Mark Driscoll: 9 Pessimistic Predictions For Those Under the Bus

For some to say that social media is to blame for Mark Driscoll's woes is akin to the Pope saying that the hammer and nail industry was responsible for the 95 Theses.  – Dee

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I will post my response to Dave Robertson tomorrow.

Here is the video from Mark Driscoll's statement on Sunday. Watch it carefully and see if it reminds you of anything that you have seen on the news.

These are my predictions. I hope that I am wrong. For those of you who need a quick catch up on the Driscoll dilemma, here is an article written yesterday by the Vox.

1. Mark Driscoll will be back in business in fairly short order. If you don't like it, you will be the new problem.

On Sunday, Mark Driscoll, with wealthy, evangelical Public Relations guru, Mark DeMoss, sitting in the audience, began his comeback. Make no mistake about it. Driscoll is going nowhere except back to the pulpit after 6 weeks of some R&R and image building. Get prepared. It is going to be  quite a ride.

They will try to convince you that you didn't really understand just how contrite Driscoll has been throughout the years. In fact, the train has already left the station and anyone who is not onboard is going to be marginalized, especially anyone who as the audacity to *slander* by discussing any actions and words of Driscoll which have already been *forgiven.*

2. A comprehensive, high profile  PR campaign is about to begin, orchestrated by the pretigious Mark DeMoss PR firm.

Did anything seem familiar with Driscoll's performance on Sunday? Frankly, I have see the show before, played out by fallen politicians offering interminable confessions of wrongdoing, while accusing the media of slander. This was a well scripted speech, read carefully (no ad lib here), overseen by PR experts, with appropriately pauses in order to appear spontaneously contrite and teary eyed. Then, there was the *spontaneous yet thoughtful* applause, ending with the obligatory hug of the Mrs, surrounded by his adoring children. 

We know that the Mark DeMoss PR firm has been brought in to help in this situation. We wonder who is paying for this as it will not come cheap. Perhaps DeMoss is donating his services to his friend?  

So, who is he?

From the Washington Post link

Mark DeMoss, an Atlanta public relations consultant and former adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, has been brought in to work with the congregation.

DeMoss, who represented the late Jerry Falwell Sr. and now Franklin Graham, said he attended the services in Seattle today on his own expense as Driscoll’s friend.

“I think he’s a gifted, biblical communicator who has done effective church work in an unchurched part of the country,” DeMoss said. “I like him, I believe in him, and if I only worked with ministry leaders who were faultless, I would be out of business tonight.”

Don't worry about starting a GoFundMe account for DeMoss. He comes from an incredibly wealthy family. Nancy Leigh DeMoss is his sister. 

From Time Magazine:

Nancy is the foundation's CEO, brother Robert is president, and three DeMoss children are directors. Nancy plays host at evangelizing dinners for the rich and powerful at her houses in Florida and Manhattan (one invitee estimated the events' cost at $80,000 each). Privately, she contributed $70,000 to Newt Gingrich's political-action committee, GOPAC. A daughter, Deborah, worked for Senator Jesse Helms as a Foreign Relations Committee aide, specializing in the right-wing Latin American parties Helms favored in the 1980s. (She has since left the foundation board.)

Mark, a board member, worked for Jerry Falwell before founding the DeMoss Group, a p.r. firm for evangelists like Billy Graham's son Franklin. Mark's father-in-law is Art Williams, the insurance magnate who bailed out Falwell's debt-ridden Liberty University with a $70 million gift.

3. Blogs, Twitter, etc. will be targeted for special attention by PR denizens.

In his mea culpa, Driscoll bought up the subject of social media, appearing to claim that this is responsible for much of the negativity in what has transpired. Could social media become the target?

It is interesting to look at the online website of the Mark DeMoss PR firm. They are an effective and gifted public relations firm which has close ties to the power base in today's postmodern evangelical landscape. We believe there will be a focused effort to change what they perceive as the negative social media dialog. Instead, Driscoll and Mars Hill will be presented as the victims and social media will be proclaimed the *problem.*

From the Mark DeMoss PR firm's website.

We are asked to help organizations with thinking, branding, marketing, advertising, crisis management, digital strategy and traditional media relations. Ultimately, we see ourselves as being in the word business because all of these disciplines revolve around words. The right words, applied well, can move public opinion and compel people to action. 

Click on the "crisis management" button:

We believe what most consider to be “PR problems” are really management problems that have become public. We have helped organizations large and small navigate controversies and issues such as the loss of college accreditation, embezzlement of funds by an employee, Congressional inquiries into financial practices, litigation and threatened litigation, attempts to unionize ministry employees, deaths of founders and presidents, public protests by opposition groups, employee layoffs, national race relations, church doctrine debates, attempts to remove a pastor from his church, human sexuality, financial guidelines and business practices, and negative publicity for numerous reasons.

They have expertise in setting up blogging strategies. Here is one example from their website.

 We hosted a social media "boot camp" for their digital management staff, and outlined best practices and strategic approaches to social content marketing. Afterward, we developed an all-new social strategy and content calendar for Facebook and Twitter and took the lead on day-to-day community management, coaching their team on handling these responsibilities once the pilot ended.

DeMoss even seems to allude that this could be a focus.

I think this is a challenging day for all pastors, in large part because of this media age we live in,” DeMoss said. “It’s very easy to mobilize opposition, and anybody can have a public forum to criticize or expose or say whatever they want to say. That wasn’t true even 10 years ago.”

4. Driscoll will claim to be above reproach while admitting he is a sinner.

This is a "Brave New World" strategy. The words mean whatever *they* say they mean. In the Vox article linked to at the beginning of the post, here is a statement purportedly made by Driscoll in 2006. It seems to say that he can sin but you can't critique him because he is above reproach. 

And if at any time in the history of this church the elders discipline me, do not be loyal to me. Be loyal to them; be loyal to Jesus. And if at any point — God forbid — I should say or do something that would disqualify me from being your pastor — and I have no intentions of, and I do live a life above reproach. And I'm not a sinless man, but I do love Jesus and I do love my family and I do love you. And if by – I just shudder to say this, but if I should ever say or do anything that the elders would need to fire me, do not be loyal to me. Be loyal to Jesus; be loyal to your elders.

5. Anything that happened before Sunday will be deemed forgiven by God so it can no longer be discussed by you, a far lesser creature than God. You will be deemed "not a Christian" if you do so.
    Corollary: I predict that there will be a full court press coming soon, complete with calls to employers, pastors, etc.

Driscoll claims to be a different man than he was "back then." This, of course, overlooks the current complaints brought by 21 pastorsHe says that God has forgiven him and so has Mars Hill.

If a critic were to bring up the issues, said critic could be accused of not following God in forgiving Driscoll. If you keep bringing up anything prior to 8/24/14, your salvation may even be in question.

This *you may not be a Christian* nonsense is currently seen on Warren Throckmorton's blog. He has @350 comments on this post and the vitriol directed at him is evident. 

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And here is one from Twitter today. This is escalation minute by minute. We will be fascinated to see how this post is received.

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6. With last Sunday as the one exception, Driscoll will never again address controversy from the stage or social media, etc. He will go silent.

During his talk, he called the pulpit *sacred ground.* He claims the pulpit is for discussing God's Word. Risking everything, I employ my snark and say "Well, I guess its back to oral sex and pornovision." (Memo to DeMoss- You have to admit it's funny… Dee is hosed….) Anything that Driscoll says, for the foreseeable future, will be carefully vetted by his handlers.

7. The bylaws will insure that Driscoll stays at Mars Hill.

Driscoll made a big deal of the bylaws in his prepared statement, emphasizing that it had been voted on by the elders. Of course, there is much history in all of this, including some pastors getting canned or disagreeing on the changes link, link, and link. I think interested parties will soon understand why Driscoll fought so hard for the change in these bylaw.

8. Well known pastors/leaders will continue to support Driscoll. None of them will mention the victims.

Remember when John Piper leaped at the chance to speak at CJ Mahaney's church in Louisville, even after the filed lawsuits? Piper has happily discussed how much he loves Mark Driscoll's theology. Yesterday, he tweeted

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Jack Graham and others are sending out their pleasantries as well. Not one of them have mentioned those who have been hurt by Driscoll. This, folks, is one of the reasons why many are fleeing the church. They see how the old boys network with one another while showing precious little regard for those hurt by the Mars Hill machine. 

First, they studiously ignored the problems with SGM and now they are doing the same thing here. More and more people are seeing this. The Neo-Calvinist movement is taking hits by supporting the unsupportable. (Both Driscoll and Mahaney are part of the Neo-Calvinist movement.)

Driscoll didn't mention one name of someone that he hurt except the amorphous "church." Not real personal, is it? What about Paul Petry, Bent Meyer, Rob Smith, the 21 pastors and family after family? 

Did you know that Jonna Petry reached out to Piper, begging him to help but I guess that "helping a sister" doesn't fit into Piper's  "standing on the glorious truths" with Mark Driscoll. In my book, these men have clearly demonstrated the priorities of their theology, and it is a theology that I want nothing to do with. "Glorious truths" do not leave people under the bus.

9. The people that Mark Driscoll threw under the bus will stay under the Mars Hill bus and he, along with many Christian leaders and current Mars Hill members, will not give a hoot.

May God have mercy on us. 

Benjamin Corey wrote a great blog for Patheos called Formerly Fundie. I heartily recommend it. He wrote a  prayer for the real lives in the Mars Hill saga. Corey, unlike the *leaders*, actually cares for those who have been run over. Please pray with us.

To the God who invites us to love our neighbors and pray blessings for our enemies, we pray:

We pray for the entire situation surrounding Mars Hill, that whatever the outcome, your will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.

We pray God, that your hand would be upon the lives impacted, both the seen and unseen.

We ask God, that your ears would be attuned to the cries of countless victims of abuse. As when Abel’s blood cried out to you from the ground, we ask that you would hear their cries for deliverance and justice– and that you would act.

We pray for the pastors who were bullied and terminated and ask that you would not quench in them the thirst for serving your people.

We pray for the women who have been silenced, abused, and marginalized; we ask for healing and a renewed voice in their lives as they rediscover your divine image inside of them.

We pray for the many people wrongly shunned by the Mars Hill community and ask that you would grant them peace, healing, and restoration to a safe community of believers.

We pray for the many young men who have loyally patterned their ministry after Mark Driscoll, and that you would bring people into their lives who would lead them to change– so that future victims would be spared from this cycle.

We ask God, that you would protect those who are still members of the Mars Hill community and that your hand of protection would be upon them during this season, and forever.

We pray for the leadership of Mars Hill. We ask God that you would give them supernatural wisdom to see the truth, and the courage to not ignore the voices of injustice, as they make decisions for their local body.

We pray God for the local pastors and churches who surround Mars Hill. We ask that you would equip them with grace and abounding love as they care for former, and soon-to-be former members, of Mars Hill.

We pray for those filled with hurt, anger, bitterness, and resentment. We ask that you would grant them relief from any emotion that is potentially self-destructive.

We pray God for those of us who comment in the public sphere, and ask that you would guide us to choose our words with precision and love during this time. We ask God, that you would enable us to be voices for goodness and justice while holding in tandem the knowledge that we too, are the worst of sinners.

We pray for the family of Mark Driscoll- his wife Grace, and his children. We ask for protection and healing in their own lives and relationships as they travel a road they did not ask for.

Finally, Father, we pray for Mark Driscoll. We ask that you would reveal to his heart the way his sin has damaged many, and that you would bring him– not to hopeless despair– but genuine repentance. We ask for Mark the same future that we pray for ourselves: that your story for his life will somehow be redeemed from brokenness and restored to wholeness.

To all, we pray peace.

We pray these things humbly, in the name of Jesus– the lover of his enemies,

Amen

Lydia's Corner:   Zechariah 1:1-21   Revelation 12:1-17   Psalm 140:1-13   Proverbs 30:17

Comments

Mark Driscoll: 9 Pessimistic Predictions For Those Under the Bus — 258 Comments

  1. Just the fact he reads a statement (carefully parsed by advisors and legal counsel, I would guess), rather than speaking from the heart. This is carefully choreographed to check the proper boxes so that the self-annointed elite that affirm each other will be able to declare his innocence sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, he gets a lovely paid extended vacation.

  2. The men, his supposed advisors and mentors, should be stepping down along with Driscoll for a period of years, not weeks or months, and engage in ministry that does not reap profits or notoriety. They should sit outside of the congregations where abuse has taken place and throw dust in the air and cry out on behalf of all those who have suffered when they knew things were off-killter.

  3. I am ashamed of a church culture that permits theater such as this–may God have mercy and bring a revival of authenticity and truth to the inward being of His Body.

  4. And yet, I have hope in the mercy of Christ expressed by those who love Him without reservation and guile–thanks for listening to my Psalm language–too many years of wrestling with some of these issues.

  5. Cousin of Eutychus wrote:

    Just the fact he reads a statement

    There will be more "prepared statements" in the future for Mark Driscoll. My question: how long can he be handled until he explodes?

  6. Dee wrote:

    Then, there was the *spontaneous yet thoughtful* applause, ending with the obligatory hug of the Mrs, surrounded by his adoring children.

    With, of course, a photographer right there on stage to capture the Kodak moment and immediately publish the photo on the Mars Hill website accompanying the transcript of Driscoll’s “apology.”

    It’s all staged. Phoney baloney.

  7. Was Driscoll wearing hip waders when he delivered that? How many times over the years has this guy said 'I'm sorry' and then gone on doing the same old abusive things over and over again without any change at all. He's trying to fool all of the people all of the time.

  8. @ dee:

    go over to Warren’s blog and/or Twitter. Good night! Its the Zombie Apocalypse.

    Ugh…no thank you. Lately, I find myself lacking the mental/emotional energy to follow every passing detail of Neo-Calvinist shenanigans, beyond briefly checking in on them here. Been honing my focus to homeschooling, patriarchy and homosexuality/gender identity issues instead.

    I assume this is why you mention zinfandel every time you talk about getting away? 😉

  9. TedS. wrote:

    Dee wrote:
    Then, there was the *spontaneous yet thoughtful* applause, ending with the obligatory hug of the Mrs, surrounded by his adoring children.
    With, of course, a photographer right there on stage to capture the Kodak moment and immediately publish the photo on the Mars Hill website accompanying the transcript of Driscoll’s “apology.”
    It’s all staged. Phoney baloney.

    The only thing missing from that final scene was a dog – named Checkers.

  10. The Neo-Cal’s are all very angry men. I think that Driscoll actually was the only one willing to “let it all hang out” unlike the others. That is why they back him with such fervor. He is saying quite loudly what they all believe. I guess he is more honest than they. I find it astounding that Tullian Tch. gets the boot from TGC but Driscoll gets support like none other. It is truly amazing. As far as I know T. Tch. was above reproach but actually called BS on some of their teachings and cover ups. Wow. Wow. Wow.

    I love Calvinists. There are many that I respect and have profited from their teachings but, I will be going to TGC website from now on only to see who is affiliated with them so I can be sure to run in the other direction when I hear them speak etc.

  11. I expect those of us who love Christ and speak our minds will soon be baited and called false disciples. There is no true repentance at Mars Hill where PR matters more than healing the wounded. It’s not all about Jesus and it may never be now. I expect to be slandered in future and I’m ok with that. My Savior was slandered as blasphemous by religious leaders who took God’s name in vain to oppress the ones they were to care for. This is reality. Unfortunately we may be seeing the death of any kind of healthy evangelicalism and the fallout will be enormous. I believe Mark Driscoll is divisive and since he was not removed but instead lauded ten years or so ago when first rebuked, much of the evangelical world is reaping what it has sown. We should be in mourning but we are too proud.

  12. That one tweet “I’m currently writing a story on u” threat to Throckmorton. Just LOLing

    I’m sure Warren is quaking in his boots.

    Thanks for this… It’s quite evident Mark is still in charge, looking for a way to spin this until people go back to sleep.

  13. How sad it is that “leaders” in the “church” are so predictable. Piper had no prayers for those abused by Driscoll, and DeMoss reveals that it is really all just words to them. Words which are used to manipulate and use and not words used to heal and bless. No gospel in their words.

    Look for the flurry of oblique posts from the folks at T4g and TgC using all of their usual silencing and shaming techniques to dismiss and to deflect attention away from their multiple failures of leadership.

  14. It will be hypocritical if social media / internet users are made the scapegoats, since Mars Hill used both to build up their empire.

    Someone named Kevin Miller left this comment at WT’s blog, and I agree:
    “It would seem that instead of spending the last 5 weeks in humble repentance, he’s [Driscoll has] spent that time in developing a PR strategy.”

