It is a sad day when any pastor resigns or is stepped down. Far from being another person to throw rocks at Driscoll I want to use this time to ask some serious questions about ourselves and myself in particular.
Over the weekend I read this brilliant piece by John Ortberg called When a Pastor Resigns Abruptly. In it he makes a brilliant point about pride:
I was struck, too, by the language quoted in news reports yesterday to describe this situation. The pastor, the board said, had been guilty of arrogance—along with other attitudes and behaviors associated with arrogance. But had not been charged with “immorality.”
When did arrogance cease to be immoral?
I suspect that most folks in our evangelical subculture will understand that “immorality” is really being used as a substitute term for sexual misbehavior. But why would we reduce such an important word to code language for one area of misconduct?
He then quotes C.S Lewis:
“If anyone thinks that Christians regard unchastity as the supreme vice, he is quite wrong. The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins…. According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil. Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” C.S Lewis Mere Christianity
If Lewis was around and he had a meeting with Driscoll (or any of us for that matter) he would say something like “Don’t be blind to the fact that pride is the most destructive sin you can commit!” Pride is subtle and therein lies its power and danger. So much of the time when people have lovingly confronted me my pride has reared up to defend me only when I look back in hindsight do I see how, in the moment, pride has blinded me to my sin and made me think higher of myself than I ought. We all struggle with pride, especially me.
The whole Driscoll saga will be wasted if we don’t look at ourselves and ask where pride has made us it’s slave.
Where does the person who is, like me, full of pride go? We go to the cross because it is impossible to be arrogant at the foot of the cross. Because as John Stott has beautifully stated:
“Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say to us, ‘I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.’ Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.” -John Stott, The Message of Galatians