Mark Driscoll, Tullian Tchividjian, & Reformed Baptist Polity [Tom Chantry]

Tullian Driscoll

Pastor Tom Chantry encourages us to draw out the right lesson from Driscoll and Tchividjian controversy:

Pastor Tom Chantry
Pastor Tom Chantry

…What we [Reformed Baptists] have, then, is a distinct system from Presbyterianism, but one which, like Presbyterianism, endeavors to pay heed to the biblical principles by which all churches must be governed, namely: 1) the Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ over the church, 2) the careful application of the authority and power he grants the church through orderly processes, 3) a mutual and prayerful respect between the officers and members of every congregation, and 4) a similarly mutual and prayerful respect between like-minded congregations which serve under the same Head. It is, in other words, a serious polity worthy of serious Christians.

But will it preserve us from a badly mishandled scandal? No, not if we trust in polity alone. Forgive my transgression of theological categories, but right polity cannot save ex opere operato! To avoid scandal, or rather to handle it rightly when it comes, we need grace from on high. For this reason our polity must be pursued carefully and prayerfully by upright and humble men. Otherwise it will fail. We may wish to say that such terrible scandals as Driscoll and Tchividjian have perpetrated could never happen under our polity, but as our Presbyterian friends have discovered, they might! In fact, brothers, I would say that they have, only not so publicly…

The reason, however, is probably not polity. It is far more likely that the problem lies within our hearts. Maybe we do have one of those polities which, to expropriate Adams’ words, is “better fitted for being well administered than others.” Very well, but let us heed Pope also, and administer it well and faithfully.

Read “Mark Driscoll, Tullian Tchividjian, and Reformed Baptist Polity”.

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