Since I foolishly set myself up recently as some kind of unofficial tone police” for the Blogdom of God, I was a little surprised that no one has picked me up on an apparent inconsistency. You see, I have been written very positively about Mark Driscoll without ever raising my one nagging thought about the tone he had used in certain places. I love the guy, his preaching style, his theology, his commitment but there have been a couple of occasions where my sensitive British ears (or rather eyes!) were troubled. But no one else I was reading seemed to pick up on this so I kept suppressing the thought even wondering if my concerns were merely a cultural issue. I did pray about it once or twice though to be fair.
Imagine then my pleasure and delight to see an incredibly humble act of public repentance and apology by Mark Driscoll on his blog today His unreserved apology is fantastic, sounds very genuine, and ends with a request for us to pray for him. Please lets do so it is not easy to say something like the following for all the world to read! He does also function under immense pressure. I am so glad that he obviously has people around him not afraid to tell him when they think he is wrong. I do hope Mark does not mind me including the full text here it is just so good that I really wanted to share it all with you:-
“Some years ago I was part of a team that traveled around the country speaking about issues pertaining to the truth of the gospel, the condition of the culture, and the mission of the church to incarnate the gospel in the culture. I eventually left that team for a variety of practical and theological reasons. Since that time, much of that team has remained together and has evolved into the Emergent stream of the emerging church. Perhaps the best-known leaders in that network are Brian McLaren and Doug Pagitt.
Since leaving that team I have been increasingly concerned about some of the theological conversations that are taking place, which has led to frustration and anger on my part. The result was an email I fired off in angry haste to the Out of Ur blog in response to a piece by Brian Mclaren in Leadership journal on his pastoral response to the homosexual issue. In short, I took some cheap shots at Brian and Doug.
A godly friend once asked me an important question: What do you want to be known for? I responded that solid theology and effective church planting were the things that I cared most about and wanted to be known for. He kindly said that my reputation was growing as a guy with good theology, a bad temper, and a foul mouth. This is not what I want to be known for. And after listening to the concerns of the board members of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network that I lead, and of some of the elders and deacons at Mars Hill Church that I pastor, I have come to see that my comments were sinful and in poor taste. Therefore, I am publicly asking for forgiveness from both Brian and Doug because I was wrong for attacking them personally and I was wrong for the way in which I confronted positions with which I still disagree. I also ask forgiveness from those who were justifiably offended at the way I chose to address the disagreement. I pray that you will accept this posting as a genuine act of repentance for my sin.
In the end, I do not want my tone and style to get in the way of important discussions and kingdom work. So, my intention is to lean into God’s empowering grace to become a holy man who demonstrates greater self-control. In the future, my prayer is that I could continue to speak with pithy edginess and candor that is also marked by grace and appropriate words. I obviously failed this time. Please forgive me and pray for me.”