50 Men!

We made it! 50 men! This is exciting! It’s a great beginning! BUT… it is only a beginning. This Thursday, 50 men of our church are heading up to Brisbane to an event called “Burn Your Plastic Jesus”. The main thing that will happen on Thursday night is a talk by Mark Driscoll. Mark’s clearly stated aim is that his talk will unsettle our complacency about the Lordship of Jesus and expand our view of the REAL JESUS SO THAT we will renew our efforts to grow as real Christian men who are:

  • faithful to our families
  • who fight hard against sexual temptation
  • who are honest and reliable in all our dealings
  • who seek to serve rather than be served
  • who are committed to our churches
  • who strive to be bold yet humble and who bring honour to our Lord Jesus

SO… there is a purpose to this trip. We’re going SO THAT real change, real growth will happen. This trip is not just about having a good time, in fact it will be good if we find it difficult. This trip is not about one night in 2008. It’s about setting a direction for the rest of our lives as Christian men. This trip is not about macho chest-beating and slapping each other on the back. It’s about acknowledging our past failure to be REAL MEN following the REAL JESUS and committing ourselves to leading more genuine Christian lives.

If you are one of the 50, please pray for yourself and for each other – that this trip will achieve the purpose intended for it. And everyone else, please pray for these 50 men – that they will LOVE the REAL JESUS and be transformed by him into strong leaders of their families and our church and great ambassadors for the gospel in their homes and workplaces and in the wider community.

NOTE: actual start time is 7:30pm not 7:00pm as in the image above.

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12 comments on “50 Men!
  1. David says:

    Hi there,

    Firstly let me say it was great to be able to spend a lot of time talking with other guys as we traveled up to Brisbane and back for this event. One of the guys said to me that it would be good to do this sort of thing more, and I’d agree (maybe not so late though). As men we need regular encouragement and exhortation to live for God in an ungodly world.

    I think Mark did make some very good points in his talk, like making sure as men we aim to not only not commit sins of omission, but also to strive not to sin by sins of omission. However, it have to say that some things Mark said I respectfully and strongly disagree with. I’d like to have some feedback from others to see if I was just misunderstanding him and also I’d like some comments from our pastoral team to comment on some of Mark’s teachings I’ll address below.

    Mark seem to saying that if you are a single Christian bloke, you should not be living at home and you should get yourself a wife. I understand that Mark was partly addressing a growing problem with guys living at home and bludging from their parents and not taking responsibility for their lives, but he seem to take it further than that. He basically seem to be saying that if you are a single guy you shouldn’t be living at home with your parents if you are old enough to get a job. What he said could make a lot of guys feel guilty when they could be living at home for very sensible and godly reasons. A friend of mine who fits this category probably would have died the other day if he wasn’t living at home when he had an asthma attack and his parents saw him pass out and stop breathing!

    In response to Mark’s comments saying that if you are single, it is not good to be alone, so go and get yourself a wife, I also strongly disagree. Paul seems to say plainly in 1 Corinthians 7:7 that if you are single, don’t seek a wife. Steve Cree has left a comment on the Genesis passage about it not being good to be alone at http://www.scpc.org.au/2008/06/29/scpc-podcast-redeemed-talk-8-god-sex-and-singleness/ . Basically I think a better interpretation of this Genesis passage is to say we should look for our ultimate fulfillment for companionship in Christ.

    Mark misquoted 2 Thes 3:10 and seemed to say that if a man does not work his is sinning. The verse actually says that “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” A lot of godly guys would like to work, but are unable to do to so at times for various reasons, like health issues, or a job that does not compromise their convictions being unavailable. Mark also seem to imply that guys should be working full time (as opposed to part time or casual) and earning more than their wife. Again, I don’t think this is particularly helpful or scriptural.

    The last thing I’d like to address is his approach to people who don’t agree with some of his views. His story of telling a woman to go kill herself when she complained about his 5 children contributing to world overpopulation was in sharp contrast to what we have been looking at in 1 Cor 9 where Paul said he became “all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” I can imagine what Mark said to her becoming a stumbling block to her ever being saved.

    I’m sorry to sound very negative, but I think some of the things he said openly need to be addressed openly.

