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Mark Driscoll Skull and Crossbones Award
One day before I had this debate with Mark Driscoll, the Calvinistic pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle Washington, I was contacted by phone but it wasn't initially for a debate but merely for a two hour interview on eternal security. On the same day as the debate, about 3 hours before it was to begin, the announcer himself phoned and told me it would be a debate with a pastor Mark Driscoll who has about 6,000 people in his congregation and the 15th fastest growing church in the USA.
Eternal Security Radio Debate
I also learned that the radio announcer attends Mark Driscoll's church. As I thought might happen, the debate I had was actually with Mark Driscoll, the announcer who was Thor Tolo and various phone callers who would all try to make different points for the eternal security doctrine as they tried to refute me and discredit the Christian position of a conditional security. At times insulting comments came at me, some subtle, some open and harsh. During the debate, I was interrupted at times, shorted time to respond or they skipped over me entirely. At two different points my ability to hear what was being said was turned off completely!
I have learned from experience that these types of sleazy things are somewhat commonplace when dealing with proponents of eternal security. In spite of the various forms of blatant unfair opposition, I believe the truth of God regarding salvation came across loud and clear. May it prove to be a great learning tool for you and others. Clearly, eternal security has a double message that is both contradictory to itself and dangerously unscriptural as it gives people, in wickedness, a false security of salvation.
Our debate begins with an early doctrinal misrepresentation of me from the announcer that would be controlling the entire debate.
He believes eternal security is entirely conditional and can be lost.
ANSWER: The doctrine of eternal security is defined by both Charles Stanley and Charles Ryrie as, That work of God in which he guarantees that the gift of salvation once received is possessed forever and cannot be lost. Hence, I certainly don't believe in eternal security at all in any form. The Bible teaches a conditional security for the believer and this is what I believe. The eternal security radio announcer, at a very early point, misrepresented my beliefs and will do this at least three other times. Calvinism has a double message. Here Mark Driscoll presents the sanitized version.
Eternal Security Defined
... other that I would prefer to articulate as, my Calvinist brothers articulate as perseverance of the saints meaning once you meet Jesus you're going to continue to walk with him. Not that you are sinless and perfect as he was but that you are growing in your hatred of sin and your likeness of Jesus and that's how we know who the Christians are. They love Jesus and we see change that is ongoing throughout the course of their life.
ANSWER: According to this statement, a Christian is going to continue to walk with Jesus. Later you will find out that he must apparently think that this can be done even when in the most heinous sins possible since Calvinists think King David remained saved while in adultery and murder; the prodigal remained saved while in wild living and being with prostitutes; that drunkards can be unrepentant and saved at the same time; etc.
In fact, Mark Driscoll himself admitted he has all kinds of sins:
I have all kinds of sins.
ANSWER: Since Mark Driscoll admitted he has all kinds of sins, he actually disqualified himself from being a spiritual leader, according to Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3. It also seems apparent that he is not sorrowful for all those sins that he has. This goes with the typical false idea in eternal security circles that one has to sin all the time and all sins are of the same degree.
Furthermore, how can Driscoll give the false impression that a real Christian is growing in his likeness of Jesus and that's how we know who the Christians are, but 1 John 3:10 states something that is clearly different:
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
Again, here is what Driscoll wrongly taught:
But that you are growing in your hatred of sin and your likeness of Jesus and that's how we know who the Christians are.
ANSWER: There Mark Driscoll said we can KNOW who the Christians are, but later he will deny this is possible! This will be just one of his doctrinal contradictions. The truth is a real Christian is one who is following Jesus and putting his word into practice. He is also one who is obeying God, according to Hebrews 5:9.
Getting back to what Mark Driscoll said earlier, he stated that Christians love Jesus and there is ongoing change in their life. This sounds great but the problem is, this is not what he always teaches as an eternal security proponent. This is evident by his unscriptural understanding of the sin that leads to death.
For Mark Driscoll and other eternal security proponents, if it is D. James Kennedy, Dave Hunt or whoever, the sin unto death meaning is when God in his anger and wrath strikes dead an unrepentant habitual adulterer, drunkard, etc. then takes him to heaven. Mark Driscoll specifically mentioned the alcoholic who God kills because he remains unrepentant to the end of his life and is taken to heaven.
CALLER: . . . pick a sin, any sin, and I just decided I just did not want to repent of that and stay in it. I'm yet a believer but that's just going to cramp(?) my journey here on earth. I'm just going to see the Lord a little bit quicker. That's just my take on that.
And cost you rewards in heaven. Is that ...
She's talking like maybe alcoholism or gluttony or whatever it is, that is going to take your life prematurely cause sin leads to death.
