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Friday, 29 August 2008

Beware, Brisbane!

“Burn Your Plastic Jesus.”

So proclaims the 300 men for Jesus website.

I came across 300 men for Jesus while writing Pink Triangle’s 300th blog entry earlier this week and, at first, I thought I’d stumbled across one of those spoof-religious websites, or one of those sites, such as The Onion, with its many spoof-religious news stories, or The Spoof (see its recent “Religious Group Launches Salvation Shuttle into Space to Protest Howard Stern Satellite”). But, no, 300 men for Jesus and its “Burn Your Plastic Jesus” is for real.

According to their website, Thursday, 28 August 2008 was the day that, the 300 sheep … sorry, men for Jesus would be hosting their men-only event to challenge all the men of Brisbane to join them in “getting serious about following Jesus”:

Acknowledging our own past failures, we, the undersigned 300 men, challenge the men of our city to join us in getting serious about following Jesus. We confess we have often worshipped a convenient Jesus who has allowed us to continue unchallenged in our comfortable lives. We have made an idol for ourselves - a small, easy Jesus.

Because we want to repent of this, we have invited Mark Driscoll to unsettle our complacency and expand our view of the real Jesus. We will renew our efforts to grow as authentic Christian men who are faithful to our families, who fight hard against sexual temptation, who are honest and reliable in all our dealings, who seek to serve rather than be served, who are committed to our churches, who strive to be bold yet humble and who bring honour to our Lord Jesus. "Burn your plastic Jesus" and join us in this journey.

What’s with the 300? you might ask. Well, usefully, the 300 men for Jesus tell us:

In Judges 7, the Lord takes a tiny number of men and accomplishes an amazing thing. 300 men in fact. It’s a small start, but as with Gideon, we are 300 men who want to make a big difference. And we want you to join us. We are 300 men who are committing to live radically different lives, because we have been radically changed through Christ. We’re looking for at least 500 more men to join us to hear Mark Driscoll on August 28th. Will you be there?

Who’s Mark Driscoll? you might ask. Well, he’s the co-founder and pastor of Mars Hill Church, in the US. He’s also founder of The Resurgence. Along the way, he’s caused a certain amount of controversy, including views he expressed following revelations that Pastor Ted Haggard used the services of a gay prostitute. Driscoll posted on his blog that many pastors fall into sexual sin because their wives let themselves go. In the post, he wrote:

Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors' wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the [book of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament] Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.”

Following widespread protests, he later posted an “apology” and explanation:

There is a strong drift toward the hard theological left. Some emergent types [want] to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in His hair, who drank decaf and made pithy Zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. In Revelation, Jesus is a prize fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up. I fear some are becoming more cultural than Christian, and without a big Jesus who has authority and hates sin as revealed in the Bible, we will have less and less Christians, and more and more confused, spiritually self-righteous blogger critics of Christianity.


His blog has a lot to say about homosexuality and manliness, as you’ll see here. For starters, there’s one entry detailing Driscoll’s interview with some tosser called J. I. Packer – J.I. Packer on Homosexuality – a couple of entries about Jesus in a pink dress – Part 1 and Part 2 – and Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and the Contemporary Collapse of Sexual Morals, where you can read such delights as:

In just one generation of social engineering, financed by billions of tax dollars, we have produced feminized men, masculinized women, genderless English, and the myth of androgyny, all done in the name of progress and the noble, non-religious, pursuit of “civil rights.”

If you live in Brisbane, beware! If you're a man living in Brisbane, be doubly aware! If you're a gay man living in Brisbane, perhaps now is a good time to move to Sydney!

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