Fired Mars Hill Elder Breaks His Silence

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

George Santayana

"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."

Edmund Burke

Dee and I began blogging on March 19, 2009, after several years of giving lip service to it.  A week before we launched The Wartburg Watch, Dee called me saying, "We've have got to start blogging NOW because if we don't I fear we'll get swallowed by a giant fish!"  For the literalists among us, that's figurative language. ;)

With some degree of trepidation, we hammered out our thoughts and went online with our first post — Who Hijacked My Church?   If you take time to read it, you will see that we have come a long way in our almost three years of blogging.  However, history has shown that our research prior to launching this website was on target.  At the end of that first post, we highlighted two issues that plague Christendom: 

(1) The rise of a new brand of Calvinism and

(2) The expansion of church discipline. 

In our assessment of Mars Hill, we find it interesting that these are significant characteristics of Mark Driscoll's church. 

Since Dee and I missed the first explosion that rocked Mars Hill (MH), I thought it might be beneficial to take a look at that crisis in order to see what we can learn from MH history.  As you may know, Mars Hill began in the spring of 1996 in Mark and Grace Driscoll's apartment.  Mark was around 25 years old.  The church had its first official service in October 1996, and over the course of the next three years the congregation grew to around 350.

Mark Driscoll garnered the trust of MH congregants in the early years by making proclamations such as this one:  Who can fire the pastor?

As the church continued to grow, the by-laws had to be rewritten.  According to an article published on November 19, 2007 in The Seattle Times:

"Mars Hill has grown exponentially since its founding in 1996 and today claims about 6,000 in Sunday attendance at its five campuses.  Because of such growth, its bylaws, which outline how the church is organized, have to be rewritten once a year, according to an online posting by church leaders in the members forum.  In the forum, some members said the bylaw changes don't address what they're supposed to — organizing multiple campuses — and instead put too much power into the hands of only a few pastors."

Two days before The Seattle Times article came out, Jonah Spangenthal-Lee published an explosive post: Fired and Brimstone at Mars Hill Church

Jonah (great name!) broke the news on the internet (as far as I can tell) by writing:

"In late September or early October, Mars Hill—the hipster yet ultraconservative church—fired one pastor and put another on probation.

In a letter to church members, Pastor Mark Driscoll—one of the cofounders of the church—referenced the church’s recent rewriting of its bylaws, and stated that the two men, “curiously were among the least administratively gifted for that task, and chose to fight in a sinful manner in an effort to defend their power and retain legal control of the entire church.”

Pastor Paul Petry, who preached at Ballard, was fired, while Bent Meyer, who preaches at the Shoreline location, was put on probation. The dramatic move caused quite a stir at Mars Hill, and members of the church aired their grievances in a long and lively thread on the church’s private online message board.

Things got even uglier in a September 30 sermon, when Driscoll—who’s been the face of the church since it was first established in 1996—stated, sternly referencing the two dissidents, that “There are a few guys right now, if I wasn’t going to end up on CNN, I would go Old Testament on ’em. There’s no, like, attorneys and blogging, just like I punched you in the mouth, now shut up. That’s clean; it’s simple.”

According to one former Mars Hill member, there are people rescinding their memberships because of the decision. Mars Hill currently has five locations—in Ballard, Shoreline, West Seattle, Redmond, and Wedgwood, with a new site replacing the Tabella Nightclub in Belltown on the way—and around 24 pastors.

Neither Petry nor Meyer would comment."

The Seattle Times article linked above broke the news to the Seattle community this way:

"The recent firing of two pastors is causing turmoil at Mars Hill Church, Seattle's largest congregation. About a month ago, Paul Petry and Bent Meyer were fired from their staff positions… Some Mars Hill members contend the pastors were removed because they challenged proposed changes in church structure that those members believed would consolidate power in the hands of top church leaders…

Mars Hill leaders said in forum postings that one fired pastor was removed, in part, for "displaying an unhealthy distrust in the senior leadership." They said the other was removed for "disregarding the accepted elder protocol for the bylaw deliberation period" and "verbally attacking the lead pastor" — charges the fired pastor denied, the leaders added.

Petry also was removed as an elder; Meyer remains a church elder but is on probation. At Mars Hill, elders are men who hold positions of authority in the church. Some are on paid staff and some are not.

Petry and Meyer declined to comment.

They questioned the bylaws' granting of indefinite terms to a select group of "executive elders," which currently includes Lead Pastor Jamie Munson, Preaching Pastor Mark Driscoll, and three others. Executive elders serve "indefinitely until resignation, death or replacement," according to the bylaws; they may also be removed by a vote of the church board of directors, including the executive elders. Driscoll is a former Seattle Times contributing Faith & Values columnist.

Some members also lamented the loss of Petry and Meyer, challenged their firings, and questioned whether dissent was being quashed and a "culture of fear and elitism" was being perpetuated…"

The Seattle Times article ends with a very telling statement, indicating that Driscoll's next goal was to attract ten thousand worshippers on Sundays.  Not all Martians (Mars Hill worshipers) were pleased with their visionary leader, as you will see.

Because of the tremendous advances in internet technology, someone (we assume a disgruntled MH member) has waged a very public campaign to expose Mark Driscoll's pulpit antics.  Here are three MUST WATCH videos of Driscoll ranting from his bully pulpit.  Be sure to read the accompanying information for each video.

Shut up and do what you're told

Beating up your own leaders

How to keep my elders in line and obedient

As you can see Pastoral Authority is getting way out of hand.  Mark Driscoll is having a tremendous influence on young followers — especially males — and the future of Christendom looks dire from our perspective.  Will Christians learn from Mars Hill's brief history or will it be repeated?  Thankfully, "authority" is becoming a HOT TOPIC in the blogosphere, and we are grateful that others are speaking out.  Please read Pastor Wade Burleson's timely post on Christian Authority.  

With the elder crisis behind him and the future of Mars Hill firmly in his grasp, Mark Driscoll is becoming more bizarre.  Take a look…

You know, Mark Driscoll isn't the only one who sees things

Here at The Wartburg "Watch", we see things too (like Mickey Mouse peeping out from Driscoll's jacket), and we don't like what we are seeing.  In fact, we have been keeping our eyes on Mark Driscoll for three years and we are extremely concerned!  Keep in mind that we haven't even waded into the Real Marriage material in this post. 

We understand from a reliable source that none of the MH elders/pastors who have been forced out have ever spoken out.  That is, until now. . . 

We are honored that Bent Meyer, one of the two elders fired by Driscoll, boldly posted the following comment here at TWW.  

BENT MEYER on Sun, Jan 29 2012 at 06:06 pm (link)

"I am one of the men fired the day of Mark’s rant about two elders he felt needed broken noses. Someone asked what has happened since that day.
I am happy to say, the next Sunday my wife and I attended another Church with far better expository teaching and a community that authentically and generously helps the marginalized.

I also finished my master program and have a private mental health practice serving the Seattle and Eastside area. This was a very good and satisfying result.
Regarding whether I spoke up or not. I have not been silenced by any direct or implied threats of retaliation. It is clear that the one who possess the air waves controls the content and spin of a story, so there was not much to be done.

I thought a lot about how I would response and just what my motives would be. I chose not to be lured into a public argument through the Seattle Times asking me for a blow by blow description of the events I have documented. I have a tendency to keep material for years and years.

I did prepare my narrative, including supporting documents, for members only to read who came to me for explanation. They had to agree never to disclose any of it to the media. These people have been honorable. As best I know, none have. By doing this I opened up myself to their scrutiny and possible rebuke. I have received nothing but kindness and support.

As to my motives, I want Mark’s best. In my opinion he is a very troubled man. He is caught in his own hell. The consequence, of course, is the influence he has on others, which is mixed.

He, Lief Moi, and Mike Gunn, together the founders of Mars Hill Church, sent out to focus on those that were young, upwardly mobile and future leaders. They wanted to position themselves to influence their faith decisions and their life choices. This is a lesson for many church leaders to learn from and choose for themselves.

The downside is Mark’s pathology shows up in ways that are impulsive, aggressive, irascible, shut off from effective relational influence, and most apparent not respectful and submissive to anyone, though he claims otherwise.

I have hoped and still hope for something short of him destroying himself that would bring about substantial change for this ever increasing population of worshiper. Some have fretted there will be a great loss of Christians with the demise of Mark and/or the Church. I don’t think so. The church that comprises all of us will survive. The chaff will be blown away, but the church will remain.

I would speak a caution to all of us. There is much to be learn for the Mars Hill phenomena. Don’t dismiss the hunger and openness to be influenced represented in those ages 18 through 30. Invent content that is useful and distribute it freely on the web. Always incorporate creatively some explanation of the gospel at the end of every teaching session with an invitation to do business with Jesus.

Even though Mark’s portrayal of masculinity is more like a comic book superhero and women needing to be protected and rescued is his focus, young men coming into manhood is richly important. Absent fathers is epidemic. Think about what it is that has caused them not to attach to their families. Mark comes at it from the standpoint of duty and responsibility, which is mechanical, missing other primary questions. Why do so many men not attach to their families? Why do they abandon family so easily? Mark uses shame and intimidation as the means of gaining compliance, which has the appearance of working, but is not transformational in the long run, or creates other issues of abusive relationships related to power and control. In many men, the tendency is understood in the short saying, “Monkey see monkey do.” Don’t over react, young men need to mature.

I feel like I need to give attention to the needs of women with equal if not more space since women are marginalized and silenced in so many ways. But, I will leave that for another time.

I hope this will satisfy the primary curiosity of those who wonder what has happened to me. I will say, the other elder fired at the same times is a good friend and is doing well."

We want to thank Bent for sharing his unsolicited comment here at TWW.  Our hearts go out to him and his loved ones for the obvious pain they have experienced in this debacle.  We are grateful that Bent has been able to use this trial at Mars Hill to earn a masters degree and establish a private mental health practice serving the Seattle and Eastside area.  If you have ever considered hiring a professional counselor to help you work through your issues, Bent is obviously qualified to tackle a wide range of counseling needs.  You can contact him at Paradigm Counseling at Puget Sound.  We have added Bent's website to our list of recommended links.  Bent has NOT asked for our recommendation, but we offer it freely and without reservation.  We believe Bent is well-qualified to counsel others because of his training and personal experiences.

Based on the testimonies that have been arriving almost daily at TWW via private e-mail, we know that many of our brothers and sisters in Christ have been adversely affected by the shenanigans at Mars Hill.  If you have a MH story to share, you can contact us privately.  Our e-mail addresses are listed under "Contact Us". 

In the meantime, we’ll be keeping an eye on these “Martian” leaders at Mars Hill.

Lydia's Corner:    Isaiah 25:1-28:13    Galatians 3:10-22    Psalm 61:1-8    Proverbs 23:17-18


Fired Mars Hill Elder Breaks His Silence — 283 Comments

  1. The whole discipline contact along with the other hooliganism at MH makes this THE topic of 2012 (so far). Needless to say, it has made Ed Young look like a Botox hipster wannabee and made me realize that he’s just a poser, albeit a profitable one. The plastic Young, Jr. pales in comparison to the interesting happenings at Mars Hill.

  2. After watching the “I see things” video, I know he is lying. Who goes up to someone and says “Hey did you molest me when I was a kid?” and then the offender says “Oh yeah but you were young.” Are you kidding me MD? YOU ARE NOT TELLING THE TRUTH!!!! No one does that! Also, I think two of the stories he told were about him and his wife. I think the affair early on in marriage story was about them, and I wouldn’t be shocked of the man beating his wife wasn’t an autobiographical story as well.

    John Calvin is currently rolling over in his grave. Heck, so is Jonathan Edwards! A word to MD if you are reading… Special revelation stopped almost two thousand years ago. If you want revelation, look at the word which became flesh. This video alone should show anyone who is in any Christian denominations with maybe the exception of some charismatic bodies that he is a false teacher.

    Dee or Deb have you ever heard of Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith? He recently tried to get into the Elephant room conference in order to listen to the non sense and refute much of the statements but, he was escorted off the property when they saw him coming! I am not sure where to find this but it is an episode of Issues Etc. from last week.

  3. Apologies if this has been addressed before–I’m reading my way through old posts back to front and am on page 57–but what is the “logic” behind reducing representation on an elder board when a church is expanding (I will not use “growing” in this context) as rapidly as the MH empire is? We who are used to congregationalism can easily see in this a thinly-veiled desire to control said empire, but I’m curious as to how MD and company have explained the changes–or if they have at all.

  4. Amy said:
    “what is the “logic” behind reducing representation on an elder board when a church is expanding?”

    Great question, Amy! I had the same thought as I was writing the post. The only explanation is it was a surefire way for Driscoll to consolidate power.

