Acts 29 – Driscoll Steps Down, Chandler Named Primo Planter

"Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.”

C. Peter Wagner

Tulip Fields in Holland

The Young Restless Reformed (YRR) Crowd is definitely living up to its name.  Since last July Sovereign Grace Ministries has undergone incredible turmoil, which we have previously covered.  Now the Acts 29 Network is experiencing tremendous restlessness which has resulted in Mark Driscoll making this shocking announcement earlier today:

"Acts 29 has grown rapidly, now totaling more than 400 churches in the U.S., as well as international church planting involvement. Since then, other qualified men have taken the reins of Acts 29 and run with the vision David and I had years ago.

Recently, I sensed that not all was well in Acts 29. As my concerns grew, I recently resumed the presidency of Acts 29 to work directly with our network captains, most influential pastors, and staff. It seemed to me that some of our relationships, board size and structure, communication, systems, and such were not as effective as we needed, which is to be expected to some degree in a large, complex, fast-growing entrepreneurial network such as ours.

Seeking wise counsel, I asked Darrin Patrick and Matt Chandler to fly to Seattle in order to meet with the executive elders of Mars Hill for a full day to decide a course of action. They graciously did so, and in our time together was a rich, true brotherhood, a renewed and deepened commitment to Acts 29, and a Spirit-lead unity.

Together, we decided, in light of all the complexity we’re facing, that the best thing for Acts 29 going forward would be for Matt Chandler to assume the presidency, move the network offices to Dallas, and select his Acts 29 staff.

In light of this, I want to sincerely thank the people of Mars Hill for investing millions of dollars over the years in Acts 29 and the people of The Village for being willing to house the Acts 29 headquarters.

As for myself, I want to humbly serve Jesus and his men in Acts 29 by doing whatever is best for them. Going forward, I will gladly remain on the Acts 29 Board supporting Matt, along with Darrin and whomever else Matt believes best fits the Board.

Mars Hill gladly stays in Acts 29 as well. I’ll be spending much of my time going forward serving all of Acts 29, pastoring at Mars Hill, helping the Resurgence, writing books, organizing preaching campaigns, and doing media interviews."

Here are our questions in response to Mark Driscoll's statement:

- What transpired in the Acts 29 Network several weeks ago that necessitated Driscoll resuming the presidency?

- Why did he use the term "complexity" to describe the problems they are currently facing?

- Why is Matt Chandler suddenly assuming the presidency of the Acts 29 Network?

- Why are the network offices being moved from Seattle to Dallas?

- Was the entire Acts 29 staff let go?

- Has Mars Hill really invested millions of dollars in Acts 29 over the years?

- What is really going on here?

 

MORE BREAKING NEWS:

Driscoll Steps Down from TGC Council

At 4:19 Central Time today, D.A. Carson and Tim Keller, co-founders of The Gospel Coalition, published this statement on TGC's website:

"Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle has recently announced he is stepping down from the Council of The Gospel Coalition. Mark let us know in advance of his intentions, part of a major reorganization of his priorities and a changing of the guard in Acts 29. We are saddened by his departure but understand that all busy people must establish priorities.

The Council is grateful to Mark for his contributions to TGC during the past decade. In the months and years ahead, we will certainly be praying for him, his family, and the ministries he influences.

Here is what Mark said about TGC with regard to his departure:

I was a founding member of The Gospel Coalition and to this day enjoy deep friendships and theological unity with the men. But I'm no longer going to be a Council member, as I seek to focus my energies on a handful of things. If I'm honest, with the continued growth of all the ministries in which I'm involved, it's not sustainable for me to keep up with all of them. So, this is a season of pruning for me.

For the record, no one has asked me to leave the Council, and I have no relational conflict with anyone and no disagreement theologically. The men remain friends who are welcome to speak into my life, and I'm transitioning for no other reason than I find myself at the end of my tether with time and energy.

I'm deeply thankful for the Council and have been deeply honored to be a part of it. Thankfully, Acts 29 fellow Board members Matt Chandler and Darrin Patrick are already on the Council to represent Acts 29, along with one of our network captains, Ray Ortlund."

 

We are stunned by these recent developments and will obviously have much more to share in the days and weeks ahead.


In light of recent developments with regard to disgruntled members, Mars Hill posted a "Wufoo Form" on its website to gather information for the reconciliation process.  Estranged members were encouraged to submit completed forms, and someone from the church would get in touch with them. 

We have been in communication with former Mars Hill members who submitted their forms a while ago but have not been contacted.  Given recent developments, it appears that MH pastors and staff have been preoccupied with other pressing matters

Here is what our friend Kaelee submitted on her "Wufoo Form":

Which Mars Hill Church location did you attend?  

Ballard

Message

"I have prayed long and hard about this and while I do feel that this is nothing more than a PR move on the behalf of Mars Hill, I also believe that regardless of your intentions, it is an opportunity to share with you the hurt I have felt from your church and a majority of its members that I have come into contact with. Based on the fact that you are asking me to meet with a representative of an entire institution I am only willing to do this with a few conditions to protect myself from further abuse or bullying.

  1.) The meeting take place in a neutral location

  2.) I am allowed to bring a person I trust to protect me if the situation does go awry."

Given recent develops, it is unclear whether Kaelee and others who have submitted forms will ever participate in a reconciliation process.  We will definitely keep you posted…

 

Lydia's Corner:  Jeremiah 48:1-49:22   2 Timothy 4:1-22   Psalm 95:1-96:13   Proverbs 26:9-12

Comments

Acts 29 – Driscoll Steps Down, Chandler Named Primo Planter — 311 Comments

  1. All these resignations. Curious timing after elder story comes out. My guess is that this time Driscoll really did have to ‘take one for the team”.

    Could it be that guys like Mohler, Ezell and Akin, etc. want to distance themselves? They stuck their necks out for Mahaney. But Driscoll is so vulgar, shilling his book with sodomy on secular shows, porno vision video going viral, I am sure they are embarrassed and the pew sitters might not like it about funding Acts 29.

    The convention is coming up and they have enough problems with the name change (nickname) and other things. Now, they can pretend Driscoll does not exist.

    Remember, most money the SBC brings in comes from small rural churches. The mega’s hardly give at all to the Cooperative Program. These are not the kind of people who would be impressed with the likes of Driscoll. And Mohler, Ezell and Akin need to get paid. Times are hard enough!

  2. Anon1,

    I think this has a lot to do with the upcoming SBC Annual Meeting as well. Can you imagine what the messengers were planning to say about Drisoll? It was going to be a blood bath.

  3. What a strange turn of events. I’ll be watching for further updates on this–I have the feeling that the underlying events will eventually come to light, as most things do.

  4. “fast-growing entrepreneurial network”.

    That was one of our red flags a long time ago, but didn’t see it. I told my husband it was a business, and it threw him for a loop at the time. The type A personality… the entrepreneurial person. People wanting to be rock star pastors and go to Boot Camp. Get ‘er done!! mentality. And if you’re not…well, you have to be labeled as something else, then… squirrel or rabbit, I think it was.

  5. Eagle,

    Oh yes, the Acts 29 Boot Camp in Dallas… It was today and tomorrow.

    I guess some of these guys will follow Chandler to the upcoming T4G where there will be hero worship at its finest! These guys deserve each other!

  6. Dee,

    And to think that I hesitated starting this blog because I didn’t think there would be enough to write about… 8-)

  7. Eagle,

    I guess some of the young bucks are really disappointed that their idol is no longer on top. I’m sure it’s quite a blow to their egos. Yes, the puns are definitely intended.

  8. Just speculation…but Mark Driscoll does not strike me as the kind of guy to be forced out of anything without a fight. I’m speculating that much more is going on behind the scenes that is forcing him to flee the spotlight.

    Family issues, lawsuits, both…only time will tell.

  9. When there is a turn of events like this, it’s interesting to contemplate God’s sovereignty and foreknowledge…

  10. The convention is coming up and they have enough problems with the name change (nickname) and other things. Now, they can pretend Driscoll does not exist.

    doubleplusunperson?

    Mark Driscoll does not strike me as the kind of guy to be forced out of anything without a fight. — Doubtful

    Yeah. I cannot see Reverend I-Can-Beat-You-Up going quietly like a wuss. Wonder if there’s scandal and blackmail involved, or something just as juicy. Otherwise, he would have just ordered his Armorbearers(TM) to Beat Them up.

  11. Doutful,

    Which would you pick if a Driscoll type (I cannot say what type because that is diagnosing) Would you:

    1. Have SBC funding taken away and have your created baby go belly up

    OR,

    2. Resign citing reprioritizing and all the big honchos wishing you well and saying what a great guy you are?

    As to the GC, my guess is that since the lawyer elder came out with his story they finally see Driscoll as a liability.

    It will all be spun as Driscolls idea and choice.

  12. And if you’re not…well, you have to be labeled as something else, then… squirrel or rabbit, I think it was. — Queen Mama

    “Squirrel” is also Clamspeak (Scientologese) for someone who steals (“squirrels away”) secrets from Scientology. Right up there with “Suppressives” as Enemies of Scientology.

  13. My. oh. my.

    And while the big boys at the top of the food chain are engaged in such fancy footwork that we can’t yet tell whether this is a bloodbath or just a re-shuffle of the pieces on the chessboard (think I’ve got myself a nicely mixed metaphor there!) the rest of us will pray that truth will prevail, that the deceived will be undeceived and that the vulnerable, ordinary members of these churches will be protected from further exploitation

  14. No way was he forced out. I think there is so much to this thing we can’t even begin to imagine. Remember the elephant room way back when and the character who started that also left GC. Remember Driscoll was a part of that show.

    I will guess that he is leaving because things are just getting really weird and it is hard to keep justifying him over and over and over. The Petry case probably did it. Notice how no one was able to come back with a comment about how there is more than one side to this since Driscoll posted his side all over you tube. That was probably the end of Driscoll and Acts 29 but, don’t worry Dee and Deb you won’t have to shut down your blog because MD isn’t done yet. Heck, the reign of terror really may begin now that he won’t be accountable to anyone. Say what you like about TGC but Keller and Carson are NOT Mahaney and Driscoll. I think Keller and Carson are definitely more compassionate than the others. Even though we may think TGC is wacky, we probably will begin to see just how much they did reign him in. Lord have mercy.

  15. We have slowly but surely been seeing the individual cases of abuse.. culminating in the heart wrenching story of Jonna Petry.

    BUT! Bear in mind that he abused the Petry’s so that he could get away with his biggest abuse of all. Changing his authoity via the by-laws change allowed him to abuse his entire church.

    No one is talking about the fact that he dismissed the years of support, tithes, contribution, service, and sacrifices of 2000 members by terminating their membership in Jan 2008.

    We who were members at the time felt sucker punched. Defrauded. Stunned. 1000 of us walked away and never came back. Some of us, although still loving Christ, have never gone back to church.

    Think about that. Driscoll “replanted” Mars Hill Church and, as he has done with countless individuals, used 2000 members upon whose tithes and efforts build a name for himself, then dismissed them and their contribution on a single day and “replanted” Mars Hill with an ecclesiastical model that flew in the face of everything those 2000 members bought into. One where he was King.

    He still has to be held to account for the 1000 members who walked away having been defrauded and robbed of the church they faithfully supported. They were used and abused.

    Perhaps we will begin to hear a new outcry for this injustice to be heard.

    Mark Driscoll’s view – as told to Matthew Paul Turner last year was he cancelled out the memberships of everybody, and “those who evidenced true faith in Christ and signed our [new] membership covenant were installed as new members. We had always had a high bar for membership, but I wanted to raise that bar higher as we pursued our goal of becoming, by God’s grace, a church of fifty thousand. In so doing, we lost about a thousand people…”

    So to add insult to injury.. the 1000 members who failed to return did not demonstrate true faith.

    Remember.. at the time there were 2000 members. 50% of the church membership did not re-enlist.

    Shocking.

    This story should make the other abuse stories (which are serious enough) pale in comparison.

  16. I think Robin is probably right. Let’s look at what has transpired in the Driscoll magic stunt machine this year.

    Don Carson politely explained that Driscoll is an ignorant troll about British Christianity in general and British evangelicalism in particular. We saw the pre-emptive strike on Brierley and the claims about guys in dresses.

    Carson and Keller were anything but overjoyed at Driscoll shaking hands with T. D. Jakes. Driscoll all but told us he was going to shake hands with Jakes last year.

    Anyabwile was even less subtle and declared that the only way people in evangelicalism or the Gospel Coalition could embrace T. D. Jakes was if they embraced a mercenary committment to sheer numbers over against any doctrinal considerations. I know some people have vented about Anyabwile for reasons I get but, let’s face it folks, Anyabwile seems to have been most on the money making this observation, probably at the most literal level, too.

    Driscoll has tended to show up in Gospel Coalition stuff where people plug his stuff. He was never that huge a presence there and so now that he’s pushing to grow Mars Hill to the next level it’s a time to walk away and cite being busy. He’s never had a history of taking things well when people directly call into question his competence as a biblical scholar or his handling of pastoral responsibilities on doctrinal or textual issues. It may be that even the polite and respectful dissent inside the GC about Driscoll’s handling of doctrinal issues and pastoral responsibility was enough to make Driscoll decide that it would be better to pre-emptively distance himself from, say, Don Carson then admit that Carson showed him he was an ignorant troll.

    The relationship with the Gospel Coalition has probably been casual enough and pro forma enough that pulling out now while saying he’s super busy makes things easy. If you’ve had a chance to read how Gospel coalition partners were even STARTING to question Driscoll’s wisdom and theology it makes sense Driscoll would rather pull out now. Pulling out the week after Joyful Exiles went up has to be a factor but I don’t know enough about the inner workings of the Gospel Coalition to know how big a factor it’s been. My hunch is having GC partners question his fidelity to doctrine over Jakes alone would be an issue and that Carson’s showing him up to be an ignorant troll might have hurt Driscoll’s ego after Driscoll had gone to the trouble of hosting “A weekend with Dr. Don” a few years ago. I heard Carson’s sermons then and enjoyed them and Driscoll was stoked to have Carson there. Driscoll might have taken it personally that even Don Carson felt it was necesary to explain that Driscoll doesn’t really know much about British Christianity and shot his mouth off in a way that displayed his ignorance.

    People might want to see if Driscoll spends much time endorsing or hanging with Carson from here on it. That’s my spit take and it may just be me mulling things over without a full grasp of what’s gone down but that’s my impression so far, at least about Gospel Coalition stuff.

  17. WTH, Carson and Keller started TGC right? Why are those two more charitable than the rest? I have heard both speak and get the opposite impression of them than when I have heard Piper, Mohler, et. al. what’s up with that?

  18. Really sad,

    how did they determine if someone had true faith or not? I suspect it had something to do with bowing to MD and all he said and did. Nice.

  19. Robin to reallysad: “How did they determine if someone had true faith or not?”

    That’s easy.
    The new Mars Hill bylaws, or a member’s opposition to them, were a sort of “Urim and Thummim” for Mars Hill hirelings to be able to detect sin in a person’s heart.

    In the published Answers to MH members’ questions,
    http://prayingheart.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/the-elders-reponse-document/#more-24
    then MH Executive Elder and now former director of Acts 29, Scott Thomas, said, “The Bylaws revision was the impetus that ignited the sin resident in the hearts of two men.”

    Was he referring to the fired elders, Meyer and Petry, or to Munson and Driscoll? We will probably never know.

  20. If anything, the Acts 29 restructure will cause more controversy in the SBC. Matt Chandler is SBC. SBC churches have complete local autonomy so there isn’t much the denomination can do to them, but the majority of the SBC members hate A29 because they are 1) Ok with alcohol 2) Reformed.

  21. Pingback: Driscoll dethroned | Civil Commotion

  22. I recall hearing something not too long ago (not sure where now; I read a lot of blogs and articles), stating that Driscoll was talking about Acts 29 having grown too large and bureaucratic. His solution (from what I remember) was to reduce the size of the governing body in order to streamline things, but some people were commenting that this looked more like a consolidation of power into fewer hands.

  23. I guess my take on this is that all of these leaders are more concerned about PR than they are about the truth getting out. And I include Carson and Keller in this (and I’m a long time fan of Tim). For the real love of the Church, the truth should be spoken — not PR platitudes. Until the TGC are willing to properly respond to Driscoll and Mahaney, I will have very little use for them.

  24. Bill Kinnon,

    I believe ANYONE (including Carson and Keller) who has endorsed Driscoll and Mahaney must bear some responsibility for the harm that has been caused to the body of Christ.

    What a tragedy that some of our brothers and sisters in Christ have left the organized church and even walked away from the faith because of these power hungry leaders (Driscoll and Mahaney) masquerading as Christian leaders.

    Almighty God is watching…

  25. TheyS: Is it possible that Matt Chandler will start to re-tune Acts 29 and Mars Hill until they become more like SBC? Problem is, the ‘strong young men’ that Driscoll’s worked so hard to attract will be put off if there’s a sudden emphasis on avoiding alcohol. Plus, Driscoll will be annoyed and there would be a clash over leadership style.

  26. Robin: Good point. Now that Driscoll no longer has a church to ‘lose’, and no elders to keep him in check like they did with that ‘effeminate men’ Facebook status, will he be even more brash than before? He claims to be speaking The Truth on almost everything he says. Clearly he doesn’t consider himself to be the foot-in-mouth bulldozer than many others see.

    In a way, this is a good thing. The more radical he gets, the more backlash he’ll get. Maybe, maybe, one day it’ll dawn on him that the problem is with his mouth, not with his critics. I really want him to belt up about his views on women, non-macho men, sex etc. Some of his other stuff is good, and I think the man has a lot of potential. He just needs to get his mind out of the gutter.

  27. @ Anne- no, the SBC is a huge body with lots of different styles, methods and emphases. For Chandler to move A29 to being “more” SBC, he’d have to change his own stuff because he is out of step with the majority. The majority of the SBC is very old school, southern and white suburban/rural. Chandler reluctantly took over a small SBC church and moved them away from all that and they began to grow. Chandler is not interested in controversy or pugnacity the way Driscoll is. Chandler is pretty tall too, which may explain the difference. :-) I don’t know Chandler personally, this is all just observation from being in leadership, church planting, A29 and the SBC for many years.

  28. Since nobody else has mentioned it yet, the weekend after Joyful Exiles goes on line Scott Thomas told Matt Chandler he feels the Lord has released him from leading Acts 29. Chandler conveyed this in content documented by Phoenix Preacher recently.

  29. @ wenatchee thanks for your blog, btw, and your attention to detail. I’ve been reading it for months. The theological application you’ve brought to bear on these situations has been really helpful to me.

  30. “I guess my take on this is that all of these leaders are more concerned about PR than they are about the truth getting out. And I include Carson and Keller in this (and I’m a long time fan of Tim). For the real love of the Church, the truth should be spoken — not PR platitudes. Until the TGC are willing to properly respond to Driscoll and Mahaney, I will have very little use for them.”

    I agree with Bill totally. Driscoll has become an embarassment in many ways. Of course, they did not have the courage of conviction to deal with him properly for years but gave him a public venue in which to speak. Even if small at the GC. Their support of Driscoll is backfiring and one thing you have to understand is the mentality of the young YRR guys at seminary and in these churches. They revere Driscoll. Had this been contentious, the leaders like Mohler, Dever, Akin, etc, would have lost some of their young followers. They know this so this was handled most delicately.

    I think the GC was done at the same time as the Acts 29 to make his reasoning more plausible. And I think everyone agreed to it. There is NO way the powers to be at the SBC were going to walk into an already contentious (they can gauge this by the blogs!) SBC Annual Convention with Driscoll hanging from their necks. Keep in mind a lot of SBC CP dollars have been plowed into Acts 29 already. And very few SBC pew sitters have ever heard of Driscoll or Acts 29. They have no clue en masse. But that is also changing. A few years ago, at the 2009 convention a motion was made by a messenger from MO to censor any use of Driscoll or his materials in the SBC and it was squashed very quickly from the stage. What was most telling is mosts messengers had never heard of Driscoll in 2009.

    That is changing slowly and the ruling elite in the SBC cannot take the chance that messengers have heard of his book because of the “View”, etc. Or seen his porno divinations on the internet. They are smart enough to know that Driscoll would not go over well in many of the rural small churches that actually fund most of the CP and pay their salaries even if indirectly. Without those funds, the ruling elite in the SBC are toast.

    By having an Acts 29 board member take it over is perfect. Chandler’s church is quasi SBC (I am trying to get a hold of the CP giving numbers because they do not break down their missions budget to show just how committed they are to the CP but yet Chandler is getting a lot of air time in the SBC) and his church is an Acts 29!

    A perfect way to make Acts 29 acceptable to the average SBC messenger. Look for Chandler to speak at the convention in New Orleans. This is a major PR spin to save their reputations.

    Mark is no fool as much as people want to think he is. He did not make it this far playing the total chump who is so stupid he won’t walk away when the big boys have given him an out to protect themselves. Deals are made. Driscoll probably realizes he overplayed his hand. I think he would have been ok if he had not gone to the secular media promoting his book and the Petry story had not come out publicly. The Petry story only brought out the REAL truth about 1000 people leaving. There are still die hard SBC’ers who think signing anything like what Mark had those who stayed, sign, is a mortal sin.

    And don’t forget. The SBC ruling elite still have Mahaney to protect and make excuses for. They don’t want to have to explain why he gets a pass and an SBC employee (Mohler) defended him to the secular press as “being a strong leader” and the bloggers just don’t like that.

  31. “TheyS: Is it possible that Matt Chandler will start to re-tune Acts 29 and Mars Hill until they become more like SBC? Problem is, the ‘strong young men’ that Driscoll’s worked so hard to attract will be put off if there’s a sudden emphasis on avoiding alcohol. Plus, Driscoll will be annoyed and there would be a clash over leadership style.”

    Actually, it is the other way around. The SBC ruling elite are trying to make the SBC more like Driscoll and Mahaney. That is why there was an “unofficial name change task force” appointed by the current president. If you know anything about SBC operations you would know that is heresy and it caused a huge stink. Not about the name change but about appointing an “unofficial task force”. It is just not done. The SBC President has no such power. The convention has voted down changing the name several times in the past. Mainly because of money.

    So, what did the unofficial task force come out with? A new “nickname” that people can opt to use. (They cannot change the name because of the original charter in Georgia and to do so would cost a ton) The nickname is “Great Commission Baptists”

    All of this was done to attract the Driscoll, Chandler, etc types out there. The ruling elites are also trying to consolidate power and make the SBC more top down. That is why we have a president of NAMB, Kevin Ezell, whose mega church (Mohler’s church) gave very little to CP over the years but now he is spending CP dollars planting Acts 29 churches.

    So the ruling elite of the SBC are actually trying to look more like Mars Hill and SGM. Not the other way around. The trick is to keep the pew sitters ignorant and continue giving money as their autonomy is slowly eroding.

  32. Wow, I’m a little surprised how much less seems to be known about Chandler compared to Driscoll. I sense that many blast him on principle just because he is friends with Driscoll. But believe me, this is a good day for evangelicalism. Chandler is much more respectful of scripture than to teach about biblical bj’s. With his brain cancer and all, putting him in charge is a bit of a risk. Chandler is SBC, but he is constantly calling Bible-belt fundamentalism on the carpet for its silliness. Not only that, but unlike Driscoll, Chandler actually submits to his elders at his church: if he disagrees with them, he has to wait it out. According to him, if he doesn’t like their ruling, he has to wait five years and then say “I told you so.” He knows how to submit to others and lives the accountability he preaches. If he re-structures A29, this can only be a good thing. Sure he’s insanely popular, but he doesn’t jump around harping on hobby horses or putting on a circus. And he hasn’t written a book. Just listen to a sermon or two of his and you will see a drastic difference between him and Driscoll (albiet a few similarities).

  33. The Driscoll press release is nothing more than one self-aggrandizing statement after another. I, I, I, me, me, me, my, my, my.

    Driscoll is THE caricature of Pharisaical Christianity and as such one can only hope will unwittingly contribute to a forthcoming mass jailbreak from the asylum.

    To the folks that have already left and not returned: Welcome to the free world! It is for freedom that you have been set free. Celebrate your freedom by loving and serving one another and never again allow yourselves to be subjected to the yoke of the Pharisees.

  34. “How did they determine if someone had true faith or not?” — Robin

    How did the NKVD/KGB determine if someone was “thinking anti-Soviet thoughts”?

    That’s easy.
    The new Mars Hill bylaws, or a member’s opposition to them, were a sort of “Urim and Thummim” for Mars Hill hirelings to be able to detect sin in a person’s heart.
    — TedS

    “Urim and Thummim” as in the two seeing-stones Joseph Smith had in his hat?

  35. Not only does Driscoll have the problems with the video where he claims to see visions of people’s sexual history (which is completely false or a delusion – there is no other option), he also has the problems of organizing an abusive church, and organizing an authoritarian church.

