Beliefnet
Steven Waldman

From today’s New York Times article about popular young Christian leader Mark Driscoll:

The mainstream church, Driscoll has written, has transformed Jesus into “a Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ,” a “neutered and limp-wristed popular Sky Fairy of pop culture that . . . would never talk about sin or send anyone to hell.”

I get the idea that Driscoll and others want to appeal to men by emphasizing Jesus’ righteous anger and a muscular sense of justice. Not sure why that has to be turned into anti-gay rhetoric. Is that really what Jesus — even the buff, pumped-up version — would want?
Patton Dodd at Text Messages raises a different concern about Driscoll’s style. He quoted this passage about Driscoll’s tendency to aggressively squelch dissent within his church:

When one of the renegade elders refused to repent, the church leadership ordered members to shun him. One member complained on an online message board and instantly found his membership privileges suspended. “They are sinning through questioning,” Driscoll preached.

Dodd, a member of the New Life Church formerly led by Ted Haggard, offers this stark warning:

This is incredibly, incredibly dangerous for Driscoll and his parishioners. If Driscoll’s leadership model is predicated on the notion that his opinion is sacrosanct, the Mars Hill community is a crisis of one kind or another waiting to happen. Ted Haggard’s New Life Church had the same problem; his leadership was overbearing, and most of us lost the ability to speak truth to power. Haggard lost the ability to hear truth when spoken. As everyone now knows, it was a recipe for disaster.

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