    There are also a few comments I find very odd from other posters there, ones that are the complete opposite of reality, including one lady who said she is a “global” member of his church and thinks Mark Driscoll has humility in spades.

  15. Paula wrote:

    I’m currently writing a story on u” threat to Throckmorton.

    You have no idea what people are saying to him! It kind of like 5 years of TWW insults rolled up in one day! I did laugh about the guy who was going to write a post on him.

  16. If you check out Wade Burleson’s (ed.) blog (Isoria Ministries) on the ISIS Factcheck article at TGC and read through the comments you will see where I (Melody Kay Young, avatar of a rose) get accused among other things of behavior “unbecoming of a Christian” for bearing witness to my personal experience of the character of the author of that TGC article. In comments, you will see same wording used against me used against another person who personally knows Canon Andrew White. Check my twitter feed for screenshots if Joe Carter deleted his comment to me. What I’m saying is I agree this is just the beginning. We who love Jesus and stand as individuals in reality and truth will be maligned more and more unless the church wakes up. Thankfully the church is bigger than evangelicalism.
    Gram3 wrote:

    How sad it is that “leaders” in the “church” are so predictable. Piper had no prayers for those abused by Driscoll, and DeMoss reveals that it is really all just words to them. Words which are used to manipulate and use and not words used to heal and bless. No gospel in their words.

    Look for the flurry of oblique posts from the folks at T4g and TgC using all of their usual silencing and shaming techniques to dismiss and to deflect attention away from their multiple failures of leadership.

  17. Wade Burleson. Sorry! Melody wrote:

    If you check out Wade Burkeson’s blog (Isoria Ministries) on the ISIS Factcheck article at TGC and read through the comments you will see where I (Melody Kay Young, avatar of a rose) get accused among other things of behavior “unbecoming of a Christian” for bearing witness to my personal experience of the character of the author of that TGC article. In comments, you will see same wording used against me used against another person who personally knows Canon Andrew White. Check my twitter feed for screenshots if Joe Carter deleted his comment to me. What I’m saying is I agree this is just the beginning. We who love Jesus and stand as individuals in reality and truth will be maligned more and more unless the church wakes up. Thankfully the church is bigger than evangelicalism. Gram3 wrote: How sad it is that “leaders” in the “church” are so predictable. Piper had no prayers for those abused by Driscoll, and DeMoss reveals that it is really all just words to them. Words which are used to manipulate and use and not words used to heal and bless. No gospel in their words. Look for the flurry of oblique posts from the folks at T4g and TgC using all of their usual silencing and shaming techniques to dismiss and to deflect attention away from their multiple failures of leadership.

  18. Oh my… got distracted and just got down to the part about DeMoss. I’m just agog at the hiring of A POLITICAL PR FIRM… here he made it sound like a nice organic gathering of mature Christian men (obviously NOT the ex elders, they never did ANYTHING like that right?) who will mentor him and steer him right. Good grief. This is ludicrous. Yup it’s definitely political. It’s just about how to manipulate the masses.

    EXCELLENT POST. Going to read some more… But we all knew this is what it’d be, right?

  19. dee wrote:

    Paula wrote:
    I’m currently writing a story on u” threat to Throckmorton.
    You have no idea what people are saying to him! It kind of like 5 years of TWW insults rolled up in one day! I did laugh about the guy who was going to write a post on him.

    I have no doubt he’s getting some nasty stuff. Even from refugees who know there’s a problem, they have a lot of the emotional baggage and if you cross them (not all, but some) they become little Driscolls. It’s bizarre. So it’d be even worse from the ones still imbibing the Mars Hill Brew.

  20. Same old same old. Business as usual. Can you imagine what would happen to some pew sitter if they acted as MD does? They’d be in endless discipline classes or shunned.
    Men like Driscoll , Piper, Demoss, Keller, hide behind, a man of gawd facade. Thanks be to God I know the true man of God, Jesus.

  21. I hope Mark DeMoss reads this. If not, maybe someone from Mars Hill will read this and get a clue.

    Mark Driscoll is the leader of a cult and nobody is able to question him. In this, he’s no different from David Miscavige. Oh wait…he IS different. That’s because he’s got lots of friends who will protect him since Driscoll teaches the (allegedly) “proper doctrine.” He can do whatever he wants as long as he preaches the right things over the pulpit. And even when he goes over the edge, he’s doing “God’s work” so of course his buds will just take him aside and tell him to tone down the sexytime stuff slightly but otherwise, “good job.”

    The people who were tossed under the bus, fired from their jobs, shunned by the church, or otherwise abused by Driscoll and his elders, deacons and the rest of the “leadership” of Mars Hill Church–they don’t matter. They just don’t. Only the Great Man Mark Driscoll matters. Because it’s all about Jesus *cough*Mark*cough*.

    I think my friends and I have done a pretty good job in taking down Scientology a few pegs over the last two decades. I may live long enough to see Scientology as the first cult laughed out of existence. That said, Mark Driscoll has a cult following now. I predict he’s going to be around for the rest of my life, wreaking havoc on his followers and vengeance on anyone who dares cross him. I hope I’m wrong. I’m afraid I’m not.

    Someone else can pick up the banner of spending years of their life trying to push Driscoll out. I’m not interested.

  22. Driscoll’s speech was a lot of things, but it certainly wasn’t true repentance from the heart in my book. Speaking from experience, the more someone avoids true repentance, the uglier and nastier things usually get. Look for that to happen. I think Dee’s predictions are prescient.

    At the same time, Amen and Amen to the prayer. This is what we all need to be praying for. Unlike so much of what we’re seeing lately, this prayer bespeaks wisdom, spiritual maturity, and hope.

  23. JeffT wrote:

    Was Driscoll wearing hip waders when he delivered that? How times over the years has this guy said ‘I’m sorry’ and then gone on doing the same old abusive things over and over again without any change at all. He’s trying to fool all of the people all of the time.

    And you know, he never seems to actually say “I’m sorry” directly and forthrightly, without enough qualifications and twists in his language to make a strip mall lawyer blush. It never seems to approach genuine contrition. He just tells people he’s apologizing, speaks in generalities and confusing double speak, and generally makes it all about himself. Gives his followers just enough ammunition to think they can squelch dissent in perpetuity “But he apologized, there’s nothing more to say.”

    You’re right to compare this to politics. This is precisely what a very cunning Ted Kennedy did in response to his role in the death of Ms Kopechne, after offering a labyrinthine, half-baked apology, he replied to inquiries with: “I’ll not answer questions on that anymore, I’ve already addressed it, now it’s time to move on for the good of the country.”

  24. Melody wrote:

    I expect those of us who love Christ and speak our minds will soon be baited and called false disciples. There is no true repentance at Mars Hill where PR matters more than healing the wounded. It’s not all about Jesus and it may never be now. I expect to be slandered in future and I’m ok with that. My Savior was slandered as blasphemous by religious leaders who took God’s name in vain to oppress the ones they were to care for. This is reality. Unfortunately we may be seeing the death of any kind of healthy evangelicalism and the fallout will be enormous. I believe Mark Driscoll is divisive and since he was not removed but instead lauded ten years or so ago when first rebuked, much of the evangelical world is reaping what it has sown. We should be in mourning but we are too proud.

    If there’s anything to the Left Behind-type eschatology with the antichrist and the great oppression of the Church and the last days, and there may well be, I am becoming increasingly suspect that the true oppression of Christians will come from within that which calls itself the Church.

  25. Law Prof wrote:

    JeffT wrote:
    Was Driscoll wearing hip waders when he delivered that? How times over the years has this guy said ‘I’m sorry’ and then gone on doing the same old abusive things over and over again without any change at all. He’s trying to fool all of the people all of the time.
    And you know, he never seems to actually say “I’m sorry” directly and forthrightly, without enough qualifications and twists in his language to make a strip mall lawyer blush. It never seems to approach genuine contrition. He just tells people he’s apologizing, speaks in generalities and confusing double speak, and generally makes it all about himself. Gives his followers just enough ammunition to think they can squelch dissent in perpetuity “But he apologized, there’s nothing more to say.”
    You’re right to compare this to politics. This is precisely what a very cunning Ted Kennedy did in response to his role in the death of Ms Kopechne, after offering a labyrinthine, half-baked apology, he replied to inquiries with: “I’ll not answer questions on that anymore, I’ve already addressed it, now it’s time to move on for the good of the country.”

    By “you’re right to compare this to politics”, I meant Dee in the original article.

  26. I suppose you hope you are wrong so that your blog can still have material, right? I mean, Heaven forbid that Driscoll repents, his church forgives him, life goes on, but he’s more silent from the pulpit and you have less to whine about on here.

  27. @ Kates:
    Welcome Kates,
    we’ve been expecting you! If you could add a name or two to add to our list of “What the World is Saying About TWW” we would be much obliged. I am dying to be called an Amalekite.

  28. Here’s what needs to happen. Dee, Deb, Warren, James Duncan, Rob Smith, Dave Kraft, Paul Petry, and Bent Myer. This is what we need to do and how to respond. If Driscoll is going to step it up…so must we. The pressure cannot be let off…it needs to amplify. We must go balls out and increase the pressure in such as way as to remain front and center. So what does that mean?

    1. We stand by and make the plight of Rob Smith, Paul Petry and Bent Myer first. We stand by them, support them, and make sure they get justice. We don’t forget what they endured. To every single thing published, Driscoll and Mars Hill members are reminded of Myer, Petry and Smith. We need to get people into their conferences who can roll out banners and sings saying “We Stand with Paul Petry”, etc.
    2. Regular protests need to happen outside Mars Hill – Each Sunday. The pressure needs to be turned on.
    3. Churches in the Seattle area need to educate their members that Mars Hill is a cult.
    4. Anchor Church (which I think helped plant Mars Hill) needs to go public and repent of planting Mars Hill. They need to disavow, disown and state that they will have nothing to do. But the existence of Mars Hill is a sin and they need to confess the fact that they sent out Driscoll, and call him out.
    5. In our each respective church we need to make a stink about TGC. A Pastor quotes someone from TGC we need to call that pastor up, tell him the story and let him know that we stand by Meyer, Petry, and Smith.
    6. The Elders + Smith, Petry, Meyer need to step it up and not let Driscoll define the issues. They need to increase the pressure.
    7. We need to have Mars Hill be reported to the IRS for misusing their 501c3 status.
    8. Christians needs to get out of their comfort zone and tell their friends about this mess and be on the lookout and discourage reading Driscoll’s.
    9. Dee/Deb…I think you were created for such a time as this. I wonder if you are a Prophet or a Nathan in the 21 Century calling out the frauds. You need to write more and continue to call out. Don’t bow to pressure, step up, and stand tall. Dee you have more balls than Mark Driscoll has.

  29. @ Kates:

    Are you admitting that he has something of which to repent? But of course, even so, his church cannot forgive him on behalf of the people under the bus, he would have to handle that level of repenting between him and the under-the-bus people. But, hey, it could happen, you never know. It would be a great testimony to grace if it did happen. One can hope.

  30. Paula wrote:

    That one tweet “I’m currently writing a story on u” threat to Throckmorton. Just LOLing

    I tweeted back asking what time the article would come out so I could have my popcorn ready. Dead silence.

    Great article, Dee. I agree 100% It was interesting, I got a notice on my Facebook newsfeed from a friend who posted on Driscoll’s FB page. It as all glowing praise, we-support-you-brother talk. The enabling behavior of the Christian community is astounding to me. At what point does the general Christian population say enough is enough? How many more people have to be hurt or how many rude/crude sex comments will they tolerate? I just don’t get it.

  31. Does anyone else wonder what happened to true church discipline a la Matthew 18, and friends who speak the truth to you so you can grow spiritually?

  32. dee wrote:

    I am dying to be called an Amalekite.

    That’s a great idea. I will see if I can find something biblical that is actually good but sounds bad and use it as an invective just for fun. It will take some time but surely something like that can be found.

    Where is Nick when you need him?

  33. Kates wrote:

    I suppose you hope you are wrong so that your blog can still have material, right? I mean, Heaven forbid that Driscoll repents, his church forgives him, life goes on, but he’s more silent from the pulpit and you have less to whine about on here.

    More than his church has been affected. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of former members and employees of MH who have been harmed. His ministry is global — his books worldwide, his sermons everywhere. Some of these teachings have been scrubbed from the MH website. Shouldn’t a lot be said about what has been done?

    He can apologize quickly and easily enough but repentance is more than an apology. And trust shouldn’t be given for some time.

  34. Former CLC’er wrote:

    Does anyone else wonder what happened to true church discipline a la Matthew 18, and friends who speak the truth to you so you can grow spiritually?

    MATTHEW 18 is only (mis)used to bludgeon the sheep. Shepherds are exempt.

  35. JeffT wrote:

    Former CLC’er wrote:
    Does anyone else wonder what happened to true church discipline a la Matthew 18, and friends who speak the truth to you so you can grow spiritually?
    MATTHEW 18 is only (mis)used to bludgeon the sheep. Shepherds are exempt.

    MD has by-laws to get around Matt 18 🙂

  36. Melody, I’ve read A LOT of Joe Carter’s stuff, and most of the time he has proven himself to be, in my opinion, arrogant, less-than-willing to readily and swiftly admit when he’s wrong and impervious to criticism from women. He’s constantly educating his readership on nine things they should know about [insert popular topic]. I’d rather hear more about the One Man who saves.

  37. @ Melody:

    Joe Carter wrote his article before the Foley beheading, I believe. So, if Joe had taken a minute to think before he fired off his post, he might have realized that journalists, along with everyone else who can, have fled ISIS areas. Hence no photo documentation can be expected from journalists whom he would deem worthy.

    I see nothing but inconsistency in his dismissal of internet reporting and conversations, since he pretty much was unknown before he started blogging. Just like Challies, he shows that they think they are experts who are authorized to instruct others what to think and say just because they got a lot of pageviews.

  38. Senenca

    I had the distinct honor of meeting with one of the most well known victims in Greensboro last year for 3 1/2 hours. We ate in a Cracker Barrel and then sat out on the rocking chairs and talked. I was a public health nurse and I have a pretty intact BS detector. I spotted you in the first comment or two. So, you are the one who doesn’t get it.

  39. Kates wrote:

    I suppose you hope you are wrong so that your blog can still have material, right? I mean, Heaven forbid that Driscoll repents, his church forgives him, life goes on, but he’s more silent from the pulpit and you have less to whine about on here.

    Kates, surely you do realize that Driscoll and the entire T4g and TgC crowd have made their fortunes being whiners against culture, without which they would have no material. You do see that, right?

  40. Law Prof wrote:

    I am becoming increasingly suspect that the true oppression of Christians will come from within that which calls itself the Church.

    You have support for that opinion from history. The institutional church plus worldly power does not equal anything good.

  41. dee wrote:

    I am dying to be called an Amalekite

    I have some spare vexatiousness I can loan you if that would help.

  42. Julie Anne wrote:

    The enabling behavior of the Christian community is astounding to me. At what point does the general Christian population say enough is enough? How many more people have to be hurt or how many rude/crude sex comments will they tolerate? I just don’t get it.

    I have been saying this for months and months, if not years. The ‘Christian Community’ is definitely complicit, and enabling, in all of this mess.

    I don’t get it either.

  43. dee wrote:

    I was a public health nurse and I have a pretty intact BS detector.

    I want to say that some of the best BS detectors in the world are carried around in public health nurse’s black bags. I am serious. And If Dee has kept hers and it is now in her purse, believe it. Those batteries never run down. There is a principle in place here. Once you have really seen a thing, you never un-see it. There is no going back to never having seen it. And public health nurses have just about seen it all.

  44. Apparently, Driscoll can turn on the charm when he wants to, which probably is the reason why those Mars Hill folk who have not seen his wrath are so confused. Most likely, the only way he can be stopped will be if so many Mars Hill people vote with their feet and wallets that his church cannot continue. I agree with the Deebs that, unfortunately, his public relations offensive is apt to prevent that. I think I lost the part of my post that praised Warren Throckmorton for keeping us informed, so I’ll say it again: he’s performing an important service! I’m also having trouble posting this. Hope I didn’t post it three times!

    Incidentally, kudos to Warren Throckmorton for kerping us all informed about the Mars Hill mess.

  45. Well, I guess it all got there eventually, complete with “kerping” instead of ” keeping!”

  46. An outstanding example of modern day contrition. “I am sorry if… I hurt anyone; or did anything wrong; or anyone felt that I wronged them… etc.”

