The Gospel Coalition Posts on Life after the Demise of Mars Hill Church & Opens a Can of Worms

"Four years ago, Mars Hill Church in Seattle seemed too big to fail…Then, in a few breathtaking months, the whole thing collapsed."

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra

Mars Hill Church (Credit: Julie Anne Smith)

Looks like Mars Hill Church is gone but not forgotten, at least not by The Gospel Coalition. Yesterday TGC featured an article by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra entitled Seattle Reboot: Life After Mars Hill. Sarah, who writes not only for The Gospel Coalition but for Christianity Today, provided the following introduction:

Just 17 years old, the church was drawing an average weekly attendance of 12,329 to 15 locations. In fiscal year 2013 alone, Mars Hill baptized more than 1,000 people, planted 53 churches in India, and supported 20 church planters and evangelists in Ethiopia. It released 50 new worship songs, gave away more than 3,000 Bibles in the United States and Ethiopia, and took in nearly $25 million in tithes and offerings.

Then, in a few breathtaking months, the whole thing collapsed. Founder and lead pastor Mark Driscoll’s bent toward the provocative, which was part of his draw, increasingly came under fire, fanned by a series of controversies.

Driscoll announced he was taking a break in August 2014, then resigned less than two months later. By the end of October, lead preaching pastor Dave Bruskas announced the whole thing was shutting down.

In short order this article was being discussed in social media via Tweets and Facebook posts, as well as on other websites (more on those later). So far this post on TGC's website has garnered over 50 comments, which is significant. Often, TGC posts don't get any comments at all. We do wonder whether all the comments are being published. If any of our readers post a comment that fails to make it out of moderation, please let us know.

If you are not that familiar with Mark Driscoll's involvement with The Gospel Coalition, you should know that he was a founding Council Member. Here is what Mark said on March 28, 2012 (see screen shot below):

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/driscoll-steps-down-from-tgc-council

I will never forget that just a couple weeks after Dee and I launched our blog, The Gospel Coalition held is National Conference in Chicago. Mark Driscoll was one of the speakers, and his message was entitled Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth. It's perplexing that his message no longer appears in the list for the 2009 conference.

Even though Driscoll hasn't been affiliated with The Gospel Coalition for the last five years, TGC continues to archive his messages.

It must have been hard Driscoll's colleagues in The Gospel Coalition, particularly its co-founder Don Carson, to see Mars Hill Church collapse as it did? How could this work of God fall into ruin? After all, 'Dr. Don' invested in Mars Hill Church through his teaching (see screen shot below).

https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/2009/01/10/carson-at-mars-hill/

Getting back to TGC's article on Mars Hill Church, some commenters thought the summary was too brief, some thought it was too detailed, and some thought it was just right. As far as Dee and I are concerned, we believe all the article did was open a can of worms.

Wenatchee the Hatchet (WTH), who has done a yeoman's job over the years covering Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll, has written a couple of posts in response to this TGC post.

Gospel Coalition article on Seattle reboot after Mars Hill touches on Bellevue campus, some background on local news preceding the precipitous decline

Gospel Coalition piece on life after Mars Hill misreads time-frame of Mars Hill collapse, consulting FY2012 and FY2013 reports we can establish numeric decline starting in Fy2013.

Wenatchee makes the point in the above post that the collapse of Mars Hill was at least two years in the making, NOT a few months, as Sarah's article indicates!

Warren Throckmorton, who has also covered Driscoll and his now defunct church over the years shared his thoughts in a post – Reflections on TGC's Life After Mars Hill Church.

Way back in 2007 Justin Taylor reported on Mark Driscoll's confession of pride. Taylor's post, which is still available on TGC's website, includes a transcript of some of Driscoll's remarks in a sermon he delivered on November 4, 2007. (see screen shots below)


https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/2007/11/09/driscolls-confession-on-pride/https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/2007/11/09/driscolls-confession-on-pride/


It's a crying shame that Driscoll didn't stay true to his word (cited above) and that his Gospel Coalition colleagues didn't hold him accountable. So many in the body of Christ have been hurt!