  5. Mark
    You said Driscoll makes “Ed Young look like a Botox hipster wannabee” and made me realize that he’s just a poser. I hope a few “formers” from Fellowship are reading this. What a great description.

  6. Robin
    I did hear about Chris Rosebrough and listened to his account. I am going to try to write about it in one of our posts this week.Our good friend, Tom Rich at FBC Jax watchdog wrote about it. Poor Mark-he and his buddies can’t take a critic. They need to hide behind bouncers. Wusses all!

  7. Deb
    Just got back from the meeting I told you about. Will call you tomorrow. Great post, fascinating topic. Martian Central is having to juggle a lot of problems. Awesome post!

  8. Deb and Dee…Thank you for this forum…Seriously two weeks ago I couldn’t see light at the end of the MH ghastly tunnnel!

    Bent, after reading what you shared last night I was trying to figure out a way to seek out your counseling services without looking too tacky! I have no doubt you are just the place I have been searching for….

    Bless you all!

  9. Robin – Honestly, I think that only the most “out there” of charismatics and Pentecostals would give any credence to MD’s creepy “visions.” (Not!)

  10. Mark Driscoll is a chicken-hawk. How many fights has he been in? How many fire-fights? I don’t understand how Jesus clearly states violence is not the way of the Kingdom? Turn the other cheek, love your enemies? What Scriptures does Driscoll read?

    I just don’t get the militarism in the Church. They’re guilty of the blasphemy of the crusades.

  11. So I was watching the “I see things” video and noticed how he was trying to coin his Pornovisions (TM) as discernment. Let’s use MD own definition from the Resurgence:

    In his own definition, it does not include Pornovision (TM) or visions of any kind. I think he does this “I see things” as a way to establish power over people. Think about it, we all have skeletons, and the Martians are probably afraid that they will be the next to have their “mail read”. (CNN article…”we don’t write the mail, we just deliver it” ~ Driscoll).

    Whether or not you believe that prophecy and visions still occur today, it is important to realize that, if they do, the simple fact that his visions always have to do with something that happened in someone’s past, is peculiar. Prophecy from God generally warns or tells of coming events.

    The other thing that really bothers me is this quote from the doctrinal statement:
    This link no longer works… it redirects here:

    WHOOOPS!!! It is gone! It redirects you to another page! HOLY CRAPOLY! And they have reworded their membership covenant page! Wow…

    Here is a cut and paste from my journal from Oct 18 that I copied from the doctrinal statement:
    the statement of faith does not include any mention of the Spirit led life afforded me at conversion.
    “We also believe that particular spiritual gift(s) are neither essential, nor prove the presence of the Holy Spirit, nor are an indication of deep spiritual experience (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, 13; Ephesians 4:7–8). We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accordance with His own will, for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; 1 John 5:14, 15). We believe that it is the privilege and responsibility of every believer to minister according to the gift(s) and grace of God that is given to him” (from doctrinal statement)

    My point being, that statement invalidates the average person’s spiritual gifts or experience but then MD is up having “visions” and hearing God in an audible voice.

  12. you HAVE to go to fighting for the faith and hear this sermon review of Mark Driscoll talking about demon possession. Go to the 1:11 mark.

    If the link doesn’t work go to fighting for the faith. Go to search and type Mark Driscoll. There are several things that come up. Click on Mark Driscoll puts demons on trial. Go to where it says click here to listen to the episode and go to 1:11 mark. It is fascinating if you have about fifteen or twenty minutes.

  13. Theologian –

    He is still a pastor (not in the true sense of the word though) because he answers to no one. And his so-called peers in Christendom will not call him out. The peers have dealt the same way with CJ Mahaney. It has become the theater of the absurd.

  14. Our hearts go out to him and his loved ones for the obvious pain they have experienced in this debacle.

    I am Bent’s wife. I will respond to this, but I am not as good at composing my thoughts as Bent is.

    I will express how I experienced MH and MD in a future post. The “pain” I felt was not so much for myself but for those who remained.

    Thank you for your blog. I just starting reading it about a week ago.

    A friend of ours stated on FB that my husband is “an honorable man”. I can vouch for that since we’ve been married over 40 years. He is my best friend, he makes me laugh, and he is a man of integrity.


    TeamPyro focuses on one half of the problem and I decided I wanted to tackle the other half of the problem. For a preacher who would seem to not want to condone pop psychology he’s sure made use of a lot of it. Not just five love languages or Meiers-Briggsian stuff but some stuff that is not particularly deep but not entirely harmful; the “pornographic divination” stuff highlights something I haven’t see other bloggers discuss, which is that there’s a lot from the recovered memory playbook in the “I see things” video. Anyone with a modicum of background in studying the history of mental health practice knows that the recovered memory craze was debunked decades ago. One of the key people involved in debunking the trend has done her work here in the Puget Sound.

    Almost everything from “I see things”, when I reviewed it, looks like stuff straight from the playbook of the recovered memory movement with a few spiritual warfare tropes thrown in. Longtime readers of Wartburg will remember that I discussed the conflict between Driscoll wanting the Wedding Supper of the Lamb to very much not be literal while insisting the Lake of Fire is literal. And, of course, the conundrum of “Satan” casting out “Satan” between the Light-bearer and the ruler of Tyre.

    Recovered memories of things that didn’t really happen are a fantastic way to inspire young and impressionable people in a social group to suddenly feel as though family members (particularly parents) were guilty of things they didn’t actually do.

  16. J Terry
    I agree with you. Frankly, many women don’t want to make waves and instead their highest goal is to be thought of as “nice.” I think many women’s ministry programs encourage this as well. When I think of Jesus, “nice’ is not a word I use. We need to aspire to much, much more.

  17. Cal
    You said “They’re guilty of the blasphemy of the crusades.” It goes further back than that. It started in the Garden when they wanted to be “as God.”

  18. Joanne M. Meyer,

    Dee and I are honored that you would take the time to read what some have previously labeled as an “obscure” blog. (Remember that, Dee?)

    We are so grateful that you and your husband had the courage to confront an individual whom we consider to be a megalomaniac, among other things. There was a time in my distant past that I had respect for Mark Driscoll. I will be explaining how that suddenly changed next Monday.

    We would love to publish your testimony about this painful chapter in your life if and when you decide to share it. All you have to do is put it in a Word document and send us a private e-mail with it attached. I’ll even be happy to edit it for you. 🙂

    Please know that I will be praying for your continued healing, both spiritually and emotionally.

    Blessings to you and Bent!

  19. Agree with the other posters’ observations about the strange nature of MD’s “visions.” I spent what passed for my teenage rebellion in a word-faith charismatic church (“but they’ve got a rock band!!!!!”) and while visions and dreams were well within the realm of possibility, they didn’t receive all that much emphasis. And when someone had one, it was usually about the future and NEVER about the past. Least of all was it a revelation of another person’s past deeds. The comparison between MD’s “visions” and the recovered memory movement makes a lot of sense to me. This is all beginning to look like a Tim Burton film.

  20. Joanne

    How difficult it must have been to see your husband maligned by MD who I have come to think of as both strange and troubled! My heart goes out to both you and your family. I think that some of the worst pain in the world is caused by church leaders who abuse and denigrate those who come, seeking solace and forgiveness from a gracious God. Instead they get more abuse heaped on them by little men who use the pulpit to shore up their fragile and troubled egos.

    Just know this, you have some admirers in NC! You are part of a group that we (also members) call The Fellowship of the Wounded who I also refer to as The Remnant.

  21. I second the person who said that the “cheating spouse” in the I see things speech sounds an AWFUL LOT like MD’s description in “Real Marriage” of the night he saw a vision of his wife cheating. Watching it again, I see it even more. Notice how he is very careful to never SAY that this was a couple he was counseling. He worded it in a way that would imply that, but never said it outright. Listen to the video again.

    To be honest, something sounds a little fishy about all these stories. It’s like every one of them is altered or made up in some way. The first one he told sounded vague and odd because he was trying to hide the fact that it was him and Grace. I can’t help wondering if all the stories were being somehow “vagued-down” for the audience in a similar way.

    I can’t say for sure what was going on here, because I am not God and I don’t know what really goes on in Mark Driscoll’s head. But I am super suspicious.

  22. I think the saddest thing about all of this is that none of this is really news. Other than Bent being willing to speak about these issues now. And I do commend him and his wife JoAnne for coming forward.

    The problem is that Driscoll’s style and issues have been well known for a long time. Three years ago the New York Times published the article, Who Would Jesus Smack Down?

    Yet, other than John MacArthur and his Team Pyro boys, leaders amongst the Calvinists have been strangely quiet. Actually, that’s not quite true, some haven’t been quiet… they’ve actually gone and preached at MD’s church — because, obviously God must be blessing Mars Hill since it’s grown so much, no matter what comes out of the mouth of Mark Driscoll. (Yes, that was tongue-in-cheek.)

    The paragraph alone (below) from the New York Times article should have had Mark stepping down and getting some help. Perhaps the evangelical church in North America would not be needing to deal with this now if certain Calvinists had, in Driscoll’s favorite phrase, “manned up”, instead of producing yesterday’s powder puff football response from Calvinista hero, DA Carson at the TGC blog.

    Excerpt from “Who Would Jesus Smack Down” (New York Times article)

    Nowhere is the connection between Driscoll’s hypermasculinity and his Calvinist theology clearer than in his refusal to tolerate opposition at Mars Hill. The Reformed tradition’s resistance to compromise and emphasis on the purity of the worshipping community has always contained the seeds of authoritarianism: John Calvin had heretics bWurned at the stake and made a man who casually criticized him at a dinner party march through the streets of Geneva, kneeling at every intersection to beg forgiveness. Mars Hill is not 16th-century Geneva, but Driscoll has little patience for dissent. In 2007, two elders protested a plan to reorganize the church that, according to critics, consolidated power in the hands of Driscoll and his closest aides. Driscoll told the congregation that he asked advice on how to handle stubborn subordinates from a “mixed martial artist and Ultimate Fighter, good guy” who attends Mars Hill. “His answer was brilliant,” Driscoll reported. “He said, ‘I break their nose.’ ” When one of the renegade elders refused to repent, the church leadership ordered members to shun him. One member complained on an online message board and instantly found his membership privileges suspended. “They are sinning through questioning,” Driscoll preached. John Calvin couldn’t have said it better himself.

  23. Bill Kinnon,

    Thank you for your insightful comment. Dee and I have also noticed the strange silence coming from the ‘Calvinista’ crowd. MAN UP BOYS!

    What I find so disheartening in all of this is that Driscoll’s followers are primarily young and highly impressionable. Shame on Christian leaders who support what Macho Man Mark is doing to mislead them. God is watching…

  24. Bill,

    Are you kidding me? So, if John Calvin used authoritarian tactics all Calvinists can and should? Really? Is John Calvin sinless now? I know that many reformers have glaring sin in their past because they are human beings so there it is in our DNA. But to say that since you are a Calvinists, you should do as Calvin himself, a 500 year old theologian? If that is a case WWJD means something totally different for the Calvinistas “What would JOHN do?”

    This is ridiculous!

  25. To Readers:
    Both Deb and I will be out for a couple of hours around lunch time. Some comments may back up. We will do our best to keep them approved.

  26. Just a side note. While I’ve actually enjoyed a number of MD’s sermons over time (and really hated others), I am perpetually annoyed at his equating of professional fighters with his version of masculinity. I was a professional boxer (and am still a girl) and I was acquainted with a number of other professional fighters. I assure you, aside from the loose screws 🙂 you have to have to enjoy it, people who fight are the same as everyone else with their strengths and weaknesses. There, I’ve said it.

  27. Bill, I am not attacking you! I was just SHOCKED that DA Carson would write something soooo absurd!!! I guess in my anger, it looked like I was attacking you. Sorry.

  28. Robin,
    That’s an error on my part. The quote is from the NYT – which I reference in the first sentence of the previous graf. Maybe Dee or Deb could stick a “NYT Quote:” right above said quote. My apologies. Carson’s stuff is at the “powder puff football” link. ;-(

  29. Sorry, I should have read it better. But, even if a Calvinista had written that paragraph, would it really be all that unbelievable?

    Sorry again Bill.

  30. “…they are sinning through questioning.”

    Sounds like SGM! A majority of the SGM accounts have this line in it where the person was told they were sinning through questioning. Mark and Ceej have a lot in common, don’t they?

  31. Dee: “Frankly, many women don’t want to make waves and instead their highest goal is to be thought of as ‘nice.’ I think many women’s ministry programs encourage this as well. When I think of Jesus, ‘nice’ is not a word I use. We need to aspire to much, much more.”

