God’s Work at Mars Hill

I have made it clear that I like Mars Hill Church and their pastor Mark Driscoll.  I have also made it clear (much clearer, actually) that there are many things taught at Mars Hill that I believe are false and uninformed.  Despite these shortcomings, I really do believe that God is at work at Mars Hill Church.  So, for the sake of clarity, I want to use this post to help define and clarify exactly how I believe that God is actually working in and through Mars Hill Church.

The reason I want to do this is that there is a temptation among Christians of all types, including Catholics, to believe that they have a monopoly on God’s blessing.  I see it as a Catholic all the time.  There are many Christians who believe that my Church is “The whore of Babylon,” and that God despises everything that she teaches and does (thankfully, Mark Driscoll isn’t one of these people).  Likewise, there are many Catholics who wrongfully believe that since the fullness of the Christian life is found in the Catholic Church all other churches and Christian groups, including Mars Hill, are worthless.

I think all Christians should approach this issue by considering how God has worked in the world throughout history as recorded in the Scriptures.  First of all, God blesses people who are not part of his covenant.  We see this in Genesis 17.  God replied: “Nevertheless, your wife Sarah is to bear you a son, and you shall call him Isaac. I will maintain my covenant with him as an everlasting pact, to be his God and the God of his descendants after him.  As for Ishmael, I am heeding you: I hereby bless him. I will make him fertile and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation.  But my covenant I will maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you by this time next year.”  The lesson here is that we can’t dismiss God’s blessings on people who are not part of his Church.  I will leave it to Mars Hill Church members to determine what this means for them, but I will urge my Catholic brothers and sisters to discern how God is blessing Mars Hill Church members and to rejoice in those blessings, because these blessings are the work of God.

As Catholics we believe that when we gather for prayer on Sundays, Jesus Christ makes himself present in four ways.  Through the proclamation of the scriptures, the congregation gathered in his name, the priest who celebrates the Eucharist, and the Eucharist itself.  If we really and truly believe that Jesus Christ is present in these four ways there are two obvious implications.  One of these implications is that we should feel genuinely sad that members of Mars Hill Church do not possess Christ’s presence in the priest and in the Eucharist.  The other is that we should feel genuine joy and we should rejoice that they encounter the living God in the scriptures and in the community gathered in his name.

Mars Hill Church is helping people know Jesus in the scriptures and in the other people who gather with them in prayer.  They are also our allies in many of the cultural battles we are fighting, especially regarding rights of the unborn and the fight against pornography.  It might be tough to admit, but a lot of what they are doing is cleaning up a mess that many Catholic parishes have created because they turned away from the Gospel.  So let’s pray for Mars Hill.  Lets pray that they continue to seek Jesus Christ.  And let’s pray that one day, very soon, we will be united to them in faith as our Lord desires.


8 comments on “God’s Work at Mars Hill

  1. CM says:

    Umm, wow. I just found this site through some comments that you left on Brantly’s site. There is so much that is written that is simply tearing down others. I love that while you are not condoning the misconceptions that are being taught, you are still celebrating the many good things in this church. Thanks for showing the truth in love.

  2. kkollwitz says:

    Speaking as a CradleCat, I frequently admire the energy and seriousness with which many of my Protestant brothers pursue their walk with Jesus.

  3. Anselm says:

    “united to them in faith”???

    Mark Driscoll and his church believes that the Universe is less than 10000 years old. Worse, he praches that anyone not believing in Jesus will automatically go to hell, even the aborigines in Australia and the pygmys in Africa. This is so retarded that I hope to be never “united to them in faith”.

    The main difference between me and Mark Driscoll is: I believe in God, Mark Driscoll believes in his totally weird interpretation of the Bible. He is not telling the truth. I find this dangerous.

  4. Ariel Dawson says:

    @Anselm. Could you back up where in the bible is says there is an different way to eternal life then through Jesus?

    And I’m Australian and I know a lot of missionaries who work with Aboriginal Australians and we have Aboriginal Churches here. So its not like they are a unreached people.

    This is a genuine question not just trying to have a debate for the sake of it.

  5. […] In a previous post I stated that Mars Hill and the Catholic Church are allies in many of today’s greatest cultural battles.  One battle I failed to mention is the issue of Human Trafficking in Seattle. […]

  6. […] a Catholic, I am sad that I am not in visible communion with Mars Hill.  God is doing so many good things there. I invite all Catholics and all members of Mars Hill to pray that one day our Church’s will be […]

  7. […] reasons that Mark mentions here. I’m not here to tear down anybody’s faith, in fact, I have repeatedly praised Mars Hill here on this blog. So Pastor Mark probably wasn’t talking about us, although I’d love to know that he has […]

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