This tweet popped up on Twitter last week. It got me thinking about listening to a podcast like The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, because I do think there is a danger to it.
1. We need to avoid treating in like gossip. This might be my #1 issue with it, because after listening to an episode I want to Google “Mark Driscoll” to see what he is up to now. So there is a fine line there between the journalistic storytelling the podcast is and gossip.
2. We need to see the big picture. This isn’t just about Driscoll and Mars Hill, it is about Evangelicalism and celebrity. How we justify certain behaviors if we believe they are getting the right results. There is a parallel here with the Evangelical support of President Trump. Evangelicals were okay supporting Donald Trump, in spite of his treatment of women, because he promised them things they wanted. They believed he would deliver the results they wanted. People justified Driscoll’s behavior because he appeared to be getting good results.
3. We should remember that in the midst of bad that happened at Mars Hill, God still brought about God. Remember, we worship God, who is so powerful that He is able to bring good out of bad and life out of death. This is what Paul wrote; “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28, NLT). Yes, the Mars Hill story contains tragedy, but it also contains examples of God’s grace and transformation. This is one of the great lessons from the podcast.
Should we bee listening to The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill?
I think it is something worth listening to as long as we avoid the temptation to use it as an excuse to cast judgment on Mark Driscoll. This podcast gives us the opportunity for self reflection and consider the question: In what ways am I using God and His Kingdom to build my own platform?