    I say this as a member of a new, younger, more reformed, urban (not rural) and larger SBC congregation. I appreciate many of the men identified in this piece (not Mahaney).

    The SBC is trying to invest heavily in church planting. Some new SBC churches have been started that are also affiliated with Acts 29. I don’t know of anything in SBC polity that prevents that. I understand why that is the case. Driscoll is a talented speaker, is successful, and Acts 29 does some things very well. There is no aphrodesiac in evangelical circles like success.

    The cursing and frank talk about topics has been out there for years. People could argue about that.

    But this latest stuff is not something that can really be argued.

    Acts 29 had to be reformed, or it would die a slow death.

    I do not know how much money the SBC has given to Acts 29. I am not even really sure that has happened. If I understand things correctly, the SBC, through church planting funds at NAMB, have funded church plants, and some of these churches choose, also, to be affiliated with Acts 29. If I am wrong about this, someone let me know, because I want to speak accurately. I am just unaware that the SBC is writing checks or sending funds to Acts 29.

    I would be opposed to the SBC trying to keep church plants from being associated with other organizations, so long as those organizations are in general agreement with the Baptist Faith & Message. In past discussions, I have heard some in the SBC object to Acts 29 because of Driscoll’s cursing, the presence of Elders (which has been in SBC life since there was an SBC) and style issues (contemporary music etc.)

    I believe a better approach is to help new church plants think through the organizations with which they want to affiliate. I would show them the video of Driscoll’s visions, I would show them all of the turmoil from the abuse of members at Mars Hill, and I would (to the extent we can) address the hyper-authoritarism of Driscoll’s ministries and the money making nature of these enterprises that appears to flow to Driscoll. I believe that much good has come from exposing Ed Young, Jr.’s money/ministry set up, and people have wised up. Exposing that in public has a really strong effect. I am not as informed on Driscoll’s money issues. I think I would say the same as to Mahaney. But those issues need to be addressed as well.

    On that issue, I wonder how many members of Driscoll’s church or contributors to his ministries can find out how much Driscoll is paid? If they can’t, that is a problem and a huge red flag.

    I would ask the same thing about Mahaney.

    Those are messages that will resonate with new church plants.

    Sure, they may worship and admire Driscoll on one hand and want to be as successful as he, but the message of Jesus about money could not be more clear.

    That’s the direction that I would take with churches who want to affiliate with Acts 29. I would ask them – “Who is on Acts 29’s Board?” and “Can you, as an Acts 29 church, get a full accounting from Acts 29 as to who is paid what?”

    If you can’t, I would not affiliate with that group.

  36. Dana,

    Oh how funny. But you can cut me some slack since that book only came out like a week ago? I honestly haven’t listened to his preaching or followed him much since leaving my reformed phase, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s got something in print. It is a markedly different focus than “real marriage,” though, and Jared Wilson is also a good guy imo (…as is any friend of Michael Spencer).

    But believe me, Chandler will be better. I listened to both of them for years durring my reformed phase (still in recovery :P), and the difference is beyond subtle. Now a Lutheran, Chandler is one of the few Baptists whose preaching is not nails on a blackboard to me, because he points to Christ crucified for sinners as the bottom line. He isn’t perfect, and now more than ever his flaws will likely becomes exposed, but he’s on more on the Carson/Keller side of the reformed spectrum (nice to people) than the Mohler/Piper side (narrowly dogmatic).

  37. I don’t have time this a.m. to read all the comments. However, I was struck by two uses of the word “men” in the Driscoll statements, one in reference to the people attending the conference and another in reference to the Acts 29 organization of churches.

  38. “According to him, if he doesn’t like their ruling, he has to wait five years and then say “I told you so.”

    I am a bit shocked you do not see the arrogance in that statement. So he submits to people who he knows are always wrong when they disagree with him but he is always right?

  39. “I do not know how much money the SBC has given to Acts 29.”

    What is the difference between paying an Acts 29 church planter’s salary from NAMB/SBC CP funds and sending it directly to Acts 29?

    Methinks you are straining at gnats.

  40. “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”

    Ted, I know. I wish more folks would connect the dots, too. Thanks for pointing this out. Obviously Chandler has no problem with Mahaney or Driscoll. What is it about that folks do not get?

  41. I looked at the SGM blog and the questions with answers by Matt Chandler . . . the most pressing issues facing our culture today that the church needs to address are? . . . (drum roll here) . . . manhood and womanhood!!

  42. Bridget2:

    You said :”I looked at the SGM blog and the questions with answers by Matt Chandler . . . the most pressing issues facing our culture today that the church needs to address are? . . . (drum roll here) . . . manhood and womanhood!!”

    Yep, all of Christianity revolves around keeping those women in their places–rolling my eyes.

  43. Sure, Miguel, I’ll cut you some slack. I’m glad you thought it was funny. I did, too.

    I’m at work and can’t comment all I would like – I’m now thinking about Acts 29 and GC allowing Driscoll in and letting him charge around like he does – it seems that they should have exerted some control or discipline over him so that some of these disasters may have been averted. I know they are not set up like that – but is it really fair to roll along on his fame and notoriety and then cut him loose? I don’t know – maybe there was an effort to help him “mature” as it was often noted that he was just young and only needed some maturity. I’m not feeling sorry for Driscoll – it just makes Christians look like a bunch of worldly jerks.

  44. reallysad,

    Very clear comment of yours at 02:36 am. I appreciated it.

    “We have slowly but surely been seeing the individual cases of abuse.. culminating in the heart wrenching story of Jonna Petry.

    BUT! Bear in mind that he abused the Petry’s so that he could get away with his biggest abuse of all. Changing his authoity via the by-laws change allowed him to abuse his entire church…”

  45. There has to be more going on than meets the eye. Then again, everyone reading/commenting here knows that so my comment is rather moot. :)

    A quick ? – does anyone know if this “bootcamp” for Acts 29 is the same thing as the All Access conference? Pastors from my church went to the All Access thing in TX this week. Now I’m worried! :)

  46. Dana,

    I share your sentiments about GC and A29, but ultimately in the evangelical world its entrepreneurialism at its worst. They have nothing to gain from shouting down Driscoll, though it appears that Carson has already made an effort to expose him. But ultimately, neither Carson nor Keller are in the position to discipline Driscoll, they are only network affiliates. It is through the denomination (or congregational leaders if autonomous) that pastors ought to be disciplined. Driscoll is non-denominational and without elder accountability for a reason, and there is a price to be paid for that (by evangelicalism at large, and not because of Driscoll alone). To me, this is a typical end-game for autonomous non-denominational churches. I know several shining exceptions, but if the system only works when everybody behaves, its a terrible system.

    Anon1, I listened to Chandler for at least two years. He doesn’t spend a ton of time on gender issues, though I won’t deny he has mentioned them. But as far as I can tell, the only thing he said that might be considered unfair to women is that he endorses the male-only pastorate. But I wouldn’t say that all thinking women oppose that. And if the complementarian schtick is left alone after the male-only pastorate, then it does not have to devolve into misogyny.

    But if Chandler is on the warpath agains women’s rights and dignity, I’m sure I’ll learn all about it here. :)

  47. “…upon this rock I will build my fast-growing entrepreneurial network, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”

  48. It is so good to see all this discussion going on.

    I remember back three years ago when I was first exposed to Driscoll’s crazy Song of Solomon series. I started talking about it on my blog and elsewhere and found very few that were as concerned as I was about it’s abusive nature and other abusive doctrine that MH had concerning women.

    But it has been rewarding to me to see more and more people rise up and call Driscoll and his doctrine and practices for what they are, abusive an Anti-Gospel.

    It’s so nice to see people exposing it and bringing it to the attention of others and doing a way better job than me. I don’t have much to add, and am actually getting tired of talking about it. But we have to keep talking about it as long as MH has their huge place of influence to continue to abuse.

    Good word from so many and from so many different points.

  49. Driscoll doesn’t mention Scott Thomas stepping down. Chandler does. Scott Thomas issued his statement.

    Notice that Scott Thomas was the point man throughout the 2007 firings. Fielded questions, was on the EIT that vetted Munson’s charges against Petry and Meyer, notified Petry of the changed timeline and that he didn’t need to be at his own trial. A person could understandably make the guess that what the news this week is that in the wake of Joyful Exiles Scott Thomas figured out he needed to fall on his own sword to protect the two brands he’s allied himself to. Driscoll can be distant but Thomas was running Acts29 for years. In fact it seems he fielded questions about the firings from his Acts29 email (anyone else remember that?) If Acts 29 churches submit questions about the Petry and Meyer firings and Scott Thomas fielded those questions from MH members years ago using his Acts 29 Network email account what’s the best way to avoid having to dredge all that junk up again? Step down.

  50. There may well be more to this than we can seem but at the very least, this announcement confirms my growing recent suspicions that there might be a divide in the works between the MH empire and A29. From the posts here and elsewhere on the internet I get the sense that Driscoll is no longer content to be in charge of a group of church plants that are still (technically) free to choose how much of the MH model they will adopt. He seems to be focusing on church plants that he can control so absolutely that they bear the MH name (i.e., all the campus pastors and CG leaders get their training in Seattle rather than at an A29 event, the sermons in all the campi are video feed of Mark preaching at the main campus, etc.). I’m curious to see how everything will play out. MD says that MH will remain part of A29 and that he will still serve “all of A29,” but I just get the sense that he thinks of MH as existing at a higher level than the rest of A29. Will there be an application process for A29 churches who have adopted the MH model lock, stock, and barrel to become MH plants?

    On a slightly different note, if A29 really does go through with their plans to write a manifesto on why complementarianism is a core issue (http://www.acts29network.org/acts-29-blog/dear-acts-29-members/), I wonder what will happen to those A29 plants that are also affiliated with the Assemblies of God–a denomination that ordains women (http://www.acts29network.org/acts-29-blog/we-arent-a-denomination-but-we-love-denominations/)?

  51. Eagle,

    RE: 10:10 comment,

    “…Really if you think about it….the wrong people are angry. Christians should be angry over all the spiritual abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, false teachings that exist. I still can’t wrap my mind around that point…. That should bother people… Why arn’t people upset?”

    I think many christians are plenty angry over these things. Those who are aware & informed, that is.

    It seems rather clear that the main “influencers” (them “celebs”) make it a priority to control thought and perception. Can’t get away from comparisons to communism (although i have not studied the topic in any great depth).

    Just searched on “public perception communism” and found an article with some nice *readymade articulation*. I substituted some words to make my point. So, in the spirit of HUG:

    ….”Public Perception Worked For [Communism] EVANGELICALSM Too”

    ….”During the [Soviet Empire] DAYS WHEN NUMEROUS EVANGELICAL
    ….LEADERS FORMED MANY PROFESSIONAL ALLIANCES WITH EACH OTHER,
    ….[communists] THESE EVANGELICAL CELEBRITY POWER BROKERS
    ….employed the tactics of public perception to control the
    ….thinking of the [Russian people] EVANGELICALS with propaganda
    ….distributed through their [government-owned] PERSONAL AND
    ….CORPORATELY-OWNED media. Many [Russian citizens] EVANGELICALS
    ….believed life was good [under communism] IN EVANGELICALWORLD
    ….and everything was just dandy in [Russia] EVANGELICALWORLD
    ….right up to….the downfall of [the Soviet Union]
    ….EVANGELICALWORLD. Some [Russians] EVANGELICALS, fooled by
    ….their media, are still wondering what happened to their
    ….glorious empire.”

    (www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/6602)

    I tried to make it easy to read, really I did.

  52. Amy, I had no idea AoG’s were in A29. I don’t think it will last, they have too many strikes against them. Not only are they egalitarian, but they are also fairly arminian. My guess is the AoG churches who went through the trouble of affiliating with A29 will eventually find a new denomination.

    However, I noticed RCA, EPC and CRC on the list, also egalitarian groups. If A29 continues to beat the complimentarian drum the loudest, expect them to either leave or join the PCA.

  53. Echoing what some have already said:

    there’s something so unsavory about “christians” publicly allying with someone to accomplish something [that affects multitudes of people]… and then when it is clear that said someone has erred with grand consequence, public silence.

    We’ll stand together when it suits us and makes us look good. But when you no longer make me & us look good, “bye now!” & quick scramble off stage left.

    To put it in plainer terms:

    Publicly using someone’s “clout” to accomplish something, but then when said someone becomes a liability, privately running away.

    Users, for self-advantage. Cowardly-run-awayers when values and ethics are compromised & thus the advantage is no longer there,

    (and this applies to those who are riding on the coattails, out of the limelight)

  54. All the noisy professional christian celebs, capitalizing on the limelight, building careers and fame and dollars off each other in the context of ethics and values and morality…. and suddenly, things are compromised…. Amazing, the silence.

    With all their talk of masculine manliness, where o where are the balls???????

  55. I have to agree.

    The spin is powerful. Objective thinking can only go so far in the midst of it.

  56. Deb you said earlier that even Carson and Keller have to be held responsible and you are right. These two men started TGC and they should be careful who they co-mingle with. Unfortunately, I think it has to do with marketing and getting people in the sits to hear folks like MD. If things go south with MD and folks at TGC they may regret the day they ever laid eyes on MD. He could cause lots and lots of internal and external problems for them.

  57. Hey all,

    I have been a longtime lurker on these forums, but never have focused on posting too much. I guess today will be the day.

    I want to say first I am not surprised about this turning point for Driscoll.

    Before any of things that TWW have posted, I got a really bad feeling about Driscoll. He was just too arrogant and prideful for his own good. I am not one for conspiracy theories, and I have no idea if his resignation from A29 has anything to do with what has been coming out in the last few weeks. It would not surprise me if it was though.

    With that being said, I want to say that I agree with Miguel’s sentiments above. I have great respect for Matt Chandler, and I have many reasons for that respect. I believe his leadership with A29 will be a good thing.

    Eagle, maybe I can try to answer your concerns.

    I personally don’t know much about Mahaney…but I have listened to Piper over the years, and I have a lot of respect for him. I won’t call him my “hero” or any of this other nonsense, but I do believe he wants to make much of God. He consistently discusses the “good news” of the Gospel. Is he perfect? No. Is he misguided on many things he may say? Yes, (Especially with the enduring abuse for one night comment..can’t remember when and where he said this, but would love to hear this again)..

    I would be careful to call this heresy. Heresy to me would occur when he begins to preach a false Gospel…which he has not. He is wrong in some of the things he says, and he needs to repent of these things, but because he is misguided I doubt he will.

    I call John Piper a brother, and I say the same about Tony and Brian. I have many of these guys’ books including the likes of Rob Bell…And Tony, Rob, Brian and others are misguided in some things they say, too.

    I have many more thoughts on all this, but at work now and have to process this fast. Just a few thoughts..

  58. Anon1:

    Thanks for the confirmation on the funding arrangement.

    I think that Acts 29 probably had to do something or the SBC was going to place a restriction.

    I was favorable toward Acts 29 plants based on the theological affinity. But I am not now. I have some grave reservations. I still would not try to prohibit a church from getting funding that decided to affiliate with Acts 29. But I am sure in favor of some education of our church planting guys to make sure they know what they are getting into.

  59. “Aren’t both articles just perfect for this discussion? Between MD threatening to go OT, and beat people up all the way too the Village Church warning of wolves. When they see the company being kept (i.e. Mahaney, Piper, etc..) …they certainly don’t have to look too far.”

    Actually there is more to it. Not everyone has noticed how they subtly redefine terms. They have done with the word “Gospel”. I have noticed more talk about wolves. On a Reformed baptist (Pro Mohlerites) blog they have redefined wolves to be non ministry people. Those who post comments they find wrong. They are “wolves”. Could be you because you are not a believer but mostly believers who do not believe as they do. As I thought about this, I started seeing it come up in other Reformed venues in sermons, etc.

    Now, think with me. Can a wolf be someone with no following? No position or power within the church? I would be interested in what people think on this. I know there are some who can come in and be devisive but lets think on what is biblical definition of a wolf.

    I thought of Acts 20 right off the bat.

    I think we are seeing another one of their turn the tables to control people’s thinking and redefining biblical concepts to keep power. I think they are some of the most diabolical people I have ever come across. Why? Because they do it in the Name of Jesus.

    There is a big push on the “control” comments at certain Reformed blogs right now. Lots of shaming and new rules. My guess is that the cage phase YRR guys are causing a backlash and they want them controlled. They also want to control the discussion of Driscoll, Mahaney, New Calvinism, etc.\

    They are the wolves.

  60. I have a couple of unrelated questions, if any of you can answer them, I’d be most appreciative. Don’t know if he’s still doing so, but understand that Driscoll was facilitating interfaith dialogues with Muslims. A pastor we used to have used to be in awe of Driscoll. Have there been any connections between Driscoll and friends and anti-Semitism? Is Driscoll still in favor of those dialogues? How about GC folks or T4G?

  61. Miguel and Amy –

    I believe Kevin DeYoung pastors in a denomination that ordains women. Individual churches may chose to be complementarian or egalitarian.

    Just thought you might find that interesting.

  62. Robin,

    I doubt Carson and Keller ever saw the down side of being associated with Driscoll. How much lower can he go?

  63. Miguel said:

    “Amy, I had no idea AoG’s were in A29. I don’t think it will last, they have too many strikes against them. Not only are they egalitarian, but they are also fairly arminian. My guess is the AoG churches who went through the trouble of affiliating with A29 will eventually find a new denomination.

    However, I noticed RCA, EPC and CRC on the list, also egalitarian groups. If A29 continues to beat the complimentarian drum the loudest, expect them to either leave or join the PCA.”

    The CRC as an organization embraces egalitarianism. But each classis and/or church makes their own policies re: to what degree women can be involved. It varies from no women even as deacons to women as head pastors. There is a huge variety within the denomination. My guess is the A29 member churches are the ones who are more limiting.

  64. I notice that Justin Taylor’s blog shut down comments on this post. I also noticed that in another post, a blog commenter asked why and no one has posted a response. I really don’t understand this secretive approach to stuff, kind of flips me out. I love the sovereignty of God and a view that D.A. Carson articulates called compatabilism, but this secretive ulta-authorative stuff is out of control, along with the female/male roles stuff. I love that this blog calls things out on the carpet, I am a little concerned with the feeling I get of secondary association i.e. since Driscoll sucks, those who know him suck as well. This reminds me too much of my fundamentalism background where we were not supposed to associate with people who associate with those in the wrong.

  65. Rob Davis.  Appreciated your titanic deck chair post wondering if things will be better or different. I don’t really know much about Chandler, but it appears he’s no better than Driscoll at least in the church discipline area. This portion of his excerpt caught my attention: “You don’t let wolves play with the sheep. And if a guy says, “I know what the Bible says, but I don’t care,” we’re fine with that. He just has to not care somewhere else. If you want to sleep around with a woman who is not your wife and bring your girlfriend to church while your wife sits on the other side of church…”
    He uses this example to explain why they “disinvited” a bunch of people. I wonder if anyone knows details– like– was there actually even ONE in their church doing something like this? Or were the “disinvited” folks asking too many questions?  
    I ask because this is the EXACT SAME example Driscoll uses in his book chapter on discipline. Who’d object to disciplining this uncaring adulterer, after all? It all seems so protective of innocent wives and kids.   

  66. Eagle,

    I can understand why you find it interesting. It’s funny really. I was big into Mclaren, Bell, and others before I stumbled into more of the “Calvinista’s” so to speak. I will say that God has used all of these guys in some way or another to expand my thinking in the faith. I grew up in a STRONG Southern Baptist Bible Belt mentality of “don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t dance, sex=evil” approach to scripture. It was all about modifying my behavior. Very little Grace. Very little Gospel. Very little Substance. In college, I started “seeking” the word of God more than I ever had to find the substance. I also started reading everything I could get my hands on that challenged my preconceived notions of scripture. I started out with Bell and others, and then on to J I Packer, Piper, and more recently Chandler and David Platt. I don’t agree with EVERYTHING these guys put out there, but I certainly have found some treasure in their writings. Maybe this explains the schizophrenia.

    As far as why I call them brothers: According to what I have read, Bell leans on the grace of Christ for his salvation. Therefore, he is my brother.

    The same for Mclaren, Piper, Chandler, and others.

    I will say, just as I will for Piper, that some things Bell says are a little “out there.” In fact, Bell seems to be all over the place in his thoughts. I disagree with Bell’s recent position in “Love Wins”(if you call his writings a position, it seems more like random thoughts), but I don’t think this disqualifies him in his faith. It may “water down” the message of God’s wrath and the need for Christ’s grace—but as long as Bell trusts in that grace, I call him brother!

    I know Piper himself has said “goodbye” to Bell, and I can understand Piper’s anger towards Bell’s position (they are polar opposites indeed)…but once again, Piper I think was overzealous. I am not sure if Piper has dismissed him as a Christian, or has simply dismissed him from an Orthodox understanding of scripture as it applies to Hell, etc.

    Hope this helps explain where I am coming from better.

  67. @Amy,

    My question is, why does it take 100 PAGES to spell out “Core Christian issues?” Including issues like Complementarianism makes me cringe. I love researching theology and the complexities of beliefs, church history, etc, but manifestos are so dangerous! Whatever you believe about how your relationship could function, Jesus summed up following him in two sentences, not 100+ pages: Love God. Love your neighbor.

    Thank you, Deb and Dee. You women are heroes! I love reading this blog.

  68. Dave,

    I remember listening to that sermon from Chandler where that excerpt came from. It was blunt, but from what I remember, it was right on.

    Living in the “buckle” of the Bible Belt, I can tell you that church discipline is often overlooked. So many churches have come far from a gospel-centered community of believers…it is a social club. An event that occurs every Sunday morning to sing a few songs, hear (or sleep) through a sermon, and beat the other church crowd to the restaurants for lunch.

    Because of this, blatant unrepentant sin goes hand in hand. Most of the churches in my community are small, but we still have some major problems. One man cheated on his wife with another man’s wife within the same church in our community. The next Sunday, the two adulterers showed up hand in hand in the front of their church in front of their devastated families. For some time, this was simply overlooked before the Pastor decided he should talk to them.

    It is probablly not too unrealistic that Chandler could have similar problems in a church his size, with multiple occurences. If they handle this unrepentant sin by asking the guilty to leave to allow healing for the devastated families…then I stand by that decision. I am sure many in the Village stand by it as well. I don’t buy into speculation, but if there has been some underhanded “discipline” in the Village, then I hope it is exposed just like Driscoll and Mars Hill was exposed recently.

    As much as I resepct Chandler, there is no excuse for the Elders to handle their responsibility in this manner if they have. But for now, I am trusting Chandler at his word. I am also thinking his leadership will be far better for A29 than Driscoll ever could be.

  69. Gospel Tour—

    Shane and Shane—I enjoy their music.

    If the Good News of Jesus Christ is lifted up at these events, then I say carry on! I have no doubt it will. Any time the Good News can be shared, then I agree, it IS a novel idea! (Romans 1:16)

  70. tl: “Don’t know if he’s still doing so, but understand that Driscoll was facilitating interfaith dialogues with Muslims.”

    Driscoll may be legitimately accused of a lot of stuff, but certainly not “facilitating interfaith dialogues with Muslims.” There was some dust-up a few years ago after one of Mars Hill’s founders, Mike Gunn, after he left Mars Hill, met with members of C.A.I.R.: http://www.wnd.com/2010/05/149893 . But Driscoll was not involved in that in any way, and the watchbloggers bringing up his name at the time just sounded like shrill ignoramuses.

  71. He uses this example to explain why they “disinvited” a bunch of people. I wonder if anyone knows details– like– was there actually even ONE in their church doing something like this? Or were the “disinvited” folks asking too many questions?
    I ask because this is the EXACT SAME example Driscoll uses in his book chapter on discipline. Who’d object to disciplining this uncaring adulterer, after all? It all seems so protective of innocent wives and kids. ”

    Dave, I have noticed this same thing. If you listen around to them, they are using each other’s illustrations and stories. And you are right…..to wonder if it really happened that way….especially when it is so many people being ‘disciplined’ or turned away.

    I think Chandler is more likable from stage but I do not think his doctrine is really all that different from Driscoll’s. And yes, I have listened to him quite a bit. He is a softer gentler YRR.

  72. Emelina–

    “My question is, why does it take 100 PAGES to spell out “Core Christian issues?” Including issues like Complementarianism makes me cringe. I love researching theology and the complexities of beliefs, church history, etc, but manifestos are so dangerous! Whatever you believe about how your relationship could function, Jesus summed up following him in two sentences, not 100+ pages: Love God. Love your neighbor.”

    My thoughts exactly. Perhaps those who are preparing it can give me some tips on writing a 200 page dissertation.

