Mark Driscoll Should Step Down and Acts 29 Churches Should Step Away!

The image of the Lord had been replaced by a mirror.” Jorge Luis Borges

Dee visiting Alaska (Deb, your turn!)

 

What is wrong with this picture?

A few years ago, prior to the advent of this blog, Deb and I began to discuss our concerns about the rather bizarre nature of some of the leaders in what is called the Neo-Calvinist movement. We approached one Christian leader and asked about the issues with both CJ Mahaney and Mark Driscoll. We were read the riot act. He listed for us all of the really important leaders in the American church that supported both of these guys. He then pointed to us. Implying that we were nobodies compared to this group, he queried, “What is wrong with this picture?”

Bad response. He didn’t know that we had both a backbone and the courage to put our thoughts to the test in the court of public opinion. So, we started this blog. What makes this statement seem all the more sad is that I actually think this guy believes that “Christian leaders” know more about “pastoring” than we pew sitters. But, as Christian blogging gets its mojo on, this stereotype is obviously in need of reevaluation.

Of course, TWW has been proven correct in its concerns, demonstrating, once again, that the little guy can possess more common sense than some Christian leaders. Many of our readers have given us thoughtful insights into the problems of both Mahaney and Driscoll. Conversely, instead of responding thoughtfully to the problems demonstrated by both Mahaney and Driscoll, the Calvinista crowd has had to go into overtime to figure out how to come to their defense. Frankly, they all are beginning to sound desperate, exhibiting their ineffectiveness in self-policing.

And guess who has been right all along? Those who have commented at this, and many other, blogs. The priesthood of the believer is alive and well and showing up all over the world. They also have more cojones than many of the "anointed" leaders who are supposed to be showing us how they exhibit their Christian manliness.

The Mark Driscoll Problem Grows Out of Control

A few years back, Mark Driscoll did some serious damage with his Song of Solomon sermon in Scotland. That sermon has been discussed in depth on this blog. Any self-perceptive individual would rethink through his shock jock approach to the Scripture. Here is the plain truth. Driscoll has NOT learned and, is, in fact,  making progressively bigger and bigger blunders. Some of these mistakes, in our opinion, are beyond the pale.

Past documentation of issues which have been largely ignored by the Calvinistas

  • Pornovision- link
  • Bizarre statements-link
  • Threatening statements-link

Mark Driscoll as the Role Model for Acts 29 Churches?

As many of our readers are aware, Driscoll is the de facto head of the “au courant” Acts 29 churches. His goal in this endeavor is to get churches together that share both a Reformed heritage and a missional desire.

Having attended the venerable Park Street Church in Boston, I am well aware of the importance of missions. This fine church gives 40% of its church budget to missions and emphasizes training for all church members on ongoing missions throughout the world. They believe that one can minister in culturally sensitive ways without watering down the Gospel of our Lord.

So, let’s see what Mark has to say about the missions emphasis of Acts 29 link.
“Third, we are Missional:

  • We believe that our local churches must be faithful to the content of unchanging Biblical doctrine (Jude 3).
  • We believe that our local churches must be faithful to the continually changing context of the culture(s) in which they minister (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
  • We believe that our mission is to bring people into church so that they can be trained to go out into their culture as effective missionaries.”


A Call to Acts 29 Churches to Confront the MD Issue

One might suspect that he would be an excellent role model. However, as is so often the case with this man, he speaks with forked tongue. Driscoll has caused an uproar in the UK with his decidedly culturally insensitive and insulting language.We call on member churches to confront this serious issue. You give money to this alliance and you bear some responsibility for the “missional” example of Driscoll. Do you really want to be represented by this blowhard? He has already set American/English church relationships back significantly. The American church is being judged harshly in light of this incident. Do you really want him to represent you in any other countries?

For those of you who want to see which churches are members of this group, go to this link and enter the state. If you have friends who attend these churches, please alert them to Driscoll debacle and encourage them to ask questions of their church leaders.

For example, In North Carolina, there are 13 churches that are members of this group. Six of them are within 25 minutes of our homes: Vintage 21, Vintage 21 Durham, Vision Church, Treasuring Christ Church, The Summit Church and Christ the King Church. You can be sure we will be talking about it, although we suspect that some of these churches are reading this blog.

MD Wreaks Havoc in the UK

There appears to be continuing fall-out in the UK from the Driscoll interview. TWW was pleased, yet disconcerted, to get the following comment from Mark Herwerdine. Please note what he says about pastors in the UK. We have some evidence that he knows what he is talking about. He also gives us some context to Driscoll’s insulting comments about “guys in gowns preaching to grandmas.”

“Hi American friends
I really appreciate such a thorough and thoughtful response to a controversy, which has a good many fellow pastors in the UK incensed and saddened.
Just a quick point re: gowns in UK churches – I’m a C of E ordinand-in-training, I’ve attended 5 CofE churches (4 evangelical, 1 very definitely liberal) since September. So far gown/vestment count = zero. I’ve seen a few dog collars but not as often as some would expect.
I agree it is insulting a tradition MD doesn’t understand but more than tradition, many clergy do where dog collars and/or some form of vestment for good theological and practical reasons. Someone choosing to downplay their personal taste in fashion, covering it with a relatively plain vestment in order not to distract from word and sacrament – that I have a lot more respect for that than sporting trendy jeans, manly check shirts and the latest in middle-aged, sorry, young hip sports jacket.Keep up the good work”

American Followers of Driscoll Blame Everyone Else, Following in Driscoll’s Footsteps

Now, the following comment is an interesting contrast. The UK pastors are upset at Driscoll. American pastors seem to be upset at us!

“Driscoll has given a public interview and written a blogpost. The content of these should be discussed and dissected. At the same time, apologizing to an entire nation of Christians for the actions of another person is arrogant. It assumes that you are holy and all-knowing, having the right to pronounce that another person is in sin. If you think he needs to apologize, that is one thing, but apologizing for him has a feel about it that it seems like the authors of this site would want to avoid.”

Scott reiterated that I was arrogant because I decided to stick with my apology. He also said that I have no right to pronounce that another person is in sin. Note to Scott: What in the world do I do with all of the sins listed in the Bible? Are you saying that I can never say anyone has sinned? You do know that Driscoll, Mahaney and others often tell their people and others that they are sinning. Why can’t we?

Please note: Scott did not discuss the problems with Driscoll’s interview. He also did not acknowledge those pastors in England who were deeply hurt by Driscoll’s comment. America is entering a new era of post-evangelical Christianity. It is marked by “my way or the highway” interpretation of secondary doctrines. There is little concern for love and mercy. Grave damage has been done to the evangelical church in America and it seems that this authoritarianism is now being exported to the world.

The Justin Brierley Audios Clearly Expose the Problem With Driscoll

TWW highly recommends that you visit kinnon.tv. Bill Kinnon, the editor, did an excellent job dissecting what “really happened” with Driscoll's interview.  On Friday, we linked to Driscoll’s explanation of the interview. In his post, he trashed talked the interviewer, Justin Brierley, calling him rude, etc. This time, however, Driscoll made a serious mistake. Mr. Brierley immediately released the audio, which covered the entire raw interview. And guess what? Driscoll was shown to be the emperor with no clothes. Even worse, MD continues to appear as a man who has some serious issues.

Here are some selections from Bill Kinnon’s post in which he reviewed the audio. Unless noted, all quotes are from the kinnon.tv post.

The UK Real Interview – Was it of the Undisciplined or the Undiscipled?

Driscoll Acts, Once Again, Like a Junior High Bully

€”(Driscoll to Brierley)"You’re not being fair, you’re being sort of scandalous and being immature about the issues. You’re going for one or 2 pages in the book where we answer very common questions that Christians have and you’re trying to put a little shock around for the radio. And, as a pastor, I’m trying to answer the questions people have."

"(Kinnon’s response) I hear Mark responding like a bully, in rather condescending tone. He insults the interviewer rather than accepting the legitimacy of the question. Who exactly is disrespectful here? (This happens at approximately the 17:20 min. mark of the podcast.)"

"As the interview continues, I note that Mark tends to go on at length, rarely allowing the interviewer to get a word in edgewise."

Driscoll Tells a Whopper About the Infamous Ted Haggard Incident

"(Kinnon) In response to a question about Ted Haggard and this story, Mark claims in what can only be heard as rather bald-faced prevarication, that he never said anything about the Haggard situation."

TWW Note -Most of readers are well aware that we call ourselves glamorous blog queens in direct response to Driscoll’s allegation that wives of pastors often let themselves go, apparently casting the blame for Ted Haggard’s fall on his wife (who, btw, is a good looking woman). He “apologized” but his apologies ring increasingly hollow link. ( Add-3/8/12 According to Wikipedia: "When the Evangelical leader Ted Haggard left New Life Church in Colorado, Driscoll raised an uproar with the comment on his blog: "A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband's sin, but she may not be helping him either."[7] Driscoll later apologized for his statement.[15])" 

Here is an important question. Driscoll is well aware of the outcry over his remarks which were covered by national media. It appears that he deliberately lied in the interview. If he is willing to lie about something that is well-known, one must question if he is willing to lie about other issues. Is this demonstrative of the character of a man who should be leading a church and a ministry. (3/9/12-Update-Driscoll claims that his statement had nothing to do with the Haggards.) "(Driscoll to Brierley)"€I didn’t say anything about the Haggards, and I regret what happened in their marriage and I grieve for that woman." (At the 20:30 mark of the podcast)." Update 3/8/12-Driscoll claims that his statement had nothing to do with the Haggards yet many people believed that he did link to this incident. Was it a whopper or extremely poor wording? You be the judge.

Driscoll’s Blatant Disregard for His Wife

(Kinnon) “Justin finally directly asks Grace to respond at the 23 min. point. If anyone has disrespected Grace in this, it was Mark. He could have easily at any point in the first 18 min. of the interview said quite simply, '€Let me get Grace to respond to that.' (Note again that the actual raw interview begins at the 5 min. point of this podcast.)”

Driscoll Berates a Fellow Christian

“Mark goes on to berate Justin on Penal Substitutionary Atonement. Even when Justin is willing to say he believes in it — but that there are other orthodox ways of viewing the Cross. Mark insists Justin must commit solely to P.S.A. Driscoll is simply obnoxious on this point. Mark brags on his book that he has written on this topic. “

“At the 54.5 min. point in the podcast, the interchange goes like this, Mark: "But do you believe it" — "it" being penal substitutionary atonement. €”Justin responds, "Yes I do"€. Mark says, "You sound like a coward when you say it." Once again one wants to ask the question ‘Who’s being adversarial?’”

MD Contradicts Himself

“And in the closing comments, Mark, who claims in his whining blog post that it was an “adversarial and antagonistic” experience, says, "It was fun for me… I hope you recover."

Driscoll Needs to Step Down From the Pastorate

It appears to us that Brierley has more cojones than many Christian pastors and seminary leaders. He maintained his composure in the face of an unbelievable egotistical, controlling man. I, for one, am sorry that he had to witness such a spectacle but, as a reporter, it has brought him some attention.

I have a question for all of the Christian pastors, leaders, Acts 29 proponents, seminarians, etc. who are watching Driscoll continue to bring disgrace after disgrace to the gospel of Jesus Christ (if they can use the word gospel in every which way, so can I), what IS wrong with this picture? It is the sad opinion of TWW that Driscoll needs to make like Piper, step down and get his mouth and house in order. I also think that someone needs to replace CJ Mahaney as the “mentor” of Mark Driscoll. Such a relationship is akin to letting Bernie Madoff tend the register in the prison store.

Neo-Calvinists, your integrity is on the line here. The world is watching.

Lydia's Corner: Isaiah 6:1-7:25 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 Psalm 54:1-7 Proverbs 23:1-3

Comments

Mark Driscoll Should Step Down and Acts 29 Churches Should Step Away! — 253 Comments

  1. Dee,

    God has revealed quite a bit about these guys in just three short years. What a charade!

    Love the picture! Just this afternoon my hubby was asking me what I’d like to do to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary next year. He wants to do something special, and I mentioned your cruise to Alaska. He’s really excited about the idea, so we may follow in your footsteps. Hope you kept good planning notes!

  2. Eagle
    We took the train to and from Denali. Are you referring to the train with the dome top? It was wonderful. We also visited Prudhoe Bay and I dived into the Arctic. It as good training for writing this blog.

  3. Eagle
    There has not a night that has gone by that I haven’t prayed for your dad and his recovery.

  4. Mara
    Sometimes God demands that we do the right thing or suffer the consequences. Do you think any of the leaders are listening? I am not so sure.

  5. Dee –

    If MD can blast our brethren across the pond for their lack of courage (in his opinion), then we should feel TOTALY free to blast our own Christian leaders for their lack of courage in speaking out against the likes of Mark D. and his mentor, CJM.

  6. Pingback: Driscoll — again | Civil Commotion

  7. Well, actually Driscoll did not discuss the Haggards at all. He just used the bad situation of the Haggards as a pretext to discuss wives who let themselves go and to speak of the plight of pastors trapped in virtually sexless marriages with wives who were not visually generous. Real Marriage and its first chapter seems to have clarified the context for what may have been on Mark Driscoll’s mind. So I have no problem granting that Mark Driscoll wasn’t tlaking about the Haggards at all years ago when he said he was going to “take one for the team”. Perhaps he was thinking of the lack of sex he’d seen in his own marriage that he has now shared was a significant issue for him.

    The thing about context is that it is not merely retroactive but cumulative. If Mark Driscoll had never taken the occasion of Ted Haggard’s downfall to lament the sexually ungenerous wives of preachers the quote couldn’t come back to haunt him. There is such a thing as a literal context but the problem is that Mark Driscoll is forgetting that there is a historical context. the literary context is plain, Driscoll didn’t discuss the Haggards’ marriage. The historical context is inescapable, he used that downfall to write about sexually frustrated pastors who felt trapped in a marriage where they couldn’t divorce their wives yet were sexually unsatisfied. The confessions in Real Marriage could finally explain why on earth Mark Driscoll thought that in the midst of allegations that a megachurch pastor hired a male prostitute and was found to be using drugs that the sexual frustrations of some other pastor had anything to do with the Haggard situation. Even for those of us who at that time were happy Driscoll supporters the was no plausible explanation for why on earth Mark would have run with “let themselves go” or a lack of sexual “generosity”. Does Real Marriage provide the context the Driscolls weren’t willing to share six years ago?

  8. Dee, I’m frustrated to see all the MD supporters whining about people judging Driscoll so harshly that all those comments were taken out of context and of course people aren’t going to like the truths that Driscoll speaks anymore than they liked John the Baptist’s truths back in the day.

    Whatever.

    We live in an age of great delusion.

  9. WTH – “wives who are not visually generous” – wth does that mean? (Sorry, am having trouble with my decoder ring tonight…)

    Mara – lolz!

  10. In what I have read and heard of him, he is not fit to be a elder. Paul writes to Timothy, “an elder ought not be a quarrelsome, but apt to teach”

  11. I think what WTH points out is actually more damning than what we thought MD did at the time.

    He was lashing out, apparently, from his own frustration(s) under the cover of speaking out on behalf of the “brethren.” God knows, no woman has ever had cause to be frustrated in a marriage, eh!

  12. In MD’s “Masulinity Movement” there is no room in marriage for a woman’s frustration. She would not be fulfilling her “role.”

