I usually don’t take the bait on anything Driscoll-esque, but this time I couldn’t help it. This time it’s personal (kind of).
You see, Mark Driscoll doesn’t like me. Well, maybe that’s an overstatement. Mark Driscoll doesn’t like pacifists. In fact, to those ardent supporters of the nonviolent way of Jesus, he offers this condemnation:
Some of those whose blood will flow as high as the bit in a horse’s mouth for 184 miles will be those who did not repent of their sin but did wrongly teach that Jesus was a pacifist.
As a pacifist, I take exception. Beyond unhelpful rhetoric and ridiculous judgement, Driscoll offers a view of Jesus more in line with a recent Saturday Night Live parody than the incarnate God.
Driscoll also suggests pacifists promote a “pansy Jesus,” as if North American machismo is the standard for masculinity represented most clearly, for Driscoll, in a sword-wielding Jesus of a literal reading from the book of Revelation. As Preston Sprinkle points out, it seems Driscoll has traded the crucified Lamb for the crucifying Lamb. Sprinkle goes on to counters this unhealthy blend of masculine culture and theology that Driscoll seems oblivious to:
Call me pansy, but I’m sticking with “Love and nonresistance”:The New Testament is clear: Real men love their enemies, never return evil for evil, and never resist evil by using violence. Real men suffer. Real men pray for those who persecute them. Real men submit to the sword, but they don’t bear it. So go ahead and eat raw meat, vote Republican, shoot your guns (just not at people). But let’s invite the word of Christ to reconfigure and confront our cultural view of manhood.
Believers seek to be agents of reconciliation in all relationships, to practice love of enemies as taught by Christ, and to be peacemakers in all situations. We view violence in its many different forms as contradictory to the new nature of the Christian. We believe that the evil and inhumane nature of violence is contrary to the gospel of love and peace. In times of national conscription or war, we believe we are called to give alternative service where possible. Alleviating suffering, reducing strife, and promoting justice are ways of demonstrating Christ’s love.
Here are a few more responses worth reading: