The last 10 days or so saw quite an uproar over what is and what is not acceptable enough to say on facebook, to say as a Christian and in many ways who has the right to call those in leadership on things in their lives that might make them look less like Jesus to the world.
The long and short of the debate centred around a comment that Mark Driscoll posted on facebook, it was picked up by blogger, Rachel Held Evans, who decided to call him on it and invite others to do the same. This led to flurry of words and responses being tapped out all over the web and ultimately resulted in Mark Driscoll posting a vague apology (maybe response is a better word...) on his blog. The response was carefully worded and hidden about two thirds of the way into a long blog post (be honest who actually reads long posts these days?).
I don't really know Mark Driscoll or Rachel Held Evans. I've read some of what they've written, but that doesn't mean I know them, I only know what they choose to write about and how they choose to present themselves with words. The same goes for C.J. Mahaney. I haven't met him either but somewhere in the midst of reading all the damage the tongue (and social media) can do I found a post from C.J. Mahaney about why he is taking a leave of absence from pastoring his church:
Over the last few years some former pastors and leaders in Sovereign Grace have made charges against me and informed me about offenses they have with me as well as other leaders in Sovereign Grace. These charges are serious and they have been very grieving to read. These charges are not related to any immorality or financial impropriety, but this doesn’t minimize their serious nature, which include various expressions of pride, unentreatability, deceit, sinful judgment, and hypocrisy.
I couldn't help but contrast this response with that of Mark Driscoll's. I'm not saying Mark Driscoll should take a leave of absence, (obviously it took C.J. Mahaney a few years to come to this decision too). He could just have continued to hide all the sin in his life (like most of us do all the time) but instead C.J. chose to say, "I'm not perfect, I messed up, I'm sorry about it and I want God to make me a better person".
I can respect that.
I can relate to that.
It made me wonder how differently this all would have played out if Mark Driscoll had just been brave enough to say, "Sorry I messed up, I said something I shouldn't and I'll try not to do it again."
I could respect that.
I could relate to that.
After all I probably have to say something along those lines at least once a day!