Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Monday, January 30, 2012

Does God Really Hate You?

A friend of mine shared a clip of Pastor Mark Driscoll on Facebook...and Mark was pretty angry.  For those who are not aware, Mark Driscoll is the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle with a congregation of about 10,000 as well as overseeing a network of other churches.

I've included the clip here below but it will shock many to find that:

 "Some of you, God Hates you...some of you, God is sick of you, God is frustrated with you, God is wearied by you, God has suffered long enough with you...."
I could go on...but I think you get the picture.  Poor Mark...unlike my friend who shared the clip and was pretty straight forward in his disgust, I felt a measure of pity for Mark.  I know what its like to pastor, that is to  shepherd a group of people toward God and at times...well, it can get a little frustrating.  Sometimes the anger we can feel dealing with the shortcomings of people day in and day out can get you pretty agitated and if we're not careful we can transfer our anger and use God as our proxy to help legitimize those feelings.  Then its not me who hates and is frustrated with you (which can be more easily dismissed)...

...its God who can't stand you! (The clip gets to the point at 4:35)

I couldn't help but think of Moses out in the desert leading the people of Israel into the Promised Land.

Those people were a handful to say the least but God declared them to be His children and He loved them.  One day they were out of water and they gave Moses an earful.  Numbers 20:2-13 says:

  Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. 3 They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the LORD! 4 Why did you bring the LORD’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? 5 Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”
 6 Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. 7 The LORD said to Moses, 8 “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”
 9 So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
 12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
 13 These were the waters of Meribah,[a] where the Israelites quarreled with the LORD and where he was proved holy among them.
Moses was angry at the people and felt they deserved God's wrath...not his blessing.  So Moses strikes the rock in anger rather than speak to it as commanded.  The people, who really do deserve God's wrath, instead experience the provision of water (and Grace) from a loving Father...and the only one who is judged is Moses.

Mark Driscoll needs to tread more carefully.  He has been put in a position to influence tens of thousands with the Grace of God and probably needs to be more mindful of the message he is communicating.


Anthony Alexandrou said...

Well spoken Steve!!

Michael said...

While I would agree and think God wouldn't be quite that put out with someone, I also have to confess I don't know Mark's church at all. Maybe they're exactly the type whom God gets tired of!


Steve H. said...

Seattle left-coast types. Although without Christ, we may ALL be the kind of people God gets tired of! :)

Paul said...

Interesting comparison with Moses, Steve. Moses (and Mark?) related to his followers under some very strict rules. Any parent or pastor who chooses to live like that will inevitably blow up at some point because people aren’t great rule-keepers.

To me this rant is a picture of bad parenting. Would Mark speak to his own kids this way? I hope not. And yet he seems to think God would.

I totally agree with your conclusion and would add this. Mark is in danger of ending up just like Moses –dying alone on the proverbial mountain-top, in sight of, but far short of what God has planned for him.

And with YouTube to record it we will all be witnesses of this sad, sad spectacle.

Steve H. said...


Thanks for tying up the end result of not entering the land he was meant to lead his people to. (I was heading that way but literally wrote this post in like 10-15 minutes trying to get it included into a running thread on Facebook)

And you're right, I imagine he wouldn't treat his own kids like this. It would have worked better if he said that "God loves you...but its me who is getting wearied with you." :)