"If I or my soldiers have plundered or done injury to the houses or ministers of religion, I repent me of my sin; but it is not of Edward of England I shall ask pardon." -William Wallace link
This week has been both hard and wonderful for me. Both Deb and I experienced such joy in meeting with some awesome readers in the DC area. Todd Wilhelm, the official hero of TWW, joined us after flying in from Dubai. What an incredible experience for us. Thank you all for accepting us into your lives. We apologize for our diminished commenting. We had some business after returning to Raleigh but are now back in the saddle.
However, in the midst of those joyful meetings, we learned about a deeply disturbing situation. Ergun Caner's 15 year old boy, Braxton, committed suicide on July 29. The pain that his mom and dad are currently experiencing is unimaginable. But, there is a back story to this tragedy that makes it even more disturbing. That account was so upsetting to us that we had a hard time sleeping when we were alerted to the situation. We are holding off writing about this until next week. We have asked some people who are close to the family and have received a "go ahead" on the post. It is vital that certain behavior never, ever happen again.
Consequently, our schedule for next week will change. We will run Eagle's Story, Part 2, on Monday. On Tuesday, we will follow with the horrible circumstances surrounding Braxton Caner's suicide. We will name names and provide documentation. We will not post again until Friday. There will be much to discuss with the two posts.
In the meantime, please pray for Ergun and Jill Caner and their family. The funeral is at 2 PM on Saturday. Also, pray for the Petry family whose own tragedy is discussed below.
TWW is deeply grateful to Dr. Warren Throckmorton for carrying the water on the Mars Hill saga. He has done a spectacular job in providing a thoughtful window into the complexities surrounding the ever growing mess. So much has happened in the past weeks that we wanted to update our readers in a single post so that they can keep abreast of the developments
The daughter of Jonna and Paul Petry is in critical condition after an accident.
This morning we received the following sad email from Rob Smith.
Eleanor, the daughter of Paul and Jonna Petry had a serious car accident last night. She is in critical care with serious head injuries, unconscious.. it is touch and go.
Perhaps you remember the story of the Petrys which we posted in 2012 Former Mars Hill Pastor, Paul Petry, Starts Joyful Exiles – Startling Revelation. Jonna Petry wrote the story of the unjust firing of Paul Petry and Bent Myer. To refresh your memory, here is another typically repulsive comment from Mark Driscoll.
"What do you do with someone who is rebellious, hard-hearted, stiff necked and stupid? You break their nose." Mark Driscoll in his "private" message to his congregation moments before firing Paul Petry and Bent Myer
We would ask that you read this story to remind yourself of Driscoll's despicable behavior towards the Petrys. Due to the nature of the firing, the Petry's have some financial needs. Rob Smith has set up a Go Fund Me account for the Petry's to assist in the obvious financial concerns that will accompany this sad situation. Having been through a serious medical crisis with one of my children, I can testify to this need.
Here is the link to the Petry page on Go Fund Me. We thank Rob Smith for his efforts in this matter. Above all, please pray for this wonderful family.
The deeply disturbing rants of William Wallace II (aka Mark Driscoll): Putting the 'T' in Total Depravity
One of Driscoll's downfalls is his inability to zip his lip. He likes to call attention to himself. Dr Throckmorton wrote a post that caused an explosion. Mark Driscoll in 2000: “We Live in a Completely Pussified Nation”. As always, the ever persistent Wenatchee the Hatchet did the laborious legwork in tracking the information down.
Here is the background. In 2006, Driscoll published his book Confessions of a Reformission Rev. In that book, he mentioned Midrash, a discussion board that they had for Mars Hill back in 2000. In the book Driscoll admitted to visiting the discussion under the name William Wallace II. So, Wenatchee decided to see what words of wisdom Driscoll, who had been the pastor of Mars Hill for several years at that time, shared with his unwitting audience.
Prepare to be disgusted. There are over 100 pages of entries. It is now referred to as "We Live in a Pussified Nation" if you look on Google. Some of his entries are so vile that I couldn't read them out loud to Deb. Here is a link to the 100+ pages of deplorable rants by a pastor who knows how to "put the 'T' in Total Depravity." This is a link to the blog of Wenatchee the Hatchet if you want to read more about the history behind William Wallace II and Midrash. (Ringing applause for Wenatchee's efforts from Raleigh.)
“We live in a completely Pussified Nation. We could get every man, real man as opposed to pussified James Dobson knock-off crying Promise Keeping homoerotic, worship loving mama’s boy sensitive emasculated neutered exact male replica evangellyfish, and have a conference in a phone book.
“It all began with Adam, the first of the pussified nation, who kept his mouth shut and watched everything fall headlong down the slippery slide of hell/feminism when he shut his mouth and listened to his wife who thought Satan was a good theologian when he should have lead her and exercised his delegated authority as king of the planet.
“As a result, he was cursed for listening to his wife and every man since has been his pussified sit quietly by and watch a nation of men be raised by bitter penis envying burned feministed single mothers who make sure that Johnny grows up to be a very nice woman who sits down to pee.”
Here is his view of women at the end of this particular rant.There is far more. (Remember, there are over 100 pages of this nonsense.
I know many of the women will disagree, and they like Eve should not speak on this matter.
And, many men will also disagree, which is further proof of the pussificcation epidemic having now become air born and universal. Pussified men are inarguably legion. Nothing short of an exorcism is needed.
(Read the rest of this at the above link. It deteriorates from here.)
Essentially, he says that was a long time ago and "never mind." I am not impressed.