ANSWER: Mark Driscoll also didn't disagree but fully agreed with the phone caller and the radio host who lethally believes the sin unto death is a believer who remains unrepentant in any sin, regardless how vile and wicked, is killed by God and taken to heaven. Only their rewards will be lost:
Another glaring problem surfaced when Mark Driscoll also said Christians love Jesus. This is a Bible fact, but the glaring problem is Mark Driscoll doesn't really believe that at all. He is claiming something for his own theology which is false. How can I say this? The Bible states to love Jesus means you are going to have to obey Jesus (John 14:15), which is something he thinks even the Apostle Paul was NOT able to do.
At one point in writing, "I'm a sinner." He says in another point, "I'm the least of the apostles." As he writes a little bit later he says, "I'm the worst sinner of all."
Since Driscoll thinks Paul was the worst of sinners and he went to heaven, he therefore must believe the WORST OF SINNERS can go to heaven, if they were ever regenerated at any point. Also, eternal security teachers don't say that Paul ever repented of being the worst of sinners! How then did Paul, as the worst of all sinners even worse than Judas, conform more and more to be like Jesus? Driscoll thinks Paul was the worst of sinners. This also brings up another glaring problem for his theology. Since he thinks all sins are the same, then how could any sinner be worse than any other? Moreover, does he really think Paul was worse than the Prodigal when in wild living and with the prostitutes or King David when he was in adultery and murder? The worst of sinners would have to be more vile than they were in those sins. Could that be the Apostle Paul of the book of Acts? Never. That would be impossible, but that is how these people distort the truth of God.
ANSWER: Listen again to how Mark Driscoll teaches we can know who the Christians are, which excludes what he said about the Apostle Paul.
Once you meet Jesus yow are going to continue to walk with him. Not that you are sinless and perfect as he was, but that you are growing in your hatred of sin and your likeness of Jesus and that's how we know who the Christians are.
ANSWER: What a horrible and shocking dangerous distortion of the Bible eternal security is. To slander Paul's image is to also smear the image of a real Christian. The Bible declares:
The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:4)
ANSWER: From how Paul is typically slandered by the eternal security proponents, if that was true, 1 John 2:4 would have to label Paul as a liar and the truth is not in him. How could the person God used to write half of the Bible be without truth? Driscoll also said:
MD: 1 Jn 2:19. They were with us but they really weren't one of us. And there's a lot of people like that. Jesus says that in the church there'll be wheat and tares.
ANSWER: Mark Driscoll mentioned 1 John 2:19 but failed to cite that the context shows the ones that departed did NOT believe Jesus was the Christ, according to verse 22! Their doctrine was that blatantly in error. They obviously didn't appear to be Christians for certainly all Christians believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ.
Driscoll also tries to connect 1 John 2:19 to people in the church who go back to wickedness. But folks, think about this: how can he consistently say this when he and all other Calvinists believe that a truly elect person can commit the sins of David (adultery and murder) the sins of Peter (disowning Jesus), the sins of Solomon (idolatry), the sins of the prodigal (wild living and being with the prostitutes) and the sins of the unnamed man of 1 Cor. 5, which was incestuous fornication. The eternal security teachers have a double message and will teach whatever is best for them at the moment.
Thirdly, Mark Driscoll mentioned the wheat and tares because he wrongly thinks they can not be distinguished from each other. He is speaking the popular view of Calvinism. It is vital to realize that tares can be identified from the wheat in Jesus' teaching. In Mt. 13:27,28, we read:
The owner's servants came to him and said, "Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?" "An enemy did this," he replied. The servants asked him, "Do you want us to go and pull them up?"
It is clear the weeds or tares could be identified from the wheat as the servants identified them as such which led the servants to ask if they should go and pull them up.
When Judas was mentioned, part of Driscoll's rebuttal and defense of eternal security was:
... you're saying is that Jesus Christ's death on the cross, you want to talk blasphemy, is not enough to actually forgive sins.
ANSWER: Such a slanderous, ludicrous answer seems to almost be the norm with these people when discussing eternal security. That is a horrible misrepresentation of all Christians who reject the security in sin gospel of eternal security. Of course Christians believe Jesus' death was enough to forgive sins. Many seem to think that because these teachers mention Jesus' death at Calvary, his blood, grace and other Biblical terms they are sound, when they are FAR from being sound.
Driscoll also was abusive here:
... talk a lot. Just, just, just take your paxil, sit down.
ANSWER: Jude said the people who change grace into a license for immorality are scoffers or mockers in verse 18. They also talk abusively against whatever they don't understand, verse 10. Mark Driscoll has displayed this by his name calling.
Here's what I believe. If you meet Jesus, you live a new life. If you meet Jesus and you don't live a new life, you probably didn't meet Jesus.
ANSWER: I believe if you know Jesus in the way of salvation you will live a new life too, but that really means a holy and obedient life, which he doesn't think is possible by how he portrays Paul as the worst of sinners, at least at times. The Bible also teaches one can meet Jesus in the way of salvation and later die spiritually. Consequently, such a person would be back on the road to damnation once again and needs to repent for salvation's sake. Mark Driscoll also hinted at his double message with these words:
If you meet Jesus and you don't live a new life, you probably didn't meet Jesus.