    Dee, the role pushers have worked very hard to make women into what they want. It’s like that line from that song:

    So sit here at my feet
    ’cause I like it when you’re sweet
    And you know it ain’t feminine to fight

    I call the push for women to be nice and sweet “The Keep Sweet Conspiracy” and I wrote a blog post on it.

    (I hope you don’t mind me linking a bit. I link your blog all the time. And for me, rather than repeating myself in a comment, it’s just easier to do this rather than to cover the same ground all over.)

  32. Looks like we all may need to watch out for the Mars Hill PR guy. — Bill Kinnion

    You can find him doing stand-up right next to the Iraqi Information Minister.

  33. “…they are sinning through questioning.”

    Sounds like SGM! — Trina

    Or like Warhammer 40K:

    “Thinking begets Questioning.
    Questioning begets Doubt.
    Doubt begets Heresy.
    Heresy demands Retribution.
    Blessed is the mind too small for Doubt.”

  34. What I find so disheartening in all of this is that Driscoll’s followers are primarily young and highly impressionable. — Deb

    As were the Hitlerjugend, the Young Pioneers, the Red Guard, the Revolutionary Guards, and the Taliban.

  35. A word to MD if you are reading… Special revelation stopped almost two thousand years ago. If you want revelation, look at the word which became flesh. — Robin

    In my church tradition (Romish Popery) GENERAL Revelation stopped with the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles (traditionally, John). Special Revelation continues, though with limitations: a Special Revelation is binding ONLY on the one who receives the Special Revelation; others may voluntarily follow said Special Revelation, but is is NOT repeat NOT mandatory. So if MD IS receiving Special Revelation, said special revelation is for him and him alone, and he is Fully Responsible for what is done with it. He cannot bind anyone else to follow his Special Revelation.

    (Though personally, I’ve always figured MD’s “I See Things” Special Porn Revelations are his sexual fantasies breaking through in an acceptable form. This happened with a LOT of hermit monks in my church’s tradition when monastic celibacy was considered more Godly than living a mundane life, though they interpreted it as “Temptations from the Devil” instead of “Visions from God”.)

  36. Yet, other than John MacArthur and his Team Pyro boys, leaders amongst the Calvinists have been strangely quiet. Actually, that’s not quite true, some haven’t been quiet… they’ve actually gone and preached at MD’s church — because, obviously God must be blessing Mars Hill since it’s grown so much, no matter what comes out of the mouth of Mark Driscoll. — Bill Kinnon

    1) “One Hand Washes the Other…”
    2) “He $aved Lot$ of $oul$!”

  37. He is so arrogant, he didn’t really explain it. He just said he wanted it and it was so. — Dee

    “Abracadabra” — slurred Aramaic for “I Speak And It Is So.”

  38. Debbie, MacArthur fans assume charismatics or non-cessationists are out to lunch, period. The put-down is lazy and not responsible but I wonder if it’s because Pyromaniacs have been insisting Driscoll is proof of what “all” charismatics and Pentecostals and continuationists have to be in every case.

    They don’t realize (or care?) that’s the kind of attitude they’ve had for years that helped tip Driscoll away from cessationism after he began to conclude that cessationists can’t really defend their views from 1 Cor 12-15 as a whole.

  39. “Watch this video 25:10 into it.”

    It almost sounded like they were talking about this blog.

    I would much rather read this blog than to listen to those two, or MD or others. many women, in my opinion, have more discernment than men.

  40. Joanne,

    I am so glad you commented. I told my story recently. But the reason I do what I do is not because I have an ax to grind or want to get “revenge”, but it is for those women and men that are still there. I lost all my friends but I am sad for them that they are so deceived and stuck in that situation, as they must “submit” and they are taught that they are second class citizens.

    I have had people who left 10 years ago email me who have realized that it is still impacting their life, the way they see God and themselves. It is horrible!

    You and Bent are truly heroes, when me and my husband started questioning, we came across your story and it helped give us clarity, so THANK YOU!


  41. WTH – *very* good point about the whole “recovered memories” thing, though I seriously doubt most American churches have gotten the message about it being phony. (Or if they have, it’s been pretty recent.)

    Less than 20 years ago, 2 groups of people (!!!) from That Church tried to make me ‘fess up to having been sexually abused as a child/having memories that I didn’t want to recover.

    I told them then – as I tell everyone here, now – that NOTHING OF THE KIND EVER HAPPENED TO ME. But they were slow to back down. (Big, big red flag, though I truly didn’t see it for what it was at the time – a get out now! message.)

  42. Heh. I just realized that my stories about That Church are sounding crazier and crazier… but they’re all true.

    And I think they are actually typical of many churches that are (more or less) in charismatic circles, even churches that are very toned-down, cf. That Church.

  43. It’s certainly a reason why women don’t speak out. We aren’t just criticized, we are backhanded and knocked down. But….that is why it’s key to continue speaking out as women. It’s key to not give up even though the opposition is so stinging that it simply takes the wind out of you.

  44. numo, what has really jumped out for me sharing these different stories is how recent (i.e. in the last thirty to forty years in national terms) the recovered memory movement was. I knew people on the bandwagon of recovered memory stuff in the early 1990s but I was fortunate that when I was Pentecostal I was at a more old-school Assemblies of God that (at least at first) eschewed all that Latter Rain stuff and didn’t put creedence in recovered memory stuff.

    When someone I knew had a home-grown impromptu exorcism people said she was liberated and spiritually free and the counseling pastor at the Pentecostal church urged her that despite feeling good she should still get herself checked out by mental health professionals. So one of the reasons I have no sympathy for MacArthur style cessationists is I grew up in the half of Oregon that has produced Pentecostals like Gordon Fee. The level of misrepresentation about what Pentecostalism often actually is can be pretty severe. Obviously I no longer subscribe to numerous views espoused by Pentecostalism but the recovered memory fad had plenty of secular advocates before it got debunked in time for some Christians to adopt it.

    One of the absolute red flags for me about recovered memory methods is that it can often be a way to pit children against parents or to reveal ethnic and racial prejudices of the “coach” who can coax a recovered memory out of someone that makes the spiritual defilement someone either the coach or subject has some biases about. Over the last fifteen years I’ve seen a lot of spam claiming Islam must be the coming global religion. I don’t want to get into all the reasons why junk like that inspired me to be an amillenial partial preterist but the short version is that in additionto APP making more exegetical sense of Revelation it has the advantage of not being a school of thought that so easily lets a bunch of paranoid white folks with racial prejudices use the Bible as a way to use their abberant and anachronistic eschatological obsessions as a way to demonize ethnic and religious groups they find threatening.

  45. Debbie Kaufman –

    I listened to that whole clip you posted. They definitely commented in a negative way about what they called “discerning divas.” They also referred to discerning homeschool moms and women or stay at home women (no quotes there). I don’t know what specific women they were referring to. At the end they did say that they weren’t only referring to women as discerners, and they went on to speak about a specific male blogger as a discerner. There were some other things that nagged at me about their discussion as well. But I understood their concern about Jakes.

  46. The impromptu exorcism’s “success” hinged on a recovered memory session, for further clarification.

  47. WTH – the thing is, a lot of charismatics (and Pentecostals) don’t do themselves any favors. All one has to do is go to the site of “Charisma” mag or check out any number of so-called “prophetic” and “strategic-level spiritual warfare” sites.

    iirc, the recovered memory thing tracked *very* closely with claims of “Satanic ritual abuse” back in the 80s… (in the mainstream media, that is). Meanwhile, Frank Perretti was getting his 1st and 2nd novels out to wide swaths of the populace.

    I do believe there’s a connection, Holmes! 😉

  48. Re. Revelation, I must admit that I’m pretty much with Luther (and a few other learned divines)in wishing that it was not part of the NT canon…

  49. oh – for the reasons that WTH cites, as well as others. The martyrs wanting to be avenged really creeps me out.

  50. Heh, yeah. In some alternate universe I’d still be Pentecostal and not Presbyterian if I thought Pentecostals on the whole did themselves any favors! Of course Baptists and Anglicans and all other sorts of Christians that use dispensationalism and premillenialism as a way to understand Revelation tend toward the same sorts of conspiracy theories. It’s just what they do. Post-Latter Rain Pentecostals just throw in a few things like tongues and spiritual warfare fads so that other dispensationalist imagine that they’re better because while they may entertain racists conspiracy theories about global religions they at LEAST don’t speak in tongues or do anything “really” unspiritual. 😉

  51. But Revelation inspired Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, though, and that’s an awesome piece of music! 🙂

  52. True dat (Messiaen), but… the craziness of 99% of the “interpretations” of these texts has made me feel like I’m in that 1% who can only read the “nice” parts (like the river of the water of life + trees with leaves for the healing of the nations).

    I suppose it’s also one of the inspirations behind wonderful spirituals like “Study War No More,” and I can’t say that’s a bad thing at all. 😉

  53. re. “post-Latter Rain”: you’re aware that Latter Rain thinking has had a HUGE influence on charismatics, beginning with the Ft. Lauderdale 5, right? (Chas. Simpson, Ern Baxter, Don Basham, Bob Mumford and Derek Prince.)

  54. numo … sigh … yes, I do remember those bozos. 🙁 Somebody sent me a gift book by Rick Joyner that I’d rather not discuss.

    Hmm, “Study War No More” as in “I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield, down by the river side?” That phrase makes me think of the incomparable Mahalia Jackson! I’m not just a Messiaen fan. 🙂

  55. Since we’re on Revelation something I do want to give Mark Driscoll credit for is preaching Revelation as Christian worship and focusing on the greatness of God and avoiding the fusilades over eschatological schools of thought. I’m not saying he doesn’t have some problems here and there even there but compared to a lot of other preachers and teachers who say that if you’re not a dispensationalist premillenialist Rapture junkie you’re not really Christian there are some things about MarK Driscoll that, even now, I can still say are better than a lot of other preachers out there. His obsession with Markulinity is damaging but I want to give him credit for having done a few things I think were good. A friend of mine shared that Driscoll preaching Revelation as a book about worship and the supremacy of Christ and not about “End Times” paranoia helped him regain appreciation of the book. Of course he’s Orthodox now but that’s a whole separate story. We’re both glad to have left at the times we did.

  56. I suspect that absent a serious scandal, MD will continue on with a devoted following but become progressively more marginalized because of his silly statements much like Oral Roberts and Pat Robertson. I also suspect that WTH is correct and that any major scandal will revolve around the Mars Hill’s inexpert counseling and refusal of confidentiality.

  57. Debbie Kaufman,

    Just saw the clip slamming discerning bloggers. So they are predominantly housewives who homeschool? That little quip was tacky and really made no sense. By the way, how many female bloggers are writing about spiritual discernment in the grand scheme of things ? I dare say not that many, but I could be wrong. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  58. The thing is, like any piece of Scripture, it can be woefully distorted. As for Revelation, I think that’s why there is the warning at the very end. It is so delicately transmitted that any change will up-end it all.

    For myself, I find Revelation one of the most powerful books of Scripture. It is a bizarre vision of things of the past, the present and the future all woven in a strange panorama. I mean seeing whats happening today and in the past with the Church is already laid out in Revelation. It just takes some time to understand the rest of the Scriptures (ie. what all the symbols mean).

    It’s quite funny, before I was regenerate, I loved the LaHaye books and thought all the fear and gore was quite exciting. I think a lot of folks look to Revelation as some sci-fi textbook when it is all about Christ Jesus.

  59. WTH – *very* good point about the whole “recovered memories” thing, though I seriously doubt most American churches have gotten the message about it being phony. (Or if they have, it’s been pretty recent.) — Numo

    Even if they’ve gotten the message, would they believe it? The Satanic Panic of the Eighties was fueled by Recovered Memory spectral evidence; it launched Janet Reno’s political career and many other Spiritual Warfare Experts’ careers. And even from the beginning it was a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory — an Illuminati of Satanists who controlled EVERYTHING.

    And once you’ve drunk the Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory kool-aid, there is NO way to get back. Anyone who denies The Conspiracy is part of The Conspiracy (“That’s what THEY want us to think!”); any and all evidence against The Conspiracy is Disinformation planted by The Conspiracy; lack of evidence for The Conspiracy is PROOF The Conspiracy is so Vast and Powerful THEY Can Silence Anyone.

    The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

    Less than 20 years ago, 2 groups of people (!!!) from That Church tried to make me ‘fess up to having been sexually abused as a child/having memories that I didn’t want to recover. — Numo

    Ever notice that Recovered Memories are usually something JUICY like “sexually abused as a child”? (Dead cows’ rectums optional.) And that you’re always suppressing all the memory of this until the Recovered Memory Therapist brings out The Truth with Hypnosis (or Christianese equivalent)?

