“Why I Hate Religion” Goes Viral

"Here's probably the reason I hate religion the most violently.  Religion tells you this.  Religion tells you it's all about what you do!"

Mark Driscoll

Cathedral in Europe

Have you seen the YouTube sensation "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus" that has had over 16 million hits?  Take a look…

Jefferson Bethke, who posted this video on January 10th, came to my attention earlier today as I watched CBS This Morning.  I found the remarks of this 22-year-old interesting as he attempted to speak for his generation.  Here is what Bethke said before a national audience:

"I think my generation has been inundated or inoculated with the hypocrisy of religion, and so I think that's the good and the promising future is my generation just wants authenticity.  We want to know that whatever they say they believe.  And I think there will be a resurgence of grace following, Jesus loving, Bible believing people who will maybe transform and change this country for the good because we believe and we have that power and that grace with us."

If you Google Jesus>Religion or Why I Hate Religion or Jefferson Bethke, all kinds of articles show up.  Fortunately, I did just that prior to seeing the CBS This Morning interview.  After reading an article at The Christian Post, I had a much better understanding of who had primarily influenced this young man.  Here is a pertinent excerpt:

"In a tell-all interview with The Christian Post, Bethke shares his views on religion, the controversy surrounding his video, and changes he wish he could make to his message, now gone viral . . . Bethke, a member of Mars Hill Church (Federal Way) in St. Auburn, Wash., told CP that Mark Driscoll, pastor of the main Mars Hill campus in Seattle, and Tim Keller of Redeemer Church, have also described “religion” as: “a short-hand that is synonymous with legalism, hypocrisy, and self-justification, which has nothing to with the institution.”

Yes, you read that correctly — Bethke is a member of Mars Hill Church.  He was sure to mention during the CBS interview that he is from the Seattle area and that Mark Driscoll is his pastor.  Another interesting tidbit on Bethke is that he was baptized three years ago. 

If you check over at The Resurgence website, you will find Bethke's video on display.  Here's my question regarding this interview — is this an orchestrated attempt to keep Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church in the spotlight?  You be the judge… 

Two of the key phrases Bethke stated in his rap poem were "Religion says do, Jesus says done" and "So for religion no I hate it; in fact, I literally resent it…" 

Now take a look at Mark Driscoll's video (by the same name, hmmm….), which was put on YouTube in 2007 and see where Bethke got these and many other theological ideas.

In this video Driscoll yells:  "Here's probably the reason I hate religion the most violently.  Religion tells you this.  Religion tells you it's all about what you do!"

I am grieved that Mark Driscoll is having such a profound impact on a segment of this generation of believers.  Let me assure you that Dee and I are keeping our own children (who are also in this generation) apprised of Driscoll and his bizarre teaching. 

David Sessions, homepage editor for Newsweek/The Daily Beast, has penned one of the most succinct descriptions of Mark Driscoll that I have ever read.  This 2008 graduate of Patrick Henry College (who also belongs to Bethke's generation) wrote:  (link)

"Just about everything Driscoll says seems calculated to go viral. One of the biggest evangelical celebrity pastors, he’s developed a reputation as a testosterone-oozing Calvinist bruiser who shouts down his congregation, swears from the pulpit and sometimes seems to think that if you’re not cut out for the locker room, you’re not cut out for heaven. If you’re a woman, you’d better make sure you keep your husband fed and serviced.

A quick review of Driscoll’s greatest hits: Stay-at-home dads are “worse than unbelievers.” James Cameron’s Avatar is “the most demonic, satanic film” he’s ever seen. A wife should keep herself “sexually available” to her husband and, if she believes the Bible, better be giving him frequent blowjobs. “Effeminate” church musicians should be mocked on Facebook. Abstaining from alcohol can be a “sin.” The church has turned Jesus into a “a Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ,” when he’s actually a “prize fighter” who is “coming back looking for blood.” The Bible says women can’t have leadership positions in church because they’re 'more gullible and easier to deceive than men'…”

If only conservative Christian leaders would be so bold.  Their silence regarding Driscoll's crude, pornographic shenanigans is deafening…

We are dedicating this week to exposing Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church.  Driscoll and his ilk claim to be doing church differently and in a culturally relevant manner. They profess that they are rejecting religion and meaningless tradition and replacing it with a theology that encourages believers to be "grace following, Jesus loving, and Bible believing", as Jefferson Bethke put it. 

However, we at TWW claim that Mark Driscoll is just another same old same old leader who utilizes what appear to be cult-like tactics and zany theology to entrap unsuspecting seekers

In our upcoming posts, we will provide testimonies that show a very different side of Mars Hill Church — one that we believe will be shocking to our readers.  Furthermore, we will be offering some suggestions about steps to take in order to minimize the possibility of getting sucked into a controlling and doctrinally suspect group.   You will not want to miss this important series!

Lydia's Corner:   Isaiah 15:1-18:7    Galatians 1:1-24    Psalm 58:1-11    Proverbs 23:12

Comments

“Why I Hate Religion” Goes Viral — 182 Comments

  1. “The Bible says women can’t have leadership positions in church because they’re ‘more gullible and easier to deceive than men’…”

    I always laugh when I read things like this, which are said often by men, because take this blog for example. Who is doing the exposing and who is falling for MD’s teaching,while also standing up for him? :)

  2. Debbie K,

    I know some pastors, theologians, and seminary leaders who have elevated Driscoll over the years. Now that he’s getting into some pretty bizarre stuff, they look rather foolish. How long can they maintain their silence?

  3. OH GOD!!! Patrick Henry college? That’s one of the schools that is ground zero for the culture war here in the DC area. It’s goal is to crank out people and try and get them in government here in DC. You can read about it here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Henry_College

    When I’ve had enough of the DC lifestyle (eh..almost every day…) I get in my car and drive up to Brunswick, Maryland to watch CSX trains on the main line. I have to pass Patrick Henry each time. So far I’ve escaped evangelism, and the culture war. We shall see what the future brings!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8svj3liv7g

  4. I actually took the time to read Deb and Dee’s bios this morning while waiting for my son to get out of surgery.

    I find it somewhat comedic justice that the three of us, although we reject MD teachings, all chose traditional roles when it came to staying home to raise our children. LOL

    I guess the difference is that we CHOSE it…

  5. In a sense I get his sentiment, but I am sorry — Christianity is a religion. That isn’t a bad thing. Mark Driscoll has a religion, too. OK, Mars Hill people, don’t you get up every Sunday and go to his church or his on-site campus to hear him? Don’t you participate in a liturgy of sorts Sunday after Sunday even at his church? I am sorry, but you are practicing religion. If you believe Christ came to save you, then you are practicing the Christian RELIGION.

    Quit trying to trick everyone by making them think you are free because you love Jesus but aren’t “religious”. Also, this guy basically says that thanks to his non-religious stance on Jesus, he no longer does the things he used to. What happens if someone at Mars Hill still looks at Porn? Is there grace at Mars Hill for those? I doubt it.

    Plus, this is nothing new. I grew hearing “it isn’t a religion, it is a relationship.” Oh my gosh, STOP with the cliches. It is a religion. It also happens to be the truth. I have been in orthodox churches that talk about the truth being the CHRISTIAN RELIGION. If it were not a religion, you wouldn’t wake up every Sunday and go into that house of worship.

    STOP TRYING TO PROVE TO OUTSIDERS “LOOK AT US! WE AREN’T STUFFY AND RELIGIOUS! LOOK AT US — HOW WE DRINK AND LOVE JESUS. YOU CAN SMOKE SOME POT WITH US AND TALK ABOUT HOW YOU LOVE JESUS WITHOUT WEARING A TIE TO CHURCH. LISTEN TO OUR COOL DEATH METAL CHRISTIAN MUSIC!!

    It is so annoying! Look at the Old Testament as the prophesies of the coming Messiah unfolded…they had order and service each week. BECAUSE THAT WAS A RELIGION!! Notice also the Old Testament prophets were a little leery on PROFANING THE NAME OF GOD.

    Sorry for the rant. It probably makes no sense.

  6. Dee and Deb,

    Do either of you have a source for that quote about Jesus coming back for blood?!!!

    Honestly, I thought that nothing MD could say would surprise or shock me anymore, but man…!!!

  7. <sigh. Driscoll Did you know he has a significant following in Australia too? How can he possibly think that those statements represent the Jesus of the Bible, the one who welcomed little children, was gentle and empowering towards women, and allowed himself to get beaten up for our sake?

    Something I frequently hear complementarians say that totally confuses me — in one breath they say that women can’t teach men because they’re gullible and easily deceived (something that seems completely disconnected from experience) and then in the next breath they tell us that women can teach women. Huh? If that is true, wouldn’t that make women teaching women something like the blind leading the blind? Obviously I’m way too deceived to make any sense of their inconsistent logic!

    Sorry that I haven’t chimed in for a while, we went on a holiday to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary (and yes, Mr Driscoll, the longer we’re married the more truly egalitarian we become — it’s actually part of maturing in Christ)

  8. I watched the MD video… he “hates” legalism… so I guess he must not have gotten the memo about his own legalism. Ignorance is bliss.