  13. numo, my best guess in light of a decade of his preaching is that “visually generous” may refer to “wifely striptease”.

  14. http://timmybrister.com/2006/11/04/driscolls-suggestions-to-young-men/

    This might be an even more reliable reprint of what Driscoll published in response to the Ted Haggard news at the Resurgence.
    Wanted to provide more than one link that refers to what Driscoll originally printed and both seem like very sympathetic bloggers on what Mark wrote at the time so we don’t have to worry that they’re anti-Driscoll types who would choose to misquote him or take him out of context.

  15. Perhaps it could be said of Mark Driscoll,

    “He ain’t what he ought to be; He ain’t what he’s going to be; but he ain’t what he was.”

  16. Pingback: Mark Driscoll Should Step Down and Acts 29 Churches Should Step … | churchoutreachministry.net

  17. With apologies to those who are living out authentic masculinity, the neocalvinistic masculinity movement equals peter panish overgrown boys behaving like the penises (or is it peni, no penises) from which they gain their privilege.

    I really do not understand the tolerence for Driscol and his asshattery. I had a little facebook debate with my youth pastor, who is not a neocalvinist or anything close but he quoted Driscol and I questioned his taste in quotation sources citing some of the outrageous comments that have slipped between Driscol’s lips and said youth pastor dismissed my concerns by saying that Driscoll is a complementarian.

    Since when does being a complementarian give one the right to be condescending to the degree that he has insulted an entire population of British Christians.

    This man needs to step down, get a muzzle, be on an episode of What Not to Wear, and Wife Swap (just let me have at him, ha!)

  18. Dee/Deb:

    As founding pastors of the Church of the TWW, you have as much authority as anyone to point out the sins of anyone on earth!!!

    That was inverted dimple (t in c).

    If all are priests, all have an obligation to share the faith, to teach based on their knowledge and experience, and to counsel other believers when they go astray. “Pastors” do not have a superior authority, and, quite frankly, neither do “elders”. It is a function of the body of Christ, and not of some self-appointed leaders who assume themselves to be above being reproached for their sin and other egregious behaviors.

  19. DB,

    Well stated! Where are the ‘manly men’ who can shut up Mark Driscoll? Someone really needs to punch him in the nose, to use a phrase coined by Driscoll.

  20. WTH
    You said “The confessions in Real Marriage could finally explain why on earth Mark Driscoll thought that in the midst of allegations that a megachurch pastor hired a male prostitute and was found to be using drugs that the sexual frustrations of some other pastor had anything to do with the Haggard situation. Even for those of us who at that time were happy Driscoll supporters the was no plausible explanation for why on earth Mark would have run with “let themselves go” or a lack of sexual “generosity”

    Two points
    1. He used the Haggard situation as as link to his little tirade therefore, he did talk about the Haggards. If he didn’t he would not have apologized.
    2. We don’t need pastors who are messed up using the pulpit to work out their problems. There are psychiatrists for that.
    3. I am still not sure about this issue with Grace. I am concerned that she is being scapegoated just like Driscoll has scapegoated pastors wives in general. Driscoll is a class A jerk and should not be preaching.

  21. Mara
    I believe that Driscoll is deeply troubled. That is why so much effort must be wasted trying to “contextualize” what he says. After a while, one must give up and say, “There is a problem.” I wonder how Driscoll feels about psychiatrists because he sure needs one, stat!

  22. Numo
    Driscoll is bizarre. Of course, he blamed Grace for not stripping for him. Frankly, he is so creepy, I am not sure many women would do so freely. I feel sorry for his wife. Even if she is playing along, he has cast all manner of aspersions on her.

    Let’s see, she cheated on him in high school but he didn’t on her even though he was having relations with her which , in his mind, is better than cheating.Huh? They were both screwed up and he should leave it at that. Does she need to get beaten over the head for years about this, a book written about it and discussion ad nauseum????

    Get this-he had one of his pornovisions in which he saw her cheating on him (back in high school.) When she woke up he asked her if his “vision” was correct and she admitted it.

    THIS GUY NEEDS HELP!!!!!!

  23. Casey

    If the leaders claim he is fit, they have lost all appeal to Scripture. This has gone too far. He needs to step down-do a Piper and get help. He is seriously weird.

  24. Bill

    What do you think about this guy’s “pornovisions” in which he sees, in detail, women being raped, cheating ,etc, right down to the color of the bedspread? (It sounds like a Class B movie-the smell of watered down booze and stale perfume). This guy needs help and Christian leaders seem to be egging him on. This will not end well, and I don’t need “pornovision” to predict that.

  25. Bridget
    I wonder how Grace tolerates this? he must have her totally dominated. I think I am going to start a movement “Free Grace.”

  26. WTH
    Bless her heart (we say that in the South). Can you imagine having to put up with him and his putdowns. Imagine waiting, every minute on eggshells, for MD to have further “pornovisions” about you? i would be cowering in a corner. Where is Mark’s generosity of grace and mercy?

  27. “Does she need to get beaten over the head for years about this, a book written about it and discussion ad nauseum”

    If the timeline is correct, then their marriage has only been functional for about 3-4 years. So why are they writing a book giving advice? Money? Celebrity? Re-branding themselves? Certainly enough time has not passed to make sure that it really is functional.

    And to think the SBC funds Acts 29 churches where Driscoll is their “model” for ministry. Very scary. Let us hope more SBC folks will designate their offerings and NOT give it to NAMB.

    The other confusion is that Driscoll believes and has taught that ALL women are deceived. Even saved ones. The cross was not enough nor the Holy Spirit for their deception to be overcome and that is why they need husbands to guide them. So why does he think we listen to Grace at all? And since she is deceived, why does her communications degree count?

  28. Dee,

    By definition, grace is free,(but not “cheap”)!

    She is the epitome of the abused wife who identifies with her abuser, as in “Stockholm syndrome”.

  29. Dee,
    I heard once of a study where people claimed to have dreamed of plane crashes the night before they happened. These people believed they were experiencing precognition. In the studies finding, they showed how fear of plane crashes is common and on any given night in America thousands of people dream about being in a plane crash.

    Mark’s pathology is that he was, apparently, cheated on by every one of his girlfriends. Is it any wonder that he might dream about Grace having cheated on him. And based on his pathology, is it any wonder that he has major issues with women. (Who has ever heard of anyone having every one of his girlfriends cheat on him. That’s bizarre in and of itself.)

    But, hears the deal. I once heard, “If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation, the old is gone, the new has come.” I think it may even be in the Scriptures. 🙂

    Why does Mark need to go back to Grace’s sin before she was a believer, and why would the Holy Spirit show him this. I am a recovering charismatic who is a continuationist in my theology. I do believe the Holy Spirit gives dreams and visions. I’m just not convinced Mark’s “pornovisions” are from the HS — though they may be “spiritual” in their origin.

  30. Jimmy
    Let’s see, at least he is married? What about pornovisions? Telling off Christians in other countries? Denigrating Grace in front to the world? Better? I’d hate to see worse.

  31. DB
    Thank you for my laugh this morning. And, I quote “this man needs to step down, get a muzzle, be on an episode of What Not to Wear, and Wife Swap (just let me have at him, ha!).” Imagine what he would do to Clinton???? Although, I think Clinton would handle him better than all of these pastors.

    See, we told everyone how reads TWW so! So long as you are complementarian, you get pass on everything!!!!

  32. Arce

    Scott doesn’t get it. We open ourselves up to accusations of sin on a national level (actually, now that we are getting comments from England and Australia, global level).We are willing to entertain those accusations but these Driscoll defenders must also be willing to play ball. They musn’t let two women do it better than their manly pastor idol, should they?

  33. anon1
    You are 100% right. Here is my question. Do you really think their marriage is functional? Well, according to Mark it is. I am very concerned about Grace. There is something “off” here.

  34. Eagle asked “where are the critical thinking skills?”

    I’ve spent the last two years teaching college freshmen, and I am sad to report that most millennials have no critical thinking skills at all, due largely to the overemphasis on standardized testing in elementary and secondary education today. I won’t rehash the details here–that’s a major topic on my own blog–but I will say that after 12 years of being told the answers in school, many millennials just don’t want to think for themselves. They want what they see in a Mars Hill-type church: an “authoritative” pastor (remember, their parents were helicopter parents) who tells them what they “need” to know and what they “ought” to believe. It never occurs to them to dig in to the Scriptures themselves and test the preacher’s message, and the community group model in which small groups of church members get together to discuss how they will apply the sermon to their lives–with no real Bible study–reinforces this desire. Of course there are exceptions–I always have a few independent thinkers in class–but for the most part, I suspect that the authoritarian, “hipster” churches are giving the new generation exactly what they want. It’s a sad state of affairs that we have allowed educational “experts” to create, and now we’re reaping the harvest in both church and society.

  35. Bill
    You think like me. I have a recurring dream that I did not finish me degree and my college says I must come back for 6 months of school. I found out that this is a common dream for many people, focusing on tasks left unfinished. It is bizarre that all of Driscoll’s visions focus on rapes and sex-right down to intimate details. This means something and I don’t think it is good. Can you imagine waking up to a husband demanding to know if it happened?I would be so freaked out. I can well imagine she was, and is.

    This woman has given him 5 children and he focuses on her past sins as a high school teen? This could be thought abusive by many woman (and men), including myself. Why aren’t these seminary leaders calling this stuff into account. Drsicoll may be in need of serious help, as you said so well on your blog. BTW, I am adding you blog to our links. You do a great job.

    As for me, as you probably know, I believe in freedom in secondary issues and have no problem with continuationist theology. My husband became a Christian at Dartmouth due to a charismatic ministry then known as The Dartmouth Area Christian Fellowship.

    Driscoll is a mean man. He insulted the reporter and all UK Christians and, by nature of his book, projects his meanness onto her. Perhaps he didn’t intend it but it appears that he cannot help himself.

  36. Being visually generous = Wifely strip teases

    Wifely strip teases = We live in a porn culture where men are accustomed to being continuously stimulated visually. Even so, it is not up to the men to get healed and delivered of the porn culture mentality or the unreasonable expectations that porn creates concerning women, it is up to the wives to take the place of the porn culture which is supported by thousands of different women who work full time to make themselves desireable, camara men, make-up artists, Prop artists, etc. BUT because it makes men (particularly Mark Driscoll) happy, satisfied, and feel good, then it can’t possibly be a burden to a woman. It should make her feel happy, satisfied, and feel good, too to satisfy him! After all, that’s what Hugh Hefner and company have taught us about sex. And any woman who would consider it a burden to not try to take the place of the porn industry in her husband’s life, well, she’s obviously in sin. So, if her husband strays, it’s her fault because she couldn’t keep up with the expectations that the porn industry has created in men.

    By extension…

    GRAPHIC ALERT! I’M ABOUT TO USE DRISCOLLISMS THAT ARE OFFENSIVE. SKIP THIS PART IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE REMINDED.

    Because Driscoll thinks that a man’s fruit being tasted by his wife is very sweet, therefore the wife MUST think his fruit tastes sweet. If she doesn’t she is in sin. And he has a Bible verse that he has twisted to support his projection. (SoS 2:3 for those new to this party.)

    END OF GRAPHIC ALERT

    So, it is the wife’s fault if the man is not satisfied and Driscoll has gone to great lengths to prove it to Grace and other women that they had better get busy making themselves into porn stars or they could find themselves turned out on the street with five kids.

    Also, if Driscoll happens to make a fool of himself with an English interviewer, that also is not Driscoll’s fault. It is the fault of the English interviewer and all the cowardly men who don’t hold the misogynic, manly men views the Driscoll worships.

    Because, you see, it’s all about Driscoll… er, wait. I mean it’s all about Jesus.

  37. Dee,
    My dream is that I’m back in High School sitting in a class where I haven’t completed an assignment – and then I suddenly realize “hey, I have my undergrad degree, I don’t need to be here.” Or, I constantly dream I’m one course short of my undergrad. And I’m coming up to the 33rd anniversary of that graduation. Dreams are weird! But often entertaining in the retelling… unless you’re MD, perhaps.

    Thanks for adding me to your links.

  38. I have never heard an MD sermon or read and MD book, but know many people who have appreciated his theological insights and his good work in Seattle.

    I have never been to an Acts 29 church, though I know they, their structure and emphases are popular with young people. I suspect that would continue.

    I saw the “I see things” video and could not believe my ears. Until MD apologizes for making that up, or gets some kind of professional help because he really is seeing things, it would keep me from trusting him as a person. I have told this to some Christians in the blog world, and it’s amazing at how the discussion trails off into “well, who are we to say that God did not say that to MD”, instead of “you’re right. MD should have very strong biblical support and rock solid proof or he should not say it”. It’s amazing.

    As usual, I am behind the curve on this. I don’t know what MD actually did this time. But it doesn’t really matter for me.

    But they way, Dee, you are beautiful!

  39. Anonymous
    When our theology results in insulting an entire country’s Christians (UK), the theology is not worth a bag of beans.

    Thank you for your kind comment. Lots of sleep, beautiful surrounding, a great camera angle in the setting sun and five layers of clothing do much to hide the ravages of time.

  40. I would put a small correction on that.

    One’s theology can be perfectly fine, and one can still be a bad person. I don’t know why humans are that way, but we are.

    Or, one can be great on the big theological points, and get tripped up, confused or egotistical on minor points, and that can have disastrous effects. I hung out for a few years as a young Christian in the Independent Baptist Circles. They taught me much. But many of them went off the deep end on lifestyle regulations and other tangents.

    I have not read MD’s comments about Britain, but will get around to it soon. My daughter is there for a month on a “study” trip.

    Btw, I am running a race in Cary, NC in March. Is that near where you and Deb live?

  41. O.K. I couldn’t wait. Despite my schedule and all that is on my plate, I went and read your blog post about the CT article (I don’t read CT – it is the USA Today of Magazines about Christian things).

    I would just say that Driscoll’s comments are ignorant, in the true sense of the word.

    I don’t mean ignorant because he is wrong, which he is. I mean ignorant because it is obvious – even to me, that he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    It reminds me of the stereotype of the “Ugly American” who goes places and expects them to be like the USA, and when they are not, he complains and assumes that the USA has it right, and the others are wrong. Nothing wrong with liking and prefering one’s own culture. But to be ignorant of other cultures, and to show off that ignorance, is amazing.

    You know what. “I see things. God is telling me about MD. I see a small boy who was picked on by the bigger boys. I see a boy who probably did not do all that well in school. I see a boy who probably did not play on the state championship football team, or play NCAA sports, but who idolized sports figures. I see a boy who was probably not that popular with girls when he was young. I see a boy who becomes a teen and then an adult. He comes to Christ along the way and finds that he has a gift for communicating to others. He develops that gift and is used by God to speak to others. But I see that this man still has that little boy in him, wanting to right the perceived wrongs and inadequacies of the past. Wanting to be strong. Wanting to be a physical leader. Wanting to be desired by women. Wanting to be seen a the smartest guy in the room. I see this man tainting the pure Gospel message with a need to address things that haunt him. I see things.”

    Do you see them, too?

  42. “And in the closing comments, Mark, who claims in his whinging blog post that it was an “adversarial and antagonistic” experience, says, “It was fun for me… I hope you recover.”