  60. I told them then – as I tell everyone here, now – that NOTHING OF THE KIND EVER HAPPENED TO ME. But they were slow to back down. — Numo

    To which the response was “Why are you in such Denial?”

    Because NOTHING OF THE KIND EVER HAPPENED TO ME is PROOF that It DID Happen. Welcome to South Park.

  61. “Looks like we all may need to watch out for the Mars Hill PR guy. (Or maybe we should just start to pray for the poor fellow.)”

    Amazing, isn’t it. That the PR guy at Mars Hill is concerned about some obscure blogger. But I know from my experience with mega churches they have staffers who spend most of their days googling the leadership and church name to see what is being said about them positive or negative to report to those who decide which ones to highlight and which ones to respond to. Welcome to narcissism in ministry.

    From @PastorMark: No one ever made a monument to a critic.

    Just in case Dee, Deb and the rest of us were wondering, “No monuments for you!”

  63. Aw Bill! No monuments will be built to honor critics?

    I had to see that Tweet for myself!

    No one ever made a monument to a critic.

    So let me get this straight… Is Driscoll saying he wants a monument built to honor him? What a ridiculous, self-centered comment! And this guy dares to call himself a pastor?

  64. Robin said: “…A word to MD if you are reading…”

    I doubt very seriously that he is. The likelihood is high that he couldn’t care less what us little-people-nobodies say about him. The ONLY way that these guys will take note is when their $bottom$ lines are affected, and for this cause I hope to God that TWW & other blogs will help to free scores of human beings held in thrall to these tyrants.

    Headless Unicorn Guy said:

    “…In my own church tradition (Romish Popery)…”

    Some of the best thinkers ever were Jesuits and for all of it’s sins of the past (inquisition, anti-semitism) the modern Catholic Church has been at the forefront of the social justice movement when American Protestantism turned a deaf ear to the cries of the oppressed.

  65. Mark Driscoll is a series of contradictions. He talks tough, threatening to break people’s noses in the pulpit (even demonstrating with his hand), but wears silly little necklaces, Mickey Mouse t-shirts, skeleton shirts like second graders wear, and paisley drapery-looking shirts. He has twisted and sexualized the gospel and tries to come off as being an expert in sexuality. Yet it’s clear he has significant sexual hang-ups. As an outsider who hasn’t gotten sucked in, it’s hard to see how anyone can take him seriously.

  66. Bill… Hmm. There’s a monument to Leif Ericson [sp?] in Seattle (have seen it w/my own eyes).

    Just like I saw lots and lots of churches in Seattle back in the 70s and early 80s, and even visited some of them.

    That was Before MD, natch. 😉

  67. And… even more shocking: some of my Seattle-area friends from the 70s were young guys who were (presumably still are) Christians. And they were nice! They didn’t yell and scream, they understood (for the most part; gotta allow some slack for youth) how to act around women; were respectful when speaking to other people; had a few beers now and then but never boasted about it – and wore grown-up clothes at that!

    The kicker is that most of them were Presbyterian. 🙂

  68. “So let me get this straight… Is Driscoll saying he wants a monument built to honor him? What a ridiculous, self-centered comment! And this guy dares to call himself a pastor?”

    Well, I do so hate to be crude but one could sum up his interview with Justin Brierly as Driscoll basically declaring: My biblical manhood is bigger than your biblical manhood.

  69. Really? No one ever made a monument to a critic? So I guess Martin Luther King Jr. was NOT being “a critic” of racism in the U.S.? Abraham Lincoln was NOT being “a critic” of states that held onto slavery and tried to secede? Martin Luther was NOT being “a critic” of abuses by the church?

    I could make a comment about the irony of someone who constantly criticizes men and women for not living up to gender roles to say anything negative about being a critic, but I’ll leave it up to all of you to imagine the snark yourselves.

  70. Anon
    All Christians who have a rudimentary understanding of the Bible know that the only monuments that are worth anything will be those that proclaim the greatness of our God and King. Somehow, I can’t see a monument with a slightly pudgy, angry looking guy wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt being built in this world or the next.

  71. sad observer
    You are right! How about Martin Luther, George Washington (critic of British rule), Samuel Adams. William Wilberforce, Nelson Mandela, Paul Revere…Whoa Mark Driscoll is wrong.

  72. Anon 1 –

    If some mega churches (or any) have to employ staffers to google what people might be writing about their church or leaders, doesn’t that in itself give them a clue that something might be off? Either they have to look over their shoulder because they KNOW they are, or might, be doing something wrong OR they are worried about their reputation and what they might lose? I really don’t care for Mega’s. The people, yes. The institution, no.

  73. “Predominantly housewives who are homeschoolers … ”

    This is what some people call a double bind. Women are supposed to be homeschooling housewives and mommies … but not if so doing they are able to level criticisms of the men who advocate for this?

    I thought there was some monument to martin luther in worms but I guess he has to have never been a critic of the Roman church.

  74. WTH
    That’s right. Marginalize women and you cut out around 60% of the potential “problems.”

  75. Bill, there’s an obvious response to MD’s tweet about no monuments for critics. The response is: sure Mark, but there are monuments to guys like Stalin and Mao Zedong.

  76. Actually … about there being no monuments to critics … George Bernard Shaw has a monument. C. S. Lewis has a monument. Samuel Johnson’s got a monument.

  77. “As a pastor, I see the effects of men not leading daily and I’m deeply burdened by the suffering this causes for both women and children. One of the reasons Grace and I wrote Real Marriage was to share God’s plan for men and women in the Bible regarding gender and marriage in hopes of seeing healthy marriages.

    This is why preach so directly to the men at Mars Hill Church. Contrary to what the bloggers would have you believe, we aren’t trying to build an army of meat-headed, hyper-masculine, misogynists. We’re calling men to repentance. We’re telling men they’re made for more than skimming through life with the goal of avoiding as much responsibility as possible, sleeping with as many girls as possible, and working dead-end jobs that let them play as much as possible.”

  78. Oh and I really enjoyed the article he tweeted about “Do you understand your wife’s hair?”
    You have got to be kidding me. Because the depth of my concerns and brain function is how my hair looks, and when my appointment is cancelled, I need understanding and support? Are you kidding me?

  79. Sophia (love your name, that’s my daughter’s name. We call her both Sophia and Sophie.)

    Don’t you know that Grace’s hair is of utmost importance to Mark? Didn’t you read about how devastated he was when she got a mommy hair cut. So if it is that important to Mark, it HAS to be a top priority to Grace. She could inadvertently displease him over something so frivolous as her hair.
    And I get the feeling she doesn’t ever want to do that again.

  80. Alan
    ooooooohhhhh! I like that. In fact, tomorrow I might like to post some of these responses to Driscoll’s thoughtful, deep, Spirit filled tweet. Keep em coming!!!

  81. Dee,

    What about those two cute little ones that I sometimes hear snoring in the background when we talk on the phone? 🙂

  82. Mark probably also puts that much pressure on Grace about her looks and her sexual availability and performance because he has porn issues and probably also he knows that if she doesn’t live up to it he will most likely cheat on her and be exposed. I’m sure he’s more concerned about being exposed for the bastard that he is than he does about her feelings. I believe it’s why he coerces her into believing all the crap he preaches about sex and women’s roles.

  83. There is a problem with most interpretation of Revelation — the assumption that the descriptions are linear with respect to time. That is a Western idea post Enlightenment, and not of the first century world, unless one is writing a history. When the writer says “and then I saw” it does not mean that what he then saw occurred prior to what he said he saw before that.

    Revelation is best understood as: “Jesus will win, and we will win with him if we believe in him.” No matter how bad it gets, we all get to sign in the heavenly worship of the Lamb.

  84. Deb
    Why would he post this knowing Driscoll’s emphasis on Grace’s hair and his disconcerting and unbalanced tirade about the day she disrespected him and cut her hair?

  85. Because having a monument built for you is THE sign you’ve arrived. 😛

    Maybe he should quote this one instead: “Well behaved women rarely make history.” 😉


    Great blog post that delves into the implications concerning Driscoll’s doctrines and the larger “Reformed” movement and what it means for the future.

    BTW: Does anyone know if Mohler or any other Reformed leaders have written about Driscoll’s new book? I cannot seem to find anything except Challies. The silence is screaming.

  87. The hair article by the pastor at MH only shows how silly and shallow they all are….including the wife.

  88. deb
    Well Driscoll is bizare, bringing this up on the heel of his critique of Grace cutting her hair.

  89. Every thinking person is a critic, really. The root means “to judge.”

    Luther was a critic (here’s his monument: The pietists were critics of Calvin and the other intellectual reformers. The early evangelicals were critics of the social gospel movement. And the whole missional theology movement began as a criticism of the perceived ineffectiveness and consumerism of the evangelical church.

    Pot, meet my friend kettle…

  90. J. Terry –

    That’s what I thought. It reminds me of June Cleaver, although I don’t think Ward really gave a hoot about her hair and probably got in trouble for NOT noticing a new do. Driscoll could learn a few things from Ward, among other things, how to dress in something other than Mickey Mouse shirts and funky jewelry.

  91. Loved the mention made of Mother Jones. As a cultural icon, she’s near and dear in the hearts of many old leftys like me.

  92. Muff – Solidarity Forever! 🙂

    I’m probably not quite as “lefty” as you, but I think Mother Jones was very cool.

  93. Re: monuments to critics

    Some may perhaps reject the good examples we’ve been giving, since they’re not gospel or biblical monuments.

    So– some monuments both Biblical and Gospel: In the very Biblical passages Matt 23:29 and Luke 11:47-48 Someone concerned with the Gospel mentions monuments (if you use appropriate versions) built, you guessed it, to honor CRITICS. But here’s the amazing thing– that Someone considered those builders to be evil hypocrites– so we have good critics honored by bad hypocrites, whose fathers murdered the good critics.

    But don’t listen to me- I’m just a Hyper-Crit (TM)

  94. Dave
    I wonder how the friendly PR guy does with recalcitrant females with stiff backbones whose husbands cannot keep them in line.

  95. Muff and Numo
    I may not be a lefty, more of a mid-roady, but I think lefties can be more fun than righties.

  96. Dan
    I wish you well in your endeavor. I am planning on mentioning resources in tomorrow’s post and will add yours to the list.

  97. Well, My PR guy has had trouble keeping his recalcitrant female in line, himself, for a really long time. But I’ve been working up a “rightsizing” plan to let him go. He’s not quite as friendly as he seems on the surface, but he is a good complimentarian, at least.

  98. Dee
    Who knows– MD’s PR might recommend an MD for the husband, assuming him to be sick . In the case of the lady you have in mind, that could mean physician, heal thyself.

  99. I can understand criticizing Driscoll. I can understand criticizing his choice in shirts, etc. But don’t drag innocent necklaces/pendants into this! They’re awesome, and you should all buy several.

  100. Sophia(free) – Prophecy does usually have to do with future events, etc. That I’ll give you. However, seeing things that have to do with past events isn’t weird to me. It could shed light on why they’re having problems and they either didn’t know or didn’t want to admit those things. I know people who see things, not as clearly as MD says he does, but they see things and they aren’t always future events or warnings. Doesn’t mean it’s not from God just because it doesn’t deal with a warning or something.

  101. Whew! It’s a good thing the name of the church where Wade Burleson pastors begins with an “E” because their logo is the church’s first initial inside a circle. Otherwise, they’d probably be receiving a trademark infringement letter.

    All of this is sheer madness!

  102. AngryTurtle,

    Great comment, and I love your website! You and your brother are VERY talented! I am most impressed.

  103. Angry Turtle

    You are amazing. College student and budding gem merchant! To anyone who doesn’t understand this exchange, I have a link to a friend’s online jewelry store on Etsy. This young man is the son of a couple of dear friends. He is a college student (brilliant), a Christian, and has been collecting gems, some of which he finds and has cut. for years. He also does not like Calvinistas, showing wisdom beyond his years!

  104. MontanaMom
    Having been in the health field for years as a public health nurse, I was exposed to a wide variety of people with strange visions, some of whom claimed they were from God. The visions were strange, unintelligible and often indicated strange paranoias on the part of those I encountered. Most had to be hospitalized or put on medication. I also believe that people who make prophecies about future events that do not come true to be false prophets who are either sick or charlatans. For example, see our posts on Benny Hinn.

    Before I attribute visions to God, I look at the Bible and saw what the visions accomplished. Some were predictive and dealt with issues involving the health and welfare of the kingdom. Others were exhortive, leading the people to repentance. I have never seen any that showed, down to the smallest detail,what a woman was wearing, the bedspread she was on, etc along with vivld details of the sexual activities involved. Given MD’s “stuck on sex” ministry, I believe that these pornovisions are not from God and may indicate a deep underlying issue, not for the people but for MD.