  9. Lynne Tait said,

    “in one breath they say that women can’t teach men because they’re gullible and easily deceived…and then in the next breath they tell us that women can teach women. Huh? If that is true, wouldn’t that make women teaching women something like the blind leading the blind?”

    Great comment! I may be quoting you in the future.

  10. Robin,

    Your rant made complete sense! I’m listening to the Fisk response (link you provided), and the discussion is excellent. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. :-)

  11. Lynne
    Better yet, why should gullible women teach children? Children are vulnerable and we put the deceived in charge of them? Shouldn’t all the big manly guys protect the children? Maybe THEY should be the ones raising them if we women are so deceived. Hey, I have an idea. The men could raise the kids and the women could go to Wall Street and the Hill.

  12. Far from being “Driscoll’s lackey,” I think that you would find that Jefferson is a humble young man who graciously accepts criticism. In fact, if you go here http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2012/01/14/following-up-on-the-jesusreligion-video/ , you can see how he responded to Kevin DeYoung’s critique of the video. (By the way, I would argue that calling him “Driscoll’s lackey” demonstrates that you don’t follow your own rules of love. The only people that you expect to follow your rules of love are the people that you disagree with. If you or one of your commenters is a taking a potshot at someone you don’t like, the law of love goes out the window.)

  13. Nice try Scott…

    Lackey means “a servile follower”, and that is exactly what this young man is. Not only that, I believe Mars Hill is filled with guys just like Jefferson.

    Let me ask you a question, what are Driscoll’s “Rules of Love”?

  14. Pingback: State of the Church: Part II | Stand Up for the Truth

  15. Eagle–

    I had almost the same reaction you did, except mine was more along the lines of “Someone from PHC said THAT? Including the stuff that acknowledges that MD’s views on women might be wrong???” Doesn’t PHC have some connection to the Vision Forum? I know PHC admits women, but I seem to remember reading about a link between the two institutions. I’ll have to do a little digging on this one.

  16. Scott
    Do you think it represents the church well when,what appears to be spontaneous, is merely another gimmick to attract attention to MD?

    Now ,the difference between Jefferson and the people who arrive on this blog with the stuffing kicked out of them is this. Jefferson is just one more apologist for what I believe are the bizarre tactics of Driscoll to institute a male dominated, hyper-authoritarian faith.

    Jefferson does a typical Driscoll. “We are so free of the legalism of religion. We even drink beer (btw, I have been an evangelical for decades and i have always had a glass of wine so big whoop).Yet, Driscoll’s church is legalistic in so many way. Driscoll preaches a superficial “grace.” Yet he is a jerk on so many levels .

    Driscoll is the new authoritarian and Jefferson just mimics him. He is not the abused. The two people who you will hear from this week are.

    Also, once again, you violated the prime directive. You did not acknowledge the pain caused by this ministry and instead prop up the leaders and those that follow them and fuss at us for not showing “love.”

  17. Dee,

    Scott, Jefferson, and Driscoll have something VERY IMPORTANT in common. It’s the Y chromosome.

  18. Numo
    He is taking a literal view of Revelation for the “Final Battle.” in which there will be “rivers of blood.” Here is a question. Many people believe, erroneously, that Satan is the exact opposite of God in power. Satan is weak and is easily dispatched by God. So, in this final battle, God has the upper hand and will be able, with one sweep of His hand, dispatch Satan and His minions. Driscoll has some bizarre idea of a Jesus on the battlefield, wielding a literal sword and duking it out with Satan. This is a weak view of Jesus. He has total power over Satan. No WWD knockdown with a bunch of rounds necessary. Jesus merely says “enough” and it is over.
    Now, I shall be challenged by the “left behind” people.

  19. Eagle
    Anyone who has been hurt by a church is at risk for an sort of diseases associated with stress and emotional pain.

  20. Didn’t James write that true religion is to care for widows and orphans, and to keep oneself unstained from the world? If the Bible itself uses the word “religion” in a positive sense, so can we. Just thought I’d point that out. :)

  21. Please do not trash all of us who have a Y chromosome. One phenomenon associated with that is that the traits on the X chromosome (as well as the Y) are less mediated, meaning that the distribution is greater for those who have a Y. So there are more of us at both ends of most distributions where there is a sex chromosome link to the trait. (more idiots and more geniuses, more strength and more weakness, more math sharpies and more math dummies, for example). Now you all are welcome to describe which end of what distribution people like the Wrong Reverend Driscoll fall on.

  22. A Wacoan,

    Agreed! We know there are lots of guys out there like you, our husbands, Wade Burleson, etc. We love and appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.

  23. I looked at Free Stylin: Jesus = Religion. The best point against the you tube video is he is literally attacking the church. On his part, that is a serious charge. It is true gospel is mingled in but it is terribly muddled and at the end of the day the guy comes off really self righteous himself.

  24. Funny thing is, he doesn’t have to do the treading as his fellow worshippers at the CMDMA will gladly handle it for him.

    When the people in your ministry say your name and sing your praises more often than Jesus’, Well then…Houston, we have a problem.

  25. Quit trying to trick everyone by making them think you are free because you love Jesus but aren’t “religious”.

    I heard “I don’t have a (sneer) religion (end sneer), I have a (smug) RELATIONSHIP” so often during my time in-country that my first response to it these days is to want to put the speaker’s teeth down his throat.

    Also, this guy basically says that thanks to his non-religious stance on Jesus, he no longer does the things he used to. What happens if someone at Mars Hill still looks at Porn? Is there grace at Mars Hill for those?

    Only if you’re Pastor Mark Driscoll having “Visions (TM)”.

  26. I’m just about ready to scream. Challies has written “You are to submit to your own husband in everything” in his Perfect-Marriage II post and then I read this on Matthew Paul Turner’s blog. What version of scripture are these confused and destructive people reading. God help us all!

  27. Bill Kinnon,

    Based upon the crude, vulgar statements from MD’s own mouth, why haven’t they given him one of those contracts?

  28. Bill Kinnon -

    Thanks for the “I’m just about ready to scream.” Just hit all caps next time and you’ll be in good company with us lowly, easily deceived, under authority (woman) :)

  29. Did anyone see all the stories from Mars Hill at Turner’s blog?

    Free – you should see if you can post an intro and link over there to your site and get some of the stories into one place where people can read. Just a thought.

  30. Bill

    That has to be one of the worst things I have read about Mars Hill.I will link to it this week. Thank you. Everyone go to the link in Bill Kinnons comment and get ready to be really, really mad-not only at Mars Hill but at some very self righteous commenters.

  31. Kudos to you Robin for your post from this morning at 12:47 AM!! Great thoughts, and as far as I’m concerned, you hit the proverbial nail square on the head! Thanks.

  32. Robin

    I just left a comment over there to that effect. you and I are on the same page. This will make Free’s story all the more important tomorrow and the next day.

  33. Does it occur to anyone else that these “church discipline contracts” are actually gossip in disguise? This one at least seems to be less about creating repentance than about making sure that the sordid details of Andrew’s sins get shared with as many people as possible.

  34. Re: Matthew Paul Turner’s blog and the upcoming posts on TWW

    And so it begins. It’s time for people to start talking about what happens in Acts 29 churches. I sincerely hope that these posts get read by the people who need to read them. The ones that are caught up in the controlling manipulative church groups who don’t think things are quite right but need help to see clearly.

    This blog has many good commenters. Please frame your comments as best as you can to help those people. Thanks. You are doing a good work.

  35. Amy
    They are worse. There are legalities involved and churches do not inform unsuspecting members. We will deal with this in the next couple of days.

  36. Just checked the link that Greg Kinnon posted. OMG.

    I have seen a lot of things in abusive churches, but never anything like that “contract.”

    Just tons more evidence that MH *is* a cult.

  37. Okay, I am no Mark Driscoll fan–but why are you attacking a young man’s video soley because of his association with Mark Driscoll?

    Let’s critique what Jefferson said and see if it’s theologically accurate or not. Even if Mark Driscoll’s church actually produced this video (which I suppose is possible) if there are no theological inaccuracies in the video then I really don’t know what the problem is.

    Deb said, “If only conservative Christian leaders would be so bold. Their silence regarding Driscoll’s crude, pornographic shenanigans is deafening…”

    Just the other day I saw a post on the hugely popular Pyromaniacs Blog which was very much against Mark Driscoll. I just Googled Mark Driscoll criticism and saw a ton of hits. I don’t think leaders are being silent on Mark Driscoll.

  38. Has anyone here ever heard that if a man has had a vasectomy, then he is disqualified from being an elder in a Mars Hill church? My brother-in-law previously attended an established church that was later on taken in as a Mars Hill church. His pastor told my B-in-L that he would not have been allowed to become an elder (he was on that track) due to the fact that he had had that procedure done. But, good thing that Driscoll isn’t a legalist. :)

  39. Wow! I’ve followed some of the links posted. Read Curtis’ story an a few others. It blows my mind! The more and more I read this stuff, the more I rejoice in seeing more clearly what God has rescued me from. How can I forget that?! I stand amazed. It hurts to really think about what this would have done to my parents and family as I was on the same path. Wow. I’m just speechless.