    Real contrition involves a broken heart; broken over how my specific sin has harmed others. I once heard a pastor acknowledge his adultery as sinful, and in the same breath, stated, “of course the woman was known for targeting pastors.”

    In our day, it is always someone else’s fault for my behavior. Rarely, if ever, do men acknowledge that they are the problem. Its always someone else.

    George Burns said (regarding show business), “In this business sincerity is everything; if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” Too bad that this is the mantra of many so-called pastors today.

  47. I appreciate what Dee (and / or Deb?) said under number 8: Driscoll doesn’t mention the names of any single person. He must know the names of former pastors and staff that he used his position and used the church to sin against. That seems like a necessary condition for repentance: to publicly acknowledge everyone he can think of that he used the church to sin against and to use his time off to ask for their forgiveness privately.

    After reading the description of Mark DeMoss’s business, I cannot understand how any Christian church or ministry could ever hire a business like that. It may be appropriate in the business world but Christ demands nothing less from us than honesty and repentance, not mere spin.

  48. The PR team is in full action. I find it disgusting. Anyone who has been a victim of spiritual abuse should feel dismayed as their charges turn to the Christianese terms via the PR team to conflate what is happening.

  49. JadedOne wrote:

    Anyone who has been a victim of spiritual abuse should feel dismayed as their charges turn to the Christianese terms via the PR team to conflate what is happening.

    Maybe I didn’t use “conflate” properly. Either way, some of the interaction at Throckmorton’s site is disappointing to me. But then I do know that any high profile individual will have supporters regardless of what is in front of them in black and white.

  50. Robin wrote:

    The Neo-Cal’s are all very angry men. I think that Driscoll actually was the only one willing to “let it all hang out” unlike the others. That is why they back him with such fervor. He is saying quite loudly what they all believe. I guess he is more honest than they. I find it astounding that Tullian Tch. gets the boot from TGC but Driscoll gets support like none other. It is truly amazing. As far as I know T. Tch. was above reproach but actually called BS on some of their teachings and cover ups. Wow. Wow. Wow.

    I love Calvinists. There are many that I respect and have profited from their teachings but, I will be going to TGC website from now on only to see who is affiliated with them so I can be sure to run in the other direction when I hear them speak etc.

  51. here’s my childish take: DeMoss…. in the pacific NW. lots of moss here. ok, I’m done. 😉

  52. Pingback: Theology quote for the day | Civil Commotion

  53. I couldn’t agree with this statement more. I was really hoping for true humility and a real apology.
    I may be wrong, but i saw neither.

    Law Prof wrote:

    And you know, he never seems to actually say “I’m sorry” directly and forthrightly, without enough qualifications and twists in his language to make a strip mall lawyer blush. It never seems to approach genuine contrition. He just tells people he’s apologizing, speaks in generalities and confusing double speak, and generally makes it all about himself.

  54. I concur. The Great Apostasy is bringing/will bring great persecution. That “wheat and chaff” parable isn’t for the faint of heart. @ Law Prof:

  55. As you know, and I have said, I was married far too young. And as many young men I made a number of mistakes….mistakes I have apologized for….and yes…I did hit my wife, and that is wrong…but it was just my youthfullness in how I responded to HER bad behavior. So, while it’s bad, let us not forget these important mitigating circumstances. My angry husband days are behind me and I hope to be a more grandfatherly husband as time goes on. Years from now I am sure my wife and kids will remember some of the bad things I did, but they will also remember all the flowers I bought afterwards….and that surely counts for something…..

    When we stand before God one day there will be no “star witnesses” brought forth to justify behavior and actions. Accountability for your choices is yours to carry alone. There isn’t even a place to make the case of how you actually did a pretty bang up job considering the circumstances.

    As a parent of young kids I am constantly addressing the justifications of behavior. Sure, I shouldn’t hit my sister, but she took my toy dad! Only children think that they can avoid accountability by mentioning others problems. Sure, adults try it, but at least kids truly think they are correct, adults know better(or should).

    One of the most compelling messages of the Gospel is that what is “justified” is not the issue. It calls us to lay down our rights even in terrible circumstances. So, even if the “truth” of that matter is that the people “under the bus” were behaving sinfully, the response to, and treatment of, these individuals is wrong.

    The apology by MD reminds me, frame by frame, of the apology of the Narcisitic pastor I worked for a number of years ago. Sounded really humble, but worked in a bunch of excuses. Excuses that were disguised as humility. Sort of like the humble brag…..IE, In my immaturity(which I am growing through) I responded inappropriately when so and so did THIS. And when he did THIS, oh, and also THIS, WHICH IS SO TOTALLY WRONG YOU GUYS, for like, for real, totally wrong you know?….So, when they did THIS(just wanted to remind you what they did in case you forgot because it was soooo sooo bad and mean) I, in my desire to love Jesus, just went t0o far….and I am totally sorry about that. But you can totally get why I felt I had to do something, right????

    True apology never explains the behavior, it just apologizes…..

  56. “The men, his supposed advisors and mentors, should be stepping down along with Driscoll for a period of years, not weeks or months, and engage in ministry that does not reap profits or notoriety. ” Thats not how you get ahead in the corp.

  57. “True apology never explains the behavior, it just apologizes…..”

    But then it has no PR value.

    But I agree with you, I apologized like that in front of the Church a few times for some awful mistakes, I shared to much during the prayer session and other sins along those lines. People to a one looked at me like I should provide airsick bags along with my apology, which was not accepted and rightly mocked.

  58. Dee, Deb or anyone with insight, did the script Mark read from sound like it was written by him? Or does it sound like another voice had edited the script? I haven’t listened to his sermons or other talks, so I don’t know how he normally expresses himself. Was there any change in body language, intonation, word choices, facial expressions, eye contact or affect in this particular speech? I though the premeditated move of having his family join him on stage was a good tactic to keep anyone from asking questions. Hiding behind his wife and kids is one way to dampen the blows coming in from the disaffected. However, it is not very manly!

  59. **Note to members of TGC, T4G, & Christian leaders with influence**

    If you are bothered by this current PR campaign as manipulation, please speak out now very clearly.

  60. Julie Anne wrote:

    At what point does the general Christian population say enough is enough? How many more people have to be hurt or how many rude/crude sex comments will they tolerate? I just don’t get it.

    Not only that, add the attacks. Warren Throckmorton is getting hammered.

  61. @ dee:
    Julie, Dee, the other day, a friend who was abused said, straight up: “the church doesn’t REALLY want to deal with people’s dirt.” I believe the saccharine acceptance of this “repentance” is simply easier to deal with, and lets the average joe or jane think that the problem has disappeared.

  62. We know that the Mark DeMoss PR firm has been brought in to help in this situation. We wonder who is paying for this as it will not come cheap. Perhaps DeMoss is donating his services to his friend?

    If there’s enough Tithes in the slush fund to pay a book-juicing company $200 grand, there’s Tithes enough in the slush fund to pay off a Spinmeister.

    Instead, Driscoll and Mars Hill will be presented as the victims and social media will be proclaimed the *problem.*

    Isn’t being able to induce “Pity Me” and play the Poor Poor Victim while reversing/shifting the blame onto the victims the most consistent sign of a sociopath?

    From the Mark DeMoss PR firm’s website.

    We are asked to help organizations with thinking, branding, marketing, advertising, crisis management, digital strategy and traditional media relations. Ultimately, we see ourselves as being in the word business because all of these disciplines revolve around words.

    Isn’t this “Redefine Everything into Semantics and then go for the kill on your home turf with debating skills?” Last time I had that tactic used on me was to Prove the Moral and Intellectual Superiority of Soviet Communism.

    The right words, applied well, can move public opinion and compel people to action.

    Isn’t that “manipulation through propaganda”?

    This is a “Brave New World” strategy. The words mean whatever *they* say they mean.

    My Dear Wormwood,
    Remember my previous epistle regarding Semantics, specifically the redefinition of words into their “diabolical meanings”?
    Your Ravenously Affectionate Uncle,
    Screwtape

  63. Ann wrote:

    I though the premeditated move of having his family join him on stage was a good tactic to keep anyone from asking questions. Hiding behind his wife and kids is one way to dampen the blows coming in from the disaffected.

    Works for all those politicians who got caught with their pants down or unzipped.

    And don’t forget The Crying Children, The Children, The Children.

  64. Calvinist Janeway wrote:

    I believe the saccharine acceptance of this “repentance” is simply easier to deal with, and lets the average joe or jane think that the problem has disappeared.

    Well said!

  65. JadedOne wrote:

    The PR team is in full action. I find it disgusting. Anyone who has been a victim of spiritual abuse should feel dismayed as their charges turn to the Christianese terms via the PR team to conflate what is happening.

    THE SPIN IS IN!

  66. To New Commenters, Dispatched By PR

    I am off to bed. All new commenters go into moderation so you may not be approved until morning. It is not a conspiracy. However, do me a favor-if you want to insult us, try to use some pizazz/sparkle/ twinkle. I am getting bored

  67. mirele wrote:

    That’s because he’s got lots of friends who will protect him since Driscoll teaches the (allegedly) “proper doctrine.” He can do whatever he wants as long as he preaches the right things over the pulpit.

    Purity of Ideology, Comrade.
    Purity of Ideology.

  68. Adam Borsay wrote:

    True apology never explains the behavior, it just apologizes…..

    YES! Love the rest of your satirical comment, btw. But you really nail it there.

  69. TedS. wrote:

    With, of course, a photographer right there on stage to capture the Kodak moment and immediately publish the photo on the Mars Hill website accompanying the transcript of Driscoll’s “apology.”

    Order of Lenin for the Party Commissar of Spontaneous People’s Demonstrations.

  70. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    It’s times like this I wish I was born a sociopath.

    Because Sociopaths WIN.

    Just remember HUG, *sociopath* is an anagram for *I Opt Chaos.*

    Maybe you can still win?

  71. dee wrote:

    I am dying to be called an Amalekite.

    evil ot hctiw a reffus ton tlahs uohT
    ~ Exodus 22:18 ~

    (Well it does read right to left, kinda sorta like the original?)

  72. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    It’s times like this I wish I was born a sociopath.

    Because Sociopaths WIN.

    Not really because they can never experience true love. The things that can be gained through manipulation and deception pale before loving and being loved. I once asked my students during a discussion about social Darwinism, which was the worst handicap, can’t see or can’t love? I meant to be rhetorical but they answered, unanimously, ‘can’t love.’

  73. JeffT wrote:

    How many times over the years has this guy said ‘I’m sorry’ and then gone on doing the same old abusive things over and over again without any change at all.

    I think that this is standard operating procedure for this New Calvinist crowd.

    We attended an A29 church pastored by a young guy who had been mentored by Driscoll. This guy, being young, inexperienced, and uneducated, made MANY mistakes and many bad decisions. Each time, the elders gathered behind closed doors, and then the next Sunday pronounced a “new direction” for the church. No mention was ever made about the past, re: bad decisions, mistakes, etc. Occasionally the pastor would offer a vague “mistakes were made” apology, and these apologies seemed to have functioned in a talisman-like role, automatically warding off all potential criticism. (i.e. “I apologized already, so we shouldn’t talk about it anymore. If you still want to talk about it, you must be b*tter/sinful, etc.”)

  74. mimesis wrote:

    Apparently, Driscoll can turn on the charm when he wants to, which probably is the reason why those Mars Hill folk who have not seen his wrath are so confused.

    I know nothing about how Mark Driscoll behaves in his personal life with his friends and family. I do know that one of the most infamous traits of an abusive individual is the ability to skillfully employ charm to offset his or her abusive episodes.

  75. JeffT wrote:

    The only thing missing from that final scene was a dog – named Checkers.

    You mean the one with three legs, that Driscoll rescued from the side of the road after he was hit by an Arminian and left to suffer?

  76. Given MD’s unusual take on Biblical accounts, such as the life of Queen Esther, perhaps his position is that David, upon being confronted with fornication and murder, hired a PR Firm to write the Psalms of repentance. That would make his PR strategy “Biblical”.

  77. So why is Mark Driscoll like this? Is he stuck in a permanent state of puberty? Or is he proving that its possible for guys to have bad cases of PMS? I guess anything is possible! 😛

  78. I've been reading up on almost everything available to read about this situation (been sick recently so he plenty of time to do this!)

    I'm a minister's wife in South Africa and the ramifications of this scandal are worldwide. I'm just a "nobody" trying my best to spread the Gospel but geez this whole thing is shocking! I must say I've lost a bit of trust in Christian leaders… What ever happened to humility and servant hearted godly men.. Men who (like my hubby) just want to love people and see them saved. This is doing so much damage and I weep for Christ's bride… I hope these "men" realize they will stand before God one day and give account of the flock that was entrusted to them.. And I can assure you no PR firm will be present!!!

  79. Law Prof wrote:

    Melody wrote:

    I expect those of us who love Christ and speak our minds will soon be baited and called false disciples. There is no true repentance at Mars Hill where PR matters more than healing the wounded. It’s not all about Jesus and it may never be now. I expect to be slandered in future and I’m ok with that. My Savior was slandered as blasphemous by religious leaders who took God’s name in vain to oppress the ones they were to care for. This is reality. Unfortunately we may be seeing the death of any kind of healthy evangelicalism and the fallout will be enormous. I believe Mark Driscoll is divisive and since he was not removed but instead lauded ten years or so ago when first rebuked, much of the evangelical world is reaping what it has sown. We should be in mourning but we are too proud.

    If there’s anything to the Left Behind-type eschatology with the antichrist and the great oppression of the Church and the last days, and there may well be, I am becoming increasingly suspect that the true oppression of Christians will come from within that which calls itself the Church.

    Truth.

  80. Mr.H wrote:

    JeffT wrote:

    The only thing missing from that final scene was a dog – named Checkers.

    You mean the one with three legs, that Driscoll rescued from the side of the road after he was hit by an Arminian and left to suffer?

    Flipping hilarious!

  81. dee wrote:

    They want, now get ready for this… an apology.

    They will never get one, of course. I think most observers will be aware of the trajectory MH is on now; we might quibble over the details of your predictions, but we all understand the gist of what’s going on. To me, that’s no longer the point, and it is all about those “under the bus” now.

    The presence of a PR expert in this whole business is probably the one that grieves me the most. There came a point, in the turbulent 3-year relationship between the Sanhedrin and Jesus, where the former declared: We have no king but Caesar! There are numerous hints in the Bible that there is such a thing as a point of no return. And the reason that’s sad is down to the People Under the Bus, who are praying, not against Fiscal, but for him.

    For all they have been through at Fiscal’s hands, they haven’t spat him out in return and are not calling for his head. Whatever Fiscal does or does not mean, I’m interested in the stories of people at We Love Mars Hill, and when these people say that they love him, I believe them. They are, I believe, truly saddened to see him marching implacably towards the aforesaid point of no return. In short, they are living and behaving like their real Shepherd, and so it is they who truly carry the gospel to Seattle.

    So, to counterpoint the title of this thread, I respectfully submit a couple of optimistic predictions for those under the bus:

     Jesus, in whom they have placed their confidence, will remain unashamed to call them his brothers and sisters
     Their tribe will increase
     Their patience and love will increasingly be recognised
     The gates of hades (however they are manned) will not prevail against them
     The Lord will rise upon them, and his glory will appear over them – one way or another

  82. Look, I know God. We’re kinda tight. In my own personal experience, and in my immediate circle’s experience, all of this won’t matter. It won’t matter that MD is trying to lead these people off a cliff, it won’t matter whether he apologizes or not, it won’t matter what happens to MH. God will not let His children go, whether we see the fruits of it in this life or not. He won’t. His message can’t get tarnished by some silly human. We should speak truth and Truth, because that is what we’re called to do. We should shine a light in the darkness. We should love and support those who have been hurt. We should insist on justice (even earthly justice if it’s required) But we should also not be afraid for them, because God’s love for individuals is not mediated through man, but through the Son of Man.

    He has influence and power and lots and lots of ears, but God has spoken over man before and will continue to do so.

  83. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The presence of a PR expert in this whole business is probably the one that grieves me the most.

    Me too. I checked the DeMoss firm website. You want to be grieved, take a look at the ministries listed there who also have had to have “help” from this firm. There seems to be money to be made in the peripheral business of digging out big ministries when they get into “difficulties.”

    May I throw in a quote here from one of my favorite persons?