    Justin laughs in response. Mark appears to be laughing as well, and then Justin apologizes to Grace by saying that he’s sorry they didn’t bring her in more. She says, “That’s all right.”

    I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.”
    http://kinnon.tv/2012/01/the-interview-was-it-of-the-undisciplined-or-undiscipled.html

    One of my conclusions is this: He thought the interview was fun. Really? How odd.

    In his Blog For The Brits he writes, “But the one that culminated in the forthcoming article was, in my opinion, the most disrespectful, adversarial, and subjective. As a result, we’ve since changed how we receive, process, and moderate media interviews.”

    And, “My wife, Grace, was almost entirely ignored in the interview, and I felt she was overall treated disrespectfully.”
    http://pastormark.tv/2012/01/12/a-blog-for-the-brits

    Forgive my simplistic logic here and for stating the obvious (it is so much fun to state sometimes), but either he thought the interview was truly “fun” and defines fun as seeing 1) his wife disrespected and ignored, and 2) the two of them being subjected to one of the worst interviews he had ever experienced…an interview so traumatic that it has changed how he does interviews in the future…

    or,

    He was not being honest, it was not fun, but only said it was fun, and then added the “hope you recover” jab just to make sure the interviewer knew that Mark was indeed the superior one and the interviewer had been schooled. Is that type of arrogance a Christian attitude we should admire in a “pastor?” Should we be proud of that? What kind of Christian pastor even has that kind of thought in his heart? An “I am better than you and am going to make sure you know it”…kind of attitude.

    This is all so grievous. What an imposter. Those “leaders” that promote him and those that remain silent are ones from whom I am staying as far away as I can… and telling all who will listen too. Thanks Deb/Dee.

  43. “And in the closing comments, Mark, who claims in his whinging blog post that it was an “adversarial and antagonistic” experience, says, “It was fun for me… I hope you recover.”

    Justin laughs in response. Mark appears to be laughing as well, and then Justin apologizes to Grace by saying that he’s sorry they didn’t bring her in more. She says, “That’s all right.”

    I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.”
    http://kinnon.tv/2012/01/the-interview-was-it-of-the-undisciplined-or-undiscipled.html

    One of my conclusions is this: He thought the interview was fun. Really? How odd. Maybe most will think nothing of that…but it spoke a world to me.

    In his Blog For The Brits he writes, “But the one that culminated in the forthcoming article was, in my opinion, the most disrespectful, adversarial, and subjective. As a result, we’ve since changed how we receive, process, and moderate media interviews.”

    And, “My wife, Grace, was almost entirely ignored in the interview, and I felt she was overall treated disrespectfully.”
    http://pastormark.tv/2012/01/12/a-blog-for-the-brits

    Forgive my simplistic logic here and for stating the obvious (it is so much fun to state sometimes), but either he thought the interview was truly “fun” and defines fun as seeing 1) his wife disrespected and ignored, and 2) the two of them being subjected to one of the worst interviews he had ever experienced…an interview so traumatic that it has changed how he does interviews in the future…

    or,

    He was not being honest, it was not fun, but only said it was fun, and then added the “hope you recover” jab just to make sure the interviewer knew that Mark was indeed the superior one and the interviewer had been schooled. Is that type of arrogance a Christian attitude we should admire in a “pastor?” Should we be proud of that? What kind of Christian pastor even has that kind of thought in his heart? An “I am better than you and am going to make sure you know it”…kind of attitude.

    This is all so grievous. What an imposter. Those “leaders” that promote him and those that remain silent are ones from whom I am staying as far away as I can… and telling all who will listen too. Thanks Deb/Dee.

  44. Dee (and all) –

    At this point, I am so creeped out by MD that I don’t think I can talk about him any more (in comments).

    He is ill. He needs help.

    Grace needs to leave him and take the kids with her.

    This is a guess, but based on many things he has said, I have no doubt that he is both emotionally/verbally and physically abusive to Grace and the kids.

    Not only that… does this guy acknowledge that rape can (and does) happen in many marriages?

    It’s as if Grace – and any other woman – is an object placed in a man’s life in order to subjugate herself to him and do whatever he wants, no matter if she feels uncomfortable, shamed, humiliated, “dirty” etc. And then she is supposed to keep her mouth shut and stay at home and never speak from the pulpit because “women are easily deceived.”

    At this point, I think I am putting Grace Driscoll and their kids on my admittedly short prayer list. I’m frightened for her, and think MD is more than capable of violent behavior toward her and others. (Not to sound alarmist – remember, the observation on violence is based on comments he has made.)

    Mars Hill *is* a cult, and I fear for those who are involved in it. The webs spun by such places are like the ones Shelob makes in The Lord of the Rings – very, *very* hard to get free of.

    God have mercy on the Driscolls, and on us.

  45. P.S.: if you read Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, you might well notice some of MD’s ideas carried to their logical (and quite scary) conclusions.

    She was prescient, given the info. we now have on Quiverfull, xtian Reconstructionism and more. (I’d guess that she read Rushdoony and Gary North for background, but that’s another topic altogether.)

  46. numo said:
    ” I think I am putting Grace Driscoll and their kids on my admittedly short prayer list.”

    Dee said this very thing to me a few hours ago. We all need to be praying for Sister Grace and her kiddos.

  47. As to the dream talked about in their book, I would simply like to ask one question:
    If his claim to have dreamed about his wife’s unrevealed past sin is indication that he “needs help” (dee above), then how did he know about it when she had never told him?

  48. Deb – I know people who have come from abusive church backgrounds who pray daily for Grace and their kids as well as for all the women at MH.

    God knows, they need it.

  49. Women are fruitful, all driscoll has is seed and seed has never been characterized as sweet; that is left to the fruit.

    Backing into a Botany lesson (which I seriously doubt Driscoli has experienced.)

    For Driscoll to have “fruit” (whose sweetness can be debated) he would need to be the female part of a flowering plant, the ovary.

    The male part of this process is pollen yes, the stuff that goes up people’s nose and makes them miserable. Not sweet but it is what driscoll has to offer.

    And, ot, yes, the flower is the sexual organ of the plant mostly female with very small anthers (grinning wickedly.)

  50. I’m still waiting for the guest post from a female Mars Hill survivor. I know Dee and Deb have put out the word that they will post it. But I’m wondering why it is taking so long to hear from one of them. Is the damage that substantial?

    Very funny, DB. 😀
    Even further, it’s the Bible that gives men the female part of fruit. It’s MD’s ignorance that teaches that fruit in SoS 2:3 is referring to his very male parts. He has not clue how he is playing into the feminization of himself.

  51. numo,

    Me thinks that you are close to (or already have) realizing that Christianity & humanism are not the mutually exclusive spheres you’ve been taught to believe they must be. I admire Atwood’s works. The Handmaid’s Tale was adapted for the screen some years back (1990).

  52. DB –

    LOL!! Wish you could pass that bit of information on to MD. I’d love to see and hear MD’s response. Oh, wait! I forgot for a moment who his mentor is! I guess we wouldn’t get an intelligent response, would we? Nope. We’d get spin, spin, spin, and “YOU people didn’t understand me correctly. I must do a better job of UNPACKING these spiritual truths so YOU don’t misinterpret what I was really saying. Afterall, YOU know YOU sheep are stupid and can’t possibly have anything to teach me.”

  53. DB,

    LOL!!!

    For some strange reason this discussion has made me think of the movie Microcosmos

    I took my daughters to see it when they were fairly young (grade school age), and now that they’re grown we still mention it from time to time. As a mom, it was quite an embarrassment! I had absolutely NO IDEA we were going to be watching a form of porn. Mark Driscoll would absolutely LOVE what the two snails were doing as the movie ended. Argh!

  54. I listened to the whole interview Driscoll & his wife did with Justin Brierley linked to here at kinnontv.com, as well as the the interview they did with Dr. Drew.

    During the Brierley interview, Mark Driscoll got into talking about how important it is for couples to be attractive, and his wife, when asked for her comment, used the analogy of dating. They both said that married couples should date each other during the course of their marriage, and in doing so maintain their physical attractiveness in the same sense like when they were young and dating.

    Where do I start with this? I could say so much about the pressures men and women are under to conform to worldly standards of picture perfect appearances.

    But I won’t. Instead, let’s just not tell Mark and Grace, Ed or Lisa that plenty of married couples enjoy rewarding sex lives without the advice of their boneheaded books. Some guys might resemble Winston Churchill, or some gals might look like Aunt Jemima, but that doesn’t mean they’re good at gettin’ it on. Being good looking doesn’t guarantee you happiness and fulfillment in the sack.

  55. Anonymous
    If you wish to become “unanonymous”, let us know and we may be able to come and cheer you on.Or, we can hold up a sign that will identify us and you can decide if you want to meet us.

  56. Anonymous
    This interview was the best thing that could happen to Driscoll. It is time that there is proof that he can’t wiggle out of. And now, this is the worst thing that could happen to the NeoCal apologists for Driscoll. Let’s see if they man up and get him the help he needs.

  57. Anonymous
    If CT is the USA Today of the Christian world, what does that make us? People Magazine?

  58. Numo
    I read that book. It was definitely an eyeopener. These guys who tie this theology are dangerous because they actually believe they are doing the best thing from women and the world.

  59. theShield

    Because he did know about it. Or, even better, since ALL of his girlfriends cheated on him, he made an accusation and he was correct. Even worse, could it be something from another source which Kinnon mentioned?
    This is a bunch of bunkum. Do you really think God sends pornovision so Driscoll sees rapes in progress? So much so that he can see the bedspread and describe it? This is Biblical?? Good night! What are they teaching in the seminaries?

  60. Mara
    Mars Hill went after another church which inadvertently used the Mars Hill logo.There were lawyers involved. Big boy hides behind legal people. can you imagine the intimidation that would happen if a women spoke out. Here is what we have to say. Anyone who wants to tell there story, knowing that we would fight, legally, any sort of subpoena to get the IP, we will publish the story.

  61. Bridget/DB
    And you are sooooooo blinded by sin that you can’t see straight unlike Driscoll who has perfectly clear “pornovision.”I wonder, did Mahaney ever get pornovisions?

    Heard some scuttlebutt that Mahaney’s family are all joining the SBC. Is it true? If so, Deb scooped this over a year ago,

  62. Evie
    So, the Mickey Mouse T-shirts and bowling shirts represent looking one’s best for the spouse? I swear the faith is enertaining some weird stuff these days.

  63. Dee –

    The information on two Mahaney daughters’ families came by way of a CHBC member who posted on Survivors last night. I am actually pretty peeved about some things that came to my thoughts concerning this issue and the people and churches in SGM who have been asked to humbly hold judgments and “wait” for AoR and other reports. I’ll not go into detail here. You can read over there if you wish. What did Deb write? Can I read it somewhere?

  64. Dee –

    So if Deb scooped this over a year ago . . . that was before the docs went public?!?! If so, then an exit plan was developed before anything became public!?!? Feel free to e-mail me on this. I don’t want to take away from the issue at hand. BTW – there are way too many issues at hand (imho). My head is spinning. Sometimes the hills in Kentucky sound very appealing!!

  65. Dee said,
    “Heard some scuttlebutt that Mahaney’s family are all joining the SBC. Is it true? If so, Deb scooped this over a year ago”

    Yes, it came to me in a vision, or I saw the writing on the wall.

  66. Bridget2,

    Yes, I saw that same comment from the CHBC member. I’m looking for confirmation. If Mahaney’s two daughters are now Southern Baptist and the third daughter’s husband is attending Southern Seminary, when will CJ and Carolyn join the SBC? It certainly sounds inevitable.

    If I were an SGMer, I’d have all kinds of emotions toward the Mahaneys.

  67. You are not People Magazine.

    You are commenters on a various aspect of culture, like columnists.

    I don’t know if the interview will get that much play, really. We’ll see.

    The race would be boring to watch because it is so long. It’s called Tobacco Road. I arrive at about 1:00 on Sat and depart at 5:30 on Sun. Race is Sun at 7:00 a.m. I am traveling with a group of friends (6 men, 5 women), so socially I am booked.

    I would definitely like to meet you, but this trip is so packed, I am not sure it will work. But you can check for my name among the finishers.

  68. Dee & Deb –

    FYI – I believe Carolyn’s mother may have passed on to a far better place today or yesterday. While I have lots of emotions about and concerns with SGM at the moment, I also would like us to pray for comfort as they mourn Margarets death. My mother is still here so I can only imagine the heartache:(

  69. Deb –

    CJ says he feels he should be pastoring again! Can you see him in a congressional church polity?

    Did you write an article about the Mahaneys and the SBC?

  70. “Bridget/DB
    And you are sooooooo blinded by sin that you can’t see straight unlike Driscoll who has perfectly clear “pornovision.”I wonder, did Mahaney ever get pornovisions?

    Heard some scuttlebutt that Mahaney’s family are all joining the SBC. Is it true? If so, Deb scooped this over a year ago”

    First, the irony of my blinding sin keeping me from some sort of straight pornovision.

    Second, I could see Mahaney blending in with that crowd, no education, no filter between brain and mouth, condescending privileged malecentric man with a wifey that is the prototype for squeeze my (fillintheblanks) Barbie.

    Sounds sick..um, er, like a good fit to me.

  71. The nightmare is explicable on the basis of Ecclesiastes 5:3a.
    As a dream comes from many cares … . Mark explained how all the women he had sex with were sexually unfaithful to him. The “biblical” explanation for the nightmare about something that happened years before can be as simple as Ecclessiates 5:3a. Dreams as divine oracles in biblical texts generally refer to facing down future national and international disastes effecting what may be called “salvation history”. It is a huge leap to suppose individuals get dreams that contain divine oracles, particularly if the dreams are about past events and not about events that haven’t happened. The vision of Peter and the situation with Cornelius “may” be an exception but the significance of the content is still forward-looking with regard to the role Gentiles would play in the Church.

    Not suggesting that Mark’s nightmare wasn’t deeply traumatic for him (we’ll all have traumatic dreams at some point), just pointing out that from a “biblical” perspective a purely naturalistic explanation of the dream will suffice despite the fact that it referred to something that turned out to have happened. If if turned out Grace had not cheated on Mark how would Mark have construed the dream? It was probably bad pizza.

  72. I’d have all kinds of emotions toward the Mahaneys.

    Have you heard the audio of the irate Italian Coast Guard officer ordering Captain Schettino of the Costa Concordia, who was sitting in a row boat after abandoning his ship, to get back on board?

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/01/17/145334966/get-on-board-coast-guard-officer-rages-at-italian-cruise-ship-captain?ft=1&f=

    Maybe Mark Driscoll can return the favor and give CJ Mahaney a some mentoring and tell him to man-up. Seems Driscoll is pretty good at telling men to be men, so why are the masculine, manly men of the YRR movement not calling Mahaney out about how he has abandoned ship?

    Why aren’t the supposed manly men like Mohler, Duncan, Driscoll and Dever hunting Mahaney down and getting in his face regarding his violation of duty and allegiance? Where are these men when what is needed is needed is for someone to confront Mahaney with the same kind of outrage exhibited by Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco when he told Schettino to get his cowardly ass back on board the ship! Now is the time for those associated with Mahaney to show what they’re made of, and all we’ve heard so far is these goons giving him their support – and in the case of Dever, providing Mahaney and his family with a place of refuge.

