America loves a fighter, always has.
We admire an underdog more than any other culture I can recall.
From Rocky, to Revenge of the Nerds, and every shade in between we love to see someone who is on the ropes either literally or metaphorically rise up and defeat the odds.
Even when that person is simply the victim of their own stupidity. Sometimes, especially if that person is the victim of their own stupidity.
Pastor Mark Driscoll is just that type of person.
Seemingly gifted by God with drive, determination, charisma and a successful ministry, he simply could not get out of his own way fast enough.
He stumbled himself via some pretty fantastic statements to manhood, womanhood, faith and numerous other topics.
And for a while, people simply put it off as “Mark, being Mark.”
Maybe it was the culmination of all these occurrences that eventually brought him to his downfall.
Maybe it was one thing which we simply could not forgive which finally pissed off America enough to reverse our enamoration with our once fair-haired pastor.
Whatever the individual cause, or cumulative causes, Mark Driscoll was seemingly down for the count.
Resigned from the Church he had been given the vision to found, disassociated with the network almost synonymous with his name as well as Mars Hill Church, he seemed to be a footnote and little more than a cautionary tale.
And queue the choir singing gleeful praises.
As a flawed, fallen individual, I can not rejoice at the failings of another flawed, fallen individual.
I find schadenfreude to be the least Christian act one can perpetuate.
I mourned for Mark, and I mourned for Mars Hill Church.
For all of his failings and fuck ups, Mark Driscoll mirrored Christ to numerous, even legions of people.
In our modern societal narrative, Pastors like Driscoll made Jesus make sense to people that others would never reach.
And it seemed as if that ministry had been severed, crushed and the veritable soil which birthed it covered in salt.
And then, the Pastor who seemingly had no lack of things to say, was silent..
We went on with our lives as a church.
We found new battles to fight, new foes to rail against, and it seemed that from gays against bakers, to Planned parenthood there was no lack of evil in this world which needed vanquishing.
And then, lo and behold, Pastor Mark reappeared in Scottsdale.
And I tell you what, I felt good about that.
People on the web were waiting for the next big issue from ol’ Mark Driscoll, but I was praying for redemption.
I NEED to redeem Mark Driscoll, because I am certain God already has.
One of my few redemptive qualities is my proclivity to assume redemption, for any and all sinners, because without this, I can never be certain of my own redemption.
Because like it or not, you, and I, hell every single human being on this planet, even Mother Theresa (Saint Theresa) are just as deeply flawed and screwed up as we perceive Mark Driscoll to be.
Saying that we are not as bad as Mark Driscoll is like 2 piles of crap arguing that they are not quite as nasty as that third pile of crap over there.
We’re all crap, people and no amount of pointing out the sins of anyone else in creation will make us anything else than just that.. Crap.
Redeemed crap mind you, but yes, still crap.
I am cheering for Mark Driscoll, like I did Booger in Revenge of the Nerds.
Like I did for the recruits in Police Academy.
Like I did for the groundhog in Groundhog Day…
He can fall 70 times 70 times and I will pull for him each and every time.
Because I am painfully aware of how many times I have fallen myself.
And if you are any sort of a thoughtful person, you are to.
I will never know why Mark Driscoll did some of the things he did, and I am not going to attempt to figure out why.
I am not Mark Driscoll.
But what I am, is a fallen, flawed, despicable individual.
And for some reason, an awesome, perfect, omnipotent creator God has chosen to love me.
For some reason something which is so far beyond perfection, has chosen to be my advocate, and to love ME.
For some reason, I, who know the disgusting, evil, wretched thoughts and actions which are perpetuated in my deepest darkest thoughts am loved by the very one I have rebelled against.
And so, for this, and if it were ONLY for this that would be enough, but to begin with, for this I love Mark Driscoll.
And you over there, in the corner covered in filth and yet pointing and laughing as though you had some measure by with which to judge.
You had better love Mark Driscoll too.
Because at one time, we were taught to pray, and in these prayers, was the phrase, “Forgive us our trespasses, AS we forgive those who trespass against us.”
So, as you harbor hate, as your withhold grace and forgiveness as though they were your to parse out and control.
What if those words we were taught to pray, those thousands of years ago were more than simply words.
What if they were a warning?