So what was the purpose of this recent TGC article on the aftermath of Mars Hill Church? It seemed to come out of the blue…

According to her Linked In Profile, Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra (who is a Contributing Editor for Christianity Today International) describes her position this way:

I report on anything they ask me to, for print in their flagship magazine or for online publication. Sometimes I have weeks to work on a story, and sometimes only hours. Sometimes the work is national, and sometimes I call overseas. It's always challenging and interesting.

Is that what she was doing here as a Senior Writer for The Gospel Coalition — reporting on anything they ask her to? The question that must be asked is…

Why now? After all, Mars Hill Church closed its doors in December 2014, almost 2-1/2 years ago. Stay tuned for Dee's follow-up post on Friday.

In the meantime, we would love for you to share your thoughts on TGC's Seattle Reboot: Life After Mars Hill article.


Comments

The Gospel Coalition Posts on Life after the Demise of Mars Hill Church & Opens a Can of Worms — 167 Comments

  1. From the Reboot article:

    “And even though the collapse of Mars Hill left hundreds hurting and soured on the idea of belonging to a church, it also sparked a wave of healthy soul-searching and a realignment of churches with the gospel.”

    Purpose of the article? Schadenfreude, maybe, and then TGC’s formula for a realignment of churches with the TGC “gospel”, as the answer or in response, picking up the pieces.

  2. “Folks coming from Mars Hill have been well taught,” Sinnett said. “They have a basic understanding of the gospel and what it means to live on mission. They have a real heart for their city, and what it looks like for a husband to lead his family spiritually. A lot of those big rocks were in place.”

    I have a very different perspective than this fellow. I would say they were well indoctrinated.

  3. I’ll take a closer look at the post later, and proceed to bang my head against a desk. But I’ll point this out now:

    While this article has two praises Mars Hill Church’s complementarian (seeker-sensitive patriarchal) doctrine, Trisha Wilkerson reported a substantial amount of failed marriages from Mars Hill Church in her interview on the Pastor with no Answers podcast. See at 5:32:

    https://soundcloud.com/pastor-with-no-answers/81-part-2-mars-hill-speaks-w-tricia-wilkerson

  4. My husband and I went to Mars Hill Tacoma for a short period. We had left another smallish church that was trying to model the mega church formula, it wasn’t working so we left. We were naive and didn’t know Mark Driscoll had a bad reputation and knew several people we thought highly of that went to Mars Hill so thought we would give it a try. We clearly asked people in leadership if Mark Driscoll had a large salary or big house. We had recently learned of Steven Furtick’s mega house and salary and were appalled. We were clearly told Mark had a “normal” salary and house. We were told this with the pastor, Bubba (not kidding his actual name) standing right there. When we found out through Wenatchee the Hatchet and Wartburg Watch and Warren Throckmorton that wasn’t the case we asked to speak to the leader of the small group we were assigned. He and his wife came to our house, we explained what we had learned. They wanted to know how we got the info we had. We said why does it matter, is Mark really making huge bucks selling Jesus? They left without answering. Every single person we met there had come from another church. We are glad we looked behind the curtain and have since seen so many other “ministries” that are just hoaxes. Our faith is not shaken, but we haven’t been able to belong to a church again. We tell our kids, follow the money…

  5. It’s interesting that Sarah, the author, only seems to have interviewed pastors & people who have found another church home. What about all the other people who didn’t? I didn’t see any quotes from people who were so hurt by Mars Hill that they don’t go to church any more.

    I think this quote from one of the pastors interviewed is a primary reason for the article:

    “‘Mark changed the face of Christianity in the United States for this generation. Mars Hill helped popularize the neo-Calvinistic movement and complementarianism. In the early stages, it was a vital component of a return to conservative biblical family ideals.’ ”

    In others words, to the author, God used Mark Driscoll to further the advance of Calvinism & complementarianism. Too bad about all the people who got thrown under the Driscoll bus, but hey, look at all these church plants!