  40. Eagle–

    Did you read the story that onemothersjourney links to in her blog of this other couple? I haven’t read it yet. I will tonite though. Bonafide cult. NO ifs, ands or buts.

  41. Friends, please just call me Bill… or Greg. :-) As we are all brothers and sisters here, n’est-ce pas? (I’m Canadian. We occasionally lapse into French, eh!)

    On the advice of my wife, Imbi, I stepped away from Twitter and the rest of the interwebs as my blood had begun to boil. Never a good time to engage in discussion.

    As I wrote on Twitter and will repeat here, “If my wife had “submitted to me in everything” we’d be living on the street, now.” In fact, had I submitted to her being a better judge of character and a better business leader early in our business together (begun a year after our marriage — almost 30 years ago), I would have “allowed” her to save us more money than I care to admit to today – as I forced us into joint ventures with some less than scrupulous folk. Folk that she’d seen through but I refused to listen to her about… because I was the “man” and four years older. (As Napoleon Dynamite said looking at a mirror, “Idiot!”)

  42. Numo,
    Not a problem. When I was a kid my Mom used to confuse my name with our long-haired Daschhund, Alfie. Many years of therapy later, I can handle people misnaming me. (That’s me being a kidder, folks. True about my wonderful mother. Not true about the therapy.)

  43. Free -

    Acts 29 churches are all affiliated with Mars Hill – now you see the reason for the magnitude of the concern here? And you seem to have only been involved for a very short time.

  44. The current focus on complementarian relationships seems to be focused on cultural stereotypes that are overlaid on the gospel. They then say the plain language of the bible says x, y, or z. (I’m a lawyer; plain language rarely means that and it usually uses contemporary meaning but that’s something else.) For a contrast, look at this profile of someone who greatly influenced my thinking. http://lillyurquidezrodriguez.com/about.asp

  45. Juniper

    As a lawyer, I agree. When someone says “plain language”, they are putting a particular meaning and emphasis on their interpretation of it. And since they are using the English translation, corrupted by hierarchical leanings from the beginning, and by misunderstanding of the cultural and linguistic context, it is rarely the best understanding of the intent of the writer.

    BTW, I hear the same thing in court on occasion and it usually results from lacking evidence and lacking case law to support the interpretation of the statute.

  46. Bill Kinnon: “I’m just about ready to scream.”

    Well, it’s about time somebody did. This sort of craziness has been going on for a long time.

    Free: Is Acts 29 fair game? Why not? How did Driscoll take control of the church-planting group founded by David Nicholas? Since then, Driscoll has been the head of Acts 29 and not one of its affiliated churches has challenged him. Does the Acts 29 agreement have a clause that an affiliate church’s property reverts to Driscoll if a church tries to leave the denomination? Or is there some other financial penalty for leaving?

    Remember the “Good Soldier” recruiting video with Driscoll trampling through and using a veterans’ cemetery as a prop for his promo? It is still out there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIrIKbCz3n4&feature=player_embedded

    Where is the outrage? It is almost inconceivable that well-known Christian leaders did not call to account the blatant desecration of the graves of the fallen by one who never served, for such shameless self-promotion.

  47. Shato

    I strongly disagree with you. Theology? Is this what it is about? So long as the theology is OK, then all is well? Let’s see, CJ Mahaney’s theology is correct if one is a Calvinista. So, how did that work out? Did you know that Satan is probably well versed on theology but he is still the devil? The faith is far, far more than theology and the fruit of Driscoll’s ministry is tied up in misapplication of theology to the detriment of many!

    There are far too many people who have walked down the gilded path of correct theology and have turned out to be some of the most arrogant, narcissistic and legalistic “leaders” this generation has seen. Theology is merely book work if it is not tied to actions and the heart. And, if this man has feasted on Driscoll’s theology, then he needs to be watched very, very carefully. And that’s what this blog, and many others, are doing.

  48. Bill
    Having been a weary mom at one point in my life, I used to call my kids by the others’ names and mix up the dog’s names with theirs. They have forgiven me, I think…:)

  49. I had not seen that, Ted. It wouldn’t take much to tear it apart theologically. He reminds me of a small man that once lived and was exhiled to a small island. I think MD would look quite a bit like this dictator of old if he tried on the hat. This dictator of old also wanted to “help the deceived.”

    And one of the goals is for men to get their wives to have sex with them at least once a day. Jesus preached a lot about that didn’t he? And Paul never said it is better to remain single I suppose. And he had to use a veterans gravesite to dramatize his video.

    This guy is sick. He is also well versed in using theatrics as a tool to “emotionalize” a situation. He reminds me of the old traveling salesman who would show up at the door with their suitcase of wares and slick-Willy smiles.

    He is not a church planter (which is not a “biblical”-their word- term) so much as a church gatherer and usurper.

    AND WOULD EVERYONE PLEASE STOP EQUATING THE GREAT COMMISSION with planting churches. They are not the same thing!

    Rant finished for now -

  50. The A29 church we helped launch (and then were quickly “blessed and sent back” from when we decided not to join) is pastored by a guy who had a vasectomy, so if it’s true, it’s a new policy. He’s copied many aspects of MH but seems to be a pretty humble and discerning guy, so although we saw some things we didn’t feel comfortable with, I have hope that not all A29 churches are drinking the kool-aid. I think a lot of the dysfunction present in the network’s churches is the result of so much leadership being concentrated in the hands of the young. That’s an observation, not an attempt to excuse.

  51. Eagle, wow, that’s a crazy story (the blog you linked to). Absolutely beyond horrible. I had to check out the church website. On it, there’s a link that says “our friends.” Two of their friends are Ed Young, and Elevation “church” in NC. I immediately thought of the famous line, “with friends like that, who needs enemies.”

    God have mercy, and I pray God that you bring that young man out of the cult and back to a right relationship with you and into an actual church.

  52. Bridget
    Let me tell you of a church plant in Texas while I was there. Charles Swindoll decided to start a church in Frisco Tx, part of the Dallas sprawl. He planted it within easy access and opened the first day to thousands of people. Except, they ere all from other churches. He got his church and devastated a few because they could not compete with him. No salvation-merely shifting the sheep with the money to his church.I lost some respect for him during that.

  53. Thanks Amy. The church my family member was a part of became an actual satellite campus of Mars Hill. It wasn’t just an Acts 29 church. While I don’t claim to understand their governance structure, my sense is that A29 churches have a lot more autonomy compared to actual Mars Hill campuses.

  54. Amy
    I am very suspect of the churches who join and sign in on this network. We wrote a post about their bizarre take on Masculine love.

    Link

  55. “Does it occur to anyone else that these “church discipline contracts” are actually gossip in disguise?”

    Did anyone notice the contract called for details about his sexual sins? Can you say “obsessed with sex” at Mars Hill?

    It really makes you wonder about the people who have gone there for years, doesn’t it, and how much they are under Driscoll’s spell.

  56. http://www.christianity.com/home/christian%20living%20features/11605806/print/

    Well, here’s an article written by MD about the subject of birth control. It’s difficult to conclude from this article whether or not he would allow a man who had had the procedure to be an elder. On the one hand, he says in the summary that he would support Christian couples who choose either a vasectomy or tubal ligation. so that would seem to indicate that what I said previously was wrong. But on the other hand, in the section on these specific BC procedures, he makes reference to a man in his church who was an elder candidate, who had had a V years earlier, while he was a non-christian. Driscoll goes on to state that the man underwent a V reversal before becoming a pastor in the church, in order to set a good example. It’s not clear if the man did this on his own accord, or whether it was required of him.

    Bottom line for me, I apologize for posting my original comment, since I can’t back it up 100%. There are plenty of out in the open issues, that are not disputed, to criticize MD for without having to resort to ones in question like this. Again, I’m sorry.

  57. Dee,

    Rest assured that my radar is on alert. The reading I did on the network’s website–especially the “we are not egalitarian” declaration–sent up many red flags and factored heavily in our decision not to join. But for now, at least, this particular congregation has not gone party line on all things.I pray they don’t start. They are aware of our concerns–we didn’t just fade quietly. If we moved to a new city, I would avoid any church associated with A29, just as I would be inclined to avoid all SBC churches, even though there are some reasonable ones out there.

  58. numo,

    I spent most of the afternoon helping my older daughter in her classroom (it’s a teacher workday), so I’ve been out of the loop. We had a great time together! I updated her on some of the latest developments on the blog, particularly with regard to Mark Driscoll since she heard him speak in person on her college campus almost three years ago.

    Just fixed the italics problem that Shato caused, hopefully inadvertently. :-)

  59. Alan
    No apolgies necessary. In fact, you have backed it up with this which is sufficient to raise suspicions. “Driscoll goes on to state that the man underwent a V reversal before becoming a pastor in the church, in order to set a good example. It’s not clear if the man did this on his own accord, or whether it was required of him.”

    A good example for what????? Cryptic, on purpose, leaving room for deniability.

  60. I am absolutely overwhelmed by the horrific stories that have just come onto my radar screen. May God have mercy on those who are abusing our brothers and sisters in Christ!