    Regards David

  2. pete says:

    Hi David

    I’m going to put up another post to try to generate a bit of post-event discussion. I’ll address some of your concerns there. To be honest though, I think the key to building on this event for the good of Christ and our church is to pick up on the good challenges that came out loud and clear from the event. Often our criticisms become an excuse for not being the men God intends us to be – let’s not let that happen!

  3. Trev Voltz says:

    Pete the problem is that if you didn’t have a great understanding of the bible you could walk away thinking that getting married having kids and working hard solves the problem of sin. This guy had some good to things to say but didn’t link it back to Jesus that is my consern.

  4. Wade says:

    G’day gentlemen…

    I too had an issue with a couple things Mark said, particularly the singleness/marriage issue and some of his take on work. I wish that he had applied the Bible a little more carefully and encouraged us to use wisdom in these areas.

    However, you have to appreciate what he was trying to do, that is, make us sit up and think. There are times when I cringed and wished he had a more nuanced take on some of things but that’s the way Mark Driscoll speaks. He’s a straight-shooter and hard-hitter and I think we need a few of those in God’s church. He wants to shake men out of their complacency and for that I am grateful. He talks in a way that makes blokes sit-up and listen (and I’m sure we all did that).

    It’s not really his thing to offer caveats or waste time with niceties (if he did that he would be talking for 3 hours not 1 and a half). And he often uses brash humour to help us to see the stupidity of sin. For example I thought his response to the woman who was telling him in front of his children that he was causing overpopulation was shocking but brilliant. The hypocrisy of the woman was exposed and sometimes people need a shock like that to be able to hear the gospel. Certainly Jesus wasn’t one to pussyfoot around when it came to declaring the gosple with boldness.

    Men in Australia have really lost their way in leading and loving their families. Unfortunately a lot of this has crept into the church and we men need to start turning the tide. I for one was challenged to stand up and take responsibility as a leader in my family and in the church. Let’s keep talking about these things and praying for each other. We need to make our lives count.

  5. James Ramsay says:

    Trev you really need to listen to some of his other talks to hear him link it to Jesus (which be pretty much does constantly). The talk on Thursday was really just an overview of the problems with (Australian Christian) men, but due to time constraints without a lot of the detail and linking to Jesus that Mark normally does. Mark can easily talk for over an hour on any of the ten plus topics he covered.

    But I think your response does point out the danger of those kinds of events. Christians shouldn’t be living their lives based on what one guy said at an event, they should be living it in prayer and in relationship with Christ and their local church.

    But I have to say that previously Mark’s blunt preaching has made me see some serious sin in my life (particularly regarding work). In my opinion our church puts forward that it would be nice if our men lived up to scripture, but there isn’t the kind of demand for that which Mark is so in favour of.

    I think we should not only be encouraging each other to live up to God’s word, but expecting and even demanding it (as Paul does in Corinthians).

  6. Mitch says:

    Obviously there are exceptional circumstances for some men that Mark could not even be expected to cover. And he definitely could have been more careful in how he applied Genesis 1, 2 and 3 through Jesus. But i thought he brought glory to God by not shirking from saying what Australian Christian men really need to hear.

    We are too soft and too quick to make excuses for our lack of commitment or responsibility. Too easily offended and hurt. And it rubs off on the kids. Our culture is breeding a generation of girly boys. Dead-set flaming wusses. I see it in the school playground everyday. I loved the way his son stood up for his little sister.

    I appreciated his straight shooting. Men, harden up and let’s not shirk our responsibilities, and teach our boys to do the same.

  7. Trev Voltz says:

    Just to let everyone know i did learn alot from his talk, don,t get me wrong and i,ve listened to heaps of his talksand its ashame that we put time on Gods word. Its amazing though this thought of Aussie christian males being complacent in there roles as leaders in their family and church I heard in a sermon by a old but Godly minister 22 years ago this was one of his prayers and mission to see this change and i,m thankful for his passion in this as i am at what Mark had to say, but to be a straight shooter for God i believe not including the word of God in some of his advice is more like putting a blindfold on hoping you hit the target. Jesus was a true straight shooter as he spoke his fathers words when he rebuked and corrected.