  6. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    t’s interesting that Sarah, the author, only seems to have interviewed pastors & people who have found another church home. What about all the other people who didn’t? I didn’t see any quotes from people who were so hurt by Mars Hill that they don’t go to church any more.

    I also noticed that all but one of the interviewees was male. Only one woman interviewed.

    This story irritated me terribly. One of the pastors interviewed said, “Folks coming from Mars Hill have been well taught.” Well, no, they were not well-taught. They were taught complementarianism and neo-Calvinism. That’s not the gospel of Jesus, not in the least. And there’s so much more I could say here. I might have more to say later in the week. But:

    *sigh* I was really enjoying my Sundays, but I’m going to have to hit the pavement at “The” “Trinity” “Church” again. So yeah, it’s ON.

    And it’s because “The ‘Gospel’ Coalition” decided to ignore all the bad stuff about Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Seattle, all the money that just disappeared, the money that didn’t go to Ethiopia or India, the money collected for the Jesus Fest that didn’t happen, the way people were treated at Mars Hill, the way people were shunned (just like SCIENTOLOGY) and so on and so forth. Mars Hill was a cancer on Seattle, and instead of excising the cancer, instead it was broken up and it has metastasized to many other churches. These churches, for the most part, seem to be as authoritarian as Mars Hill. In some ways, the situation is worse than it was in the summer of 2014.

    🙁

  7. Sarah wrote, “planted 53 churches in India, and supported 20 church planters and evangelists in Ethiopia.”
    This was part of truly diabolical plan called the global fund. Throckmorton published an internal infernal Martian memo suggesting they do all the fundraising supposedly for India and Ethiopia but with just a fraction going overseas and the bulk financing multi-site expansion in places like Everett and Tacoma. I saw a calculation of how much the Ethiopian pastors actually received monthly and it was very small. Once they were called on it, the Martians revised history and claimed “global fund” actually meant collecting funds globally, not distributing them that way.

  8. I read the TGC article and I think it boils down to protecting the Neo-Calvinist Brand. The pastors interviewed in the article believe Mars Hill had super-sound theology. So…the problem was Driscoll the man, but not the belief system he promoted & taught from the pulpit. Sigh….they haven’t learned a thing. The Gospel Coalition, the journalist who wrote the article, and all those (both pastors & former Mars Hill members) who prop up the New Calvinism as a good thing are blind to the dangers and pitfalls in that system.

  9. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Mars Hill was a cancer on Seattle, and instead of excising the cancer, instead it was broken up and it has metastasized to many other churches. These churches, for the most part, seem to be as authoritarian as Mars Hill.

    Right on, Deanna. Now, it’s a bunch of mini-Mars Hill cults carrying on the toxic Driscoll theology. After all, the Driscollites were “taught well.”. Blind guides!

  10. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Mars Hill was a cancer on Seattle, and instead of excising the cancer, instead it was broken up and it has metastasized to many other churches. These churches, for the most part, seem to be as authoritarian as Mars Hill. In some ways, the situation is worse than it was in the summer of 2014.

    I consider the closure of Mars Hill to be an answer to fervent prayers. I was literally down on my knees praying for a long time for its closure.

    While NeoCalvinism has spread, I think its heyday has passed and the damage is being blogged about everywhere. My Facebook is filled with stories by conservative Christian women who did the whole ‘obey and submit’ Complementarian/Patriachy marriage only to have it blow up into abuse (domestic abuse and child abuse). Divorce after divorce. Women being excommunicated and shunned from churches for leaving abusive husbands and divorcing them.

  11. @ Velour:
    Velour, do you have a link to that blog from the woman who was mistreated at a Neo-Calvinist Calvinist church? She wrote an article not long ago that living with her abusive husband was like being given the matches to burn down her home.

  12. I started to listen to Mrs. Wilkerson speaking, but I was surprised that she talked about ‘God’ as though He were a guy down the street …. too ‘casual’ and seemingly without awe or reverence

    Did I misunderstand her tone? Did I get it wrong?
    Is possible I did ….. different religious traditions often misunderstand one another’s ‘cultures’, I suppose.
    ?

