Driscoll’s DeJesus Uncrossed

Preston Sprinkle —  October 23, 2013

Mark Driscoll recently argued that “the Prince of Peace is not a pacifist” and that “those who want to portray Jesus as a pansy or a pacifist are prone to be very selective in the parts of the Bible they driscollquote.” Driscoll argues his case ironically—some would say comically—by selecting portions from the Bible, including the “bloody Old Testament” (my apologies on behalf of Mark to our British readers), Romans 13, and the book of Revelation (or more specifically, a Hal Lindsay-like interpretation of Revelation that interprets the apocalyptic imagery in hyper-literal terms).

I found Mark’s article entertaining, sort of like watching six-year old boys play baseball. I laughed, I cried, and I rubbed my eyes wondering how a responsible Bible teacher could make such embarrassing interpretive moves. Like watching a mini-slugger whack the tee 10 times before he smacks the ball and when he finally hits it, it dribbles down the first-base line into foul territory.

Mark rightly distinguishes between “killing” and “murder” in the Old Testament, but then he heroically leaps over biblical books in a single bound. After summarizing the “bloody Old Testament” as supporting “lawful taking of life, such as self-defense, capital punishment, and just war,” Mark jumps past the Sermon on the Mount, the life of Christ, Jesus’s prohibitions against violence in the gospels, and Paul’s commands against violence in Romans 12, finally landing on Romans 13 for a quick touch and go before he flies over the rest of Paul’s letters, Hebrews, and 1 Peter, ultimately arriving to the book of Revelation.

I actually really like Mark Driscoll. He’s a former ball player, and so am I. He loves red meat, craft beer, and has no time for diaper wearing pansies behind the pulpit. Mark is a manly man, and since I was recently labeled a “manly pacifist,” I think we have a lot in common. Mark says it like it is. So do I. So let me say it like it is: Mark’s assumption that pacifists are pansies is historically naïve, theologically horrendous, and shows that Mark’s been more influenced by the worldview of those who put Jesus on the cross rather than the One who hung on it. Everything Mark says about violence is eerily close to what Rome said about it 2,000 years ago. Contrary to Rome, Jesus taught that suffering leads to glory, cross-shaped weakness radiates divine power, and loving your enemies showcases the character of the Father (Matthew 5:44-48).

Mark’s selection of passages that talk about violence has been violently ripped from the cruciform flow of the New Testament itself.

I’ve already addressed Romans 13 in another post, and I have four chapters on the Old Testament in my book Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence. I also have a whole chapter in Fight that documents 300 years of Christian pansies, who refused to use violence against their enemies. But what about Revelation 19? Doesn’t this chapter depict a tatted up, commando Jesus hacking his enemies to pieces with a sword?

Yes, Jesus returns as Judge in Revelation 19, and we see Him “clothed in a robe dipped in blood” (19:13). But his clothes are bloodied before He wages war against the enemy. Why? Because it’s His Own blood. The robe dipped in His own blood (crucifixion) gives Jesus the authority to conquer, to boldly announce His victory over His foes. Jesus doesn’t need to hack His way through enemy DeJesuslines like a crazed warrior. He doesn’t need to do anything but declare with cosmic, cruciform authority that He has already won.

And yes, Jesus has a sword. But contrary to Driscoll, the sword comes “from his mouth,” not His hand (19:15, 21), which in Revelation always refers to a word of judgment, not a literal sword. Jesus doesn’t run a carnival. He doesn’t pull rabbits from His hat or swords from His throat. The sword is symbolic and refers to Jesus’s “death-dealing pronouncement which goes forth like a sharp blade from the lips of Christ” as one non-pacifist commentator puts it.

The Lamb—the crucified not crucifying Lamb—has conquered!

But it’s Driscoll’s rhetoric that is more entertaining than his exegesis. He still, after all these years, considers Christian pacifists—including Martin Luther King, Charles Spurgeon, Leo Tolstoy, Dwight Moody, and most of the pre-Constantine leaders of the church—to be pansies. Those who pick up their crosses and follow Jesus’s nonviolent journey to the cross are pansies. Those who take Jesus’s counterintuitive, life-giving words seriously, to turn the other cheek and love their enemies, are pansies. But for Driscoll, not only are these Christian heroes pansies, but all who teach that Jesus was a pacifist will be slaughtered by Mark’s (De)Jesus when He returns—Uncrossed:

Some of those whose blood will flow as high as the bit in a horse’s mouth for 184 miles will be those who did not repent of their sin but did wrongly teach that Jesus was a pacifist.