  61. Conflicted. Complex. Complicated. There is no single side to the memory of Joe Paterno any more than there is to any other person. He was good and he was bad. He did great and wonderful things for hundreds and thousands of people, and he failed miserably in a moment of great need. But beyond this is the reality of eternity. Defining the reality of Joe Paterno cannot be limited to the space between birth and death but must be recognized as eternal. Barnabas Piper http://tinyurl.com/8xdkzst
    I would think Conflicted. Complex. Complicated would apply to people like Mark Driscoll and C.J. Mahaney. It certainly applies to me.

  62. Jimmy,

    Here is my response to your comment.

    James 3:1 (ESV)

    “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”

  63. Deb…feeling deeply troubled by these stories…i guess i now know what would have happened had we submitted to meetings. I also am pretty sure now how all friends cut contact with me at the same time. Wonder what my “letter” might have said? Dying to email someone and see if i get one of these canned responses…

  64. Oh, and Jimmy,

    I am sick and tired of sycophants making excuses for Driscoll and Mahaney. That DOES NOT work here. These men know what they are doing.

  65. Barnabas Piper is indeed John Piper’s son.

    Deb, I think you missed it. Mahaney and Driscoll cannot hide from God’s judgment. Neither can you or I.

  66. Shunning. Lies.

    sounds very familiar to me, though afaik, in my case, there was no written communication. (Might have been emails, though.)

    And I hadn’t done anything wrong – not unlike what Andrew has been experiencing with these continued accusations of wrongdoing.

    Either Christ died to save us, or he didn’t. If the former, then the MH mafiosi have edited “It is finished” out of their Bibles.

    cult cult cult cult cult cult cult!!!

    *

    Bridget – rant appreciated! I wish someone would ban the use of planting/planting/planted in re. anything to do with church. it’s a weird mixed metaphor at best, in all kinds of ways.

  67. Eagle & Amy – totally there on Patrick Henry and on the ed’s (can’t think of his name) position re. Driscoll – though I’m glad of it, too. :)

  68. Jimmy,

    I just now scanned through the article on Paterno. Here’s my take on the matter.

    I hope we have all learned a valuable lesson about not covering up the sins of others. They MUST be exposed.

    Dear God,

    Please give me the courage to stand up for victims, no matter the cost.

  69. Jimmy
    So, we sit around and wait? Jimmy, there are good things found in most people. I am sure Bernie Madoff did some good things. So, we let him get away with everything else? Maybe, wait until eternity?

  70. Jimmy

    Joe Pa ignored children being terribly abused. The definition of character is what you do when you think no one will find out. And that failure will mar his legacy. If he was a Christian, then he is in heaven. But it is important to remember that Jesus warned those who would harm these little ones that it would be better to have a millstone tied around their neck and be dumped into the abyss.

  71. Laws were broken at Penn State.

    We must obey the law of the land regarding pedophilia.

    It really bothers me that we as Christians are even discussing this. THAT is the problem!

  72. Deb
    Jimmy obviously does not know how we got our start. This is our #1 hot button issue. He would be smart to drop this one. I think a former church wish they had…

  73. Free of M H re 12:52 poll
    Yes. Include Acts 29. Maybe formerly Acts 29 churches as well, such as I’m in. When I have time, I’ll discuss over on your blog.
    Back to original blog title here– “why I hate religion” implies religion is monolithic in character. God’s word on the subject in James 1 clearly contrasts worthless religion with pure and undefiled religion. One of those 2 religions involves unbridled tongues. Hmm…reminds me of what a teacher once said, “Meaningless God-words roll off our tongues, until we’re standing knee-deep in drivel.”
    A FALSE balance is an abomination to LORD, BUT
    A JUST weight is His delight. Pr 11:1.
    To say “I hate balances–weights- standards–principles–commandments, but I love Jesus” it’s just– “unbiblical” —- sigh—- maybe a more “gospel” statement would be “I hate all the false but love Him Who judges justly”. Or a more “godly” statement, “I hate the worthless but love Him Who is pure and undefiled.”

  74. Don’t just read that entry from Cargill while you’re there, also make sure to also read his dismantling of Driscoll’s misrepresentation of the Targum Neofiti at the same blog.

  75. “…The church has turned Jesus into a “a Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ,” when he’s actually a “prize fighter” who is “coming back looking for blood.” The Bible says women can’t have leadership positions in church because they’re ‘more gullible and easier to deceive than men…”

    I read about a Katana swordmaster in Japan. He has no son so he trained his daughter instead. She moves with a willowy speed that is uncanny. I’ll stack her up against Driscoll and his minions any day of the week.

  76. I can’t believe the MPT blog article about MH disciple? I am so ******** enraged?!? I wonder how I will sleep tonight….? Those of you who are Christians…where are the Bereans?

  77. muff- surely you know that katana is too sophisticated – read ‘sissified’ – for brute-force bullies…

  78. WTH. I waded into the Targum Neofiti article — could apply to many others than just Driscoll. The discussion in comments is way beyond me in scholarly-ness. If I’m not mistaken, at one point they’re actually researching whether jots or tittles may have been erased. Some celeb preachers erase much more…disregarding Rev 22 warnings.
    BTW is Cargill MD’s long lost twin? Sure look alike.

  79. The non-scholastic version is “Mark needs to stop making up crap and pretending that he knows what he’s talking about.” Scott Bailey over at Scotteriology did the lay person’s version and Cargill gave the more scholarly version. The Targums are rabbinical commentaries on OT texts and other texts. Driscoll was not adding or subtracting contra warnings in Rev 22 (which, honestly, I think must be considered to be about Rev and not necessarily other texts, despite Christians having a history of using it to refer to the whole canon but that’s an exegetical bit of arcana for some other time and place. :) )

  80. On Paterno:

    Jo Paterno did what the law and his employer required of him — he sent the younger man who had seen the event to the authorities at the University, including the man over the university police, to report what the younger man had seen. Paterno had only hearsay, not legally admissible and, since the source was an adult, not something for which he should have been held accountable. Paterno also called those to whom he referred the younger man to tell them to meet with him and listen to what the younger man had to say. Paterno did what he was supposed to do.

    The fault lies with the people up the ladder from Paterno who did not take action to ensure that an investigation occurred and/or with the younger man who may not have shared with the higher ups the details he said he shared.

    I have some experience in dealing with abuse cases, and I can tell you that the usual weak link is the initial reporter, who fudges what he shares with the proper authorities, unless there is another who has observed the same thing and he knows there is corroboration.

    Why is Paterno pilloried for telling the younger man to go to the authorities and report what he saw?

  81. “Why is Paterno pilloried for telling the younger man to go to the authorities and report what he saw?”

    Because JoePa was the real influence at Penn. He was an icon and had he taken it more seriously and made the call himself (even if the witness was found to be in error) perhaps fewer little boys would have been sodomized and their lives ruined forever. JoePa obviously did as little as he could get by with.

    If we are going to err, let us do on the side of protecting children. Even if it means jeporadizing careers and the worship of fans.

  82. Eagle
    I knew this story might upset you. You were treated as badly. There is no excuse for this garbage.

    There is only one bit of encouragement that I can give you. Throughout the ages of people using churches, along with every other institution, for their own agendas, there has remained a remnant of the faithful. In this day, such folks gather in the blogosphere, much to the consternation of those who are used to having the only microphone.

    Just know this-we care about those who have been hurt by those who claim to be theologically “correct.” We pray for all those who have been harmed, especially folks like you who have so generously shared their lives with us.

  83. Muff
    Sadly, there are those women who buy into this gullible nonsense and allow themselves to be relegated to the back burner, occasionally being trotted out to pretend like all is well with their famous hubby. Time will tell…

  84. From Robin:
    ” If it were not a religion, you wouldn’t wake up every Sunday and go into that house of worship.”

    Whew! I’m safe then. =) I don’t go to church anymore, though I do still wake up on Sundays.

    So (I haven’t read beyond Robin’s post yet) basically the young man who made the viral video didn’t really mean what he said, right? He is still very much into religion, he just thinks that he has found the “right” church this time. Well, good luck with that. Judging by what I read about his church, he’s about to get screwed again.

  85. Arce
    He said the right thing. However, it stopped there. It reminds me of a former church. Legally they followed the letter of the law. Ethically, morally-they were deficient in my opinion. When the lives of children are at risk, it is time to take out the sword and go to their defense, even if it means taking the hits in our personal lives. I have already done this on a small scale and it isn’t pleasant but it sure feels good to sleep well at night.

  86. I’ve spent some of my spare time during the last 18 years of my life as a public opponent of a notorious space-alien cult known as $cientology. When I read articles such as the two on Matthew Paul Turner’s blog, all I can think is, “What really is the difference between $cientology and Mars Hill Seattle?” They definitely have different doctrines, but the ultimate result if you cross the leader is absolutely the same–you’re given the left foot of fellowship and trashed in the process.

    My bottom line is that if your organization is not functionally different from a notorious cult, then I don’t want anything to do with your organization. However, I don’t see anything really changing, as Mark Driscoll has lots and lots of fanbois quite willing to eat up everything he feeds them.