ANSWER: Did you notice the word "probably"? Mark Driscoll also displayed his Calvinistic lack of understanding about salvation with the following:
Salvation's not mine. Jonah 2 says that salvation is of the Lord. The question is, will Jesus lose a Christian? It's not about me losing anything. It's about whether or not Jesus fails. They belong to Jesus. Salvation doesn't belong to them.
ANSWER: Again, when it is convenient, Driscoll will say salvation is not mine:
Salvation is not mine.
ANSWER: but at another time he refers to his own salvation as though it is his:
my salvation is not dependent upon what I do.
ANSWER: He said "my salvation." Did you catch that? At a different time MD also said:
They belong to Jesus. Salvation doesn't belong to them.
ANSWER: Calvinists teach salvation doesn't belong to the Christian. In other words, they don't believe it is the Christian's salvation, but Paul taught otherwise. In Rom. 13:11 he wrote of "our salvation." That verse reads:
our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
When Paul wrote the Philippian saints he wrote of their salvation. He said this in Phil. 2:12:
continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Peter wrote in a similar fashion:
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, (1 Pet 2:2)
Clearly it is the Christian's salvation. See also Hebrews 2:10. Driscoll thinks it is not about us losing anything but whether or not Jesus failed. Imagine that! The real truth is, Jesus told those who had already been saved this:
Only hold on to what you have until I come. (Rev 2:25)
We are told repeatedly in the New Testament to hold on to what we have so that we don't lose it. This can apply to salvation itself as shown by the following two Scriptures:
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (1 Cor 15:2)
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. (Heb 3:14)
Again, Mark Driscoll said:
My salvation is not dependent upon what I do.
ANSWER: He said his salvation is not dependent upon what he does. He really means, regardless how much he would sin his salvation will not be affected by it. This is the heart of the security-in-sin gospel of eternal security. Mark Driscoll also said:
You actually think that everyone in the church at Galatia, he says they believed a false gospel. He says they should go all the way to emasculating themselves and that they're trusting in circumcision for eternal life. You cannot say Galatia was filled with Christians.
ANSWER: Eternal security teachers would say the unnamed man guilty of sexual immorality in 1 Cor. 5:1-5 was a Christian, but here in the book of Galatians he tries to dispute such an idea. What were his arguments: (1) Paul said they believed a false gospel. My answer to that is Paul said that they were turning to a false gospel and had previously accepted the real gospel in 1:9. (2) The ones Paul stated should emasculate themselves were the false teachers that came to Galatia and deceived the Christians. (3) After being deceived the same ones who were then trying to be justified by the law had fallen away from grace to the point where Christ is of no value to them at all, according to Gal. 5:2-4.
So what is the evidence that Paul was writing to people who had been truly born again?
(Section from The Believer's Conditional Security, p.222 here.)
Also, there is no question that God was their spiritual Father (1:3) and that is also confirmed in Acts where we read about the very beginning of the churches in Galatia:
The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe. They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. "We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God," they said. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust (Acts 14:20-23).
Without question, Acts 14:20-23 show the recipients of the Book of Galatians were really saved. After they came to salvation, some people (who were false teachers) came and preached a false gospel to these Christians (Gal. 1:7) and they were in the process of turning to that false gospel (1:6), when this epistle to the Galatians was being written. Furthermore, this turning to a false gospel happened quickly and astonished Paul (1:6). This proves that real Christians can be fatally deceived by false teachers.
Mark Driscoll called me brother Dan:
This might be the one point I think brother Dan and I agree on.
ANSWER: He thinks I'm a "brother" but also thinks I'm the most annoying and arrogant man he has ever met, a blasphemer and implied I don't believe Jesus died for all sins. Apparently, he thinks such a person can be a Christian. How could such a person be walking with Jesus?
During the course of our debate, as I have already stated, I was often misrepresented. Here are three different times the radio host did this very thing:
One who would passionately disagree with the premise, if not the 8th chapter of Romans, is Dan Corner who is director of Evangelical Outreach
... and Dan Corner also says, and here's where they part ways, David lost his salvation, however David repented and never strayed again
We've had violence and gluttony. We flock to movies that revel in steamy sex scenes and gratuitous violence. We snatch up the tabloids when it comes to abhorrent behavior in our lives. Many people shrug it off as having no consequences because they've been baptized or confirmed. They pray to Jesus. That makes it all okay. It was the thrust of the theme behind Dan Corner's, The Believer's Conditional Security.
