Wednesday, May 18, 2016

part 2 of Mark Driscoll discussing whether anorexia is a sin--"This is where Satan, demons are lying to you ... " might contradict Driscoll's stance that Satan would go after Billy Graham, not a rank and file Christian

We discussed earlier this week the odd matter of Mark Driscoll fielding the question of whether or not anorexia is a sin, in which he didn't exactly directly answer the question but also managed to frame discussion of the question in terms of his 2008 spiritual warfare content.  He also, somehow, managed to transform the question and story of someone into an occasion to talk about himself. 

But we'll set that off to the side so that we can get to this:
In Driscoll’s way of thinking, anorexia could be almost anything, including idolatry or the work of demons. Speaking of demons at 8:40 into the clip, Driscoll says:
This is where Satan, demons are lying to you, tempting you. The Bible says that Satan is the accuser of the children of God. He accuses them day and night in Revelation 12:10 there are accusations. If you start realizing this oppression, you can get out of it by acknowledging what God has to say. Oppression, an accusation, is often in the second person, you are unlovable, you need to punish yourself, you don’t appear attractive, whatever the oppression is, it’s telling you something that’s just not true. And so, what you need to understand is that’s demonic, that God doesn’t speak to you that way and if you’re hearing in the second person, maybe someone is talking to you, a spiritual being is lying to you, I’ll get to that in just a moment, and the way out is deliverance, you have victory in Christ, Colossians 2 says He has disarmed and defeated the powers and principalities of evil, triumphing over them through his victorious forgiveness of sinners on the cross.
Since Driscoll hasn't renounced or repudiated anything he's taught from the 2008 spiritual warfare session and has been repeating it, it seems useful to point out that Driscoll tells someone "This is where Satan, demons are lying to you ... ."  Driscoll has made it clear in the past, in other contexts, that while there might be demonic opposition in some cases it's exceedingly remote Satan himself would be involved with any ordinary rank and file Christian.


... For example, Satan is not omnipresent. He's not everywhere like God is. Somebody might say, "Oh, Satan's getting me."  Ah, Satan may be bugging Billy Graham, but if he's gonna pick one person it's probably not gonna be you or me, right? He's got more important people to attack. Now you and I could have demonic opposition, to be sure, but Satan and demons are not omnipresent. They're not everywhere.

So unless the person who contacted Driscoll were someone at "Billy Graham" level Mark Driscoll's own prior instruction regarding spiritual warfare indicates that Satan wouldn't be involved. 

That said, by Mark Driscoll's own account a Christian can be demonized, though not precisely demonically possessed.  Driscoll also emphatically said that Satan can work on Christians and adduced from Acts 5 that Satan filled the hearts of Christians. This you'll have to hear/read for yourself:

Second thing, what about Christians? Can Christians be demon possessed?  Not in terms of ownership, no. You belong to God, right? You belong to God. Some would say, therefore, Satan doesn't work on Christians. Well, sure he does. He attacked Jesus. --say, "Yeah, well, he [Satan] can't internally influence them."  Well, yeah, he can. Jesus looks at Peter and says, "Get behind me--" what?  Satan. In Acts 5 there's a couple called Ananias and Sapphira. They were members of the church, believers, they were bringing their tithe after selling some land, and they withheld part of their alleged pledged tithe, and Peter looks at them and says "Why has Satan so filled your heart? You've not lied to men but to God the Holy Spirit." Why has Satan so filled your heart? Right at the center and core of who you are.  Satan work's from THERE.  [emphases added]
The same language again in Ephesians, "Don't be drunk with wine, be FILLED with the Holy Spirit." Why are you FILLED in your heart with Satan? Christians can't be owned, possessed in terms of demons but they can be externally oppressed and (this will be my most controversial statement) internally influenced. Not possessed, not controlled.  [emphasis added]

I'll use a very simple analogy, very controversial. There are huge books written warring over this. Some would argue, "Well, Satan can't have any access to a believer because God and Satan don't occupy the same space." I said, "Well they did in the days of Job when Satan was allowed to go into the presence of God." In me I have the flesh and my new nature. I have my depravity and the Holy Spirit. The world, God and Satan are at work there. Now God is greater, to be sure, and the only way I believe a believer is really opened up to the demonic is through sin and folly and lies and they open up themselves up. Are they possessed?  NO. Are they internally influenced? Possibly. Possibly, for some.