    If anyone needs more proof that the Calvinistas have two different usages for the term “gospel,” watch this interesting clip in which Al Mohler gives a (tellingly, I think) guarded assessment of Mark Driscoll: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB1sr-yTgIU. Is it just my ears, or does Dr. Mohler seem to make a distinction between “preaching the gospel [of salvation],” which he thinks MD is doing, and engaging in “gospel ministry,” which he doesn’t necessarily think MD is doing, because the latter is ministry to those who are already part of the church (or something like that)? I haven’t summed that up very well–listen and make your own conclusions.

  73. Seeker
    I no longer trust anyone at their word unless I know them intimately. I have watched one too many pastors sin in many different ways. Trust is based on relationship, not some good sermons said at a pulpit from afar. It is all about relationship.And that is something these guys do not have with the people they supposedly pastor. These men have become talking heads, not pastors.

  74. Folks, you have to understand that the SBC is no longer the SBC as I and others with a few years behind us have known it. Granted the early version at the begining was marred with the slavery issues which left a dark spot on the SBC historically speaking but this mess now is a bunch of young, for lack of a better way to state it, Driscoll types hell bent on turning the SBC into the envy and rock star of all denominations. We’ve trashed our heritage in just about every way possible all to the applause of these guys who are determined to take the SBC in a direction that no one would have ever thought or imagined. You can almost imagine George Truett, R.G. Lee, Adrian Rogers and others who’ve gone on spinning in their graves over this travesty that is going on in the SBC these days.

    Dee and Deb – an aside for you both…. my wife and I have finally settled on attending a traditional baptist church in the south part of town here in Knoxville – one where I have filled in at the organ several times over the last three years. Looks as though I will, for the most part, be the assistant organist at this church and will sing in the choir when not playing – they have a nice 3 manual pipe organ which is really fun to play. Pray for us as we begin this journey – that we will find the right areas to be involved in at this church aside from the music…. perhaps that may be the only thing at this time. Pray that we find and make some good and lasting friendships and lastly pray for this church. It’s much smaller than it was in past years and there’s a concern with regard to its future – most of this has come about through community transition over the years and now it’s a much older (agewise) congregation now but one with a bit of kick still left and I don’t think it’s too late to see it turn around and given that there is still a niche of folks that enjoy a traditional church we still have an opportunity to continue that direction and trust that God will bring thoes who need to be there.

    Thanks much! The Guy and his Mrs. from Knoxville…..

  75. “…The best laid plans of mice, men, and angels often go afoul…”

    — From the ruminations of Spotted Crow, elder of the Menominee in the year of the fallen towers –

  76. Attn. Blog queens. Explicit gospel coming to Durham 4/18/12 at the (church we do not name).

  77. I haven’t had time to read all of the comments here but plan to do so later. Life is more than a little chaotic right now. Here’s the thing- I didn’t realize Matt Chandler was a part of the Acts 29 network, much less in a position to take over. I’ve heard him speak several times but that was several years ago. I don’t know if anybody has checked out the website for his church, but I just did. The membership covenant is something I would never sign and seems to be incredibly similar to what y’all have said about the covenants at Mars Hill and SGM churches. http://www.thevillagechurch.net/mediafiles/membership-covenant.pdf

    On a personal note, Chandler is very different than Driscoll. He is tall and slender and much more gentle in nature. When I heard him speak back then (about seven years ago), I would never have fathomed that he and his church(es) would be capable of morphing into this creature also known as Acts 29.

  78. Gospel Tour—?

    I wonder if we need one for a fee.

    Shane and Shane—I enjoy their music.

    You can listen online for free as well.

    If the Good News of Jesus Christ is lifted up at these events, then I say carry on! I have no doubt it will.

    I am not quite altogether convinced about Matt’s gospel. Would he be “for” a Steven Furtik mildly wof Elevation church where TD Jakes is revered as the best preacher in the world by Furtik?

    Any time the Good News can be shared, then I agree, it IS a novel idea! (Romans 1:16)

    Yep with autographs and everything.

  79. Don’t underestimate Mr. Driscoll. He will do well no matter what enterprise he’s into. Based on what he’s trafficked in to the masses already, he could sell hickory smoked bacon to Muslims.

    He reminds me of Randall Flagg*, gone in a nuclear flash, only to pop up elsewhere rarin’ to go again.

    *character from Stephen King’s “The Stand”

  80. Dee,

    I understand where you are coming from. Trust is hard to come by. And pastors are not perfect, all pastors sin.

    I don’t know Matt Chandler intimately, and I assume you don’t either. The problem I have is so often we automatically want to assume the worst in people. I know this website is built upon the pain that people have recieved from churches, exposing the wrong that churches have done to people, especially pastors..and I commend that…

    But is it possible to say that Chandler (and other leaders) CAN be trusted? Do we have to write him off so soon? On many of the comments on here, it seems that it is rather easy to call him a “Calvinista Celeb” who is out for fame and glory, but by what evidence? He wrote a book about the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ? I can think of many worse things that that….He is associated with Mark Driscoll? Fair enough, but does this mean he has committed the same sins as Mark Driscoll? He pastors a megachurch? It wasn’t always that way…

    I am sure Chandler has plenty of flaws, but so does every pastor in the world.

    I respectfully disagree with your statement that these men are not pastors. The nature of megachurches makes it hard for one man to Pastor everyone. Heck, a church with 200+ makes it hard for one man to pastor everyone! That is why churches like the Village are made up of a team of Elders and other staff, Small Group Leaders, etc to help meet the needs of the people.

    And from what I understand, Chandler did not swing into the Village to pastor Thousands of people for Fame and Glory…He went into a declining Southern Baptist Church of membership within the low hundreds. Are we to say that he had no relationships with those people…if that is true, I doubt he would have made it out of his first year!

    I am not a part of the Village, so I can’t assume I know his schedule and what he does daily. I know it will be next to impossible to Pastor thousands of people, but I would think he is there for them when he can. And I know you know this, but pastoring is more than just meeting the needs of your congregation. It is also preaching the word of God. Proclaiming the good news of the Gospel. This, I can say, Matt does.

    So as longs as his “talking head” is proclaiming this message to his congregation and to the world, as long as he oversees the needs of the Village and certain things in the Dallas metroplex by working with other pastors and leaders in the Village, as long as he makes himself or his fellow Elders available to his people, then he is a pastor in my book.

    I DO get why its’ hard to trust though. Recently I have had some trust issues revolving around some things in the church. In that time, I was reminded of a certain verse..and this whole conversation reminds me of a certain verse…

    Acts 10:15: “Do not call something unclean that God has made clean”

    It is rather easy to see the worst in people, and it is rather easy to cry foul! But when there is little to no evidence of someones foul play, it may be better to cautiously wait to see what happens. Maybe it is too much to fully trust, but “shaking the dust of your feet” too soon could be the wrong way to go..

  81. Diane,

    I understand your concern. I just have a differnt take on it. I am not sure who or what the proceeds are going too, so I will wait and pass judgment on them charging for the event.

    The fee doesn’t really bother me that much though…If two people can spend close to 20 dollars going to watch a 3D movie of the Hunger Games…then what is so wrong for paying for an event where Christ is glorified through music and the word?

    I understand you are not convinced on his “gospel”. I think Matt would probablly say he has no gospel apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Curious though, what are you not convinced about? Are you saying he preaches a false gospel?

    Just pick out a few sermons of his on his podcast, it won’t be long before you hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.

    As far as autographs, are we so certain he will sign autographs? I have seen Chandler two times in speaking engagements at various conferences. I have had the opportunity to talk with him afterwards on both of those occasions. He wasn’t giving out autographs..nor did we ask for one…but he was gracious enough to talk with us afterwards…

    Still think the Gospel Tour will be a good event.

  82. The way that I now judge the celebrities is if they dare speak out against the wolves they love to share stages and be on boards with.

    A pastor of a mega church cannot be a pastor to all? There is a clue something is wrong with the whole set up.

    All pastors sin? To what extent? Should we look for pure in heart? Can they spiritually abuse? Promote other wolves? Just how much can they sin without it becoming a serious problem? Or is it the new norm to be Born again and continue in sin. perhaps they define sin differently. Promoting wolves is actually God’s work because he preaches a little Gospel with his big glass of poison.

    We cannot know what Chandler is really like? There is another clue. Why are we listening to people we cannot know personally? Look how Driscoll turned out. Turns out his doctrine focus was more about his sexless marriage than anything else. Who knew? And there is the point of it all. We listen to people and take their word for scripture and know nothing about them personally. It boggles the mind we would leave spiritual truths to such a situation.

    Yes, they are talking heads. Chandler has it set up that the church he “pastors” can pay him NOT to be there pastoring but out speaking and making even more money and becoming even more famous. But the world needs him, right?

    Yes, he is a gentler version from stage. But who really knows? It is all Hollywood for Christians. Everyone has their favorite talking head they defend but don’t know. The irony is delicious.

    Just give me some old calloused knees saint who would be ashamed to try for fame selling the Gospel and making merchandise of God’s people. For shame.

  83. Eagle, I’m totally with you. By the way, Go SOX! Down with the cubs! For the life of me, I will never understand the whole “Rob Bell is a heretic” thing. Really?!?! for writing a book in which he dared to simply ask some questions?!?! Wow. All I can say is wow. I guess that whole incident went to the heart of what bothers me so deeply about current day evangelicalism: what you give mental ascent to is far more important than how you actually live your life. Sadly, we see this time and time again, and it also speaks to your question about why more people don’t care about Mahaney and SGM. For the record, I share your concerns and am deeply troubled by all that’s gone on with SGM and MD, etc.

  84. Theoblogue, I too noticed that Justin Taylor will not allow comments on pretty much any post that deals with Driscoll. That speaks volumes right there. I used to go to JT’s blog almost daily. Now, I rarely look at it. I also find it quite sad that, at least according to my knowledge, JT has never once posted on all of the issues with SGM.

  85. “As far as autographs, are we so certain he will sign autographs?”

    I assume so–it says on the link I provided- “6 pm Book Signing…7-9 pm Event. I think that’s an autograph. ? I could be wrong, though.

    Nothing wrong for paying to attend his “Explicit Gospel” book promoting event. He wouldn’t do it if people would not come. :-)

    I am not saying Matt preaches a false gospel. Just watching. Not wanting to assume the worst at all. I can’t know his motives.

  86. Seeker, I have to agree with Dee. By the very definition, if you have a church of X thousand people, and you only ever talk to about 6 people in your “church”, then you are not a pastor.

    I don’t mean to go off on you, but I am so sick of a mentality that says “if you have X thousand people in your “church”, then you are doing God’s will. If you have become a rock star, celebrity speaker, then you are doing God’s will.” All the while ignoring the model of Jesus, who often times pretty much tried to talk people out of following Him and who chose to focus His entire ministry on 12 lowlife guys.

  87. Seeker,
    Thanks for the reply. I have also heard of examples like Chandler mentions, which have wrongly not been dealt with. I still am suspicious of how both preachers focus on this same “bring yer mistress t’ church” story,when surely even in the Bible Belt, MOST adulterers try to hide it. Another example I think really odd: I just read the whole thing here. http://www.thevillagechurch.net/media/sermons/transcripts/201010171700FMWC21ASAAA_MattChandler_UltimateAuthorityPt4-GuidingAndConfrontingTheMess.pdf
    He’s talking about how elders should deal with 3 groups– Wolves, weaker brethren, and drifters from the theological or missiological way. He specifically says more than once that he knows there are wolves listening there at the village. But WHO at his church does he give as a example of wolves? The ONLY example in the sermon? Is it some Branch Davidians teaching Koresh worship? Is it followers of Ed Young sneaking his teachings into the small groups? Folks who read Wade Burleson’s blog? (Just kidding, Wade.) NO! The “wolves” are shallow guys from da big city who think the village girls are way cuter than the gals in the Dallas churches. So they go to church to “hunt” them. Their sinister intentions?– marriage and children! So they’re slyly trying to fool the innocent beautiful village girls into thinking they’re godly. Is this who Paul (or our Lord) had in mind as false prophets? If there are really so many young fellers like this in Matt’s (and Mark’s) churches– one wonders if it’s because that’s who the preachers are targeting.

  88. @Alan…

    The whole “numbers=godliness” mentality makes me think of this:

    8 Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”
    Matt 4:8-9

  89. “He specifically says more than once that he knows there are wolves listening there at the village. But WHO at his church does he give as a example of wolves?”

    Sheesh~ They are redefining the biblical meaning of “wolf”. I am seeing this a lot in Reformed circles. Just not long ago, on a Reformed baptist pastors blog I saw this same definition of a wolf as someone commenting who basically did not agree with them. Should we allow them, they asked? One was a Catholic woman who is always posting vague platitudes from some mystic. A wolf? I think not. A bit nutty, maybe.

    Gee, single guys looking for a potential Christian wife. How horrible! (sarcasm alert)

  90. Eagle, in response to the question:

    “Really if you think about it….the wrong people are angry. Christians should be angry over all the spiritual abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, false teachings that exist. I still can’t wrap my mind around that point…. That should bother people… Why arn’t people upset?”

    I ask the same question myself. And many Christians are walking away from the Institutional Church for this very reason – I have experience with these issues up close and personal. I still believe – but not in the IC. I have lost all interest in associating with those who are more concerned with position and appearance than actual individual people. I know the ugliness of what I have heard termed by those in it as ‘the dark underbelly of ministry’ – said with a knowing wink and expectation that it be ignored. No thanks.

  91. Guy from Knoxville,

    I’m glad you have found a church where you can use your gifts. Thanks for letting us know!

  92. “In the end, the church is a mess. It is a group of people who are completely jacked up. To deny that is to be a liar.”

    I do not completely buy this statement from Chandler in the link provided above by Dave A A. And I also could find no other example given in the article of what a wolf is other than a man hunting for a pretty woman at The Village church. That is odd.

    “You just need to find some place that God is moving you to plug in and get involved. Or you could live the live of a leech and just suck the life out of everything until you die, but I would much rather you play. So the Bible clearly says that you are to be under a godly authority. So here is my question for you if you’re not a member of any church. And notice I didn’t say, “If you go to a church.” Because going to a church and belonging to a church are not the same thing. The Bible clearly says that you have to be under an authority, so what elders are you under? Because there are elders everywhere. Sometimes they will swing by your house on their bicycles. What about the loons from Westboro Baptist Church? If there is a crazier bunch, I haven’t read about them.”

    Live the life of a leech? Loons?

    “The Scriptures clearly teach that you are to be under a gentle, living life as an example authority and that we are to treat one another with respect and grace as we live out this thing.”

    Ohhh.

  93. Seeker: “Maybe it is too much to fully trust…”

    John 2:24-25:

    “But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.”

  94. Seeker
    I think you misunderstand me. I neither trust nor mistrust Chandler or anybody else that I do not know. I don’t call him clean or unclean. He is an unknown entity to me.I do not have enough information to do so. I trust Jesus. I trust my husband. I trust my fellow blogger, Deb. I know them. I have spent time with them. I have lived in community with them. I always shake my head when people find out that one of their neighbors is a serial killer and they act shocked. “But he always said “hi” when I passed by and he once got my newspaper for me.” They did not know him and should not be surprised when men stumble and fall.

    We do not know people we view from afar. We only know them superficially. I profoundly disagree with you. In fact, I would say this is one of those issues that defines my thinking. I do not believe any man is a pastor when he dashes in and out of the pulpit on his way to the next conference, book signing and committee meetings. Heck, why even bother to come into the pulpit at all. Since such a pastor is not relating to the people, he could just beam in his message from the next conference. Same effect.

    I believe the mega-pulpit will become increasingly unattractive to people who want far more than a good speaker.

  95. Dave
    You are kidding???In out own backyard. Darn, we will be shot on site if we attempt to approach, Maybe we should get one of the glasses with mustaches…

  96. Christy
    Thank you for this info. We plan to do some posts on Chandler’s beliefs. He holds to some of these core beliefs that we believe leads to more authoritarian behavior. We did do a post on him a couple of years ago when he called someone in his church a “narcissistic zero.”

  97. Diane
    All these guys ever seem to be concerned about is authority. I still remember a time when we dealt with a church who screwed up royally with some kids who were deeply wounded by a pervert. We confronted t=one of the pastors who said, get this, “What about my authority?” My husband said “your authority starts when you act like Jesus and start washing the feet of the boys who were hurt.”

    I love it. Hurry, up, join a church and put yourself “under” elders who you don’t know from squat. Not a chance.

  98. Why does anyone need to put him or herself under the authority of a self-appointed leader of an independent church?

  99. “I know the ugliness of what I have heard termed by those in it as ‘the dark underbelly of ministry’ – said with a knowing wink and expectation that it be ignored. No thanks.”

    I know, me too. I came to the conclusion I would answer for not only being a part of something so mocking of God but even for ignoring it and not warning others.

  100. “So the Bible clearly says that you are to be under a godly authority.”

    Let me guess, the ever present badly interpreted Hebrews 13:17 they constantly trot out because THEY are the leaders?

    Too bad there is only one of these to proof text.

  101. From reallysad: “Think about that. Driscoll “replanted” Mars Hill Church and, as he has done with countless individuals, used 2000 members upon whose tithes and efforts build a name for himself, then dismissed them and their contribution on a single day and “replanted” Mars Hill with an ecclesiastical model that flew in the face of everything those 2000 members bought into. One where he was King.

    He still has to be held to account for the 1000 members who walked away having been defrauded and robbed of the church they faithfully supported. They were used and abused.

    Perhaps we will begin to hear a new outcry for this injustice to be heard.

    Mark Driscoll’s view – as told to Matthew Paul Turner last year was he cancelled out the memberships of everybody, and “those who evidenced true faith in Christ and signed our [new] membership covenant were installed as new members. We had always had a high bar for membership, but I wanted to raise that bar higher as we pursued our goal of becoming, by God’s grace, a church of fifty thousand. In so doing, we lost about a thousand people…” ”

    This is very similar to what the ICOC did in the 1980’s. They “replanted” and “reconstructed” churches and interviewed people one by one to see if their baptism was “valid”. It was not surprising that most people ended up being baptized again.

  102. Quite a bit to respond to here…I will try to get to you all. Bear with me…this may become a rather long post (or series of posts)

    Anon1:

    Thanks for your response…Your statement about Judging “celebs” is a fair statement, but once again, we are outsiders looking into a situation that we know very little about.

    It is possible that Chandler has addressed Driscoll, as Piper has done in the past, about his “ways”. Maybe that is what this whole “transition” thing is about. But is it necessary to get up on a Sunday morning in the Village Church and blast Driscoll to oblivion? Should he go on CNN? The 700 club? Should he blog about it?

    I don’t have anything for Driscoll, but with all his flaws and wrongdoings, he is still a human being. Whether Chandler has a work relationship/fellow “Calvinista” relationship/ or just a friendship with Driscoll, maybe Chandler has deemed it more wise to address him privately. I know you will not agree with this, but you or I are not Matt Chandler. We really have NO clue what he has done or WHY he has not spoken publicly about Driscoll. There could be a legitimate reason, that really has nothing to do with any speculation of shadiness.

    Also, Driscoll has done some shady things…and who knows what may come out in the future, but some things are best handled within the realm of a autonomous church. If Driscoll needs discipline, it should come from Mars Hill. Not the Village. Not from Chandler.

    Megachurches: Not perfect, I agree. And the setup is difficult when you try to have gospel centered community…BUT, the church grows, multiplies…it is the nature of the church advancing. The Village consists of 3 locations. 3 campuses in 3 different contexts under one “community” the Village. The church wasn’t like this when Chandler first got there, but it literally blew up with young 20 somethings in the Dallas area. As it ahs grown, they have adjusted to deal with the crowds. One example: They strongly encourage church planting–I have heard Chandler encourage (beg was the word he used) his congregation to pray and seek God over moving (leaving the church) to another context to help plant churches that the Village was involved in. Sort of blows his whole “ego-trip” theory out of the water. Megachurches are not perfect, but neither is any church setup…

    Pastors Sin: I fully agree that a Pastor should be held accountable for their sin, and I see what your getting at. I just disagree. I do not see Chandler promoting wolves. You see that, I, and many others, don’t. If anything, Chandler loves and promotes Christ. And once again, we really DON’T know what Chandler has said and done with Driscoll. You are calling for a public witch hunt of Driscoll, and I get why, but Chandler NOT publicly condemning this does not mean he is promoting Driscoll’s sin by any means.

    “Knowing” People: This point of yours was interesting. I don’t know Chandler personally, but I know of him. I know that when he preaches, He preaches the good news of Jesus Christ. He emphasizes missions. He desires his church and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to make much of Jesus. And for this purpose, this is all I really need to know. I have my own pastor in my own community who I know well, and I trust him. Chandler is not MY pastor, I listen to him preaching the word. If Chandler is revealed to be a “wolf” in the end, then I will be deeply burdened for him, pray for him, and hope he repents. But this has no bearing on my soul. I don’t listen needlessly to Chandler either, as I don’t listen needlessly to David Platt and others. I listen to dive deeper into the word and seek God more.

    And no, the world does not need Chandler. The world needs the Gospel. And the last time I checked, we were supposed to invest in getting the good news out there. When Chandler speaks at these events, he is either promoting the gospel or training pastors/leaders to do the same. (Sad to think many pastors out there do not)

    “Talking Heads”: Nope, disagree with you again. Where you see a talking head, I see a Pastor. I wonder how many people at the Village would agree with your statement? How many would disagree? He is not the ONLY Pastor in this church, nor should he be, but I am sure he makes himself available the best way he can. If he can’t visit every single member in his church, I am sure that should not disqualify him from his Pastoral role.

    “Money, Fame, Etc”: And once again, we have another assumption. Money alone is not an evil thing. What he does with the money is. Do you know how Chandler uses his money? Do you see his checkbook? Maybe God has blessed him financially to bless others. Maybe, just maybe, he actually follows that principle. I could be wrong, but I have not seen any evidence of him flaunting his “riches” around the world. Would love to see examples if you have. My respect for him would diminish.

    Calloused Knee Saints: I agree. I love and admire any man of this stature, but where you see Chandler selling the gospel for fame and merchandise, I see him trying to glorify Christ and share the gospel to all peoples.

    I am sure Chandler did not wake up one morning and say hey, I want to be a megachurch pastor! He went to a declining church to pastor, and it started to multiply. Obviously Chandler has a conviction to preach/teach at these conferences…who knows…maybe God has placed that conviction on him. I know that the times I attended the conference he was present at, God used the sermon he preached to encourage/edify me and many others. His sermons on his podcast the same way. Again, we often look at the worse in people, and fail to see what really could be there.

  103. I am a member of Piper’s church. from all I have seen over the years, he has tried to not be, and genuinely seems to be more than a talking head. He is in community. I have spoken to him on many occasions. A close friend was on staff for years and says he is genuine. He is not another persona in personal relationships. Does he have failures? Yes, but he recognizes them and even is willing to talk abut them. And that, I fear is what Driscoll’s failure is. He seems to think he is above correction or censure or making mistakes.

  104. And for the record, John has never taken any rayalties from any of his books. He gives it all back to Desiring God so they can give books away free.

  105. “Thanks for your response…Your statement about Judging “celebs” is a fair statement, but once again, we are outsiders looking into a situation that we know very little about.”

    And that is the point. And the way they want to keep it. Unless a Petry comes forward, people can always hide behind: You don’t have all the facts. Sunlight is very good for Christianity. When it gets so big you cannot know a guy personally because he is a celebrity, it is not of Christ.

    Do you have any idea how many of these guys travel with bodyguards? Why?

    “Maybe that is what this whole “transition” thing is about.”

    This was done for one reason only: To stop a mass exodus from Acts 29 churches. period. Driscoll is radioactive right now from his ridiculous appearances about his book on sodomy in marriage (wink) to the revelation by a former fired elder who just happens to be an attorney. (More folks believe him)

    A lot of the NC/Reformed movement is associated with Acts 29. Driscoll not only took one for the team but is fighting to save his legacy and he cannot do that if Acts 29 churches bleed members. (“legacy” is BIG with these guys, trust me)

    ” But is it necessary to get up on a Sunday morning in the Village Church and blast Driscoll to oblivion? Should he go on CNN? The 700 club? Should he blog about it? ”

    Nope. Just tell the truth. But that would be too negative and people might not trust them anymore.

    “And once again, we really DON’T know what Chandler has said and done with Driscoll.”

    Why not? Driscolls problems are very public. Paul had the nerve to rebuke Peter publicly. But we do know what Chandler has done in public. Shared stages, served on boards, promoted and affirmed Driscoll over and over….even knowing what he teaches and how he behaves. Not a good sign concerning Chandler.

