In a week, there will be a video cast of the “Elephant Room” at Western Seminary (where I am doing ThM work). I have received a few emails promoting the event and from the beginning I haven’t felt the slightest inkling to go. In fact, I see the promo and cringe a bit on the inside. It made me wonder why I intuitively grate against this so strongly. I realized there are a few major reasons.
1. The Price.
99 dollars to watch a video? You’ve got to be kidding me. I probably wouldn’t pay this for a one-day live event. Just sell me the DVD for 10 bucks and let’s call it good. But I suppose T.D. Jakes has to find a way to pay for his private jet fuel to get to the event somehow.
2. Caters to a celebrity culture that has no place in the church.
The only people in the conversation are male (we’ll come back to that) mega-church pastors because apparently, they are the only ones who have anything interesting to say. I would rather sit down and have these kind of conversations with local pastors who are dealing with these issues in the city I live in. I don’t find any of these men authoritative on these subjects just because they are celebrity figureheads of large churches.
3. Mark Driscoll
There has been more than enough written about Driscoll in the past few months so I don’t want to tire you with more. To put it simply, after a history of sexist, insulting, derogatory, and insensitive comments and writings, he has simply lost all credibility. Could I do the mature thing and try to learn what I can from him despite his shortcomings? Sure. I could, but I won’t.
4. No Women.
Maybe the fact that Driscoll is present prohibits this from happening. But apparently not only are mega-church celebrities the only interesting voices, but also women have nothing to say about any of these issues either.
Overall, I find this to be another chance for struggling, desperate pastors to worship their celebrity idols and get their kicks on what their hero has to say about x, y, and z. It’s the same reason I avoid the circus that is Catalyst. I’ll pass.