ANSWER: To set the record straight, (1) I do NOT disagree with the 8th chapter of Romans, (2) I do NOT believe David never strayed again after his adultery and murder because he also sinned when he numbered the troops. Did you notice that Thor never gave the source of where I allegedly stated that. (3) The thrust of our book, The Believer's Conditional Security: Eternal Security Refuted is that for a real Christian, that is, one who has been regenerated, there exists a conditional security. That means he can lose the salvation he once possessed. There are at least 18 examples of people or types of people in the Bible who have lost their salvation temporarily or permanently. Hence, eternal security is clearly disproved. I was misrepresented in these areas.
Listen to a longer segment and notice what Mark Driscoll believes about David as he dialogs with the radio host. Later Mark Driscoll won't readily admit to his belief about David:
And Dan Corner also says, and here's where they part ways, David lost his salvation, however David repented and never strayed again so he did enter the Kingdom of God. But Mark, I'll use my word not yours but it referred to earlier as a uturn where he had it, lost it, and had it again and you think that's silly, in a word.
Yeah, I think uh once you belong to God he's good for his word and he continues to work with you until he sees you face to face.
And no more convincing a passage in the Bible you believe than Romans 8 when it comes to this.
Nothing shall separate us from the love of God. Can we take some calls?
ANSWER: A caller said this:
And a Calvinist would say, if you ended up backsliding, that's a bad term on their part, ya know, from their perspective but apostatizing, they would say they were never saved.
ANSWER: It is amazing how such is equated with Calvinism but that is not what their own confessions states! The Westminster confession CLEARLY states that an elect person can go astray and cites David as an example, which is also what John Calvin himself taught. Hence, they do believe a saved person can backslide and REMAIN SAVED while unrepentant and backslid even in sins of adultery and murder! Their own confession doesn't say such were never saved.
So if I really am a Christian, Scripture says I will do good works.
ANSWER: Here Mark Driscoll portrays a Christian as doing good works, which is the opposite of how he interprets Rom. 7:19. Calvinism thinks Rom. 7:19 is Paul as a Christian who could not do good he wanted to do but always did evil he didn't want to do.
Here is another time Mark Driscoll sanitized his version of eternal security. Because Calvinism has a double message it confuses the issue and prevents some from recognizing what a license for immorality and doctrine of demons it really is.
Those who habitually, unrepentantly practice sin, you say keep raping, killing, no, they, they're, they're not Christians. They're, going to Hell. They're not , they're not saved. And they're not evidencing the new life that Jesus has for them.
ANSWER: Later Mark Driscoll argues that the Prodigal who was in wild living, and with prostitutes was a Christian!
The issue of the prodigal is: whether or not that boy left home and sinned; he was still a member of the same family and he still had the same father and that's what I'm arguing for.
ANSWER: How is it the prodigal was not in habitual, unrepentant practice of sin before he returned to the Father? Calvinism also has a double message and a confused theology based on a confession but not the Scriptures.
One of Mark's pastor friends, who is also known by Thor, gets on the air to tries to make a point for Calvinism and Mark Driscoll:
Let's go to Pastor Taylor in Seattle. Hello.
Hi Pastor. I see you're on a cell phone. Let's hope it holds.
Yeah, it will.
Is this Wayne?
Hey Mark, how you doin?
Hey buddy, how you doin man?
I'm doing great. I'm down at Golden Gardens. It's beautiful.
It's a nice day buddy.
Yeah it's awesome. Well, um, if I could maybe inject a little different way of looking at it. Um, I think the question is not so much do you believe in eternal security. I think, I think really all true Believer's believe in, in eternal life. Um but the question is, does a person believe in God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. If they believe in one but not the other, there's going to be a little problem. But if they believe in both, then there's two ways to explain it. And I think the two ways are that once you're saved, you're always saved. And a Calvinist would say, if you ended up backsliding, that's a bad term on their part, you know from their perspective, but apostatizing, they would say that they were never saved. If a person is more of an Arminian and and they backslid, then they'd say they lost their salvation. So I think in one sense it's just a, a matter of perspective in how you would explain the same thing. To me, which one, which position would truly give the believer more security? That's the question.
Dan Corner, do you have an answer?
Yes sir. The caller said that one position is if they backslide they were never saved. Well it's too bad he wasn't listening to what Mark said. Mark Driscoll just got done saying that David remained saved in his adultery which means that he actually believes there are Christian adulterers, Christian drunkards, Christian murderers, etc. Now at one time he'll say that if you're saved you'll endure to the end. Then he can turn right around and teach the other way, that David remained saved. For some way in his mind apparently he must think that in adultery you're enduring. Now this particular caller, he brought up God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. No question about it. They Bible teaches both. In no way, shape or form am I teaching anything that's undercutting God's sovereignty. God's sovereignty is so great that God allows man to have free will. We're being tested. In James 1:12 it says, Blessed is the man that perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. This life is a test. It's a day in, day out, week in, week out, 24/7 test. We've got to endure to the end to be saved. Heb. 3:14 says, We've come to share in Christ if we hold firm till the end the confidence we had at first. Folks, not everybody endures to the end. Peter said some go back as a dog returns to his vomit. Doesn't have to happen. There are spiritual safeguards. You don't see where Paul backslid like that. He beat his body, made it his slave lest after he preached to others, he himself would be a castaway. Paul lived holy, righteous and blameless. No question about it. And you see, we have access to the same grace of God that he had. And this is the true grace of God in the Bible. It says in Titus 2:12, It (referring to the grace of God) teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. So yes, we can live godly, holy lives. Now, he's teaching, Mark Driscoll is teaching, other eternal security teachers are teaching a license to sin, by saying that David remained saved in his adultery and murder, which is a lie.
