Archive for March, 2015

March 13, 2015

Mark Driscoll, Rob Bell & Rick Warren: Are We Raising Up A Generation A Generation of Christians Who Follow Christian Leaders Blindly?

You know one thing that is really incredible to behold in evangelicalism to me, is the power and influence that pastors have over their congregation and followers.  It’s not your average generic influence, but a powerful direct influence these men of God yield over their flocks.  In fact, it was by tapping in to this power of the local pastor that Rick Warren was able to sell 30 million copies of The Purpose-Driven Life and how Mel Gibson was able to generate more than $300 million at the box office for his movie, The Passion of The Christ.  And it also how Mark Burnett, the acclaimed reality TV mogul, marketed his TV Series “The Bible” to Christians.  And he’s doing it again with his new show “A.D.”

All these people have realized and have sought to leverage the power of local pastors for to sell their different products.  Now, whether this power that pastors have is good or bad is not the point of this article.

But what I have been wondering about of late is are we witnessing a generation of Christians who are blindly following Christian leaders?  The events of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill brought this to my attention originally, and I’ve been seeing it again with Rob Bell and noted and controversial prosperity televangelist, Creflo Dollar.

More and more there seems to be instances where sincere Christians are just blindly following Christian leaders without really thinking for themselves.  And this to me is of grave concern.  One person who exemplifies this to me recently is Rob Bell.  Bell originally sent shock waves throughout the evangelical world with his book “Love Wins” where he questioned the existence of hell etc.  Thereby challenging unambiguous scriptural truth.  The backlash was swift and unrelenting, and to me rightfully so, but what surprised me most was the number of sincere Christians who had followed Bell’s ministry for years, whether by attending his church, following his podcast, or reading his books, who when he crossed to clearly heretical views blindly followed him there without batting an eye and completely embracing his views.

Then it happened again with Mark Driscoll.  When evidence – note the word evidence, not rumor – surfaced about how ungodly Driscoll treated staff and members of his church who did not obey him without reservation, many in his church and on his staff and his fans, dug their head in the sand refusing to believe the obvious truths, denying reality and holding on to him above all else.

Now again, Creflo Dollar, just unveiled a plan to get 200,000 people to donate $300 for his ministry to purchase an elite, luxury private jet for—get this—$65 million.  And as you can imagine people are donating.

What astounds me in all of this is that it seems like more and more in various pockets of evangelicalism it seems like so many people are following Christian leaders blindly without objectively and biblically thinking about issues and the life, teachings and behavior of these Christian leaders.

The bible said that when Paul came to the Berean Christians in the book of Acts it was commended to them that they searched the scriptures after hearing him teach to make sure that what he was teaching was from God.  Yet it seems like so many in our generation today don’t do this at all.  They have given up on thinking independently and biblically about issues.  This to me is very scary.

Recently Rob Bell again made startling statements about how he believes the Church should embrace people of alternative lifestyles, and again when I heard that my heart ached for the many sincere Christians who are going to blindly accept his views and statements as gospel truth without stopping and finding out for themselves what the Bible says about what he’s talking about.

I know it’s easy for many in evangelicalism to dismiss prosperity teachers like Creflo Dollar and others like him as being self-enriching and everyone knows that, but what I am noticing is that this same kind of blindly loyalty is showing itself in evangelicalism too.

I remember a few years ago, when The Purpose-Driven Life was all the rage how many Christian leaders condemned the book and Rick Warren’s teaching and it seemed like every Christian blogger had embraced this condemnation of Warren too.  Then a few years ago John Piper invited Warren to speak at his conference and everyone went crazy, how could Piper do this, was he drinking the kool-aid too?  Then noted Southern Baptist leader and scholar, Russell Moore, also openly talked about his work with Rick Warren and their friendship.  Then it seemed the tide turned and all of a sudden Warren wasn’t the spawn of satan anymore.  And thousands upon thousands of Piper loyalists embraced Rick Warren, purely on the his endorsement.  And all through this I’m going ‘where are the independent thinkers who don’t just take what these leaders are saying as gospel truth but are forming their opinions on their own by looking at what scripture says.’  Because when a select group of Christian leaders condemned Warren, then everyone jumped on the bandwagon and he was evil, then new leaders come and say “I’ve examined his work and I don’t see heresy or twisting of scripture” and everyone again jumps on the band wagon and embraces him.

I’m seeing it again, there is this new ‘hip’ pastor/author who’s book is getting a lot of attention, Nadia Bolz Webber.  This female pastor his such a big departure from orthodoxy and what scripture calls acceptable and yet many are following her because she’s gaining in popularity.  I mean this lady she cusses like a sailor, she endorsers and champion every kind of alternative and deviant lifestyle and behaviors.  And looking at this I’m going “who are the people buying her books and following her on social media?  Don’t you see that she represents a Christianity that’s foreign to scripture?”

I really do pray that a movement will begin where Christians will start examining things for themselves with godly wisdom and not completely trusting and following these Christian leaders whom they love and trust, and rather hold them accountable and judge them by the word of God.

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Written by Hervict Jacobs.

Hervict Jacobs is a Christian author and speaker based in Atlanta, GA.  His new book entitled ‘Give Your Life Away: Embracing A Life of Selflessness For The Glory of God’ releases later this year.

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March 5, 2015

Casting Crowns Lead Singer, Mark Hall Diagnosed With Cancer

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News broke today that the lead singer of beloved band Casting Crowns, Mark Hall, has been diagnosed with cancer.  According to Hall, doctors found a solid mass in his kidney last week, and the entire kidney will have to be removed.

Below is a statement from Mark Hall from Casting Crowns facebook page, posted earlier today:

Hey Casting Crowns Family,
I would appreciate your prayers.
Doctors found a solid mass in my right kidney about a week ago. They are 90% sure it’s cancer and they are going to remove the entire kidney next Wednesday, March 11th. They believe the cancer is contained in the kidney, which is also a great hope. They will know more once it is out and Pathology can see it.

I’ll be in recovery for a month or a little longer because of the surgery. Please pray for healing and for God’s peace for my family.

Praising Him in This Storm
Mark Hall

For updates please follow Mark Hall on Twitter at  https://twitter.com/markhallcc and here on Facebook.

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Our thoughts and prayers are with Mark and his family, and all of the Casting Crowns family.