  87. Southern Discomfort
    Your comment illustrated something we have been trying to ram home since this blog started. There is no functional difference between any hyper-authoritarian group, regardless of their belief system. If following Christ is to make a difference, then why do groups like Mars hIll and SGM look so much like Scientology, etc? These people preach theology but it makes not one bit of difference in their body politics. Where is the radical love and unity that Scripture seems to speak of?

  88. The way I see this is MD being the self-serving narcissist that is overstating the obvious.

    I had another debate with our youth pastor that seems enamored with MD (even though he is a nice dude with no piggery you see in MD.)

    He continues to excuse his badness by telling me he is a complementarian and is hung up on gender roles.

    I brought up the false teaching about the eternal subjection of the Son to the Father (and the eternal state of childishness for the Holy Spirit) IOW the Holy Trinity is being dissed by these folks in order to justify their false teachings.

    Crickets chirping.

    I also asked him to cite one advantage afforded to women by being a complementarian.

    He told me that it was enough to be obedient to the Bible.

    Even when I said the different but equal was the same old Jim Crow separate but equal but the colored facillities were always worse sort of equality for women in my opinion.

    Not one advantage for women was cited.

    So, to conclude this tedious post, complementarianism seems to be a self-serving racket that men have foisted upon women and MD is their poster boy.

  89. I read part 1 and 2 over at Turner’s blog. The whole thing reeks of “you must obey us”. Lording it over as the Gentiles do. I am a bit concerned that so many think of this as what is taught in the scripture as “biblical discipline” but that is where this movement is headed. When you combine this false teaching of “biblical discipline” with those who love their power and authority it is a recipe for disaster and many ruined lives. All we can do is warn people to stop following man and start following Christ. It might mean it is really hard to find a Body of Believers in this day and time because so many are wolves and hirlings.

    My question is who disciplines Driscoll and delves into details holding him accountable day by day? Actually, Driscoll made bank on the details of his wife’s sexual actions.

    No one would dare hold him accountable. Instead they promote him and invite him to speak on their stages hoping they can get such devoted followers, too.

  90. DB, I am convinced that once you peel away all the Talmudic teaching that accompanies the complimentarian doctrine that must twist and cherry pick scripture to be believed, it is nothing more than power politics and ultimately about sex.

    Driscoll actually has helped more people see this and for that I am grateful. But there are a lot of blind people following him and defending him. I have seen more and more comps say, but what Mark teaches is not really comp. Actually, what Driscoll teaches is the logical conclusion of “comp” doctrine.

  91. Again, JoePa reported it to the head of the campus police, which at a state university is a police department with jurisdiction to investigate and report to the DA. He did what he was supposed to do. He referred a witness to the head of the police and called to make sure that they would see and hear the witness. All that he knew was second-had. HE DID WAS HE WAS SUPPOSED TO DO. If it turned out that the witness was making it up, and JoePa had done anything other than what he did, he would have been responsible for trashing someone. We tell everyone, report what you know to the police. JoePa did that.

  92. I’ve been reading Andrew’s story over at Turner’s blog. I. Am. Floored.

  93. DB: “I also asked him to cite one advantage afforded to women by being a complementarian.

    He told me that it was enough to be obedient to the Bible.”

    How dare you look for some sort of advantage for women. Don’t you know that to be obedient is better than sacrifice? If the (all male) powers-that-be decide to interpret the Bible in a manner that favors men and disfavors you, who are you to question? You are a woman and it is God’s will that you be disfavored. For you to question whether such an interpretation is just, well, this shows that you don’t really love God or trust His best for you. You should rejoice in your lowly position of disfavor (as opposed to the favored male). Your unwillingness to do so reveals the deep rebellion in your heart and shows how easily it is for women to be deceived.

    [Suck-to-be-you gospel strikes again.]

  94. My nephew, who is a freshman in college, has told me about this video. He has said that he thinks it is stupid, as is all the other talk about Christianity not being a “religion.”

    He believes that Christianity is certainly a religion, as that term is defined. It is fine to point out the distinct character or essence of Christianity and distinguish it from other faiths. But to try and score points by saying Christianity is not a religion seems silly.

    These kind of efforts are what pass today for trying to be relevant etc. Certainly that can be achieved without pandering.

  95. DB
    Separate but equal did not work with races and it doesn’t work with gender unless someone can tell me exactly what is meant by “authority” in any practical sense. Piper says a woman can teach but cannot have “authority.” So how does this work. If I say to a group of men, as a woman, that John 3: 16 speaks of God’s love and His plan of salvation, how do i say that without authority?? “Uh, guys, I kinda, maybe think that John 3: 16 might kinda be talking about God’s love and salvation but don’t take my word for it. In fact, I may even have the verse wrong so can some male here help me out and tell these guys authoritatively what is meant, pretty please.”

  96. There are far too many good links posted here that lead to other amazing links! Man, I’m going to be reading all weekend.

    * * *

    Eagle–

    Be encouraged. I think you are in the company of such Christians here.

    * * *

    As was said before regarding sexual immorality, MH’s response to Andrew’s sexual immorality shows an even greater emphasis on sexual sin being the most disgusting in the evangelical world. The most unforgivable. The most destructive.

    But it is not true. There are so many other “sins” that can wreck our lives, far more than making out or having sex with someone we’re not married to. Purity has become completely about sex and nothing else. The rest of you can be garbage, yet if you are sexually pure, then you get the right hand of fellowship.

    Like some of the commenters over at Turner’s blog, where are the discipline contracts for those who haven’t helped the needy, the poor, the widow or orphan?

    Where are the discipline contracts for those who lie, cheat, steal, neglect? Who don’t love their neighbor as themselves? Who don’t give all of their worldly goods to the poor? Where are these contracts? Are these sins not as equally abhorrent in the sight of God?

    Why does CJ Mahaney get to run to another church after years of neglect and abuse, especially neglect of children who were being raped and sodomized in his ministry? Where’s the effing contract for that!!!??

    Okay, let me fall back. I’m getting mad.

  97. NLR,

    I have read both installments of Andrew’s story, and I am absolutely disgusted with what is going on inside the walls of Mars Hill Church. Shame on MD and his henchmen!

    Now I know why everyone has been so tight-lipped. They are all SCARED TO DEATH to utter a word against church leadership for fear that the same thing will happen to them.

    It’s time to shout this from the rooftops!!!

    Eagle,

    You’re the first one I thought of when I read Andrew’s tragic story. My heart breaks for what you also went through. Thanks for alerting us about the post over at IMonk. I have read it, along with some of the comments.

    To reiterate your point, where are the Bereans?! Glad that a remnant of them are hanging out here.

  98. Deb -

    CJM has to be fit. If he is not fit for ministry then the entire Board that worked along side (excuse me – below) him would be unfit as well. I don’t know how long he will serve. He mentioned wanting to shepherd again, err . . . plant a new church I should say. What will he grow at the church he plants?

  99. There have been so many bizarre developments among the Calvinistas (Neo-Reformed) this week!

    As I watched the “Why I Hate Religion” video one more time, I realized that Jefferson is actually talking about his own church (Mars Hill) as well as the SGM “family of churches”.

    Jesus says “DONE”, Mars Hill and SGM say “DO AS WE SAY, OR ELSE…”

  100. Free–

    Thanks for the link to the Bob Cargill article. It was spot on. Did you read the comments? The comments sections of these blog posts make me the most worried…. Worried about the church in general. The apologizers and poeple who are as blind as a bat–as I once was–are so heartbreaking. But the hope I have is that if God was powerful enough to reach down and yank me out of the same path, then he is strong enough to do that with these others who are so lost.

    Talking about the lost. Man, do we ever realize that we have sat with the lost every Sunday in the pews, sometimes and often including ourselves. It seems like being found–as in, I once was lost–is a continual slow uphill climb when it comes to the Lord and walking wtih him. Once you think you’ve been “found”, yet you realize you were even more lost than you were before. Not knowing Christ is very lost, but knowing Christ and being totally off mark is not only remaining lost, but sadly lost…because we should know better. But we just don’t. and maybe that’s why grace and mercy meet to cover us for eternity and from everlasting to everlasting.

    How haughty of us–especially the doctrinally concerned, the theologically correct, the conservative unfeeling bunch–to think atonement is limited? If grace covers a multitude, then in my mind, that number cannot be comprehended.

  101. Deb–

    “Have you heard that CeeJay is back at the helm of SGM, effective immediately?

    Sovereign Grace Ministries Board Declares C.J. Mahaney Fit, Returns Him To Office Of President

    These are STRANGE times indeed!!!”

    Holy buttcakes, are you serious??!!!!! WITW!!!!! Oh. MY. God! (yes, this is a real plea and cry to the Lord!!! )

    So they’re re-installing the runner? Is that how it is? Dude ran when the cops came, and now they want him back? I mean, at the lowest level of decency, running when times are tough and stuff hits the fan shows a huge disloyalty. You want the most disloyal person in your organization to return to it and lead it again?

    Did I miss something?! Well, maybe when he returns all those against it will run to CHBC–just like he did. But they need not worry, culture and much of the teaching is the same. Bedfellows they all are. Talk about politics. In the words of Dee, Good night!

