Former Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll has reminded American Christians that while they live in a free country, they may still be enslaved to a number of sins.
"There are still many of us who are not free, to use the language of the Bible, we are slaves. Slaves to sin, slaves to self, slaves to the flesh. Slaves to lies, slaves to temptation," Driscoll, the current pastor of Trinity Church in Phoenix, Arizona, said in a video message shared on Tuesday.
The pastor called to mind the story of God's people in Exodus, who were slaves under Pharaoh in Egypt. Even after God freed them of their bondage, many of the people continued to live as if they were enslaved.
"God has freed us from certain things, yet we still don't live free lives," he said, explaining that today, a number of things can take the place of Pharaoh and rule over people's lives.
"This can include sex, alcohol, power, prestige, fame, the approval of another human being, our appearance, the appearance of our spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend; it could be the achievements of our children," he said.
Sometimes, people can impose slavery upon themselves: "It's not the people and things that we hate, it's the people and thing that we love," that could cause people to fall into slavery, Driscoll warned.
"Freedom is walking in God's will, and slavery is what happens when we walk in our will," the pastor contended.
"Who or what do you live for, who or what can you not live without?" he asked. If the answer is anyone other than "Jesus," then people are walking on the wrong path, Driscoll concluded.
As The Gospel Herald has reported, Driscoll resigned from Mars Hill Church in late 2014 after a string of controversies. Less than two years later, he planted another Trinity Church in Phoenix, Arizona. On Tuesday it was reported that the church had purchased a permanent home just weeks before its official launch.
Since returning to ministry, Driscoll has posted a number of video messages on his website, in which he discusses a wide-range of topics, including tattoos, eating disorders, and demon possession.
"Pastor Mark Driscoll is a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor," reads the description of his blog. "He's grateful to be a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody."
According to the church website, Trinity Church hopes to be a place where "lives are transformed through learning the Bible and loving people."
"Our church aspires to celebrate and honor other churches in Phoenix and beyond, partnering with them for the cause of God's Kingdom," it reads.