Now here is an interesting couple for you… Mars Hill (in Seattle, pastored by Mark Driscoll), and the Westboro Baptist Church.  Westboro has announced it is going to picket Mars Hill – based on Driscoll’s teaching that God loves everyone and died for everyone (a Biblical position know as “unlimited atonement”).  Last year we had a great discussion about The Westboro group they were scheduled to picket our college.


What makes this such an interesting get together is that both are know for their outspoken, and out of the main-steam views on social issues.

Driscoll has made a name for himself preaching tradition fundamentalist views.  His brash style really stands out in Seattle, one our most socially liberal cities.  Likewise the Westboro group has become know for it’s non-appologet view of God’s judgement against the rebellious social practices it sees in America today.  Both sit outside the main steam on the biggest social issues of or culture today.  Many would say that Westboro is further out-there in their views, but anyway you slice it, both rub popular culture the wrong way.

The average american bystander may see this as a case of the “kettle calling the pot black”.    They would say both are wacked-out, hateful people.  From a Christian point of view most of us understand the real distinction between Driscoll and Westboro.

Here are my questions:

1.  Why picket Driscoll as opposed to Rick Warren?  (I think I know the answer here)

2.  How should Driscoll respond?

3.  Is Westnboro right?  Did Christ die for everyone or just the elect? (this may sound like a no-brainer of a question, you might say don’t you know John 3:16?   But it has been a hotly contest idea among protests.  Look up “limited atonement” and “unlimited atonement”)


Mars Hill response to planned picketing:’s-grace-and-free-donuts/

PS – I thought this was a interesting insight about  Westboro from John Stewart, who said, “The Westboro Baptist Church is no more a church than Church’s Fried Chicken is a church.”

(Mars Hill as Church is really “Mark Driscoll”, if Driscoll left Seattle, people would still follow him as an icon not Mars Hill)

You’re kidding me… right?

3 thoughts on “You’re kidding me… right?

  • June 25, 2011 at 8:25 am

    2. I think the manner in which Pastor Mark is responding is appropriate. He is welcomed them with open arms. He’s took Father’s day off to spend with his family and the church continued in their sermon series. As a bonus, Mark gave them a free book to help point them towards some correction.

    3. The question of all questions. Did Christ die for everyone or only the elect?

    Chris and Josh, it’s great to hear your thoughts. Josh I would encourage you to look at these verses.

    2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.

    Romans 8:28-30 and Romans 9:6-12 both also present some explicit evidence of God’s election. The study of Jacob and Esau is interesting enough to provoke theological rift, but I want to encourage you to read it and talk about it with God. Wrestle with it. Ask God to give you understanding to His word.

    Chris I think you capture the great mystery of God’s omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent character. How God’s love has been given to everyone, yet people need to make a decision. Tim Keller gave a good sermon on 12/2/2010 titled “Does God control Everything?” and I would encourage both you guys to listen to that. He presents a perspective that is interesting.

  • June 20, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Saddleback Church “What we Believe” Section –
    Mars Hill Church “What we Believe” Section –

    Based on these two readings and the reason stated as to why WBC is going to picket Mars Hill Church, I think WBC picked out the church that is quickly becoming a bigger influence in Christian Culture. I based this off of the fact that WBC wants to picket Mars Hill for preaching that Jesus loves all and died for all.
    Both churches share the view that Jesus Came into the wold through Virgin Mary and came to redeem sinful man.
    So based that they also both agree on the fact that salvation only comes through the receiving of the Holy Spirit in one’s life through faith in Christ alone, and that theoretically anyone who puts their faith in Jesus will be saved, WBC is only attacking the most influential Church in this belief.

    2. Pastor Mark responds the best way in his brash and outspoken manner by inviting WBC in to their ” Whore House” for God’s Grace and free donuts, implying that The Church as a whole is made up of sinners and people that are off track, but recognize God’s grace in their lives. The metaphor of a whore house might be a little over the WBC’s head as, from my observations, they tend to take words for their literal meaning…

    3. There is no doubt that Christianity is exclusive, here are some examples of where I see a select group of people is in Revelation 20:15 which reads

    (ESV) “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

    This book also seems to be hinted at in Daniel 12:1, Psalm 69:28, and again in Revelation 3:5, and in a couple other spots of the Bible. I may not understand the culture perfectly but from my understanding Town would hold a registry of all of the people in town and the name in that registry would get erased or “blotted out” (Rev. 3:5) if a person in the town was convicted of a crime and about to be put to death. This maybe just another parable to help the culture at the time understand the severity of Judgement day, but it does seem to be scattered and repeated in the Bible in a way that it shows significance.

    Christianity is exclusive, but as both Mars Hill and Saddleback church both state, Christianity is inclusive in that it take a person to personally choose to follow Christ to receive Salvation.

    John 3:16-17 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

    What do you think?

  • June 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Answer 1. I don’t have an answer for this because I am not sure on Rick Warrens views but I would love to hear what your thoughts are on this.

    Answer 2. I feel that Pastor Driscol is handeling this in a good way by inviting them in with “coffee and donuts”. He is responding in love and I feel that this is a good response.
    However, as a church, I feel that, because they are in this situation, they are called to rebuke West Baptist Church as I think Jesus would do.

    Answer 3. Where in scripture is there any evidence at all that Jesus only came for a select people and not everywhere? I fail to see the legitamacy of this argument especially after reading Jesus’s “great commision” where he tells us to, “make disciples of ALL the nations.”

    Anyways, what do you think Noah?


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