Dan, I find you to be the most annoying, arrogant man I've ever met. You're, I, I pastor a church of 6,000 people in the least churched city in America. There are more dogs than Christians in my city. And then to accuse me of teaching grace as a license for sin. Have you ever heard, Dan, have you ever heard one sermon I have preached?
I heard you say, approximately five or ten minutes ago in reference to what Thor asked you, that David remained saved, in so many words, so you're saying indirectly that David in adultery and murder remained saved.
I said nothing about David. Not a word.
Not a word, Dan.
ANSWER: It seemed like Thor was going to correct Mark Driscoll about that, but caught himself before he said too much. Mark Driscoll said he didn't say a word. Listen again to what Mark Driscoll said, which is now denied when it is not convenient to admit to his own belief. In so many words, Mark said David remained saved while in adultery and murder:
And Dan Corner also says, and here's where they part ways, David lost his salvation, however David repented and never strayed again so he did enter the Kingdom of God. But Mark Driscoll, I'll use my word not yours but it referred to earlier as a uturn where he had it, lost it, and had it again and you think that's silly, in a word.
Yeah, I think uh once you belong to God he's good for his word and he continues to work with you until he sees you face to face.
ANSWER: More of Calvinism becomes revealed through a phone caller who brings up the sin unto death:
... which leads unto death. I think 1 Jn. 5:16. And in the original Greek, it's talking about if a believer should be in a sin where he continues in, to engage in that will lead him to a premature, physical death. So, so, if it's something say (?) pick a sin, any sin, and I just decided I just did not want to repent of that and stay in it. I'm yet a believer but that's just going to cramp(?) my journey here on earth. I'm just going to see the Lord a little bit quicker. That's just my take on that.
And cost you rewards in heaven. Is that ...
She's talking like maybe alcoholism or gluttony or whatever it is, that is going to take your life prematurely cause sin leads to death.
Please know the female eternal security proponent was wrong when she said, in the original Greek, it talks about if a believer should be in a sin where he continues in, to engage in that will lead him to a premature, physical death. The truth is: the death mentioned in 1 John 5:16 can be used to refer to spiritual death (James 1:15) and eternal death (James 5:20; Rev. 21:8).
So the key is to keep focusing on Jesus and no matter what, if everybody is focusing on Jesus it's going to work out as he intended.
ANSWER: Mark Driscoll's doctrine shows he apparently thinks one can be an alcoholic and have salvation just like the eternal security proponent phone caller. Remember he also thinks one can live wickedly as the prodigal and King David when backslid and be on the road to heaven.
Mark Driscoll also agreed with the phone caller who gave her eternal security definition of the sin unto death occurring to a person who CONTINUES IN sin, doesn't repent, dies physically and is taken to heaven. Mark Driscoll cited an unrepentant alcoholic as an example, but at a different time Mark in his contradictory theology said this:
Mark Driscoll: ...those who habitually, unrepentantly practice sin, you say keep raping, killing, no, they, they're not Christians. They're going to hell. They're not saved. And they're not evidencing the new lives that Jesus has for them.
ANSWER: Mark also said this:
So ultimately my salvation is from Jesus not by my works. But it is evidence or (?) or made visible the difference that Jesus has made by me having new desires, new actions, new life. What that would mean is no, I should not rape or kill. Ultimately Jesus decides who goes to heaven but no, those who, 1 Jn. 3 says those who habitually, unrepentantly practice sin, you say keep raping, killing, no, they, they're, they're not Christians. They're, going to Hell. They're not , they're not saved. And they're not evidencing the new life that Jesus has for them.
ANSWER: Mark said the new life in Christ is made visible by new desires, new actions and a new life, but that contradicts what he previously said about the alcoholic Christian who dies in that condition as an example of the sin unto death. Mark Driscoll also said a Christian "should not rape or kill," but he didn't say here how he views a person previously saved who would do such. He would have to say they remain saved, if they do, even in such wickedness.
ANSWER: In contrast to this, eternal security doctrine also says this about Paul:
At one point in writing, I'm a sinner. He says at another point, I'm the least of the apostles. And as he writes a little bit later, he says I'm the worst sinner of all.