    If I had been a nurse and was confronted by MD’s visions, I would have definitely called his doctor and expressed deep concern.

  105. Dee,

    I remember meeting this mature young man (who was in high school at the time) the night we went to see Alice in Wonderland. Have you been using the Alice tea set I gave you? I’d love to see this collection of gems up close since these budding gem merchants are local. They may rack up a sale!

  106. Jimmy
    I do not know the answer to that question but here is what I would guess. If he had done so, there would have been no videos floating around with him saying he would like to punch the fired person. There wouldn’t be newspapers trying to track down the people fired for statements. MD is a publicity hound who thinks he is very funny and does not see the damage he causes by his careless tongue and bizarre demeanor which, in my opinion, hides a scared little boy who is afraid that everyone will discover him for the person that he is.

    Wade Burleson has far too much dignity and class for such shenanigans. So do most thoughtful pastors and leaders.

  107. I readily admit that I’m not an expert on “visions”, but it seems to me that the visions mentioned in the Bible project what will occur in the future, not what has already happened in the past.

  108. Deb
    They brought some cut Ethiopian opals to church on Sunday and showed them to me. Stunning! One day, he shall be a gem mogul and will still dislike Calvinistas. Hopefully, he will use his extensive resources to expose agendas wherever they appear!

    Funny thing about Alice in Wonderland tea set, i was looking at the spoon last night with my daughter and discussing Johnny Depp. For those who are reading this personal exchange, early on this blog, we did a series on “Leaving Wonderland”-Fact or fiction?” (click on Wonderland under categories)

    Alice in Wonderland has become a symbol for us and a few of our friends who understand what it is like to wake up one day and feel like you have fallen down into a hole and landed in a strange world in which nothing quite works the way that you were told it should. This visit to Wonderland was a defining moment in our lives and the experience helps fuel this blog.

  109. Because having a monument built for you is THE sign you’ve arrived. — Robin

    “Monument” as in 10,000+ seat Megachurch with franchised campuses connected by direct video feed with the CELEBRITY Megachurch Pastor?

    Were Dallas husbands this obsessed with their wives’ hair? Just curious… — Deb

    Maybe not Dallas, but definitely Stepford.

  110. Bill, there’s an obvious response to MD’s tweet about no monuments for critics. The response is: sure Mark, but there are monuments to guys like Stalin and Mao Zedong. — Alan

    Don’t forget Baba Saddam and Dear Leader Comrade Kim Jong-Il.

  111. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Stepford – good one! I have both versions of this classic. Yes, Mars Hill is located in Stepford, not Seattle.

  112. Anyone else think that the name of the church – Mars Hill – is suggestive of Driscoll’s attitudes and preferences? Mars, y’know, as in men are from mars. Driscoll’s ‘manly’ church, Mars Hill.

  113. Anne, I imagine you made your comment tongue in cheek. As someone close to this situation, I personally loved the name Mars Hill and what it originally stood for — Paul’s defense of the gospel in Acts in which he engaged his culture where they were at. There was a time when Mark and Bent and Paul and Lief and Mike were doing exactly that at Mars Hill — leading in engaging the young Seattle culture where they were at. Mark had anger problems through all that, but he would usually repent when confronted. I thought he was dealing with it and growing past it. At some point, he stopped listening to critics and started pushing away other elders who had pushed back against him.

    For those who love the individuals involved, we don’t want to see them destroyed. We want to bring pressure on them so they repent and try to repair with those they have hurt so badly. Maybe it’s too far gone and the only choice is for it to be destroyed. I hope not. I hope instead that this pressure will force them to deal with these very serious problems.

    Over the top criticism and sarcasm makes sense for those who don’t know personally the people involved. Yet, it’s that type of criticism that prompts Mark to write everyone off and make stupid comments on critics like he did yesterday.

    It’s not for me to project onto others who comment here. But if it were, I’d hope people would be specific in their criticism and not relent, without offering speculation. The facts of what Mark’s said are bad enough.

  114. I’m sure he’s more concerned about being exposed for the bastard that he is than he does about her feelings. I believe it’s why he coerces her into believing all the crap he preaches about sex and women’s roles. — Trina

    If true, this would be an example of what Chesterton’s Father Brown called “Not Heavenly virtue, but Hellish respectability.”

    There is a problem with most interpretation of Revelation — the assumption that the descriptions are linear with respect to time. That is a Western idea post Enlightenment, and not of the first century world, unless one is writing a history. When the writer says “and then I saw” it does not mean that what he then saw occurred prior to what he said he saw before that. — Arce

    And I understand Classical Hebrew used parallelism for emphasis. To show something was Important, they’d tell the same story over and over again using different imagery. Under this idea, the Seven Trumpets = the Seven Scrolls = the Seven Thunders = the Seven Vials of Wrath — same thing being described with different imagery. Even the Second Resurrection after the Millenium for a Second Battle of Armageddon before the gates of New Jerusalem could be explainable as a Summary Recap, not a subsequent event.

    Unfortunately for me, my brain formed around The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay in the Seventies, and I cannot ever get the Christians For Nuclear War (Any Minute Now Any Minute Now Any Minute Now…) out of my head. Or the accompanying Fear and Terror.

    For the literal sake of my sanity, I have to AVOID Revelation completely (3D6 SAN loss upon reading). Far from any “Good News”, Revelation may as well be the Necronomicon or the Letters of Cold Fire.

  115. From The Stranger news article:

    In August 2011, a few months after his full restoration to the church, Lance was enjoying life in a Mars Hill house, living with other men and paying his rent in volunteer labor. But that autumn, he had a disagreement with one of his pastors over a building-safety issue during a church party. As Lance tells it, the pastor said Lance was being overcautious, Lance disagreed, and the disagreement metastasized into a weeks-long debate—not about the safety issue, per se, but about whether Lance was being “insubordinate” and refusing to properly “submit.”

    “I began to question their authority,” Lance says, “and their ability to make good decisions.”

    In the midst of this, Lance had begun a long-distance relationship with a young woman in Colorado. Lance says that his pastor instructed him to end the relationship, even though their relationship was not yet physical and nothing improper had happened. Lance balked, but his pastor insisted: “I’m the authority over you,” the pastor said, according to Lance. “You agreed when you became a member that I am your authority, and you have to obey us.” Lance was torn—on one hand, he had signed that membership contract.

    On the other hand, this was ridiculous.

    In a final, tense meeting, Lance got fed up with the leadership’s harping about submission and authority. “How is this not a Jim Jones theology?” Lance remembers asking. “We don’t even think you were a Christian to begin with,” the pastor retorted, according to Lance, and left the room. The church told him to move out and, if he wouldn’t submit to church demands, to cut off any communication with members of Mars Hill.

    Lance quit the church.

    But the church didn’t quit him. Not only was he barred from speaking with his now-former friends at the church, Lance says his pastor threatened to contact any future church that he might attend. And then Lance’s pastor took the extra step of calling the father of Lance’s girlfriend in Colorado. “They were warning him how dangerous I was,” Lance says. “That I was on a path of destruction that could result in the death of his daughter.”

    That father, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Hanyok, is a retired marine and evangelical Christian who says the Mars Hill leadership overstepped its authority. “There is church leadership to guide and provide order,” he says, “but not lordship over the congregation.” Hanyok spent 21 years in the US Marines and says, “Poor leadership is one of my pet peeves… the church isn’t to come in and tell me how to manage my family.” Hanyok says he used to watch Driscoll’s sermons online, but doesn’t anymore.

    Lance calls the church culture “manipulative” and says, “I don’t want this to happen to other people… It’s how people wound up drinking Kool-Aid.” He adds, “I still love Jesus. But I can continue my spiritual walk just fine at a different church… Mars Hill seems crazy to me now.”

  116. The Stranger article is especially creepy. Especially the Mars Hill Youth Group immersion from age 2 on — “Driscolljugend”, anyone?

    P.S. The Registered We’ll Sue We’ll Sue We’ll Sue Trademark circled “M” — “M” for “Mars Hill” or “M” for “Mark”?

  117. And then Lance’s pastor took the extra step of calling the father of Lance’s girlfriend in Colorado. “They were warning him how dangerous I was,” Lance says. “That I was on a path of destruction that could result in the death of his daughter.”

    That father, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Hanyok, is a retired marine and evangelical Christian… — Stranger

    21-year Marine Veteran. Light Colonel when he went inactive after those 21 years (Marines do NOT retire). That means NO tolerance for BS and firsthand experience with any and every trick in the book. NOT the type of guy you want to try mind games with.

    Especially the schoolgirl stunt of Tattling Gossip to Get Them In Trouble. (Gossip and backbiting with a Sweet & Light coat of paint is much more a schoolGIRL thing than schoolBOY. Boys are more likely to slug it out behind the backstop thant stab you in the back with Sweet Gossip. Think about it.)

    “Lance’s Pastor” (and Driscoll Disciple) didn’t have a clue as to what he was messing with. “I’m gonna stand next to this hornet’s nest and hit it with a baseball bat! That’ll show them!”

  118. “Somehow, I can’t see a monument with a slightly pudgy, angry looking guy wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt being built in this world or the next.”

    Hilarious, Dee! I love it!!

    I want to apologize to everyone for my comment about finding it hard to believe anyone can take Mark Driscoll seriously. I got carried away thinking about the ridiculousness of Driscoll. Obviously, we’re all here because we (or people we know) took seriously a pastor or a church or a ministry that was false, deceptive, and abusive. I, too, took seriously two abusive churches and the leadership therein. So, that wasn’t fair for me to say. I know personally how easy it is to caught up in the manipulation. They’re very crafty.

    I know there are many great folks who are part of Mars Hill. I pray that their eyes and hearts are opened and they remove themselves from further lies, manipulation, and abuse. I’m grateful for Deb, Dee, and TWW. I hope many more Mars Hill folks will find this blog (and other blogs) to begin their journey of truth and healing.

    Also, I have nothing against necklaces. 🙂 My husband wears a necklace, but he dresses and acts his age. Driscoll comes across as a 40-something who’s trying too hard to look and act hip. It’s just not working. He can’t say ANYTHING about Grace’s hair, EVER.

  119. Interesting, folks are speaking without pseudonyms and on the record this time. Jeff Bettger, Paul Petry, Bent Meyer, and Dusty Wisniew are all guys I knew in my Mars days. Actually I used to help deliver offering to the central campus with Dusty years ago so I know exactly what he described. We were both former members who decided not to renew when in late 2007 MH cancelled out all membeership and essentially asked everyone to re-apply for membership like they were new members. There were about 1,000 who didn’t renew. As Mark told the Gospel Coalition in 2008 1,000 members “left” during the process of the Doctrine series and the new demands of membership. The doctrinal statement was not really revised at that point and what was changed were the by-laws. Members were also advised that they needed to sign that they agreed with the by-laws as part of membership renewal. More than a few of us, including me, refused to do that. So it’s not that we “left”, it’s that the elders ended the covenant/contract; asked us to renew; and some of us decided that was that. Driscoll’s account to the Gospel Coalition fits the Ben Kenobi criteria of honesty (“What I told you was true from a certain point of view”) but it doesn’t fit the point of view I and other former members had during that period.

  120. And just when you think things can’t get anymore bizarre, “God’s intention for Christianity is for it to have a “masculine feel,” evangelist John Piper declared on Tuesday.” link

  121. Well I guess Driscoll can always be embalmed and placed on display like Lenin did. Maybe he could become a monumnet to “doctrine”. — Eagle

    Don’t give him ideas, Eagle.

  122. Maybe the monumnet to Mark Driscoll could be a porn shop, his own line of sex toys? It has to be something appropiate…. — Eagle

    Sounds appropriate to me. But they’d have to be Mars Hill-copyrighted CHRISTIAN sex toys. (I can’t believe I just typed that. But truth is weirder than fiction — somebody actually did come out with Christianese “Marital Aids”.)

  123. Dee & Numo,

    Old leftys like Muff never really die they just fade away into the sunset… ===> (smiley face goes here)

  124. Gisella,

    I agree that I have heard him on occasion and got a few red flags. I am a little shocked though because he was mentored by some very orthodox Lutherans and is one himself. I have noticed he is very cozy with the Calvinists. I didn’t realize he was old enough to have a son of marrying age. Can you fill us in any more? His background was Nazarene so perhaps he still has much of that in him.

  125. I was looking for something to compare Zechariah and Mary in Luke this week and one of the search results was a link to I like to think I am willing to learn, even from those with whom I disagree. But it is often like shoving a sharp stick in the eye. Why? Because then I read stuff like this:

    “Faith is the right and pleasing response to God’s promises. And, as with grace, it isn’t reserved for the spiritual elite. Young women can (and often do) surpass old men in trusting God.”

