Thursday, February 22, 2007

C3 Session #3

Mark Driscoll, Seattle, Wa, Mars Hill, 4,500 people a weekend. Prolific teacher, really smart guy.

OK, I am a little embarrassed by this. I live in Seattle, have all my life, and I have not heard Mark speak until today.

Before I summarize, I want to thank Mark for allowing others to understand ministry in the NW, where he says boldly, "there are more dogs than Christians." Finally someone has made it to the Bible belt and let everybody know that building churches in Sea-town does not come easily with our culture.

OK, Mark preached a message on the Gospel of Christ out of 1 Cor 15:1-4. He made a lot of distinctions and sadly I couldn't hear him very well from where I was sitting. But here is the message in a nutshell.

Mark said, the two enemies of the gospel are idolatry and religion. I will handle idolatry first.

Idolatry is an enemy to the gospel and is most commonly practiced by those who do not know Jesus Christ. Quoting a woman from India he told a story about how she, surrounded by millions of god's in her nation, with chicken killing altars on the side of the street, said she would never come to the US because of our idolatry. She quoted how we worship food, with a restaurant on every corner; how we worship TV, with our sofa's pointed toward the box; and how we worship sports, with our half a billion dollar stadiums. Interesting perspective from a lady from India, where they worship 3 million gods, isn't it?

Anyway, Mark made a great point that we are created to worship, so naturally we do what only we know how to do, we worship. It is just that some are breaking the first two of the ten commandments, instead of worshipping God they are worshipping knowledge, gardens, sporting events or hobbies. In other words these things are replacing worshipping the Lord for those who do not know Christ. This is idolatry, where people worship other things before God.

Secondly, he addressed religion as the enemy of the gospel most common among those professing Christ as Lord and Savior.

He drove home that the gospel message is not about good and bad; instead, it is about being repentant or unrepentant. He was clear that God doesn't care if we are good or bad; instead, He cares that we are repentant.

Mark compared that the religious system celebrates birth family by making sure, through tradition, everyone with the family name is good and not bad, but Jesus celebrates the new birth and doesn't care who your family is. True dat.

Mark said religion bases life on what I do or don't do, but real worship of God focuses on what Jesus has done.

Mark indicated that religion focuses on what I get from God, but true worship focuses on only that I get God.

Mark said, religion views hardship as punishment for being bad, but true worship recognizes that not all hardship is bad, but that sometimes it is sanctified affliction. I would add to this that God is not punishing anyone, ever, but that the enemy is continually punishing creation to worship him; thus, God is using the enemies works of affliction, it is the enemy's camp we live in, for you and I to be sanctified through. Though we go through it; God does not put us through it! Example: do we learn a lot from sin? Why certainly, doesn't mean God puts us through sin; instead, He delivers us from sin and equips us to avoid temptation. Nevertheless, he is there should we fall prey to the enemies scheme.

Mark eloquently said religion turns us to focusing on self, but true worship focuses people on Jesus.

Mark stated, religion never allows you to know if you are enough, but true worship assures you that you are enough because Jesus is enough.

There was a lot more to Mark's talk, but I couldn't hear other parts in detail, so I will post some thoughts when I get the DVD.

Thanks Mark for telling it straight about Seattle. May Mars Hill continue to grow mightily.