ANSWER: At a different point he mentions that Paul was perfect:
You seem to confuse glorification and sanctification like God's done and now we don't need to repent anymore and now we're perfect like Paul.
ANSWER: It seems that Mark Driscoll somehow thinks Paul was the worst of sinners and perfect at the same time. Strange as it may be, Mark Driscoll also taught at a different point Paul was not perfect. You'll hear that next, then a question from a caller to Mark:
What I believe happened to the Apostle Paul is not that he was sinless and perfect
But I've got a question for Mark. Mark, since you're a Christian and your salvation is secured, could you today, not would you, but could you today choose to start raping and killing and still go to heaven?
No, my salvation is not dependent upon what I do.
ANSWER: Mark Driscoll holds to Calvinism and shows he clearly doesn't think any wicked behavior can effect his salvation.
My salvation is not dependent upon what I do, but my salvation is evidenced by what I do.
ANSWER: Somehow Mark Driscoll must see salvation evidence in the prodigal while he was with the prostitutes and wild living and must also see David's salvation evident when in unrepentant adultery and murder. He also must see it in the unrepentant alcoholic who God kills and takes to heaven prematurely.
He also claims a distinction between the Baptist form of eternal security and the Calvinistic form of eternal security, but in reality there is no difference at all because both are a license for immorality. It has already been shown that Mark Driscoll is teaching a license for immorality and more evidence is soon to come, but first here is how he tries to make a distinction between the two forms of eternal security:
I don't hold the traditional Baptistic view of eternal security which is you prayed a prayer you're good forever. I hold the Calvinistic position which is you walk with God faithfully. The only way you have any confidence in your relationship with God is that it is ongoing, active, present, growing, continual.
ANSWER: Mark must somehow see a relationship with God that is ongoing, active, present, growing and continual in one who becomes faithless; the alcoholic who dies unrepentant and in the worst of all sinners who he thinks the Apostle Paul was. Listen to what else Mark Driscoll said:
I believe that what he's saying there is that you can really devastate the quality of your life. You can devastate your spiritual legacy. You can lose a lot of your joy and freedom. And as they did, the Israelites in Exodus and the Corinthians were in the state of doing the same thing as a congregation of people. They were, they were ruining the quality of their life and they were forfeiting their eternal reward.
ANSWER: He just revealed his belief about his very limited penalty of wicked actions after getting regenerated. Losing one's reward, joy and freedom is a far cry from dying spiritually which the Lord Jesus, Paul, James and others all taught.
I brought up Mt. 10:28 in our debate:
And he can destroy both body and soul in hell. Mt. 10:28, Jesus said, do not be afraid of those that kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One that can destroy both body and soul in hell.
Yeah, we agree on that point.
ANSWER: Mark doesn't agree and can't agree that that hell warning in Mt. 10:28 was given to those who were already saved. That is indirect evidence that one can still go to hell after initial salvation.
Notice what the following phone caller said about Christians and the Christian life. She probably got the idea that, "We are evil" from the eternal security teaching and misapplication of Rom. 7:14-25 to Paul as a Christian and the normal Christian life. She actually thinks Christians are evil and evil people can have salvation:
And we're evil. How much more so is God always our father.
My point is that people need to repent of sin and trust in Jesus Christ. And that if at any point we deviate from that message we are, we are not doing what Jesus has called and asked of us to do.
But does he need to repent for rewards' sake or for salvation's sake? That's the issue.
You repent up front for salvation. You continue to repent for your sanctification.
ANSWER: Mark Driscoll is wrong again. In Rev. chapters 2 and 3 Jesus told 5 of the seven churches to repent, that is repent after coming to initial salvation. Clearly, the lukewarm at Laodicea were in danger of being expelled from the body of Christ, which shows they would lose their salvation. Repentance for them and others in Rev. 2 and 3 was a salvation issue and nothing less.
Jesus says if you lust in your heart it counts. So if a guy looks twice at a cute girl, does he lose his salvation? This is where practically this just gets dumb.
And you don't draw the distinction as Dan Corner does between a sin and a sin that leads to death.
A big sin, a little sin. Catholics call it mortal sin and venial sin. No I don't.
ANSWER: This is how the Biblical message is scoffed at and ridiculed by the security in sin proponents. The mere fact that there is eternal sin which can never be forgiven shows all sins are not of the same degree. Other Scriptures prove the same.
Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church most decidedly does and does not shy away from the label of Calvinist. Is that right?
Yeah, I'm a happy Calvinist.
You're a happy Calvinist.
ANSWER: Some Calvinists might be happy because they are popular and have gotten large congregations. Mark Driscoll, like all other eternal security teachers say, one can actually be faithless and remain saved. To be faithless is to be atheistic. Hence, these people teach indirectly there are Christian atheists by teaching one can become faithless. Listen to what Mark Driscoll said:
And that even when we are faithless, he is faithful and God works out all things for good and nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ.