    Sorry but that is all I have time for. I am always amazed when people ignore the very public truths and go for the “maybe-if” stuff that supposedly happens in private with these guys. One can dream or pretend, I suppose. :o)

  106. Alan,

    Justin Taylor’s blog has becoming increasingly odd over the years. It’s weird in that a self-appointed blogger who will freely criticize anyone who is outside his theological or political camp and yet if there is a chance to discussion about issues inside the camp the posts are shut down. It really gives me pause and causes me concern about the movement in general. I just don’t understand why JT would not post anything about SGM and yet was so quick to criticize Rob Bell. I actually do not support Bell’s position on Hell, and do support theological positions that embrace God’s sovereignty over all things including evil. That being said, I am saddened by the way Justin Taylor has not allowed discussion on these issues. For those of us who are concerned about the ultra authoritarianism I think it is important that we allow ourselves to be corrected. I see a general disposition in some of those in the YRR group to resist correction. To be open to correction does not mean you agree with those who criticize you on everything, but at least you take into consideration what is being said. I have seen Justin Taylor at times actually respond positively on his blog to criticism and so there is hope that he is more of the Keller type mold, but the shutting down of comments just strikes me as odd.

  107. Diane,

    Whoops! Missed the part about autographs! Thanks for revealing that to me. Not a big “autograph” person myself, but hopefully it can be an opportunity to talk, share the gospel, or pray with some people. Could be a golden opportunity!

    Glad you are watching…something I should have added earlier is this…it couldn’t hurt to pray for these guys either. As we watch, we should lift them up in prayer. They have tremendous influence, and our prayer for them should be that they make much of Christ in that influence.

    Alan:

    Nothing to go off on here, and no offense taken. I actually agree with you. I find the megachurch reality to be a difficult thing! But it is a reality! In fact, I think that Chandler, Platt, and other leaders who have megachurches would actually agree with your sentiment.

    But something to keep in mind about….just because there is growth or large numbers, doesn’t necessarily mean there is “evil.” Jesus taught, lived, and discipled the 12, but he also spoke to thousands. The Village and Brook Hills, both megachurches, emphasize small groups to allow for the kind of intimate “community” that the disciples had with Jesus.

    Chandler has also emphasized planting churches among the Village membership, to encourage Christian believers to extend the gospel to other contexts.

    The point is…Chandler did not create this growth. The growth happened. So what is Chandler, or any pastor for that matter, supposed to do in that situation? What would you do? Resign? Quit? Leave? Split the Church (probable solution, but which members would go where…the Village is already split among 3 campuses.)

    It is so easy to point our fingers at these pastors and the “megachurch” system and proclaim that they are not pastors, that the system is flawed…. but the reality is the Village did not start out this way. It was a relatively small church that blew up in a few years with membership. So what is the solution? Should we close the doors of our church when we reach 100, 200? Should we stay in our homes and have “house” church with our families? I get the concern, but if you were in his shoes, if you had leadership of the Village when it was growing, what would you do differently?

    I do not think it is God’s will when a church reaches 10,000, but I am saying it is God’s will for the church to grow and advance. Growth happens. Sometimes unexpectedly….Just because it is a large church, does not mean it is unclean. IF Jesus Christ and His Gospel is the center of the Church…then it is a Church that follows God’s will.

    Dave:

    Thanks for your reply and the link. To me, a wolf is PRIMARILY someone who intentionally comes in a church and distorts the truth of the Gospel–but also, as 2nd Peter alludes too, they follow their “shameful ways and bring the truth into disrepute”.

    I think this could go beyond teaching a false gospel. In Chandler’s case, he did not use the word “hunt” lightly. I am not picturing a man who is a Christian and loves Christ seeking a godly marraige..I am seeing a man searching for a woman for selfish gain–whether sexual or otherwise.

    In other words, they are not coming into the church to seek Christ, worship Christ, or to follow Christ. They are seeking a woman. Period. In my opinion, Chandler is right on to see this as a problem. If this man’s heart is more concerned with finding a pretty girl than finding Christ, then later on, division, pain, and turmoil could abound within the village due to divorce, adultery, etc.

    This man is not a godly man that a godly woman needs. If this problem is known, or is made known from some of these ladies who are being “chased” down by a man such as this, then I could understand the churches “tough” response. Taking it a bit too far? Maybe, but maybe more churches should follow this principle. The divorce rate in the church is rather high.

    Dee:

    Sorry If I misunderstood you. I do get what you are saying now. I agree that we don’t know people very well from afar, and trusting these people is superficial at best. I guess what I meant by “trust” is that I respect him. I have no beef with him. I think he will be a good leader for the A29 program. He is a Pastor who preaches the word of God, who lifts up the Gospel, and who lifts up the name of Jesus Christ.

    His faith in God during his bout with cancer was inspiring to me, especially after seeing/struggling with my father suffer from Stage 4 Esophogeal Cancer this past year. God has used Chandler’s sermons to convict me on many levels, edify, and encourage me. Overall, He has used them to push me closer to Him alone.

    I have seen no evidence, nor have heard of any evidence, that could cause me to lose this respect for Chandler..and I don’t have any reason to believe that in the future I will. If something happens, then it will be a sad day, but my prayer is that day never happens. My prayer is that God continues to use Chandler to bring glory to His great name among the nations along with all of us. This is why I spoke earlier today, basically to give a different “take” on Chandler taking over the transition. Maybe it will turn out to be a good thing!

    As far as his Pastor thing..I respect your opinion, and I see why you come to that opinion. However, I think you are limiting his role quite a bit. Chandler serves the Village in ways that extend beyond board meetings and conferences. The large church structure is not your thing, I get that, but the Village has reached a portion of young people that few churches are able to reach. This portion flocked to the Village in great numbers. Maybe not the best scenario for a church who aims to keep community, but maybe not the worst scenario either. How many other churches in America are able to reach out to the 20 somethings? And unfortunately, because of this growth, Chandler has to “function” in a “mega-pulpit”.

    Again, are we supposed to cap the doors when our churches hit 100? Is Chandler supposed to turn down every speaking engagement where he can make much of Christ? Avoid Board meetings? Or will he be considered a pastor when he spends time with every member of his church? Is he supposed to shut down the village and split up the church into small house community churches all over the Dallas area with their own individual pastors?

    I know these questions are silly, but Pastors of mega’s are TRYING to address these issues through discipleship focused small groups (Like Brook Hills structure)…I just don’t get it…What is Chandler supposed to do in this situation? When the Village started to multiply—what was he supposed to do? I don’t like the mega reality either, but it is there. I don’t see it diminishing any time soon, and the truth is, just because it is not my “style” (I attend a church of about 80 people), doesn’t necessarily make it wrong. (not saying you consider it wrong btw.) And just because Chandler is pastor of one, doesn’t disqualify him as a Pastor.

    1st Timothy 5:17 calls Elders who handle the affairs of the church worthy of double honor, ESPECIALLY those who teach/preach. Imagine that, the talking head thing is not so bad after all? Truth is though, I suspect Chandler is much more than a talking head to the Village.

    Phew…that took a while…I just want to say..I respect all of you. Although I disagree with some things on here, I commend this blog for what it does. I commend you for “watching” all the problems that may arise within the church, and protecting those who suffer from these problems. As we watch though, may we pray for men like Chandler whose influnce could make much of Jesus or mock the name of Christ.

    I hope that Chandler’s leadership will turn out quite differntly from Driscoll.

  108. Anon1,

    You and I are definitely on the same page with the Sojourn Network. Very interesting timing…

  109. Anon1,

    Thanks again for responding. It’s ok if that is all you have time for…I am about to head to bed myself. Once again, you make some fair and good points.

    I am not ignoring the obvious truths here, I understand the flaws of Driscoll, I have read the story about the former Elder at Mars Hill..I get all of this.

    I do wish SOMEONE from Mars Hill would publicly apologize/reconcile from what happened with the former Elder, but I am still not convinced this is Chandler’s place.

    As far as the Sex Book—I haven’t read it so I can’t comment on this, but it sounds pretty graphic and out there.

    Still not convinced it is Chandler’s “place” to publicly condemn Driscoll. Mars Hill?…Yep! They are the one’s to handle this. To me, it would be better for his own Church to stand up and condemn him for his actions against this Elder and his “sex book” rather than Chandler.

    Don’t see that happening though. So maybe you are right. Maybe Chandler should step up to the plate and call him out. Maybe it will happen before all this is over. Maybe it won’t. Maybe Driscoll himself will publicly repent over his actions…there is a thought!

    Oops, there I go with the maybes again… :)

    (one more for fun!) Maybe I am a fool, but I still have great respect for Chandler, and his “guilt by association” with Driscoll is not a huge “red flag” for me. I respect your opinion though, and I am curious to see how Chandler will handle things for here on out.

  110. “Still not convinced it is Chandler’s “place” to publicly condemn Driscoll. Mars Hill?…Yep! They are the one’s to handle this. To me, it would be better for his own Church to stand up and condemn him for his actions against this Elder and his “sex book” rather than Chandler”

    Hello….seeker….They all signed membership agreements giving Mark full power over them. They “believe” he has authority OVER them.

    Chandler must affirm this behavior since he has been on the board and has affirmed Driscoll even during this entire episode.

    In other words, Chandler is HELPING to HIDE THE TRUTH of what has really happened with Acts 29. He is playing the PR game.

  111. Dana
    Once the veil was torn, both men and women were given the Holy Spirit. I have become wary of this new authoritarian gig. I have come to see pastors and elders (in some churches they are one and the same) exhibit many characteristics of the average sinner. Yet they are held apart as if they have some sort of special insight and stamina to rule well. Must I list story after story from this blog and others to show the absolute nightmare that is going on in, well to use Matt’s term “a lot” of churches?

    I have no problem with elders making general decisions for the church (after checking the pulse of the congregation) and taking care of the occasional blatant sin. But, in the end, they are fallen just like the rest of us. And, from what I can tell, they do not do a lot of self correcting. Let see-FBC Jax, all of Sovereign Grace Ministries, Mars Hill, etc. Oh yeah, I also have some up close and personal experience with a couple of the Gospel Coalition churches as well. So, I am waiting for someone to try and convince me that my observations are whacked and that I should gladly submit my life to a bunch of men that I barely know.

  112. Seeker
    You seem to think that people should only be accountable to one’s own church. I have a problem with that. The latest fad is amalgamation of churches into franchises (Acts 29, Gospel Coalition). These groups have leaders. When a person represents said group, they should be accountable to said group.This, they should be held accountable for their behavior by those who are with them within the groups. When you stay local-then it is up to the local group. When you go national, it is up to the national group.

    Besides Chandler’s silence on Driscoll, we have some theological differences with him and we will discuss this in the days to come. BTW, Chandler’s narcissistic zero slam to a person who would dare question him shows a man who is a bit thin skinned.

  113. Anon1,

    You said, “Hello….seeker….They all signed membership agreements giving Mark full power over them. They “believe” he has authority OVER them.”

    Yeah, I got that part. That is why I said that “it probablly would not happen.” REGARDLESS, it would be better for his own church to hold him accountable.

    “Chandler must affirm this behavior since he has been on the board and has affirmed Driscoll even during this entire episode.

    In other words, Chandler is HELPING to HIDE THE TRUTH of what has really happened with Acts 29. He is playing the PR game.”

    Again..I am not so convinced that Chandler affirms this behavior. In fact, how has he “affirmed” Driscoll during this entire episode? Has he given him a high five saying “Way to go for throwing your Elder under the bus.”

    Just because he is in the same organization, speaks at similar conferences, or is associated with him does not mean he automatically affirms his behavior!

    His silence causes you to believe that he is helping hide the truth with what has happened in Acts 29, I just think there is more to it than this. We are way outside the spectrum of this situation, and we have no idea what has happened and what will happen. I know you cry foul at this, but I really don’t. I am willing to hold my judgment a little longer before I write Chandler off for his “silence.”

    And frankly, Driscoll stepping down may have nothing to do with the Elder incident or his sex book or anything else for that matter.

    I am not afraid to admit I am wrong in this though. This whole thing troubles me, I am just not convinced Chandler calling Driscoll out publicly will really help matters. It certainly won’t help reconcile Mars Hill with this former elder…It would give Chandler some greater respect for all of us, but I am not ready to write him off because of his silence and lack of action. If that is your decision to do so, that is fine.

    Dee,

    Ok..you have a problem with it. Fair enough. Here is my take on this though. I am not familiar with the A29 structure, but could it be that it is similar to the SBC structure, where you have churches apart of one denomination or organization, but each church can be autonomous?

    In other words, the Village and Mars Hill are a part of A29, but what occurs in Mars Hill has nothing to do with the Village. Just like if I have a problem in my church, it is not up to the SBC county or nationwide leaders to deal with it, although they are there to help with problems.

    I am not saying this is the only way to handle a problem, I just think it would be better for Mars Hill to handle the reconciliation with the Elder. Mars Hill should be accountable to this because it was their actions who led to this. Chandler is not an Elder at Mars Hill. This was not the result of his action.

    Should Chandler confront Driscoll? Yes. Should he do it publicly? Maybe.

    In the end though, God will hold each man accountable to his sins. If Chandler is sinning in this situation, then their will be consequences (just like with Driscoll).

    As long as those theological differences are secondary, then I see no problem with your discussion. We all have differences on secondary issues. I respect Chandler because he is unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is primary.

    As far as his Narcissistic Zero Slam—-This happened how long ago? Yeah, it was a pretty arrogant thing to say, and I hope someone in his church called him on it. He failed in this moment, but I can think of many other moments where he has done the right thing; Where God has used him and his life for the glory of God.

    But I wonder if you will share the good that he and his church have accomplished for the Kingdom? You will discuss your differences, disagreements, and criticisms…why not discuss some of the good things as well?

    It’s cool if you won’t though. Your Blog. Your Show.

  114. Dee,

    I understand you have said some nice things, and I commend you for doing so…(Even in the narcissistic zero post you had some relatively good things to say)…I haven’t searched this blog to see all that you have said however. It is completely okay to discuss your theological differences and disagreements with him.

    It is often on here that we see the failures and flaws of these men, but God has used their ministries to help people, including myself. The Village has done and are doing some great things for the Kingdom of God…I just hope that in the coming weeks when you dive into examining the differences and disagreements with Chandler, you will take into account the good that his church has done…and the good that he has done.

    And when I said its cool if you won’t. I didn’t mean that as a sarcastic remark. This IS your blog. This is your show, and I certainly don’t want to come across as “telling” you what to write or say. This is just a hope of mine. To not only observe the negative, but to observe the commendable things as well.

  115. Seeker
    We do try to do as you say on occasion. But let me be clear. Chandler, Driscoll, Mahaney, et al, have thousands of cheerleaders. There is a paucity of those who defend those who have been hurt by these ministries. For example, on that “zero” comment, there were so many blogs defending Chandler for what he said. I know, I read all I could find. At the time we were the only ones who criticized him although one or two joined in after our post.

    Let me assure you that we are very well drowned out be the adoring throngs. And even then, they have a have attack if someone, one lone voice, criticizes them. We are just keeping them honest. They’re big boys. They can handle the critique of two middle aged nobodies.

  116. Dee, there’s something wildly ironic about a guy who’s become a celebrity and who is adored ad nauseum within the reformed circle, refering to someone else as narcissistic. LOL.

  117. Hi, Seeker.

    I’ve been following the comments exchange. I’m trying to be objective. As far as confronting something wrong, this is running through my mind:

    My mom has past experience with harsh, cutting words in her family & extended family growing up. She felt it compromised the welbeing of individuals and the family dynamic as a whole. I’m sure there is truth to this. In response, she has made one of her life’s aim to “break the cycle”, and to refrain from (what in her experience are) harsh, critical words.

    However, what has happened is that questionable behavior, undesirable behavior, & “bad behavior” end up getting tolerated. Many times she says nothing. Now and then she will try a very soft approach — so soft that the “bad behavior” just continues.

    She is actually enabling bad behavior. Like ripples in a pond when a pebble plunks down (excuse the aliteration), this bad behavior affects others.

    She will not rock the boat. Her priority is the smooth sailing. When waters are calm and the ship is gaining speed, that is what matters. Even when she knows bad behavior is crossing a line of propriety & rightness. The ship may arrive in port with fanfare, but with how many casualties? (that could have been avoided)

    She says she trusts God to work it out. So, in her refusal to do anything, someone else may step in and say something. Confront the situation. When this happens, I suspect she is joining in the collective sigh of relief that what was wrong is being righted, and inwardly thinking “ahhhh, yes, that did need to happen.” Of course, she will never be the one to do it — she will never take the risk — the personal risk of coming across as self-righteous or negative or as the party pooper, and the risk of what could be getting too involved in things that are not her business (meaning, things not directly impacting her).

    So, she will enable a situation that results in relational breakdown, the mistreatment of others, things that will lead to future problems down the line for individual, etc. Her silence is enabling.

  118. Seeker,
    You seem to believe that Chandler doesn’t want any fame; it just happened upon him, and of course, he can do nothing to stop it. Sorry, that’s a load of garbage.

    I’m thinking of the example of Henri Nouwen. He was a very popular priest and author, but decided that he should go and live and work at a community in Toronto for mentally disabled people. He later wrote that his years there were the best in his life. To the disabled people he served there, they didn’t know him from the man on the moon and this was very good for his soul.

    On a “closer to home” note, how about Francis Chan, who stepped down as pastor of his church because he felt his own name was being made too much of. Interesting that guys like MacDonald and Driscoll tried to talk him out of this.

    You mentioned the whole conference thing. I guess I have a huge problem with these conferences. Is it even debatable anymore that people grow spiritually because of face to face interaction and being involved in the lives of other believers? People don’t grow because they go to a conf in an NBA arena and hear some celebrity “preach.”

    A while back, someone here made the analogy to the Israelites in the OT, when God told them they didn’t need a king, but they begged and pleaded, so God said, in essence, “Fine, it’s bad for you, but I’ll grant your wish.” The person here wondered if that’s the way it is in America today. You want rock star celebrities to “preach” to you? Fine, you can have them.

  119. Dee,

    I understand, and I am glad that this blog exists to keep them honest.

    Chandler crossed the line with that comment. He got into the flesh so to speak, and he did so in the public eye. He lost a good opportunity to disciple this person as you said, and that is unfortunate.

    And I see now that you ARE trying to illuminate the good that ministers can do..but when I stumbled onto this board, it seemed that many comments were a bit “overwhelming” with the negative speculation, concern, etc…without saying a word about the good that is done. (This was not your or Deb’s fault, just the blog community as a whole) I don’t necessarily blame anyone from having this position, but this is why I wanted to speak up.

    I get the whole cheerleading thing…and I by no means am saying that the critique should never happen. That we should never open questions about church leaders or anyone for that matter. I just think we need to balance the good with the bad, and like I said, I have seen that you have done that.

    I am not sure if Chandler even knows if this blog exists, but I hope if he does, he doesn’t just handle the “critique” offered to him, but he has a gut check with it. I hope in his Sanctification that he has realized he needs to “think before he speaks” in regards to his messages. “Iron sharpens Iron” so to speak.

    And I wouldn’t call yourselves two middle aged nobodies. :) You have built a platform where people can read about legitimate concerns, express their pain experienced in churches, and you have kept an open forum where people can discuss all these things. This isn’t the work of nobodies.

    Thanks again for your response!

  120. Seeker, you know a person by the friends he keeps. It’s not just that Matt Chandler is friends with Driscoll – now he’s speaking at Steven Furtick’s “church”. If you don’t know who Furtick is, you should. The guy is basically heading down the road of the “word faith, God want you healthy, wealthy, and wise” crowd, but for some reason, is still embraced by Driscoll, MacDonald, etc. Of course, I guess that makes sense now that Driscoll and MacDonald have fully embraced TD Jakes. Really sad to watch all of this happen.

  121. Elastigirl,

    One thing you said,

    “So, she will enable a situation that results in relational breakdown, the mistreatment of others, things that will lead to future problems down the line for individual, etc. Her silence is enabling.”

    Thank you for sharing this. You make some excellent points, and I get what you are saying. As far as this blog confronting things, see what I said to Dee above.

    When it comes to Matt Chandler and his silence over the “Driscoll Affair”—I have mixed feelings. I think Chandler needs to confront him, just don’t know if it needs to be in the public eye. Sure, it would definitely rake Driscoll under the coals if he did, and probably make us all feel a bit better…but confrontation can happen in other ways as well. Who knows though, the accountability may come in the end.

    Alan,

    You said,

    “You seem to believe that Chandler doesn’t want any fame, it just happened upon him, and of course, he can do nothing to stop it. Sorry, that’s a load of garbage.”

    Sorry, don’t agree that its garbage. Chandler didn’t swoop in to becoming a “megachurch” pastor. He was hired into a church that had declined significantly. This church called him because they NEEDED a Pastor. He answered that call and followed God’s will there. The explosion of growth came in the following years…

    My point, that you seemed to miss, was when the growth came…What would you do as the leader?

    Would you quit? Run away? Flee the temptation of “rock star status”? What if God didn’t want you to quit? There are already too many pastors who have no longevity in the churches they preach in, moving around from one place to another.

    Would you re-organize the church into small house churches to avoid becoming a “superstar?” If so, how would you do that?

    As far as the conference thing, it’s cool if you see no use for them. I totally disagree with you though. In fact, I have seen conferences as very useful to not only uplift the Gospel of Christ but inspire action. Maybe Chandler sees the same things, Maybe God wants him to speak at these conferences.

    Would you be willing to deny that God used Chandler for ME and OTHERS in two conferences that I attended where Chandler spoke at? You could try, but I know what I experienced, and I know how God used him. The point is, You are calling something “unclean” when I witnessed God clearly being in the midst. When that happens, it is not unclean. As far as the total usefulness of conferences, I posted about that on another topic.

    And Chan followed what God had led him to do in another context. I commend Chan for that. Chan clearly said, when he did this, that he doesn’t think this has any bearing on anybody else in the similar situation that he was in. Because Chan left the “mega-scene”, does this mean every pastor should? Should David Platt? Could it be that God hasn’t called them to do so? You may call that Garbage, but I don’t.

    Here is my main concern that I have with your comments. It is really easy to spout negativity and call him a “celeb rock star” who, as you said, “preaches” (Do the quotations mean he really doesn’t preach the word of God..if this is what you meant, I beg to differ. Tremendously!)….It is really easy to claim that he is “all in for the fame.” But do you REALLY know this? Isn’t that what slander is all about, claiming something false that you can’t know for certain.

    I am not afraid to admit that I could be wrong about Chandler. Are you? I sure hope I am not though for the sake of the Village Church. This is why we need to pray for him.

    “You want rock star, celebrities to “preach” to you, fine, you can have them.”

    Nope, I want to listen to men who preach the good news of the gospel, glorify Christ, and challenge me to pursue him more. Platt and Chandler both do that. And yes, I will have that!

  122. Alan
    Thank you for reminding us – we really, really need to talk bout about Furtick and Perry Noble. Now talk about 2 weird honchos. Great Scott! Oh, and i am awaiting the inevitable comment from their people that we better not critique them. Which then causes us to ask why…

  123. “Seeker, you know a person by the friends he keeps. It’s not just that Matt Chandler is friends with Driscoll – now he’s speaking at Steven Furtick’s “church”. If you don’t know who Furtick is, you should. The guy is basically heading down the road of the “word faith, God want you healthy, wealthy, and wise” crowd, but for some reason, is still embraced by Driscoll, MacDonald, etc. Of course, I guess that makes sense now that Driscoll and MacDonald have fully embraced TD Jakes. Really sad to watch all of this happen.”

    If this is true, then Chandler will avoid him like the plague. He despises the health, wealth, and wise crowd. I don’t know much about Furtick..will have to look him up…but I know that Chandler absolutely avoids this.

    As far as the whole you know a person by their “friends, who they share a stage with, etc” …I don’t buy that argument.

    Chandler shared the stage with Rob Bell at the Catalyst conference in Atlanta. Does that mean Chandler has the same positions of Rob Bell? Doubt it. Same with Furtick and Driscoll.

    Chandler leverages the opportunities he has to speak at these places to make much of Christ. I sincerely believe this. If you don’t, I get it, but I don’t agree with you.

    I have many friends who I don’t land on the same position with. Sometimes, I disagree with them wholeheartedly about there stances on things. Because I am friends with them, doesn’t make me them. I love them as a friend, and I don’t commend their behavior..and if need be, I confront them in their sin as I hope they will me.

  124. Seeker

    Look up both Steven Furtick and Perry Noble. There is bizarre stuff with both of them. Some of it, and I know this sounds dramatic, is downright scary.And I do not use those words lightly. We live a couple of hours away from Furtick’s church and plan to visit soon. (Deb – roadtrip after Easter – we can stop at IKEA). Waiting for the Furtick apologizers to start threatening us again….

  125. Thanks for the info Dee,

    I will look him and Perry up. I really don’t know much about any of them!

  126. Deb-

    Probably some of your best journalism to date because you simply ask the right questions, but don’t try to connect the dots without evidence. Most of your blog commenter’s on the other hand have no problem verbal processing their strange speculations.

    One point: for the majority of A29’s history, Driscoll has not been the President.

