In our area lots of folks are drawn to the Mars Hill church in Seattle and ‘tens of thousands’ more who listen on line. I began to watch this lengthy video – it is a sermon, after all, and listened to his take on birth control and what the Bible says about marriage, procreation and principles of birth control. So after listening for awhile I realized that he, as we all do I suppose, interprets according to his conviction or his interpretations or reactions to what he’s read, heard or seen. I notice this throughout life, when we like someone or want to like someone, then we tend to accept what they say or teach – but if not, and especially when it comes to ‘religious’ people with views counter to our own, we tend to discount, exaggerate or mock what they say, do or think. We might even dare to call them legalists or legalistic. That label used to be bandied about by people outside the church, but now it’s increasingly common within the church to divide from legalists. Interestingly, though, legalism has been redefined to include much more than it ever did before recent times. Now, legalism is anything that holds to what’s considered a ‘narrow view’ of the Word of God and moral absolutes. Before the paradigm shift of much of the modern church, what’s now called legalism was simply adherence to high morals based on what’s clearly defined and taught in the Word.
When Mark Driscoll started his sermon, I thought… hmmm… I think he just might have something here. But the longer I listened, the more I realized he had an agenda (again, as most of us do when talking about things we’re passionate about) and his preconceived notions or his biases were evident. If you like (follow, subscribe to, admire, agree with, etc., etc.) Christian teachers such as Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Nancy Campbell, Doug Phillips and/or Mary Pride, then his comments and interpretations of their teachings, Biblical understanding or positions will likely cause a reaction. And it won’t be cheerful. Well, that’s what I thought, anyway. But I always react pretty strongly when people trot out the Andrea Yates argument and start dumping conservative homeschooling, homebirthing, yada, yada, yada mothers into her bathtub.
Further, you’ll likely have some strong reactions if you’re attempting to live in accordance with God’s Word and are asking His blessing on your marriage and especially if you understand that to mean: one, some, none, many or however many children “blessing” means. And if, with that mindset, you are “quiverful minded” and/or are a homeschooling mom in a dress with a wide collar (snipe, snipe) or if you take the verse, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…,” to mean what it says and you don’t reinterpret it to fit your agenda, then you will likely react to Mark Driscoll’s condescending remarks.
But… if you’ve been taught to believe otherwise, then… you’ll find his sermon and his assumptions — well, just what you want to hear. Bcz whatever you think is what’s best.