    Olld men are the spiritual elites? I guess it is entirely consistent of them to think that the church would have a “masculine feel”!


  126. Robin,

    To the best of my knowledge Chris Rosebrough is a Lutheran. In a nutshell, a personal family matter involving Chris’ son and daughter-in-law was posted, allegedly by a close family friend. Chris became aware of it and upped the ante considerably by posting a response detailing his daughter-in-law’s gynecological tests. He was roundly criticized, but seemed not the least bit bothered.

    Chris wrote throughout the thread, but his bombshell was on page eight:

    He simply seems to be a mean spirited person. If he does this to family, how does he treat non-family?

  127. Re. the indoctrination of children (described in the article published in
    The Stranger), I didn’t think it could get much worse than what’s shown in Jesus Camp, but clearly I gave way to blind optimism in thinking that…

    Unbelievably sad and,/b> scary!

  128. Mark Driscoll, mega-pastor, conservative, masculine Evangelical. Sometimes he speaks foolishly and he has fired staff members. Driscoll writes and speaks very widely. Wartburg definitely does not like him.
    Wade Burleson, mega-pastor, conservative, masculine Evangelical. Sometimes he speaks foolishly and he has fired staff members. He’s written 3 books and speaks very widely. Wartburg definitely likes him.
    Wade was reared with all the advantages of a Christian home, Driscoll, not so much.
    Wartburg writes about Driscolls victims. Wartburg doesn’t write about Burleson’s victims.

  129. Numo –

    Did you notice that they are going to teach them the Mars Hill doctrine? I didn’t see one word about pointing them to Jesus or their heavenly Father who created them in His image. It also sounds like MD believes their doctrine = saved souls. The whole thing sounded scary, especially in light of their discipline “doctrine.”.

  130. Well, when Burleson publicly misrepresents the nature and content of the Targum Neofiti for the whole internet to see we can make critical remarks about him, too. 🙂

  131. Jimmy –

    Are there blogs in the blogosphere filled with stories of abuses by Wade and his church? And your upbringing has nothing to do with how you should be leading if you have been declared fit and capable to lead.

    I see a striking similarity between CJ Mahaney and MD in that both seem to have started their own movement (or taken one over). I know CJ was not set in or declared fit by anyone at his start. I’m not sure about Driscoll. It might be an important point that they were not recognized by other leaders for their character and readiness.

  132. James “Jimmy” Brown said,
    “Wade was reared with all the advantages of a Christian home, Driscoll, not so much.”


    I wasn’t going to bring this up, although I have often had the same thought. It certainly appears that Driscoll’s upbringing has had a significant influence on his ministry, and that’s definitely NOT a good thing.

  133. Jimmy
    You are such an interesting fellow. Do you know any people who may have felt victimized by you? I seem to recall….

  134. “James “Jimmy” Brown said,
    “Wade was reared with all the advantages of a Christian home, Driscoll, not so much.”

    I thought you hated the victim mentality. And here you are playing that card!

    There are lots of loving, compassionate, humble, kind pastors who were not raised in Christian homes. My pastor is one of them. Converted at 17. His dad laughed at him. His mom died when he was a baby.

  135. Bill
    I tweeted that one today. Deb plans to write about it and a few other choice statements about women not being allowed to read the Bible in church (might convey authority). I swear these guys are going bonkers. Are they giving them pills at these conferences?

  136. Bridget2 – I take it you haven’t seen “Jesus Camp”?

    Pretty much the same thing, although the kids were grade-schoolers, not preschoolers.

    and it had to be terrifying for a lot of them (especially the sections on hell and damnation).

  137. I have not seen “Jesus Camp.” Was that from Mars Hill?

    Do they not know that it is the kindness of God that leads to repentance?

  138. Here’s an article about the Jesus Camp shutting down in 2006 after being exposed.

    Jesus Camp Shuts Down Due to Negative Response

    “The controversial Jesus Camp in the US has shut down after a documentary film which featured events of children praying in tongues and sobbing with repentance in the camp met with a negative response.”

  139. Sure, me ‘n Wade have victimized numerous people. He has more groupies than I do however. I have mostly trolls.

  140. Dee,
    As I wrote to a friend of mine today, it’s beginning to look like another Gospel to me.

    If women can’t read scripture in church (referencing Challies) then they shouldn’t sing either. As there is much deep theology in the great hymns of the faith, one might learn something from hearing the woman next to you belting out these deep truths.

    Reductio ad absurdum

  141. Bill
    We are going to be writing extensively on this topic. It is getting weirder and weirder out there.

  142. Yes, Numo, I agree. It seems as if we are going back to the dark ages in some ways 🙁

    Deb – Thanks for the article. I was uninormed about Jesus Camp.

  143. Bill –

    If you are interested, Tim Challies recently did a three part article on marriage out of Ephesians. You might find it enlightning on how complementarianism is taught. The article is on his blog. You will need to use the search tool.

  144. He comes across as such a nice, warm guy doesn’t he. While he talks about “pastoral authority.” I can see him pitching his arguments against Wilberforce with that nice, warm Biblical tone.

  145. Just today a young Reformed pastor told me that Piper is the leader of the “passion” movement and has so much influence that he is bringing the SBC back to truth.

    Scary stuff. Such blindness.

  146. Bill
    Somehow, I see Wilberforce as a the sort of guy that would pretend he didn’t hear him and consider a duel in his heart. Wilberforce would win, BTW.

  147. Bill
    Pay no attention to the Spirit or the wizard behind the curtain. Return to the Land of Oz immediately. The Munchkins have called a meeting.

  148. Bill, Headless Unicorn Guy and I have already discussed the necessity of bringing back the castrati. 🙂

  149. Yeah, the price of historically accurate performances of choral music by Palestrina and Byrd seems too step there.

  150. You do know that most “Real Men” really enjoy steak from steers that have undergone the removal of the Rocky Mountain Oysters. “Real Men” favor castrati steak!!!!

  151. “Mark Driscoll is having a tremendous influence on young followers — especially males — and the future of Christendom looks dire from our perspective. Will Christians learn from Mars Hill’s brief history or will it be repeated?”

    You do realize that some of us Christians have never heard of Mark Driscoll or Mars Hill (isn’t that Rob Bell’s church, or is it that Schuller guy?)

    Me thinks “Christendom” is going to be just fine. This Mark guy is not the center of the universe. When Oxford prints the next “History of the Christian Church” he’s not gonna be in it.

  152. Tanya
    “When Oxford prints the next “History of the Christian Church” he’s not gonna be in it.” From your lips to God’s ears. May it be so!
    I am so glad you have never heard of him. your life is probably a little brighter for that fact!

  153. Anon
    I saw this and in fact, you have just given me an idea for today’s post-Thanks.

    You know, Jesus said we would be known by our love for one another. That is not the case with Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill and the rest of these churches who are into this nonsense. We are known for our bizarre punishments and self-righteous arrogance. i came to this faith as teen, believing in a God who loves me and transforms. Of course I sin and I always will in this life-hence the need for that grace. We have spawned a cadre of pinheads who appear more like the Pharisees than disciples.

  154. It saddens me because I know of sincere believers who are blessed by other facets of this ministry. We need to pray for God’s will on behalf of all who lead or attend these congregations.

  155. No man is perfect (Romans 3:23), including Driscoll. So when we find our brother in sin, which we will, we need to go to him gently, non-hypocritically, and ONE ON ONE (Matthew 18:15-17, Matthew 7:3-5, Galatians 6:1). A public blog is not a platform for an issue like this. Let’s strive for unity between all believers (John 17:20-23) – let’s keep our eye on what matters, Christ.

  156. Matt
    I must disagree with you. You, of course, are referring to healthy, well-balanced churches. Just because someone spouts the message does not mean that they are capable of leading. I would suggest that you read the book The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse to better understand how your comment plays into the potential for abuse.

    People have gone to Driscoll and he fires them, threatening to punch them in the nose. You do know the history, correct? Have you watched his videos?

    Secondly, Driscoll loves the public eye. He jumps up and down to have people look at him. But, he does not like it when people see something different. When you go public, you now open yourself up to public critique. You can’t act like a jerk and then go hide behind the skirts of Matthew 18. Driscoll took it out of the church. His problem.

    As for this blog, we do keep our eyes on what matters-Christ. How many people out there have walked away from the faith because Driscoll claims his ways and pronouncements are “biblical?” We are trying to cut through the baloney and get to the essential Christ. That is a tall order with the likes of Driscoll our there.

    Driscoll managed to insult an entire nation of believers in Great Britain. He has brought this issue to the world.

    I do not need your advice that a “blog” is not a platform for an issue like this. I say that it is. And it is high time that pastors are made to be responsible for their nonsense. I bet the Pope didn’t like Luther making the 95 Thesis public either.

    Finally, you have violated our prime directive. You did not mention, once, the people who have been harmed by the Mars HIll ministry. That means you are simply pumping your chosen pastor and are an ideologue since your theology trumps your love of those who have been hurt.

  157. Dee,
    I’ve watched the videos and have read a few articles, but you’re right, I still don’t know the situation well. I’m sure we can both agree that there’s no medium that can properly portray the complete reality of a situation. The viewer only sees and reads what the author has chosen for him to see. In other words, all media is biased.

    That’s why I can’t judge who’s right or wrong. I don’t know much. The only wisdom I attain is the wisdom that the Lord has blessed me with (my bible :D). So… I went to the Word about this matter.

    I didn’t mean to offend or discourage you – and if I did, I apologize. I was just hoping some verses might help you find peace in this matter. It does sadden me to know that people have been hurt by Driscoll. I’m just worried people might retaliate in spite rather than love. Let us approach every situation with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; and forgive one another. Colossians 3:12-14

    We are, after all, all sinners trying to deal with the challenges of this world. Luke 18:9-14

    I hope complete peace is found in the issue. God bless.

  158. Jesus said that if you can’t resolve the situation, take it to the church. What TWW and other blogs are doing is taking these situations to the church, the universal church! Which is at least as good an implication of the passage as would be to take it to the local congregation. BTW, how does one take the sin of the controlling pastor to the congregation that he controls??

  159. Matt
    I think you are taking an interesting position. Since you can’t know the whole situation, then you won’t judge. It’s nice and it’s safe. However, it also allows for much pain and suffering in the church. I have watched as pastors use this tact as a way to avoid dealing with hard issues. I watched as pastors denied a young boy told them something. When confronted, they claimed that they had the upper hand to be believed since, of course, they were pastors.

    “The only wisdom I attain is the wisdom that the Lord has blessed me with (my bible ). So… I went to the Word about this matter.” Which Bible verses? How about the ones dealing with wolves in the church? How do you decided who is a wolf? What about the verses which talk about the rise of false teachers in the church and how Christian leaders will follow them? Why would you think that this would be outright heresy? i think it will be something more subtle.

    You are purposely deciding, by your comments, that Mars HIll is correct and the young man is wrong. There is nothing in the Bible that would lead me to trust Mark Driscoll over the words of a young man.And sometimes, one must make a judgment call and I say that there are serious problems at Mars Hill.

    Let us approach every situation with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; and forgive one another. Colossians 3:12-14 I hope you send this to Mark Driscoll and some of his pastors. They could use it.

  160. Arce
    Well stated. It sure is a heckuva lot easier to sit around, smile nice smiles, stick our fingers in our ears and say la la la.. Then,, we can assure ourselves that we are being “nice.” isn;t that what Jesus died for? For us to be “nice?”

  161. Matt,

    I appreciate your comment, even though I take issue with it. Based on your position about Driscoll, I’m assuming that you haven’t read the comment Bent Meyer wrote here at TWW. Bent is one of the two elders Driscoll fired back in 2007. He broke his silence in this forum, and we are extremely honored.

    Fired Mars Hill Elder Breaks His Silence

    I’d love to get your reaction to Bent’s remarks.

  162. Dee
    I don’t know if Mark Driscoll is a wolf or not. Even though there seems to be issues here – I’ve also seen him say beautiful things that glorify the Lord (good fruit).
    Let’s say, hypothetically, he is a wolf though. The best thing you can do is love on him. By that, you’ll heap burning coals on his head. God has his own revenge and wrath for the wolves. Romans 18:14-21

    It’s sad know that there are false prophets out there, but the Lord has this matter in the palm of His hands. Wolves can try, but they’ll never ever take Jesus’ sheep away. John 10:27,28

  163. Matt

    The purpose of the TWW in this regard is very apparent. It is not to harass or condemn the wolves, except that that will occur in the course of what they are doing. The purpose is to reach out to those who have been harmed by the wolves, abused and in some cases driven from the faith, and to give them a forum. It is also to prevent others from falling into the traps that wolves set. You mentioned fruit. A great sermon is not fruit. Fruit is that people are brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and led to lead lives of service to those Jesus called the least of his brethren (cf. Matt. 25), to love sacrificially. MD and MH do not produce that fruit, but break relationships among Christians, cause women to be subjected to abusive husbands without recourse, and leave wounded people all over the place. Take the perspective of one of the victims and have compassion on them and all of the potential future victims. Read up on systemic abuse in churches and ministries, and then decide whether you want to defend the abusers, the wolves in shepherd’s clothing.