  127. Hi, Seeker.

    Thanks for the response. It’s nice to be responded to. The process of conversation is enjoyable.

    “… silence over the “Driscoll Affair”—I have mixed feelings. I think Chandler needs to confront him, just don’t know if it needs to be in the public eye.”

    The situation is just begging for a response for Jon Piper (who owns the mentor hat). But actually the onus is on a number of individuals, not just Chandler, to take the role of responder — a role so far left vacant.

    These individuals have publicly supported and endorsed Mark Driscoll, publicizing their approval of him. Now that ethical lines have been crossed, with no public disapproval the integrity of these individuals and the organizations full of people which they lead is now questionable.

    With public approval, you proclaim what you are for. Without public disapproval, you proclaim nothing concerning what you are against. Silence implies consent.

    I’ll go further.

    They have used his clout to accomplish things by associating with his name, his reputation, and his participation. These relationships have been mutually beneficial. Now that this seems to longer be the case, they distance themselves.

    To me, what this means is said individuals are opportunistic, and do not stand up for what is right and what is wrong when doing so will require them to give up ground gained through opportunities taken.

    And or course there’s having to admit you were wrong, unwise, all ‘dat.

  128. Joe
    We know he hasn’t been the “president” but he certainly has been the face. Titles are just that. However, often the true power rests behind the scenes. (MBA 101- always be nice to the bosses daughter who is only secretary).

  129. Some very good points Elastigirl.

    “Now that ethical lines have been crossed, with no public disapproval the integrity of these individuals and the organizations full of people which they lead is now questionable.”

    I agree. Integrity is at stake in this situation. Which is why things may not be moving as fast as we would like.

    One question I thought of, outside of the blogosphere, how much do people know about this former Elder incident? Could it be possible that Chandler and others may not even be aware of it? I would think Driscoll and company would love to keep something like that under wraps inside of the “inner chambers” of Mars Hill, far away from any other members or churches..so Chandler may not have been aware of this problem….Is it possible that Chandler and others have missed the revelation about the Elder when it hit the internet?

    (This is not really me defending something here..this is just plain curiousity. Is there some direct evidence that the other A29 churches know about this Elder incident? Do we REALLY know how much other people know?)

    I know it seems that Driscoll resigning from A29 may be directly involved from this revelation about the Elder…but we don’t have any proof, other than speculation, that this was the case?…Something obviously is going on, but could it be something else?

    A stretch…I know. However, If Chandler is aware of all of this, then he at least needs to confront Driscoll (which I hope he has done)…Still not sure about speaking to the masses about all this..but hopefully, at some point, an apology from Acts 29 will be released from Chandler and company.

    Or even better…Mars Hill and Driscoll will step forward and apologize/reconcile with this Elder.

  130. I’ll go further.

    Chandler seems like a genuine, faithful, caring minister of the word, and very unlike Driscoll in personality and demeanor. But based on the only sermon of his I’ve read so far, some of what he TEACHES in the examples and applications he gives, is EXACTLY like Driscoll. That was my point about the “Wolves are among us, Elders shoot wolves, Wolves are ungodly young guys pretending to be godly so they can marry our daughters” sermon. It’s identical to Andrew, who wanted to marry a Mars Hill elder’s daughter (who was already sleeping with him). I’m not saying those guys don’t exist or that they shouldn’t be dealt with. But why would Chandler not mention “name it and claim it” teachers in their midst, for example, as wolves?

    Here’s how this all might well affect me personally. The pastor/elders of the church I’m in are great guys. But they can make decisions with no member input at all (Mars Hill style). They may well look at the nicer/more reasonable face of Acts 29 and decide to rejoin, and the first thing I’d know would be the announcement after the fact. I know this because that’s how it happened when we disjoined. Then, it might eventually become clear that Chandler is “Different Style but Same Substance” as Driscoll. Then I and my family might need to uproot.

  131. “If this is true, then Chandler will avoid him like the plague. He despises the health, wealth, and wise crowd. I don’t know much about Furtick..will have to look him up…but I know that Chandler absolutely avoids this.”

    How do you know Chandler will avoid him like the plague?

    Matt Chandler, at Furtik’s Code Orange Revival 2 months ago, gave a gospel message, but also spoke a lot about how the gospel is not about you. The crowd appeared to receive that very well, as you can hear the shouting, clapping and amening. People commented on various blogs about how Chandler really nailed them (Elevation church) with the gospel message of how the gospel is not about you and how God gets all the glory and he did dwell on that in his sermon.

    But, people ascribing to word of faith doctrine know the gospel is not about them. (I have family in it..know exactly what they believe). They know God gets the glory…after He obeys their words of faith. Their faith, although they say is in God, is actually in their words and in their faith. “Sun stand still” and “audacious” faith. They are very quick to give God all the glory because, although He is God, he works for them.

    At the and of his sermon Matt said, “This (Elevation church) is a way. It is not the only way. God is for Elevation church.”

    How does Matt know God is for Elevation church? Why would Matt say God is for that church if he did not know what they taught?

  132. Dave,

    You Said:

    ” I’m not saying those guys don’t exist or that they shouldn’t be dealt with. But why would Chandler not mention “name it and claim it” teachers in their midst, for example, as wolves?

    ……Then, it might eventually become clear that Chandler is “Different Style but Same Substance” as Driscoll. Then I and my family might need to uproot”

    I agree with Matt’s sentiments about wolves in general. We need to be aggressive with them…Wolves devour,divide, and consume.

    I gave my opinion earlier about Matt’s feelings on these guys that he calls wolves. I understand his concern. This seems to be a legitimate problem in his church. These guys are not attending the Village for the reason why the church exists (Jesus) These guys do not seem to be “seeking” God for answers, or following Christ in obedience. They are “hunting” woman, not seeking Christ. Chandler’s point that this will cause turmoil and division at teh Village in the future amongst those who attend. in the future is because their hearts are not in the right place…

    I would assume that Chandler didn’t, in that particular sermon, call out the “name it and claim it” crowd, prosperity gospel, etc as wolves because he was focused on a specific problem that has come up relating to the Village in general.

    But I know for a fact that Chandler has called out that crowd on multiple occassions as a “false gospel”-“false teaching”-wolf-like behavior.

    I am hoping Chandler will prove to be a different substance than Driscoll..Not just hoping, praying.

  133. Diane,

    Quick response to you.

    In short, I don’t fully know, I barely know who Furtick is. But when someone mentioned earlier that Furtick was about that God wants you “Healthy, Wealthy,and Wise”…I know Chandler disagrees with his philosophy based on his own sermons I have heard him preach..

    Maybe he has changed that philosophy.

    As far as the Gospel not being about us….Ultimately, EVERYTHING is about Jesus Christ and His Glory. Christ died for us, yes, and this act was the ultimate act of sacrifical love that brings us Salvation.

    But this isn’t ULTIMATELY about “us”…It is ultimately about the glory of God! I have heard this from Chandler before…and I have heard others like Platt preach on similar terms. I don’t disagree with them.

    Jesus is at the center of history. He has been lifted up, not us. But by His grace, we are able to be His “sons and daughters”…”inheriting abundant life”

    About the word of faith doctrine…I really don’t know anything about this…but I will try to catch up.. (Thanks Deb and Dee for helping in this)..

  134. Seeker said:
    “I am hoping Chandler will prove to be a different substance than Driscoll..Not just hoping, praying.”

    Me too!

    There was a time when I believed the best about Driscoll. WOW, did he disappoint me!

  135. Deb: “Why it stays up is beyond me…”

    That video would give anybody the creeps.
    Even call it “demonic.”

  136. Seeker wrote:

    “…Here is my take on this though. I am not familiar with the A29 structure, but could it be that it is similar to the SBC structure, where you have churches apart of one denomination or organization, but each church can be autonomous?…”

    Has anyone else noticed that the very name itself “Acts 29″ reeks of hubris? I can’t be the only one.

  137. Seeker
    My experience seems to indicate that most people sitting in the pews do not know Joel Osteen from Billy Graham. One can mention the theology in general but most people do not apply it to some guy they find interesting. In my last church, a Gospel Coalition type church, there was a small group of people who liked Benny Hinn. Yet the pastor preached against the health and wealth gospel.The pew sitters didn’t connect the dots. We must tell them specifically. I did so regularly in the Sunday School class I taught and now we do so on this blog.Name names!

  138. Thanks, seeker.

    We will have to watch and see. There will be this opportunity to see them all together:

    http://unleash.cc/nlc/

    I just found it so strange that Matt would say that at the end of his sermon. If he did not know they taught a wof doctrine, then it is rather irresponsible of him to say God is “for” Elevation Church. If he does know about their doctrine, then he believes God is for it. ?? (Yet you say he hates the doctrine.) If he does know about their doctrine yet does not ascribe to it himself, why say “Elevation church is a way?” Very odd, imo.

  139. Anon
    I am waiting for the requisite (seen this in other ministries like Ed young) in which the embattled, bow shouldered pastor appears on stage (it is not a pulpit in this instance) and then gets a standing ovation which refuses to stop, egged on by well placed operatives.There will be close ups on women who are weeping. Let me know when it happens. 99% guarantee you that it will.

  140. Seeker,
    I’m going to go a little personal here, if you don’t mind. My daughter fell in love the type of guy Chandler wants to “shoot”. Trouble is, he did everything the right way and seemed totally genuine in his faith. He asked my permission to date her, and later for her “hand”. The pastors of three churches, and I, a former pastor, couldn’t see past the sheepskin. Only after a year of marriage did he decide to abandon Christ and his wife. I feel like we must have been able to do something better to protect her– but what? Maybe he’d been sincere before and just changed– I can’t tell. Driscoll MAJORS on the pastors “protecting” the beautiful young women in a creepy sort of “surrogate daddy” way– but how do they manage to apply the “protection” where needed?
    And what about the plain and older women?
    Also, what about the women “hunting” for husbands? Back in the dark ages I attended a Bible College where there were several women apparently interested in the MRS degree. Should they have been expelled? I met a very beautiful, very young woman there who seemed totally in love with Christ, and marriage was the furthest thing from her mind. I was almost 6 years older, and proposed after 2 months. If we had had Driscoll/Chandler style pastors, I very well might have been taken for a wolf and “shot”, and how would I have convinced them otherwise? Instead,we knew a spirit-filled (in all the right ways) pastor who had the gift of discernment rather than a craving to “get the young men or you have nothing”. I thank God for him every day. PS.After his departure fierce health and wealth wolves came into the flock, where one of them named and claimed the new pastor’s wife, amongst other things things.

  141. HowDee YaAll,

    Is Theyz Juz Rearranging Da Furniture On Da Actz29 Titanic?

    hmmm…

    …and the band played on?…”Nearer, My God, to Thee?

    “…Or if, on joyful wing cleaving the sky, -sun, moon, and Actz29 stars forget Thee, upward will  I fly, still all my song shall be…nearer, my God, to thee!

    hum, hum, hum…

    Sopy ;~)
    ___
    André Rieu – “Näher mein Gott zu dir”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhR6lrbw35I&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  142. Muff –

    I agree with you on the “Acts 29″ hubris. When I first heard that name few years ago it seemed arrogant. Seems to fit with what we see going on now though (the arrogant part that is).

  143. Diane
    Furtik’s beliefs are problematic, even for this woman. He is also, along with Noble, in my opinion, one of the most officious men in the pulpit.

  144. Diane
    One of the reasons I don’t buy this “behind the scenes” counseling claims is that, in the meantime, he continues to do his thing. However, if he ever turned around and said women should be preachers, all hell would rain down from on high-bag the quiet counsel.

  145. Dave,

    Thanks for sharing your personal story. I am sorry to hear he abandoned your daughter. I know that must have been a devastating thing..especially as her father..to see her in pain…It is a rather scary thought to think how easily we can be decieved.

    My hope in the case of Chandler is that he is as discerning as this Pastor you mention. My hope is that he is not willing to shoot a wolf until there is sufficient evidence that this wolf is causing major division and strife.

    This is just my speculation, but I think these guys Chandler is referring too were making their “hunting” a bit obvious. Maybe one of these girls these guys were “hunting” addressed this with her small group leader, which in turn was brought to the attention of the Elders? Maybe this girl felt uncomfortable, harassed even?

    I really can’t say. Chandler preached this sermon to the Village. It wasn’t at a conference, so I am assuming the Village, or at least some in the Village, were aware of what was going on. Maybe this was a way to warn these guys from the pulpit to stop. At the end, he calls the “wolves” to repent, so maybe they did.

    Maybe his intent was to “scare” the wolves away before he shot.

    I don’t know…speculation can run wild with this..but I am not willing to concede that Chandler is just out to abuse his flock like Driscoll has done. Maybe Formerfellow, who attends the Village, could shed some light to this topic. Not sure if he will post again though.

    I will say this though, If Chandler is abusing his responsibility as an Elder to the Village, then I would be fearful if I were him. God, by his own words, has healed the man of a brain cancer—-If he is abusing his responsibility as an Elder, this is not a good way to “bite the hand that feeeds you”.

  146. Dee,

    “Diane
    Furtik’s beliefs are problematic, even for this woman. He is also, along with Noble, in my opinion, one of the most officious men in the pulpit.”

    Yes. I believe that as well.

    We don’t know, though, how Chandler really feels about him. In the video he tells Furtick the reformed world is not pleased with what he teaches. Yet, he claims in his sermon at their church that Elevation church is “a way and God is for it.” I am not getting a clear picture. Perhaps he views wof doctrine as a secondary issue?
    Then why would the reformed world be so displeased?

  147. Seeker
    I do not think anyone here believes that Chandler is out to hurt the people in his church. Instead, it is the allegiance to certain theologies that might lead him down this path. When people hang out with the likes of Noble, Furtick, Driscoll and others,one must question what is going on. Maybe he is convicting them behind the scenes. If so, what about warning people who could be hurt?

    There are two sides to this sort of conundrum: the abuser and the victim. Who do we help and protect first if change is not imminent?

  148. Dave,

    HowDee!

    Would it have been any better if he had been identified early on, as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”, would your daughter had listened to you rather that her ‘heart’?

    Sorry for the loss & the heart anguish you and your family went through. 

    Prayfully,

    Sopy ;~)

  149. Dee,

    Just got to watch the vids of Furtick and Noble…

    Furtick:

    This video just creeped me out a bit…Didn’t really get the whole “style” of it. What was the context of this? Was this just a way for him to rant at “haters”…or was this from some sermon series?

    Noble:

    The first two minutes were bearable…then he started playing the crowd. Going to assume this was a younger crowd who would get kicks and giggles out of a “cutesy” comment about weed. I teach High School students, and they have the same sort of dialogue that annoys me frequently throughout the day.

    Not sure how he moved from not worshipping Jesus to smoking weed.

    He definitely needed to be corrected, but the overall theme of what he was trying to say seemed good..until he went crazy.

  150. Furtick’s church is very close to me geographically and many churches in our area are “scrambling” to be just like Elevation “church” — hate to say it but even the church I’ve been attending for the past few years has been sending our pastors down there to “watch and learn” so we can be just like ‘em. (which is one reason why I’m on the way OUT of my current church…just don’t know where to go besides staying home and doing the home church thing)

  151. True Words (and others) – that is just the problem in so many of the small to med size churches….. you get one or two large megas growing by leaps and bounds and every other church in the area thinks they have to be like them in order maintain current attendence or grow bigger. Happens around Knoxville too – Grace Baptist is one of the “we want to be like them” churches here and they regularly host staff from other churches who want to come and “see how they do things” to take back and attempt at their church congregations. Problem is that these churches need to be who they are where they are and promote their strengths and grow under God’s guidance insted of running off to other churches to “see how it’s done so we can do it”. One of the churches were I was assistant organist years ago now has a young pastor who has a bit of liking to Furtick and one of their several services is called Elevation Worship which, I’m guessing, is patterned after Elevation Church and their worship style.

    My wife and I have finally settled on attending a smaller very tradtional baptist church here in Knoxville and we’re just starting to get into things and enjoying it much plus I have opportunity from time to time to assist at the organ which is nice too. If there was one thing I would want different in this church it would be to have communion every week insted of every 3 months… though that could, perhaps, change in the future. At any rate we’re in better shape right now than in the past at the other two baptist churches we were a part of before.

  152. Guy from Knoxville,

    My husband and I attend a smaller Baptist church too, and we enjoy it! It has an organ and even a growing fund to purchase a new organ!

    Perhaps Christians disenfranchised from the megas should consider attending smaller churches. Based on my experience, they are extremely welcoming! God is good.

  153. Guy
    I may be meddling with some doctrines here but how about you hosting a small group for fellowship and do a communion service. We did that in one of my groups but, as you know, I am a bit of a radical. Also, you could slip into a late or early service of any liturgical churches in town for communion. I have done that as well.
    I am so glad to hear of your new church.

  154. “…who submitted their forms a while ago but have not been contacted.”

    Overlording and micromanaging take immense amounts of time. So it’s no surprise there’s none left over to deal with the consequences.

  155. “Maybe this was a way to warn these guys from the pulpit to stop. At the end, he calls the “wolves” to repent, so maybe they did.”

    Seeker, Might I make a suggestion that will save you lots of heartache in the future? Please remember, these guys make their living as public communicators. There should never be any need to parse their meanings as in “maybe” what they mean about something. If there are wolves they need to be warned about and names named. Paul did it with Hy and Al. John did it with Diotrephes.

    You should NEVER have to ponder exactly what a preacher, who is a public communicator, means when he says something publicly that is cryptic. That is what starts the speculating and gossip. and it brings the public communicator more power. It is not a nice thing in the Body of Christ to do. And it goes on constantly.

    The problem is also defining what is a wolf in the Body? Acts 20 is a good place to start as Paul told the elders some of them would become wolves after he left.

  156. “…Here is my take on this though. I am not familiar with the A29 structure, but could it be that it is similar to the SBC structure, where you have churches apart of one denomination or organization, but each church can be autonomous?…”

    It is NOTHING like the SBC. For that reason, many in the SBC are furious we fund any part of Acts 29. Acts 29 churches are first and foremost “REformed/NC”, authoritarian and patriarchal. The SBC has Calvinist, Free will, amill, premill, charismatic, cessational, etc. A mish mash that has agreed to pool dollars for missions. In 2000, The SBC added comp doctrine to the mix in their BFM. Sad day for many.

  157. “One question I thought of, outside of the blogosphere, how much do people know about this former Elder incident? Could it be possible that Chandler and others may not even be aware of it? ”

    Sorry Seeker, I laughed out loud at this. Are you really this naive? Chandler has been on the Acts 29 board for years and has promoted and affirmed Driscoll for a long time. Now, if I knew about the elder problem because of the information on the internet including Driscoll’s own words and the new bylaws, how come Chandler could not know? You do realize Chandler has a lot of people who do nothing but communications for him? These guys know every word that is said about them on the internet.

    Now, would you stake your ministry affirming someone as “solid” if never checked them out or willfully ignored the problems? It is not as if Driscoll’s vulgarity and blaspheming of God is not well known among people. It has been the talk of the meta for years. Piper has “rebuked” him several times then he got worse. If you would, you are not wise and I could not listen to you as a preacher/teacher.

    The bottom line is that Chandler has protected and affirmed Driscoll in all of it. The game changer was Paul Petry – the former lawyer – coming out and Acts 29 churches bleeding members. It is always about numbers, friend, with these guys. Never about truth.

    Chandler is also rescuing his own reputation by taking over Acts 29 and making this all go away. Remember, the Acts 29 lead guy was the “lead mediator” who went after Petry. And he used Acts 29 resources to do it. And this is after Driscoll said he was coming back hands on to Acts 29 just a few weeks before. The catalyst was Acts 29 bleeding members. They do not want their names associated with a failure. Had to act quickly!

    So, Chandler loses both ways as credible if one is not naive.

  158. Diane,

    Thanks for sharing that Christian Post article. There must have been some very serious problems in the A29 camp.

  159. Anon1,

    Your last 3 comments make a lot of sense to me.

    “You should NEVER have to ponder exactly what a preacher, who is a public communicator, means when he says something publicly that is cryptic.”

    I am still pondering what Chandler said at Furtick’s Orange Revival when he said, “Your (Elevation) way is a way, it is not the only way. God is for Elevation church.”

    How does Matt know God is FOR elevation church? And if the reformed have a problem with him, as we heard him say in the video I posted, why would he say God is FOR Elevation church? Things like this just bug me.

  160. Pingback: Articles of Interest 03-17-12 | Onward, Forward, Toward... UNITED STATES

  161. Pingback: Articles of Interest 03-31-12 | Onward, Forward, Toward... UNITED STATES

  162. I have noticed that a few comments about Matt Chandler reference whether he has fallen into the ever-present “money trap” temptation of megachurch pastors. He posted a blog entry related to this topic, and specifically mentions his thoughts as related to earning money while serving as a pastor.

    100% of his income comes from The Village Church; all income from speaking, books, etc. is given to the church. His compensation is determined by the church; it even goes so far that he does not accept gifts unless they are filtered through the church’s elders. His thoughts on this topic are crystallized here: http://www.thevillagechurch.net/the-village-blog/a-midlife-wrestle.

    Full disclosure: I attend The Village Church, and have for almost a decade. I have seen it when it was in the hundreds in attendance, and I have seen it explode in growth. While the numbers have grown, one thing has been consistent – a bold and clear preaching of the Word of God.

    Like any man, Matt makes mistakes; as was mentioned in another comment, he is subject to the authority and discipline of the eldership of the church. Comments like the “narcicistic zero” remark are certainly heard and dealt with appropriately if the elders feel they are out of line.

    Above all of this, let us all pray that the Lord would be glorified through this change. I feel confident that Matt will give all he can to Acts 29, and he believes vehemently that church planting is far more important than growing numbers. The Village Church has (in its short time of resurgence) planted numerous churches (in addition to growth via satellite campuses) in the D/FW area, and is deeply engaged in global church planting efforts outside of Acts 29.

    The Lord’s will is certainly glorious and unstoppable. All things work together for the good of those who love Him. May He bring more hearts to Him, for His name’s sake!

  163. Brad P

    Thank you for sharing this important information about your church and your pastor, Matt Chandler. Please know that I am praying that God will be glorified in everything Acts 29 does. I am also praying that Matt will be able to prioritize his time wisely now that he has taken on added responsibility.

    Blessings.

  164. Regarding the “wolf” sermon – I heard that sermon firsthand, and it was delivered with context relative to The Village Church. In a place like the D/FW area (where there seems to be a church on every corner) the field is “ripe” for hunting. Matt was speaking directly about a handful of incidents that had occurred over the past few months, most notably a few individuals that were hopping from church to church – preying on the women until they were noticed, at which point they moved onto a new church, and a fresh hunting ground. We had one of those situations affect a member of our home group, and the hurt and pain caused by that wolf is still resonating in her (and her childrens’) lives. He currently hunts at a very large church elsewhere in the D/FW metroplex.

    Regarding the Elevation (Orange revival) sermon – Matt speaks similarly to the Village congregation. He reminds us that while The Village’s “way” (worship style, organization, size, etc.) is “a way,” it’s not the only way. He is speaking directly against any sinful worship of the “form” rather than He who is worthy of the worship.

    I can certainly understand the comments regarding the ambiguity of his final comment at Elevation, when measured against his repeated and aggressive denouncements of false gospels such as the Prosperity movement. Perhaps he misspoke, or didn’t convey his point accurately. I honestly can’t say. I just wanted to lend a bit of “congregational context” to both of these discussions, for what it’s worth.

    Blessings to you all!

  165. Brad –

    Thanks for sharing what you know about Matt.

    I’m just wondering if you are aware if the issues surrounding MD and how Matt is involved, or “if” he is involved, in bringing any correction to MD? It seems that Matt has worked with MD and the silence by MD’s associates has been dumbfounding to many in Christendom. You can add the silence regarding CJ Mahaney and what has happened in SGM to that dumbfoundedness as well.

  166. Brad, If there is a real wolf going from church to church preying on women as in hunting for women to prey on, then it is totally appropriate to make that clear publicly and not be cryptic about it so that other sisters can be protected. Matt’s words now have a large audience outside your church.

    I also appreciate your loyalty to Matt but some of us are very concerned about his lack of discernment considering his long time affirmation of and recent “protection” of Driscoll who IS a wolf and has been for a long time.

  167. Anon1 said,

    “Matt’s words now have a large audience outside your church.”

    This is what has gotten Mark Driscoll in trouble (at least with me). He explains how Seattle is unchurched, how his congregants ask very direct questions (mostly about sex, I presume), and how so many of the women in his church have been abused, etc., etc., etc.

    Well, his approach doesn’t work in other geographic areas. The South certainly isn’t Seattle, praise be to God! That’s why in my mother’s lament called Driscoll’s Sex Tips and the Tipping Point (written almost three years ago) I ended with these words,

    Here’s a tip for you Mark . . . Take your CRASS LANGUAGE back to Seattle where it belongs and LEAVE US ALONE!!!

