Prompted by Ravi Zacharias’s Abuse, Missions Organizations Are Urged to Assess Accountability

"The International Conference on Missions president says leaders on the wrong path depend on Christians who don’t want to know." - CToday

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Bert Perry's picture

One thing that I've noted about a lot of "fallen" church leaders is that  in most cases, there is clear evidence that something is wrong.  With Ravi, as far back as 2005, there was clear evidence that his side business (massage business) was ethically dubious (massage business hiring immigrants is a red flag for prostitution), and he was starting to fabricate his credentials.  Basic HR checks could have detected and stopped this.  I would guess as well that basic business controls for his travels would have detected his, shall we say, "long layovers" in Thailand, also well known for prostitution.

You'll see a lot of the same kinds of things with other leaders that are now disgraced--it's more or less basic checks that people decided to ignore.  Jack Hyles with the door to his secretary's office, Tullian Tchividjian with his tattoos and bodybuilding, James MacDonald's $2.2 million home and majority vote on the elder board, etc..  I've been surprised at a lot of what went on (not with MacDonald, though--I saw the evidence there in 2014) with many of them, but the reality here is that too often, it's pretty obvious what went wrong.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

josh p's picture

I agree. I just finished the "Rise and Fall of Mars Hill" podcast series. There were tons of red flags even from the outset that people chose to ignore because they idolized celebrity. 

Don Johnson's picture

josh p wrote:

There were tons of red flags even from the outset that people chose to ignore because they idolized celebrity. 

Well, in his heyday, I argued with many on SI and elsewhere about how bad he was, but they couldn't see past it because Driscoll had the "right theology," ie, he bowed the knee to Calvin.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

josh p's picture

So did I. I told my old coworkers who about worshiped him that he had no place in ministry and I thought they were going to fight me haha. 

Mark_Smith's picture

With all due respect, anyone with one eye and half-sense could have listened to Mark Driscoll and known he was a weirdo. On more than one occasion I tried to listen to Driscoll's sermons, and I never got it. Nothing special. In fact, he seemed strange to me... And his books. I never got anything out of them. His one on marriage was worthless to me. Certainly not a useful replacement to older options.

As for celebrity, I am what you would call a "Calvinist" when it comes to soteriology, but that is purely because as I read the Bible it is patently obvious. I have barely even read anything by Calvin (I years ago bought a commentary of his but never read it). I have never owned a copy of Institutes of Christian Religion. So, I have not "bowed the knee" to Calvin. At least anymore than certain BJU grads of older persuasion "bowed the knee" to Bob Jones Sr and Jr... How about that :=)

 

Bert Perry's picture

What were some of the warning signs you saw?  I must confess I did a search on Driscoll here, but since it's been a while since he stepped down from Mars Hill, I don't remember what the particular signs were.  If we're discussing the warning signs that something is already going wrong, we might do well to mention some of them.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Don Johnson's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

What were some of the warning signs you saw?  I must confess I did a search on Driscoll here, but since it's been a while since he stepped down from Mars Hill, I don't remember what the particular signs were.  If we're discussing the warning signs that something is already going wrong, we might do well to mention some of them.

the language, the emphasis on sex, the "edgy" (at least) music, the blasphemous joking about the Lord and His church... on and on

You can go here, search on Driscoll and find some posts where I engaged with some others who used to be regulars here on the topic.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

josh p's picture

For me it was the language, the apparently self-serving theology, and mostly just being intentionally confrontational/bombastic. "I see things" was the last straw for me. The "bodies under the bus" nonsense didn't help either. 

Bert Perry's picture

Much appreciated--I'd been aware of some of that, but thank you.  I remember some games where he camped out with James MacDonald at a conference hosted by John MacArthur's church as well.  That was one of those "this is your version of pastoring?" moments for me.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.