    “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” C. S. Lewis

  84. Mr.H wrote:

    JeffT wrote:
    How many times over the years has this guy said ‘I’m sorry’ and then gone on doing the same old abusive things over and over again without any change at all.
    I think that this is standard operating procedure for this New Calvinist crowd.
    We attended an A29 church pastored by a young guy who had been mentored by Driscoll. This guy, being young, inexperienced, and uneducated, made MANY mistakes and many bad decisions. Each time, the elders gathered behind closed doors, and then the next Sunday pronounced a “new direction” for the church. No mention was ever made about the past, re: bad decisions, mistakes, etc. Occasionally the pastor would offer a vague “mistakes were made” apology, and these apologies seemed to have functioned in a talisman-like role, automatically warding off all potential criticism. (i.e. “I apologized already, so we shouldn’t talk about it anymore. If you still want to talk about it, you must be b*tter/sinful, etc.”)

    I had a pastor who lied in front of the church from the pulpit, my wife and I looked at each other in disbelief. I confronted him at the next elder’s meeting the following Sunday, you should’ve seen his face turn from the perpetual fatherly smile to outright hatred and disgust, he got very angry, but quickly composed himself then found about a half dozen amazingly convoluted reasons why what he said wasn’t really a lie. When I persisted and kept holding him to the truth (it was not easy, like wrestling with an eel), he immediately changed tactics and said what he said was actually “good for the church”, he’d meant well–as if that made it less of a lie! In reality, it was a 100% self-serving lie that would increase his control over the church (though I’m sure in his mind he believed any consolidation of his power was good for the church). Even at this, I persisted, and after I had a witness corroborate, the other elders finally agreed that he should apologize for lying.

    The next Sunday he gave his apology during announcements. It was the most confusing thing I’ve ever heard come out of his mouth (and that’s saying something, this is a guy who preached that the government was storing up guillotines to behead Christians and that Psalms 37:25 proved that the poor could not be God’s children). He never really did say he’d done anything wrong; at the end, there was simply nothing to it, the people in the church not in the know would have the impression that rather than telling an outright lie, he’d misspoke, that really this was a tiresome thing he had to do because of petty pedantic people. Basically, he lied again.

    But later on, at the final conflict that I and another elder had with this fellow, when I reminded the elder Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    dee wrote:
    They want, now get ready for this… an apology.
    They will never get one, of course. I think most observers will be aware of the trajectory MH is on now; we might quibble over the details of your predictions, but we all understand the gist of what’s going on. To me, that’s no longer the point, and it is all about those “under the bus” now.
    The presence of a PR expert in this whole business is probably the one that grieves me the most. There came a point, in the turbulent 3-year relationship between the Sanhedrin and Jesus, where the former declared: We have no king but Caesar! There are numerous hints in the Bible that there is such a thing as a point of no return. And the reason that’s sad is down to the People Under the Bus, who are praying, not against Fiscal, but for him.
    For all they have been through at Fiscal’s hands, they haven’t spat him out in return and are not calling for his head. Whatever Fiscal does or does not mean, I’m interested in the stories of people at We Love Mars Hill, and when these people say that they love him, I believe them. They are, I believe, truly saddened to see him marching implacably towards the aforesaid point of no return. In short, they are living and behaving like their real Shepherd, and so it is they who truly carry the gospel to Seattle.
    So, to counterpoint the title of this thread, I respectfully submit a couple of optimistic predictions for those under the bus:
     Jesus, in whom they have placed their confidence, will remain unashamed to call them his brothers and sisters
     Their tribe will increase
     Their patience and love will increasingly be recognised
     The gates of hades (however they are manned) will not prevail against them
     The Lord will rise upon them, and his glory will appear over them – one way or another

    Wish I were in Scotland and could be in a fellowship with you.

  85. I do believe Pastor Driscoll should, in all probability, step down for a significant season (perhaps leave the pastoral ministry altogether.) But I’m certainly not in a position to make that call.
    *
    May his “victims” not become captive to their own anger and desire for vengeance. Letting a desire for revenge run your life is a lousy way to live.
    *
    Mark Driscoll WILL be sued; This is the litigious United States of America. Those suing him will want the Mars Hills churches to pony up since Mark Driscoll probably is not all that wealthy – though I’m sure he’s made a lot of money in the past several years; probably spent it too. The court system will bitterly disappoint them.
    *
    Finally, there are a dozen Mark Driscolls out there; let’s face it; a never ending supply of Elmer Gantrys will be born every generation. We are a broken world.

    God help us.

  86. I’m one of those people at a surrounding local church in Seattle. Our church was planted about 5 years ago, originally as an Acts 29 church, but our elders voted and we affirmed the decision to leave quite awhile ago. Full disclosure: this church is primarily made up of former MH members. I never regularly attended MH and that makes me an anomaly here (I moved from Wisconsin 14 months ago). Most of our founding members were involved at the Ballard, U-Disrict and the now defunct Lake City campuses. You can see many of their stories floating around online.

    Sometime in perhaps April or May, our pastors reached out to us and said if we needed to talk about what was going on on the Hill they would be available. We started regularly praying for her members and leaders. Our church’s own membership exploded through the roof. I serve in kids ministry, and since I serve every other week, I don’t often see tons of kids I don’t know. This was different. There were new kids, and we were reaching our capacity by 10 minutes before the service started, when we were used to checking in kids at 20 minutes after. A friend of mine started leaning over during service and pointing out, “there’s my old pastor. There’s my last CG leader. And the one who recplaced him.

    It has been so encouraging to see our local church (and I’m assuming many others) welcome hurting Hill members in. We welcome newbies every Sunday, preach the gospel and invite them in to our community. I’ve loved hearing our pastors invite those who at burned out of church ro take a guilt-free season off from serving. As a young Christian in Seattle, I know a lot of MH people. I’ve had many of them in recent months say, “I’m looking for a new church. When and where does yours meet?” I’m so thankful for a church home I feel excited about.

  87. One more prediction: When MD comes back at the end of his six week vacation, he will LOOK different. He’s on a mission to change his “image” and so he will come back with a gray beard and probably some gray at the temples. He’ll have bought a whole new wardrobe and will be trying to present himself as some kind of elder statesman instead of his current angry young man persona.

  88. Nancy wrote:

    Me too. I checked the DeMoss firm website. You want to be grieved, take a look at the ministries listed there who also have had to have “help” from this firm. There seems to be money to be made in the peripheral business of digging out big ministries when they get into “difficulties.”

    Again, THE FIX IS IN!

  89.   __

    Mountain Time: “Da MarzHil Bus Wheels Keep On Turning, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

      “There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus, and by God’s grace, it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done” – Mark Driscoll.

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

    huh?

      It has finally found broad media exposure, that MD has been raging like a proverbial madman under the guise of a Reformed Pastor.

    What?

    Whom do da Marz?Hil bus wheels ‘now’ toll?

      Those who abuse the ‘trusted’ privilege of driving da proverbial Marzhil church bus, may soon find themselves under it.

    *
    “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen…”
    ~ Winston Churchill

    …maybe you should surrender da bus keys, Mark, fo you hurt somebuddy else, huh?

    (sadface)

    Becoming ‘like’ sounding brass, perhaps?

    Clang, Clang, Clang, Clang, Clang, Clang, Clang!

    *

    …I’ve seen spiritual abuse and the unfortunate damage it has done,
    A little bit of it infecting too many a soul,
    But every abusive pastor is like a setting sun… [1]

    Sopy
    __
    [1] inspiration: Neil Young – “Needle And The Damage Done…”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd3oqvnDKQk

    ;~)

  90. Mark Driscoll has had a ton of people around him who have loved him. He has noooo idea how incredibly blessed he has been, and still is.

  91. Eagle, that’s funny! But seriously, I do believe being stuck in puberty, or at a specific point of adolescence, is a real thing. Many deemed to have a personality disorder, narcissism being one, are viewed potentially as being perpetually stuck at an adolescent point. Perhaps this was a past point he was abused. I’ve personally witnessed this in a few individuals close to me. I wonder this about MD…@ Eagle:

  92. You know, I’m thinking there are only two possible ways for Mark Driscoll to be removed permanently from his role in Mars Hill churches.

    1. To be caught in the act of some truly egregious sin that is also a crime by one or more regular joes who are not part of MHC, or are but actually have some integrity.

    2. Since some have made comparisons to Richard Nixon, maybe some of these new elders can set up a secret taping system in Driscoll’s private office as well as every conference room that he has used. The next time one of them gets summoned to a personal meeting with Driscoll, make sure he’s wired first or has some other way to at least audio record everything. Video would be even better–then it could be uploaded to Youtube. Yes, this would be risking a lawsuit. However, this may be the only way to reach much of the current laity of Mars Hill churches with what their favorite pastor is really like when he’s not behind the pulpit.

  93. Kate wrote:

    I’m one of those people at a surrounding local church in Seattle. Our church was planted about 5 years ago, originally as an Acts 29 church, but our elders voted and we affirmed the decision to leave quite awhile ago. Full disclosure: this church is primarily made up of former MH members. I never regularly attended MH and that makes me an anomaly here (I moved from Wisconsin 14 months ago). Most of our founding members were involved at the Ballard, U-Disrict and the now defunct Lake City campuses. You can see many of their stories floating around online.

    Sometime in perhaps April or May, our pastors reached out to us and said if we needed to talk about what was going on on the Hill they would be available. We started regularly praying for her members and leaders. Our church’s own membership exploded through the roof. I serve in kids ministry, and since I serve every other week, I don’t often see tons of kids I don’t know. This was different. There were new kids, and we were reaching our capacity by 10 minutes before the service started, when we were used to checking in kids at 20 minutes after. A friend of mine started leaning over during service and pointing out, “there’s my old pastor. There’s my last CG leader. And the one who recplaced him.

    It has been so encouraging to see our local church (and I’m assuming many others) welcome hurting Hill members in. We welcome newbies every Sunday, preach the gospel and invite them in to our community. I’ve loved hearing our pastors invite those who at burned out of church ro take a guilt-free season off from serving. As a young Christian in Seattle, I know a lot of MH people. I’ve had many of them in recent months say, “I’m looking for a new church. When and where does yours meet?” I’m so thankful for a church home I feel excited about.

    This is wonderful news!!! Thank you so much for posting!

  94. Great point, I agree. In fact, upon seeing the picture of MD hugging his wife after Sunday’s announcement (brilliant move BTW) I thought he looked a bit older, grater, etc@ Elizabeth Lee:

  95. senecagriggs yahoo wrote:

    I’m wondering what the victims want; repentance or punishment. Tough call for the victims.

    Not really.

    1. Confession
    2. Repentance
    3. Restitution
    4. Reconciliation

    But believing it will actually happen?
    That’s the tough call.

  96. Patrice wrote:

    There’s a lovely fascinating new entry by Karen Schaeffer at
    http://welovemarshill.com/post/95725540360/karen-schaeffer-a-letter-to-mark-driscoll

    I had just read that as well. Fascinating. MD may be one of the most loved leaders in the US. He seems not to know this. What I see in many of the leaders who will not repent and lay their idols of powers and fame down is hardened hearts. They are no longer able to see and hear reality. They run in fear from God and turn to PR firms instead. SGM/Mahaney did the same thing with the AOR group. It won’t work.

  97. Eagle wrote:

    Anchor Church (which I think helped plant Mars Hill) needs to go public and repent of planting Mars Hill. They need to disavow, disown and state that they will have nothing to do. But the existence of Mars Hill is a sin and they need to confess the fact that they sent out Driscoll, and call him out.

    You mean ANTIOCH. Not Anchor.
    Anchor Church is a church started by EX-MarsHill people.
    Antioch, founded by the late Ken Hutcherson, initially funded Driscoll and Moi to plant MarsHill.

  98. NJ wrote:

    1. To be caught in the act of some truly egregious sin that is also a crime by one or more regular joes who are not part of MHC, or are but actually have some integrity.

    I truly, truly hope this does not happen. Yet ironically, it really would be probably the only thing that would make the MD-supporting-theological-big-dogs (Piper, etc.) put their collective foot down finally.

  99. Eagle wrote:

    So why is Mark Driscoll like this? Is he stuck in a permanent state of puberty? Or is he proving that its possible for guys to have bad cases of PMS? I guess anything is possible!

    According to his former secretary whom he fired for ‘heresy’ for suggesting that he needed accountability from elders, Driscoll was physically and verbally abused by his father. That would make sense because he seems to have this bottomless well of anger.

    Most children of abusers are resolved to be better parents and better people and would not think of being abusive. There are a small percentage though that grow up to identify with the aggressor. I am sure that Driscoll doesn’t believe in secular therapy but I wish he would get it.

  100. Sara wrote:

    I truly, truly hope this does not happen. Yet ironically, it really would be probably the only thing that would make the MD-supporting-theological-big-dogs (Piper, etc.) put their collective foot down finally.

    I hope that the sin isn’t something that hurts a lot of innocent people, but I do hope that this happens (provided that there is a sin already there and it’s a legitimate issue of legal justice- the Global Fund kerfluffle, perhaps?). God let Israel be conquered, sometimes He lets Christians go to jail.

  101. Sara, I would not want that to happen either. But where there is no real accountability, there aren’t many options.

    If instead of a *professional* team of “mature men”, he had announced that he was being held to accountability and mentoring by the likes of JMac, Sproul Sr., Alistair Begg, Tullian and/or Boz Tchividian, and if health permitted, J.I. Packer, then I might be thinking real change was in the offing. Preferably with an announcement of a meeting between him and the 21 pastors, along with any other ex-MHC folks having unresolved business with him, overseen by the aforementioned men.
    Finished with a simple, no-frills apology would have been very effective.

  102. There are some things in this post that are spot on.

    Recent problems in these mega churches, or any churches, come from management problems.

    That is true.

    Well, the answer then, is to address the management problem, not just the media fallout.

    But in the Mars Hill situation, the only thing being addressed is the negative media and criticism. They are trying to simply clean off and reset the table, but leave the management in tact.

    The reason there are problems is the personal failings of people as demonstrated by how they manage and relate to others. If these people are in system where they cannot be disciplined, then the problems will resurface.

    As I understand the situation, Mars Hill’s bylaws are basically rigged to protect Driscoll from consequences. Sure, he can be chided, but he really can’t be disciplined.

    That is the problem. He fears no one, except the contining drip, drip of media criticism. So the answer is to hire a media consultant and address the negative media.

    Eventually, people vote with their feet, their pocketbooks and their loyalty. The loyalty is what brings engergy to any organization. When people lose confidence or they see others around them losing confidence, there is a drain of energy. It may not always be perceptive to the outsider, but the drain is real. The momentum is gone. Never to be retrieved in the same way.

    That has happened at Mars Hill.

    They will create positive media. They will always have a following because you can fool a lot of people, and some of the things preached from that pulpit are excellent.

    But they will not be the force they once were.

    I don’t know what the rememdy is for those who have been hurt. I am not sure they will be satisfied by what eventually settles out.

    The ultimate solution, however, is to create new churches, new places of worship with authentic leadership. Create some right in Mars Hill’s backyard.

    That demonstrates more than anything the difference between a healthy church and dysfunction. And people will notice that.

  103. Melissa wrote:

    Eagle, that’s funny! But seriously, I do believe being stuck in puberty, or at a specific point of adolescence, is a real thing. Many deemed to have a personality disorder, narcissism being one, are viewed potentially as being perpetually stuck at an adolescent point. Perhaps this was a past point he was abused. I’ve personally witnessed this in a few individuals close to me. I wonder this about MD…@ Eagle:

    I’ve encountered it also, and I’ve heard it put that around the age of 6 is often the stopping point to emotional development

  104. One reason I have difficulty accepting a Driscoll repentance speech is the climate of present day churchland. The Driscolls of the American church view their churches as businesses to be run and a way to make profits.

    Driscoll hires a public relations firm to help him turn things around, rather than coming to a personal realization of how his anger, controlling nature, and sexism have hurt so many people, and then issuing a heart felt apology and making changes in his life.

    I see this repentance speech and six week, self- imposed lay off as a strategy to salvage a damaged brand, not to make amends to people.

    It’s more marketing, because he and his church do not want the revenue stream to dry up. That’s my perception.

    I found some interesting quotes from another site that I also copied to Julie Anne’s blog the other day.

    Someone at this other site noted that here you have a bunch of male elders/preachers now speaking out against Driscoll on blogs and forums because of Driscoll’s treatment of them, the men.

    Yet, this person went on to explain, these male elders/preachers were (are?) fine with the warped gender complementarianism teachings espoused by Driscoll, which, in effect, leads to their entire church treating women poorly.

    These men are seemingly okay with the Driscoll church berating women and treating women like second class citizens on a regular basis.

    However, the men only started to chaff and speak out when Driscoll started to treat them (the men) the same way as they had been treating women all along (and using the Bible to justify the mistreatment, to top it off) and Driscoll did not let up on the abuse.