  13. Darlene wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Velour, do you have a link to that blog from the woman who was mistreated at a Neo-Calvinist Calvinist church? She wrote an article not long ago that living with her abusive husband was like being given the matches to burn down her home.

    Darlene,

    I get so many of them. I was thinking of Natalie K., who was a member of John Piper’s Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minnesota and has been subjected to church discipline before all of the members for leaving her abusive husband.

    https://emotionalabusesurvivor.com/

    Is that who you are thinking of?

  14. @ Christiane:

    I have not read or listened to all of the post, and I don’t have time right this minute because (sound of trumpets) the man is coming shortly who says he can finish up the work on my downstairs bathroom today. So we all have to get bathed and dressed, using our one bath to do so, before he gets here. Then I will sit down and read/listen.

    That said, I imagine that you understood correctly. I skirted on this subject with you previously when I mentioned the use of the word ‘Jesus’ when talking about You-Know-Who as opposed to the title ‘Lord/ Our Lord/ and such. You all tend to do one and we tend to do the other, though both is technically correct and He was addressed by either words in scripture.

    As I perceive it there are very different customs in this area. I think I may know the doctrinal variances which contribute to it, and like you wisely!! said, this can lead to some serious misunderstanding across this ‘cultural’ divide. I think that really no kidding for sure believers (as opposed to just pew sitters) experience both God and self somewhat differently in your camp than in my camp.

    Later- I am up next at the bathroom.

    The floor if not the cabinets are in place in the kitchen, the junk has been hauled out of the front yard (that will make you humble before the neighbors-junk in the front yard) but there is still a long way to go.

  15. “Dr. DON” in BIG letters. “It’s all about Jesus” in small letters underneath. A great visual example of what’s wrong with so many preachers. Jesus takes second billing.

  16. Shannon H. wrote:

    “Dr. DON” in BIG letters. “It’s all about Jesus” in small letters underneath. A great visual example of what’s wrong with so many preachers. Jesus takes second billing.

    Nice catch!

  17. @ okrapod:
    You have my sympathies …. contractors can drive you crazy …. we once moved out of the house for three days to the Hampton Inn when they were re-doing our bathrooms …. very frustrating!

  18. @ Christiane:

    Okay, I give up. Granted I am a tad distracted, but who is Mrs. Wilkerson and where did you hear her talking and is it something I can get to from here on my computer?

  19. Stan wrote:

    While this article has two praises Mars Hill Church’s complementarian (seeker-sensitive patriarchal) doctrine,

    Their Ideology was Pure.
    The Party Can Do No Wrong, Comrades.

  20. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    In others words, to the author, God used Mark Driscoll to further the advance of Calvinism & complementarianism. Too bad about all the people who got thrown under the Driscoll bus, but hey, look at all these church plants!

    Follow and marvel, saying “Who is like unto The Mark? Who can stand against him?”

  21. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    I also noticed that all but one of the interviewees was male. Only one woman interviewed.

    “Women shall keep silent in Church.”

    This story irritated me terribly. One of the pastors interviewed said, “Folks coming from Mars Hill have been well taught.”

    Ees Party Line.

  22. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    In others words, to the author, God used Mark Driscoll to further the advance of Calvinism & complementarianism.

    The New Calvinism movement has depended on characters like Driscoll and Mahaney to advance their cause. SBC’s church planting program used the Acts 29 and SGM models to provide church homes across America for a wave of YRR “pastors” coming out of SBC seminaries. TGC’s more sophisticated leaders put up with the potty-mouth preacher from Seattle until the potato became too hot to handle. They will also continue to cover Mahaney until he makes a big-time blunder. These folks stick together until the end … then throw offenders under the bus, distancing themselves from the bad boys lest their own self-righteousness become tarnished.

  23. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    I think this quote from one of the pastors interviewed is a primary reason for the article:

    “‘Mark changed the face of Christianity in the United States for this generation. Mars Hill helped popularize the neo-Calvinistic movement and complementarianism. In the early stages, it was a vital component of a return to conservative biblical family ideals.’ ”

    So Holy God used Mark Driscoll to write his pornographic “Real Marriage” book to help America “return to conservative biblical family ideals”?!

