We get it. We've read it for weeks, if not months or even years. You don't like Mark Driscoll. You'd wish he would go away and never come back. You wish his book sales would plummet and fall away into obscurity. You hope he gets revenge for all the alleged wrongs he's done to some of his own church members.
That's fine. We're all entitled to out own opinion. That's part of what makes living in the land of liberty great. The issue is that with the constant communication we have via social media, we can type out a few thoughts ( filtered or unfiltered) , hit submit, and share those thoughts with thousands of people in mere seconds. We no longer have to write in to a newspaper or magazine and hope they pick our note out of the pile to publish: we can keyboard-coward our way to spewing opinions 24/7.
The problem with this is when Christians, the very ones Christ commanded to love others, even their enemies start using their blogs, tweets, and status updates to rip another person, especially another believer. It's easy to throw arrows at a pastor who's stumbling through his own eye specks. Then it's something else entirely to dance triumphant on his grave.
I grew up a pastor's kid. I grew up living inside the walls of the church. Every Sunday morning, evening, Wednesday evening, and all week during Vacation Bible School and revivals I was there regardless of my desire to be. I might have hated it at times, but I had great respect for my dad who persevered in various small churches striving to make the love of God known to others.
There were times growing up where I heard things said to my dad and about my dad that were less than kind. Many were lies, some were twisted opinions, but none of it was godly. I know as a child I heard just a few small snippets of negative thoughts about my dad. It was difficult because there was little I could do about it. Fortunately that was before the internet came along.
Now for pastors, there is an entire world of snarky bloggers drooling at the next mishap from some evangelical for them to jab their pins in their social media voodoo doll. There are many (too many) opportunists who will go beyond journalistic fact-telling and light fires under men and women who have sinned.
Mark Driscoll has obviously handled some things poorly. He's prideful, and taken potentially unethical tactics just to sell some books. He deserves constructive criticism. He deserves to be questioned. He also deserves our forgiveness and encouragement.
What we need to think about is this: Mark and his wife Grace have five kids. The older ones are certainly capable enough to wander around on Twitter or Facebook. What is the feeling in their hearts and minds when they read your crass post about their father?
What would you have thought if someone had written a blog ripping apart your parents? How would you feel knowing someone made a fake Twitter account just to use your dad as a virtual pinata? How would you feel if those that called themselves Christians were the very ones hurling stones across Facebook and Reddit at any notion that your dad was a decent, godly man?
Have all the thoughts you want about Driscoll. Think what you will about him, the elders at Mars Hill, and the pastors coming to his defense. Just now what you put out there on the internet isn't just your private diary collection, it's potentially a soul crushing post for a child who still sees their daddy as a hero.
Write your thoughts if you must, but keep them constructive. Keep them godly in the sense of edifying others, not tearing them down. Chances are neither Driscoll or his family will read them. But there are probably at least a few young believers that will.