Driscoll’s Re-Emergence

There are 15 Comments

mmartin's picture

Ugh, barf!  This guy is a head case.

Unbelievable how anybody would want to listen to this guy.  Everything is all about him.  Pathetic.

Ron Bean's picture

Whether he's an evangelical, charismatic, or fundamentalist (and there have been some); a leader who disqualifies himself should be exiled, banned, or something.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Greg Long's picture

I find it really interesting that he says "God spoke to him audibly and released him from ministry" for two reasons:

  1. Does he mean any ministry or just the ministry at Mars Hill?
  2. This is the logical outcome of repeatedly asserting that God spoke to him and told him to enter the ministry. Somehow he has to account for the fact that he was forced to leave his last ministry and is not currently in the ministry. So it was nice of God to go ahead and speak audibly to Driscoll again and release him from ministry so that all of the rest of us could know that it is better this way (rather than that it was due to any failure on Driscoll's part).

Also, this:

What does the Bible say?  It says strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.  For you who are shepherds, Jesus’ goal is to bring a flock around you.  The enemy has a plan to strike you.  I want to talk to “struck shepherds.” It’s harder when you have a family.  Jeremiah, Paul, and Jesus were single.  It’s scary what to think what would have happened to their families.  

So Mark Driscoll had it worse than Jeremiah, Paul, and Jesus?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Greg Long's picture

For additional perspective, read the comment by "Ex Marshiller" at the bottom of the page.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Jay's picture

“At an end your rule is, and not short enough it was!” -Yoda, Revenge of the Sith

It must be very convenient for God to speak audibly to someone and 'release' them from ministry.  Most of us have to review the Bible and discern God's will that way.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

JJ Hoban's picture

At least he admitted wrong doing went away (albeit temporarily) unlike the leaders of fundamentalism, Bob Jones III and Jim Berg, who have yet to apologize.  The third was forced to apologize (which is no apology at all when you are forced and demonstrates zero signs of repentance) in regard to a 30 year old comment.  But overall, they rule with the same iron fist as Driscoll.  

Greg Long's picture

JJ, can you point me to where he specifically apologized or admitted wrongdoing for specific things?

If this account of his talk is correct (and of course it may not be), it seems like the classic "apology" we have all seen in our children, in counselees at church...and probably in ourselves as well at times...where the person says, "Sure, I've done some things wrong, but..." and then goes on and on and on about what the other person has done wrong and how they are the victim. They won't say specifically what they've done wrong, just admit to general wrongdoing or "making mistakes" or "I'm not perfect."

Think of the main point of his talk--"strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter." So Satan worked through the elders of Mars Hill and all the critics out there to take out Mark Driscoll in order to destroy Mars Hill church. Nothing about the fact that sometimes the sheep scatter because the shepherd is a poor leader or is abusive or whatever.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Bert Perry's picture

OK, if Driscoll is "released" from ministry, that would imply that he is going to try another career, maybe....selling insurance or something?

Really, as far as I can tell, is that Driscoll is "released" from ministry to pursue what I'd have to guess will be a fairly lucrative career as an author and conference speaker, one where he does not have the perceived necessity of Christlike character.

Note "perceived."  I do not for a moment believe that running around on the Christian "rubber chicken circuit" excuses Driscoll from the Biblical requirements for eldership.  So the end implication is that those who rush to pay $30 to hear him speak, or rush to pay him $20 for a book, are in the end saying "1 Timothy and Titus matter only when I'm not eager to hear a man speak."  One might say it implicates the seriousness with which millions of "fundagelicals" treat the Scriptures.  

It is also striking how Driscoll is painting himself as the victim and not the aggressor.  There are some interesting Gospel implications there, too.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dmicah's picture

Greg Long wrote:

I find it really interesting that he says "God spoke to him audibly and released him from ministry" for two reasons:

  1. Does he mean any ministry or just the ministry at Mars Hill?
  2. This is the logical outcome of repeatedly asserting that God spoke to him and told him to enter the ministry. Somehow he has to account for the fact that he was forced to leave his last ministry and is not currently in the ministry. So it was nice of God to go ahead and speak audibly to Driscoll again and release him from ministry so that all of the rest of us could know that it is better this way (rather than that it was due to any failure on Driscoll's part).

Also, this:

What does the Bible say?  It says strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.  For you who are shepherds, Jesus’ goal is to bring a flock around you.  The enemy has a plan to strike you.  I want to talk to “struck shepherds.” It’s harder when you have a family.  Jeremiah, Paul, and Jesus were single.  It’s scary what to think what would have happened to their families.  

So Mark Driscoll had it worse than Jeremiah, Paul, and Jesus?

I think you've nailed it with this quote. If ever Driscoll epitomized 2 Peter 2 it is in a statement of this nature. Twisting Scripture for the crowd has always been a trademark of Satan and false teachers. [These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.]

Jay's picture

Driscoll's remark about 'struck shepherds' bothers me more every time I think about it.  Driscoll wasn't struck because he was blameless and God let Satan 'get 'em', like Job. Driscoll built an empire of lies and then it collapsed around him, and he's the only one who can or should foot the bill for the damages he caused.  So for him to pass himself off as this 'victim' really makes me angry.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Joel Shaffer's picture

Greg Long wrote:

For additional perspective, read the comment by "Ex Marshiller" at the bottom of the page.

Pastor James,

"You don’t know me and I don’t know you. I doubt we will ever cross paths. I’m no one famous, just your average Christian living in Seattle. My spouse and I were members at Mars Hill for over a decade before we left in 2014. We were both deacons, serving and tithing regularly. We didn’t know Driscoll personally, but occasionally interacted with him. We optimistically believed and hoped the best in him and in our church for years and years. Call us naive, but we really did think that the conflict and rumors swirling around him were from “haters” and those who wanted to destroy his ministry. He kept repeating, “It’s all about Jesus!” and we took him at his word.