    Can you imagine how the family members of the victims of the striken Concordia would feel toward someone they discovered to have Schettino (and his family) from a rowboat and then provided them safe haven away from the entire disaster?

    The problem the Mahaney’s is they have always had it backwards. Instead of doing their jobs as a servants of the Lord, they feel the right to leave. I think their actions reveal that SGM is not a true church, rather it was an organization founded by a man who used the name of God to accomplish his own purpose. Rather than being submitted to the will of God, he expected others to submit to his will in the name of God.

    So, frankly, SGM and its associated ‘churches’ can sink like the Concordia as far as I’m concerned. Naturally my heart goes out to the unsuspecting SGM victims, especially the children. But in light of everything that has been revealed, those that remain on board SGM do so at their own risk. Christians are to be faithful to Christ, not to a man and his vainglorious creation.

    I know there are Christians who are members of SGM churches who believe the future is bright for them as members of SGM. All I can say to that is they are probably the same kind of folks who went along with things in SGM when there were major problems and still don’t know the difference.

  73. Jimmy
    We are a living example of why Driscoll, et al are wrong about bloggers being dressed in bathrobes. If ever we were to be seen in a bathrobe, it would be structured and designer.Thank you for your advice. We will make sure we are up to standard!

  74. Bridget
    I hope you can see the connections now. i think this has been in the works for some time. The curious thing will be to see if Mahaney goes “Baptist.” Oh will we have fun!!!!!!!

  75. Dee –

    Thanks for those links! I knew of some of those connections. What I am curious about is –

    1) Was CJ considering joining with SBC before Brent started writing to him 2 years ago or is it something he more recently started considering since the docs have been exposed? 2 ) Will he leave SGM and take some churches loyal to him along? 3) Would he actually pastor a church again? In or out of SBC? 4) Are some SBCs elder lead with a senior pastor? That would probably work for him 🙂 5) Will he just walk away from SGM with no actions toward the mess he helped create? 6) Is Driscoll still seeking CJM as a mentor – Ha!?

    I might change my moniker to “Woman too Deceived to Understand” just to ire some folks, but me thinks it would be a blatant lie!

  76. What do you think about this guy’s “pornovisions” in which he sees, in detail, women being raped, cheating ,etc, right down to the color of the bedspread? — Dee

    I think they’re his sexual fantasies with a “God’s Anointed” coat of paint. He might not even be aware of it himself. After all, if they’re Visions From God then he’s not responsible and who’d want to think about that possibility re himself?

    Oh and yeah…I guess this is what being a real man is all about. — Eagle

    i.e. “I CAN BEAT YOU UP! I CAN BEAT YOU UP! I CAN BEAT YOU UP!”

    P.S. You know, that would also explain why he’s so adamant about Penal Substitutionary Atonement. Besides being a mouthful, it reinforces the idea of God as the Ultimate “I CAN BEAT YOU UP!”

  77. Bridget2,

    There’s no way we can know the answers to your questions because we do not know the mind of CJ Mahaney.

    Here is what we do know:

    1. CJ has given over $100,000 to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), and SGM has also given over $100,000 to SBTS. Why?

    2. Al Mohler has endorsed several of CJ’s books, and even wrote the forward for The Cross Centered Life.

    3. CJ spoke at the 2010 SBC Pastors Conference (which always occurs in the days leading up to the SBC Annual Meeting).

    4. CJ’s daughter and son-in-law recently relocated to Louisville so Steve Whitacre could attend Southern Seminary.

    5. Two of CJ’s best friends are Mark Dever and Al Mohler.

    6. Mahaney’s other two daughters and their husbands have purportedly joined Capitol Hill Baptist Church (where Mark Dever serves as pastor).

    Yes, there are some strong ties between C.J. Mahaney and his influential Southern Baptist friends.

  78. Dee,

    As I was reading this post on MD and the mess he has caused and your reference to the “my way or the highway” type of harsh leadership in American Mega churches, A29s, SBC, non denoms etc……. it made me think of a situation in a former church that just today had a less than desirable albeit predictible conclusion.

    A few years back in a church here in Knoxville, TN where we live a new admin came in to the church we were attending and where I had been assistant organist for 12 years and it was no secret that I was passionate about the instrument and its music (much more so than the organist) and this new admin had their “vision” for the church and anything/anyone that didn’t line up in lock step paid the price – you know where this is going. At any rate the music guy who was brought in by the new pastor had some sweeping power (authority) to make things into his idea of how music/worship was done so he decided he wanted to meet with all the choir members individually which was not necessary considering we had one of the better church choirs in our area and one of the larger ones as well. When my wife and I had our meeting it really wasn’t so much to hear us sing as it was to let me know that my interest and passion regarding the organ were not welcome and would not be tolerated – this was about “their vision” and no one and no group was going to stand in the way……. get on board or get out was the message of the day!

    Dee, what bothers me about this is that these guys hide behind God and try to use him as cover to push an agenda that is their own not God’s and in the wake of this they leave a trail of hurt, devestated and destroyed people and church congregations. I know not all are this way but I think there are alot more that do this kind of thing than is generally known. They justify every kind of treatment of church members even to the point of pushing them out, forcing them out or kicking them out under the guise that these folks are standing in God’s way preventing God’s will/vision from going forward and being accomplished when that, many times, is not the case and was never thought of by the ones being “drug through it”……… think Coral Ridge for one example.

    Regarding the meeting my wife and I had with the new music guy I referenced above – I believe the meeting with the choir members was to find out who was on board and who wasn’t and we were not and ended up leaving when I took an organist position at another church and that one has a story too but for another time. As to the ending I referenced in the first paragraph – the 4 manual pipe organ at that church was sold by said music guy for a song and dance last fall before Christmas and found out today that the people that bought it have parted it out and what doesn’t sell gets scrapped…….. organ is effectively destroyed. Now this is not the end of the world but it just goes to show how far down the slippery slope the SBC has slid and the bottom is coming up fast – very fast – not because of the organ but because of the way church members and congregations are being treated by these guys. They are being totally destroyed……. parted out and scrapped if you will.

    Sorry this is a long post but thought you and others here would have an interest as many here have experienced things like this in various situations in their churches. All this goes back to the hyper-authority, heavy handed tactics that Driscoll and the like use to get their way and promote their agenda while claimimg that it’s God’s agenda and vision.

  79. Deb –

    Thanks for the reply! I wasn’t at all expecting you to have it figured out. I should have prefaced the comment with “My musings.” There’s no figuring out CJs mind.

  80. Dee – I love the idea of a Free Grace site!

    Muff – I’ve been known to entertain “humanist” thoughts (and books, and people who think that way, and…). For a long time, in fact. 😉

    DB – yepper, MD needs some basic lessons in anatomy as well as in plant taxonomy! [lolz at your posts]

    HUG – agreed completely on claiming that sexual fantasies are visions from God. (talk about nightmares!!!)

    As for people using God as an excuse for their own bad/weird behavior, MD isn’t the 1st and won’t be the last. (Sadly.)

    Deb – LOLZ at “a form of porn.” My guess is that snails are slow-ish in mating, no?! ; )

  81. numo,

    I don’t know about how slow the snails were, but seeing them stuck together on the big screen was pretty disgusting. I know God made them, but that was just too up close and personal for me and my daughters.

  82. Bridget2,

    I understood what you were asking. 🙂

    I have been trying to figure this out for over three years. I do think we have made some progress. Always follow the money…

  83. Bridget
    1. Deb and I theorize that he was planning on moving SGM under the SBC umbrella but things have changed due to his “issue.”
    2.Possibly but his SIL left without churches into the SBC-1 to SBTS the other two to CHBC So, perhaps they will start a new church planting effort with the Mahaneys at the helm.
    3.He doesn’t want to pastor-he wants to lead and be admired. But, he may have to slum it in order to get past the incident.
    4.Yes, some do. My former SBC church was lead pastor+an elder board (a rubber stamped group)
    5. Yes, he will get away with no ramifications. The reformed big dogs are already stepping in to cover for him (Piper, Mohler, Dever). They are far more important than ALL the people who were hurt by this man. They do NOT care for the little guy, neither does Mahaney. This is their show and the congregation is just there to pay the salaries.
    6. bwahahahahahahahaha!

  84. HUG
    Sadly, you may be correct. What scares me even more are the people who actually believe these visions are from God.Do people read their Bibles?

  85. Knoxville Guy
    What is going on in Knoxville? This is the third story we have heard from that town and I think they are from different churches! Sounds like my area!

    How absolutely stupid of the music pastor. He had a “vision?” Here is the vision he should have had. He should have seen that God had placed you in that congregation with a passion for the organ. He should have reviewed 1 Corinthians and realized that God had called you there for a purpose. So, he should have figured a way to have you play the organ, have the entire choir perform and then have some break out groups that did other sorts of music. Wade Burleson’s church does something like this. So does my current church which has music that spans Gregorian chant to the David Crowder band.

    Said new music pastor is most likely a mediocre guy with an even more mediocre faith. He does not see that he really is just an admiral in a rowboat who unfortunately perceives himself as very, very important. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. And now he destroyed the organ! What a knucklehead. He is a sad little man with a hyper-authoritarian personality who has found church to be a perfect foil for his arrogance.

    Guy, you are right. It is the same old story. Please, whatever you do, pursue your love of the organ. God gave you the passion for it and some strange man with some deep seated control issues should not take that away from you. Welcome to the world of those who have “former” churches which is most of the people who hang around here. I am so sorry for what happened. Church does not have to be like this. I fear we are in a era of strange men with authoritarian issues who love to exhibit their psychological problems in an environment that does not question them.

    But, it is so much fun being free and being able to question their nonsense. Hence the blog, which was first fueled by a former church and is now fueled by the combined experiences of a bunch of people who have former churches! And you have heard the old joke? The one about the guy who was finally rescued from a deserted island after being there for years alone. His rescuers asked about the two buildings on the island. The man pointed to one and said “That’s my church.” They asked about the other. He said, “That’s the church I used to go to.” Welcome to the Fellowship of Members of Former Churches! We are a lively and fun bunch after we get over the pain.

  86. Driscoll is one of those seeker sensitive types. He thinks it is good to through out centuries of church tradition in order to be “hip” and “relevant.” I think he is disgusting and I find it interesting that he promotes things pagans weren’t doing. It is just disgusting.

    I will bet my house that he comes out with Christian porn. What a joke.

    Also, if my husband discussed our sex life with anyone, I would lose my mind. I think that is one of the most disrespectful things a spouse can do; talk about what goes on in the bedroom. That is something NOT to be talked about! How humiliating. In fact, most people I know Christian or not would be completely disturbed to hear a pastor or minister of any kind talking about sex in such graphic, vulgar terms. Mark Driscoll gets away with this in his congregation because the majority of people there probably had never darkened the door of a church until meeting him. Most probably aren’t shocked by his comments. In fact, they probably were making those same comments with or without MD. He just plays to crowd and the culture he deals with. Take that same message to an established congregation where the members have been churched for sometime and people probably would be outraged. In other words, MD probably wouldn’t fair so well in the sunny south:)

    He is an awesome at marketing! You have to give him that.

  87. Robin… y’know, I think lots of people who aren’t churchgoers have more good taste (and common sense!) when it comes to divulging info. about their own sex lives – or not.

    I have a sneaking feeling that the expression “TMI” just about covers it where MD is concerned. (And not just his sensationalizing of sex in general and his sex life in particular.)

    Free Grace!

  88. You are probably right. I just can’t figure out why people are flocking to him to listen to his garbage unless they talk and think like that themselves…

    I see your point. TMI

  89. Pingback: Linkathon 1/18, part 1 | Phoenix Preacher UNITED STATES

  90. Dee,

    Crowder lives nearby and the local rumor mill has it that the band is breaking up in the near future after completing their current commitments.

  91. Dee,

    Thanks for your response – appreciate it much. Yes, things are no different here in Knoxville with the churches and especially so with the SBC churches here and it’s not just in the “large” cities or towns – I find it even in the smallest of towns. In my 2nd job I rep for a pipe organ company and I travel alot on my off time from my full time job and the small mountain towns in se Kentucky, West Virginia, western North Carolina etc all have churches that are into all this…. places you wouldn’t even think of this type of “church” taking hold. I think part of that is that in these little towns alot of the older pastors are retiring and passing on and the congregations getting older bring in these younger guys who are just starting out and these guys come in and want to flex their muscles and transition these older churches and the same thing plays out there just like in the large cities/towns and you end up, in some cases, with devestation left in the wake.

    As to other churches specifically in Knoxville – yes there are several around the area where this kind of thing has taken hold and we have several Acts 29 churches area as well. There’s hardly any mid to large SBC churches here that have not been influenced to some degree by the seeker sensitive, PDL/PDC, reformed type of
    church growth models and it’s left the church weakend and soured not only for those in the church be those outside of it as well.

    I honestly never thought there would be a time that I would not be a part of or not be interested in the church but increasingly I find the desire for it to be less and less – this mess has all but killed any interest in being involved in church and quite frankly it scares me but good that this has happened not only with me but many others I know – friends and family.

    Lastly, I mentioned the last church I was at (“story for another time”) in the last post – that one was not quite as bad as the previous one but I did end up having to leave there partly because of their move towards CCM in their services but also because the pastor and a few of his “trusted” were becoming more and more difficult to deal with and if you held a more traditional approach to things you generally didn’t do so well with them. Interesting thing though is the last Sunday I played there (it was my home church btw…), which was the last Sunday of April 2009, after the evening service in which I had played a short concert I had a church member/deacon (he may have been the chair that year) come to me after that service giving me names of churches that might be more to my liking as a traditional musician and a good number of folks didn’t bother to stay around for the reception afterward and there were a suprising number who didn’t say anything to me or my wife when we left and haven’t since either.

    Dee, I don’t want to take up anymore space here with things but as I get time I will email you some other details on how this was affecting my wife and her health – I’ve said alot about me partly because of the “staff” element involved in my positions and being closer to the “behind the scenes” stuff – especially so at the last church where I was the paid organist but the situation with my wife and how this affected her and her health not to mention her perception of the SBC church which she was not brought up in. More later!

  92. BTW Dee, my wife and I did an Alaska cruise back in July 2008 and it was one of the best trips we’ve ever done and hope to do it again in the near future. Alaska is a stunningly beautiful place and one of the last untouched areas of our country.

  93. Mark Driscoll needs to leave the ministry and get a job out among us regular folks–and let’s see if he can keep it! His generally insulting, boorish behavior would get him in trouble inside of a week at my Fortune 500 employer. His sexist garbage, oh, probably less than three days. I’d pay good money to see our executive VP (female, the smartest person I’ve ever met and doesn’t suffer fools gladly) take him down a few notches. (Having been on the wrong end of being taken down, it’s uncomfortable, but I learned the lesson that needed to be learned and got over it.)

    Driscoll is doing nobody any good where he’s at now, let’s see if he can at least learn a few things if he has to ring up groceries or shuffle papers in a cube farm or drive a forklift. Then he can be like the rest of us, worried about our jobs, our mortgages and our families, and much less likely to mouth off.

  94. Guy from Knoxville –

    I”m sorry to hear about your rotten experiences. Unfortunately, you are not alone. It seems many churches are turning into little, sometimes large, serfdoms (churchdoms?) with kings and knights that do not welcome their brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m really sorry you have been treated so unkindly :(. This is not what the Church of Jesus should look like.

