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Good answer, Mark

March 10, 2012

I watched CNN last night to catch the interview Piers Morgan did with Mark Driscoll, the influential yet controversial pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle Washington.  I don’t always agree with Mark, frankly I don’t think anyone does, but I had an anticipation of this interview somewhat akin to that you might get if you went to a daredevil display where some guy on a motorcycle was about to leap over forty burning cars or something.  There was the thrill of wondering if he was going to make it and also the ever-present risk of a fiery crash.

Whenever well-known Christians go before a secular media host it is always a challenge.  You always know that, from the start, the interviewer is going to try and get the Christian to say something stupid.  I admire the courage of those who are willing to sit in the hot seat because more often than not it is a lose/lose proposition.  They have their choice of saying something that will offend the secular audience or something that will offend Christians.  Mark has a special gift for doing both at the same time.

In any event, the “gotcha” question came, to no particular surprise, when Piers Morgan asked him whether homosexuality was a sin.  I was on the edge of my seat to hear the answer.  Driscoll bounced off the question, declared his conviction that the Biblical view is that all sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, and zeroed in on a passionate denouncement of men who will not commit to marriage, fatherhood and responsibility.  So forceful was he in this declaration that, to my shock, Piers Morgan agreed with him that it was the larger problem before going on to seek another “gotcha” question.

But frankly I thought it was a good answer.  We in the church seem to be particularly good at speaking forcefully against homosexuality and yet being silent or neglectful on sin in general.  I cringe when I hear someone using terms like “defense of marriage” or “marriage protection” and then failing to mention the growing trend of men walking away from family responsibilities that has become a major blight on our society.  Driscoll correctly cited that, for women under 30, more children are born out of marriage than in.  So, good answer Mark.

Two other quick points need saying.  If we are going to challenge or disagree with public figures like Mark Driscoll, we need to be equally willing to express thanks and agreement when we think they are right. 

Also, while you and I have no expectations that Piers Morgan is going to call and ask for an interview, we will always encounter similar attitudes and hostility when we express our Christians views.  Responding to them requires a combination of courage and grace.  We can have confidence that God is with us.

“…you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.  This will result in your being witnesses to them.  But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.”  Luke 21:12-15

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