    Too bad Mark didn’t have ears to hear what so many were telling him. I hope Matt Chandler will learn from Driscoll’s mistakes.

  168. Brad,

    Thank you for sharing your voice. Again, it is refreshing to hear from someone who actually is in the context of the village, and not just podcast. I am glad you share the same respect for Matt as do I.

    Anon1,

    I am not naive, just asking questions. Glad you got a good laugh though!! Enjoy making people laugh! It is entirely possible he doesn’t have a clue about it…but I already said that wasn’t probable…he most likely does, and after reading details on the joyful exiles site and researching the publicity the firing of two elders received, I am more certain he knows. TBH, I wasn’t aware how far reaching this event carried, as it happened quite some time ago…I have somewhat of a different opinion now, and I will explain later…(on spring break in beautiful Destin, FL typing this on my phone on the beach)

    Back to the wolf comment, Brad has affirmed what I was trying to say that you could not seem to see. This was a serious problem that caused specific pain in the Village, that the Church needed to address. As far as being cryptic, that was your observation…I understood in general based on what he said from his sermon that this problem was contextual to the village, and it was a serious problem. I understood that this problem was causing pain and turmoil in the village.

    As far as his “wider audience”….He wasn’t speaking at a conference…He was speaking to his church. I CHOSE to listen to the VILLAGE podcast…The podcast he has made available primarily to people at the VILLAGE…I am simply a guest listening in…He doesn’t OWE me or anyone who chooses to listen to said podcast who is outside the context of the Village.

    You probably won’t agree, but no problem. I just don’t buy your argument that he needs to be less cryptic for us “outsiders” when clearly people in the Village (Brad) got what was going on.

  169. Brad P: “100% of his income comes from The Village Church; all income from speaking, books, etc. is given to the church. His compensation is determined by the church; it even goes so far that he does not accept gifts unless they are filtered through the church’s elders.”

    Driscoll would probably say the same thing about himself.

    If your elders are your handpicked “yes-men” who are beholden to you, your “filtering” gifts “through” them is just smoke and mirrors.

  170. TedS,

    I remember Chandler talking frequently about men, in the beginning, who were not hand picked yes men elders. In fact, some were “Old School” who were not afraid to challenge him, and disagreed with some things. Some of those men were part of the Village before Chandler came on board from what I remember hearing.

    That may not be the case anymore, but it seems Chandler exhibited more wisdom than Driscoll with his Elders….and I have not heard of him “releasing” any Elders like Driscoll either.

  171. Seeker, one of things that is hardest for people to grasp in these mega celebrity situations is that they never hear of such things until a lot of time has passed and by then it is “old news” and you are a gossip to mention it. As one of the pew sitters in these places it is not your business. (I know you don’t go there but as a partaker of his teaching, it is none of your business either-wink) There are a small group of men, whom God has specially anointed, who know better than you how things are to be handled and how the money is spent. The irony is that the pew sitters think it is pious to believe that nonsense.

  172. “Driscoll would probably say the same thing about himself.”

    Piper says the same thing. Yet, these “discerning elders full of wisdom” had no problem with him having Driscoll speak to DG several times (even saying that every word out of his mouth on their stage comes from the Holy Spirit!) and Piper promoting and supporting Driscoll for years. Can you say, “yes men”?

    “If your elders are your handpicked “yes-men” who are beholden to you, your “filtering” gifts “through” them is just smoke and mirrors.”

    A-men. But it is amazing what folks will believe because they want to. They want a king…a guru to listen to and follow.

    Jesus is their King. The Holy Spirit, according to Jesus, is our Best Teacher.

  173. Brad
    Could you elaborate on the “wolf” situation-not in regards to the specifics but in regards to the people involved? There are many bad people out there, including those outside the church. We must be on our guard at all times, in and out of churches.

    As a woman, I feel quite capable of making a decision regarding an individual and his intentions.Is there something wrong with this woman that she is unable to see the individual as a problem but others do? How would that woman handle the many men who are out for their own benefit outside the church? Why would women need “special” protection against such individuals? And what about men being hunted by women who might be out for the money, etc.? Can a woman be a wolf?

  174. Bridget@
    I, too mould like a response to the “silence” of these men in regards to both Driscoll and Mahaney.

  175. “You probably won’t agree, but no problem. I just don’t buy your argument that he needs to be less cryptic for us “outsiders” when clearly people in the Village (Brad) got what was going on.”

    Are you suggesting these wolves would not try other churches in the metroplex when it became obvious it would not work at Village? And that is the problem putting sermons on podcast for the internet that have info for just that particular Body of Christ. Things can get confusing. I would hope he would want other churches warned about these wolves.

  176. “Hush Now My Soul, A New Day Has Dawned!”

    HowDee YaAll,

    A new day?

    hmmm…

    ♩ ♪ ♫  ♬ I was waiting for so long…
    For a miracle to come
    Everyone told me to be strong
    Hold on and dry your tears

    Through the darkness and the bad times
    I knew I’d make it through
    And the world thought Mark Driscoll  had it all
    But I was waiting for you…

    Hush now, my soul!
    I see a light in the sky
    Oh, it’s almost blinding me
    I can’t believe it!
    I’ve been touched by an angel with God’s love..

    Let the rain come down and wash away my tears
    Let it fill my soul and drown my fears
    Let it shatter the walls for a new, new day sun

    A new day has come
    Where it was dark now there’s light
    Where there was pain now there’s joy
    Where there was weakness, I found His strength
    All in the eyes of my precious Savior, Jesus! Thanks Again!

    …Sing to the LORD, all ye His Saintz…for He hath triumphed gloriously; the Actz29 horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aPGpifWiXo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    I rejoice in You Jesus, the Captain of the hosts of heaven…

    Reign Forever!

    Your friend,

    Sopy ;~)
    ___
    Celine Dion – “A New Day Has Come”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x0RUnSfPj4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    “who will withstand the Power of God!”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tydEwNEmmKU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    “Prince Of Actz29″ – Crossing The Sea…hmmm…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIGj1OPRShc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  177. “How would that woman handle the many men who are out for their own benefit outside the church? Why would women need “special” protection against such individuals? And what about men being hunted by women who might be out for the money, etc.? Can a woman be a wolf?”

    I know. My radar went up, too. Sounds very similar to what Driscoll described as a “wolf” situation. There are so many similarities in these men’s focus, words, etc, it is hard not to think they are playing from same book.

  178. Anon1
    Every church should allow the members of the local congregation to ask, and receive, a copy of the salary and benefits paid to the pastor. If they do not allow this, then it is reasonable to assume that something is not right or something could appear uncomfortable. If people give money to the church, they have a right to see how the church uses that money.

  179. Anon1,

    I hear ya. I am just praying and hoping that Chandler has not and will not follow suite as Driscoll. We may not have heard about anything yet, but one is hoping that is because there is nothing to hear. Same for Platt. I have respect for these men, not as celebrities, a guru, or an idol…but men who strive to honor Christ with their lives and bring glory to God by proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. My first love is Jesus….not them…and I have a long line of Pastors I know a lot more intimately that I have greater respect for than these men.

    I don’t agree with everything Chandler and Platt say, and I filter what they say through my own study of Gods word and my relationship with Christ. But I do respect a lot of what they say! And I also don’t agree with everything they may do (or not do)…but I do agree with many things they have done (and not done)…

  180. Seeker

    I really like this line. “I have a long line of Pastors I know a lot more intimately that I have greater respect for than these men.” I know three pastors that have touched my life. I measure all others by them. They are not the Calvinista type. Their lives and their emphasis on the love of Christ and the freedom of grace have helped me to see through the rather tiring and boorish behavior of many on the circuit today.

    If you emphasize these men that you know, I have great hope you will be a blessing in your ministry.

  181. Deb – just curious – have you ever been to Seattle?

    I like it there, though admittedly, it’s been a while since I last visited. (Was actually considering moving there at one point in the late 70s.)

    Just because MD claims that Seattle was “unchurched” doesn’t mean that’s true. In fact, I put that one right up there with the machete story.

  182. Dee,

    Thanks for your encouraging words! I live beside and love these men that I am referring to. They are much older and wiser than I am, and I have learned much by them as it applies ministry, church, and of course, Jesus. I listen to Chandler and Platt as a “bonus” so to speak. They are by no means the foundation of those who have mentored and taught me about God’s word in my life.

  183. Brad,
    If you check back in here and were willing to take the time, I would really appreciate knowing how the village would answer some of my prior questions, or how you might deal with the personal situations I shared. For now, the crux of the sermon, for me (admittedly just one sermon not directed at us non-villagers.)
    It’s played itself out here in several ways. There are young men in the city of Dallas who know that there are young, beautiful women at the Village Church, and so they come here to hunt. And I plead with our girls constantly that goodbehavior and godliness aren’t the same thing, and if you marry good and not godly, you’ve set yourself up for sorrow, especially if you want to raise children and serve God. If you marry a man who is not interested in those things, your children are going to take their cues from their daddy. And men, that should be an unbelievable weight on you. So when we find out that you’re hunting here, we’re going to shoot you. It’s even to the point where we’ve had discussions about putting your dumb picture on all of the screens and going, “Avoid this idiot.””
    It seems from this that the wolves aren’t rapists, love-‘em and leave-‘em types, false teachers, or those who want the little lady to endure a little smacking around for a season. Instead, the ONLY example specified is good men who marry and have kids but are not interested in “raising” children or serving God as much as their wives are. And this is “hunting” and “preying”?

  184. DaveAA
    Good points. Let’s add to this. The women who want to marry a guy they know is not interested in the faith are not being deceived by a wolf but by their own wish for money or security. This is equally as bad. Why not put the pictures of the women who want the money up there as well. Believe you me, in Dallas there are plenty of them.

    I knew many “Christian”women who would get together to complain about their husbands’ lack of interest in church. They cried big tears as they sat in their huge houses with their big diamonds. Old Dee would ask them, “Did you know they weren’t committed when you married them?” Well, yes. “Why did you marry them, then?” They would not answer as the tears hit the oriental rugs. Trust me, hypocrisy and using another human being cuts both ways in the gender divide.

  185. Dee: exactly. And I wouldn’t have harped on this here if it weren’t the exact same thing Mars Hill majors in.

  186. “And I wouldn’t have harped on this here if it weren’t the exact same thing Mars Hill majors in”

    Does it sound to you all that these churches seem to be getting very involved in the decision making process of who people marry? I know SGM did this, too. I wonder…

  187. Numo-

    I’m not sure where the claim that the Northwest is the most “unchurched” came from (though I’ve heard it from many people), but I think the most recent demographics show that the North East is actually the most “unchurched”….

    I live on the West Coast and used to travel to Seattle almost once a month for business. Here’s what I’ve observed…

    Creation Northwest, one of the largest Christian Outdoor Concert festivals has been going on for 10 plus years and has recently re-located to just outside of Seattle. There are many churches and even mega churches that are not affiliated with Acts 29. Granted, it’s nothing like Orange County California…but for a smaller Metropolitan area, there are plenty of churches and events for Christians to be a part.

    Lastly, The Mormon Church is probably not included in most Evangelical demographic surveys. But there are a large percentage of folks in the Northwest/Seattle area that grow up in the LDS church…I think saying they are “unchurched” is a little like calling Muslims atheists.

  188. I don’t think glorious blog queens have done a post about Casey Treat yet. He was really big back in the day when I lived nearby, and I see one of his current goals is to “Pastor the Northwest” (including, presumably, Martians). Also to teach the nation and inspire the world.
    http://www.christianfaithcenter.org/
    Now I live in a part of the Northwest with an LDS “church” and “seminary” next to almost every school.

  189. Wow! Co-pastor Wendy Treat is hosting a women’s fashion show in May! Dallas gals watch out for the competition!

  190. doubtful, Driscoll probably also omits all mainline Protestant denominations, Catholic and Orthodox churches, and Pentecostals, too.

  191. Dave A A –

    The whole “pastor daddy” thing is sick. Men of God who teach that concept are lying to women and girls who have a heavenly Father. I would even go as far as to say they are asking for honor and praise that belong to our Father in heaven, and not any earthly man that claims they are here to protect them. Many leaders want to protect women but they don’t want those same women to become familiar with scripture, thereby gain wisdom, which would in turn help them to have discernment.

    Pastors should be helping to mature people (including women) in Christ — not creating people who are dependent on pastors or some fill-in daddy figure. They should care about women as a brother in Christ. Those in Christ are brothers and sisters in Christ and should treat each other as such. It just seems like many Christian men want to be the guy on the white horse. (Wonder where they are getting that from?) And — many women want a relationship like that. Neither idea is what God wants for men and women. It’a no wonder the Church is no better at marriage than the world.

  192. WTH –

    So . . . does that mean if you’re not part of MH you’re unchurched?? Uhh, if so, bit of arrogance ya think?

  193. Bridget2, not exactly. He had nice things to say about a few local churches such as an Episcopalian one in Ballard. That he thinks well of a number of local church leaders wouldn’t come across in his public discourse but on the old Midrash (the moderated one) he would at several points ask people not to rip on other churches for not being Mars Hill. He’s been critical of mainlines and traditional denominations generally, though.

    In a sermon Mike Gunn preached a couple of years ago he said that he and Mark and Lief really were very arrogant and also ignorant; that in the last dozen years of ministry he started realizing that it was pretty presumptuous of the three of them to think they could work everything out as easily as they thought they could. At another level Mike Gunn may not have been “more Republican than the Republican party” enough to keep getting along with Driscoll on some political issues even if they agreed on church growth goals and strategies. In Driscoll’s book Confessions of a Reformission Rev it became clear that Gunn and Driscoll didn’t even agree on that part.

  194. For those asking about Christian stats in Seattle & the Northwest:

    Until spring of 2009 when it was passed by Northeast, the Northwest was listed as most unchurched region of the US (ARIS, 2008).
    In Seattle 40% of people have not been to a religious service of any faith in past 6 months (Barna Diversity of Faith in Various U.S. Cities Report, 2010).
    Washington & Oregon as tied for the 6th least most religious state in the nation (Gallup’s State of the States poll, 2012).

    Yes all the stats still reveal a quite spiritual, but nonreligious city, although the gospel has been making gains in Seattle and the greater Northwest.

  195. doubtful/Joe
    I grew up in Salem, Massachusetts in a relatively non-religious home. (My dad used to attend the Polish and Russian festivals at his Russian Orthodox church.) I did not meet one evangelical (or at least one who let me know they were) until I was 16.I occasionally watched Billy Graham on TV because me mother liked him although she has no religious faith. When I became a Christian and mentioned it to my friends at the age of 17, I was the talk of the class at Salem High School and my family’s friends. No one had ever met a “born again” Christian.

    It was difficult to find a church up there at the time. I found a small American Baptist church with a wonderful pastor. I then made my way to Park Street Church in downtown Boston. I learned a whole bunch about unity during this time. You see, Christians were a rare commodity. We found our way to churches that believed and did not expend a whole bunch of energy debating secondary doctrine. We were just glad to be in the presence of other Christians.And these were not nominal or stupid Christians by any means.

    To this day, I am firmly committed to unity in diversity within the faith. I can as easily worship with a Pentecostal as I can a Baptist.I can joyfully attend the baptism of an infant although I personally practice believer’s baptism. I love being around people who disagree on the mechanics of eschatoloy although I am an amillennial partial preterist at this particular time.(I tend to flop around a bit in this area).

    However, I am increasingly having trouble worshipping with rigid, Neo-Cal or Hamite dogmatics. I would rather live in a “unchurched” city where those who come to church really care about their fellow Christians then to live in a town of Calvinistas who believe that their perspective in this only viable position because they are so gosh darn smart and “really” read their Bibles. Just give me people who love Jesus and who find serving far more important that pontificating. In fact, I think they look like the people who find their way to this blog.

  196. I’m not Brad, but to me, the descriptions in 2 Peter 2:12-22 and Jude sound like “WOLF”.

    “But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct… speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” 2 Pet 2

    Think about it:
    “blotches at the love feast,
    wells without water,
    shepherds who feed only themselves,
    eyes full of adultery”.
    Sounds like a self-centered porn/sexual addiction mindset to ME.

    As for the women affected by it, don’t overlook the wives of the sexual addicts- some of whom may be the pulpit pounders (SHOCK!)

    As for Dee’s question:

    Is there something wrong with this woman that she is unable to see the individual as a problem but others do?

    She may be among the multitude of women with a history of CSA (childhood sexual abuse). She was not allowed healthy boundaries in childhood and and she does not think she deserves to be treated with respect. A wolf can sense that and will choose her. The teaching that she receives from the church and christian media just reinforces this. A Christian woman wants to please the Lord and her pew sitting or pulpit pounding husband can expertly use Bible verses to confuse, guilt, and shame her into compliance with his demands.

  197. All that to say, the wolves are not the outsiders who visit the church hoping to meet a nice girl. The wolves are the “shepherds feeding only themselves”.

  198. “I would rather live in a “unchurched” city where those who come to church really care about their fellow Christians then to live in a town of Calvinistas who believe that their perspective in this only viable position because they are so gosh darn smart and “really” read their Bibles.”

    YES! My Christian friends in England have this so when they come together they never waste time with secondary stuff. They are jsut thrilled to have found one another.

  199. Dee wrote:

    “However, I am increasingly having trouble worshipping with rigid, Neo-Cal or Hamite dogmatics. I would rather live in a “unchurched” city where those who come to church really care about their fellow Christians then to live in a town of Calvinistas who believe that their perspective in this only viable position because they are so gosh darn smart and “really” read their Bibles. Just give me people who love Jesus and who find serving far more important that pontificating. In fact, I think they look like the people who find their way to this blog.”

    I agree with you esp. about the “only viable position” part.

    Your comment struck me as a breath of fresh air because I spent some time yesterday at The Village website reading their numerous articles on membership–just for my education. There was an audio and study guide on the role of women which are listed as pre-class resources in preparation for the membership class.

    In the audio (btw I did not know it was Matt speaking until he referenced his wife Lauren) Matt says he believes this “deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply”– “10. We are convinced that a denial or neglect of these principles will lead toincreasingly destructive consequences in our families, churches, and the culture at large.”

    The principles are all he had just been teaching on the role of women. Although belief in his view of the role of women is not mandatory to become a member, members are required to be familiar with, respect and not teach contrary to these views.

    I would not recommend listening to the audio. I was surprised to learn it was Matt speaking. He spoke quickly and very frequently ended his sentences with…”alright?” I felt like he was trying to push the info into my brain with all his– alrights?

    In the covenant you sign you agree to steward your finances which includes “regular financial giving” that is “sacrificial, cheerful and voluntary.” If they made a point to add the word regular in describing financial giving, how is that voluntary?

    Breaking the covenant may include confession to someone and or a pastor…using James 5:16 as a proof.

    One thing raised my eyebrow a bit in the audio. Matt was sharing about how he and Lauren make decisions and he said he always consulted her. He was talking about difficult decisions and made the comment that Lauren said –you (Matt) are the one that is going to have to give an account on that day…you make the decision. I am not sure if it was meant as a joke or not, but I think that kind of thinking sure puts a lot of false pressure on the husband. I say false because I don’t think that verse in Hebrews means that a pastor is going to give account for how every single person under his care has fared because of decisions he has made for them. How can one person do all of that? I believe the account the pastor gives is how he faithful to teach the word of God he was, not how he made decisions for them…but I could be in error here.

    I would not wish to put that kind of pressure on my husband if he were also my pastor, or if he were my husband only since they teach the husband leads the way spiritually and makes the final decisions. Here–this is a hard decision–you decide–you’re the leader– seems, to me anyway, to be abandoning the very one I say I love.

    What fascinating reading. I have only read one other covenant (Tim Challies’ church covenant). I would never sign such a thing. I would break it immediately. I would spend all day confessing to people/pastors. And then wake up to do the same thing over again.

  200. Thank you Diane. I had looked for Matt Chandler’s “Role of Women” talk to post and hadn’t been able to find it. It used to be posted under Bible Studies, not membership. Very interesting.

  201. Diane –

    Isn’t it interesting that there is a whole teaching put forth for “The Role of Women” at the Village Church under membership and no counter teaching for men? I would be offended by that if I was considering joining that church. I guess men need no special instruction on anything, but women do! The men want the women to be clear about what is expected and believed about them. I did not listen to or read the entire teaching.

    Under their “Membership” section, The Role of Women got 3 whole pages, the teaching about the gifts of the Spirit had 1-1/2 pages, the membership agreement was 5 pages long. Of course, there was a nine page paper on the reformed/Calvin doctrines, which included a full explaination of TULIP.

  202. Yes, Bridget2, there was a lot to read. I did not see anything posted about men. Matt did speak a bit about husbands in the audio.

    Although I was kinda sorry I listened to the audio of the role of women, (just because it seemed hurried, forced with all of the “alrights?” after his sentences and and not the kind of speaking I enjoy listening to) I did learn a lot about Matt by listening to how he spoke in the audio session and the mindset of the Village.

    If these are typical run of the mill covenants/teachings of these kinds of churches, all I can say is buyer beware. Shepherding.

    “Given the remaining corruption of the flesh in the life of a believer, it is to be expected that each and every member of The Village Church will break the covenant. While this is not encouraged, it is an unfortunate reality of the present struggle with sin.”

    Statements like that are just, well, to use Calvinista speak-unhelpful. Breaking the covenant is “not encouraged” (obviously) but since you will break the covenant, just make sure you repent and confess and we will tell you to whom you shall confess-confess to a friend or confess to a staff member. If I am reading it correctly if you gossip (definition?) you should confess to staff.

    Here–sign this God honoring covenant you are making before God and man. But, we know you are going to break this covenant you are signing before God.

    So strange. Wouldn’t you feel rather an extreme amount of guilt because you have signed something before God? I read somewhere that it is comparable to wedding vows in its seriousness. Entering into a covenant sounds very serious, yet it is one I will break.

    “Membership is about more than attending church meetings. Members who enter into a covenant with us are called to a higher degree of responsibility, service and sacrifice.”

    So if you are not a member, then you are just a little bit below those who are “called” to a higher degree? Two tiers.

  203. “no counter teaching for men?”
    It may not be this way YET at the village or many other similar churches.
    BUT,
    EVENTUALLY,
    There will be this “counter teaching for men”:
    “Godly Men are Yes-Men. Ungodly men are wolves. We shoot wolves. So be good for goodness sake. Be a Yes-Man.”

  204. WTH –

    Thanks for your response, though I’m a bit confused by it. But it’s possible that you, like me, hear some preachers say something from the pulpit yet we see something else lived out.

    Gunn made a statement during a teaching, but you’re not sure if all the elders were actually in agreement with it — referring to what they have learned over the past dozen years or so and their arrogance to think they knew better than others.

    But, WTH, when we saw how MD responded recently in the interview about the British and their clergy, wouldn’t you say he thinks very little of those who don’t do things the MD way? Wasn’t that blatant arrogance?

    I’m not trying to pick on you, WTH. I hope you don’t feel that way. It seems that you remember a different MD/MH than what we are currently seeing. You remember what it used to be like, but many of us don’t have that perspective. We can only judge by what we see now. But the world sees the same as us now, don’t they? We have only the public figure that he gives us now. Some will be drawn to his “version” of Christianity, be it healthy or not, and believe everything that comes from his mouth. Some will be repulsed by his version and flee. I can see how the lost of this world are drawn to him, but is he misleading them? Did Jesus say and do what MD displays to them?

  205. I realize I am a couple of days late on some of the previous comments directed at me, so my apologies!

    @Dee & @Anon
    Regarding the “wolf” sermon – yes, certainly, women are not completely defenseless. Nor are they incapable of evaluating potential suitors. I do believe, however, that one of the beauties of the courting process is the pursuit of a woman by the man. I loved (and still love) pursuing my wife as best as I incapably could/can. I also believe that the road is not one-way; as the “pursued,” she responds in magnificent ways.

    My pursuit of her is not just sexually, but also spiritually, as we take advantage of the intimacy (again, not just sexually) of our relationship to stir each other’s hearts toward the Lord. All that being said – I feel that the “burden of pursuit” is an expectation placed onto men/husbands. This naturally leads me to opine that men primarily the “wolves.” But I also don’t think that “wolves” was meant to only refer to preying as it pertains to relationships. False teaching is another example of how someone in sheep’s clothing can easily pick off the weak from the pack.

    In the specific cases at The Village, there were (and always will be, I’m sure) men that were suspected wolves. Some of this was due to notices the church had received from fellow churches, warning of these individuals. Likewise, The Village communicated these instances with other area churches to alert them of names/faces.

    I’m not sure if I directly answered the question you were asking, but hopefully my rambling thoughts provide a little bit of my personal context.

    @Diane
    I don’t believe Lauren was insinuating that Matt was completely responsible for how his decisions turned out. My understanding of their exchange is that she was expressing to him that he is ultimately held accountable for his obedience to the Lord’s guidance that he seeks for his family, through prayer and petition.