  95. Cruise ship tangent… a parable if you like.. my family went on a beatiful Alaska cruise a few years back, yet there were reminders of reality. AFTER a very rough initial leg up the “outside” passage (Pacific Ocean) we found out the stabilizers hadn’t been working properly. A couple mornings later, we awoke to the somber announcement that a crewman had been killed while docking us. The captain seemed competant and compassionate…. A few years later we took a river cruise on the Columbia. Again, very beautiful. While docked near the river’s mouth, our tall, keel-less vessel was nearly blown sideways into a Coast Guard Cutter by high winds, and needed to retreat back up-river for fear of being blown out to the bar and grounding.
    A traveling preacher once asked a mega-church, What do you want? Beautiful religion (cruise ships and Titanics) or Apostolic Glory (being led by a truly compassionate and competant CAPTAIN)? My church jumped off the good ship Acts 29 about a year ago, for which I’m thankful. It remains to be seen how far away we’ll row.
    As for Driscoll’s mentor, CJ, about 6 mo ago I wildly speculated on the Survivors blog that maybe there are thousands going down on the SGM ship, begging their captain to change course, send out a mayday, lower the lifeboats, etc. Meanwhile, captain CJ has already jumped ship and is rowing elsewhere like an Italian cruise ship captain. Again, how this actually plays out remains to be seen.

  96. For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
        The flood may bear me far,
    I hope to see my Pilot face to face
        When I have crost the bar.
    Tennyson

  97. Wow, @ Amy, your post from 1/17 @ 10:03 AM is probably the best comment I’ve read in quite some time. It is absolutely dead on and speaks perfectly to what’s going on in this day and age, and why it’s going on. Thanks for sharing your keen insight.

  98. Numo my internet friend –

    I could have lived a long and happy life (still plan on this part) without ever seeing that website 🙁 Can nothing stay between just two people? From how they advertise, it really seems that their only purpose is to filter some money from the porn industry in the name of God! How very sad.

    And I am surprized that MD wasn’t all over this already.

  99. “Christian Porn” — a logical outworking of “Christian Hedonism”? (or perhaps of its silent partner, “Christian Greed”)

  100. Numo,

    I am speechless! How much worse can it get? And these people profess to be Christians? As the Bible says – you will know them by their fruit. Oops! I shouldn’t have used that loaded word, which was discussed yesterday.

  101. My husband and I are missionary evangelists and have lived in Haiti since 1975. Two of our four children and one of our nine grandchildren were born there. We host Haiti’s most popular TV show that features the beauty of Haiti with a gospel message. Currently we are aired in 13 US Haitian markets and over 100 TV stations in Haiti. We do not pay for airtime as our content is in such demand. Over 2 million Haitians, all age groups and economic strata, view our show http://www.youtube.com/telelouange

    We came in contact with Mark Driscoll shortly after the quake I had posted a comment on an Act 29 blog. Mark Driscoll via Acts 29 gave for the one year anniversary which we organized and hosted. 100K Haitians answered our call to worship in front of the ruined Palais Nationale. Driscoll arrived in a private plane, I picked him up and he wanted to leave when the crowd was peeking. I sent a Haitian driver to take him back to the airport as I was not leaving the outpouring of God’s Spirit.

    Not long after that Driscoll flew us to Orlando he wanted us to head up their Acts 29 mission work in Haiti since they had no experienced missionaries and we are experienced soulwinners. Right before we were “signed on” to their 400 supporting churches, something we really could use. I said, “Wait I preach. I planted an English worship service in my living room for missionaries and business people.” That brought a icy response from Grudem, Mark’s right hand man, and it was the last we heard from them.

    Driscoll stated dramatically at the Orlando event that “cessationism is heretical”. My understanding of MD’s brash, offensive, shock jock approach to the gospel is this. Mark thinks he is a prophet! And he thinks that is how prophets speak, abrupt, shocking statements of his interpretation of the scripture. Mark wants so badly to promote Piper’s theology that “cessationism is heretical” which I do believe; that he will go to any unscriptural extent to make an impression be it good or bad. Poor Mark he thinks he is God’s anointed one when all that is required of him is to walk humbly and love justice.

  102. Hi Gals… Hi everyone else… Still reading. Can’t comment as much anymore. Work is a beast! But I’m always still here reading! Kinda like I’m in the next room with the book open.

    Anywho…

    If Grace tries to leave him, she better not tell him. She’d best just leave.

    This man’s thoughts, visions, focus, attitudes and behaviors all characterize a person who would become physically and verbally explosive if that were to happen.

    Considering the support he has and all of his “apologizers” (if that’s a word), she’d have no support whatsoever. She’s trapped. Plain and simple.

  103. Yvonne
    I plan to feature your comment when write about Driscoll and women, probably on Friday. He’s sure got the theology down pat, or at least his take on theology which, of course, is always correct. You are better off not working with him. He is a miserable man with a miserable take on the gospel.

  104. Thank you, Dee. I am touched that someone even cares what Driscoll did to us. They needed us in Haiti but when they realized we were egalitarian they dropped us like a hot potato! We were crushed. Innocent and in need of the fellowship and financial support. I do believe God made the separation for our sakes as well as His. Christ has always been our source and we will not compromise on an issue to gain support no matter how badly we need it. At the time I said, “I may never preach again; but if He tells me to speak I must be available to obey.” There is no higher call than to obey the voice of my God. I will not let Mark Driscoll or Acts 29 stop me. Worthy is the Lamb.

  105. AlaskaAnna

    My trip to Alaska was the most wonderful trip in my life and I have done a fair amount of traveling. You live in the most beautiful state in the US and I have been to all of them. Also, i tend to be biased about North Carolina as well so that is a high compliment. How are the goats surviving the winter? Are you near any of the area that is iced in?

  106. AlaskAnna(-Readers take note):
    In fact, I didn’t realize you have a blog about your life in Alaska along with a recipe fro great gingerbread cookies. I am adding you to our links. Readers, you must visit AlaskAnna’s site. It is so cool to touch someone who lives a fascinating life, very different than the rest of us in the lower 48. Link

  107. Yvonne,

    Sadly, not only does Acts 29 have “no experienced missionaries,” many of its leaders have no interest in “traditional” foreign missions at all. I actually had an A29 pastor explain this to me by claiming that the “Jerusalem…Judea and Samaria…all the world” command in Acts 1:8 was to be understood as a prioritized list, and that until we had been faithful to the local mission in our own city (Jerusalem), we had “no business” focusing on foreign missions. He claimed that missional theology was intended to correct “the unnecessary and unhelpful divorce of Jesus’ mission from our local context.” I was too stunned to ask the logical follow-up, which is, “Aren’t you just substituting one unnecessary and helpful divorce with another?” Missional theology claims to put every member on mission, but that mission is almost entirely local, and I don’t think that’s Biblical or healthy.

    I’m so sorry to hear of your experience. Keep doing what you’re doing, and may God bless your work.

  108. Folks – that “Christian porn” link is a parody, but it certainly does look authentic.

    So sorry I didn’t clarify above! (Other than posting a 😉 icon.)

    *

    NLR – yay!!! so nice to hear from you!!!

  109. AlaskAnna – I think Dee and Deb (our wonderful blog queens) are longtime readers of the Free Jinger site.

    Dee was half-joking yesterday (in comments) about a free Grace site (Grace Driscoll). I think it’s an excellent idea…

  110. numo,

    If the site you shared was a parody, look out! Ed Young and Mark Driscoll will probably have a contest to see who can capitalize on a similar idea first. 🙂

    AlaskaAnna,

    Dee’s gonna love your question! We’ve frequented Free Jinger and find it very informative.

  111. The area that is iced in is Nome. I actually lived there for several years as a kid. Interesting place. Hope the tanker that delivered the gasoline didn’t knock over the Nome National Forest.
    Ahh, thanks for the link love! I’ve had the January blues lately. I’ve been meaning to write a post about how to survive January, but I haven’t finished it yet.

  112. FREE GRACE!

    Wait, I don’t know if Grace even knows the bondage that she’s under.

    And to be quite honest, I’ve not known what to do with Grace. I don’t want to add to her pain or her burden.

    But wait (again). I have a friend who used to blog and she said if she were still blogging, she’d write a letter to Grace because she’s been in similar circumstances and feels a great deal of empathy for her. So I asked if she’d guest write a blog post for my humble, little blog. She agreed.

    And I want to invite you members of the “Free Grace” club over to my blog to read Charis’s empathetic yet to the point letter to Grace.

    http://frombitterwaterstosweet.blogspot.com/2012/01/dear-grace-driscoll.html

  113. Thanks for telling your story, Trimble.

    People need to know how hard these men work to silence women and deny God’s calling on their lives.

  114. This “church” is ruining families by spiritual and emotional abuse…Mars Hill Church led by Driscoll have taken my two beautiful and educated daughters (along with many other young ladies) and convinced them that to get to Heaven they must marry, submit, and become baby makers…That is only the tip of the iceberg in the brainwashing…Totally Barbaric. I have been shunned and emotional abused while my girls are held “hostage”. They are being told this is what Jesus wants and because I refused to submit to the rules and boundries that my daughter’s 22 year old husband would “allow” for me to have a relationship with her! I told him I would speak with my daughter not him… He said he was speaking for the both of them! He reads,answers, or deletes all texts, emails, voicemails, etc. from me, along with any of my family and friends! He(with the help of other Mars Hill “family”) is isolating her from all of us…that is abuse! All the while taunting me! I am completely heartbroken…Mars Hill mission: Have babies and plant churches…my 22 year old daughter is about to give birth and I can’t get near her…”tThey” have convinced her to have a home birth because you only have pain in the stressful atmosphere of the hospital setting! I am terrified! I must repeat…she is a smart girl! Crazy stuff! Her fellow young female Mars Hill members are on their second and third babies…Trust me when I say it is a slow and methodical grooming that before I realized what had happened to my girls it was too late! It is cult…calling it self a church. The members are required to sign contracts for Heaven’s sake!!! Driscoll is a bully, no doubt. The young married men are taken out to bars to “tip one back” by the Elders “schooling” them, saying who knows what…The young brides are given “instruction” on how to satisfy their husbands by the married Mars Hill ladies before their wedding!!! I guess that is one way of keeping the members from having affairs in the church, since apparently they all have been taught the same tricks! Oh, and I have attended Mars Hill many times, to several of the campuses to see for myself It is very seductive and hip! Wolf in sheep’s clothing! Just like Driscoll nd his yes men (two of the pastors are involved with the “families” that my daughters married into) Sucks them right in….taking my family with him…

    Anyone that has any advice who or how I could report this abuse to I really would appreciate more than you could know, I am going to be a grandma any minute….

    Below was taken from a comment on FB page “Mark Driscoll is an Asshole”:
    “I think women hear the line that if they are submissive. God will reward them by turning their husbands into the attentive, responsible men of their dreams. They take that in faster than you can imagine. It’s like a gift with purchase deal-hand over your freedom and I’ll give you prince charming. They even tell fairy tale stories about other women in the church who have experienced it to prove it is true. Men get a whole different ‘schooling’ that is equally destructive. They are encouraged to enter this absurdly competitive almost adolescent world.

  115. What if Grace isn’t trapped under the “submission” burden at all?

    What if she too is a few tacos short of a combination plate?

  116. Frankie
    I am so, so sorry about your family and Mars HIll. This is not the first time we have heard of such things. Frankly, your story makes me ill. It is very important. We would be happy to publish you story as a post if you are interested. Please contact us through our blog email. You can write the post as you want or we can adapt what you have written here.
    Your story breaks my heart. It is a story that needs to be heard, both as a warning to those outside, and maybe save some on the inside.

  117. Frankie–

    My heart aches for you… I was turning into your daughter…and then I was rescued. I’m not married. I don’t have kids. But I was on my way thinking it was and would be my highest calling. I, too, was willing to trade my true God-given freedom for a farce in exchange for Prince Charming with the heart of a wolf. I, too, was in the ranks of joining young women who aren’t satisfied with just being newly weds but must rush to have a heap of babies all at once.

    Just over a year ago I left my church. I had a wake up call. Someone was praying for me and I don’t know who–but the Lord answered and he answered swiftly. My church was not Mars Hill, it was Capitol Hill Baptist. They may not be exact.y a cult but they have all the makings of a high-demand, authoritarian control group.

    Through this blog and even SGM Survivors (whose pastor ran away and now attends Capitol Hill) I have received so much healing in a short period of time. I was ready to abandon’God altogether. My exit experience was characteristic and textbook of exiting a cult. I had all the emotional damage, confusion, depression and loss of individual thought. I was afraid I would die; that my life was over. I was terrified because every relationship I had was tied up in that church and I too had begin to separate from my family. But GOD! He rescued me. I was surely delivered out of the snare of the fowler and returned safely to my father’s arms…

    The women and men here, our blog queens, and my very close friends in my life have ministered to me only by and through the Holy Spirit. I stand in awe and amazed of what God has done–even inspire of temporary moments of unbelief; doubt; even disgust at God.

    I’m so sorry at what u are going through. I grieve that I almost did the same to my mother. I’d never want to hurt her like that–she loves me so much. I’m sure you love your little girl just the same. Sometimes a false gospel and a false god and false promises are too hard to refuse–especially when the lie Satan tells us is that if we do perfectly what God wants, then we’ll have exactly what we desire. It’s a seductive lie and we will sell our souls and give ourselves away and make ourselves in bondage to another and believe the lie that it is freedom and is what God wants.

    I Pray that the Lord would rescue your daughter… That she would walk in the true freedom afforded her in Christ because of his sacrifice for her.

    My heart is overwhelmed with sorrow and compassion for you. May your lives and relationship be fully restored here and now.

    Blessings,

    NLR

  118. Frankie, thank you so much for coming here and sharing.

    People have no idea how dangerous and controlling the gender gospel really is. But stories like yours illustrate it so well.

  119. Gaslighting:

    A common form of brainwashing in which an abuser tries to falsely convince the victim that the victim is defective, for any purpose whatsoever, such as making the victim more pliable and easily controlled, or making the victim more emotional and therefore more needy and dependent. {You’re reading “Definition of Gaslighting” by J. E. Brown.}

    Often done by friends and family members who claim (and may even believe) that they are trying to be helpful. The gaslighting abuser sees himself or herself as a nurturing parental figure in relation to the victim, and uses gaslighting as a means for keeping the victim in that relationship, perhaps as punishment for the victim’s attempt to break out of the dependent role.

  120. Frankie – I am so very sorry (though not surprised) to hear your story… will be praying for your daughter. Although I’m not married, my story is similar to hers – and to NLR’s.

    It’s so hard to explain how intelligent people can get trapped in such awful webs, but once the mechanism has started (the manipulation and control), it’s very hard to stop – though certainly possible.

    I know someone who attends a group for survivors of religious/cult abuse (women only) and there are a number of MH members there. They are all very frightened that their husbands will find out, since “outside” counseling is forbidden by MD and the MH “church.” My friend knows about many situations similar to the one your daughter is in right now.

    My heart goes out to you, and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  121. Mara–

    I love that letter from Charis to Grace. Thanks for posting that.

