jarnolf replied to your post: Mark Driscoll makes me want to repeatedly slam my…
Can you explain why, please?
Sure. I am not a big fan of Mark Driscoll in general (the way he expresses his views on gender roles is really off-putting) but this ‘parable’ was particularly frustrating. He seems to be arguing that Christians who are blessed with wealth should not be concerned with those who are poor, and that we should not try to live generously or think hard about the impact of our lives on this planet and on the people who live in it. Furthermore, when the son in the story is worried about the way his wealth will be perceived, particularly if his bike will cause others to stumble, the father’s response is a direct contradiction of most of the New Testament.
Look at this paragraph at the end:
Tragically, the son never did ride the bicycle. Instead, he gave it away. He did not cause anyone to stumble, or treat his bike as an idol. And he did not obey his Father and worship him by simply being a kid and enjoying the gift his Father gave him because he was too busy being a theologian with a head full of fears rather than a heart full of fun.
Do you see why that message would be frustrating? It’s a tragedy that he did anything else with the bike but keep it for himself. He gave away his bike to someone who didn’t have one, he kept people from stumbling, and he didn’t worship his possessions. Jesus and Paul would both say that he did well. In 1 Cor. 8:13, Paul makes it really clear that we ought to sacrifice to keep others from stumbling, that we should live in such a way that others will not be tempted to do what will be sin for them. Jesus says that the way he’ll divide up the sheep and the goats on the last day is on the basis of how we treated the poor.
I don’t know if my reading is what Mark Driscoll really is arguing, but I have the suspicion that this parable was written with the intention of keeping Americans from feeling guilty about their wealth and success. A “heart full of fun” is not what we are called to as Christians, and disparaging people who want to live like Christ as “theologians with heads full of fears” is ridiculous. Thanking God for his blessings is one thing, but he’s suggesting that we ought not to give things away or think about the suffering and temptations of others.
Mark Driscoll is promoting bad theology here. Jesus gave up everything for us; we should demand nothing less from the church in America.
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- shortbreadsh said: I guess it all goes together, but he’s not just promoting bad theology. He’s promoting bad morals. =\
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