    This also gets back to some point I made here or Julie Anne’s blog that Driscoll is not only sexist against women, but he also treats a lot of men poorly.

    Based on what I’ve seen so far from numerous blogs of people who have worked with and for the guy, Driscoll does not like any man to challenge him or his authority.

    He also has a very limited idea of what manhood is, to the point he considers manliness a caricature – a big, muscled, tough guy who kicks sand into the 90 pound man’s face on the beach.

    Maybe it took the men at Driscoll’s church a lot longer to come to that realization that he treats most men as poorly as he does the women and has been teaching them to view and treat women the entire time.

  105. @ Kate:

    This is really good news, and I must stand corrected… In saying that the People Under the Bus who still truly love God are the true carriers of the gospel to Seattle, of course I completely missed the many who’ve been quietly getting on with the job all along. My apologies, and every blessing to you in Christ.

  106. Law Prof wrote:

    I am becoming increasingly suspect that the true oppression of Christians will come from within that which calls itself the Church.

    Bingo.

  107. NJ wrote:

    You know, I’m thinking there are only two possible ways for Mark Driscoll to be removed permanently from his role in Mars Hill churches.
    1. To be caught in the act of some truly egregious sin that is also a crime by one or more regular joes who are not part of MHC, or are but actually have some integrity.
    2. Since some have made comparisons to Richard Nixon, maybe some of these new elders can set up a secret taping system in Driscoll’s private office as well as every conference room that he has used. The next time one of them gets summoned to a personal meeting with Driscoll, make sure he’s wired first or has some other way to at least audio record everything. Video would be even better–then it could be uploaded to Youtube. Yes, this would be risking a lawsuit. However, this may be the only way to reach much of the current laity of Mars Hill churches with what their favorite pastor is really like when he’s not behind the pulpit.

    If they wire themselves or surreptitiously record him on their cell phones, it’s a crime in the state of Washington, as it’s a two-party consent state. Of course, as the lessons of Mars Hill and half of the U.S. Congress demonstrate, not every crime is prosecuted.

  108. NJ wrote:

    If instead of a *professional* team of “mature men”, he had announced that he was being held to accountability and mentoring by the likes of JMac, Sproul Sr., Alistair Begg, Tullian and/or Boz Tchividian, and if health permitted, J.I. Packer, then I might be thinking real change was in the offing.

    Agreed. And is it also unreasonable to dream about adding some females to that list, not for the purposes of accountability but for the purposes of exhorting him to consider the condition of his heart toward women to help him overcome a clearly-ingrained misogyny? I was trying to come up with the names of some well-respected Calvinist women and…[crickets].

  109. Oh, and let me add, as night follows day, the analogy of King David is always invoked in these situations.

    You know, David was a man after God’s own heart, sinned, but God did not take away his kingdom.

    What arrogance and misapplication of scripture.

    David’s position of king was a fact of historical and prophetical significance that God established and preserved.

    These pastors are not David. They were never annointed by Samuel, God’s prophet, on direct command from God. They have no kingdom.

    For these guys, or their followers, to compare themselves to David is awful.

    The NT clearly teaches that God forgives our sin if we confess. The NT also teaches the importance of repentance.

    And the NT gives the standards for pastors, elders, bishops etc. Some important ones are that they are not to be lovers of money, pugnacious, and that they are to have a good reputation with people for the way they conduct themselves.

    God forgives us all for not living up to His standards, but the forgiveness does not operate to remove the NT standards for undershepherds who are supposed to lovingly watch over the church.

  110. @ Anonymous:

    It’s interesting to note that MD was a communication major (whatever that means). MD/MH was grown via media/internet as those areas grew. MH/MD is trying to redeem themselves via media/PR.

  111. NJ wrote:

    he had announced that he was being held to accountability and mentoring by the likes of JMac, Sproul Sr.

    Though I would take JMac and Sproul Sr off that list, but that’s just me….

    My dream list of men would be the late Brennan Manning, Henri Nouwen, Boz Tchividjian, Tim Keller (maybe).

  112. Eagle wrote:

    So why is Mark Driscoll like this? Is he stuck in a permanent state of puberty? Or is he proving that its possible for guys to have bad cases of PMS? I guess anything is possible!

    Didn’t MD already address this in “his” book? It’s Grace’s fault for not servicing him.\

  113. senecagriggs yahoo wrote:

    I do believe Pastor Driscoll should… perhaps leave the pastoral ministry altogether…

    As far as I know, he’s never been in it.

    May his “victims” not become captive to their own anger and desire for vengeance. Letting a desire for revenge run your life is a lousy way to live.

    Actually, I wholeheartedly agree. That is a tough battle, and I say that as someone who has had to fight it (or one like it) myself. But there are evidently many in See Addle who are winning it (see, e.g., the aforesaid WeLoveMarsHill site).

    … Mark Driscoll probably is not all that wealthy…

    Hmm… that may depend, as the saying goes, on what the precise definition of “is” is.

    Finally, there are a dozen Mark Driscolls out there.

    Well, let’s be thankful for small mercies – I take it you’ve managed to track down and neutralise the others, then. (Though not, I hope, with extreme prejudice.)

  114. Former CLC’er wrote:

    Does anyone else wonder what happened to true church discipline a la Matthew 18, and friends who speak the truth to you so you can grow spiritually?

    There is a problem with church discipline. It is not defined a priori. Therefore, it can applied any old which way. Therefore, a pastor can apply it to a church member who wants to know how much his pastor is paid and not apply it to the pastor who uses church money to buy a place on the NYTimes best seller list.

    Church discipline is a crock. Read the *experts* like 9 Marks, etc You will note they never,ever define what they discipline. There is a reason for that.

  115. Wesley wrote:

    After reading the description of Mark DeMoss’s business, I cannot understand how any Christian church or ministry could ever hire a business like that. It may be appropriate in the business world but Christ demands nothing less from us than honesty and repentance, not mere spin.

    But, they are going to argue that Driscoll did very little wrong. Sad thing is, i bet Driscoll might feel the same way. So, they must get us to change our minds.

    You should see what is happening on Twitter. Words directed at those of us writing about this “spewing hatred” “soulless jackals.” New accounts being created. Incredible.

  116. @ NJ:

    Not to pick on you, but JI Packer is one of the main reasons that people like Pipe, Grudem, and Driscoll exist. He has tirelessly lent credibility to the Biblical Manhood movement through his endless book plugs, etc…why he has escaped people’s notice is beyond me. I believe he was one of the original folks for the Danvers statement…he is one of the last people I would want in this mess.

  117. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    senecagriggs yahoo wrote:
    I do believe Pastor Driscoll should… perhaps leave the pastoral ministry altogether…
    As far as I know, he’s never been in it.

    Laugh of the day!

  118. Sara wrote:

    Tim Keller

    In his statement to the NY Times, he claimed he has been aware of the issues for a long time. But, he did nothing. Why?

  119. “Thorough and careful scholarship here blend beautifully with reverent and realistic wisdom about church, home, and personal life. Future explorations of Bible teaching on sexual identity, vocation, and roles will have to come to terms with the powerful argumentation that the Piper-Grudem team has mounted in support of the old paths. A pastoral and academic landmark.” –J.I. Packer

    Packer plugging Piper & Grudem’s book:

    http://www.crossway.org/books/recovering-biblical-manhood-and-womanhood-tpb-1/

  120. Sara wrote:

    I was trying to come up with the names of some well-respected Calvinist women and…[crickets].

    Nancy Leigh DeMoss! Mark DeMoss sister! (tongue in cheek)

  121. @ Muff Potter:

    All in good fun Dee. Even if Mr. Driscoll returns to full power after a well planned PR campaign, TWW and others on both blog and social media will still be like a kind of ‘underground railroad’ so to speak, and help to free one human being at a time from brutal masters like Driscoll.

  122. dee wrote:

    In his statement to the NY Times, he claimed he has been aware of the issues for a long time. But, he did nothing. Why?

    I don’t know.

  123. dee wrote:

    Sara wrote:
    I was trying to come up with the names of some well-respected Calvinist women and…[crickets].
    Nancy Leigh DeMoss! Mark DeMoss sister! (tongue in cheek)

    There’s also Carolyn McCulley, who once worked for Sovereign Grace Ministries, has authored several books and written some articles for Boundless, a young adults-oriented web site affiliated with Focus on the Family. However, she doesn’t seem to be as visible these days.

  124. dee wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:
    As far as I know, he’s never been in [the pastoral ministry].
    Laugh of the day!

    Sadly, that was the only one of the four points that wasn’t meant to be funny as such. That didn’t go well…

  125. Sadly, the kindest, most compassionate, most thoughtful men (and women) I read regularly — and certainly the ones I know in person — aren’t the kinds of men (and women) Driscoll seems to admire. Yet, they seem to be the ones who could teach him the most, or complement him, so to speak 🙂

  126. Sara wrote:

    I was trying to come up with the names of some well-respected Calvinist women and…[crickets].

    That’s because their women and no self-respecting neo-Cal would ever listen to any woman on religion – in fact, it’s illegal for them to do so in their world.

  127. It really is a shame — women and men working together as equals (in value AND vocation) provide an essential system of checks and balances.

  128. dee wrote:

    You should see what is happening on Twitter. Words directed at those of us writing about this “spewing hatred” “soulless jackals.” New accounts being created. Incredible.

    Leaving humour aside again for the moment, this is to be expected (and I’m sure you did expect it) because it’s the standard modus operandi of a certain personality type. By a growing number of accounts, it’s been happening in secret at MH for some years now.

    It won’t work, of course, because Fiscal’s only real power is political and corporate authority, which (like the strong nuclear force) diminishes rapidly beyond the boundaries of MH itself. Oddly enough, this reminds me somewhat if the denouement of Samson’s career. He got so used to having power virtually on tap that it never seemed to occur to him that he could lose it. There came a point where he thought to himself: “I’ll shake myself free just like before”. But he didn’t realise that the Lord had left him. It’s a very loose analogy, but you can see what I mean.

  129. Marsha wrote:

    Not really because they can never experience true love. The things that can be gained through manipulation and deception pale before loving and being loved.

    In my experience, sociopaths often work their way into top positions and sometimes make a lot of money. Neither of which, in the over all scheme of things, is particularly meaningful or valuable. One of my relatives is very wealthy, but in his twilight years you can bet your Mutual Fund it isn’t ‘stuff’ that he’s worried about.

  130. dee wrote:

    You should see what is happening on Twitter. Words directed at those of us writing about this “spewing hatred” “soulless jackals.” New accounts being created. Incredible.

    Hmmm.The huge increase in these shenanigans in the last couple of days smells like a sleazy PR campaign.

  131. senecagriggs yahoo wrote:

    Mark Driscoll WILL be sued; This is the litigious United States of America. Those suing him will want the Mars Hills churches to pony up since Mark Driscoll probably is not all that wealthy – though I’m sure he’s made a lot of money in the past several years; probably spent it too. The court system will bitterly disappoint them.

    Maybe. One of the things that bothers me about this whole situation is Keller coming out and saying “Yeah, we knew he had problems from the beginning” (paraphrase). It just seems like he got really exploited. I’m not excusing his behavior, but I wonder if all this would have turned out differently if someone had taken him aside earlier and said something like, “Look, buddy, you need to change or we will have to publicly disagree. You’re hurting people.” I honestly feed bad for Mark, and hope he can be truly humble and repentant, while hopefully repairing some of the hurts.

  132. JeffT wrote:

    Hmmm.The huge increase in these shenanigans in the last couple of days smells like a sleazy PR campaign.

    Remember, Bee Jay DID hire a big-bucks PR spinmeister. A professional spokeshole with LOTS of experience and connections spinning crooked preachers. How does that one smell?

  133. Sara wrote:

    Sadly, the kindest, most compassionate, most thoughtful men (and women) I read regularly — and certainly the ones I know in person — aren’t the kinds of men (and women) Driscoll seems to admire.

    According to the 1943 OSS psych profile, Driscoll seems to admire the same kind of men (and same definition of manhood) as a certain A.Hitler. Both are described under the psych term “Hypermasculinity”, redefining Masculinity as aggression and power and violence and control, burning out all else with a white-hot iron, and firewalling what was left.

    And A.Hitler was a slacker and loser on the bum in Vienna working penny-ante con rackets until he got into power politics in the Post-WW1 chaos and started climbing to the top as a control freak. The 1943 profile theorizes that his initial personality of “Wolf”, the slacker/loser, got overlaid with his deliberately-created “Invincible Fuehrer” personality until “Der Fuehrer” was all there was. He wore the mask so long the mask BECAME his face, just like that old Twilight Zone episode. And it consumed him and Germany as well as all of Europe.

    P.S. Der Fuehrer also had a big-bucks PR spinmeister on his payroll of pulp villains — Goebbels, a diagnosed psychopath.

  134. dee wrote:

    You should see what is happening on Twitter. Words directed at those of us writing about this “spewing hatred” “soulless jackals.” New accounts being created. Incredible.

    Sounds like the type of over-the-top rhetoric both Goebbels and Stalin’s PRAVDA were famous for. Spin, spin, spin.

    Including the “concerned” sock-puppet accounts. That sort of Spontaneous People’s Demonstration(TM) (now called Astroturfing) is much more out of Stalin’s playbook than Goebbels’.

  135. dee wrote:

    Sara wrote:
    Tim Keller
    In his statement to the NY Times, he claimed he has been aware of the issues for a long time. But, he did nothing. Why?

    In a lot of cases, that means he was either emotionally invested or personally benefiting from the status quo in some way. Hard to speak against something you personally benefit from. Or which feeds a need in your psyche.

  136. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    In a lot of cases, that means he was either emotionally invested or personally benefiting from the status quo in some way. Hard to speak against something you personally benefit from. Or which feeds a need in your psyche.

    I guess so. It’s just that, well, I guess I’d always hoped Mr. Keller was a bit above the fray. His writing, especially Prodigal God, has meant a lot to me and he always has seemed to carry himself with more maturity than many of his Gospel-y counterparts.

  137. Actually, I think “soulless jackals” is a worthy addition to the epithet page. I’m still waiting for Amalekites. Have you had Philistines yet — a personal favorite of mine. I’ve also taken up the challenge of thinking of a biblical sounding seeming insult that is actually a compliment. I’ll keep you posted.

  138. “these men have clearly demonstrated the priorities of their theology, and it is a theology that I want nothing to do with. “Glorious truths” do not leave people under the bus.”

    I hope you realize that this “Neo-Calvinism” of these good ‘ol boy network is a perversion and a sham of the true Calvinism, Reformed Faith in a historic sense.

  139. singleman wrote:

    dee wrote:

    There’s also Carolyn McCulley, who once worked for Sovereign Grace Ministries, has authored several books and written some articles for Boundless, a young adults-oriented web site affiliated with Focus on the Family. However, she doesn’t seem to be as visible these days.

    It seems McCulley still maintains close ties with Sovereign Grace Ministries. She co-authored a book with Nora Shank which was published in 2014.

    Nora Shank is the daughter in-law of Steve Shank, loyal friend of C.J. Mahaney. Shank was formerly labeled an “apostle” in SGM, that moniker was dropped when Mahaney was attempting to get in the good graces of Mohler, Dever, And Piper. Shank has managed to remain largely out of sight during all the scandal in the SGM denomination. He still attends Sovereign Grace Church in Gilbert, AZ, one of my previous poor choices of churches I was a member of. Nora Shank also were members there.

    http://www.amazon.com/Measure-Success-Uncovering-Biblical-Perspective/dp/1433679922/ref=la_B001JS9QQG_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409079454&sr=1-1

  140. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    I can appreciate the strength of feeling here, but I’m not sure pressing the Godwin Button is the best idea here. As members of the Church, worldwide, we have enough to do addressing Park Fiscal’s behaviour in its own right.

  141.   __

      “Keep praying for God to have His way in our churches, our homes, in our country, and the world. Oh Lord, let your kingdom come, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” ~ Oswald, SGM Survivors.

  142. Robin wrote:

    I love Calvinists. There are many that I respect and have profited from their teachings…

    I am not a Calvinist, but I too have had great interactions with my Calvinist sisters and brothers.

    On the other hand, the truth of the matter is that TGC and similar ilk do not represent actual Calvinism. Instead, it is simply men with a bent towards fundamentalism-plus-power who see Calvinism as a convenient suitcase in which to carry their agenda forward.

    Could have they done this with another theological construct? Perhaps, but corrupted Calvinism offers more to them in terms of justifying their agenda, so it is the theology d’jour.