    Maybe the Calvinist God, but not the God I know.

  24. Darlene wrote:

    the problem was Driscoll the man, but not the belief system he promoted & taught from the pulpit

    The belief system he promoted spawned countless Driscollite-preachers who have wreaked havoc with the church. The new reformation is populated by “pastors” who are militant, aggressive and arrogant. One may try to separate men from message, but its increasingly clear that New Calvinism is bad theology … look at its fruit!

  25. TGC didn’t like my comments on the article, so they were removed. Thankfully, Disqus saves those comments for me, along with a note in red: “Removed.” So, you tell me…which of the barbs got my comments deleted?

    Here they are:

    mirele Jim S. 18 hours ago

    Removed

    And Mark Driscoll has another church in Scottsdale. One that was established with the help of other religious leaders. One that doesn’t even have an elder structure to keep Mark in line because he set it up that way.
    But we don’t hear that, or the fact that Mark never apologized to the hundreds he harmed, or that there was ever an accounting of the Global Fund monies, or the monies collected for the Jesus Fest, or, or, or…

    I should not have to bring any of this up, Ms. Zylstra. You have a master’s degree in journalism but it’s bluntly apparent that you either didn’t do your research or your research was sent down the memory hole by an editor who wanted only a particular view of Mars Hill to come out.

    As for why I care-Driscoll is now recruiting people in my area for his new church. TGC did a horrible job in dealing with Driscoll when MH was falling apart and now he’s a problem for Phoenix.

    *sigh* I guess I’m going to have to hit the sidewalk in front of The Trinity Church in Scottsdale again because you guys at TGC continue to cut Driscoll slack and fail to tell what a disaster Mars Hill was for everyone not in power.

    Deana Holmes, that woman who picketed The Trinity “Church” from March to November 2016.

    P.S. Complementarianism does absolutely nothing for the more than 50 percent of adult American women who are not married. It is also not part of the good news of Jesus Christ and him crucified.

    mirele 18 hours ago

    Removed

    Also, where are the women? You have one: Mindi Plasch. Where are the other female voices? Or do only males and male leadership count?

    Deana Holmes

  26. @ Max:
    Looks to me as if these congregations are being purged…becoming washed up.I think the America’s are losing their influence. Sure they’re still going after the SBC because they need to find a base somewhere. Hopefully, their takeovers will fail there too.

  27. Darlene wrote:

    Right on, Deanna. Now, it’s a bunch of mini-Mars Hill cults carrying on the toxic Driscoll theology. After all, the Driscollites were “taught well.”. Blind guides!

    Wasn’t there a favorite verse of the Pentecostal set where You cast out one Devil only to have seven more come to take his place?

  28. dee wrote:

    @ On the Healing Journey:
    I am appalled a woman would write such a slush piece for TGC. She obviously knows that names that Driscoll called women.

    Queen Bee or Serena Joy?

  29. @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    I am going to go after a number of points in that post tomorrow. I am sad that a woman could write such an article. Janet Mefferd and I went through a number of issues that were glossed over in the *good* theology department.

  30. Lea wrote:

    It released 50 new worship songs

    Number of total chords used in all 50 songs? 5

    Number of words in each song? 7, repeated 70 times.

  31. Max wrote:

    The belief system he promoted spawned countless Driscollite-preachers who have wreaked havoc with the church. The new reformation is populated by “pastors” who are militant, aggressive and arrogant.

    Including “TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! PASTOR NEEDS $200 GRAND TO JUICE HIS NEXT BOOK! GOD WILLS IT!”

    “I’m Gonna Be,
    I’m Gonna Be,
    I’m Gonna Be FAMOUS!!!”
    — Opening theme to Total Drama Island

  32. Max wrote:

    The New Calvinism movement has depended on characters like Driscoll and Mahaney to advance their cause.

    AKA “Deep Throat” and “The HUMBLE One”.

  33. dee wrote:

    I am going to go after a number of points in that post tomorrow. I am sad that a woman could write such an article. Janet Mefferd and I went through a number of issues that were glossed over in the *good* theology department.