    The concept of accountability is also a topic that has been come up in a handful of times in recent sermons. The pastoral staff at The Village teaches that they are ultimately held accountable for their prayerful pursuit of the Lord’s leading – be it in how they shepherd, how finances are spent, how growth occurs and is managed (to retain community), how they plant churches, etc. I don’t remember the specific sermon where this was primarily addressed, but it was in the past couple of months. But ultimately, they have no expectation that they are supposed to “drive numbers” or “save” the entire congregation. The Lord calls those whom He calls – they are charged with proclaiming the gospel to as many people as they can, and trusting the Spirit to melt hearts.

    Again, I hope this helps. Being that I’m late in commenting back, I hope that the discussion train wasn’t derailed!

    On a side note – I have to give great kudos to the commenters on this board. There has been a great deal of cordial, pointed, and healthy discussion on what can be super-divisive topics. It is always lovely to hash out difficult things with people who share Jesus in common with me!

  206. Diane said ” I read somewhere that it is comparable to wedding vows in its seriousness.”
    Personally, I read this in the comments upon the 9 Marks articles imploring pastors not to let their members go away quietly.

  207. Brad P – that whole “pursuit” thing makes me feel sick to my stomach. And I’m by no means the only woman who thinks that way!

    WTH – sometimes I find your comments on MD and MH hard to understand, which might have a great deal to do with the fact that I don’t know anyone there. As another commenter stated, I only know what I have seen, heard and read, and that stuff is anything but good.

    Please don’t think I’m meaning to disparage or criticize you – that is not my intention.

    But I get confused by your outspokenness on one hand (against what MD is doing/saying/writing) and the apologetic tone of some of your other comments.

    If it’s any help, I still feel torn about certain things and people, almost 10 years after being booted by That Church. In some ways, it’s taken me a decade to actually *see* what they did and said in a fairly dispassionate light (though I can still get plenty angry if I choose…).

    Hope that make sense!

  208. Brad P – I didn’t (and don’t) mean to come off unkindly toward you, your wife, or your relationship with her (and hers with you).

    It’s just that lots of us *don’t* want to be objects; passive until a man acts.

    We want to be able to take action, too – in all areas of life.

    It seems to me that “courtship” demands extreme passivity from the woman/en. Women are the object; men are the subject.

    That makes me want to run as hard as I ca – far away from the whole thing.

    Also, I have a reading suggestion: Dorothy L. Sayers’ essay “Are Women Human?” (You can easily find it at Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.) She articulated many things very well indeed – and even though she wrote it many decades ago, it’s every bit as timely now as it was then.

  209. @numo

    I certainly did not mean to insinuate that I believe the role of women to be completely passive. I do not believe that women should wait around to be wooed, waiting for the white horse to come around the corner. Re-reading my comment, I can see how that came across, and I apologize for that.

    For me, pursuing my wife should be a shadow of how the Lord pursued/pursues me. I want her to always know that I desire her (in every way) deeply. I am not her savior, nor does she expect me to be. But I want her to always know that I relentlessly want to grow closer to her. I am nowhere near as good at this as I want to be – but I believe that I am called to bear this “burden” – I think that I used the phrase “burden”, both here and previously, inappropriately.

    She, for her part, also cultivates our relationship. She loves me and woos me in return, but differently. She knows the things that incite excitement and passion in me, and she lovingly cultivates and supports those things in my life. She drives wonderful things for our family (homeschooling, family service in the community, neighborhood relationship building, outreach, just to name a few). She is so very wise and an invaluable partner. Our home and our lives would bear less fruit without her influence, opinions, and effort.

  210. Brad P – I wonder about the use of the word “relentless.” I do not believe that God is relentless toward us (in love, or otherwise). If he were, I do not believe he could be truly loving.

    To me, “relentless” says “I will do this [whether you want it or not, and you *will* want it].”

    I’m not sure that’s what you actually mean – ???

    It sounds like you view your wife as equal. Again, it is *not* my place to judge anyone’s marriage, and it certainly does sound like you love her very much.

    Here’s my question: do you view her role as one of “relentless pursuit” of closeness with you?

  211. @numo

    Very fair comment about my use of the word “relentless.” I didn’t give much thought to my use of that word, but many of the definitions you linked to put a connotation on it that I didn’t intend!

    My basic “definition” of a relentless pursuit of my wife is that I don’t give up, or seek ulterior motives. I don’t prioritize it on birthdays and anniversaries. I don’t just do it in expectation of receiving something in return. But rather, that I want her to know that no matter how long we are married, or how crazy-busy our lives get, I will always want to have “more” of her.

    I believe that the Lord wants continually more and more of my affections, and that He works in my life to draw me nearer to Him, for His ultimate glory. My sinful self rails against some of what He asks of me, sometimes to my knowledge, and sometimes unbeknownst to me. But either way, He “woos” me. This is my view of His love for me. He is not after my unwilling submission, but my ever-increasing understanding of the depths of His love and majesty.

  212. Hmm… I wonder if pursue and pursuit are apt words here?

    Seriously. These words are used constantly by lots of evangelicals and charismatics, in reference to God as well as to romantic/sexual relationships between men and women.

    Again… it comes across as woman as object, man as Subject – and “You *vill* listen like it!” (The v in “vill” isn’t a typo.)

    Our language might be guiding our actions in many cases, whether we realize it or not.

    Frankly, I don’t want that kind of “pursuit” in my life. I have experienced it via an abusive church, and it is NOT a good thing.

  213. @numo

    Fair points all around. I especially liked your surprise accent at 3:14pm! :)

    In this context, I envision a “desirous pursuit” from the point of the pursuer. The striving and seeking, even if it gets difficult or rocky. As opposed to a view from an “unwilling pursued,” subject to the incessant advances of an undesired something/someone.

    Especially in an online medium, it’s a very good reminder that word choice should be carefully selected, since there is nothing to carry a conversation other than the words.

  214. Oh, Brad P.

    “I do believe, however, that one of the beauties of the courting process is the pursuit of a woman by the man.”

    You seem to have a good heart and very good motives. But your statement is making my skin crawl — with bugs, threatening to smother me with restrictive control.

    Why in the world can I, or any woman, NOT pursue a man we find interesting, commonality with, whose companionship we enjoy, whose mind we appreciate, who is attractive to us?

    Why in the world can I, or any woman, NOT pursue the needs we have for sexual connection?

    Do we not have them? Or, are we not supposed to have them?

    Please explain it to me. I am at a total loss for where in the world this notion comes from.

  215. Brad,
         Thanks again for sharing! One teaching of The Village sounds really good, but there are those (including me) who believe it’s far short of the biblical ideal. “The pastoral staff at The Village teaches that they are ultimately held accountable for their prayerful ‘pursuit’ of the Lord’s leading.”
         A former SGM pastor, Bob Dixon, has spoken out long and loud on sites like SGM Refuge and SGM Survivors, that CHURCHES, ie the members/attendees ie all believers are ultimately responsible to prayerfully ‘pursue’ God’s leading. If we abdicate our responsibility, and things go wrong, ve vill haf no excuse dat ve vere only following orators (thanks for the suggestion, spellchecker.) 
         If I were a prophet, I’d predict how things will go wrong in Acts 29 in a couple years.  Matt will be pushed to the side and eventually defriended, and a new, younger president installed.  

  216. Thank you for your response, BradP. You wrote:

    “@Diane
    I don’t believe Lauren was insinuating that Matt was completely responsible for how his decisions turned out. My understanding of their exchange is that she was expressing to him that he is ultimately held accountable for his obedience to the Lord’s guidance that he seeks for his family, through prayer and petition.”

    If the husband is viewed as the spiritual leader of the wife, then of course he is responsible for how the “decisions turn out.” He hears from God for the family. The husband, as the spiritual leader, is held accountable for what he decides for the family, or how he hears from God for them. If she is referring to Hebrews 13:17 when she says– stand before God and give an account, then he is held accountable (somehow) by God for the decisions he makes for his family and for the congregation. That is my understanding of what some say this verse means.

    My point was how the exchange was worded and the fact it was left like it is in the audio as perhaps a good thing for women to do. Here is what Matt said when speaking about taking a new job:

    “We’re game. Let’s go. I don’t even know what I would do if my wife would have said, I want the house. I have not come to that impasse with my wife. I don’t- I pray that she understands that, and listen, she’ll throw the monkey on me all the time ya know, go ahead and decide. You’re the one that’s got to stand and give an account for it. Go ahead and decide where we’re going. I mean, she’ll throw it on me often. And I need that sometimes.”

    I understand the “monkey” to be — you’re the man, you’re the spiritual leader, you’re the pastor, you’re the one who is going to stand before God and give an account…that is the monkey she is throwing on him often. And sometimes he needs that.

    If he really means he needs that, that seems to imply that that kind of thinking is legit–throwing the monkey kind of thinking. If throwing the monkey on him is legit in his world, then I stand by my statement that if I were to say that to my husband, that is just like abandoning the very one I profess to love. If I say–here—you take this decision—it’s a tough one—it’s your job to decide. Oh, and btw–you’re the one that is going to stand in front of God for it. I find that kind of thinking simplistic and dismissive. I don’t see the benefit in using his wife’s example as how to assist husbands in making life changing decisions. If it is not his intent to show women his wife’s example, then he should remove that part- knowing that many, many people would be listening to this audio and following his advice. But if it is ok to simply say–here’s the monkey-it’s all yours…I disagree.

  217. @elastigirl

    I’m not sure if your comment was in response to my first note earlier this afternoon, or the totality of them, but either way, let me expound. In no way was I trying to insinuate that women are not to pursue men. My initial comment on the subject came across totally wrong, as I mentioned in my exchange with numo.

    For me, it is a beautiful thing that I (a dense knuckle-head) can be softened and challenged in the pursuit of my bride. Through our years of courtship and marriage, I have grown better at intimate relationships, and I think that much of this is due to the walls inside of me cracking. This has certainly been the Lord’s doing, and much of this growth in me has been manifested via a deeper relationship with my wife. I feel like the Lord uses my pursuit of HER to do a great deal of work in ME, which is simply fantastic. I think that some (perhaps a lot) of guys have trouble connecting deeply with others, and this process of “courtship” works mightily inside us brutes.

    I would be greatly disheartened to be in a relationship where my wife simply took and took, waiting for my next grand romantic gesture. It is a joy to love and “chase” her, and I would NEVER think that she should be discouraged from doing the same for me. I am attracted to her for her so many of her magnificent qualities, and she is attracted to me according to her “wiring” of what she sees as appealing.

    And hey – she actually asked me out on our first date! :)

    My apologies for the bugs crawling on your skin – hopefully this explains my thoughts a little better.

  218. @Dave A A

    I absolutely agree. There is an expectation placed on the congregation that we are engaged in prayer and service along with our leaders for the fruit of the church.

    I do believe that teachers, elders, pastors, etc. are accountable for faithfully using their skills, calling, and provisions to biblically proclaim and spread the gospel according to the Lord’s leading. I was definitely not trying to push the idea that the congregation should be a group of disengaged consumers of whatever the latest committee decided.

    Perhaps my use of the word “ultimately” was the problem – I wasn’t trying to say that the congregation is absolved from personal responsibility. I meant it in a timeline sense (at the end of time) rather than an “assignment” sense.

  219. Thanks Dave A A- you wrote:

    “Diane said ” I read somewhere that it is comparable to wedding vows in its seriousness.”
    Personally, I read this in the comments upon the 9 Marks articles imploring pastors not to let their members go away quietly.”

    I meant I read it at the Village website and I just found what I was looking for:

    “In signing a covenant at The Village Church, you are making an agreement before God and others to faithfully fulfill a member’s obligations to this body. You are vowing that you will honor this covenant with integrity. A church covenant has sometimes been compared to wedding vows. Essentially, you are committing to be a member of The Village Church “from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health” with the intent “to love and to cherish” this fellowship.”

    http://denton.thevillagedev.net/membership/covenant-faqs

    This is not just a document between members…but it is before God that you are signing. It says you are declaring that you will honor this covenant with integrity and agree before God to faithfully fulfill your obligations…yet at the same time they acknowledge you will break this covenant…maybe as much as daily.

    Why would anyone sign something before a Holy and Almighty God, pledging to honor a covenant with integrity knowing that you are going to break it? Almost immediately? (Who has complete control of their tongue and does not gossip?) If you say…well, it’s just your sinful flesh, of course you are going to break it…God knows…then it becomes not that important of a thing to sign. Why sign it? Why place yourself in the position of promising something before God, only to break it time and time again. Wouldn’t that tend to diminish the importance of the covenant you signed before God in the long run? If you are breaking it frequently, wouldn’t it become almost meaningless?

  220. Brad
    As I relentlessly pursued groceries, I had time to think about your comments. First, I know you are trying hard to communicate but sometimes the lingo gets a bit thick. I think you went to one of those men’s conferences and picked up the latest way to say care about your wife. (relentless pursuit-oh good night- that gets added to winsome, trajectory, unpack).

    Your wife does wonderful things for your family as did we. As do many wives. So do the husbands. Both of us have lived what might be called traditional lives. As you probably know, both Deb and I have raised our children, sent them to Christian school (I am not convinced any way of education is superior to any other-I have seen kids turn out good and not so good with all forms of education), have been married to the same men (me for 30 years). All of our adult children follow the Lord. How old are your children?

    (Digression- As you know,Calvinists believe God has already decided if their kids are going to be saved. So, the only thing you can do is to be a good witness and hope they are one of the chosen ones. I am no Calvinist).

    As for the courtship thing, it sounds nice. But, since you most likely read Josh Harris stuff on it, you probably already know that some of the couples he used as examples have gone onto to have broken marriages.In other words, there is no magic formula.

    However, nothing you have said has convinced me that you are doing anything more than any Christian husband does in a good marriage. You came on here to defend your church’s stance on complementarianism. I am struggling to see how anything you are doing in your marriage is any different than what occurred in our marriages and I am not complementarian. I would definitely put my foot down if my husband was going off in the wrong direction and I would expect him to do the same to me. That quote by Matt’s wife sounds a bit passive aggressive if you ask me. “Well go ahead, someday you’ll have to justify it to God.”This is not really different than, “Go ahead, it’ll be on your head.”

    So, can you tell me what is different about your marriage than any other good Christian marriage that is not complementarian?

  221. Hi, Brad P.

    Wow, you sure redeemed yourself in my eyes! Not that your were trying to do anything other than communicate clearly and sincerely. I do appreciate it.

    You seem to be a most excellent life partner (I like “life partner” as opposed to husband — such a loaded and political term). You mention that for you, a husband should pursue his wife as a shadow of how the Lord pursued/pursues the husband (perhaps this is only for you yourself — and it is very sweet).

    But if this thought were communicated as a universal “should” from some “pastor”/christian influencer (& perhaps it already has), oh how the baggage gets loaded on.

    My instant reaction is exasperation that this aspect of life (of being a “husband”, in addition to so many others) has to be spiritualized like this. Why can’t a couple just enjoy making their way in life as they see fit, without imposing these spiritual overlays onto it?

    When “Exhibit A” is spiritualized, something attaches on to “Exhibit A” that becomes “a drag on the engine” — the spiritual aspect become the object and the goal, superceding everything else that has to do with Exhibit A. Freedom of expression, freedom of “being”, & uniqueness (and freedom to enjoy Exhibit A) are all taken away, and replaced with prescribed behavior and prescribed method and precribed mindset.

    It’s not only unappealing — it feels dangerous to me.

    Again, your wife is so lucky to have a person like you. My commentary is simply about the nuts and bolts of your statement.

  222. @dee

    Lol at your grocery pursuit. That was awesome! :)

    I have honestly not gone to a men’s conference about how to have a better marriage, nor have I heard of Josh Harris. However, I’m sure that some of my verbiage is influenced by the different things I hear (sermons, podcasts, etc.). The words seem to gel with how I perceive things, so they probably just become part of my vernacular. I honestly don’t think that I’m analytical enough to think about how they may sound or some across.

    Although I am certainly not as well-versed and well-read as many of you regarding complementarianism, etc., I will attempt to answer your question as best as I can. In our home (including 3 kids, 8, 6, and 4), we do our best to open our children’s eyes to the glory of God. We try to show them how He is working in our lives, and we do our best to teach them the Truth, and how it works itself out in their lives. We plead for their salvation, and that the Spirit would work through us to help show them the Lord.

    As far the complementarianism of our home, my wife and I certainly serve in different ways. We don’t have set roles or jobs, but we naturally lean in certain ways that we are better suited. We both make meals, we both clean up, we both discipline the kids, we both read the Bible with them. I mow the lawn and fix the faucets. She cares for the kiddos while I’m working. So it’s a mixed bag. We seldom disagree on “big” things (so far), so we haven’t really had one of those watershed moments where neither of us was budging on something. We converse, disagree, and pray through things pretty openly, and I think the Lord is gracious to lead our family through us working together. She trusts me to be seeking the Lord, as I trust her to be doing the same.

  223. Dee said,

    “However, nothing you have said has convinced me that you are doing anything more than any Christian husband does in a good marriage.”

    I can honestly add “than many husbands, christian or not, do in a good marriage.”

    In the last few years I’ve made many friends who are not religious at all. To my surprise, & contrary to all the “christian” indormation I’d received at church, they are most excellent people of strong character, having integrity, very kind. I could go on. For example, I’ve observed them all to have very good marriages. They are happy together, treat each other with respect and kindness, generosity of heat.

    And so I’ve learned a secret: christians do not have better marriages. (oh no!)

    They do not have any special secrets for a successful marriage. (can’t be!)

    If we must use words like “godly marriage” (or GOSPEL marriage!), all they have is a formula for a religious marriage, successful or happy not being all that relevant.

  224. Brad –

    Can you explain why “The Role of Women” is such an important teaching that it is required listening before one becomes a member? It is on more then one Village website. I fail to understand why there is a special teaching for “The Role of Women” especially when men are the only sex that can be an elder or pastor in this church. Shouldn’t there be teaching on “The Role of Men” since they are claiming the oversight of everyone else, either by being an elder or by being a husband. By default of what the Village believes and teaches, men will be accountable. Wouldn’t it be imperative that “The Role of Men” be biblically understood more than “The Role of Women?”

  225. “And so I’ve learned a secret: christians do not have better marriages. (oh no!)

    They do not have any special secrets for a successful marriage. (can’t be!)”

    So true, elastigirl. I can’t agree more. But A29/Chandler would disagree with you. Their definition of marriage will prevent the destructive consequences the neglect of these principles will bring. Sometimes I just have to say…whatever.

    “6. Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse. In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands’ leadership.”

    “10. We are convinced that a denial or neglect of these principles will lead to increasingly destructive consequences in our families, churches, and the culture at large.”
    http://denton.thevillagedev.net/resource_files/study_guides/20070204TheRoleofWomen.pdf

  226. Re Section 6
    Ephesians 5:18ff biblical pairings:
    Sacrifice/Submission. Head/Body. Love/Respect.
    Not found: Leadership/Submission (no matter how many adjectives you affix to each, and even if head DOES somehow mean leader, which I ain’t sayin’ it does)

  227. I meant I read it at the Village website and I just found what I was looking for:

    “In signing a covenant at The Village Church, you are making an agreement before God and others to faithfully fulfill a member’s obligations to this body. You are vowing that you will honor this covenant with integrity. A church covenant has sometimes been compared to wedding vows. Essentially, you are committing to be a member of The Village Church “from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health” with the intent “to love and to cherish” this fellowship.”
    And so on….

    Why oh why are people so ignorant to sign this? Is this not like a loyalty oath? aFter all, the “church” is the Body of Christ. NOt a building but people. So a loyalty oath to people? More like to the leaders. It is sick. It is not of Christ. Let your yes be yes, Your no be no people!

    Chandler is starting to look more and more like CJ Mahaney and Driscoll. And he is SBC!!! A loyalty oath in the SBC!!! I would never have imagined.

  228. elastigirl
    yep, the old “gospel”marriage trick. That means you see it my way or you do not believe in the Gospel. That is a travesty.

  229. Husbands & Wives: “Sweet Sigmond Fopodian slip of the keyboard”

    Example(s), I’ve observed :”They are happy together, treat each other with respect and kindness, generosity of heat.”

    Elastigirl, you just made a lot of folks laugh today :-)

    ha ha

    Sopy 

  230. Diane
    These same principles were used to deny African Americans a seat at the table.

    “We are convinced that a denial or neglect of these principles will lead to increasingly destructive consequences in our families, churches, and the culture at large.” Well, it is all over with because “culture at large” disagrees and will not implement the women being submissive and the men in charge.

    Secondly, where is the research? Being convinced does not mean that it is true.

    Does this mean if a woman teaches men the culture goes to hell in handbag? In other words, the fact that women are in positions of authority in the culture like, Margaret Thatcher, this means the culture is going down hill? Are they saying that this applies across the board to all people? What about the excellent female surgeon who is in charge of the Department of Surgery?

    Major clue: The American culture is not Christian and you cannot expect to enforce the standards of the church on our society.Is Village church dominionist in theology?

  231. Anon1
    I am in absolute shock. “Essentially, you are committing to be a member of The Village Church “from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health” with the intent “to love and to cherish” this fellowship.” I ain’t marrying no board of elders for nothing (3 negatives=+)

  232. “Major clue: The American culture is not Christian and you cannot expect to enforce the standards of the church on our society.”

    lol-Popular conference speaker Voddie B. would think otherwise…

    “Is Village church dominionist in theology.”

    I don’t know for sure. Aren’t they all to a degree?– trying to reclaim cities for Jesus? Notice what was at the bottom of Chandler’s article at the Resurgence? An ad for The Catalyst conference:

    “Article posted with permission from Catalyst. Don’t miss Catalyst West in Orange County, CA from April 18–20.”
    http://theresurgence.com/2012/03/29/success-is-a-hollow-goal

    A word about Catalyst:

    “Catalyst is a powerful gathering of young leaders, a movement of influencers and world changers who love Jesus, see things differently, and feel a burden for our generation. We seek to learn, worship, and create together with a momentous energy passionately pursuing God. We are Catalysts… Kingdom ambassadors, change agents, influencers, and cultural architects seeking to change our churches, communities, and cultures for God.”

    http://www.catalystwestcoast.com/

    Change agent? Cultural architect?

  233. @Bridget2 – I cannot speak to the decisions about the content and weight of the respective portions of the covenant. That is a question that I have neither asked nor heard asked, but I have also not been privy to the discussions that occur during the various pre-membership classes/sessions, and the individual sessions that are held with folks before they join the church. I think it is MORE than a fair question since, as you mention, expectations exist for both men and women. I (and you) can probably surmise what many of the bullet points would be, but I agree that it seems like a worthy candidate for specific mention.

    @dee – my wife generally holds my opinion in high value, as I do hers. We have discussed “gender roles” (or whatever the correct terminology is) on many occasions, and she is firm in her opinion that she views me as the leader of our home (behind the Lord), and if we disagree on something she defers to me to make a final call. But the expectation is that I am fervently seeking the His direction for our home, and not what I might think is best “just because.” As my partner, I certainly lean on her for perspective and wisdom, first as a sounding board, but additionally because she is excellently-suited to help identify consequences of tough decisions, such as how they make affect our children. Like I mentioned, we haven’t really had to face this in a “real tough” scenario. God has been gracious to align our thoughts on many things, and we tend to “move” together.

  234. Brad – you sound like a great guy. I bet you have a happy wife and a happy home life. You should know that the language you use cues people to perceive that your marriage is something other than what you are really living.

    Everyone else talking to Brad: Please peruse the following link. Everytime there is a discussion on the internet about comp/egal marriage, a great complementarian spouse comes on and describes his/her great marriage. Problem is, it always sounds like an egalitarian marriage to everyone else.

    http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/evangelicalroles_report.html

    There’s longer studies on it – but this will give you an idea.

  235. Ahhhh! Change our “churches” for God?!?! Somebody better tell God he didn’t do a good work and he can’t complete what he began without the Catalysts.

    People who have been changed by Jesus Christ are the Church.

    They sound like a remake of the “we are the army of the Lord” from the 80s.

  236. From Dana’s link:

    “(Decision-making) should be mutual. If the same Holy Spirit that’s leading me is leading my wife, we’re probably not gonna disagree, you know, we’re gonna be led in the same direction. I don’t think (the issue of husband’s having the final say) is going to come up very often. I think it would be a rare thing. If the husband and wife were close to each other… and close to the Lord, I don’t think there’s gonna’ be a lot of disagreement. If we had a big decision to make and my wife and I disagreed on it, I’d probably try to figure it out, why we disagreed and we would definitely need to sit down and talk about why (Durham man, # 8)”

    DING DING DING!!!