    My bet is that neo-Calvinism has jumped the shark. It was “cool” for the past decade or so. But those cool hipsters are getting older, and the next generation won’t find it nearly as compelling as they are left to struggle with societal and church issues such as women in leadership and LGBTQ. The hard-edged conservative-fundagelical stance taken on these things over the past years has not set up the next generation at all for success, and that will come back to bite those who thought that they had set a solid and longterm neo-Cal foundation for evangelicalism.

  143.   __

    Q: Why do kind folk feel they have no other recourse than to use the public forums to address the many MD/MH church abuses?

  144. @Dee – it’s unfortunately that Matthew 18 is applied so willy-nilly. I’ve really had only one experience with it. I moved in with a good friend, and a week later, she moved in her boyfriend who was her former patient and a drug addict to boot. (She was and still is a member of CLC!) I expressed my extreme reservations, and also told her I did not sign up to live with her boyfriend. When she didn’t listen to me, I spoke to the woman who assisted in her care group, mostly because she also didn’t listen to her family either. Her family members actually helped me move out of her house a week or so later! Six months later, this friend came back to me very repentant, so I feel like the process worked.

    Fast forward to when my previous pastor kicked me out of the church when I questioned something, and called me “selfish and self-focused”. He was a narcissist and had some obvious mental problems. I called one of the pastors who was on his “board of advisors” and got a bunch of crock told to me for 30 minutes. I told this guy that the pastor’s church was going to fall apart and he needed mental help. All I got in return were excuses. The church soon fell apart, but the guy never got mental help. However, it put the fear of God in me that I never have as big a blind spot as he did/does.

  145. @ Sara:

    I, too, hope this doesn’t happen, chiefly for what it would do to his children.

    A very upsetting thing about this is that said “leaders” don’t take any action unless something is an “egregious sin” – usually a code phrase for some sort of (hetero)sexual peccadillo involving an adult female. Truly, I am angry that that is the only sin in the view of so many “leaders” that is worth doing anything about – (perhaps another form of damage control?) – as if the chronic episodes of bullying behavior are not? As Dee says, Good Night!!! AFAIAC, Tim Keller can claim high ground in this matter ONLY if he actually spoke to MD about the arrogance etc. in those early days.

    The MH/MD situation has brought me back to an episode in my history. When my husband and I were first married, we attended a Calvary Chapel church plant that went from meeting with 20 other people in a home to a congregation of 3000 in 3 years. The pastor was very charismatic, and his board was made up of (male) friends who had moved from So Cal to help him with the plant, and who were also very successful business entrepreneurs – no “regular Joes” among them. There were eventually 3 other associate pastors, all very kind and principled men, who cut back or gave up their day jobs to devote themselves to being good shepherds.

    Well, the pastor verbally bullied and manipulated enough people that in the early ’80s before there was any social media, things came to such a pass in that community (~40,000 people in the town) that the 3 associate pastors had to leave the church as a matter of conscience, and more than half the congregation left with them; they all started another independent church. The worship pastor, one of the kindest people I have ever known, stayed on in loyalty but with his eyes open, which says more about his character than that of the pastor. Worship pastor later went to YWAM for many years, after the original pastor moved out of state (to the Olympic peninsula of Washington, interestingly). Original pastor ended up starting another large church, not affiliated with CC, from which he recently retired, apparently much beloved, according to that church’s web site.

    This debacle took place a few years after we moved away. I am glad we missed out on the drama, but I heard from other people that the split gave Christians in that place a very bad reputation, even as the type of citizenry there would generally have welcomed almost any non-liturgical “conservative” Protestant church in those years of the upswing of the “Religious Right.” It took me a while to learn from this, but I did learn enough to be able to leave a later church when I saw the pastor also subtly manipulating the congregation, out of fear and the pain of a childhood with an unloving father. I left for other theologically-related reasons, too. Leaving that church in my mid-40s was my exodus from Evangelicalism, though I didn’t know it at the time.

  146. Sara wrote:

    I guess so. It’s just that, well, I guess I’d always hoped Mr. Keller was a bit above the fray. His writing, especially Prodigal God, has meant a lot to me and he always has seemed to carry himself with more maturity than many of his Gospel-y counterparts.

    Can’t speak to his writing, and I’m glad you benefited from it. You can assume that, just as in politics or business, none of the Big Names have to get their hair mussed or break any fingernails doing what they want done. You need to speak to some PCA teaching elders, if you can find any who are not afraid to cross Keller or who are not already committed to him.

  147. TedS. wrote:

    senecagriggs yahoo wrote:

    I’m wondering what the victims want; repentance or punishment. Tough call for the victims.

    Not really.

    1. Confession
    2. Repentance
    3. Restitution
    4. Reconciliation

    But believing it will actually happen?
    That’s the tough call.

    “Restituion?” Money? Lawyers? Courts? Epic Fail?

  148. NJ wrote:

    You know, I’m thinking there are only two possible ways for Mark Driscoll to be removed permanently from his role in Mars Hill churches.
    1. To be caught in the act of some truly egregious sin that is also a crime by one or more regular joes who are not part of MHC, or are but actually have some integrity.

    I predict that Mark Driscoll will be caught in sexual sin.

    It is crystal clear that he has an unhealthy obsession with sex and I am quite certain this will catch up with him.

  149. E.G. wrote:

    The hard-edged conservative-fundagelical stance taken on these things over the past years has not set up the next generation at all for success, and that will come back to bite those who thought that they had set a solid and longterm neo-Cal foundation for evangelicalism.

    I hope you’re right in that the movement fades and dies. It has not been helpful or uplifting for the church. In my neck of the woods, we’re already starting to see churches divide and grow spiritually cold under young zealous pastors fresh out of Bible college with all the ‘correct doctrine’ and ‘high view of Scripture’ and ‘high view of preaching’ but no idea how to work with people or how to love them.

    My fear is that it could take decades to undo the harm that has already been done.

  150. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    I’ve heard it put that around the age of 6 is often the stopping point to emotional development
    I’m normal – yippeeeeee!!!

    I’m sorry, there, I was responding to a post in which I was stating that for the severely personality disordered, such as a sociopath, emotional development stops at age 6, I read that theory somewhere. I should’ve clarified that. My guess is you’re decades past that!

  151. May wrote:

    I predict that Mark Driscoll will be caught in sexual sin.
    It is crystal clear that he has an unhealthy obsession with sex and I am quite certain this will catch up with him.

    I’ve been predicting he’s going to go down in a sex scandal for some time. A hypermasculine horndog like that in a position of power, it’s only a matter of when.

  152. dee wrote:

    NJ wrote:
    secret taping system
    Here is a link to the laws.
    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/recording-phone-calls-and-conversations
    However, let me tell you a personal story. NC is a one part consent state. Someone recorded a pastor saying something that the church leaders denied. It was played for them. They turned around and attacked the person who recorded the conversation and refused to comment on the content.

    Not surprising. Just goes to show some people don’t care about truth at all. They hate the truth. They only care about winning arguments and consolidating power. This may be what the Lord was speaking of when He talked about seared consciences.

  153. Sara wrote:

    It really is a shame — women and men working together as equals (in value AND vocation) provide an essential system of checks and balances.

    Absolutely. Without Zipporah, Moses would be dead, killed bu the Lord, and he wouldn’t have written the Ten Commandments and the very history of the world would’ve changed. These men would destroy their Zipporahs before they’d listen to them.

  154. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    dee wrote:
    You should see what is happening on Twitter. Words directed at those of us writing about this “spewing hatred” “soulless jackals.” New accounts being created. Incredible.
    Leaving humour aside again for the moment, this is to be expected (and I’m sure you did expect it) because it’s the standard modus operandi of a certain personality type. By a growing number of accounts, it’s been happening in secret at MH for some years now.
    It won’t work, of course, because Fiscal’s only real power is political and corporate authority, which (like the strong nuclear force) diminishes rapidly beyond the boundaries of MH itself. Oddly enough, this reminds me somewhat if the denouement of Samson’s career. He got so used to having power virtually on tap that it never seemed to occur to him that he could lose it. There came a point where he thought to himself: “I’ll shake myself free just like before”. But he didn’t realise that the Lord had left him. It’s a very loose analogy, but you can see what I mean.

    It’s one whale of a lot more accurate analogy than their standard comparisons to King David.

  155. Law Prof wrote:

    Just goes to show some people don’t care about truth at all.

    It was fascinating. Apparently, they just sat there refusing to acknowledge it. They even wrote up a report in which they claimed the event never happened even though we had an admission on audio. We offered to make the audio available to everyone but no one took us up on the offer. It is better to stick you yea in the sand.

  156. Sopwith wrote:

      __

    Q: Why do kind folk feel they have no other recourse than to use the public forums to address the many MD/MH church abuses?

    Because they care about Mars Hill and the people still there and many care deeply for Mark Driscoll as well. In a properly structured church, older and wiser elders could have tried to help him with his anger and misogyny and other problems early on and failing that, could have fired him. As it is, he has consolidated his power, changed the bylaws and now Mars Hill belongs to Driscoll rather than the members who have no vote (and certainly not to Jesus any more) and it is virtually impossible to hold him accountable. The public outcry is the last chance to turn things around.

  157. Thanks to those of you giving me a heads up on the two-consent law. I haven’t lived back there in years, and I’m not always up on everything like legal changes. I doubt that would actually happen anyway, although it’s fun to contemplate.

    I almost put Keller on my hypothetical list, but I’m skeptical of his “I thought he had problems all along” statement. Packer might have indeed signed the Danvers statement. I thought of him because at least he’s not of the neocalvinist YRR movement or affiliated with the Gospel Coalition bunch (which was the other reason I left off Keller).

    I agree with E.G. about the neocal/neopuritan thing eventually dying out. With the core of Christianity shifting to the Global South anyway, it’s only a matter of time.

  158. senecagriggs yahoo wrote:

    TedS. wrote:

    senecagriggs yahoo wrote:

    I’m wondering what the victims want; repentance or punishment. Tough call for the victims.

    Not really.

    1. Confession
    2. Repentance
    3. Restitution
    4. Reconciliation

    But believing it will actually happen?
    That’s the tough call.

    “Restituion?” Money? Lawyers? Courts? Epic Fail?

    Ahhh, Seneca, here you go. I have noticed that abusers are often excused and forgiven while victims are expected to be self-denying saints. Just let a young adult sue a childhood molester and some people are ready to condemn him as a money grubber without stopping to think about the high cost of needed therapy (which is always sadly limited in insurance plans). So here you are worrying about money and courts.

    How about this for restitution? People get offered their jobs and volunteer positions back. Other pastors explain to the congregation that various people who were kicked out and shunned were not in fact unrepentant sinners and ask them to call those folks in friendship. Mediators are brought in to help members reconcile with parents they were urged to shun over theological differences or over their concerns that Mars Hill was becoming a cult. Members are urged to resume contributing to Rob Smith’s foundation to help African orphans, a ministry Driscoll vowed to destroy. Driscoll returns the church’s money that was used to make his book a best seller. People receive real apologies, if not from Driscoll then from new church leadership.

    No lawsuits, no monetary awards, just restitution.

  159. Law Prof wrote:

    Absolutely. Without Zipporah, Moses would be dead, killed bu the Lord, and he wouldn’t have written the Ten Commandments and the very history of the world would’ve changed. These men would destroy their Zipporahs before they’d listen to them.

    This is awesome!

  160. Marsha wrote:

    Sopwith wrote:
      __
    Q: Why do kind folk feel they have no other recourse than to use the public forums to address the many MD/MH church abuses?

    Because they care about Mars Hill and the people still there and many care deeply for Mark Driscoll as well. In a properly structured church, older and wiser elders could have tried to help him with his anger and misogyny and other problems early on and failing that, could have fired him. As it is, he has consolidated his power, changed the bylaws and now Mars Hill belongs to Driscoll rather than the members who have no vote (and certainly not to Jesus any more) and it is virtually impossible to hold him accountable. The public outcry is the last chance to turn things around.

    Good points all.

    I’m hoping that these fora cause some people look before they leap into a place like this, get love bombed or whatever methods they use, then channeled into a c-group, and locked in. This is something like a Consumer Reports, would you really want people doing business with a scam company if you could ward them off somehow? Amplify those concerns one hundred fold and I think you get the gravity of concern over people walking ignorantly into a cult.

  161. dee wrote:

    You should see what is happening on Twitter. Words directed at those of us writing about this “spewing hatred” “soulless jackals.” New accounts being created. Incredible.

    Last night I quoted the great man from his book “Real Marriage” on Twitter and his followers didn’t like my criticism of his treatment of his wife as described in his very own words.

    The more I think about how Pastor Dudebro talks about his wife publicly, the more I think he’s not pastor material.

    But women don’t really cpunt in the Calvinista world, do we?

  162. mirele wrote:

    The more I think about how Pastor Dudebro talks about his wife publicly, the more I think he’s not pastor material.
    But women don’t really cpunt in the Calvinista world, do we?

    Pastor material??! There is now a magnitude of documented evidence that this man is a misogynistic, abusive, sex-obsessed, foul-mouthed, arrogant, deceitful and dishonest bully. There is also a ample evidence that he is fake: it’s on record that he gets others to write his sermons and he plagiarizes books. His entire persona is PR-led, it’s all about image and spin. He mishandles the Word of God, twisting it into an heretical perversion.

    And yet the Neo-Calvinist crowd simply ignored all this for years. They appear to be now quietly hoping he will be restored (because after all, they LOVE his theology).

    And yes, Grace Driscoll is to be greatly pitied.

  163.   __

    Apparently, poor, poor, MD hath finally self-destructed as previously predicted.

    hmmm…

    All da king’s board members, and church elders can’t  put HumptyD’ back to gadder again?

    huh?

    Prepare da scripted brief,

    add da family,

    a few sniffles, 

    (tears)

    Exit, stage left…

    Que da P.R. people…

    lights, camera, Action!

    plop, plop, fizz, fizz…

    six weeks plus, (paid)

    Oh! what a relief it is…

    (grin)

    hahahahahaha 

    Sopy
    __
    Comic relief: “Don’t Drop While You Plop!”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S23p_p8iLXs

    ;~)

  164. senecagriggs yahoo wrote:

    I’m wondering what the victims want; repentance or punishment. Tough call for the victims.

    You don’t seem to understand repentance.

    1. Repentance is not “I’m sorry that some of the things I said led people to attack me and that now I have to eat crow.” Repentance is being sorry for your actions, not for those actions’ consequences that now come back to bite you.

    2. Repentance is also specific: you don’t repent of “some of the things that I may have said or done”. If you maligned someone in a public setting (like Meyer and Petry), it could mean using the same setting and declaring: “In 2007, I said such and such. I now understand this was wrong. I retract those words and want to ask the people concerned for forgiveness. Also, we excommunicated this person and shunned that family. That was wrong.” It would also mean asking the victims for forgiveness – which they would be free to grant or not – by acknowledging the wrongness of your actions and their hurt in direct communication.

    3. Forgiveness can only be asked for, but never demanded. It’s the essence of forgiveness that it can only be voluntary, not coerced. The victims don’t HAVE to forgive when you ask them for forgiveness, even if I am sure most would forgive if they had the impression that repentance was genuine.

    4. MD can never ask all the people he hurt for forgiveness – there are just too many of them, many have never spoken up in public, and in some cases maybe did not even realise at the time just how badly he was treating someone. But he can at least try to reach the people hurt the worst and most publicly in person. That would still be quite a number.

    5. Repentance is hard work – ask Eagle! Six weeks might just not be enough.

    6. It’s also not about “vengeance”, about his enemies forcing MD to step down. But if he is really sorry for what he DID, and not only for the fact that his actions have come back to haunt him, he may come to the conclusion that in the light of his past behaviour and actions stepping down remains the only alternative to continuing a highly damaged “career” and – let’s for now call it that – “ministry”.

    7. In all of the present situation, I feel really sorry for his family, his wife and his kids. It’s no fun for kids to discover that their parent is not only not perfect, but a lot less than very good.

    8. I feel a lot less sorry for MD than for his family. As the saying goes, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!””, and while he was under the illusion that he was the chef in that kitchen, he stoked the fire and turned up the heat quite a lot.

    9. MD should really seek professional – not nouthetic – help for his anger issues.

    Personal comment: I don’t feel schadenfreude at Driscoll’s problems in his capacity as a pastor, but I find it slightly difficult to resist when bullies get their comeuppance and dishonest organisations are exposed.

    PS: I’m late to the thread, haven’t read everything yet, and some of my points may already have been made. For that I apologise. I also apologise for turning a short retort into a long post with more numbered items than MD’S 8 steps.

