Friday, 6 November 2009

thank God for seeker-hostile churches

I rather like Mark Driscoll's description of his 'Mars Hill' church as being, 'seeker-hostile' or 'seeker-unfriendly'. Of course it is an overstatement, a provocative soundbite, a reaction against 'seeker-friendlyism' and the danger of a namby-pamby no-scandal message that offends no-one.

Driscoll is not revelling in being personally offensive. He is revelling in the 'offence of the cross'. He is advocating a plain-speaking gospel. The kind of gospel Peter preached in Acts 2, that Paul preaches in Acts 17, indeed that Jesus regularly preached incurring the wrath of the establishment and rejection by the common people. The gospel that includes,

'The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again... If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul. If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels.'

3 comments:

Nick Mackison said...

Isn't Driscoll's church planting ethos (i.e. get a cool band and people will come) a manifestation of seeker-friendlyism? Maybe I'm being harsh.

Alexander Smith said...

I think that man in Seattle has confused seeker-hostile with Christian-hostile. Explains why all those drugged-up, empty-headed, ex-grunge-type drones all flock to his "church".

Alexander Smith said...

It is also decidedly UNChristian to be "seeker-hostile", however much for provocation he might be using the term. Whilst the seeker-sensitive movement is shallow and pointless, I cannot imagine a church being "hostile" to new people in any positive sense. This just gets to the heart of the problem with that man: it's all show, it's all machismo, it's all about being "provocative". When does it get to be about God's unconditional love for sinners? Or is that too namby-pamby.