"The content of my postings to that discussion board does not reflect how I feel, or how I would conduct myself today," he told his church members Friday. "Over the past 14 years I have changed, and, by God's grace, hope to continue to change.
Paul Tripp quits Mars Hill's BOAA.
Wouldn't we like to know what is behind this one! However, Tripp has yet to make a statement. Once again, Dr Throckmorton posts on the matter. Paul Tripp Has Resigned from the Mars Hill Church Board of Advisors and Accountability. Here is link to Paul Tripp's website. Dee speculates that he joined because he thought he could do some good and discovered, after 8 months, that it was fruitless.
Tripp, one of the newest board members and popular conference speaker, was unavailable this morning, but in response to my question about Tripp’s membership on the Mars Hill Church BOAA, Steve Sarkisian, Vice President of Paul Tripp Ministries, told me, “Paul resigned from the board.”
No reason was given for the departure.
Paul Tripp was appointed to the Board in November, 2013.
The protest on 8/3/14: They are NOT anonymous.
A protest outside of Mars Hill, Bellevue, is being organized by Rob Smith (and others). Smith is featured in the KOMO video below. TWW has been privileged to speak with Smith who we believe is a great example of thoughtful, brave Christian leadership.
Former members of the Mars Hill Church plan to carry signs reading "QUESTION MARK" outside the mega-church's Bellevue campus on Sunday morning, and deliver a message to its embattled senior minister, Mark Driscoll.
…A tipping point seems to have come earlier this month. In a video sermon, Driscoll acknowledged that there are disillusioned former members of his flock but said they have chosen to "remain anonymous."
"And so we don't know how to reconcile, or how to work things out with, with people because we're not entirely sure who they are …"
The anonymity assertion "really touched a nerve," said Smith, who once directed a church ministry called Agathos, which cares for orphans.
"We are Christian, loving people who don't normally demonstrate," Smith added. "We want to have a quiet, strong message for Mark Driscoll, that people he has harmed over the years are not unknown to him as he has claimed."
The harming, according to disillusioned former members, ranged from verbal abuse to shunning to threats of retaliation.
TWW will keep our readers informed about the protest.
Did Mark Driscoll ever write his own stuff? Here is another well documented plagiarism charge.
Once again, Dr Throckmorton uncovers more plagiarism charges in Former Colleague Provides Evidence Mark Driscoll Plagiarized Material in Two Books.
In 2004, Zondervan published The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out by Mark Driscoll. In 2006, they published Driscoll’s Confessions of a Reformission Rev: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church. In these books, among other things, Driscoll addressed the relationships between the Gospel, the church, and culture. In The Radical Reformission, he borrowed a graphic from a book edited by George Hunsberger which indicates a reciprocal relationship between the three spheres. In addition, he outlined how leaving out any one of the spheres could lead to a negative result.
Please go to Dr Throckmorton's post for actual pictures of the alleged plagiarism. However, the following statement about Acts 29 is concerning.
Acts 29 allegedly ignore the original author's complaints.
Wheeler added that he thinks Driscoll may have taken advantage of the fact that Wheeler was younger and a subordinate to Driscoll. Wheeler eventually brought charges against Driscoll to the board of the Acts29 Network regarding a pattern of abusive behavior he said he experienced with Driscoll. According to Wheeler, the board did not take his charges seriously. In fact, all of the board at the time may not have seen the charges. According to Wheeler, some of the board members later told him his letter was never seen by the board.
In any case, Wheeler told me that he is stepping forward now because he hopes his former mentor will take the public outcry seriously and move toward change. “After going to Mark and others, I hope the weight of all of these things I am bringing forward will cause Mark to listen and change,” Wheeler said.
The Deebs have received some complaints from readers about Acts 29 ignoring their complaints involving Driscoll and Acts 29 church planters. We documented the concerning story of Countryside Church and plan to watch for further concerns in the months to come.
USA Today: Is the celebrity pastor star fading?
Is it any wonder that people are beginning to question church leadership? USA Today published 'Rock star' pastors lose luster: Column
It's not easy being a celebrity pastor these days with that pesky Internet around.
Consider the struggles of Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Faced with mounting accusations circulating online — plagiarism, misusing church funds to prop book sales, silencing anyone in his church with the temerity to question him — Driscoll has urged his followers to stay off the Web. "It's all shenanigans anyway," he explains.
Steven Furtick, a megachurch pastor in North Carolina, and Dave Ramsey, an evangelical finance guru, have been taking hits, too, as have the wheeler-dealers on the Preachers of L.A. reality show. This, against a backdrop of culture shifts creating strong headwinds against the leader-and-follower model typified by today's Christian superstars.
What are a megapastor and his followers to do? Remembering the biblical admonitionsagainst idolatry would be a good start.
…Now, however, there's a wild card that older-school religious celebrities did not have to contend with. Thanks to the Internet, any disgruntled current or former follower can write a scathing blog post, add nasty comments to reader forums or, as creator of@FakeDriscoll does, voice a spoof Twitter account in the target's name. This can take a toll — as demonstrated by Driscoll's church, which has had to lay off staff due to declining attendance and giving.
The article ends with a question which is an equally good ending for this post.
Henderson might be right about this being the beginning of the end for celebrity megapastors. Until that process runs its course, however, fans of the Driscolls, Furticks and the rest have a big question to ask themselves. Who, ultimately, are they following? Jesus? Or their pastor?
Lydia's Corner: Micah 1:1-4:13 Revelation 6:1-17 Psalm 134:1-3 Proverbs 30:1-4