    But as a group of guys at our church i pray that we do take on the issues raised by Mark and fight this fight together to build better families to grow stronger sons that strive after Gods own heart, teach our daughters what they should seek in a guy and protect them as well and to build a church which is seen for the growth in godly men that serve the one true God not by just attending church but living it in their family life and at work/studying on 24hr bases not a part time thing we do when we go to church or small group we have to live it out loud. This is my prayer for church its been that for a long time its what i’ve been dieing to see for years since that old minister told me its something i’ve struggled at but it will bee great as a church to see this grow. Amen

  8. Wade says:

    I’m with ya Trev. Let’s do what we can to fire each other up in being real men for Jesus.

  9. Dave McPherson says:

    I thought the talk was great. Yeah he said a few extreme things but I think it was said to get our attention.

    I thought his comment to the lady in the shopping centre was very witty. If that woman was truly convicted that overpopulation was a problem then she should top herself OR stop being a greedy.

    Over population isn’t the problem – greed is! There is enough resources to support everyone in the world but instead the rich (that’s us) consume way more than we should. Maybe our greed is a sin of commission and omission!!!

  10. Guy Boughey says:

    Not being able to attend the night becasue of illness, I have recently listened to Mark online.

    I agree with many of the observations already made here about his use of exaggeration to make his point. It took me a double take to really get a lot of what he was saying.

    In particular it was challenging to hear his take on the role of work- ‘we should not see work as drudgery because of sin’.
    Dave I think there is another problem – of commission – the sin of seeking to be comfortable …

  11. Trev Voltz says:

    Good point Dave McPherson but does that me you will stop supporting the Rabbitohs.

  12. David says:

    Pastor Mark Driscoll has been controversial and divisive, however the Acts 29 Network leadership has recently removed Network co-founder and Mars Hill Church lead pastor Mark Driscoll from the organisation’s membership. A letter from several Acts 29 pastors was recently sent to Driscoll and Mars Hill Church removing Driscoll and the church as members of the network, as well as calling on Driscoll to step down due to a pattern of complaints from Acts 29 pastors. Mark Driscoll was instrumental in founding the Acts 29 Network and has been president of the group. Below is the letter from Acts 29 to Driscoll:


    As the Board of Acts 29, we are grateful to God for the leadership, courage, and generosity of both you and Mars Hill in not only founding the network but also sustaining it through the transition to this board three years ago. The very act of giving away your authority over the network was one of humility and grace, and for that we are grateful.

    Over the past three years, our board and network have been the recipients of countless shots and dozens of fires directly linked to you and what we consider ungodly and disqualifying behavior. We have both publicly and internally tried to support and give you the benefit of the doubt, even when multiple pastors in our network confirmed this behavior. In response, we leaned on the Mars Hill Board of Advisors & Accountability to take the lead in dealing with this matter. But we no longer believe the BoAA is able to execute the plan of reconciliation originally laid out. Ample time has been given for repentance, change, and restitution, with none forthcoming.

    We now have to take another course of action. Based on the totality of the circumstances, we are now asking you to please step down from ministry for an extended time and seek help. Consequently, we also feel that we have no alternative but to remove you and Mars Hill from membership in Acts 29. Because you are the founder of Acts 29 and a member, we are naturally associated with you and feel that this association discredits the network and is a major distraction.

    We tell you this out of love for you, Mars Hill, Acts 29, and most significantly, the cause of Christ, and we would be irresponsible and deeply unloving not to do so in a clear and unequivocal manner. Again, we want you to know that we are eternally thankful for what you as a man and Mars Hill as a church have meant to our network. However, that cannot dissuade us from action. Instead, it gives added significance and importance to our decision.

    We hope and pray that you see this decision as the action of men who love you deeply and want you to walk in the light—for your good, the good of your family, and the honor of your Savior. Shortly after sending this, we will be informing the members of Acts 29, your Board of Advisors and Accountability, and your elders, as well as putting out a public statement on the Acts 29 website. It brings us no joy to move forward in this direction, and we trust that the Lord will be at work in all of this.

    In sorrow and with hope, The Board of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network

    Matt Chandler

    Darrin Patrick

    Steve Timmis

    Eric Mason

    John Bryson

    Bruce Wesley

    Leonce Crump

    Source: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/08/08/acts-29-network-removes-co-founder-mark-driscoll-and-mars-hill-church-from-membership/

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