the Radical Reformission–Part 3: Chapter 1

In Chapter 1 of “the RADICAL reformission,” Mark Driscoll reminds us how close Jesus was to sinners. He was so close to sinners and tax collectors, that even Jesus was accused of being a glutton and drunkard.

 Mark shares with us his uncomfortable, yet touching story of how he learned to be closer to sinners. He happened to meet an old friend, who once rejoiced when Mark came to Christ but was now a gay cowboy uncertain of his faith. So what did Mark do, you ask?

 Well, he invited his old friend to church. Sounds like what we all would do, right?

But, as Mark puts it, his friend quipped in return that “it was unfair for me to expect him to come into my Christian subculture, since I was unwilling to go with him into his homosexual subculture” (pg 32).

Would you go to a gay bar with a confused and hurting old friend?

Mark went, and he recalls,

“That night, I learned that reformission requires that Christians and their churches move forward on their knees, continually confessing their addictions to morality and the appearance of godliness, which does not penetrate the heart and transform lives. In the end, I learned that God’s mission is not to create a team of moral and decent people but rather to create a movement of holy loving missionaries who are comfortable and truthful around lost sinners and who, in this way, look more like Jesus than most of his pastors do” (pg 35).

How close are we willing to get to people because Jesus loves them as much as he loves us? Are we willing to get our hands dirty?

Personally, I think we may come close to revival in our lives if we confess our addiction to our morality and start loving people because they are people and then confront them lovingly with the gospel. I really enjoyed reading this chapter. I would suggest you read it.

Here’s how he concludes:

“Reformission is ultimately about being like Jesus, through his empowering grace. One of the underlying keys to reformission is knowing that neither the freedom of Christ nor our freedom in Christ is intended to permit us to dance as close to sin as possible without crossing the line. But both are intended to permit us to dance as close to sinners as possible by crossing the lines that unnecessarily separate the people God has found from those he is still seeking. To be a Christian, literally, is to be a “little Christ.” It is imperative that Christians be like Jesus. by living freely within the culture as missionaries who are as faithful to the Father and his gospel as Jesus was in his own time and place” (pgs 39-40).

Which of the two are you: dancing too close to sin, or trying to dance close to sinners?

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8 Comments

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  1. An excellent book.

  2. rbenhase,

    Yeah, I really enjoyed reading it. I want to live a life that is more in tune with Jesus than with my culture.

    BTW, on your blog, you link to Ben Arment. Do you know him? Believer it or not, he was my college pastor several years back and is married to one of my friends from my youth group while I was in high school. Great guy living the life in NOVA. Small world, eh?

    Thanks for your comments!

  3. Wes,

    Dr. Paige Patterson must be emergent! Have you ever heard the story where he went into a bar and shared the Gospel! 🙂 I know, its not exactly the same as what is being advocated here.

    Anyways, you ask an excellent question: Would we be willing to go into a gay bar? In all honesty, I think Mark Driscoll has more guts than we do when it comes down to it. We would be too ashamed to walk into a place like that.

    Most, would be too ashamed to be sitting next to someone who said a wirty dord. Thanks for the summary and I look forward to future posts.

  4. One thing I should add:

    There is a danger to what Mark is advocating, though not in what he is doing.

    When we were in college you may have known a group of kids who advocated going to raves to share the gospel. What Mark did should not be attempted by weak Christians. Almost all of those who were in college with us have abandoned the faith.

    I agree with Driscoll, but we have to throw up some disclaimers as well, right? What do you think?

  5. Dougald, Thanks for the comments.

    Mark might be brave, but I wonder if he ever would have done it cold turkey. I think the fact that it was a good friend who had witnessed to him in the past when Mark was an unbeliever that led him to do it. He said his wife was in full support of him. You should read this chapter. He really struggled with loving those people, that is why he learned so much.

    Now, in regards to Christian raves,

    There is danger in drug-filled, sex-crazed subcultures. Then again, one of my favorite Christian music artists is Scott Blackwell, who was once a cocaine-addicted DJ on the scene in NYC. He came to Christ and made a huge impact (Nitropraise, etc).

    In the next week or so, I’ll begin posting on Stetzer and Elmer’s Perimeter of Light, and they give some quality criteria that may help out here.

    Ultimately, I don’t think Driscoll is advocating falling into sin and temptation, but trusting in Jesus while you reach out the hurt people around you with truth and love.

  6. Wes,

    I don’t think that is what Driscoll is advocating either. I just always like to point out negative things right! 😛

    I actually admire him for what he did.

    Dougald

  7. Dougald,

    I was in no way busting on what you said. I still would recommend reading his chapter, because he writes it in such a way that you feel what he felt as he was going through the process. All the lessons he learned were after the fact. He presented a very humble point of view.

    Would I go into a gay bar? Dude, I know that if the opportunity was presented, I probably should, but I would have to humble myself and pray.

    I’m wondering what other ways I could become all things to all men so that I might win some? I’m too caught up in my own routine. I know some of that is to be expected with what God has called me to do right now, but I can’t let that be a total excuse. I’ve been letting Zhanara read my blog, she said, I’m keeping you accountable to this. So I look forward to see what’s going to happen.

    Wes 🙂

  8. Wes,

    Do you think that we started blogging so that we could communicate more? 🙂

    I was just clarifying above, I didn’t take your comments as busting my chops.

    We’re cool.

    Dougald

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