    My grandmotherss both used to say things like, “Lord God, what you have saved me from! I stand in awe of you.”. My grandmothers were strong believers. They were praying women too. I know my grandmas constantly prayed for me. My aunts and parents do now. It’s interesting when as a young person you can’t understand the depth and relationship implied in those statements until you’re older and you’ve been through something. I’ve been through something and the Lord has brought me through–my Rock, Fortress and Strong Foundation. He said I would not be moved and he kept that promise. My grandmothers, I think, would have those moments where there was clarity and simple awe im who God is and what He has done.

    It shocks me that today I love my life as a single woman. That I am afraid for the women I left behind who think what they are doing is Gods best…and what I’m doing is sub par and not even Christian.

    I’m shocked that I’m not really thinking I want to be married right now and tht I have no strong desire to have children. It’s not that those things don’t have value because they do. And if I had a sweet little baby right now, she’d have the most doting, attentive and loving mommy who would savor each moment with her. But that simply isn’t my life–not the ine I have now. And as I am feeling called to live in the present, I am embracing the freedom I have that I almost gave away. It seems so much sweeter and precious to me now. I’m really in no rush to let go. Where marriage, kids, singleness and even love are concerned, it’s all imperfect.

    My lesson in all this? None of it can compare to the reality of who God is. The husband will disappoint. The kids won’t always be a joy. The single girls trip won’t always fulfill. Mates betray the best of spouses. Friends disappoint the most loyal of friends. And kids dismiss tge most loving parents. We live in a fallen world and no matter how right I put it all in line, it still will fail.

    God no longer has to share a pedestal with all these idols the church engraves in our hearts. I get it now. I wished I had then. But I get it now and I’m so glad. All I truly have is Christ ; )

    NLR– a Very happy girl ; )

  122. I read Rachel Held Evans review of the new MD & GD Real Marriage book. She quotes MD as saying that during his preaching on Song of Solomon:

    “In the second year of the church we had a lot of single people getting married,” he writes, “so I decided to preach through the Song of Songs on the joys of marital intimacy and sex. The church grew quickly, lots of people got married, many women became pregnant, and my counseling load exploded. I started spending dozens of hours every week dealing with every kind of sexual issue imaginable…Although I loved our people and my wife, this only added to my bitterness. I had a church filled with young women who were asking how they could stop being sexually ravenous and wait for a Christian husband, then I’d go home to a wife whom I was not sexually enjoying.” (p. 15)

    I have listened to this series (more about that later), but what is the most troubling to me is that while he admitted the above feelings and problems in their marriage, Grace was subjected to listen to him preach this series about how women “should” behave in regards to sex with their husbands. But the WORST part is, at the end of EACH and every sermon, Grace was required to come “onstage” and answer questions along side Mark. Think about this…you and your husband are having pretty serious problems regarding an issue, and you have to sit week after week and listen to him project his bitterness and shoulds onto the women of your church about said issue, and then you have to go up alongside him, pretend everything is okay and answer people’s questions on the topic? How abusive is this? I cannot even imagine.

  123. Free From MH
    What an important insight! It seems as if our concerns for the wellbeing of Grace are warranted. FREE GRACE!!!

  124. Free
    We will have to use this in a post quote. MD needs to review this next time he gets a “pornovision.”
    This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says to his people:
    “Do not listen to these prophets when they prophesy to you, filling you with futile hopes.
    They are making up everything they say. They do not speak for the LORD!

  125. Oops–I obviously meant to say substituting one unnecessary and UNhelpful divorce for another. Typing with one hand while lying on your side in bed (doctor’s orders) is tiring.

    And thanks to everyone here for helping me pass this time in an intellectually stimulating way. One can only watch so much TV.

  126. “That brought a icy response from Grudem, Mark’s right hand man, and it was the last we heard from them”

    Yvonne, Help me out here. Grudem? Wayne Grudem’s son, perhaps?

    “God no longer has to share a pedestal with all these idols the church engraves in our hearts”

    NLR, Amen, sister! You have nailed it. They are creating idols in people’s lives to take them AWAY in order to follow man.

  127. Amy – I hear you, and do appreciate that quote. fwiw, I like the NIV, which says “visions from their own minds.” To me, that sums up the way MD describes his “visions” as well as their source and content.

    oh, and – this is priceless! (I got my M.A. at GW and lived in NoVA for 2 decades, so I’m very familiar with everything on the list!)

  128. J Terry
    Here is the comment that says it all. “solid, gospel-based information that would be helpful in serving victims.” What in the world is the gospel information for victims of abuse? The gospel is John 3:16. I am deeply concerned that they are mixing up the gospel with psychiatric intervention. For example, if someone had cancer, would you say that you will get them some gospel based information to treat it? This is a trick of the Calvinistas. If you don’t see the treatment their way, you may be denying the gospel which means you are not a Christian. Very worrisome.

    Great, great observation-very omportant.Thanks

  129. Free from MH–

    Pg.15- he Reslly had young women asking him how they could stop being sexually ravenous and wait for a Christian man??!!

    Does anyone think those young women told him that in those words? Interesting he’d describe it that way.

    Also, in his interview with the Brit, when digging in him about his wife being a pastor and how she’d handke sexual issues that men had, didn’t Driscoll say that the sexual issues women have in his congregation he wijkdnt address but would refer them to a female leader instead when the Brit pushed back the same challenge on him?

    So which is true?

  130. Frankie Ann Joseph,

    I was working on today’s post and have just caught up with the comments. My heart breaks for you! Please consider allowing us to do a guest post on your story, as Dee suggested. We really need to get the word out! I think personal testimonies are the best way to do it.

    I’m keeping you in my prayers.

  131. Frankie,

    It’s just after midnight, so make that yesterday’s post!

    Burning the midnight oil for you guys. Hope that shows how much WE LOVE YOU!!!

  132. NLR –

    I was confused about that as well! Is HE counseling women about their sexual issues?? What?? Then going home and wondering why Grace isn’t like these women – ick!

  133. free from MH,

    The sticky wicket is WHICH Song of Songs series. 2008 is not 1999 or the excursions of 2002 or 2007. Driscoll has preached from Song of Songs multiple times. Ashley’s birth was around the time of the first series, about 1999.

    The Peasant Princess in 2008 was the second full overview of SoS, not counting the 2002 sermons from the Proverbs series that recycled a lot of SoS material, or the Scotland sermon from 2007. It’s important to keep in mind that Mark was describing the situation during Grace’s pregnancy with Ashley, which is quite a few years before Peasant Princess when he had Grace on stage with him.

    I know all the sermons on sex may blur together, but I want to clarify the timeline issues because I first visited Mars Hill some time shortly after the first Song of Songs series had wrapped up. Since most people attending the church were actually Mark’s age, give or take a few years, I don’t know exactly why Mark feels he can say now that “young people” were depending on him since he wasn’t exactly an older, more seasoned guy back then. Grace up front was about a decade later than the period Mark describes from the earlier days of Mars Hill.

  134. NLR

    Let me put it this way, have you ever heard about the machete incident in which he claimed a guy rushed him on the stage with a machete. Well, it seems that it didn’t quite happen that way. So, anything you hear from Driscoll, question like you did, including “pornovision.”

  135. Deb,
    I sent Dee an email last night giving the go ahead to share what I can only call a “horror story” except it is my reality! After praying and looking for help for nearly two years, I can’t tell you that I now feel that there may be hope… It is really important to shine the light on this abuse. I am not the only mother that has lost her daughter to this “church.” I am thankful to all of the prays coming our way. Bless you to those who have escaped for sharing your experience and prays…I feel re-energized in my mission to save my daughters and hopefully all the other young people that have drank the Mars Hill Kool-Aid….
    Blessings and Thank you for caring,
    Frankie

  136. Frankie,
    You say other mothers have lost their daughters.
    I’m a mother of two girls myself so this really upsets me and I can only imagine what you are going through.

    Is it possible for you to contact those other mothers and have them comment here, relating their stories?

    Originally, I wanted the survivors, the women that MH chewed up and spit out, to come tell their stories. But after listening to you, I think maybe it’s the mothers of these women that need to speak out.

    If you don’t have those connections, I understand. Still, I’d like more voices raised against the abuses of Mars Hill and the oppression of their gender gospel.

    Thank you so much for telling your story. So many more need to hear it.

  137. Mara,

    Thank you…I have passed the invite to share her story onto an amazing Mom in my shoes…

    Yes, we need to get the word out…I am so thankful for this forum!

    Thank you again,
    Frankie

  138. Frankie,

    I am grateful that we can help bring some sanity to this situation. Sadly, it’s not news to me.

    The first time I ever heard of something similar was in August 2008. I am intentionally leaving out LOTS of details, but in a nutshell, I know of a mom whose daughter is married to someone in church ministry. The parents of the daughter are NEVER allowed to talk with their daughter in private over the phone – the conversations are always monitored by the husband. So are the visits. I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard!

    Discovering that something similar is happening among the young married couples at Mars Hill comes as no surprise. Now I understand why we are slow in finding out what is really going on behind closed doors in Driscoll’s church and in the congregants’ homes. For anyone who may be experiencing what I have described, THAT IS NOT NORMAL!!! In fact, it’s EXTREMELY CULTISH!

    Praying for you, Frankie. Keep the faith!

  139. Frankie
    Big favor-I got several “horror” story emails last nite. Driscoll sure seems to attract them. Could you please link your comments as Frankie up to your email name in an email to me? I am not sure who is who??!!!!!

  140. TedS
    So, he’s used Grace. Now he is about to use Ashley. She’s 14, for crying out loud. I will cover this in one of my coming posts. Thank you! Good night!

  141. Deb– Seriously! It really does!

    Dee- Yeah, machete?? Riiiiiiight.

    Bridget- he’s speaking out of both ends of his a@@. Yep, because he’s all a@@.

  142. Is there a MH survivors site? I’m surprised they haven’t churned out one yet? With CJ at CHBC, I think they’ll be churning out one a lot sooner than I had guessed.

    Tee shirt idea! Front: I heart survivor sites. On the back: Wartburg-er for life

  143. Thank you for the prayers, kind words along with all the time and energy it takes to help not only my family but all of those that have or will drink the Mars Hill Kool-Aid! I for the first time in two years feel hopeful! Bless you all….

  144. WTH –

    Just curious if you have any insight as to why MD has preached so much on SOS (his version). It does not seem very central to sharing the Good News. I’ve been a Christian for 30 years and heard one teaching out of SOS, maybe two. Why would he go there (the way he does) so often? Seems unbalanced to me.

  145. Frankie
    Just remember: there is always a remnant. And this remnant is a fun one as well! Praying for you and your family.

  146. Dee –

    An interesting side note on the link from Ted . . . I’m pretty sure the author of that article is Alisa Harris – sister to Joshua Harris. She has a book out about growing up and separating her faith from politics.

  147. Dee –

    It’s MORE than weird to me now! I’m wondering why (again) no one in his neo world is addressing it. None of these related ministry leaders seem to care about the thousands of people that are affected when they allow one of their cohorts(sp) to run amuck. Not to mention that they don’t seem to care for him or his family either. Great co-workers for the gospel? – huh?

  148. “Is there a MH survivors site?”

    There was a MH survivors site, but it has not been updated in quite awhile:
    http://prayingheart.wordpress.com/2008/03/01/mark-driscoll-continues-to-lie-to-mars-hill-members/

    Another here:
    http://dannimoss.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/spiritual-abuse-mars-hill-church-and-mark-driscoll/

    And another referenced in this article, which was taken down after the blogger was allegedly intimidated:
    http://slog.thestranger.com/2007/11/the_rise_and_fall_of_mars_hill

    Also see:
    http://students.washington.edu/secular/tag/mars-hill/

  149. Question????:

    Isn’t there an agency that abuse can be reported to for investigation?

  150. Frankie,
    I honestly don’t know of any agency. (And I work for child welfare in my state)
    Your daughters are of age and, by law, are accountable for their own decisions.
    Yes, I know, Mars Hill is teaching a false gospel and lying to women, disempowering them and making them helpless victims of their demonic gender gospel.
    Yes, I know that what Mars Hill and your daughters’ fool husbands are doing to your daughters is cultish, sinful, abusive, and damaging. But I don’t know of any way to shut it down expect to expose, expose, expose.
    That and prayer, prayer, prayer.

    The abuses of Mars Hill need to stop. This is why I’ve asked you to find anyone and everyone who has a story like yours to let it be known. It needs to be shouted from the roof tops and all over the Internet.

    “Hey, Brits, you think Mark Driscoll was harsh and verbally abusive to you all? You should see what he’s training his manly men brigade to do to their own women! It’s sick, it’s abuse, it’s nothing short of demonic oppression parading around as angelic light.”

    We have to keep saying it over and over and over to anyone and everyone that will hear until the walls come tumbling down.

    I pray that your daughters will see through the web of lies being spun around them and that they would break free of the control and manipulation they are being subject to. Until then, rally the troops on this side of the issue. It is war.

    MARK DRISCOLL, LET GOD’S DAUGHTERS GO!

  151. Bridget2, I’m not entirely sure. It seems as though there are more pragmatic than doctrinal considerations for why Driscoll keeps taking pieces out of an old pizza and putting them in the microwave. A guy once told me that sex for guys is like pizza, when it’s good it’s great and when it’s bad it’s still pizza.

  152. Mara,

    I have a story and am planning on posting soon….I am with you, the stories need to be told. What they are doing is wrong…

  153. Another Question and some advise please???
    Because two of the pastors along with their own wives of the main branch of Mars Hill that my daughters attend are involved, aware, and have given my son in laws advice on “how to deal with me” ie “get rid of me” along with whatever it is these Elders are schooling these young men about controlling their wives is…. After hearing a co-worker mention attending Mars Hill, I said a minimal amount about my situation….she freaked out saying “That is not what Mark Driscoll teaches! Have you gone to him to report this?” So my question is….Do we believe MD isn’t in the know and control of his Edlers teachings? I would love to have this injustice done by twisting and turning of the gospel to suit their agenda by these Elders that have thrust it upon all of these young impressional members scary them into submission saying that is what Jesus wants? They need to be accountable for the damage and lies they have and are doing to my family and all the others being spiritually and emotionally abused!

  154. Frankie,

    I am sure to some degree MD is aware of what is happening…but maybe not. I am not sure how fruitful going to MD would be. He is very controlling of his wife and endorses this type of marital relationship.

    I will send you a private message from the blog

    Free

  155. I did want to share on here, in case anyone else who is in this situation is reading it, my opinion on Frankie’s situation.

    I believe if she goes to MD or above the husband’s head to the pastors, that she will be labeled divisive and will be cut off completely. The leadership is very loyal to each other and it is doubtful that people who have “group-think” such as this will see Frankie’s side of the story. Most likely, the leadership will talk to the member and get his side. Even if he is disciplined (which is doubtful), she will have lost any chance she has at reestablishing relationship with her daughters and therefore will have NO INFLUENCE at all on them.
    If it were my daughter, I would play the game by his rules in order to have access to my daughter and grandchild. I would learn everything I could about how to deal with family members who are in a cult and educate myself as much as possible on the way MH members believe and think. In other words, I would be methodical and prayerful about my approach and careful to not do anything that would get me completely cut off. I would apologize if necessary so that I would then be allowed to have access to my kid/grandkid. I know this will kill some of you to read that, but the goal is to have access to them to hopefully help them out at some point.