    *Thank you*. Hopefully this will give me some (better) ideas for signs. I appreciate all your hard work!

  34. Ruth wrote:

    Our faith is not shaken, but we haven’t been able to belong to a church again. We tell our kids, follow the money…

    We left an ARC church where the “entrepreneur pastor” was much like I imagine Driscoll to be. In fact we haven’t visited a church since then where the pastor wasn’t narcissistic or neurotic. If the pastor is effective in managing the congregation, you can gauge his personality just by meeting a few of the congregants. The narcissist’s congregation seems to be more welcoming and well trained to gather more reinforcement of the pastors ego. They tolerate huge inconsistencies that are in plain sight while promoting the pastor’s kingdom. The neurotic congregation seems to be more insular; the pastor having built a network of relationships and protections for his ego. I’ve been in “theologically rich” and “theologically poor” churches and I see “a church” managed by men in a way that separates people from God and each other.

    Unfortunately, I also see a strong narrative being promoted that goes something like “You can’t serve God outside community”. I feel that me my family need community, but consolidation is not community. I don’t see a body, I see a machine. I don’t need the whole institution to function like a body; I just need enough so that I can exercise my gifts and be built up by the giftedness of others. It seems a miracle that God works through the relationships of broken people, like myself.

    Maybe it’s my own prejudice, but I have a tendency to focus on the role of “the church” in Bible passages where many people see only condemnation of the world. I often feel like we are quickly approaching a time like the days of Noah, but Ark builders are scarce. I see ships full of holes rather than Holy ships. Maybe the narrative is wrong; maybe God is using a few people who see clearly and are humble enough to appear foolish when they don’t adopt the “letter” of the popular narrative, but continue in Spirit to build an Ark that will float even when others don’t understand. I am stubborn and resolute like Noah, but I’m quite sure that there are many people better than myself on ships that will not withstand the flood.

    I apologize for the rambling, but something in Ruth’s comment resonated with my experience.

  35. A Roger Jones left a series of comments re: how the remaining MH pastors / LPs / ‘roll off pastors’ had to keep quiet about what they knew so as not to jeopardize the money they would get in the final analysis. The comments were allowed to stay for a while, long enough to generate some responses.

    They are now deleted. In their place are the words “This comment was deleted.” Other deleted comments didn’t get that kind of postscript.

  36. all this seems to have buttoned up for a while.

    i think people had gotten tired & weary and worn out over all the MH / MD drama & crime & tragedy (the true shenanigans, with the king f@rt in the elevator himself and his circles of compromisers).

    aside from crimes being committed (crimes of what is moral, right/wrong, and I expect of the laws of the land, too) i see enormous significance in the fallout.

    of course, i’m not unique here, and this is old news.

    i think it is time to resurrect the *unvarnished* story. i suspect people are ready to talk again.

    MDs enablers need to be called on the carpet. tarred and feathered, for starters.

  37. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    They have a real heart for their city, and what it looks like for a husband to lead his family spiritually.

    Because ‘boys are in charge’ is the MOST important thing, clearly. *smdh*

  38. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    It released 50 new worship songs

    Number of total chords used in all 50 songs? 5

    Number of words in each song? 7, repeated 70 times.

    And probably nonsense words at that! I’m having flashbacks to my last visit to gateway. At one point I just stopped singing and started shaking my head at whatever they were repeating (for the 20th time).

  39. Christiane wrote:

    I started to listen to Mrs. Wilkerson speaking, but I was surprised that she talked about ‘God’ as though He were a guy down the street …. too ‘casual’ and seemingly without awe or reverence
    Did I misunderstand her tone? Did I get it wrong?
    Is possible I did ….. different religious traditions often misunderstand one another’s ‘cultures’, I suppose.
    ?

    You got it right. This is not about some religious tradition, however, that makes people talk like that. It is about religious professionalism which leaves God/Jesus out of the picture almost entirely, except an occasional mention of the brand name from time to time.

