no purpose.

mjkimpan  —  January 22, 2013 — 4 Comments

i literally was shaking my head.

scrolling through my twitter feed (a potentially fatal mistake on inauguration day), i saw some hullaballoo over yet another classic from @PastorMark ::

i’m not sure why i was surprised, but i was.

i then found the initial response from shaun king ::


have to admit, i liked it. a lot.

there’s something fascinating to me about the parallels between the type of self-righteous judgment and hypocrisy that drove jesus to name calling and table tossing and the way in which some christians declare themselves judge and jury on someone else’s spiritual journey.

to claim carte blanche that the president does not believe the bible is simply absurd. though many evangelicals would claim that obama is not as conservative or evangelical as they’d like him to be, the fact remains there are many different streams within the name ‘christian’ – it’s a wide, broad and deep stream that flows throughout the church’s history.

which is why i enjoyed the second twitter response from shaun king nearly as much as the first – particularly on MLK day.


but then things got a little messy.

a little after i saw these two tweets, i then stumbled upon this one, courtesy of marc grimes (@marcallangrimes)

oh. dear.

at what point are our reactions to admittedly asinine comments from leading voices (because whether you like it or not, @PastorMark’s over 327,270 followers place him firmly in the role of a ‘leading voice’ just as pat robertson’s platform of the 700 club does for him) cross the line?

how much is too much?

and another, less-comfortable question squared on reality :: at what point does it not matter what we say? both mark driscoll and pat robertson (and others like them) have been land-blasted for years for ridiculous things they’ve said, by secular and religious media institutions as well as individuals.

they don’t listen.

is it possible that rather than spending our resources, time, energy and efforts on debunking archaic theology and perspectives espoused by mega-church pastors who don’t reflect the values we read in the scriptures that we would be better suited spending our time living out the gospel as ambassadors of reconciliation?

i applaud those who spoke out against mark driscoll’s blanket condemnation and ill-informed judgment against the president. i just wonder what purpose it serves to spend our time verbally spanking him and mars hill when we could have a greater impact showing people there is a different kind of christian out there – with a better story :: a good news that’s actually good.

‘who you are not is uninteresting. tell us who you are.’
rob bell

i’m convinced that’s a better way to change the world than trying to shout over folks who are making a mess of things… so that’s what i’m off to do. anybody want to come with me?

  • I’m Back! This was a fun post. It’s sad how Shaun King ruined any witness he could’ve had by using high school vocabulary, but I guess we all make fools of ourselves at one point or another! I don’t claim to know anything about Obama’s spirituality, but I do respect that he requested to say ‘so help me God’ and has attended a number of prayer services. No matter who you are, or how much republicans hate you, there is always hope because God is a God of hope. And God is carrying out His will in President Obama’s life just as he is in Mark Driscolls life, just as he is in Mike Kimpan’s and Ryan Copeland’s lives. It’s not just believers who God works through and I think that us ‘believers’ forget that. Thanks Mike! now I have to backtrack and comment on all the posts I missed!

    • good to have you back, ryan. always appreciate hearing your perspective. enjoy!

  • I thought Shaun King’s response was needed, but perhaps a different choice of words could have been more fruitful.

    • thanks for adding your thoughts, alan. i too appreciated shaun’s sentiments, but agree with him that the way in which he communicated his frustration was less than helpful for the conversation.

      what i *really* appreciated was shuan’s vulnerability and humility in admitting that his anger got the best of him, and apologizing for it – while simultaneously not backing down from his initial statements.

      thanks for reading!