Weird week, and it’s only Tuesday.
First we find out from Nate Phelps that his father Fred is extremely ill and has been “excommunicated” from his own church:
As for the question of whether we picket his funeral or not, my vote is no. Being more humane than Fred Phelps is a pretty low bar, and if we can’t clear that we’re screwed.
Next we find out that Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, now regrets his entry into the marriage debate. He’s withdrawing from the argument and has dropped most of its funding for anti-marriage groups:
Finally, in the wake of the plagiarism charges and the revelation that he used various tricks to game the book-selling system, Marc Driscoll is apologizing to his congregation and promising to not be a “celebrity pastor.” In a speech leaked to Reddit, he explained:
“Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth and development and it helps by (recognizing) the mistakes that you make. And you learn from those mistakes. If not, you’re just a fool. I’m thankful that I lived through it and I learned a lot from it. Probably the elements that were stressful for me most is from our internal staff and from operators and how this may be affecting them. The bottom line is we have a responsibility here to keep the whole of the organization in mind and it has to take precedence over the personal expression and opinion on social issues.”
In the last year or two, I have been deeply convicted by God that my angry-young-prophet days are over, to be replaced by a helpful, Bible-teaching spiritual father. Those closest to me have said they recognize a deep change, which has been encouraging because I hope to continually be sanctified by God’s grace. I understand that people who saw or experienced my sin during this season are hurt and in some cases have not yet come to a place of peace or resolution. I have been burdened by this for the past year and have had private meetings one at a time to learn from, apologize to, and reconcile with people. Many of those meetings were among the most encouraging moments in my time at our church. Sadly, not all of those relationships are yet mended, but I am praying that God is gracious to get us to that place of grace. Now that others have come forward, my desire is to have similar meetings with those who are willing.
I’m sure there will be another Fred Phelps, that some CEO will take the culture warrior role that Cathy is vacating and that Driscoll will relapse. But for the moment, we’re running short of people to mock.