ANSWER: But Mark also has an opposing message, which is not consistent to his other teachings:
And though we do sin, God the Holy Spirit will convict us and those who really belong to Jesus will come to repentance and continue to see their life increasingly conform to be more and more like Jesus.
ANSWER: Mark Driscoll's statement here is part of the GREAT DECEPTION eternal security teachers use sometimes to conceal what they teach at other times. Listener think about this: How could Mark Driscoll actually believe "those who really belong to Jesus will come to repentance and continue to see their life increasingly conform to be more and more like Jesus" in light of him also teaching as he does about the sin unto death where he understands that to be a saved person who does NOT repent of his drunkenness, dies in that wickedness and yet goes to heaven?
He also just mentioned one can become faithless. This is NOT consistent with a life increasingly conforming to be more and more like Jesus. Such confusion and contradictions are a clear sign of false doctrine. Mark Driscoll also said this:
You seem to confuse glorification to sanctification like God's done and now we don't need to repent anymore and now we're perfect like Paul.
ANSWER: Here Mark Driscoll blatantly contradicts his previous statement that Paul was the worst sinner of all by saying Paul was perfect. He also misrepresented my position by saying a person who gets born again doesn't have to repent anymore. I teach the opposite especially in Rev. chapters 2 and 3 where Jesus told 5 of the 7 church groups to repent. Listen to the dialog between Thor and Mark:
So in deference to Dan a genuinely born again Christian, a member Let's say of your church, Mars Hill, a genuinely born again Christian could go out, commit the sin of murder this evening and you would say to that man or woman that they are still saved.
Jesus says if you do it in your heart it counts. So if a guy in my church is driving down the street and hits the car horn cause he's frustrated with the guy in front of him, Jesus says he's committed murder in his heart, so it counts. So does he automatically go to hell? No, he has to repent of his anger and grow.
ANSWER: Mark Driscoll, like other eternal security teachers, is a master at avoiding the question and skirting around an issue he wants to avoid. Did you catch that? Thor asked him if a real Christian commits murder does he remain saved.
Mark Driscoll's answer was, "it counts," but didn't tell us what "it counts" really means. Then Mark tried to downplay the seriousness of murder by equating the sin of murder to a man who blows the car horn over frustration and says that was part of Jesus' teaching when it NEVER was. Jesus NEVER taught frustration is the same as murder.
Thirdly, after all of that Mark Driscoll again concealed his darkened view of a Christian committing murder with his own question and answer. He said, "So does he (the murderer) automatically go to hell? No. "But even that was deceitful. That wasn't the question Thor asked him. Mark was asked DOES HE REMAIN SAVED.
I could answer exactly like Mark. I wouldn't even say a murderer automatically goes to hell either. I would say he lost his salvation and is on the road to hell again and will be there unless he repents and gets forgiven. But this is not the way Mark Driscoll, or any eternal security teacher could ever answer because such a sin from their view is no different than worry, we all sin all the time, even Paul did evil and not even the sin of murder will negate one's salvation. Since his wicked theology of Calvinism declares that King David remained saved while in adultery and murder, he certainly would also think one can remain saved in murder without adultery too!
That whole question and answer time over murder occurred when my volume was turned off and I never heard a word until I heard the station's copy. What a coincidence I lost my volume the same time Thor asked Mark Driscoll his question. Mark and his distortions of grace and salvation itself was again being protected at the expense of Christian truth and precious souls.
After Mark Driscoll's avoidance of the question, the radio host said this:
What we want to do in our hearts is follow Jesus. And if we follow him passionately, like a deer thirsts for water, all of this is academic and we don't have to concern ourselves with what some would call the menusha(?) of whether you can lose your salvation. Dan? Dan Corner. He's up, right Joshua? Yeah, he's up. Up and up and away maybe into the radio ether. Let's try him one more. Dan are you with us?
Yeah, I am now. Somebody must have turned the volume down where I couldn't hear what you said.
ANSWER: As I mentioned before, I was also debating the radio host besides Mark Driscoll. I had almost every disadvantage in the natural, but I had God and truth on my side. The radio host said this:
THOR: What we want to do in our hearts is follow Jesus. And if we follow him passionately, like a deer thirsts for water, all of this is academic and we don't have to concern ourselves with what some would call the menusha(?) of whether you can lose your salvation.
ANSWER: He just confused the issue. Eternal security teaching is you don't have to passionately follow Jesus like a deer thirsting for water. They deny that a righteous person can die spiritually. This is the issue. This is the deadly problem. They teach you can live like the devil after getting regenerated and remain saved. They say it in different words though like - nothing will separate us from the love of God - or you can be faithless. If a believer becomes faithless, he is no longer a believer and therefore not a Christian. Also, James 2 teaches that a saving faith will have good works with it. So if one is faithless he will be living like the devil. That is eternal security doctrine. It clearly is a theology that originated with the devil since it is the essence of his first lie to mankind, as found in Gen. 3:4.