Driscoll is a gifted speaker and incredibly entertaining. It was easy to attend on Sundays and he could keep our attention for his hour long sermons. While there were occasional things he said that we didn’t agree with, the vast majority of his sermons gave lip service to Scripture and decent theology. About five years ago, he preached the best sermon I’ve ever heard on Forgiveness, Repentance, & Reconciliation. It was transformational for me. I remember thinking how thankful I was to have a pastor that understood how to handle conflict in a godly manner. Of course, these were back in the days when the internal strife and bullying by Driscoll towards his elders/staff were closely kept secrets. Even as the issues began to come into the public eye in early 2014, we held out hope that Driscoll would apologize and make things right with those he’d hurt. Because that’s what godly pastors do, right?

It was devastating to realize that our pastor was actually an angry, domineering tyrant who would rather paint himself as a victim than apologize. Sure, he talks a good game with sermons on forgiveness and repentance. But he won’t actually let the words “I’m sorry for __” pass his lips to the person he’s hurt.

You wrote “He has certainly apologized for much of it…” Really? When/where? I ask that genuinely. I am not aware of Driscoll actually apologizing. I’ve been waiting and hoping to hear an apology from him 1. to the former elders he hurt & 2. to the church body he destroyed because of his foolish lack of repentance. Driscoll often vaguely references “Oh, I apologized” in public statements or in sermons. But I can’t actually find video or audio or written evidence of him apologizing for anything.

Regarding his need to apologize, Driscoll loves to claim that his critics are anonymous and therefore he cannot find them to apologize. Not true. There have been dozens of his former elders who have publicly come forward about the abuse they endured at his hands. There were the 21 former elders that filed the formal charges against him (that led to the investigation by the BOAA and his eventual resignation). You can read about those formal charges here, if you haven’t seen them.http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/08/21/former-mars-h... know many of those 21 former elders personally. Driscoll was friends with all of them at one point, so it’s not like he doesn’t have their cell phone numbers and email addresses if he wanted to reach out. These men are the real pastors of Mars Hill- the ones who actually shepherded the flock. I’m not aware of Driscoll apologizing or repenting to any of these men and their families. It seems like that would be a good place to start, wouldn’t you agree?

I don’t expect a personal apology from him. Driscoll wouldn’t know who I am. But he could still write a letter or blog or post a video on his website to apologize for failing his flock. He let his sin consume him, treated others cruelly, and God removed the lampstand Mars Hill. I hope that some day he faces these facts and apologizes to the thousands of us he hurt, his former flock. For the year or so before he resigned, Driscoll kept referring to himself as our spiritual father. I wish he’d act like one instead of being just another lying, hypocritical, deadbeat dad to his sheep.

Unfortunately, Driscoll is a master of spin and deception. He loves to play the victim, twisting facts to paint him in a sympathetic light. Take, for example, some of the statements of his supposed persecution that you listed. Driscoll claimed:
-They’ve had to move three times for safety issues. (Over the past decade. NOT 3 moves recently, as he implied.)
-There were protests outside their home, and a person who sounded mentally ill showed up at their house and was arrested. (He’s been telling this story for years. This happened in the early 2000s/late 1990s… and the mentally ill individual arrived at their home because Driscoll dared people in an online forum to come over and fight him.)
-People would post his address online after he moved. (That did happen, but only because reporters and bloggers became curious about how he was hiding his assets. There was some funny business with CRUTs and his various 501c3s and putting his home/assets in his sister’s name… financial shenanigans galore!)
-At one point they wanted to sleep in a tent in the backyard, but someone started throwing rocks over the fence at his kids at 6:30 in the morning. They filed a police report. (The police report indicates that the rock throwing was likely the work of local teenagers, NOT a vengeful act by a former church goer.)
… And so forth and so on. Many incomplete and half true statements to make him seem like he’s being persecuted. It’s really remarkable that he’s managed to paint all of this with himself as a victim.

Driscoll is quite proud of practicing what he called “riot evangelism.” In other words, there is so such thing as bad press because it “gets Jesus’ name out there!” He regularly engages in controversial behavior solely to garner attention, positive or negative. He isn’t concerned for the safety of his family when he is tweeting offensive statements or trying to bait people into arguments. He only claims concern for his children’s well-being when it benefits him to play the victim. It should go without saying that Driscoll’s riot evangelism isn’t godly behavior for any Christian, much less a pastor.

To learn that Thrive 2015 gave Driscoll a microphone today… that HURTS. I followed the tweets and Instagram pictures and blog posts from the conference attenders today. I was hoping against all logic that Driscoll would begin his work of repenting at Thrive. He didn’t, which brought back the devastation I felt from the Mars Hill meltdown all over again. And then to see all of the positive remarks from naive conference attenders who are buying his song and dance? Another layer of spiritual pain and soul crushing.

There are so many of us in Seattle who would love to see Driscoll make things right and begin to apologize to those he’s directly hurt. But he hasn’t. He just wants to paint himself as a victim and keep being a Christian celebrity.

I don’t hate Driscoll. I’m not part of the “seething hoard” you refer to. I agree with your final point- no one is beyond Jesus’ reach! I hope to one day see Driscoll repent and change. I’m just very, very sobered and sad by what happened at Mars Hill and the broken state of Christianity in Seattle. Driscoll’s true legacy is all of the spiritual devastation he’s left behind in this city.

Thank you, James, for being the one voice I heard from the conference acknowledging there was something missing from Driscoll’s speech today. You’ve restored a bit of my faith in pastors."

-an ex MarsHiller