Friday, 15 July 2011

Being a real "man"

Yet again Mark Driscoll is in the public eye for shooting his mouth off before engaging his brain.
Interestingly some people have used this as an excuse to raise questions about Newfrontiers, because Mark Driscoll spoke at our conference in 2009 (As well as a weekend church planting conference in Northern Ireland in 2010). Terry Virgo tweeted a word of thanks recently for his insights in 2009 that really challenged us and have been the precursor to great change regarding Terry Virgo handing on much of his oversight role to new teams of leaders.

It seems a bit odd to have to defend yourself from the actions of a speaker at a conference two years ago, whose total input into your movement of Churches specifically amounts to a little over 3 hours.

3 hours spent talking about the work of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts and common problems Church movements face.

Sure, some individuals within Newfrontiers are very influenced by Mark Driscoll, alongside Bill Johnson, Tim Keller, Bill Hybels etc. Amongst the people I know and work with someone like Tim Keller gets a lot more respect, air time and has his books quoted.

Who was the last person I heard at a Newfrontiers conference talking about men?

Carl Beech.

Who gives a good, clear counter to some of the hot air crossing the Atlantic just now. It says it is not pointed at "One man" but it certainly rings true of a counter to several Driscollisms.

Points 2 and 3 really nail it for me:

"2) I believe there is no one-way of being a man. Portraying stereotypes is unhelpful and shallow. Human beings are far more complex than any stereotype. People hear my accent and see my build and assume I’m into everything that’s macho and despise anything that looks weak or wimpy. Assumption is the mother of all catastrophe. I play piano, write poems and don’t like football. I also love to cook and don’t mind watching a chick flick with the girls. However, it is true I also love gadgets, shooting stuff, meat, fire and loud music. Big deal. I have testosterone. Some of my mates who also of course have testosterone like none of these things. Big deal. Lets get on with the real task in hand. Millions are dying without Christ. We need all our talents, eccentricities and personalities on task.

3) Projecting ‘macho” as the only type of man speaks to me of deep inadequacy and insecurity. If you were truly a man (of whatever type) you wouldn’t keep needing to talk about it. You would simply live it, demonstrate you are truly comfortable in your own skin and point beyond yourself to Jesus. We tend to bleat on about what we struggle with most. Be mindful of this next time you get a hobby horse!"

There is a guy in our Church who is really creative, and he makes handbags. I encourage him in this hobby. They are beautiful. He recently brought in a painting he had done of Calvary. We used it within our worship in our Good Friday meeting and it is now displayed in our main coffee lounge.

In November 2009 I wrote of Mark Driscoll "The flip side is that whenever I hear a message from him he always makes a comment of some sort I am certain aged 50 he will regret."

Not much has changed since then, for me (except to be more and more frustrated by Driscoll's ability to start a fight in a phonebox), or sadly, for him.

One final point: criticising Terry Virgo for his links with Mark Driscoll is not only plainly unfair, it is also very self defeating. If anything Driscoll needs people like Terry Virgo speaking into his life, now more than ever.


Peter Kirk said...

Thank you, David, for your post, and for linking to my post which you are responding to. I appreciate what you write. I have a lot of respect for Carl Beech, whom I have met, and all the more after reading your quote from him here.

On your final point, what Mark Driscoll needs is good examples from Christian leaders who think of the consequences before writing on social media. Sadly Terry Virgo has not, in this instance, given him a good example - unless he really did intend to endorse Driscoll's controversial statement.

Blue, with a hint of amber said...

I think it is a lot deeper than the timing of a twitter comment Peter. people disagree with Terry Virgo on many issues but few people accuse him from being anything other than gracious and loving.

The same can't be said of Driscoll.

Driscoll does not need help with the timing of a social media firestorm. He needs help to not be that firestorm.

Peter Kirk said...

I didn't say it was a matter of timing. Nor did I suggest that Virgo was anything other than gracious or loving, or has any intention of coming across as a bully. But he, as well as Driscoll, needs help to avoid being a social media firestorm by thinking twice before he posts.

Blue, with a hint of amber said...

Sorry Peter, I was not trying to misrepresent what you said.

The only aspect of Virgo's tweet anyone could consider strange would be its timing. Not its content. And that is only about its timing compared to Mark Driscoll's current controversy, not its timing compared to Terry Virgo's ministry, in which case the timing was perfect, being at the beginning of the week were terry is enacting some of the things Driscoll challenged him on.

And yes I know you didn't say anything negative about Virgo. That is why people like Driscoll could learn a thing or two from him before shooting their mouths off.

Jongudmund said...

I'd missed this 'controversy' (just caught up), but the thing about Mark Driscoll is that he fprgets you reap what you sow.

He has never been shy about attacking people. And as a result when he says something stupid he gets attacked.

Weeeeeeell... if you set the rules, don't complain about them.