  164. Hi Deb,
    Yea, I read this article (including Bent’s input) before writing any comment. I’m not defending Driscoll and his actions, I’m just encouraging people to respond with love. Even though Driscoll isn’t perfect, I believe he’s a Christian, and that fellow believers should help him when he falls. The bible gives good direction on how to go about doing that (read previous comments).

  165. I have to go – but I’ll try to reply to some more stuff tomorrow. Thanks for all your comments.

  166. Arce,

    Excellent points! Let’s see… Driscoll began shepherding people in a small Bible study at the age of 25. He’s now 41.

    No more excuses for Driscoll’s behavior in my book. He needs to MAN UP!

  167. Matt
    So, Andrew is a Christian. What is your response to and help for Andrew? Should he not merit equal concern and defense from you?

  168. Deb
    You see, Driscoll merits more belief and concern than Andrew. That is “biblical” isn’t it?

  169. As demonstrated by Macho Man Driscoll in firing those two elders, Driscoll seems to adhere to a “tough love” policy. Since this is what he understands, that’s what we are administering here at TWW.

  170. Deb
    Yep, we womaned up and are speaking a little motherly truth to some guys whose moms forgot to smack em upside their overgrown egos.

    Question: Why would I believe a pastor over Andrew? Answer: I wouldn’t. Learned that lesson the hard way in which a teen boy spoke the truth and a bunch of pastors decided to care about each other instead of the boy. That is one mistake I refuse to make.

  171. Dee,

    I’m 11 years Driscoll’s senior, and as far as I’m concerned, until he owns his behavior and repents, I’ll treat him as I would a little BRAT brother (in Christ). Truly, I’ve had it, and I’m not putting up with it. Tough love, baby!

  172. Matt
    So Jesus said to ignore the plight of the oppressed and love on the oppressor? Are we reading the same Bible?

    As for the “good fruit” thing-just about everyone in the world has done something good and nice along the way. Does that mean that we should ignore it when they harm the sheep.Let’s see, i bet Ted Haggard had some “good fruit.” Bet Jim Bakker did as well. Whoops-they weren’t Reformed so they don’t count, do they?

    You have a nifty little system there. We can let the abuse happen, we can let the stupid antics occur, we can smile and chuckle at the pornovision, we can ignore the terrible treatment of ex-pastors, we can ignore the horrible things that have come out of his mouth. Then people are hurt and leave the church, it’s their fault and not the Driscoll’s fault because that couldn’t happen. You can ignore this stuff and sleep well at night because, well, you know, you don’t ever have to think about such icky stuff. Wow ! Now that is what I call one heckuva theological tap dance.

    Love can also mean stopping someone from doing something that is wrong. God chastises those He loves so could it be that ol’ Mark of the many “beautiful things” is getting a little smack on his bottom? Love can also mean sticking up for the little guy but that really doesn’t fit your paradigm, does it? Jesus spent far more time caring for the down and out and giving that Pharisees a hard time.

    I cannot imagine any church signing up to be part of the Acts 29 network led by this man. What are they teaching in seminaries these days?

  173. Deb
    Note: Matt refuses to talk about Andrew. his concern is for Driscoll. He could throw the underdog a bone but he won’t.

  174. Dee,

    Isn’t Mars Hill starting to sound a lot like SGM? BTW, I’m looking forward to discussing some of those videos tomorrow. 😎

    Every time I remember being concerned that there wouldn’t be enough to write about on our “faith watch” blog, I chuckle. It’s difficult to stay on top of all the craziness going on in Christendom.

  175. You know, its interesting, I’ve been going to MH for awhile now, have seen first hand this kind of activity involving church members and discipline and its always been the party being disciplined that decided to leave the church. Not actually being forced out or excommunicated. The bible seems pretty clear on this. Matthew 18:17.

  176. MH Attendee
    Thank you for your comment. Glad you have had a positive experience. Since we seem to be attracting folks who like to proof text their point of view, something that TWW does not engage in, we will start quoting verse for verse with opposing texts that will show that there is more to quote than isolated verses.
    Then from Matt 5″Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. … ”

    Secondly, you have a real problem on your hands. A lead pastor who doesn’t know when to shut his mouth, exhibiting arrogance hat is rather breathtaking. Then, said pastor, has nothing to do with what happened which shows he is a wuss unlike Harry Truman, a real man, who said “The buck stops here.” Then there is the Bent Myer revelation. The Sophia story and story after story about weirdness. This reminds me a bit of Sovereign Grace Ministries and CJ Mahaney which shouldn’t surprise anyone since he is Driscoll’s declared mentor.

    Might I recommend a book to you? It does not mention any pastor by name. It is called The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse. You might find it helpful.

  177. Jesus gave the best example of how to live our life when he died on the cross. Even though we disrespect God, and continue to sin against him non-stop, he still died for us and forgave us as if he hadn’t done anything wrong at all. That’s why the Word calls us to love one another and forgive one another, the same way Christ love and forgave us. Even when someone hurts us, we need to forgive them the same way Christ forgave us. What is love? Colossians 3:12-14 gives a great definition. It says love bonds compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

    So my point is this, love and forgive the same way Christ forgave you. With every post and comment you make, show love to the people you’re talking to or about. Even if it’s someone who did you wrong. Love like Christ.

    As for Andrew, I don’t know him personally. I was sad to see that his sinful actions were displayed in the public eye. It’s something that could stick with him. If I ever met him, I would try to encourage him to keep seeking Christ, even through these hard times. I don’t know if he reads these comments or anything, so these might be empty words, but I would be glad to welcome him into my home.

    This is probably going to be the last post I make on this page. I know I might have stirred up some emotions and even anger, but I’m sure we’ll greet each other with a big hug in heaven :). God bless.

  178. Matt,

    Thanks for your comment. Just to let you know, here at TWW our primary goal is to demonstrate love to those who have been hurt by the church. Mark Driscoll’s fan base shows him PLENTY of love. We do care for Mark and are praying for him.

  179. Matt
    His sinful actions have been forgiven since he repented. How about Mark Driscoll? Do his sinful actions in the public eye stick with him? Matthew 23:1-36

  180. Matt
    One final point. All of our sinful actions are on display for the world to see. That means you, me, Driscoll, and everyone else. And those actions could stick with all of us, including realizing that some people who look for Christ in us will see hypocrisy. In fact, I believe that the world needs to better see the grace we have in Jesus in spite of our sin. All too frequently, we put on masks of humility when we really aren’t. We then look at others who are hurt, like Andrew, and are really glad it isn’t us because it could be. What do you think would happen if all of your thoughts were broadcast to your church? Do you think you would come out looking any better than Andrew? Would you need to be disciplined as well? Would we all?

  181. I wanted to leave a comment here from a whole different angle.

    I am a Pastor in the Seattle area and have been in ministry for 25 years. Last year two of my adult children started attending MH and were told to shun their family until I repented of the sins of not protecting them from their sin during their teen years. This lasted almost a year until I met with the campus pastors and was deemed repentant. Then they could have a relationship with their family again.

    I was told that it is a Dad’s job to repent of the whole family’s sin and if I had done a better job they would not have lied to me and rebelled.They went as far as telling my wife and adult kids to have nothing to do and move out of the house with our other kids until I repented.

    Pretty scary stuff
    Pretty crazy stuff

  182. pastor,

    My heart breaks for what you and your family have been through. This is NOT Christianity!

  183. Matt, we are to warn about wolves. Wolves need to get out of ministry, repent and be discipled. You don’t group hug a wolf because he is too busy feeling you up.

    You sir, are suggesting we enable sin and lies in the Name of Jesus and look the other way when wolves prey on people. Nothing doing.

  184. “You know, its interesting, I’ve been going to MH for awhile now, have seen first hand this kind of activity involving church members and discipline and its always been the party being disciplined that decided to leave the church. Not actually being forced out or excommunicated. The bible seems pretty clear on this. Matthew 18:17.”

    Evidently not very clear to you. Matthew 18 is about PERSONAL offenses between believers. Go read it again, the entire book, without your Driscoll blinders on. It is one of the most misused passages on church discipline out there. Note, it was even taught before the church was started on Pentecost!!!

    1 Corin 5 is a better example of church discipline and it was written to the ENTIRE church about someone in blatent sin. Not someone who confessed!!

    You are learning from a wolf no matter how “positive” your experience is. I quake in my boots for you all and hope you wake up from drinking the kool aid. Run. Run away and follow Christ….not Driscoll.

  185. It’s hard for me to believe pastor’s story. It’s only one side of the truth, and I for one have never been told to shun my family. Some of them are unrepentant and have never been told to “shun” them. In fact, we have prayed for them in community group; I have been encouraged to invite them to church and community. Never have I experienced what Pastor said above. It makes me wonder if people are just painting a negative illustration of a church that they disagree with on secondary matters, and embellishing or leaving out certain details. It’s on them I guess…

  186. @anon1: I don’t have any Driscoll blinders on, and in fact I do follow Christ. I am not being held at Mars Hill against my will, nor am I under any trance. I also listen and read from other pastors, and I do not engage in any “pastor worship”. I didn’t use Matthew 18 out of context and yes, I know what 1 Corinthians says about church discipline. I was a Christian long before I came to Mars Hill, and to patronize me and characterize me as not being smart enough to see Mark Driscoll as some predatory cult leader is extremely arrogant on your part. It’s evident that Mark loves Jesus and so do the people I’ve been in contact with at MH. I follow Christ, not Driscoll. I know a wolf when I see one and I don’t need you to tell me where they are. I don’t care what you think of my pastor, because it’s just your opinion. The fact is that there is a small minority of ex Mars Hillers that think of Mark Driscoll as a Wolf. That small minority (in my experience) tends to be individuals who clash with MH’s idea of “church,” and dislike Mark’s personality instead of his theology/doctrine.

  187. MH attendee, You cannot stop me from praying for your eyes to be opened that you are helping to enable a wolf. I would think his “I See Things” video would be enough for most people. Sadly, it isn’t and even all the other blatent problems are not enough. I sometimes wonder what it will take. If you want to read about Driscoll. Read the book of Jude. It describes him and his ‘god’.

  188. pastor

    If you would ever like to tell your story as a post, please contact us by our emails. i am so, so sorry that this happened to you. You are not the only one.

  189. MH attendee
    You are violating our prime directive which states that no matter your intention, you must acknowledge the pain expressed by those who post on this blog. In fact, by not doing so and by attempting to negate what they have said, you are contributing to further pain. You are guilty of suggesting that pastor is a liar. If, by some chance, he is telling the truth, you are adding to the abuse that he has already endured.

    If you represent a loyal MH attendee, then you have proven, in your words, just how little is taught in this church about caring for those in pain. How sad. Please read The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse. It might help you to better relate to those outside of your clique.

  190. dee,

    Let’s not forget that Mars Hill is “missional”. Yeah, right…

    I’ll bet “love bombing” is implemented by MH members. Would anyone care to chime in about that?

    Love Bombing defined in medical dictionary

    “Love Bombing – technique used in cult recruiting, in which membership in the cult is intimately linked to love and attachment which engender complete loyalty to the cause.”
    Segen’s Medical Dictionary. © 2011 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

  191. Pastor,

    That is horrible. I am so sorry that your kids are involved. Have they since left? Do they see it for what it is or do they buy that crap?


  192. MH Attendee
    Unfortunately, if you are truly a MH attendee, you are modeling the concerns that we have expressed about M.Driscoll. You have done your darndest to insult people who have expressed pain and then have blown all of us off as “a waste of time.” At least you have taught us something about the “average” member of your community.

  193. Actually, I haven’t gone out of my way to offend anyone. I simply stated in a couple of posts that my experience has been completely counter to what you others are portraying it as. Then I was forced to defend myself because it seems as if I’m stupid and you’re all smart. I’m just a blind lemming drinking the kool aid and you’re all enlightened and able to see a wolf. Yes this is a waste of time. As they say, misery loves company and that’s all this is. A bunch of people who are bitter against someone who they think has wronged them. Its arrogant of you to think that I need your prayers for my eyes to be opened. The only wolf I see is you trying to stir up dissent in the body of Christ. That’s why this is a waste of time and I never should have read these worthless comments.