Wow. Yes, that’s an exact quote. I have so many words swirling in my head, but if I said them here I’d have to repent later.

Look, I’m all for being manly (if you’re a man). But let’s not be pansies by letting our gun toting, rib eating, Harley riding culture tells us what it means to be a man. I own guns. I love ribs. I ride a Harley. But I don’t let these cultural artifacts dictate my theology. The New Testament is clear: Real men love their enemies, never return evil for evil, and never resist evil by using violence. Real men suffer. Real men pray for those who persecute them. Real men submit to the sword, but they don’t bear it. So go ahead and eat raw meat, vote Republican, shoot your guns (just not at people). But let’s invite the word of Christ to reconfigure and confront our cultural view of manhood.

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Preston Sprinkle

Preston Sprinkle

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I'm married to a beautiful wife and we have four kids (3 girls and a boy). I've been teaching college level Bible and Theology classes for a few years now (since 2007), and enjoy hanging out with my family, running, surfing, and life in SoCal. Before I became a teacher, I was in school. Lots and lots of school. I did a B.A. and M.Div here in SoCal, and then did a Ph.D. in Scotland in NT studies. Before coming to EBC, I taught at Nottingham University for a semester, and Cedarville University for a couple of years. Along with surfing, I also love to research and write, and I've written a few things on Paul, Early Judaism, and Hell.
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  • ywilber

    For what it is worth, “diaper wearing” is most likely a direct allusion to Mark’s own comments about Jesus, not about pastors. (I assume Preston was using “Driscolleze” in his critique.) In 2007, Relevant Magazine, Pastor Mark said,

    “Some emergent types [want] to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in His hair, who drank decaf and made pithy Zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. In Revelation, Jesus is a prize fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.”

    This comment is a slam against the image of Jesus on the cross as traditionally represented– with a drape of fabric over his genitals. It has nothing to do with an actual diaper or incontinence, rather Driscoll’s discomfort with the image of the crucified Christ.

  • Eva

    Wow Jerome. I so agree. It was hurled ad hominem. Why was it there? What does it have to do with Mr. Driscoll or pacifism?

    Democrats are not pacifist. There was no need to throw that one in. Mr. Sprinkle is using it as a way of name calling. My conclusion is that cool bible students need to know that voting Republican is bad. Wow.

    • MarkBeuving

      Eva, if Preston’s republican comment was ad hominem, it was against himself. He said, “So go ahead and eat raw meat, vote Republican, shoot your guns (just not at people). But let’s invite the word of Christ to reconfigure and confront our cultural view of manhood.” In the sentences prior he had said that he himself likes rare steak and shooting guns. (Are those ad hominem attacks? If not, why would voting Republican be?) He’s said elsewhere that he votes Republic (at least much of the time). He’s not calling names, he’s identifying some elements that our culture tends to associate with being a man, and explaining that Jesus should define manliness, not these cultural things. If anything I’d say your “conclusion” (that Preston is trying to look cool to his students by convincing them all to vote Democrat) is the real ad hominem attack because it groundlessly attributes a character flaw to Preston.

  • jen m

    I mean, if you’re gonna quote Luke 6- don’t ignore the bits around it, they’re pretty relevant, and very clear…

    27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who [o]mistreat you. 29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your [p]coat, do not withhold your [q]shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 [r]Treat others the same way you want [s]them to treat you. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, [t]expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 [u]Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

    And as for evildoers… Jesus was pretty clear in Matthew 5….

    38“You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’
    39“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
    40“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
    41“Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
    42“Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

    43“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’
    44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
    45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
    46“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
    47“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
    48“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    • Eva

      So Jen, a guy tries to grab your wallet as you are getting into your car at the grocery store. You really think that Jesus wants you to hand him your purse and car keys too?

      Jesus says, “Do not resist and evil person,” So if a man wishes to literally violate you with force (rape), do you think that Jesus doesn’t want to to fight back? You think that Jesus who has all wisdom would want you to offer him the other cheek?