In the same way, okay, I'll give you an analogy.  I own my house.  It's my house. No one has any right to live there but let's say I just invite over some total losers (drug addicts, alcoholics, freeloaders, whatever) and I let `em eat my food, hang out, sleep on the couch, crash in the bedroom, I just let `em live there. I don't kick `em out, I don't do anything. Do they own the house? Do they possess the house? No.  Do they have access to it?  Well, yeah, I opened the door, I let `em in. Are they gonna create havoc in my house?  Yeah, they're gonna ruin everything. So what do I need to do?  I need to kick `em out because they have no right to be there and then I need to lock the door and not invite `em in ever again.

I'm saying in that simple analogy that's kinda how Satan and demons work. If you open up your life, and this is not, not, you know, you had a bad day and said a bad word, this is a Christian who all of a sudden you're into the demonic; you're sick and you want to be healed so you go to some healer and now you're involved in demons; there's sin in your life that you've never really dealt with, that kind of stuff. You're doing drugs, you're opening yourself up to an altered state of conscioucesness (the Bible says to be self-controlled and alert and resist the devil and not you're not doing that cuz you're into drugs and alcohol and bizarre spirituality). You can open the door, bad guys move in, they don't OWN the house, you can kick `em out, lock the door. That's my description of internal influence. It's in very extreme cases and this isn't very often but it's possible.

So, even though it would seem that one has to be an unusually high status Christian leader in the United States, for instance, to merit the attention of Satan himself, Driscoll's taxonomy of demonization asserts that a Christian can most certainly be demonized, although how that comes to pass doesn't get explained here.  The actual explanation for how a Christian could possibly be demonized is hours long on Driscoll's part.  It involves a lot of stuff about the "ordinary demonic" transcribed here.

Had Driscoll stopped to consider whether he was consistently applying his own content in recycling it in response to a question he should have hesitated to tell someone Satan is telling them anything because to go by Driscoll's past instructions on spiritual warfare, Satan's not going to be going after you or me or some random anonymous Christian, Satan's going to be going after someone like Billy Graham. 

Then again ...

I think one of the great myths that has come about (it's a demonic lie) is that myself, the executive elders, the senior leaders we don't care about people. I was the only one who did ANY counseling until we had 800 people. We still do tons of shepherding, counseling, spiritual warfare, conflict. But we try to do so in a way that is humble, that isn't "and here is who I served and here are the demons we cast out and here's the list of people that I've healed." That's demonic. The truth is I love the people as much--actually, more than anyone in this church. [emphases added] And the senior leaders, the campus pastors, the departmental leaders, the executive elders love the people in this church as much or more than anyone else in this church. And one of my great concerns is not just, "Can you hold hands and help sheep?" but "can you also flip the staff over and defend against a wolf?"  You HAVE to have that discernment, that courage, and that ability to tell someone: "You are in sin. That is false doctrine.  You are not qualified to be a leader. If you do not repent you are not welcome here. And I will speak truthfully to those who want to follow you because my job is for the well-being of the sheep."
That was back in 2008 a few months after Meyer and Petry got fired and run through a kangaroo court.  Back in 2014 Driscoll was under some kind of investigation that "may" have been completed and while he said on the road in 2015 he, like, totally agreed with the decision of the Board, all of a sudden he said God told him "a trap had been set" and, lo, he did quitteth Mars Hill.  Greater love hath no pastor than this, that he bailed on Mars Hill in Seattle out of love for the sheep to go plant a church in Phoenix. But back in 2008 anyone who expressed doubts about how deeply or sincerely Mark Driscoll loved the people of Mars Hill, whoever those were, they believed a demonic lie.

So, on the whole, while Driscoll's grab bag approach "could" propose that someone with anorexia "could" be demonized if the right kinds of sins were committed by them and/or against them, it doesn't fit in his history of teaching to propose consistently that Satan himself has anything to do with the individual believer who isn't Billy Graham level important in the American or global church scene.

Which is why it might have been better if he'd left that stuff unsaid in the transcript Throckmorton provided. 

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