    I can’t remember who wrote it and it might not have even been on this blog, but someone mentioned the fact that Christian couples today are told in pre-marriage counseling that they will be against each other, they will be in a power struggle, the woman will be trying to usurp the man, etc. They are set up before they are even married to be in an adversarial relationship. So it is no wonder they constantly struggle because the man expects the woman to try to undermine him (it’s biblical) and the woman has to second guess her every thought and inclination (because she is inherently evil).

    Couples go into marriage with completely the wrong mindset. If they went into marriage expecting to be led TOGETHER by the Holy Spirit, I truly think there would be many better marriages in the church.

    And I agree that there are many people who think they are complimentarians and are really functioning like egalitarians. They just know they can’t be egalitarians because egalitarians are heretics. But there are a lot of super duper soft complementarians walking around out there who are basically egals.

  237. Sallie – Yes – the super-duper soft complementarians serve two purposes – they can help two people love and serve each other (in a way that is indistinguishable from egalitarianism except the language used to describe it) and it keeps the women out of the pulpits and in the nurseries and kitchens.

  238. HowDee YaAll,

    ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ‘Ma Actz29 walk’in shoes don’t fit me any mo…’

    ———-Oooo—
    ———–(—-)—
    ————)–/—-
    ————(_/——

    ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ‘Ma Actz29 walk’in shoes don’t fit me any mo…’
            
    No, no…don’t fit no mo…

    (grin)

    hahahahahaha ✌

    Sopy ㋡
    ___
    The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – “Walkin’ Shoes”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwqEg1uepC4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  239. “Everyone else talking to Brad: Please peruse the following link. Every time there is a discussion on the internet about comp/egal marriage, a great complementarian spouse comes on and describes his/her great marriage. Problem is, it always sounds like an egalitarian marriage to everyone else.”‘

    Dana, Brad is speaking the party line. If this is really his marriage then it basically functions as mutualist because his wife does not want responsibility and voluntarily defers to him. That is great and works for them both. Problem is, Brad couches it in the pseusdo Christianese language given to him by his leaders. Personally, I like a strong disagreement once in a while. Iron sharpens iron. I would be bored stiff!

    A few years back it was “the one who is pierced” and the “one who does the piercing” over at CBMW. I am SOOOO glad they are over that phase. It was icky with all the sexual overtones. It particularly grossed me out when Bruce Ware discussed it.

    “Relentless pursing” has Piper written all over it. The more you listen the more you can figure out who they have been hanging with that week.

    Have you noticed how everything is paralleled to marriage? I mean the Bible uses a metaphor once or twice and a whole doctrinal way of life becomes a law. What about Lottie Moon? Katherine Bushnell? Missionaries who never married. How didn’t they make it without being married and experiencing that biblical pursuit and wooing like Jesus did except this time it your “head” pursuing you. (wink)

  240. dee
    I guess my “perspective” would align with Sallie’s description, in that I would not expect our home to be wrought with power struggles if we were both ultimately seeking the Lord’s guidance. A disagreement would likely indicate that one (or both) of us is struggling to completely put ourselves aside and follow Him. I would never desire that my wife squelch an opinion our thought that she felt was worth bringing up – I don’t think that I could describe myself as a truly loving husband if I wanted her to act in that way.

    To be quite honest, I wouldn’t feel completely comfortable making a large decision without her on board. That would seem like a sure way to give the enemy a foothold in our marriage, as it might increase bitterness in her and pridefulness in me. That being said, if we work through something and we can’t seem to come to a conclusion we feel strongly about, she might (and has) deferred to my judgment. I don’t see this as a tiebreaker, per se, but I guess as me taking ownership of a “tough call,” and captaining our ship when the navigation system is murky. Any decision we make is always subject to re-evaluation, and we’ve reversed course when necessary. There are some things that she just flat-out defers to me on, such as money matters.

    She is quite comfortable to be led by me when I feel there is something that we need to address or re-evaluate direction on. She honors my judgment and opinion, but that feeling is mutual. Which is why it works out pragmatically the way that it does.

    Like I mentioned earlier, I’m not well-read with the different interpretations/flavors of complementarianism. I’m not sure what “label” I just earned, but I think it’s the most honest depiction of what she and I believe.

  241. “I can’t remember who wrote it and it might not have even been on this blog, but someone mentioned the fact that Christian couples today are told in pre-marriage counseling that they will be against each other, they will be in a power struggle, the woman will be trying to usurp the man, etc. They are set up before they are even married to be in an adversarial relationship. ”

    This is a lie from the pit of hell based on a very bad interpretation of Gen 3. In fact, it says Eve would “turn” toward Adam (teshuqa) meaning away from God and because of that, Adam would rule over her. And Eve did…unfortuantly. The word was changed to “desire” around the 1300’s by a monk named Pagnini.

    So they teach sin as virtue. Insidious! Then they lie about women saying they want to rule men. Uh….lets look at history. So, all the oppression of women throughout the ages is because they wanted to rule? As in wear burquas? Not allowed to worship with men? The list is long.

    They lie about our Lord to get and wonder why we disagree so vehemetly.

  242. Listen, and listen good.

    If you are on this blog, speculating about things you have no business speculating about… Knock it off!!! You will be judged for every undiscerning word spoken, even those that are typed on a blog.

    Go make disciples. Stop spreading rumors and foolish controversies. Sounds kinda like Paul’s admonish ion to Timothy, huh?

    Yeah. Please knock it off.

  243. Martin
    So what in the world are you doing reading this blog?

    So, please tell me which “rumors” are being spread Petrys?, Myer? Caner? Young?

    Which “foolish controversies are being spread? And who decided they were foolish?

    Listen, and listen good?
    Wow, you are used to bossing people around.You may be one of the reasons this blog exists.

    How do you know we are NOT making disciples?

    Thank you for providing our readers with some insight into the problem. It has been most illuminating.

  244. Martin – So what about when Paul called out Peter? It was the same Paul.

    I agree that we should avoid spreading rumors and foolish controversies. And, yes, I do think sometimes people cross that line here and it hurts the rest of the message.

    However, we should also boldly speak truth when necessary. If someone had boldly spoken truth about a particular church, my husband and I wouldn’t have ended up being spiritually abused.

    I prefer to think the opposite of you. I look forward to finding out in heaven how many people my words have helped simply because I had the courage to write them on my blog or other places online. I know God works through what I write and I rejoice that someday I will see the fruit of those labors. And if all the blogging and writing I do saves just a handful of people from destruction, then it is worth every ounce of effort.

  245. Brad
    I am still trying to figure out what you mean. You said “She is quite comfortable to be led by me when I feel there is something that we need to address or re-evaluate direction on.” You gave me an example “Money matters.” Now, if your wife were an MBA like me, my guess is that you might defer to her wisdom in the money area.So I actually think that cuts both ways. You might actually be willing to be led by her on some issues and reevaluate some if she brings it up.

    You give me “money matters” but that is not complementarian in the such a way that a man must do it an a woman must not do it.I am still looking for specifics that seem to be something the man does and something the woman does not do in a marriage.I keep asking this question over and over again. We have had a number of guys come on this blog to show us that they do comp right. But, this thick brained woman, who also has a long marriage and has raised 3 kids who follow the Lord (or since you attend a Calvinist church were preordained before time and we had nothing to do with it), cannot seem to find anything that makes you unique in your marriage than any other marriage which is a good marriage and egalitarian. I am talking specifics.

    I subscribe to something else. I call it radical servanthood. If both people in the marriage defer to one another, even when it gets tough, out of love and in modeling the ministry of Jesus, my guess is that all would be well. So, if you are the supposed “leader” you might defer a lot to her wisdom and even give in to her out of a humble heart. She, too, would do the same. Functionally there is no difference. Remember, Matt says the culture will fall over this issue so we must find out what he means within the marriage beyond some pie in the sky spiritual sense that has no practical application.How does my marriage, which was not comp, contribute to the destruction of culture?

    The rules seem rather odd in the comp camp. Here is an example that I give frequently. Let’s say a woman becomes the President of the United States. It will happen one day. Let’s call her Mary. Mary also happens to be a Christian and devoted to her church. Her 8 years ended with accolades all around.She returns to her church and class is being offered on the role of Christian and the government. It is open to men and women. Let’s add that the men’s group is having an evening devoted to this topic.So, are you telling me that Mary could not teach the men while some wet behind the ears member of the local rotary club should teach it because he is a man? Tell me why this makes sense. And don’t say “The Bible Says It.” The God I serve is logical and this makes no sense. In reading your church’s stance on women that is precisely what would happen. Please explain it. Remember, this involves the very foundation of culture so it must be awfully important to stop Mary

  246. Hello,

    A toxic church has gripped you?
    I can tell, by that look in your eye…
    There’s a soul that’s vacant
    There’s a reason to hide the pain.

    Your not O.K.

    When I was at Actz29
    I caught a fleeting glimpse of Him
    And out of the corner of my eye I looked
    I turned but He had gone…

    I cannot put my finger on it now
    The “City” has grown so much colder…
    The church dream gone.
    Have we become comfortably numb?

    Matt Chandler, there is this nagging feeling
    I can not shake it…hard as I try
    We were meant to serve our Savior, Jesus…
    Why is that so hard for Actz29 ta tell
    Why Oh! Why! all dis here mumbo jumbo blast’in our ears?

    Can’t you get dis straight, this ain’t no flap’in Journey…
    But a simple walk wit God
    Wit heaven as our destination, all, serving Jesus till we land
    How many times must you hear it…
    So loud youze ears doth ring? ☎
    Ah huh! Then that is what we’ll do!

    All hail da power of Our Lord Jesus’ name
    And da power of His cross ✞
    We never get tired of hear’in, how he removed the dross.
    Made us fit for heaven, His Spirit- a payment down
    Must we make our own circle…cus yours has broken down?

    Can’t you get dis straight, this ain’t no flap’in Journey…
    But a simple walk wit God
    Wit heaven as our destination, all, serving Jesus till we land
    How many times must you hear it…
    So loud youze ears doth ring? ☎
    Ah huh! Ah huh! Ah huh! Ah huh! 

    …Then that is what we’ll do!

    Sopy ㋡
    ___
    Ingrid DuMosch: “King of Kings, Majesty!”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5VutCGsVXE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Comic relief: Pink Floyd – “Comfortably Numb”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWnapx502uQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  247. Folks, I’ve seen too much of things like Catalyst literally tear church congregations to shreads and I think the problem is, many times, you have young pastors and youth guys come in full of P&V and determined to build the next big mega-church at the expense of many established church congregations and the results are, to say the least, catastropic many times. It wouldn’t be such an issue if, when these guys are brought in, they would do this in a gradual slow way rather than just running over everyone and everything in their quest to build the latest success story plus said church must be willing to make a very (I know) radical change to begin with. Some situations have to have change to continue but these things take time and these young types are not used to having to wait on anything……… no, they want it last week!

    Most here know I’m not a contemporary guy where church is concerned and far to many good traditional churches that are still effective in ministry and solid in the gospel, doctrine and theology are being totally destroyed by things like Catalyst. If these young guys want that kind of success they need to look at just starting a church that is intentionally contemporary insted of destroying effective established churches.

    Lastly, there are a huge number of red flags in the Catalyst description below and one of the biggest is the words “Change Agents” – folks you don’t just go in and run rough-shod over everything and everyone – when people hear words like that it’s almost always negative sounding…. certainly is to me! The other red flag word to me these days (not mentioned below but fits) is
    Relevant…….. everytime I see that word used to describe a church I almost always have the thought that I want to avoid going there – it fits well in the Catalyst format.

    “Catalyst is a powerful gathering of young leaders, a movement of influencers and world changers who love Jesus, see things differently, and feel a burden for our generation. We seek to learn, worship, and create together with a momentous energy passionately pursuing God. We are Catalysts… Kingdom ambassadors, change agents, influencers, and cultural architects seeking to change our churches, communities, and cultures for God.”

    Well, that’s the rant for today…..

  248. Sopwith
    Thank you for the poetry. I have a feeling it is the first time something like this was done to address Acts 29.

  249. Thank you for your thoughtful response Dee.

    I never intended to “come on this blog and prove that I did complementarianism right.” I actually only posted initially to link to a letter Matt Chandler had written to Michael Bleecker (the worship pastor) that provided some insight into his view on how he felt the Lord was leading his thoughts with respect to earnings through his ministry. I was simply trying to provide a little context to some of the discussions going on (in the interest of fairness), since there were some broad-sweeping comments that were being made that insinuated Chandler is only in it for the fame and fortune. Since I have heard him speak honestly and directly about his “fame” (and some of his thoughts were crystallized pretty well on my initial link), I wanted to simply share the information. I have no illusion that he is a man above temptation, and I know that many a men have come before him with the best of intentions and a deep love for the Lord, only to fall into the trappings of themselves.

    I had no intention of getting into a complementarian debate with anyone, nor did I want to try and push that “grand old me” was living an example life in a perfect complementarian marriage for the rest of you to follow. This exchange springboarded from questions from my original comment(s), and it kind of blew up from there.

    Do I believe that my wife is gifted in ways that I am not? Absolutely. Do I think that she should be free to lead in those areas? Yes, definitely – if the Lord has given her gifts that I don’t possess, it would be asinine to ignore them. Why would I try to squelch what the Spirit has given? I handle money matters because they are more my strength than hers. I was simply providing an example.

    If my wife is out of line biblically with something, am I expected/commanded to call her out on it? Of course. And vice versa – I would hope that she would call me out when I’m out of line. That is a form of spritual leadership in itself. In your words, it “cuts both ways.” I would (and have) view her wisdom/leadership in that matter as a gift to me from the Lord.

    I hope that I never implied that I expect things in my home to be bent to my will, because that has never been my feeling.

    What I do see is that many men are gifted/equipped similarly, and many women are gifted/equipped similarly. Perhaps much of this is cultural, but I think that many women are naturally “wired” to be good with nurturing children, for example. Much like many guys are naturally “wired” to want to climb on the roof to hang Christmas lights, play a rough game of tackle football with their buddies, or fight through the drywall to fix an electrical problem. I mean neither of those statements in a derogatory way, but more of a simple observation of how the people in my circles are gifted/wired. That being said, I would not frown at a woman fixing the electrical problem that her husband (probably me) goofed up. Nor would I think that a loving, doting father must certainly be “too feminine.”

    In the end, both husband and wife are painfully sinful, and both require ultimate leadership from Jesus. I wouldn’t expect that a neighborhood full of homes with checkbook-balancing women would breed a bunch of godless rascals, when compared to the next-door neighborhood full of bread-baking women.

    From a cultural perspective, I do certainly think that issues such as divorce and unfaithfulness are a HUGE problem. But it’s just another chapter in the same problems that have always been. In many ways, I think it is beneficial for children to have both mom and dad in the home, serving faithfully. Likewise, it’s also important for them to see faithfulness played out in their church community, family friends, etc. I think that in the absence of good, servant examples, it is very easy for things to get distorted and twisted. I don’t see this as a complementarian argument, but a Christ argument. If He is not taught, glorified, and made much of, it becomes easy to find “substitute” satisfaction in the indulgences of the world.

    Honestly, I think we’re way too late to try and “protect” culture – “the way things were supposed to be” was already destroyed in Eden. Biblically, we know that there will always be a proportionally small group that follows the leading of Christ. There will be (and always has been) cultural decay. It is a constant fight against the enemy that takes root in new battlegrounds every day, until that glorious day when the Lord finally ends it all for good.

    I know I probably haven’t answered you completely. I honestly feel unqualified to provide a solid answer to some of your questions, mostly because I have never examined my own views on this topic as deeply as you have. I find myself much more concerned with seeking the Spirit’s help with my own sinful heart & motives – maybe it’s immaturity, but I would be lying if I said that I had it all figured out.

  250. Let me rephrase my last sentence – rather than “I find myself much more concerned with seeking the Spirit’s help with my own sinful heart and motives” I should have said “I find that it’s a big enough fight for me to listen for the Lord’s voice as he continues to rescue me from my own sinful heart and motives.”

    It’s not a matter of wanting to learn more, but rather where I currently find myself in the sanctification process.

  251. Guy from Knoxville,

    That whole article on “Change Agents” is loaded with the religiospeak code words that have become so symptomatic of the abusive “church.” The stuff is scary. “If there were ever a time we needed a Nehemiah ‘change agent’ in our land to rebuild our walls with a solid foundation, it is now.”

    In Seattle, one mega-church pastor preached a twisted version of Nehemiah to justify all sorts of mischief, including threats to beat up leaders in his church.

    Acts 20:29-30:
    I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.

  252. Brad P,

    I think you have been very gracious with your replies and interaction on this blog and I thank you for not buldozing in, spouting your views, and then taking your leave.

    I, personally, don’t see that your views are that different from an egalitarian postition. I used to consider myself a complementarian, but when I actually examined how my husband and I function and as I considered scripture from a different perspective (which I was never given in a church setting), I found that I am probably an egalitarian. Funny thing is, I don’t think it is a BIG issue with God as long as I am living my life in a Christ-like manner.

    Here is where I (and maybe others) have a problem. Most pastors and churches that hold a complementarian view make statements to the effect and write edicts (like the one I found on The Village membership site about “The Role of Women”) that claim their view is correct and terrible things will happen if YOU, YOUR FAMILY, and the CULTURE don’t hold this view. I’ve quoted what Dee responded to you below:

    “Remember, Matt says the culture will fall over this issue so we must find out what he means within the marriage beyond some pie in the sky spiritual sense that has no practical application. How does my marriage, which was not comp, contribute to the destruction of culture?”

    You see, Brad, I don’t think that any church that teaches such things has any proof of this. Nor are they giving God any credit for being able to work outside of their “personal” belief system. The facts are that the few scriptures that are used to “enforce” (with the use of fear regarding the culture and your family) this particular belief, can be interpreted in different ways. Just because complementarians view it one way does not mean that it is correct, though they act like it is. It also does not mean that people who hold a different view are sinning, though many churches teach that it is.

    The other point I find intriguing is that complementarians don’t believe mutual submission will work. Again, they have no proof, but they use “fear tactic” claims to promote their beliefs. I don’t understand why they feel that a “man” has to have some final call in a decision. How about we don’t make a call until we are in agreement? Or, another secenario, who did make the final decision in this one:

    A husband feels strongly about a certain decision. The wife disagrees with the husbands perspective and gives her reasons. The husband’s conscience is really troubled about doing it the wife’s way. The wife sees that this is a real conscience issue with the husband. She understands where the husband is at in his thinking. She is at a different place. She takes the situation to the Lord in prayer, weighs all the possible outcomes, along with the consequences, and determines that she will not go against the husband’s conscience. She will live with negative consequences, if any. Would a believing husband not do likewise?

    This scenario is mutual submission under the headship of Christ. If husband and wife can function like this toward “one another” (which is what I see scripture asking us to do in all of our relationships), then why do we need any kind of “fear tactics” about realtionships and culture? Why do many men feel that they “need” to have final say? Have Christian women, as a whole, in the past, or now, ever wanted some “final” say? Have women only wanted “equal” consideration in all things? Or, have women been asking to “rule over men” as many men have claimed and claim now? Who has been the actual “underdog” and who has been the main perpetrator throughout all of history when it comes to the male/female realtionship? Is what is taught by men, for the most part, taught out of fear and insecurity on their part, and not out of faith that God can work things out in a relationship when both parties are submitted to Christ first and then one another?

    I don’t expect answers from you, Brad. These are only questions and scenarios to ponder from a different perspective. Thanks for being willing to read a different perspective without feeling it will somehow taint you :)

    (Warning – no spellcheck on this one.)

    P.S. I have no desire “to rule over” my husband.

  253. Bridget,

    Thank you for your very thoughtful comment. I have been very surprised over the past few days to be engaged in this conversation, as it was certainly unexpected. I really appreciate the willingness of this group to honorably and respectfully assert strong opinions, which are very clearly backed by thought and prayer. It is always a good thing for iron to sharpen iron, as a previous commentor reminded us.

    And kudos to you, Bridget. I didn’t notice a typo as I was reading. So I think your internal spellcheck worked just fine! :)

  254. “The other point I find intriguing is that complementarians don’t believe mutual submission will work.”

    Bridget, I think they know it would work too well.. After all, It is what Paul wrote in verse 18 for believers. And once you start down that road then people might take a second biblical look at the “godly authority” teaching. Or the “special anointing for elders”, etc. They cannot afford to take that chance.

    But it does not help with their focus on gender roles. It would hurt it. Because IN CHRIST, we are not male or female. They want to make a law of gender roles that are NOT biological. This is simply not in the Word. When I ask them to explain Joanna in Luke they can’t except she got a special dispensation from Jesus or something. When analyzed this legalistic doctrine will not hold up to Freedom in Christ.

  255. I cannot remember if it was also Chandler who said he preached to a totally depraved congregation. I know Dever said that but I seem to remember hearing Chandler say it, too. Does anyone else remember that or have a link?

  256. Brad P – I will “third” what Bridget2 and elastigirl have said regarding your gracious replies and willingness to “talk” about potentially contentious topics.

    And I definitely agree with your comment yesterday about language in a text-only medium being a hard thing – I didn’t mean to make you feel like I was grilling you, either!

    I guess all kinds of red flags went up for me over the words “courtship,” “relentless,” etc. It can be *very* hard to speak with some folks (especially in a text-only medium) when words like these come up.

    My thanks to you for taking the time to figure out what we were both trying to say! ;)

    P.S.: I thought of you and Dee last evening as I was relentlessly pursuing my grocery shopping – and believe me, it *is* a relentless thing! I just want to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible, for the most part.

  257. Lol. I understand just how relentless the pursuit of good-looking strawberries is each time I join my wife on a grocery shopping trip with the kids!

  258. As someone who has been reading on the sidelines, I also want to express my appreciation to Brad P and the rest of you for being able to sustain a respectful and intelligent conversation on such an incendiary topic.

    You are a good bunch of people. It’s like you’re trying to be like Jesus or something.

  259. Pingback: Wednesday Link List « Thinking Out Loud UNITED STATES

  260. “Did Mark Driscoll meet Gort?”

    Comic relief#1:  “Klaatu…Barada…Nikto!”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VtcOCHePB4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Comic relief#2: “Barney Fife meets Gort?”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8dOwfblpeA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    or something greater?

    hmmm…

    I will lift up mine eyes, from where does my help come from?

    A. Mark Driscoll.
    B. The SBC.
    C. The Lord and His Christ, Jesus.
    D. None of the above.

    Choose wisely. Choose carefully. However, the feeding of mushrooms, in da ‘dark’, is not an option, ok?

    (grin)

    hahahahahahahaha

    S㋡py
    ___
    Inspiration: Johnny Cash sings “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9quPWDoLxF0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    The Battle Hymn? -“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5mmFPyDK_8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  261. At a time when the Mars Hill church had about 30 “elders” working behind the scenes, some of the elders, along with Senior Pastor Driscoll, decided to reformulate the church’s power structure. Mars Hill Pastors Petry and Bent Meyer were unhappy with revisions to the Mars Hill church’s bylaws that would change the way power is divided in the church. 

    In a September 30 sermon, Driscoll spoke out:

    “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.” 

    Driscoll wrote later, not necessarily referring to Mars Hill Pastors Petry and Bent Meyer, but that he had directed  his anger towards several (unidentified) Mars Hill church members who “were acting very disrespectfully, sinfully, and proudly toward… the elders.” 

    Mars Hill Pastors Petry and Bent Meyer were later fired. 

    Pastor Mark Driscoll’s comments and the firings have, according to at least one former Mars Hill church member, caused some to rethink their membership in the Mars Hill church. 

    “[This was the] straw that broke the camel’s back…” the former Mars Hill church member says, as dissension continued to spread through the ranks beyond the Mars Hill church itself to affecting the whole of the Acts29 Network of churches.

    Many things that have subsequently come to light in the  Mars Hill church and the greater Acts 29 church planting network organization  have caused some to rethink their membership, and others to even consider Acts 29 participation at all. The stepping down of former the Acts 29 Network organization’s  president, pastor Mark Driscoll has only accelerated the questions in people’s minds.  

    The new president pastor Matt Chandler is expected to restore confidence even while calming a noticeable sense of uncertainty among those who continue attend the some 400 Acts 29 Network churches nationwide. 

    it is my hope that testimony and devotion to Christ’s finished work will prevail; a living testament to the great commission, “go into all the world-”

    Many thanks to the Wartburg Watch for their diligent and tireless efforts of illumination. I continue to read with interest.

    SCRIPTURE: “His faith never quailed, even when he noted the utter impotence of his own body or the impotence of Sara’s womb; no unbelief made him waver about God’s promise.” [Romans 4:19-20, Moffatt]

    With kind regards,

    IronClad
    ___
    Reference:
    http://kinnon.tv/2012/03/all-it-takes-for-evil-to-prevail.html
    Fired and Brimstone- “Mars Hill Megachurch Has No Room for Two Dissenting Pastors”
     http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=445277