      And again, Jesus has direct contact with a soldier and doesn’t say ‘quit your loser job and go get a job that doesn’t use force.’

      If we take “turn the other cheek” in every situation, the world would be run by tyrants. Should South Korea turn the other cheek and not defend themselves against the murderous thugs that run North Korea? Should a police officer “turn the other cheek” while “using force” to arrest someone?

      I think Jesus wants us to use compassion in our personal lives and have standards for the society in general. I think Jesus wants us to have wisdom. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

      I am sure you would agree that a parent raising a child doesn’t “turn the other cheek” an unruly 12 year old that slugs his or her parent. Just stop and think. A parent has God given authority to stop that kid in his tracks. The parent doesn’t offer the other cheek, right? (BTW- I am not suggesting slugging back is the solution for the parent.) I am only pointing out that this blanket “turn the other cheek” in every situation shows a real lack of wisdom.

      • MarkBeuving

        Eva, who has time to read add another book to their reading list, but I think you’d really benefit from reading Preston’s book on nonviolence if you ever get a chance. Preston really does deal thoughtfully with each of the questions you raised her. They are certainly important questions to wrestle with, and they deserve much bigger answers than a few situational dilemmas can provide. I know several people who read Preston’s book and weren’t convinced by everything, but are still very glad they read it because it helped them think through the issues. Again, who has time for the books they know they’ll love, let alone the books they’re confident they’ll disagree with? I’m just a Preston Sprinkle fan and think you’d benefit from walking through those issues with him (I know I did).

      • jen m

        Ava, I agree with Mark- Preston’s book handles each situation you bring up much more completely and thoughtfully than we can in an blog post comment section.

        But the short answer is yes, I do think if someone is trying to steal my wallet, I give him my purse too- that’s a pretty clear parallel to what Jesus is saying with the whole cloak/shirt thing, and there’s nothing in this passage to indicate that these are metaphorical suggestions. Jesus’s way is totally counter intuitive.

        Do I think I can defend myself? Maybe. if I can do it in a way that doesn’t violate the other person, and is still showing love to my enemy, then yes.

        In the case of the soldier- 2 things- 1. the passage doesn’t make clear whether he’s talking to “followers” (meaning, is that soldier a believer? to me it makes a difference- those who aren’t, are not bound by Christ’s way) and Prestons book really does address this- can Christians be in military service and law enforcement?

        Also, there is a difference between turning the other cheek when you are being violated, and holding those whom you are in authority over (as a parent, police officer) accountable. These two things can work together, and do, and allow believers to follow ALL of Christ’s commands (he wouldn’t command something opposite to other commands, only fulfilling other commands)- although Preston’s book does address law enforcement, and if/how Christians can be a part of it.

        Ultimately, I believe it’s a human solution that the only way to stop violence is with violence. I think we prove over and over that this way just perpetuates more and longer violence, and doesn’t “solve” any problems. Jesus came to bring a different way- not just to this but to everything.

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  • Eva

    I am curious if your church shares your belief that killing an individual who would murder others is the wrong thing to do. Do you have military personnel or peace officers at your church? If you had the opportunity to kill a man with his finger on a dirty bomb in a shopping center, do you think that is immoral to do so? Do you think it is immoral for a cop to shoot the mass murderer? I think God will judge those who don’t protect the innocent. I also believe that our Father will look at the heart.

  • Preston

    Good question, Sharon! And I would agree the replies below. The question is not whether or not Christians should defend or protect, but the means by which we should protect. Put simply: Does the NT ever suggest that Christians should use violence to defend the innocent or confront evil?

    I have not found a convincing biblical answer that says “yes.”

    • sharonthiel

      Thank you for your response, Preston. I would say that the means chosen (were one given time, or course) to defend those in one’s care should start with everything BUT violence, and would hope any civilized (not just Christian) person would agree. However, I would point out that the one violent act exhibited by the Lord Jesus was in defense of a corrupt and unrighteous action taking place in the Temple space. He accompanies this physical act of stopping this activity by referring to God having stated His house should be “a house of prayer”. In the New Covenant, the body of the Believer in Jesus Christ is referred to as the Temple of God (God’s house). If Jesus resorted to violence to protect the material building of God’s house, it makes sense to me that He would affirm such a response in a Christian to defend human beings, even most especially if they are your family and thus of your household of Faith!