In closing, the problem is Driscoll's theology and his rejection of truth. Driscoll said he was a happy Calvinist but has nothing Scripturally to be happy about. He desperately needs to turn from his license for immorality and start preaching the real gospel of grace, even if it costs him his large following. In the end, when Driscoll or any person stands before God, we will then only be concerned with having God's favor, which is impossible for anyone who is teaching a false gospel and counterfeit grace message which is what eternal security, once saved always saved, the perseverance of the saints or the preservation of the saints really is.
Don't be deceived: Though Driscoll denies you make a single decision and you are secure forever, that is, in reality what he teaches. It is clearly his message and what all eternal security teachers will try to defend. Remember this, though taught in a subtle and covert way, these people are trying to convince all Christians they can become wicked, vile, evil, faithless, be like the prodigal in wild living and with the prostitutes besides being the worst of sinners and retain their salvation. That is their goal, but they teach it in a camouflaged way under God's grace, God's love, God's faithfulness, the infinite work of Christ, etc. They cloak their deadly message with a Christian garment and serve it as gospel truth to the lethal harm of all who bite into it. They have a double message, deny what they believe at times and confuse the issue to their own advantage. don't be deceived by their empty words. Remember Eph. 5:5-7:
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person - such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
May God help all Christians to earnestly contend against these dangerous, ungodly, grace changers, as commanded in Jude 3 and 4.
Some of the contradictions Driscoll mentioned during our debate were:
1. Salvation is not ours, then salvation is his.
2. Paul was the worst of sinners, then Paul was perfect.
3. We can know who a Christian is, then we can't know who is a Christian by his understanding of the wheat and tares.
4. If you meet Jesus, you live a new life, then, if you meet Jesus and you don't live a new life, you probably didn't meet Jesus. WHICH IS IT? Why didn't he say, if you claim to meet Jesus and you don't live a new life, you did NOT meet Jesus?
5. He called me brother Dan, but the Calvinistic synod of Dort says HERETICS oppose the teaching of the perseverance of the saints.
6. Mark said Christians do good, then applied Rom. 7:19 to Paul as a Christian where it states that he couldn't do good, but only evil. [NOTE: "Mars Hill in the Bible is referred to in Acts 17 and might be the place where Mark Driscoll get his church name from.]
7. Christians endure to the end, then the unrepentant alcoholic, who didn't endure to the end, was a Christian.
8. Christians love Jesus, continue to walk with him and we see ongoing change in their life, then he turned around and said he has (PRESENT TENSE) all kinds of sins in his own life. Furthermore, he teaches David had salvation when in adultery and murder; one can be faithless and that an unrepentant drunkard who dies early is an example of a person who sins the sin unto death.
GOD BLESS YOU.Listen to Part 1 and Part 2
Radio Debate With Dave Hunt -- Transcript and Observations (PDF)
I just finished listening to the Mark Driscoll debate and I was appalled at what I heard. The host, Mark and the callers numerous times attacked you by calling you names, laughing at you, put you down, mocked you, and tried discouraging you to quit and hang up by maliciously lowering the volume to make you think you got disconnected. You were totally persecuted and the bible says when persectued, to rejoice! To God be the glory. That when everyone was against you the Lord stood by your side and strengthened you (2 Tim 4:16-17) The scripture proves again to be correct that you will know a person by their fruits (matt 7:16). On the radio Mark was just getting irritated hearing the precious truth and the wolf behind the sheep clothing was starting to reveal himself in Mark. I also noticed that once you called them out on not letting you speak to the callers, they told you "that you can jump in whenever you want to" then, when the next caller called in, they had Mark give a real quick answer of lies, then they rushed to the next caller or they change to a different subject not giving you a chance to even have a say. Once the host finally asked you what you thought, Mark would get irritated again because you were spreading the truth exposing him and his doctrine. Mark would try to cut you off and speak over you. Towards the end Mark proudly stated "that he is a happy calvinist" (most likely because he thinks that one can be a "carnal christian" and still enter the Kingdom of heaven). Which he proved with his remarks and his outspoken false doctrine (that one can be saved even being an adulterer, murderer, etc) that the calvinists doctrine is truly from Satan himself. I praise God that throughout this warfare the truth was still spoken and heard by the listeners. I truely pray that Mark and anyone who is apart of that false devilish doctrine comes to know the truth and realize that one has to be holy, spotless, and endure to be saved. The next debate that you are going to have on the radio, do you mind sending me a email on when and what station it's going to air on, so that I can listen to it live? thank you so much brother, continue to fight the good fight of faith,
A Listener's Observations About This Radio Debate
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