During his sermon Sunday morning my pastor quoted Mark Driscoll. And the question occurred to me, what if someone listening to him for the first time assumed things about him and our church based on one phrase: “Mark Driscoll said…”
Many of the popular “watch-blogs” would assume certain things about my pastor simply because he quoted the oftentimes (though not as bad as a few years ago) crass and lewd Driscoll. Instead of talking to him first, or listening to the whole sermon and the quote in context, or investigating his leadership, they would jump to the conclusion that he is an imitator of the man he quoted. Then, they would make assumptions about the people filling the pews. Next thing you know we’re labeled heretics and a synagogue of Satan.
Have you seen the blogs I’m referring to? The ones with headlines like: (Name of pastor) shares pulpit with (Name of pastor): Slippery slope to apostasy? Or what about, (Name of pastor) references (Name of monk) in new book: Church headed toward mysticism? The assumptions that annoy me the most are the ones that are separated by several degrees. They go like this: Minister A quotes Minister B who was at the event with Minister C who was in that video with Minister D that promoted praying with your hands in your lap. OH NOES! RUN AWAY!
I’m a careful person when it comes to scripture and theology and truth vs. error, but that logic is kind of ridiculous. Not only that, but it’s more like gossip than discernment.
It reminds me of one of my favorite movie scenes:
Right now some of you are assuming things about me because in the title of this post I quote a mythical creature which was created by a man who practiced Catholicism and who was also a close friend of C.S. Lewis who wrote about tree spirits and universal salvation. Or maybe you’re sizing me up based on my use of a clip from Monty Python which was produced by HandMade Films which also made Life of Brian and was funded by George Harrison who was in the most famous rock band ever and met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who teaches transcendental meditation. Well, don’t be silly: Of course, I like rabbits.