  194. MH Attendee
    You are once again mirroring your mentor by your comments. “I never should have read these worthless comments.” You may not have gone out of your way to offend people but you have done so, once again, clearly mimicking your role model. Do you not see that you are not representing a member of Mars Hill well? Good night! Based on your comments, I wouldn’t venture within 500 miles of your church.

    Secondly, there is no one worthless on this blog. Nor are their thoughts and concerns. They are made in the image of God and they are precious to Him and to many of us here.Do they teach you such things in your church? In fact, although you have irritated me with your thoughtless comments, I am taking the time to respond to you because you are worth it as well.

    Perhaps you are used to declaring people and their pain worthless in your neck of the woods but where I come from, that is rude and obnoxious. Once again, I suggest you read the book The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse. It might help you to think through your communication style and provide some badly needed counterpoint to your Biblical instruction.

  195. MH Attendee: “As they say, misery loves company and that’s all this is. A bunch of people who are bitter against someone who they think has wronged them. Its arrogant of you to think that I need your prayers for my eyes to be opened. The only wolf I see is you trying to stir up dissent in the body of Christ. That’s why this is a waste of time and I never should have read these worthless comments.”

    Try as you might to marginalize and shame people away from calling out Driscoll’s error in doctrine, teaching, church government, and practice. It isn’t going to work. Just because you don’t see the bad fruit coming out of MH doesn’t mean it’s not there. You don’t see either because of rose colored glasses, you are still in the honeymoon phase, or simply because you haven’t fallen out of favor with the powers that be… yet.

    Your positive view and good experience doesn’t cancel out all the pain MH is causing or all the support groups that are having to be formed due to MH’s errant doctrine and abusive, authoritarian practices.

  196. MH Attendee,

    So you don’t believe Bent Meyer? He has a very different opinion of Driscoll than you do. That speaks volumes to me.

  197. anon
    This security things is most interesting. From my understanding, it is most difficult to corroborate that a man rushed the pulpit wielding a machete a few years back. We have heard it was a small knife and he never got past a security point. But, perhaps folks are mistaken?

    In the meantime, TWW ladies are looking into hiring a paparazzi mob, complete with flashing cameras and squeals of delight upon spying our visage.

  198. Dee – LOLZ. You two need to make sure that you’re wearing Foster-Grant sunglasses while running the photographers’ gauntlet. 😉

  199. Anon,

    Thanks for that link. I really enjoyed reading the article. I’m beginning to understand why so many have been tight-lipped about Mars Hill…

  200. Numo
    You should know us better than that…only Maui Jims are acceptable to brave the red carpet.! I will make that update to Twitter-been a bit busy this week.

  201. I do not go to MH, and I’m certainly concerned for anyone’s pain, but why is this focused on Mark Driscoll? From what I understand (Slate magazine Article, etc.), he was not part of this discipline process at all, but was part of the firing of the pastors that did treat Andrew poorly. What else was he supposed to do? Doesn’t that show that Mark had compassion for Andrew? It also appears that MH took those actions before anything went to the media, so I’m not sure why Mark Driscoll is taking the heat for something he had no part in? Also the comments that attack MH members for defending their pastor are manipulative and marginalizing. It’s an easy ploy to attack someone, then call any defense “Defensive” or “Insensitive.” That way, it’s impossible to defend, because you have already been pre-judged as “Defensive,” or something worse. The sad part of these comments is I am not hearing any “Love” and compassion from those that are caricaturing Driscoll as a loveless megalomaniac. Maybe it’s time to take a look in the mirror?

  202. Mike,

    I appreciate your comment. The MH hierarchy mimics its leader, and that is why we hold Mark Driscoll accountable. He has cloned himself. I love Mark as a brother in Christ, but I hold him accountable for the pyramid he has built. I don’t know how much you’ve read here at TWW, but we speak out on behalf of the victims of these hyper-authoritarian churches. They definitely have a voice here.

  203. Appreciate that Deb, and as the blogger you may Love Mark, but a lot of these comments are done in bitterness and lack a Christ-Like love I think? Also, I think that MH is big enough that Driscoll doesn’t even have connections with many of its leaders and is therefore not personally responsible for everything they do, especially when he took righteous actions to rectify the transgression.

  204. “Driscoll…is therefore not personally responsible…especially when he took righteous actions to rectify the transgression.”

    LOL !!!

  205. For some reason this reminds me of how C.J. Mahaney suddenly tried to reconcile with Tomczak after 15 years (?) and then temporarily stepped down. He knew there was a possibility that Brent Detwiler would go public with his incriminating evidence, just as Andrew went public with his testimony, discipline contract, etc. Praise God for the internet!

  206. Isn’t it curious that this PR letter came out at about the same time as Driscoll’s letter to the Acts 29 pastors informing them that he is arrogating all authority in the network to himself and doing away with their current “horizontal leadership” model and imposing his “stacked” (top-down) leadership model?

    So far, there has not been one voice raised to challenge this, and that should come as no surprise. What do you suppose would happen to any Acts 29 pastor who dares step up to challenge this power-grab ?


  207. Great observation, Anon! Those Driscoll videos are so convicting.

    Please don’t miss my comment to Dee under our most recent Driscoll post. Hint: machete…

  208. Anon
    We posted that video over a year ago. We do not believe this stuff represents true Christianity. Driscoll merely sounds like a street thug who watched one too many Rocky movies. The more churches he plants, the fewer people will be cowed by him, and I predict there will be trouble in the ranks over time.

  209. I get the impression (no, not in a vision like a TV screen) that MD thinks he is an apostle for the late 20th and early 21st century. The lack of accountability beyond MHC and internal accountability limited to hand-picked men of the same mind is very troubling to someone in a church with imperfect but effective, long-standing, published and hard-to-whimsically-amend church law.

    I see that many have come to faith or have apparently been converted as a result of MD preaching the Gospel, which is one thing he seems to get right. I am concerned, though, about his effect on Believers as a pastor and as a “spokesMAN” for Christianity.

    Oh, and Pastor Mark, shepherds break legs if needed, then carry sheep back — not break their noses and kick them out on their butts. Even when the Apostles put someone out or instructed they be put out of the church, it was not for insubordination to them, personally, and it was with the hopes of their repentance at the end of a process of shepherding discipline.

  210. “Appreciate that Deb, and as the blogger you may Love Mark, but a lot of these comments are done in bitterness and lack a Christ-Like love I think?”

    How would you know that? Would you consider Driscoll’s comments on Unbelievable radio “loving”. I could give you a ton of other venues to analyze for “Christlike loving” when it comes to Driscoll. I know a ton of YRR guys who think he was and is very loving. Who is the arbiter of “Christlike loving”? Driscoll?

    There are people who think any “negative” truths about a leader is “not Christlike love”. Many of us are getting used to that. Micheal Spenser wrote a great blog article concerning this called Hard Talk. From my perspective, guys like Driscoll would not last 5 min in the rough and tumble world of reality. He might have to report to a woman boss. (he he)

    ” Also, I think that MH is big enough that Driscoll doesn’t even have connections with many of its leaders and is therefore not personally responsible for everything they do, especially when he took righteous actions to rectify the transgression.”

    All I can say is you are obviously not familiar with the operations of any mega church built on the cult of personality to make that statement. Most are very ignorant of how things work and would be shocked if they did. In fact, in those situations, the layers actually protect the charlatan…. when needed. Nevermind it was built on his personality and interpretations of scripture. Very convenient.

  211. This all makes me very sad. For as much of a hypocrite as many of you think Driscoll is, you are in the same camp. Have you ever heard of forgiveness? Pastor Mark has confessed many sins. Even recently, both in a sermon and in the Real Marriage book, he confessed that bitterness in his heart towards his wife influenced his preaching in a negative way for many years. How many leaders are willing to confess that to their entire church?

    Can a leader not make mistakes? Do you think you could do better? It’s good to know that there are a whole bunch of perfect people here preaching the gospel so I know where to turn.

    Every leader is a sinner. Get over it. If you don’t like Driscoll, then don’t listen to him. Get off your soap box, and spend your time and energy doing something that actually helps people, rather than criticizing others. Spend some time feeding the homeless or volunteering at a shelter. Do something rather than wasting your lives attacking other people who view things differently than you.

    Whether or not you like Driscoll, THOUSANDS of people have found Jesus through his preaching. My own life has been changed as have the lives of countless others I know. I used to be incredibly judgmental. I was plagued with bitterness and unforgiveness. Struggles with pornography. Through Mars Hill, God has taught me about grace and my own desperate need of a Savior. I’ve still got issues, but am learning to be more Christ-like and loving others towards the same goal. I praise God for Pastor Mark and Mars Hill church and the lives who have been changed through their message.

    If you don’t like it, then ignore it and do something useful with your time and actually follow Jesus’ commands to bring the gospel to the nations, help the poor and oppressed.

  212. Chris,

    Are you serious??? Mark confessed his bitterness in a book that’s making him bank?! Does that really count?

    Get off your soap box? Hey, believe it or not, we really are helping people. Sorry that we can’t just ignore Mark Driscoll. His hyper-authoritarian ministry has hurt WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE, and we are here helping them see God’s truth.

  213. “It’s good to know that there are a whole bunch of perfect people here preaching the gospel so I know where to turn.

    Every leader is a sinner”

    What about “purity”? According to the NT that is not only attainable as in Blessed are the pure in heart and Jesus will present a pure Bride to Himself, but even righteousness is to be lived out.

    The problem is that guys like Driscoll are redefining the terms. It is not sin when he does it. It is “ministering”.

    So, if Driscoll is your view of “Christlike” then we had all best run. After all, he makes his living teaching what is Christ like. Are you suggesting he does not need to practice it?

  214. Chris
    When your leader runs all over the world promoting his books and sermons and in so doing insults an entire nation (Britain), then his public appearances are open for public vetting. You have no right to tell us what we see and hear and how we respond to it. And since your guy is on TV programs like the View, he gets to have the public respond.

    I am so grateful that you have found salvation through Mars Hill. God uses a myriad of people to spread his word but sometimes these people can do things that we think are inappropriate. For example, many people found Christ thru the ministries of Ted Haggard and Jimmy Swaggart. Should we have ignored their issues as well?

    You said “do something useful with your time and actually follow Jesus’ commands to bring the gospel to the nations, help the poor and oppressed.” Can I ask you how you know that we are not doing this? Perhaps you have been given some sort of extra special insight into my life? If so, could you please elaborate on what I am doing and not doing? I will be interested in what the Lord has told you about what I am doing outside, and even inside of this blog. I will be waiting.

  215. hmm…didn’t know all this about MD. People have been telling me how good and biblical he is, just a bit risky, as if this is okay. Having delved into his stuff, whether in or out of context it is sorrowful. This is a forty something year old man trying to be cool, not shepherding sheep. It is time for these big ministries to lay it down…who cares if they have massive attendances…a real man would lay the power down get a proper job and be a witness in his daily walk…I doubt any of these mega church men will have the guts to do this. I go to church to hear the word, not hear entertainers go on about stories and experiences with Bible verses thrown in…If I hear one more story about a pastor’s own life…aaarghhh

    Sadly, here in the UK there are wannabe power mad pastors who have a vision, they ask/tell you you need to be in unity and go along with their idea because God told them, well not in a voice, but he still managed to tell them. Woe to anyone who thinks the vision is cheesy and just what everyone else on the internet is saying…the vision is usually about growing the church and be a great facility in the community blah blah…never in these churches is the vision to see needy sinners saved from hell…never. Like Paul, it’s Christ crucified, that the vision…the rest comes and goes…tea and biscuits anyone?

  216. r.matthew
    How I would love to join you for tea and biscuits and a good talk. It seems like we have much in common. The church has become all about the pastor celebrity and how big his church is, how many satellites he has and how cool the coffee (or in your case, tea, perhaps?).I thought this was an American problem. Perhaps we are all the same, somehow. Kind of sad, eh? But, at least we have Jesus and he makes sense of all of this, doesn’t He?

  217. I see that you have done a story on Paul Petry’s blog. Please consider a story about Jamie Munson and what he is up to now after treating Paul and Bent so horribly. He is now co-president of Storyville Coffee which is supposed to be some great coffee company. It can’t be that great if they engaged Jamie Munson as co-president there.

  218. I do not have visions like Mark but do not be surprised if you see his wife file for divorce in the coming weeks or months. I believe Real Marriage is a putrid sharing of information that will tip their marriage over the edge. This may have already started in the background and thus Mark is bracing for the blow back by removing himself from these public organizations. He needs some real men as elders at MH to step up and counsel him into reality, if possible.