    By adding a “personal comment”, I have at least managed not to have more than Dee’s nine 😉

  165. Sopwith wrote:

      __
    Exit, stage left…
    Que da P.R. people…
    lights, camera, Action!

    “Well, sometimes it seems impossible
    That the game could get that rough
    But the stage is set, the exit’s barred
    And the make-up won’t come off”
    Al Stewart

  166. @ doubtful:
    Ugh! I hadn’t seen that before. Of course, Packer “endorses” so many books, he should have his own online endorsement generator at this point. That book (recovering biblical manhood and womanhood) was so poorly written and so intellectually vacuous that I loudly lamented it when it came out – even though I was a hard-core patriarchalist at the time. I worried at the time that if “we” kept mounting such poor attempts at argument, “they” would eventually win. I’m still pretty conservative, but I am no longer in that camp, so I guess I was right…

  167. Despeville wrote:

    I hope you realize that this “Neo-Calvinism” of these good ‘ol boy network is a perversion and a sham of the true Calvinism, Reformed Faith in a historic sense.

    Yes, many of us are well aware of the differences. No worries 🙂

  168. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Packer “endorses” so many books, he should have his own online endorsement generator at this point.

    Pretty amazing huh? I wonder (in all seriousness) how many books Packer has written a plug for?

    When I was in the Christian Bookstore market, it seemed like every other book has a written endorsement by Packer. One owner of a Bookstore I worked at, joked that the money they paid for those endorsements must be too good to pass up-I suspect he might be right…

  169. Angela Seivewright wrote:

    I’ve been reading up on almost everything available to read about this situation (been sick recently so he plenty of time to do this!)
    I’m a minister’s wife in South Africa and the ramifications of this scandal are worldwide. I’m just a “nobody” trying my best to spread the Gospel but geez this whole thing is shocking! I must say I’ve lost a bit of trust in Christian leaders… What ever happened to humility and servant hearted godly men.. Men who (like my hubby) just want to love people and see them saved. This is doing so much damage and I weep for Christ’s bride… I hope these “men” realize they will stand before God one day and give account of the flock that was entrusted to them.. And I can assure you no PR firm will be present!!!

    Angela,

    Someday the first will be last, and the last will be first. God guarantees it. These guys, in the long run, mean nothing, while faithful men and women will be elevated. It will be amazing to watch! Meanwhile, this is sad, but not unexpected. I am just blessed to be encouraged reading comments like yours and many others from around the US and the world.

  170. @ NJ:
    The “core of Christianity” shifted to other continents a long, long time ago – something most of us Americans (and many Europeans) don’t seem to grasp. And in a whole lot of cases, it never left (see ancient churches in the Middle East, south India, Ethiopia, etc.). I think we tend to have a greatly exaggerated sense of importance in this regard – no doubt intricately interwoven with American exceptionalist-type thinking.

    But accepting all of this – for most white evangelicals – means acknowledging Catholicism; also that most of the world’s xtians aren’t lily white.

  171. @ mirele: he has been so verbally/emotionally abusive toward Grace (in sermons, interviews and writing) *in public* that I not only fear for her and for their children, but all the women and children inside MH (present and former).

    The fact that NObody has really focused on this makes me feel sick to my stomach – and it gives the lie to all the verbiage being generated by his many fans and enablers.

  172. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
    I used to know someone who wrote one of the chapters, believe it or not. Have never had the guts to ask this person if they’ve changed their mind, but it’s funny – this person was in a functionally egalitarian marriage and was not *at all* the kind of person who you’d think would be so zealous for the party line.

  173. numo wrote:

    he has been so verbally/emotionally abusive toward Grace (in sermons, interviews and writing) *in public* that I not only fear for her and for their children, but all the women and children inside MH (present and former).
    The fact that NObody has really focused on this makes me feel sick to my stomach – and it gives the lie to all the verbiage being generated by his many fans and enablers.

    Lots of abused women don’t feel they have the resources to leave, especially if there are children. But at some point, they have found the strength and courage to leave. If we see the abuse Mark spews, I find it hard to believe Grace is oblivious to it. In fact, it really takes a lot of strength to stay in that type of situation contrary to what some believe. Often, it’s just watching and waiting for the right time to make a move.

    We can pray for that.

  174. Between Mars Hill and SGM alone, the North American “church” is awash in lawyers and PR firms.
    WHAT, must God be thinking!?

  175. __

    Weary Traveler: “We’ll leave da ‘lite’ on 4U…”

      “I am becoming increasingly suspect that the true oppression of Christians will come from within that which calls itself the Church.” 

    ~ Law Prof.

    *

    hmmm…

    …many of those who really know Jesus, have seen spiritual abuse already long gone from da rear view mirror…

    (grin)

    Bye! Bye!

    “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” ~ Jesus

    Dat is ‘really’ comforting, these dayz…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqo-adRyM_k

       “I am the light of the world; those that follow Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life…” ~ Jesus

    Blessings!

    ♩ ♪ ♫  ♬ dis lit’l lite o’ mine…

    hum, hum, hum, hum-hum…

    Sopy

  176. Sopy

    I enjoyed meeting you. I was looking at a picture of you the other day and it made me smile.

  177.   

    🙂

        *   *
    *.    *
       *
         *
      __

    Dee,

    (smile)

      We are help’in da lamb ta walk, da blind ta sêê, and the abused ta find ‘hope’, comfort, and refuge…

    (and ta understand theyz really, really , really, Matter! )

    YaHooooooooooo!

    *
    ♩ ♪ ♫  ♬ hum, hum, hum… You R da the King of Glory, U R everything ta me… I wanna sêê your face, Precious Jesus!

    *
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_e3aJLRsdc

    <3 U bunches, Dee!

    Cheeeeeeeeeeeeese!

    Sopy

  178. @ Todd Wilhelm:
    That comes as no surprise. A few years ago Carolyn McCulley stated on her blog that she was part of a group leaving Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD to plant Redeemer Church of Arlington, VA. I’m not sure whether Redeemer is one of the churches that left SGM; Eagle would likely know more about that than me.

  179. JeffT wrote:

    TedS. wrote:

    Dee wrote:
    Then, there was the *spontaneous yet thoughtful* applause, ending with the obligatory hug of the Mrs, surrounded by his adoring children.
    With, of course, a photographer right there on stage to capture the Kodak moment and immediately publish the photo on the Mars Hill website accompanying the transcript of Driscoll’s “apology.”
    It’s all staged. Phoney baloney.

    The only thing missing from that final scene was a dog – named Checkers.

    Precisely my thought as well.

  180. Law Prof wrote:

    JeffT wrote:

    Was Driscoll wearing hip waders when he delivered that? How times over the years has this guy said ‘I’m sorry’ and then gone on doing the same old abusive things over and over again without any change at all. He’s trying to fool all of the people all of the time.

    And you know, he never seems to actually say “I’m sorry” directly and forthrightly, without enough qualifications and twists in his language to make a strip mall lawyer blush. It never seems to approach genuine contrition. He just tells people he’s apologizing, speaks in generalities and confusing double speak, and generally makes it all about himself. Gives his followers just enough ammunition to think they can squelch dissent in perpetuity “But he apologized, there’s nothing more to say.”

    I think that’s because he
    Nancy wrote:

    dee wrote:

    I am dying to be called an Amalekite.

    That’s a great idea. I will see if I can find something biblical that is actually good but sounds bad and use it as an invective just for fun. It will take some time but surely something like that can be found.

    Where is Nick when you need him?

    🙁 I think it’s completely unfair that you all have taken all the best names before I had a chance at them.

  181. Law Prof wrote:

    JeffT wrote:

    Was Driscoll wearing hip waders when he delivered that? How times over the years has this guy said ‘I’m sorry’ and then gone on doing the same old abusive things over and over again without any change at all. He’s trying to fool all of the people all of the time.

    And you know, he never seems to actually say “I’m sorry” directly and forthrightly, without enough qualifications and twists in his language to make a strip mall lawyer blush. It never seems to approach genuine contrition. He just tells people he’s apologizing, speaks in generalities and confusing double speak, and generally makes it all about himself. Gives his followers just enough ammunition to think they can squelch dissent in perpetuity “But he apologized, there’s nothing more to say.”

    I think that’s because he isn’t sorry. Its very, very hard to express an emotion that you believe you are too wonderfully perfect to need.

    (I hate it when posts get chewed up before I am ready to post. However, having cats in the house makes it inevitable…….)

  182. May wrote:

    NJ wrote:

    You know, I’m thinking there are only two possible ways for Mark Driscoll to be removed permanently from his role in Mars Hill churches.
    1. To be caught in the act of some truly egregious sin that is also a crime by one or more regular joes who are not part of MHC, or are but actually have some integrity.

    I predict that Mark Driscoll will be caught in sexual sin.

    It is crystal clear that he has an unhealthy obsession with sex and I am quite certain this will catch up with him.

    Agreed.

  183. May wrote:

    There is now a magnitude of documented evidence that this man is a misogynistic, abusive, sex-obsessed, foul-mouthed, arrogant, deceitful and dishonest bully.

    Indeed.

  184. numo wrote:

    @ mirele: he has been so verbally/emotionally abusive toward Grace (in sermons, interviews and writing) *in public* that I not only fear for her and for their children, but all the women and children inside MH (present and former).

    The fact that NObody has really focused on this makes me feel sick to my stomach – and it gives the lie to all the verbiage being generated by his many fans and enablers.

    This is a bigtime concern of mine, too. I don’t believe that anyone female and/or a child is safe around MD. And the closer, the more abusive…..

  185. Dee/Deb,

    I have a close friend in Seattle area who walked away from Christianity in college, and is now starting to respect Christians again due to our strong stance against the warped behavior of Mark Driscoll. This has opened a door to powerful discussions about faith.

    By speaking out against pride, misogyny, and lying, we are showing the world who Jesus really is.

    Keep up the good work, TWW, Warren, Janet, and Wenatchee.

  186. numo:

    “The “core of Christianity” shifted to other continents a long, long time ago – something most of us Americans (and many Europeans) don’t seem to grasp. And in a whole lot of cases, it never left (see ancient churches in the Middle East, south India, Ethiopia, etc.).

    True, although it seems there are areas where radical Islam is threatening to completely wipe them out. 🙁

    “I think we tend to have a greatly exaggerated sense of importance in this regard – no doubt intricately interwoven with American exceptionalist-type thinking.”

    I’ve read rumblings here and there about missionaries from certain third world countries being sent to US to evangelize the increasingly pagan western world.

    “But accepting all of this – for most white evangelicals – means acknowledging Catholicism; also that most of the world’s xtians aren’t lily white.”

    Not only Catholicism, but Eastern Orthodoxy, including the oriental subset. I also believe that white or “caucasian” may have never been the majority of Christians in the whole world, from Pentecost until now.

  187.   __

       Mark Driscoll has been pushed to a pastoral precipice and he has chosen to step off the edge of the Mars Hill stage for some six weeks plus, rather than allow his ‘credibility’ as a ‘faithful’ interpreter of God’s truth to be placed in peril.

    A little too late, perhaps?

    (that is what many have to decide for themselves…)

      Of course, the irony for many, is that whatever faith, before a watching world, kind folks had placed in this mega church preacher, his place in the pulpit, the luster of the authoritative office he currently now holds, well, it does not preclude the fact that this ‘trust’ has been somewhat tarnished of late, possibly irreparably dispelled as well.

    Has MD stepped over a line? 

    If so, when do these ‘type’ of pastoral ‘missteps’ become unrepairable?

    hmmm…

  188. I’d add that it seems as if no megachurch or parachurch leaders show ANY concern for those ran over by the bus. The likes of Janet Mefferd are few.

    I don’t think Matt Chandler, Darrin Patrick, Carl Trueman, et al give a rip about the victims. They’re too busy building their own kingdoms. The regular people are going to have to care for each other. That’s true even within the “local” church; the last two churches I went to, including Sojourn, the leadership was far removed from the laity. Oh, you could see them preach every Sunday, but you’d have better luck inviting Batman for dinner than expecting Daniel Montgomery to ever show up and break bread.

    The Montgomerys, the Patricks, the Chandlers, they’re too busy building their brand to fool with hurting people. When a buddy like Driscoll acts up enough to damage their brand, they’ll cut ties, back away as quietly as possible, and go back to building their own kingdoms.

  189. @ zooey111: Open season by MD on his wife = open season on *all* spouses, children and likely single women wherever/however/whenever this man’s horrible “preaching” has taken hold.

  190. @ NJ: There are place in the ME and N. Africa where xtianity is still there. As for the church not having been white from the get-go, I’m very much in agreement.

    We have ourselves fooled into believing that we are the paragons of xtianity and the pattern that everyone must follow. So NOT true, for all kinds of reasons I won’t elaborate here, since they should be obvious (or some of them, anyway).

  191. @ NJ: ONe of the things that troubles me is the upsurge of weird evangelical/charismatic xtianity in many countries, from Africa to the former USSR and Eastern Bloc states to South and East Asia and beyond. That’s because the churches and movements that are taking hold in many places are *very* much prosperity-driven *and*/or come right from the maw of some of the worst parts of the charismatic/evangelical church in the US. Some countries have been the subject of intense evangelization campaigns by these people, while others are just now coming onto their radar.

    I would so much rather see older, established churches on the scene than the New Apostolic Reformation people!!!

  192. Pingback: An open letter to Mark Driscoll re understanding repentance – from Gus | Musings from under the bus. UNITED STATES

  193. singleman wrote:

    I’m not sure whether Redeemer is one of the churches that left SGM

    It did but….does any church really leave SGM in spirit?

  194. mirele wrote:

    Last night I quoted the great man from his book “Real Marriage”

    Mirele – I’ve never written a book called “Real Marriage” – are you confusing me with someone else?

  195. @numo – talk about weird groups and/or cults evangelizing, today I drove by Gallaudet University, the national university for the deaf, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses had one of their posters up there, with a Witness standing there talking to passersby. It grieved me that they’re taking advantage of people with a disability, although I support the freedom of speech.

  196. It seems that God isn’t needed here. So many who know this mans heart, even the intimacy of his familial relationships, his motives, predictions of his future heart. No Holy Spirit needed here. We got this. Not one day of hope, no calls for the wonder of healing between those actually affected firsthand and their brother.

    I’ve suffered directly under a narcissist who nearly destroyed me emotionally so I’m not naive to what’s at hand. It was crucial to remove myself after a decade. But God loves dearly both the hurt and the hurter. Our little minds might not like that idea but God’s not like our little minds. Jesus holds the wounded, the broken, the blind- and we might be surprised at who that includes. He would be alone doing it, clearly. But that’s why He is who He is. It’s easy to love the lovable. We do it well. But loving the unlovable… That’s where the rubber hits the road. Since the phrase has been used- Are we not all on some kind of bus? Who is beneath it?

    We’re supposed to be DIFFERENT from the world. Strangely, surprisingly, head scratchingly different. Joanna Petry made a loving comment welcoming Mark- still -to peace and forgiveness. That was beautiful. That was different. This stuff? Just makes me sad. Exposing abuse is Good. All good. But then… Let’s give God some room.

    I dare say it is not only MD who turns people away from the faith- it is all of us and our sloppy reaction to it that has no suprise of love and no stirring of hope.

    My comment isn’t an attack at all on anyone here. Many beautiful souls here. It’s just to think about. For me as well. Before you attack, just think about what I’m saying. For at least 2 seconds. Then fire away.

  197. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    dee wrote:

    They want, now get ready for this… an apology.

    They will never get one, of course. I think most observers will be aware of the trajectory MH is on now; we might quibble over the details of your predictions, but we all understand the gist of what’s going on. To me, that’s no longer the point, and it is all about those “under the bus” now.

    The presence of a PR expert in this whole business is probably the one that grieves me the most. There came a point, in the turbulent 3-year relationship between the Sanhedrin and Jesus, where the former declared: We have no king but Caesar! There are numerous hints in the Bible that there is such a thing as a point of no return. And the reason that’s sad is down to the People Under the Bus, who are praying, not against Fiscal, but for him.

    For all they have been through at Fiscal’s hands, they haven’t spat him out in return and are not calling for his head. Whatever Fiscal does or does not mean, I’m interested in the stories of people at We Love Mars Hill, and when these people say that they love him, I believe them. They are, I believe, truly saddened to see him marching implacably towards the aforesaid point of no return. In short, they are living and behaving like their real Shepherd, and so it is they who truly carry the gospel to Seattle.