      Just as Lance Gabriel Hancock implies above, I have had people say that the righteous response to defending someone from physical harm is to stand in their place and take the hit oneself. This is of course the ideal, and sounds very noble unless you consider the more common circumstance that if you are out of the picture, the ones you are laying down your life for will now be totally at the mercy of the one inflicting harm! With all due respect, we are not God, therefore we do not have the supernatural ability to send the Holy Spirit in our place to stand beside our loved ones as Jesus did after laying down His life for us and returning to Heaven.

      One of the main themes expressed in Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, is reverence for life, and a respectful approach to all that concerns breath and the letting of blood. As we are indeed made in the image of God, it holds true to believe that just as He defended and protected His own Chosen people, He has created in man the very call within our dna to defend and protect our own, as well.

      • Patrick

        Flipping over some tables isn’t violence. Driving people out of a temple square isn’t either. Violence it trying to destroy someone.

        • sharonthiel

          Patrick, if you are defining violence as “trying to destroy someone”, we have a very different list of definitions for violence! There are many levels of “violent” response!

          I am not speaking “in general” in my comments on this subject. I speaking purely about an “in the moment” response of a man to a literal, actually happening attempt on his family’s life….the rape or kidnap of his wife, sister, daughter or son….or maybe even any other defenseless person in his immediate reach of instantaneous response. That is my distilling down of the issue to the bottom line question of “Is a man called by God to defend the safety of his family, even if a physical deterrent needs to be used, or is he not?” Not reaching for philosophical debates, just reality check. > Peace.

          • Patrick

            My argument is that Jesus never once committed a violent act. Even if you want to squeeze my definition of “trying to destroy someone” in, you’d at least have to agree that there must be some intent to harm. Flipping tables and driving people from a square isn’t intending to harm anymore than a shepherd herding his sheep is.

  • Preston

    Okay, regarding the tone and language of this blog. Most people I’ve talked to said it was spot on. Some have said that I was too gracious and that I avoided snarky rhetoric, while others have said that it was condescending, arrogant, childish, or something of the sort.

    How the tone of one’s writing or speaking comes off is, of course, subjective to the hearer/reader. So I’m not surprised that my blog has elicited a vast array of responses. However, I wanted everyone to know that I have asked the elders at my church to read the blog and assess the tone, and if they say that I need to repent from anything I have said or the way I’ve said it, then I will gladly do so in a forthcoming blog. My desire is never to be condescending, arrogant, or childish.

    I want to thank everyone for being honest with how they felt about the blog–the tone, the argument, and even my interpretation of Mark’s sermon/blog. My main desire is to be Christlike, not to be right.

    Also, for the sake of time, I probably won’t respond to questions or comments that I have already addressed in my book. I would encourage any interested reader to read my book and you’ll find a detailed response to almost every question regarding Christians, violence, and the Bible therein. And no, I’m not trying to generate sales for my book, since my book is available for free here:

    http://bookshout.com/co/fight?code=fight-ps

    Enjoy!

  • Preston

    Brad, chapter 7 (I think) of Fight talks about this in detail. Good question.

  • Preston

    Trev, I am terribly sorry for that comment. Please forgive me. I didn’t consider someone like you and therefore my comment was wrong. Thanks for pointing it out. I’ll try to never say that again.

  • Jared

    I am thankful for this post, but need clarity on one statement you mentioned. You said, “never resist evil by using violence”. Never? What implications does that have for military and obvious forces of evil like Hussain and Bin Laden? I am in process on what I feel is right as a believer, and this is the only area of uncertainty that I found in reading your blog. What do you think?

    • Preston

      Jared, good questions. I’ve addressed all of these in my book. The problem is that it’s tough to give a quick answer without first articulating a biblical theology of violence and how Christians are to confront evil.

      So, the larger question is: Does the NT ever suggest that violence is the means by which Christians should confront evil? And the answer I’ve found is “no.”