  102. Free–

    Especially be worried for the driveby-ers. But you learn a lot in the comments… about how people think, about their TRUE allegiances. “Christians” show far more allegiance to their furious leaders than Christ. Their actions, words and deeds tell us so.

    Anyways, the comments over at Andrew’s story are insane. 200 plus the last time I checked. But hey, at least between the apologizing for Driscoll from teh crazies, I can learn stuff like megalomanic and metaphysical monism.

  103. I wonder, and anyone can chime in, but do you think that the Driscoll situation has/will come to head much faster than exposing SGM because of the previous work done to expose SGM, as well as all the talk from the Big Dogs about blogs being evil and gossip?

    The fact that they have thought to tell us what to read and think, in my opinion, has caused even more to become curious, at least secretly, and discover a world of truth unknown to most evangelicals sitting in the pews of these particular churches?

    I feel a stronger momentum here where that’s concerned. But maybe it’s just emotinalism and because I’ve only been at it for a year. But it seems like there are far more blogs and stories, and issues coming to the forefront that weren’t being talked about on many blogs as now–not even, say, 6 months ago.

    Hmmm…?

  104. RE: numo on Wed, Jan 25 2012 at 02:19 am:

    I have every confidence that the swordmaster’s daughter could take him bare-handed too. ===> (smiley face goes here)

  105. NLR – I think there’s a lot of momentum building, as people are starting to feel that they have a voice.

    Now, whether that translates into actual changes is another thing altogether. Something is going to have to happen that will expose more of the truly egregious wrongs in these cult-church groups for things to really be out in the open – and for members and ex-members to feel less afraid to speak out.

    Overcoming that fear can take a while… when I 1st started commenting here, I was afraid to say many things. Now, not so much. But I *do* know the feeling of knowing that people will actively try to discredit you (me) if you go to another church and they (the people who gave you the boot/told people not to talk to you/etc.) find out. (Because the people who gave you the boot are very well-connected.)

    Muff – I’m sure! MD is all talk and bluster, like many guys who sit in front of the TV set and watch sports rather than actually playing any themselves. (Or doing anything to keep fit.)

  106. Numo–

    Your comment is right on time. Because at this very moment, and after reading Free’s blog and many of the others, along with the courage that’s been built from being here with all you, I have decided to no longer hide and use my real name. It’s Trina and I am no longer afraid. (this sounds like a PSA announcement, LOL).

    So it’s both a hello and a goodbye.

    Last night, my sister anonymously was blasting someone on FB. It made her look afraid or immature, or both. So I wrote her and told her that blasting someone anonymously on FB, when they know you’re talking about them, but also in a public forum where you chose not to keep it private, is either a cop out because of fear or you’re being too kind–especially if such anonymous person did what you said and has made you cut them out of your life. So I said obviously they deserve your blast, so just make it count. Say what you want to say to whom you intend it for! She was irritated with me for saying that, but then understood–I think.

    People here have many justifiable reasons for not using their real names and I cannot say I recommend it. But for me, personally, I’m in a place where it is safe to do so and it just makes no sense any longer. I have said what I have to say and will say more if I wish. And I wish somebody would step to me and say jack because they’d get their asses handed to them medium-rare! (Yep! ’cause taht’s how I like my steak cooked). I know a lot of stupid people, but nobody THAT stupid. Jus’ sayin’… ; )

    With boldness and Much love,

    Trina formerlly NLR

  107. Numo–

    Sorry, I forgot to change my name from NLR even as I posted that! Old habits die hard! Check out my new nickname though. It’s HOT, isn’t it? Word. (insert smugness)

  108. Welcome Trina!

    Dee and I revealed our identities around two years ago, so you can call me Wanda or Deb. I’ll answer to either.

    Proud of you, sister! On my next trip to D.C. I want to meet you.

    Blessings!

  109. Trinia – I think lots of us use aliases for very good reasons – and that it has nothing to do with cowardice.

    Please… proceed with caution. Especially given that I doubt you want comments here (and on other blogs) to be tied to whatever it is you do for a living.

    I have always kept actual business-type business (where my real name is involved) separate from my other online activities (blogging, etc.) via aliases. Have also had some creepy experiences online that would *definitely* make me use aliases if I hadn’t already done so.

    Google and other search engines are great, but they can be used against people as well.

    Just my .02-worth…

  110. Numo–

    Me to even think thee a coward?!!! Ah mon Dieu! Jamais! No, but I feel you and I feel that your reasons are VERY good ones. What I do for a living would not be in jeopardy. But fear is a good reason to use an alias, and a justifiable one as well. I’m just saying that I’m no longer there. That’s all.

  111. Trinia – gotcha! It’s not just “fear” though – in my case, it’s (I believe) healthy self-protection. There are a LOT of wolves on the internet. (And some of them act very mild on 1st acquaintance, but will not hesitate to burn people later on… however, that’s another topic, probably best addressed off-list – has to do with online publication, blogging, music reviews and a specific site.)

    Now, I think using your 1st name is cool, but your entire name – probably a bit of cause for concern.

  112. oh, and – did you get a musketeer hat (with plume) when you were in France? You sound very D’Artagnan-like!

  113. Deb–

    I was just thinking about how when I go home often in the summer, I might want to drive down and visit you ladies for a few days. Please definitely let me know when you’re in DC, I’d love LOVE to meet and spend some time together IRL.

    Thanks for the welcome!

    Numo–

    Also, I dont think it was that cryptic to begin with. I’ve never hid my race, my issues, my gender and when I joined and left the church. You put those things together and it’s VERY easy to figure out who I am. If I really needed anonymity, I would have never shared that information, or even where I went to church for the matter.

  114. also, I think that people who do know me could easily figure out who I am from reading a lot of my comments, both here and (some months back) at SGM Survivors… but sadly, it looks like many of those people aren’t (sadly) reading these blogs… either because they’ve been told not to (SGM people) or because they’re going through a very difficult time adjusting to various goings-on.

    Beginning to see the truth can be a very disillusioning time.

    fwiw, the church that booted me is called Christ Our Shepherd, “pastored” by one Stuart McAlpine. It’s on the Hill, very close to Eastern Market. Its website looks pretty normal, too – you would never begin to guess some of the things that go on there from reading it.

  115. Au contraire, mon amie! But I was… by MANY CHBCers… Just not the church/organization as a whole. When I left, I didn’t give them my true reasons in the letter so they could put me under discipline like Andrew for not “leaving well”. I just gave them some BS two-liner and was like “deuces!” (that means, I’m out!). A lot of my friends are also “leaving” this way, because they dont want the meetings and discussions. But yet people feel the need to address them in the public square with “why did you leave?” and upon some watered down truthful answer, they then wanna give all their opinions about leaving well, or giving the church a chance to fix the issues, or this or that. You know, all the stuff you’ve heard time and time again. It’s the same sh@t, just a different day.

    In my case though, I did meet with several people and had been continually discussing my issues with the church over the course of months. So by the time I left, there was no more discussion to be had. I had made my decision. But there was a lot of random talk from different people about me not leaving well. I just charged it to the game (meaning, it is what it is and I”ll take my looses) and left.

    Like Adele, I just set fire to the rain, that’s all.

  116. I have several aliases that I use, sometimes on the same blog. It has to do with not accumulating enough for people who might wish to find a commenter being able to easily do so. I also change aliases on a blog periodically.

  117. Numo, that is where I lived when in Washington in the late ’70s, newly renovated 4 step down apartment with nice accoutrements, close to the market and the Capitol, where I worked.

  118. Numo–

    For the record, I think your situation was much worse than mine. And I also think you’re very courageous and bold to share your story. And reach out to me as you did, even by email. That took a lot of trust on your part. The risk was drastically lopsided and very much yours. I was glad you shared though, because at the time, I was considering going to COS and checking it out. I was checking out a lot of churches though. Little did I know that most of them were affiliated. Like I said before, the shifting around, because people dont know what’s really going on in the background, is like that scene in Shrek when the Gingerbread man comes to destroy the town and he’s mad as hell, and all the villagers one from one Starbuck’s to the other across the street.

    These particular churches, they’re all the same animal/corporation. And they’re all on one corner to the next, and the villagers (at least the ones who get a clue, or have some issue) just keep running from one to the other thinking they’re going to get something different. But they have no idea that the Gingerbread man and his brothers own them all and are destroying the patrons left and right.

  119. Trinia – you’re very upfront, which is why I felt like contacting you was a good risk to take, y’know?!

    I love your honesty – it’s so refreshing after the years of hiding that I did. (and might not have done if there had been blogs like this one back in the early-mid 00s.)

  120. Trinia – I hear you on the people turning their backs on you; I think anyone who leaves a damaged (and damaging) group is going to encounter that, no matter what kind of group it is. (Religious, corporate, softball league – could be just about anything at all.)

    It’s a hard, hard thing to go through.

    In my case, the entire music ministry was told not to contact me – or even to speak to me – and that was as bad as having the entire church told. (Which they weren’t.) Though some people were given a heavily edited (read: spun) version of what the so-called “elders” told me, and “leadership” changed its story a couple of times.

