The Rise and Fall of American Churches

MikebeNOBLE, Book Reviews

This blog is in response to the podcast, “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill,” but I think applies to many similarities that are happening throughout churches all across America. I want to preface this blog with a couple of things…

  1. I haven’t even finished all of the episodes of this podcast yet from Christianity Today, but had a few thoughts come to mind as I’m listening and wanted to share
  2. I realize that Mark Drischoll and Mars Hill have hurt a lot of people over the years, so I don’t want that point to go unnoticed and feel like I’m overlooking that

Now to the main reason I’m writing this blog, and I’m going to try and keep this as short and simple as possible by starting out with a couple of questions…

  1. Are we called as Christians to spread the good news of the gospel to as many people as we can?
  2. Does that calling look different in all of our lives?
  3. Do we know the true heart of anyone other than ourselves?
  4. If you answered yes, yes and no respectively to those 3 questions, then the final question is; do we know if Mark Drischoll was doing all of this for his own fame and glory or did he truly feel called from God, as he has said many times, “to marry Grace, preach the Bible, train men and plant churches?

You can find a lot of info online if you don’t know the full story and I’m sure none of us actually know the “full story.” However, from everything I’ve read and listened to, here is my summary…

Mark Drischoll did some amazing things in the name of Christ and brought tens of thousands of people to be in a relationship with Him. From the books I’ve read from Mark and sermons I’ve listened to, his theology is sound. Yes, sometimes he pushes the line and is edgy in his approach, but that’s because he is trying to be as real as possible. Does all of that excuse the fact that he made mistakes, probably having pride and anger get in the way of his calling? Absolutely not.

I think one of the main problems we have in our culture today, is putting our faith in human beings. This happens way more than it should in Christian culture. I spend a lot of time listening and reading from people who are not God because there is a ton of great content out there that can help in all areas of life. However, I am very careful to put anything into my mind that is not biblically backed. First and foremost, we need to go to the bible and walk by the truth of the gospel. Then, we look toward people who are called in different ways to help us through this broken world, while never putting our faith in that person.

So again, I feel for everyone that has been hurt from Mars Hill, but I hope we all can learn something through it as it happens over and over again in churches across America. Human beings will always make mistakes. However, God never has. He will never let us down. Let’s focus on that amazing fact and don’t be surprised when people make mistakes.

That’s one thing I love about our church, Redemption Chapel. All of our pastors acknowledge the fact all of the time that we need to hear from the Word of God and not from them. They acknowledge that we are all very broken, including themselves, and are in need of a savior. Some people are moving away from the Church because of all of the hurt that surrounds it from examples like Mars Hill. I think that is a terrible idea. We are all called biblically to be a part of a church community. I would just say, when you’re looking for a church, look for one that will always fall back on the message of the gospel and then…give the leadership grace. Understanding you may not agree with everything that happens, but as long as they still preach the message of the gospel, it’s then on us to find our own communities within that church and continue to build our relationship with Christ. That’s what matters the most. Know Him, grow that relationship and then go spread that good news.

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