Today I was daydreaming. That’s not unusual, I daydream on a regular basis. The daydream was about an event more than anything. An event that would occur at a major Christian gathering. A place like, let’s say, one of the annual Passion Conferences. Yeah, it would be good if 60,000 people were there. Take a moment to get caught up with me in my dream. Imagine 60,000 Christians gathered. Different types of Christians. Traditional, hipsters, reformed, Baptist, Methodist, etc. You get the picture. Here we go.
You look down and in the midst of the coliseum is an octagon. An octagon like in MMA. And all of the people have come to watch me fight. And I’ll be fighting Mark Driscoll. I’m not sure what music Driscoll would come in to. But I’m pretty sure I would choose Eye of the Tiger. Now in my dream I’m not fighting the softened Driscoll. You know, TD Jakes friend. I’m fighting the Driscoll from early 2000. The one who is always calling guys wimps, making fun of overweight wives, cussing like a sailor and cracking jokes on guys with small churches. We are called to the center of the octagon and stand nose to nose. He’s talking trash and I’m just looking at him…down at him because I’m pretty sure he’s kind of short. The referee, who happens to be James MacDonald, explains the rules and now the fight is on.
In the beginning Driscoll catches me by surprise. He gets a takedown on me. Good strategy because I have the reach on him. He kind of smothers me, but I keep him close so he can’t land any punches. After a while the crowd gets bored and the ref stands us up. Now I’m in my game. I land a solid jab followed with a left hook. Driscoll gets a little wobbly as I land three more punches, the crowd goes wild and the bell rings ending round 1.
As round two starts Driscoll is mad. He really brings it to me. I can’t do much. He gouges me in the eye illegally. I tell MacDonald but he doesn’t care. He tells me to keep fighting. Well I ‘ve got one eye now but I’m mad. Understanding the ref is not on my side I realize I’ve got to win this thing the hard way. I need a knockout. So I start swinging for the fence, a little wild but I’m desperate. I catch Driscoll and knock him to the ground. As the ref is counting the bell sounds.
Round three begins. Now it’s a slugfest. The round swings back and forth from me to Driscoll. But I start gassing out. I have no choice. I just let Driscoll swing on me. He pummels me with punches. One after another, but I won’t go down. The crowd senses something great is happening. Driscoll is confused. McDonald is asking me if I give up. But I’m possessed. I yell at Driscoll “Is that all you got?” “Joel O’steen hits harder than that!” “Come on Driscoll!” Driscoll wears himself out on my hard head. Then it’s my turn. I take it to him. The crowd is on their feet. “Boom, Boom, Boom” the crowd yells simultaneously as my punches land. Finally Driscoll goes down. He’s out. No doubt. MacDonald hesitantly declares Driscoll out, makes his way to me and lifts my hand in victory.
The crowd is going crazy as “Eye of the Tiger” is cued up again. My wife rushes into the octagon with my two kids. Driscoll is sitting on a stool in his corner. I look over at him, feeling a little sorry for him. I make my way to him. He looks at me and says “I’m sorry. From now on things will be different.” I say to him “Mark I’m sorry too. Truth is there have been times I have been critical of you simply because of jealousy.” We hug. I walk to the middle of the ring and grab the microphone. Silence fills the auditorium. I lift up Driscoll’s hand and say to the crowd “If I can change, and he can change, then we can all change.”
After a short pause people begin to turn and hug one another. Calvinists and Arminians hug, traditionalists & hipsters embrace, people in skinny jeans and people in ties are high-fiving one another. Mega pastors and small church pastors have their arms around one another. Walls are broken down that divided us for so long. And on top of it all I got to beat up Mark Driscoll.