    So, to counterpoint the title of this thread, I respectfully submit a couple of optimistic predictions for those under the bus:

     Jesus, in whom they have placed their confidence, will remain unashamed to call them his brothers and sisters
     Their tribe will increase
     Their patience and love will increasingly be recognised
     The gates of hades (however they are manned) will not prevail against them
     The Lord will rise upon them, and his glory will appear over them – one way or another

    Such a light here Nick. Had to requote it. So worth reading. So right on.

  198. Melody wrote:

    Had to use the block function on FB today:
    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=580925512016592&id=264506816991798&ref=bookmark

    I guess according to Paul Martin, it’s a sin to practice discernment and publicly call out people for their abuse and hypocrisy. He must have a huge issue with the Lord, who commands us to call out sin (such as Paul calling out Peter), expose evil, stand up for those who are abused.

    Again, it appears as if Paul’s biggest problem is with the Lord.

  199. Jackie wrote:

    It seems that God isn’t needed here. So many who know this mans heart, even the intimacy of his familial relationships, his motives, predictions of his future heart. No Holy Spirit needed here. We got this. Not one day of hope, no calls for the wonder of healing between those actually affected firsthand and their brother.

    I’ve suffered directly under a narcissist who nearly destroyed me emotionally so I’m not naive to what’s at hand. It was crucial to remove myself after a decade. But God loves dearly both the hurt and the hurter. Our little minds might not like that idea but God’s not like our little minds. Jesus holds the wounded, the broken, the blind- and we might be surprised at who that includes. He would be alone doing it, clearly. But that’s why He is who He is. It’s easy to love the lovable. We do it well. But loving the unlovable… That’s where the rubber hits the road. Since the phrase has been used- Are we not all on some kind of bus? Who is beneath it?

    We’re supposed to be DIFFERENT from the world. Strangely, surprisingly, head scratchingly different. Joanna Petry made a loving comment welcoming Mark- still -to peace and forgiveness. That was beautiful. That was different. This stuff? Just makes me sad. Exposing abuse is Good. All good. But then… Let’s give God some room.

    I dare say it is not only MD who turns people away from the faith- it is all of us and our sloppy reaction to it that has no suprise of love and no stirring of hope.

    My comment isn’t an attack at all on anyone here. Many beautiful souls here. It’s just to think about. For me as well. Before you attack, just think about what I’m saying. For at least 2 seconds. Then fire away.

    I waited two seconds, actually more. My thoughts.

    God loves everyone without exception, but God most definitely does not treat everyone the same way without exception, nor does He command His servants to do so. What I see in the NT (and OT) is a consistent calling out of the sins of abusers and I do not see a single circumstance where we were commanded to extend an olive branch to an abusive individual. Forgive, certainly, but still to treat them in a manner that recognizes what they are.

    I see Paul railing against the superapostles in 2 Cor, the Judaizers in Galations (suggesting they castrate themselves), Jesus essnetially eating the pharaisees for lunch and being very vigorous in holding them up to public ridicule (unless you consider calling someone a “whitewashed tomb” to be no big deal), John ripping the gnostics up one side and down the other.

    We are told to expose the deeds of darkness. I cannot figure out how your position can be reconciled with Jesus’s ministry or the better part of the NT.

    I can see how it fits quite well into a policy of protecting abusive leaders, however.

  200. I could make 9 pessimistic predictions about what will happen to them….
    But will optimistically hope Pastor Mark will listen to them.

  201. According to the 9 pessimistic pastors (and I believe them) Paul Tripp told them a number of helpful things, including “This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.”

  202. Gossip warning: The following has not been verified.
    According to one of the Dear Pastor Mark Facebook members, one of the pastors (an unpaid one) has already been “dismissed”. So much for my optimism…

  203. @ Law Prof:
    Thank you for the few seconds, sincerely. I don’t disagree with anything you stated actually. Not at all. And your sentence: “We are told to expose the deeds of darkness” really helps me make my point clearer. Exactly that. I have been brought to tears of joy by the truth being exposed as I’ve read letters by people directly affected. Ron Wheelers letter stands out recently. What a clear, brave loving exposure of darkness. So my thought is… They have indeed been exposed. And that includes on blogs like this one.

    It’s the chatter and sniping that follows and comments that go far beyond exposing the truth that I truly find painful to see. It seems like we fall into the same trap Driscoll did only were safe in a small circle.

    It seems that any thoughtful comment that might check our OWN behavior is immediately seen as wrong- or defending the indefensible. No. What happened with Mark and many like him? No one said- hey- this is wrong. This is not reflecting a spirit that is Christlike. Get what I mean? It’s not either-or. He is wrong and we are right. I say these things because I know all to well the temptation where my motive for good turns perverse.

    I’ll mention, Law Proff and not as flattery, but when I occasionally visit this blog you and many others are interesting and helpful to read. But there are times too when I’m left cold and cringing. None of us are perfect. But while we demand and rightly so, a very high bar for others, we should check ourselves as well. As I said in my comment, just a little room for God to do His thing. Thank you for thoughts.

  204. Jackie wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Thank you for the few seconds, sincerely. I don’t disagree with anything you stated actually. Not at all. And your sentence: “We are told to expose the deeds of darkness” really helps me make my point clearer. Exactly that. I have been brought to tears of joy by the truth being exposed as I’ve read letters by people directly affected. Ron Wheelers letter stands out recently. What a clear, brave loving exposure of darkness. So my thought is… They have indeed been exposed. And that includes on blogs like this one.

    It’s the chatter and sniping that follows and comments that go far beyond exposing the truth that I truly find painful to see. It seems like we fall into the same trap Driscoll did only were safe in a small circle.

    It seems that any thoughtful comment that might check our OWN behavior is immediately seen as wrong- or defending the indefensible. No. What happened with Mark and many like him? No one said- hey- this is wrong. This is not reflecting a spirit that is Christlike. Get what I mean? It’s not either-or. He is wrong and we are right. I say these things because I know all to well the temptation where my motive for good turns perverse.

    I’ll mention, Law Proff and not as flattery, but when I occasionally visit this blog you and many others are interesting and helpful to read. But there are times too when I’m left cold and cringing. None of us are perfect. But while we demand and rightly so, a very high bar for others, we should check ourselves as well. As I said in my comment, just a little room for God to do His thing. Thank you for thoughts.

    Realize you’re at a blog where apparently a very high percentage of posters has suffered from moderate to severe religious abuse (me included–and perhaps you as well) and that sometimes we get aggitated responding to accounts of such abuse–it hits home, it mirrors what we’ve experienced, it rubs a wound raw.

    Mark Driscoll has for some come to represent the face of abusive churches in the U.S., so he takes a fair amount of heat, in part because he has done everything within his power without regard to truth or ethics–or certainly righteousness–to thrust himself into that position of prominence.

    Driscoll is “triggering” (a term I learned on this forum) for many people, I for one can hardly bear to see a picture of him, and while I can read his sermons and pronouncements, I can’t stand to listen to more than maybe 20 seconds at a time. That may say something about my own lack of strength or about the effects of spiritual abuse or both, but realize, you’re dealing with some of us who are reliving our worst moments as we read about and try to work through this.

    Thanks for your conciliatory response.

  205. Jackie wrote:

    Dave A A wrote:

    In other news, 9 current Mars Hill elders have expressed their concerns.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/08/28/nine-current-mars-hill-church-elders-take-a-bold-stand/

    Bold indeed. Good letter. I’m guessing there are a lot of good people in the body of that church who now that the floodgates are open might step up. Fear is paralyzing. Replace it with faith and any thing’s possible.

    Driscoll’s address before the church is amazing because it came after this letter, and he said, so I read, that all elders were in agreement with him on these matters. It seems as if the level of dissent was far beyond anything Driscoll insinuated. It makes his tepid apology all the more weak in this light.

  206. @ Law Prof:

    I just saw that. The word “before” in the article was the shocker. But then I suppose not. My personal opinion from what I’ve observed is NPD based on real experience with someone. And the stunning thing in the end is that they are truly unable to feel empathy for others. And truly just don’t “get it”. I have a person of leadership in my recent past (a boss) that if I had to see his face, I might literally shake. In that light, you did illuminate what I’m seeing some. Best recourse is to live well. Lift higher. We can only control our own actions /words/motives in the end.

  207. Dave A A wrote:

    Gossip warning: The following has not been verified.
    According to one of the Dear Pastor Mark Facebook members, one of the pastors (an unpaid one) has already been “dismissed”. So much for my optimism…

    Update — no longer gossip but straight from the horse’s keyboard:
    “Mark Dunford To clarify, I was not employed there, so fired might not be the right term. I was however dismissed from eldership last night.
    2 hours ago · Like · 4”
    https://www.facebook.com/WeLoveMarsHill?fref=nf

  208. Jackie wrote:

    We can only control our own actions /words/motives in the end.

    Yes, and those being bullied can also be stood next to and supported. And bullies can and should be called out. We’ve probably all seen examples of someone being bullied and everyone else with eyes downcast, silent and doing utterly nothing.

    Law Prof wrote:

    Driscoll is “triggering” (a term I learned on this forum) for many people, I for one can hardly bear to see a picture of him, and while I can read his sermons and pronouncements, I can’t stand to listen to more than maybe 20 seconds at a time.

    That’s why I like the humour for much of the time on TWW, it’s a trigger antidote.

    However…I’m going to say something perhaps strange here. Driscoll has my sympathy. Sympathy’s not the right word really, but I can’t think of another. Perhaps concern is better? I’m saying this with much of the knowledge of those he has thrown under the bus. I know. It’s a very hard thing to look into the mirror and realise that you need to change. I think facing up to yourself may be amongst one of the hardest things to do. It’s easier to hold onto the old patterns that you thought worked so well. And continue doing them even when they’re working against you. Doing a ‘shift’ is big. And while it doesn’t look like he’s going to take the opportunity that he has been given, I hope for him that he does. Something in my heart/spirit/gut whatever you call it went off when I saw Driscoll at ?was it James MacDonalds Strange Fire Conference? handing out materials in the carpark or something. I thought, ‘here is a man with desperate needs’. He needs help, and the right kind, not what a PR gang can bring. The type that comes from, I would hazard to guess, firstly contemplation. I won’t be putting him on Eckhart Tolle’s mailing list too soon, but I hope he will use the time for pause, quiet moments, stillness. So from someone who doesn’t identify as Christian, that’s my two-bit, but heartfelt, input. I want to see honest change in his life.

  209. Haitch wrote:

    Something in my heart/spirit/gut whatever you call it went off when I saw Driscoll at ?was it James MacDonalds Strange Fire Conference? handing out materials in the carpark or something. I thought, ‘here is a man with desperate needs’

    I found that incident strange as well, Haitch. He obviously had no idea whatsoever of how inappropriate that appearance was and seemed genuinely surprised that they confronted him. Something wasn’t quite right behind that incident.

  210. @ Haitch:
    I loved your two cents. Thanks for wrestling it out- a hard thing to articulate because it doesn’t mean you want them enabled, or not called to the carpet. Not at all. It just means you can see the ugliest offender and can see something broken. Mercy? Who knows what the word is. Well said anyway.

    I could be wrong but I think it’s in the book The Hiding Place- where she witnesses horrible abuse of prisoners -being beaten by heartless guards and she says “those poor men”. Turns out she is speaking of the guards. At how utterly lost they were-without conscience or love. It was mind blowing.

  211. Jackie wrote:

    It seems that any thoughtful comment that might check our OWN behavior is immediately seen as wrong- or defending the indefensible. No. What happened with Mark and many like him? No one said- hey- this is wrong. This is not reflecting a spirit that is Christlike.

    Jackie, I really appreciate what you’re trying to say here (and I’m fairly sure I’ve understood you). It’s a very difficult minefield to tread, and we often don’t like to go there, but it’s essential that we do – and by “we” I mean the TWW community – if we are to provide a setting that truly, radically offers hope to the abused.

    The whole area of abuse and forgiveness involves navigating very difficult waters. For one thing, abusers routinely mock their victims’ emotions, and – in very sly and subtle ways – demand forgiveness. For another, many well-meaning christians who have walked, perhaps, a more emotionally comfortable path through life, then deliver lectures to the effect of two wrongs don’t make a right, you need to forgive the narcissist, etc etc. In other words, they also demand that the victim forgive, and in so doing they also reinforce the projection of all the sin, shame and blame onto the victim. The victim is not just demonised but – and to me, this is worse – infantilised.

    Which ever way the victim faces now, (s)he loses – there is no way the victim can gain any respect. If (s)he doesn’t forgive, (s)he remains trapped in “bitterness” as a person with “issues”. But even if (s)he does, (s)he is merely going back to being a good little obedient person who does what they’re told because they don’t know anything. Even the act of forgiveness is stripped of its power to liberate.

    It can be incredibly hard to understand what forgiveness really is, and incredibly hard not to see it as letting the abuser off the hook. You’re absolutely right in saying (if I paraphrase fairly) that we do not have a binary choice: hate Fiscal, or hate his victims. Actually, forgiveness is the ultimate act of conquest. It’s the one thing that truly frees the victim, permanently, from the abuser’s control and throws all of the guilt, shame and weakness back onto the abuser.

  212. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Jackie wrote:

    It seems that any thoughtful comment that might check our OWN behavior is immediately seen as wrong- or defending the indefensible. No. What happened with Mark and many like him? No one said- hey- this is wrong. This is not reflecting a spirit that is Christlike.

    Jackie, I really appreciate what you’re trying to say here (and I’m fairly sure I’ve understood you). It’s a very difficult minefield to tread, and we often don’t like to go there, but it’s essential that we do – and by “we” I mean the TWW community – if we are to provide a setting that truly, radically offers hope to the abused.

    The whole area of abuse and forgiveness involves navigating very difficult waters. For one thing, abusers routinely mock their victims’ emotions, and – in very sly and subtle ways – demand forgiveness. For another, many well-meaning christians who have walked, perhaps, a more emotionally comfortable path through life, then deliver lectures to the effect of two wrongs don’t make a right, you need to forgive the narcissist, etc etc. In other words, they also demand that the victim forgive, and in so doing they also reinforce the projection of all the sin, shame and blame onto the victim. The victim is not just demonised but – and to me, this is worse – infantilised.

    Which ever way the victim faces now, (s)he loses – there is no way the victim can gain any respect. If (s)he doesn’t forgive, (s)he remains trapped in “bitterness” as a person with “issues”. But even if (s)he does, (s)he is merely going back to being a good little obedient person who does what they’re told because they don’t know anything. Even the act of forgiveness is stripped of its power to liberate.

    It can be incredibly hard to understand what forgiveness really is, and incredibly hard not to see it as letting the abuser off the hook. You’re absolutely right in saying (if I paraphrase fairly) that we do not have a binary choice: hate Fiscal, or hate his victims. Actually, forgiveness is the ultimate act of conquest. It’s the one thing that truly frees the victim, permanently, from the abuser’s control and throws all of the guilt, shame and weakness back onto the abuser.

    Ahhhh Nick. You did it again. You have a gift of delivering brilliance with humility that is enviable. I wanted to block quote a few things but didn’t want to remove one word. Thanks for taking the time. Such a hard thing to communicate for me.

    I always assume when I comment that it’s a given that there should be exposure and truth spoken about clear wrongs. (It’s in my DNA to yell that the Emperor has no clothes, and as many here know, it’s not always easy.) But what you said about- truly, radically offering hope to the abused – is right on at the end of your comment.

    As someone who has not walked an emotionally comfortable path through life, I know your words to be true. It’s these twists and turns, heart breaks, challenges and surprises that make me love God all the more. And of course, I want anyone who suffers or has suffered (many here) to be free.

  213. Law Prof wrote:

    he immediately changed tactics and said what he said was actually “good for the church”, he’d meant well–as if that made it less of a lie!

    We got a lot of this, too. Abusive and manipulative behavior that was justified because the abuser/manipulator “meant well.”

  214. Pingback: "We Are Not ABANDONED" The Culture Which Gave Rise to Mark Driscoll - Stand Up For The Truth

  215. Pingback: We Are Not Abandoned: The Culture Which Gave Rise to Mark Driscoll | The Narrowing Path UNITED STATES

  216. @ Cousin of Eutychus:

    Cousin is right! Sycophantic eldors enable abusive pastors all across the Evangelical church in America. It should not take a letter by 21 former pastors and the cofounder and a news story to get elders to do the job they were sworn to do. Driscoll suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. Although NPD is common among pastors it destroys true Christian culture instantly. Driscoll was unfit before he ever stepped to the pulpit. He will remain so. Jesus, creator of the universe, came as a lowly, humble servant! Driscoll, creator of PR-driven pomp and circumstance is arrogant, aloof, self-absorbed and manipulative. Pastor as Rockstar is a broken model. Popular, just not “Christ”ian.