  • Adel

    I agree Matt. Unfortunately it seems to me that a lot of wild assumptions were made about the content of Mark’s article, which I found to be much less condescending and sarcastic than Preston’s response.
    Although you advocate pacifism Preston, ironically your tone in this blog unfortunately leans towards the other side.
    Perhaps it would have been better to share a beer and rare steak with Mark and have an honest Q&A with him in order to clarify some of his statements prior to posting this blog. In your own words “you were deeply offended” and this offense permeates throughout the post…

  • Blake

    Preston, I agree with all that you say, but I am not sure I would’ve said it that way. Hundreds of internet comment sections have devolved into debates on Ephesians 4:29, so I don’t want to go there, but I am not sure this was as grace-lavished as it could have been. God bless you brother and I appreciate our brotherhood in the kingdom.

  • Preston

    Thanks Jonathan! Thanks for weighing in.

  • jen m

    to say that non-violence means non-action is a false dichotomy. Practicing non-violence does not mean allowing wives, children etc. to be harmed because one does NOTHING. It means that one will not kill in that process. there are MANY MANY things that can be done between “nothing” and “taking another’s life”. Pacifism is that spectrum. It stops before taking another life. It trusts that God has a plan even in extreme hardship, and is not willing to usurp control of the situation for self preservation. Daniel willingly went to the Lions den, trusting God when the situation was hopeless and meant certain death, as I would assert many of the “wives and children” hypotheticals seem. How often to we thwart Gods plan and ability to work and show his glory by taking impossible situations into our own hands?

  • sue a

    From another whole perspective…what’s wrong with “pansies”? They are colorful, radiant flowers that bloom in the spring and remind me of the risen Jesus and the wonder of the Creator! Creating all people and all nature.
    I know, naïve, unsophisticated and not at all scholarly.
    . But not beside the point at all.

  • Lance Gabriel Hancock

    sharonthiel –

    Regarding the section you take issue with: what if you replaced “Real men” with “Jesus”? Jesus loved his enemies, didn’t return evil for evil, suffered, prayed for his persecutors, etc. If we are basing our definition of a real man on Jesus, then you might be questioning Jesus’ reasoning and honor as a man.

    I agree that men are to protect their families, just as Christ protected his (spiritual) family. But the means by which he protected them was not meeting violence with violence, but absorbing that violence in himself. He doesn’t shoot the guy with the knife in order to protect his beloved–he steps in front of it.

    • sharonthiel

      I hear you, Lance. Please read would I replied to Preston below.

  • Preston

    Joe, really good questions! Thanks so much for weighing in. You’ve obviously thought hard about this issue.

    Rather than responding to all of your solid questions, I can point you to my book where I thoroughly address them all.

    Thanks again for dropping in, Joe. Please come back!

  • Preston

    Thanks for being honest, Whitney. I really appreciate it. And if my tone has robbed Jesus of his glory in any way, then I will seriously consider changing my language. Perhaps other readers could way in, because I’ve been told by others that my tone was “too gracious” and that my blog avoided the “snarky rhetoric” that other blogs have made. Now, of course, how one feels about the tone of one’s writing is a subjective matter.

    But in all honesty, Whitney, I was deeply offended at Mark’s words. Offended not for myself, but for the millions of believers who have stood in the flames of persecution refusing to use violence against their enemies because they believed that violence has no place in the Christian fath; offended on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Christian African-Americans who fight nonviolently for their rights during the civil rights movement; offended for the many thousands of believers who nonviolently resisted the Nazis in Le Chambon and elsewhere, rescuing Jews from the gas chambers and refusing to use violence to do so out of allegiance to their Lord; offended on behalf of the thousands of Christians who were pacifists (most of which were) during the first 300 brutal years of Christianity; offended that the glory of Christ was robbed in Mark’s message, I believe, since it was Jesus (not some long hair, peace loving hippie) who nonviolently endured being struck in the head, spit in the face, and nailed to the tree, giving us a pattern for how believers are to treat and love their enemies–to call all of these heroes pansies…yes, there may have been a bit of an edge to my blog, but it was a blunted edge compared to my first 3 drafts.

    Also, as you may gather from my writing style in my blogs and books, I do like to integrate humor and creativity in my writing. I really don’t like (I sort of despise) stoic, boring, information-only sort of writing. But maybe I went too far, Whitney. I will genuinely seek counsel concerning your rebuke.

    As far as arguing biblically for my view against Mark’s, I feel that I have already done that in my book and in several other blogs, so I didn’t want to just repeat my argument here.