    Honestly, I think it’s all about S. McAlpine’s delusions of grandeur + ego, and I’ve been surprised that there isn’t, to date, a survivors blog for ex-COSC members. Thing is, they all likely feel alone, as I did – like they’re the only ones. Or else they got out but want no contact with people there (which is true in at least one case I know of).

  121. Arce – yes, it is a nice area, but it’s gone through many changes (both good and bad) since you were there – since I was last there, come to think of it!

    I’m more of a Cleveland Park/Woodley Park kinda gal – at least, I liked those neighborhoods a lot, back when I lived in the area, but they were WAY too expensive for me!

  122. Numo–

    You’ll have to email me some places to visit up in Woodley and Cleveland Park. I always drive through there on my way to Cathedral, and wonder what I should get into around there.

  123. DB @ 11:37 am wrote:

    “I also asked him to cite one advantage afforded to women by being a complementarian.”

    LOL–You have not been over to Challies this week have you? Here’s an advantage–the wife gets to be “sanctified” by the husband.

    Challies writes:

    “Husband, you need to picture yourself one day presenting your wife to the Lord! There you are, standing beside her before the Lord and saying, “Here she is! Here is the wife you gave to me. Look how beautiful she is! I have given up my life for her, I have washed her in the Word, and now here she is. I present her to you.”

    Do you see what your wife will be on that day? On that day she will be completely free from sin. Every shred of sin, every shred of imperfection will be gone. That old self will have been put off entirely and the new self will be all that she is. She will be completely holy, completely pure and clean, all that God created her to be. As beautiful as she is now, she will be more beautiful in that day.

    Do you have that picture in your mind, of your bride, your wife, standing there before the Lord, washed clean of every trace of sin? Fix that in your mind because God calls you to help her get there!”
    http://www.challies.com/christian-living/a-picture-perfect-marriage-iii#more

    Plus I’m wondering if he thinks they will be still married in heaven? Good grief. Well, there’s your advantage–if you can call it that. Personally, that was all pretty nauseating to me.

    Anon1 @ 11:42 am wrote:

    “It might mean it is really hard to find a Body of Believers in this day and time because so many are wolves and hirlings.”

    That is what I am finding too. :-(

  124. Trinia – the area’s changed a lot; some of my fave places are gone. And I’ve been out of the area since 2003.

    Best thing to do: take a walk and look around! That’s how I ended up finding some nifty shops and places to eat.

    PS.: check yer emails, mon copain.

  125. One place for sure: the Lebanese Taverna, on CT Ave., across the street from the Woodley Park/Zoo metro stop.

    But try not to go on a weekend night, as it gets awfully crowded and wait times can be loong.

  126. Numo–

    Your story is much like Andrew’s. That’s so heartbreaking. Isn’t it funny, though, how SGM never emailed an entire church and disconnected from membership these dudes who were raping little kids? Un. Real. IMO, that might be the one respectable sexual sin you could commit in that place and maintain your status in memebership. But kiss your boyfriend/girlfriend, and BAM! Your ass is grass.

    Haha–yes, I try to be very upfront… even about my own junk. BUt not in the “oh, I’m such a lowly sinner” kinda way. Yeah, I stopped that bull like two weeks before exiting! If it weren’t for many of you here, I dont know where I would be now. It has been my spiritual therapy in many ways. I am a much healthier individual because of it, and I found my “fire” again. Man, do I love it. But yeah, sometimes I need to tone it down. But that’s me, you know. I’m a fiery kinda gal. I’m sweet when I wanna be though. I love very deeply and care for my friends with fierceness. But those “people” burned a hole in my heart. Learning to trust again has been kinda hard. I can’t say that I’ve advanced much in that area, to be honest. But ’tis better to make others earn your trust than by giving it to them by default because of some fake arse sense of “community” and “family”.

  127. Hey, I’m pretty fiery myself, but try to keep it low-key in public comments. (Mostly.)

    Finding out that I’ve got company (in terms of other survivors, no matter where they come from) has been immensely helpful! (Have had a good support team otherwise, in terms of professional counseling and all, which is critical – but most of all, a minister from my denom who extended grace instead of shame was a BIG breakthrough moment for me… Not that everything changed right then, but the door to the road out of fear and shame and all of that opened at that time…)

  128. Anon at 3:20 made reference to the sanctified wifey presented to God at some point time.

    My opinion: I would rather burn in hell for eternity than be stuck mated with that boar because, trust me, the hellfire and brimstone wouldn’t equal the agony of an eternity with such a man.

  129. Dee wrote:

    “Your comment illustrated something we have been trying to ram home since this blog started. There is no functional difference between any hyper-authoritarian group, regardless of their belief system. If following Christ is to make a difference, then why do groups like Mars hIll and SGM look so much like Scientology, etc?”

    I thought about this, and even though you point out (rightly) that MH or SGM behavior can’t be distinguished from that of non-Christian cults, I can’t help but think that if you were to get a chance to bring it up to Driscoll or Mahaney, they’d be nonplussed. In their minds, being compared to a notorious cult wouldn’t make sense. Of course it’s wrong for $cientology to do it, because they’re not Christian. However, it’s perfectly OK for SGM or MH to do what they’re doing because God is with them.

    There’s simply no answer to that kind of reasoning.

  130. Every time I read one of these stories about these cults getting kids, I think of my mom. When telling her about the “greatness” of my new church, she said very plainly and assuredly, “Are you sure they are not a cult?” I was floored and disappointed that my mother could not recognize healthy Christian community. After all, how could she know that having been a “regular” Christian all her life and not a Reformed one as I was…

    Every story I read of children abandoning their mothers, I cringe. I want to cry. I apologize profusely to God for the anger and disgust I felt at him for allowing this church to happen to me, and I thank him for saving my life and my relationship with my family.

    My mom gets on my nerves sometimes and so does my sister and other family members…but that’s because we really are family and they are a joy to me. I am sorrowful every time I think of how I began to cut them out and push them away and put the members of my church and “serving” before them. I regret it each and every time and it’s going to take some time to forgive myself for that because I know God has forgiven me. I can’t fathom what I almost possibly gave up–and that is incredible love from my family even as imperfect as they are and I am.

    My mom loves me and she can’t bear to know that something terrible would have to me. She worries a lot. She just happens to be a worrier and it doesn’t help that I am so carefree. I drive her crazy. Doing something like this would have literally killed her. It broke her heart to know that I had to have a surgical procedure awake and was in terrible pain and was crying for her and she was not there… I really love my mom because no matter what I say or do to her and she to me, she will always love me. A church has and probably never will do that and they showed me that very surely.

    My heart goes out to any of you mothers or siblings or even dads who have lost children and family to high demand controlling groups. It’s so easy to get lost. Nothing feels better to you at the time than being love bombed. It’s like a drug.

  131. T – please stop beating yourself up, OK? It’s over now… and I’m sure your mom loves you just as much as she ever did. (Just like you love her.)

    I know it’s hard to think about the repercussions, but the big thing is this: you are OUT OF THERE NOW. [not yelling; just being emphatic!]

  132. Thanks Numo… I’m gonna try. I will. It’s just that every time I read one of these stories I get all choked up again. The reality of where I was going becomes so real when I read these accounts. It really hadnt until recently. So I’m caught somewhere between relief, disbelief, regret and accepting forgiveness. It. Is. Hard. Pray for me.

  133. I will pray for you… and ikwym. I can’t read many of these stories; they get to me very fast. I think that’s true for anyone who’s been involved in stuff like this.

  134. Trina
    I can assure you that all moms are like your mom. Imagine growing up in a home with one of us. My kids know that I know about all sorts of churches. When they go to a church, with great trepidation, they tell me and wait for my response-fearing that I have some tidbit about things. I just want my kids to know that their are idiots out there just like in the rest of the world and being a pastor or “leader” does not mean you are “without sin.”

  135. Deb–

    I was actually wondering that yesterday as you wrote a tidbit about updates you were giving your daughter.

  136. Arce, I am confused. Reports and JoePa himself originally said he called his “athletic director” not the campus police. Do you have some different information that shows he directly and immediately called the campus police after being informed?

    also this:

    Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly says “There is no indication that anyone from the university ever attempted to learn the identity of the child who was sexually assaulted on their campus or made any follow-up effort to obtain more information from the person who witnessed the attack first-hand.”

  137. My point is that JoePa was not the one to report, because there had been no outcry to him by a victim and he had no direct knowledge. The graduate assistant coach, an adult was the person with direct knowledge, and he allegedly reported it to the AD and to the department head over the campus police. What no one knows is what he actually said to them. But said grad ass did not go to the police department, and apparently did not convince the AD and department head that the event actually happened. Apparently, the two men denied that he told them any details and he said he did, and the grand jury believed him and not them. Unusual, btw, in a two against one situation that the two get charged!!!

    This is not on JoePa but on the grad ass and on the AD and dept head. JoePa did what he was supposed to do, and actually more by calling and telling the guys upstairs to listen to the grad ass. Somewhere in the trio between the grad ass and the other two men, the ball was dropped. Who dropped it depends entirely on what the grad ass actually said to the other two men.