  156. MD probably has no idea what’s going on even just at the Ballard campus. He has an office at home and rarely leaves home except for pre-scheduled appointments. Didn’t he mention this as far back as 2006 when the Ted Haggard situation came up? Yep, he did, so it would be unlikely he has any idea what some recently married couples have done by shutting out their mother-in-law at a campus in Albequrque or Olympia or even really Ballard.

    There are not going to be a lot of options for dealing with family members who get into the “protect my family” mode at MH. IT’s common enough and the difficult part about it is that it could be something that emerges from the bottom up and merely gets endorsed rather than reflecting some top-down mind control conspiracy of the sort I’ve seen proposed here. In some cases that “may” happen but what makes it so insiduous when you’re on the receiving end of it is that in many cases that’s not really how it begins. It can grow up from the ground up within a family unit even where everyone involved is a member of MH. You get one guess how i figured this out.

    One of the most important core assumptions to be aware of about a lot of Mars Hill types is they frequently have a drastically simplified theology of sin. Sin is rebellion against God or God appointed authority that is motivated by pride. This means that if there’s a conflict the assumption on the ground is that somebody’s got pride issues. Getting past this point may not be possible in any direct way because a lot of MH people, most of all those who are in this mentality, don’t realize they have it. The idea that problems in communication may spring from fear rather than pride is usually not something the average Mars Hill member can fully appreciate.

    Which gets to my next observation, a lot of MH guys who want to block off communication to non-spouse family to “protect their family” will sincerely believe they are protecting their families. The thing about this is that if they believe they need to protect their family it means they’re AFRAID of something. They may not want to admit it or even be fully aware that they’re afraid of something or why, but that’s the thing about “protect family” mode, it almost only ever comes up when someone fears something.

    If you can get one of these MH guys to actually admit that 1) he might even be afraid of something, thus protection mode and 2) to articulate what he’s afraid of that makes him feel a need to “protect” family that may open up some possibilities for communication. I’m not suggesting that will be easy. When I ran into a situation like this myself it took roughly three very miserable years of my life to get worked out and in my case the situation involved people who were all even members of MH for most of that time!

    About the only hard-won advice I can give about this from my own series of conflict resolutions within MH years is that a lot of leaders are disengaged at a practical level. They don’t really know what’s going on, often aren’t paying attention to anything outside the MH social bubble, and tend to default to backing up any member who is considered in good standing. This means that when leaders bother to get involved they can make situations drastically worse by wanting to know “who sinned?” and counseling only from that perspective.

    If by some miracle you get a pastor whose goal is to figure out “How did this relationship get broken?” and then goes on to “How can we repair this working from the faith that everyone loves each other and wants to work things out” then, well, that’s pretty much a miracle! I’m happy to say for myself I managed to actually get that from a MH pastor but I’ve heard enough miserable tales from others that ex-MH folks have told me I was UNUSUALLY fortunate.

    My prayer, Frankie, is that you get people who do not default to the MH-as-usual truncated view of sin and who is willing to suggest these sons-in-laws need to consider what they’re afraid of rather than just back them up on some idea that they need to protect their wives from you. It took me somewhere between three to four years to work things out and I had the advantage of having all the parties IN Mars Hill at the time. I can’t paint a rosy picture about how difficult things will be for someone who has this kind of situation and isn’t in the denomination but I can certainly prayer and offer what little insights I’ve gained from my time in MH.

  157. WenatcheeTheHatchett said:

    “One of the most important core assumptions to be aware of about a lot of Mars Hill types is they frequently have a drastically simplified theology of sin. Sin is rebellion against God or God appointed authority that is motivated by pride. This means that if there’s a conflict the assumption on the ground is that somebody’s got pride issues.”

    Wenatchee,

    What you have just described is the warped theology that Sovereign Grace Ministries has used to ruin so many lives. It grieves my heart to discover that Mars Hill is wrecking peoples lives in the same manner as SGM.

    Shame, shame!

  158. AND

    What WTH describes is evidence that top down hierarchy and unilateral male over female hierarchy is pretty much death to church relationships and relationships outside the church.

    When a man is not mature enough to understand, detect, and field his own emotions or the emotions of others, he is in no position to lead, protect, and defend those he has been given authority over by the structures of men, whether this is as a pastor or head of the home.

    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It’s not in the Bible but it is so repeated over and over and over again in every day lives and in politics that to doubt it is to act as fools.

    Where men flub up is that they see this in politics but are blind to it in themselves when they work so hard to give themselves authority and take away the authority of their women using a “The Bible clearly teaches” here and a “Thus saith the Lord” there.

    Young men are not qualified to make decisions to cut off mother-in-laws or limit visits or supervise visits.

    Don’t get me wrong. There are toxic mothers and mother-in-laws. But insecure young men are too young and irresponsible to be placed in a position where they can make that choice and decide what’s what.

    The gender gospel is wrong. It sows bad seeds and it produces bad fruit. There is no way around it.

    Mark Driscoll may not agree with what Frankie is going through. But what he teaches is coming to fruition in the lives of he follows.
    Bad, bad fruit.
    The ax needs to be laid at the root of the tree.

  159. Also, WTH, you make a lot of sense about it being from the bottom up.

    Confession time. There is a reason Frankie’s situations has stirred wrath in me.

    I have two brother-in-laws. One is married to my sister. The other is married to my husband’s sister. We’ll call the one married to my sister, Earl. And the one married to my sister-in-law, Darrel.

    Earl is a control freak who can get along with anybody. He was the one that discovered Calvinism long ago and decided it was the perfect means to declare that he and his family were God’s elect and that we weren’t. Fortunately the Calvinists that he ran in to tried to point out that he was misusing Calvinism. The result? Earl was done with Calvinism and felt the need to move on to something else that gave him the authority and took it away from everybody else.

    In the end, after a lot of anger, cussing, meanness, and all around chaos of us trying to figure out how to get along with Earl, he finally sent us all very self-righteous letters explaining to us all that in order to protect his family, my sister and nephew, that he was cutting off all relationships with us.

    I haven’t seen my sister in fifteen years.
    Frankie, I know some of your pain.

    Darrel is a bit different. He’s not psychotic like Earl. A bit more of a bumbling, insecure, socially inept kind of guy who is a bit too controlling. Not to the major degree of Earl, mind you. But controlling. I actually like Darrel. But Darrel just doesn’t get it. He actually said one time that his wife, we’ll call her Kim, was no longer my mother-in-law’s daughter because she’s married to him now. He’s done and said many other weird things, a lot of them having to do with strange ideas of relationships, male authority, and whatnot, completely inappropriate stuff. His strange ideas cause a lot of strain on the family, my mother-in-law, father-in-law, and my husband and his five brothers.

    So, I see what you are saying about the bottom up, grass roots thing. It is totally there.

    Both Darrel and Earl already have issues. Neither Darrel nor Earl need any kind of encouragement that Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill teaches men. Gender gospel is only gasoline to a fire that actually needs to be put out.

    Telling a man he has authority seems to be what men think will fix marriages, save the church, save our culture, and save the world.
    All I’ve ever seen it do is the opposite.

    And you have to ask yourself. Why are we supposed to come to Jesus? To save our souls from an eternity without God or to gain authority over someone else? Because this how I see Mark Driscoll building his kingdom, uhm, I mean church. Get the men. Get them by handing them authority they are not ready for.

    Driscoll’s teaching is a magnet to the Earls and Darrels of the world. It is no wonder Frankie is going through what she is going through even if it is something Driscoll never foresaw.

    What Earl has done to our family is bad enough. He doesn’t need a (somewhat) respected ministry saying that what he has done isn’t sin. He doesn’t need a ministry calling the sins of men to control and manipulate “stepping up and being a man by protecting and defending” his little fiefdom, er, I mean family.

    So, yeah. I can totally see that Driscoll might not support what Frankie’s son-in-laws are doing.
    Is Driscoll man enough to face the reality of the destruction that his beloved gender gospel is causing in families?

  160. One last thing (I think).

    Yes, men have fear.

    So do tyrants and despots. They have fear that their authority will be threatened. And anything that is perceived as being threatening to their authority, like a rebellion or a mother-in-law, that threat must be removed.

    The problem here, again, it the handing over of authority in order to support a human structure.

    These men might lie to themselves and say they are protecting the little woman and the rug rats from some horrible danger. But the truth, in many cases, is that they are protecting their entitlement, their fiefdom, their beloved position of authority.

    Men who don’t think of themselves as the entitled authority do not have that fear. They are actually in a better position to protect their families against actual dangers because they are not distracted by, authority, authority, who’s got the authority. Their vision is not clouded by what strokes their ego.

    There was a reason that Jesus said:

    Matthew 23:10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

    and

    Luke 22:25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ 26 But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.

    There is no gender loophole in these words of Jesus, though men have decided that Ephesians 5 has somehow provided the loophole they so desperately want.
    I wonder how Paul feels, knowing that his words are used to provide a loophole in the words of Jesus?

    (Hope everyone knows, including WTH, that I’m not picking on WTH. I consider his words as words of reason in our conversations when we sort out the maddening ministry of Mars Hill. I also find his words to be a good springboard to further conversation and getting out my thoughts concerning Driscoll and where his teachings have taken us.)

  161. A wise man long ago told me that the path to happiness in marriage starts with wooing the mother of the woman you want to marry, to be nice to her, send her flowers on your (future) spouse’s birthday in thanks for her birthing and raising the woman of your life, etc. A man should encourage his wife and children to have a good relationship with his in-laws, because in the long term, that will produce better relationships in the nuclear family.

    At times that has proven very helpful to me. There were times when my mother-in-law counseled her daughter to reconsider when there was difficulty at home, because she knew of my great love for both of them. I miss my mother-in-law greatly, especially her letters to her daughter that we shared, one of which led to the discussion that became a proposal and engagement. She was a wise and loving woman that I wish my children had had the opportunity to know.

  162. “IT’s common enough and the difficult part about it is that it could be something that emerges from the bottom up and merely gets endorsed rather than reflecting some top-down mind control conspiracy of the sort I’ve seen proposed here.”

    Hi WTH,

    I am assuming the top-down mind control conspiracy was because I used the word “group-think” and posted a link to a group evaluation checklist? Forgive me if I am wrong.

    I do not think any unhealthy group/church necessarily starts out that way. I don’t think that MD and Lief Moi and the other guy sat down and said, “I know, let’s start a church and….” with the intent that what is happening to people now and frequently would be the end result. I also know that people do not like to use the word CULT because of its connotations in the past, it seems like a harsh term to use, some what politically incorrect. But in my personal experience with MH, if I go down that list I can confidently check 7 of the boxes. Is it a cult? I don’t know. I struggle with placing that label on it but have a hard time denying all of the things I experienced and the characteristics those experiences share with cultic groups.

    I TOTALLY agree with you about it happening from the ground up, not necessarily from the top down. My husband and I have had many discussions about what attracted us to MH, and what keeps otherwise intelligent people (and former friends) from seeing and discerning the problems there. The conversations continue.

    Here is the thing…and this is a future blog post once fully developed:

    MD preaches complimentarian-ism across the pulpit and it pervades all of his preaching. It is one of the 4 distinctives. MH is very clear on this being a BIG DEAL. So men and women are getting this across the pulpit. And then people get ushered into joining community groups where this is also very much taught. So here is this group of people in the CG, doing life together, and it becomes the social circle for you. So practical application of the roles of complimentarian-ism is very much from the ground up. I completely agree. I mean, who wants to be the man in CG who is not the head of his household or whose wife seems to wear the pants? Who wants to be the only wife labeled as “unsubmissive” (aka in “sin”)? It is a very subtle form of peer pressure that does not come from the top down but all around you, in all your interactions with other MHers.

    I don’t think MD is exercising some form of “hypnotic” mind control, I think he is beating a certain drum and through repetition and peer pressure in the small groups, people end up dancing to the beat of that drum. And some will have alarm bells sound and get out, some will know something is wrong but lack courage. I cannot imagine being a wife who knows this is wrong but whose husband doesn’t see it. That would be an awful position to be in in this type of system.

    The other thing is that women are taught to go to their husbands if they have questions about theology or scripture. So, MH goes focuses on the men, getting them to be “manly” and “leaders” of their homes. They teach the men all these ideas. And then, if the wife has questions, she isn’t directed to the bible, to other women, to search out the answers for herself. She is told to go to her husband, who is in “authority” over her, who she is required to “submit” to with her questions. Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture???????? But that is a second blog post.

    Free (aka Redeemed at Mars Hill Refuge)

  163. Thanks, Wacoan.
    I happen to think the world of my mother-in-law. She has also passed on and I miss her greatly.

    Sorry to be a comment hog today. But as I was thinking on Earl and Darrel this morning I remembered another thing Darrel did that I want to share that illustrates my point.

    Darrel, bless his heart, is a hard core perfectionist. His wife, Kim, is… or I should say was… an artistic free spirit who was also overly aware of her own faults and disorganization issues.

    Darrel, like many clueless men, instead of realizing that Kim is her own person that balances and complements his nearly legalistic perfectionism, looked upon Kim as an extension of himself or a little darrel. Instead of allowing her to be what she was, that to which he was first attracted, he tried to force her into a perfect mold of what he wanted.

    This, in turn, stressed the heck out of Kim who couldn’t fit into that mold, though she tried with heroic determination and drive.

    The result was that the stress caused her health issues and she began passing out.

    Darrel, again clueless as to how any of this happened, determined to rescue and protect Kim from all this stress she was under.

    His motivations were pure, but his understanding was all wrong.

    One of the ways he tried to protect her was by not allowing her to go see her family because she needed rest.

    He was not pulling an Earl and trying to protect Kim from her evil family. He knew her family wasn’t evil. He was just trying to reduce the stress in Kim’s life and one way he did that was to say she couldn’t visit family until she was better so she could rest.

    He had no clue he was the author of Kim’s stress. He also had no clue that Kim visiting her family would have been one way to make her happy and combat the illness she had developed due to the stress he put her under.

    Men admit themselves and to each other that they don’t understand women. How, then, can men decide and determine that they know what is best for women. They have no business taking away a woman’s authority in this. No one knows the heart of a woman better than herself except for God. Women must be allowed to have freedom over their own lives.
    Men taking away the woman’s authority is not the answer. It is part of the problem.

  164. Frankie
    Under no circumstances believe this. “That is not what Mark Driscoll teaches! Have you gone to him to report this?” In fact, were you to go to him (which is purely theoretical because you are nothing in his machine and you would not be granted an audience), you would be put in the hot seat and made to be the problem. Your friend is naive and the reason that MD, as well as other hyperauthoritarians, get away with this stuff. I think Hitler used to call them (in reference to Neville Chamberlain and his buddies) “useful idiots. Tell her to read out post ” Mark Driscoll -Did He Stutter?” or see the post with video” Mark Driscoll, I see Rapes in Process” If she still feels that way after these, then she is blind and will never, ever believe you.

  165. Free
    I agree. Play the game so that you can be a part of their lives. At least you will be one influence for good.

  166. Mara, WTH
    I believe that Mark Driscoll knows exactly what is going on and endorses this garbage because he lives it in his own life. He is the source.

