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Noel Parkinson
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Feb 3, 2012 Noel Parkinson commented on Church or Cult?.
Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians states

2:1 When I came to you, brothers, I didn’t come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2:2 For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 2:3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 2:4 My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 2:5 that your faith wouldn’t stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Unpopular as it may be to start an opinion with scripture from a book that most of our city does not put stock in, here, for your viewing pleasure, is one of the many scriptures that I hope might throw some caution to the members of Mars Hill Church.

Mr. Kiley’s article has been rumbling around in my belly for days. All of the expected outrage of a former Christian turned progressive liberal had to quell before I could begin to identify the true nature of my anger. Thus identified, my anger stems from this: New Testament Christianity, at its core, is a celebration of the empowered, individual pursuit of Christ and his teachings enabled through Christ’s chosen sacrifice, a celebration that requires no totalitarian middle man making declarative statements and writing oppressive doctrine and curriculum.

Reading the disturbing accounts of the gross misuse of “church authority” exerted on its members provided by the former members of Driscoll’s church forced to my mind a simple question. What about free will? If they are, as claimed, a bible-believing congregation, then why must they be so heavily guarded from the people they are supposed to be proselytizing? Why must they be coddled with doctrine-specific curriculum and ecclesiastically binding membership contracts? Mr. Driscoll, don’t you trust your flock to hear the voice of God themselves? Or was the curtain in the temple, rent at Christ’s death, only the introduction of the Holy Spirit for you alone? I believe that Joseph Smith has already walked this dangerous road; the Mormon religion is still trying to reform past the blind submission it gave Smith and Brigham Young on the celestial marriage issue.

Every morning, I pass the homeless tent city sponsored by the folks at SPU. Here, the students and faculty at that college are able to decide, of their own accord, to follow Christ’s teachings and serve their fellow man. And they do—from what I understand it is an incredibly successful project that protects many souls from our chilled Seattle winter nights. How different is this then from the “Mars Hill house” Lance lived and worked tirelessly, separated from anyone not of the church, his work going for the good of the church but for no one outside of it?

To the members of this church: Be empowered. You have a powerful set of teachings that have the ability to enable great good in the world. This man Driscoll is telling you not to think for yourselves, not to engage thoughtfully with the very words that you believe Christ died to make true for you. Driscoll wants you to hear him, and only him, as his Sunday big-screen broadcasts to all of his satellite churches make perfectly clear. But Paul tells you, and the Corinthians, this, “4:8 You are already filled. You have already become rich. You have come to reign without us.” You, in your beliefs, have a direct line to Christ. Don’t let Driscoll convince you of the need to continue buying his priestly indulgences.
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Feb 3, 2012 Noel Parkinson joined My Stranger Face
Feb 3, 2012 Noel Parkinson commented on Church or Cult?.
Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians states

2:1 When I came to you, brothers, I didn’t come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2:2 For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 2:3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 2:4 My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 2:5 that your faith wouldn’t stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Unpopular as it may be to start an opinion with scripture from a book that most of our city does not put stock in, here, for your viewing pleasure, is one of the many scriptures that I hope might throw some caution to the members of Mars Hill Church.

Mr. Kiley’s article has been rumbling around in my belly for days. All of the expected outrage of a former Christian turned progressive liberal had to quell before I could begin to identify the true nature of my anger. Thus identified, my anger stems from this: New Testament Christianity, at its core, is a celebration of the empowered, individual pursuit of Christ and his teachings enabled through Christ’s chosen sacrifice, a celebration that requires no totalitarian middle man making declarative statements and writing oppressive doctrine and curriculum.

Reading the disturbing accounts of the gross misuse of “church authority” exerted on its members provided by the former members of Driscoll’s church forced to my mind a simple question. What about free will? If they are, as claimed, a bible-believing congregation, then why must they be so heavily guarded from the people they are supposed to be proselytizing? Why must they be coddled with doctrine-specific curriculum and ecclesiastically binding membership contracts? Mr. Driscoll, don’t you trust your flock to hear the voice of God themselves? Or was the curtain in the temple, rent at Christ’s death, only the introduction of the Holy Spirit for you alone? I believe that Joseph Smith has already walked this dangerous road; the Mormon religion is still trying to reform past the blind submission it gave Smith and Brigham Young on the celestial marriage issue.

Every morning, I pass the homeless tent city sponsored by the folks at SPU. Here, the students and faculty at that college are able to decide, of their own accord, to follow Christ’s teachings and serve their fellow man. And they do—from what I understand it is an incredibly successful project that protects many souls from our chilled Seattle winter nights. How different is this then from the “Mars Hill house” Lance lived and worked tirelessly, separated from anyone not of the church, his work going for the good of the church but for no one outside of it?

To the members of this church: Be empowered. You have a powerful set of teachings that have the ability to enable great good in the world. This man Driscoll is telling you not to think for yourselves, not to engage thoughtfully with the very words that you believe Christ died to make true for you. Driscoll wants you to hear him, and only him, as his Sunday big-screen broadcasts to all of his satellite churches make perfectly clear. But Paul tells you, and the Corinthians, this, “4:8 You are already filled. You have already become rich. You have come to reign without us.” You, in your beliefs, have a direct line to Christ. Don’t let Driscoll convince you of the need to continue buying his priestly indulgences.
More...
 

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