  138. Trina,

    I have shared much of this information with both of my daughters. I don’t want them to be caught off-guard.

  139. Arce – the grad ass’t. is none other than Mike McQueary, who has been on the coaching staff for several years now.

    I do NOT agree on the whole “he did what he was supposed to do” angle, but then, I live 25 miles from Guess What College? (Sandusky’s The Second Mile was revered throughout the state, and many kids were referred there by professional counselors, etc.)

    The traffic on the highway near me was incessant earlier today, what with people going to the JoePa memorial service at the b-ball stadium, which seats 16,000. It’s all quiet now, since the service started 10 minutes ago, but it’ll get crazy again in an hour or two.

    I liked JoePa, but I think he REALLY screwed up re. not reporting Sandusky to the cops; further, that there was a good ol’ boy protective network in place. If you look at the grand jury presentment, I think that’s the only reasonable conclusion… that nobody blew the whistle on Sandusky after the *first* victim’s case came to light is just plain reprehensible. But then, I’m not certain that the State College police force would have moved against someone who had so much power.

  140. I too share concern about the Mars Hill connection to Mr. Bethke. However, a quick perusal of Mr. Bethke’s YouTube page shows him reading two poems, including the one in question, at an open mic night while he was in college.

    I think we need to be cautious in our judgements. Paul spoke of the being glad the word was being preached even if it was the equivalent of a Mark Driscoll doing the preaching. We trust in the Holy Spirit to divine truth in the hearts of those seeking something mainline evangelical churches apparently aren’t seeing. Do we remain silent about our concerns over Mars Hill and the damaging theology taught? Not at all. But we might use caution before automatically pasting Mark Driscoll’s face on Jefferson Bethke’s body.

    I’m a preachers “kid” (42 now) and struggled tremendously with the hypocrisy, legalism and trappings of religion in my teens and twenties. John Fischer, a pioneer in the early Christian music scene, wrote a book called “Real Christians Don’t Dance” (with a strike-thru the word “don’t”). I read that book three times in a row. It wasn’t some great theological break through — it wasn’t even a particularly deep book. But it felt like I’d finally been heard.

    There’s a deep pain in the younger generation today that the church seems to miss (yes, generalization). Being a compassionate witness to that struggle, that pain, goes a long way to building trust and relationship. I think Mr. Bethke’s spoken word has reached many of those hurting hearts and awoken others who’ve perhaps been asleep in the light.

  141. Lisa
    I do not know much of Bethke but will read up on him. You said “Paul spoke of the being glad the word was being preached even if it was the equivalent of a Mark Driscoll doing the preaching. We trust in the Holy Spirit to divine truth in the hearts of those seeking something mainline evangelical churches apparently aren’t seeing. Do we remain silent about our concerns over Mars Hill and the damaging theology taught? Not at all.”

    We must be very, very careful to expose bad teaching because their are lives at stake. On this blog ,we have too many people who have turned from the faith because of the poor teaching of this crowd. Jesus and paul warned us about false teachers and wolves. We need to keep folks informed and be compassionate to the pain of these folks as well.

  142. Dee,

    I totally agree and should have expanded/made my thoughts more clear in that respect. I apologize if I came across harsh or abrupt – that wasn’t my intention. I do believe that false teaching must me exposed and exposed with vigor, grace, consistency and with much prayer for those trapped unaware at the feet of such false teachings.

    I’ve struggled tremendously with my faith as a result of a painful, long-term church experience where I was a worship leader. I’ve hardly stepped foot inside a church since. I have occasionally found a place of worship in the form of a small, home-group. At times, even that is difficult as the echoes of false teachers often scream in my head with great ferocity.

    I simply didn’t want this young man, who has a genuine zeal for God, to be automatically viewed as a clone or minion of Mark Driscoll. Mr. Bethke is a brother in Christ and my hope is we would lift him up and surround him with prayer as he has a voice on a national scale for the time being. I also hope we will pray that he is able to hear the small stirrings in his spirit about Mr. Driscoll’s teachings.

    At the end of the day, none of this is beyond the sight of God and it is most certainly not beyond His reach.

  143. I am glad to see this blog. If people aren’t encountering the AUNTHENTIC Gospel, then they’ll fall for this Driscoll guy’s nonsense. He’s replacing legalism with…well…groovier looking legalism, from what I can see. I truly believe people have such an innate NEED to be accepted, that they’ll walk right in to this. It’s basically John Calvin, resurrected, because of the choke-hold of CONTROL that is required. Just visit their sites. The only “resources” available are authored by them. Same with the music. There’s nothing wrong with disliking anything that is done out of some “religious routine” or with wanting a RELATIONSHIP with Christ. But I don’t need MD to issue me that relationship. There’s so much control and abuse, that I can’t see room for “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY.” How do we counter this kind of demonic evangelism? They are highly organized, well funded, and they’ve been doing in a LONG TIME. I call it demonic, because I don’t see ANY character of CHRIST showing. I see control and abuse. If it’s not GOD, then it’s “the other guy.”

  144. Rainbo

    The word “gospel” has been co-opted to mean anything they want it to mean. They use “biblical” in the same way. If you disagree with them, then you are denying the gospel. The sad part of this is that mot young people today have precious little understanding of what constitutes the gospel.

  145. Rainbo,

    Preach it! I agree with everything you have said. Yes, Driscoll and Mars Hill have been at it for quite a while, but I’m encouraged that there is a growing chorus of voices on the internet speaking out against the corrupt aspects of this ministry.

  146. Religion in the defamatory sense must be distinguished as the hypocrisy practiced by Pharisees who did not receive or recognize Jesus Christ as God or the promised Messiah. These religious leaders rejected Christ because they rejected and defied the covenantal love of God. The OT and the NT are filled with accounts of their religious pride and self righteousness that was evidenced in their mistreatment of women and neglect of the poor. The Pharisees were jealous of Christ’s popularity with the masses because fame and fortune was the lust that drove their wickedness!

    Parallels and analogies abound to the media mongering shock jock Mark Driscoll. Neo Calvinist MD lauds his theology of grace yet contrary to the written word of God and the first tenet of Calvinism sola scriptura excludes women from any service but to men. Scripture from Genesis to Revelation establishes women as called, ordained and obediently answering to Christ in ministerial leadership office as apostles and prophets. Yet MD in his private interpretation and teaching reduces women to lust of the eye and flesh gratification machines! His fan club of father figure starved young men espouse this twisted theology and as the Pharissees whom MD embodies MD is creating monsters of male chauvinism worse than him.

    Catholicism apparently does not have exclusivity on creating a mediator between God and human as MD’s indisputable complementarianism places men between women and Christ. Indisputable as MD’s camp refuses to discuss this subjective exclusion of women from ministerial leadership and men as mediator between Christ and women because women cannot hear Christ commission them contrary to MD’s theology.

    MD’s complementarianism, women exist to compliment men, is the most hypocritical self serving RELIGION that exists today. To exclude more than half the body of Christ from serving as Christ alone speaks to them and to claim the service of those female members as to benefit the physical desires of the male members alone is a sick deviation of the gospel that would make the Pharissees who crucified Christ proud.

    As a woman missionary evangelist of 35 years I thank God my husband has recognized and respected my calling and my obedience to Christ and Christ alone. And while we share a deep love reflected in our successful soul winning mission work he and I both know we humbly serve to compliment one Man Jesus Christ.

  147. WOW Yvonne!

    That was powerful! You have truly inspired all of us!

    I especially liked your last paragraph:

    “As a woman missionary evangelist of 35 years I thank God my husband has recognized and respected my calling and my obedience to Christ and Christ alone. And while we share a deep love reflected in our successful soul winning mission work he and I both know we humbly serve to compliment one Man Jesus Christ.”

    May God continue to bless you and your husband as you work together to share the love of Jesus Christ with those whom you encounter.

  148. I find parts of this article, and some of the comments about it, a little troubling. As far as Jeff goes, this guy is obviously just trying to spread the Word, and he’s doing a great job of it. Yes, there are a few faulty lines in his poem, but he admits that he would change some things if he would have known that it would go viral. It’s clear that the “religion” he hates is an attempt by man to achieve self-righteousness by simply following some rules and performing rituals. And he’s right, Jesus did hate that. While Christianity is technically a religion as defined by the dictionary, it has something that no other religion has, and that’s a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So although the “relationship, not religion” line may be a cliche, it’s also very accurate. As far as the comments about Mark Driscoll, I really don’t follow the guy’s sermons too closely, but the few I have heard are phenomenal, and very biblically sound. I don’t recall the line about “Jesus coming back for blood”, but I do know which sermon that would be from, and it was very good, talking about how Christians nowadays are just push overs and let people run over our faith, when Jesus stood up for what was right. If the other remarks about what Driscoll is teaching are true, then yes some of that is a little off-base to say the least, but all I’m getting at is, why are Christians bashing other Christians for trying to make an impact?

  149. George,

    You might want to hang around a little while as we expose another side of Driscoll. What you see isn’t what you get… He has a lot of people fooled.