I think you may need to think about prayerfully re-considering your written words re: Mark Driscoll.
If God is sweetly pouring out His Spirit in such measure at Mars Hill you need to be very careful that you do not call "unclean" what God calls "clean."

And also not to call "clean" what God calls "unclean."

Peter Day said...

Anonymous 1: A little while ago Dan explained the purpose of the Grace and Glory blogs. There are a number of us who have been transformed by the message of God's amazing grace and have been set free from legalism. Dan faithfully links to all of us as we make new posts. At the same time, if there are any other posts we find (including from Terry Virgo) that help spread the grace and glory message, then they are included too.

Anonymous 2: I think if you read what Dan has put, you will see that he is not criticising God's work at Mars Hill, but challenging us not to pursue the techniques of Mars Hill rather to pursue God Himself.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely. I see that from this post and it makes perfect sense but I am in fact referring to extensive criticisms elsewhere in this blog both explicit and implied.

Dan Bowen said...

Well Concerned Anonymous, I guess I should step up and answer. You said;

"If God is sweetly pouring out His Spirit in such measure at Mars Hill you need to be very careful that you do not call "unclean" what God calls "clean".

And indeed that is true but I hope I have never "thrown the baby out with the bathwater" and called Driscoll's entire ministry "unclean". If you can point me to a particular comment where you feel this is true, then please show me the link.

I've simply expressed my personal dislike (we are after all entitled to personal opinions) with Driscoll's use of rather crude jokes and language. I am told he recently declared that Jesus ministry began at the Wedding at Cana "as a bartender". I've got no problem with drinking but my close family do, so again to hear him say that he was recently convicted of the sin of "abstinence from alcohol" just strikes me as somewhat odd.

I have also simply expressed my concerns with the effects of his comments and ministry on women and I still see nothing to make me change my mind. Women are a gift from God and should be "loved as Christ loves the Church" not spoken about or viewed as simply sex objects required to "be available" for their husbands sexual needs EVERY night. I see that as absolutely contradictory to the entire purpose and design and pattern of sex as viewed in the Bible INCLUDING the Song of Solomon (which I believe secondarily does have teaching for married couples).

So let me state again - I am not calling Driscoll's ministry "unclean" and I am sorry if you interpreted my comments that way. Driscoll's ministry is very public and very available and as such will be discussed publicly - I think that's inevitable and you cannot think I am the only person with concerns about Mark Driscoll across the entire world.

As for your second comment; "And also not to call "clean" what God calls "unclean." - I am not sure what you mean here. Are you still referring to Mark Driscoll? Or to some other comments you had a problem with?

James B said...

Furthermore wasn't it Ern Baxter who said that we shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that God's blessing implies God's approval? God is pleased to pour out His Spirit "sweetly" at times across the world and He does so, but that is not to say that He may approve of every iota of the person's ministry before He will pour out His Spirit. To suggest that means that we will not experience an outpouring of the Spirit till our doctrine is perfect and our ministry flawless - and I am sure that even Mark Driscoll would not claim that.

God is "sweetly" pouring out His Spirit upon men like Benny Hinn and Reinhard Bonke yet there are aspects of their ministry that I am sure are not completely in line with the Word of God.

An assessment of past revivals in church history will quickly prove that during "revivals" (if that is what is going on in Mars Hill and I don't know enough about it) - that there are always necessary defences of what is going on. For example Jonathan Edwards wrote some of his finest work defending the examples of what he believed were genuine moves of the Spirit of God.

Driscoll should not and will not be exempt from having to make similar defences - although his defence may be more about why he says what he says.