  167. Thank you to you all for your support and advice. It is truly valuable to me….I am sorry Mara for your losses, so completely heartbreaking…
    I have more to say, but for now I am going to soak it all in…
    I guess stay tuned…
    Bless you all,
    Frankie

  168. Under no circumstances could I be induced to believe that MD is ignorant of how what he “teaches” is playing out in the lives of his followers.

    It all spells C.U.L.T. to me

    And – kind of parenthetically, but not really – a pal of mine went undercover in order to live-Tweet MD’s latest “Porn Again” event, which was held this past week in Seattle. per her, at one point MD “joked” that the stats on rape are 4-1 in the outside world, but 3-1 inside MH. And he said he was just kidding.

    WTH, I really like you, but please… this man is *not* defensible. He just doesn’t deserve the protection people try to give him – even you (at times). He is a lowlife bully who runs a financial empire through telling people what to do and think – a cult of personality, as the Soviets said of Stalin.

  169. My saying he’s too lazy and self-absorbed to know what’s going on at the campuses is a defense?

  170. that’s not what I meant. (oh boy, got myself into it this time!)

    I *do* mean – as Dee says – that he is the source, so to a great degree, he *has* to know how things are going to start playing out.

  171. last night I was watching re-runs of The office – more specifically, the episode where Michael keeps interrupting (and otherwise interfering with) the captain of a local cruise boat.

    Michael ends up out on deck (in january) with his hands zip-tied together so that he can’t escape and bother the captain any more, all the while lamenting about how the captain didn’t respect Michael’s “authority.”

    Of course, the salient difference is that The Office is just a TV show. But I can dream, can’t I?!

  172. Perhaps I can reframe what I’m trying to say. At this point what MD knows about the churches in his denomination probably come from two sources:

    1) emails from campus pastors that are read by his assistant and then actually forwarded to his real email.
    2) the annual report

  173. I feel like we could be talking about SGM instead of MH. In the former case, the “leadership” is only too aware of many of its own most egregious abuses.

  174. [hit post too fast]

    … but does not regard its abuses as such. The “leadership” can – and does – have a tendency to explain away their involvement while pinning blame on the people they victimized.

    No doubt the same kinds of things are happening at MH. Anyone who actually jokes about rape and “effeminate worship leaders who [are] anatomically male” has plenty to answer for already.

  175. I don’t know a ton about SGM but I heard enough of a CJM sermon to wonder why anyone thought he was any good. I heard the bit about MD being mentored by Piper and Mahaney. There are three problems with this.
    1) Piper and Mahaney are on the other side of the country there’s no real relationship going on
    2) “Piper and Mahaney”, notice that that’s finally just name-dropping rock star pastors to further credibility. IT means MD’s important enough that PIPER & MAHANEY personally told him about stuff they felt he needed to work on. That leads to humility? Heh, no
    3) If this relationship of discipling and submission were really happening how come MD hasn’t softened his stance on his “exegesis” and application of Song of Songs 2 or 7, or 1 Timothy 5? When the so-called exegesis doesn’t change from 1999 to 2012 that’s not an encouraging sign that discipleship, if any is taking place, has worked itself out in MD having a more responsible approach to texts.

    Once the SGM CJM news hit it retroactively made sense of how MD fans could say CJM was mentoring Mark and yet I was seeing no evidence of even the slightest improvement in his teaching. I began to wonder if all the CJM references in 2007 were good for was MD promoting a book. It doesn’t seem as though CJM taught MD anything at all about humility.

  176. CJ Mahaney isn’t the be-all and end-all of SGM’s problems by any means!

    But that’s another topic; best addressed on the various blogs for survivors. (One of the recurring problems has been sexual abuse of children.)

  177. The other tag line that the Good Ol’ Boys use is “[they are] sinning through questioning.”

    At SGM churches, questioning brings down charges of “gossip” and “slander” as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. It’s happened over and over and over, causing harm to those who raise valid concerns and stifling the process of problem-solving, growth and change. (Not to mention allowing repeat offenses by at least one pedophile.)

    I hesitate to think how many emotionally abused wives and children are members of MD’s denomination. No doubt some of their stories will eventually be featured on prime-time news shows.

  178. Anyone who spends any time at SGM Survivors will see the parallels. MH is so similar to SGM it is frightening. If it didn’t say SGM, i would assume they were MH stories. I only read a bit, specifically the post entitled “How it Happens”. But it makes perfect sense now that CJM is supposedly his mentor.

    Sad thing is that MD has modeled his ministry in the same fashion as SGM. So even if the entire SGM animal were to die, it would be alive and well in MH.

    MH also teaches that your kids should be in service as soon as you decide they are old enough (there is nothing for Jr. high and High School, at least at our former campus). Semi-FIC…and the scary thing is you never know what MD might pop off with.

  179. Free
    Here is my theory. All whacked out hyper-authoritarians who glom onto Neo Calvinism produce similar churches because it is the nature of the beast. Believe it or not, your handling of the experience at Mars Hill should be an example for others. you did many, many things right and we plan to highlight those on Wednesday and Thursday. In fact, we will have a test for our regular readers based on your testimony!

  180. Wow Dee….thanks. It is really awesome to see something positive come out of such an experience. I kept asking the Lord what I was supposed to “do” with this experience because I just couldn’t “put it on the shelf”.

    I hope i pass the quiz LOL

  181. Well – I’ve been over at Survivor. Didn’t know there was continued discussion here. I’m afraid the discussion here is quite similar to Survivor. All about authority and control. The scary thing is even when a man is no longer in the group, he still communicates the same way that he did when he was in the group. As someone said . . . when you make, drink, and dispense the Koolaide for 30 years, you don’t realize that you ARE the Koolaide.

    WTH –
    Surely you jested about MD learning humility from CJM 🙂

    And these two groups are VERY similar. MD’s clothing is only a bad diguise! MD just plays to a bit younger crowd. I think he is hoping to carry the mantel(sp) or something? to the next generation.

  182. NLR

    Thanks…i have a bunch in the “hopper” but my son had surgery this morning and i am waiting to get rolling after TWW posts my story…

    My hubby, UnReformed, is working on his version of our experience at MH which we plan to share. He will posting at Mars Hill Refuge as well…since i am a stay at home mom of 3 little ones! It should be interesting with our two different styles…he is a “intellectual” and well, i am just me 🙂

    I really want to talk about how listening to several podcasts of the peasant princess series affected our marriage….about my perception of women inside MH culture, about redemption groups and how friends who attended to deal with pain related to sins against them or events they could not control (say infertility or unexpected death) were encouraged to look at their “sin” because it all comes back to a “worship disorder”.

    There are so many brewing i think i need to make a list….

  183. Free,
    I’m really looking forward to your post about how listening to the peasant princess affected your marriage.

    My first intro to MD was through the news of his insisting that certain portions of SoS were describing explicit sexual acts. All this after I spent years meditating on SoS as a picture of the Lover and the Beloved on a little more spiritual level.

    To say the least, Driscoll’s take was quite disturbing.

    Also looking forward to your perception of the women inside MH.

  184. Free –
    “. . . friends who attended to deal with pain related to sin against them or events they could not control (say infertility or unexpected death) were encouraged to look at their “sin” because it all comes back to a “worship disorder.”

    This is so sad to hear, Free. It is also very similar to what I have heard from SGM folks. Who started teaching this stuff? Who startedlumping all pain and suffering into the same boat – as if we can control it by how we act. And as if it is all a result of our sin. Do you know others who would like to share their experiences?

  185. Actually I don’t know anyone else from MH who is not still there. As you will read, we were completely cut off by all the friends we had made at MH, with no explanation…except I have retained one. But the husband is employed by MH, so I cannot even start to bring up my concerns with MH to her. In fact, I am pretty sure, now that I have gone down this road to expose the truth, it will be quite difficult for me to continue to pursue the friendship. And, it isn’t like I can be who I really am, and say what I really believe…
    I know there are couples who left, and I have done my best to keep the door open by being kind and even sending a text or email to some couples who were not involved in the drama and who we sensed had some discernment and seemed different than the Driscollites (but who were still involved).
    What I would like to know is how everyone was told to stop talking to us? Was it done overtly or was it spun? Wish I could ask someone!

  186. Free, is there a time period for your time at MH? If you showed up post-2007 some very important changes in the social climate happened.

  187. Once you break from these group of elites you have a new perspective on your christian walk. I have a hard time believing I was taken in to such depth. Keep up the good work.

  188. JDH

    You know, i have yet to hear from anyone who has left groups like SGM and regretted it. Thank you for your comment.

  189. Dee: Driscoll has rejected your advice, but somebody–maybe TWW–has stirred up dissent in the ranks.

    MD has descended from his lofty role as “visionary” to his former position as CEO of Acts 29 Network, Mars Hill Church, and The Resurgence, apparently because growth is lagging and central control is weakening. He will of course, in the spirit of true Christian sacrifice, be “VOLUNTEERING” his demonstrably valuable time.

    His newly appointed CFO until recently manged the $38 billion portfolio of the Prince of Qatar, an essential base for staging the US ally invasion of Iraq.

    Much more of Pastor Mark’s strategic vision for his empire in this “Dear Members:” letter, which has been the only item on the front page of the A29 website for over a week.

    http://www.acts29network.org/acts-29-blog/dear-acts-29-members/

  190. That letter to Acts 29 members, which Kent referenced above, contains some buzzwords which reveal the major power-grab that is in the works, and the sidelining of every Acts 29 pastor. Notice that the name of Larry Osborn is invoked, and bullet points are added to emphasize the steps that Driscoll is implementing to take Acts 29 to the “next level.” Particularly interesting is the language used to explain the organizational shift:

    “Organization: There is a stacking that must take place as a flat organizational chart leads to miscommunication, chaos, and confusion.”

    “Stacking.” An innocuous term for “top-down” dictatorial chain-of-command style leadership. The language Driscoll used is eerily familiar to the power-grab that occurred when the Mars Hill bylaws were changed in 2007, dissenting elders were fired, and Driscoll seized total control of the organization, making implied threats from the pulpit regarding breaking the noses of dissenters.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kayRXtITyw&list=UUc-vVg0KWqYNH2qEPredKJQ&index=9&feature=plcp

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE3FHMTAWHY

    He specifically disparages the “horizontal leadership” which up till now the Acts 29 pastors believed they were following – with all the pastors/network members at least having some say in decision-making. Jesus himself CONDEMNED the top-down leadership model for his disciples:

    “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so.'”

    Interesting too that at Driscoll’s Mars Hill, the horizontal leadership model was thrown away, Driscoll sits at the top, with his two hand-picked lieutenants – based upon the theory of the top cats being the “Prophet, Priest, and King” suitably endowed to lord over the entire flock. In fact, he is imposing not only the same model on the Acts 29 network, he is imposing the very SAME men (Driscoll and two others), and doing away with the shared leadership of all the Acts 29 pastors. But this time, hopefully, the Acts 29 pastors will not knuckle under like the pliant elders of Mars Hill did when they feared for their jobs after Driscoll fired the men who questioned him. It won’t be so easy to break the noses of the A29 pastors. Or will it?

  191. Anon
    They have recently fired more pastors. Raed today’s post. We will look at this Acts 29 thing in the coming weeks.

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  195. I’m really saddened by blogs and bloggers like this one. I’ve read this whole post and found very little truth contained in it. I’ve read the entire transcript of the Scottland tour where the comments about Ted Haggard were made and find nothing with what Driscoll said in its proper context. I also listened to the entire and un-edited audio interview with Brierly and couldn’t disagree with you more. I like Unbelievable and Justin Brierly, but he was obviously more interesting in stirring up controversy in the interview than he was with seriously addressing the ministry of Mark Driscoll or the Real Marriage book.

    At one point in the interview, Brierly makes a statement to Driscoll asserting that his wife must have been victimized by Mark earlier in their marriage (he makes an implied accusation) – but then Brierly quickly changes the subject and does not allow Driscoll time to respond. Several other instances where a sly comment was made, accusations in the form of questions, that sort of thing. I thought it was a shame, Brierly showed more respect to atheists on his sows than he did to Mark Driscoll.

    And we should not be so naieve to think that personal disagreements over doctrines or viewpoints on issues such as gender roles or matters of piety don’t play a role in people’s view of Driscoll. I’ve read far too many start off a negative rant which amounts to nothing but emotionally charged rhetoric – not unlike this blog post.

    Basically I think you must have several disputable presuppositions about Driscoll to come to the kind of conclusions you did based on the evidence at hand. The Brierly interview for example clearly is not an instance of Driscoll being a High school bully. I thought Brierly handled that interview quite badly and let his personal disagreements with Driscoll influence his approach and questions and it set the overall “tone” of the interview.

  196. Joe
    One thing I always look for in a person’s response is an understanding of the pain suffered by some at the hands of certain ministries. When one acknowledges the pain BEFORE staring into a theological debate, I see a person who is concerned for the whole situation. We call it our prime directive.I wish I could see that in your response. So, I know that you have an agenda right from the start. Driscoll good; anyone who doesn’t like him-bad.

    I believe that Driscoll made a blunder when he put the horrible “pastors wives letting themselves go” along with Ted Haggards situation. In fact,you say nothing about the statement on its own. Your favorite pudgy, Micky Mouse t-hirted pastor is pointing fingers at women for letting themselves go?? Good night! For that alone, he should be condemned. Guess you liked him saying that? Is that how you view most pastor’s wives? Did you know that we call ourselves glamorous bloggers in response to his disrespectful statement. We do it to always remind us of what we are up against.

    As for the Brierly interview, not only did we listen to it carefully and Deb also transcribed it herself and compared it with other available transcriptions so it is you against her and others. Glad you think Driscoll is AOK. We disagree with you. But,then again, you are totally unbiased and would never approach anything with emotionally charged preconceptions, would you?

    I liked Brierly and I also show respect to atheists and agnostics as you will see in today’s posts. So what? Should we show less respect to atheists and more respect to Driscoll? Is that a new evangelical technique?

  197. Encouraging The Need For Prayer In Acts29 Churches By Women Frowned Upon?

    HowDee YaAll,

    Didn’t Mark Driscoll make a ‘real’ blunder when he put a damper on bo-na-fied card carrying women members in ACT29 churches seeing the need for prayer and requesting and encouraging it in the corporate body of church believers, and he appears to have denied the request? An agenda that does not pass muster with the Word of God, has no need of prayer. Is this a clear indication of the ‘kind’ of church organization Mark  Driscoll wants?

    Following Mark Driscoll off the road, is one thing…following him into on-coming-traffic is another thing entirely…

    Hmmm…

    Sopy ;~)
    ___
    Comic relief: The Muppet’s Swedish Chef – “Living Dough”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR2WMN1qYJc&feature=youtube_gdata_player
    Michael W Smith – “This is my desire”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imGO5KUEZo4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  198. Sopy
    “Didn’t Mark Driscoll make a ‘real’ blunder when he put a damper on bo-na-fied card carrying women members in ACT29 churches seeing the need for prayer and requesting and encouraging it in the corporate body of church believers, and he appears to have denied the request?” I think you may know something I don’t. Could you give me some details?

  199. Dee,

    When I read Sopy’s comment, I thought it was in reference to Jonna and the others who were praying for Mars Hill. The other elder’s wife told her husband and he told MD. Driscoll was outraged and Jonna called him to apologize. However, I could be mistaken.