    And–honest question–does the blog feel like I’m just trying to promote my book? Oh man, I seriously hope that doesn’t come across. I hate self-promotion. I will unapologetically promote the message contained in my book, because I believe it’s Jesus’s word to His church. And unfortunately, to inform people about this message you have to inform people about the book, where the message is contained. But I never, ever, ever want to self-promote for self-promotion’s sake. Honestly. Seriously. Shoot me now if I do. (Or…no, don’t do that.)

    Thanks Whitney for your candid and honest comment.

    • http://www.lauraljohnson.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

      my 2 cents, and I am no fan of Mark Driscoll… like at all, but the second paragraph did feel kinda condescending. It was the one thing that made me hesitate to ‘share’ on fb (though I did end up sharing). The line between condescension/snark and humor is tough, esp when addressing someone like Driscoll.

      And no it did not just feel like you were promoting your book.

      • Preston

        Okay, thanks Laura.

  • Kelly

    I love this! “Mark’s assumption that pacifists are pansies is historically naïve, theologically horrendous, and shows that Mark’s been more influenced by the worldview of those who put Jesus on the cross rather than the One who hung on it.” Amazing haha…..Although Maybe Driscoll is onto something, as Crossan points out as the NT is progressively written it gets a lil Romanized!

  • Art Bucher

    Seems to me that a lot of people were looking for God to send a violent warrior
    king instead of someone like Jesus when he first appeared on the scene, and they missed out on what God was actually doing in the flesh in the world. Let’s try not to repeat that mistake again now or when he comes back.

  • Jamie

    Maybe I’m missing the whole point, and please forgive me if so. So as a Christian, you do not think we should use a gun or weapon if intruded upon and true life threatened? (such as in a house break in?) I’ve been practicing shooting for protection (female here), so just wondered. Thanks.

    • Preston

      Hey Jamie, really good question! In light of Whitney’s comment above I really hesitate saying this, but…I do answer this in my book. I would only say that, as a Bible believing Christian, I would need to have a solid biblical case for shooting someone in self-defense. And I’ve yet to see such an argument.

  • Richard Harstone

    The danger is, as someone once said: “We become the god we worship”. When faith leaders advocate for a strong-armed Jesus who will crush all his enemies like some tin-pot, Third-world dictator, Is it any wonder that so many Christians are some of the loudest cheerleaders for violent intervention wherever there is conflict?

  • Drw

    It seems to me you didn’t quite hear the point o his sermon. He’s not saying he was pro violence. All of Those things you said in your last paragraph seems to me are things he agrees with. He was just painting a Bigger picture on the difference between killing and murder. To be honest I find it sad that that’s all you hear out of that message. In fact I got to talk to one of my clients about abortion and what the bibles says bc I was just really convicted by that sermon on how we don’t hold life as precious anymore

    • Preston

      Drw,

      If Mark Discroll ever signs off on what I say in that last paragraph–that real men “never resist evil by using violence” and “submit to the sword, but they don’t bear it” then I will eagerly delete my blog.

  • Rich Kirkpatrick

    You don’t have to officially be a pacifist to cheer your article on, do you? Cheers!

  • John Walker

    This is fantastic.

  • Tommy

    Preston, I don’t think Mark was saying that all pacifists will be slaughtered. He was just saying that some pacifists haven’t repented of their sin in general, and so it will be ironic when they are slaughtered. That is, those pacifists who have repented of their sin (and I don’t) think Mark meant “sin” here to refer to pacifism) won’t be slaughtered, but all who haven’t repented of their sin, including some pacifists, will be.

    • andrew mook

      what mark said was reckless, and embarrassing

      • Jere Witherspoon

        Sadly…that is his style. Reckless…..and then embarrassing.

    • Preston

      I sure hope you’re right, Tommy. If you are, then I would only plea for more syntactical clarity. If your “reading of Mark” is correct, though, then why single out pacifists? Obviously, if anyone doesn’t repent from their sin, they’ll be judged. The reference to “and teach that Jesus was a pacifist” rhetorically contributes to the meaning of the prior clause.

      • Andrew Frickin Muller

        Yeah that was my thought as well. I do hope he was originally meaning everyone, but the fact that he singled out pacifists makes it very clear that he wasn’t meaning just anyone. I think it was be rather evasive to try and pretend that was the case.

        At very best it was (as andrew mook says) reckless. At worst it’s wrong.