Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church, recently read his congregation the opening lines of Ephesians 5:22-33 and then stopped to interject:
“What does that mean in the Greek, Pastor Mark?” You can always tell a rebellious Evangelical. They do word studies. They try to go to the Greek and figure out if it perhaps means something else. I’ll just read, OK. (Here’s the full transcript.)
Not only does that sound odd coming from a pastor, but its very presence in the middle of his Scripture reading is ironic in light of what he said to them just before he began the passage:
… should we be God’s messengers or should we be God’s editors?
Going by the number of times he interrupts the Scripture reading to give what he considers to be necessary insights, clarifications and emphases, I’d say he thinks the passage needs a lot of editorializing. And apparently figuring out what the Bible means takes nothing more than listening to him tell you what it means.
But back to the original excerpt:
You can always tell a rebellious Evangelical. They do word studies.
Luke had another word to describe such people: noble. You see, one day Paul came into the town of Berea to preach the gospel. The Bereans listened carefully to him, but then they did something that, according to Mark Driscoll, is tantamount to rebellion. They checked up on Paul’s teaching:
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11.)
So while no one should ask “What does that mean, Pastor Mark?”, an entire congregation was commended for examining Scripture daily (and perhaps even engaging in a word study or two!) to see if what the Apostle Paul said squared with the Bible.
Should anyone ask me if I will follow the example of the Berean congregation or the position promoted by the pastor of Mars Hill, I think I’ll go with those rebellious Bereans.
[Here's another article about the sermon, written by Dan over at Cooling Twilight. He does a better job than I did.]