    Specifically what I hear is that something does not seem real when she uses the words ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’. I don’t know if you listened to the whole thing or not, but I kept forcing myself to continue because I wanted to know what you were saying. I am being careful what I say, under the ‘judge not..’ thing, but to me in this conversation my conclusions are that maybe she needs to have a ‘real experience’ of Christ and hear Him tell her that it is not about her but actually about Him. Even when she talked about God/Jesus I got the impression of phony-okay I said it. I don’t think I hear people who have actually either had a genuine experience of Christ either in the protestant or the catholic way of understanding that, who talk with such a self centered disconnect when the topic came up. It was like she was saying, oh yes and there was a little bonus from time to time of course-(insert divine reference here)- but that was basically irrelevant.

    In the terms of some folks, she does not sound like God ever ‘got hold of her’ and radically changed her thinking about either herself or God. It was painful to listen to. But in the last few minutes of that painful interview she says that they are now Anglicans. Maybe there is hope; she will have to come to grips with some entirely different ideas at least. Maybe. Or maybe she is just interested in the fact that Anglicans ordain women, which is what she said she hoped for-that she wanted to be a priest. I wanted to say, Lady, that is the least of your problems.

  40. dee wrote:

    I am appalled a woman would write such a slush piece for TGC. She obviously knows that names that Driscoll called women.

    All of the articles about Driscoll on TGC gloss the story over. He was young and he made mistakes …… followed by how great Mars Hill was for the world …….
    The have to protect their founder, their ultimate guru on women’s roles.
    I have wondered if they are saving Driscoll a place, just in case he decides to come back to TGC !

  41. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    I think this quote from one of the pastors interviewed is a primary reason for the article:

    “‘Mark changed the face of Christianity in the United States for this generation. Mars Hill helped popularize the neo-Calvinistic movement and complementarianism.

    Driscoll has a lot to answer for – he’s done a lot of damage.

  42. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    “‘Mark changed the face of Christianity in the United States for this generation. Mars Hill helped popularize the neo-Calvinistic movement and complementarianism. In the early stages, it was a vital component of a return to conservative biblical family ideals.’ ”

    Neither of which have anything to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  43. NJ wrote:

    “I’d always considered humility to be cowardice and a compromise.”

    That’s telling.

    What ISN’T telling???

    I swear, these men can say and do literally anything and people will eat it up. Piper, CJ, Driscol, Wilson…

    I don’t get it.

  44. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Where are the other female voices?

    I’m reminded of an unsung heroine in the Mars Hill saga, Karen Schaeffer. She was Fiscal’s exec assistant 2002-2003 before getting bussed over. In early 2014, before Chandler MacDonald and Tripp jumped off the sinking shipp, she wrote this prophetic open letter. http://welovemarshill.com/post/95725540360/karen-schaeffer-a-letter-to-mark-driscoll
    Not likely to be interviewed for TGC any time soon.

  45. “In fiscal year 2013 alone, Mars Hill baptized more than 1,000 people, planted 53 churches in India, and supported 20 church planters and evangelists in Ethiopia.” I call b.s. on this whole statement. This is not investigative journalism. This is an echoing of things that are extremely questionable. Based on what I learned through the GFA debacle, it appears impossible that enough money made it to India and Ethiopia for even one church to be planted. This is spin of the worst kind. They claim 1,000 new baptized converts but forget to mention how many left the faith out of disillusionment. I wish the Christian media would stop spinning things and just speak out what is real and can be proven so.

  46. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    it appears impossible that enough money made it to India and Ethiopia for even one church to be planted.

    And it was planned in advance as a tricksy way to expand buildings and Fiscal’s salary.

  47. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    I wish the Christian media would stop spinning things and just speak out what is real and can be proven so.

    maybe the ‘Christian media’ isn’t what it says it is if it serves the wrong ends, especially greed

  48. Velour wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Velour, do you have a link to that blog from the woman who was mistreated at a Neo-Calvinist Calvinist church? She wrote an article not long ago that living with her abusive husband was like being given the matches to burn down her home.

    Darlene,

    I was thinking of Natalie K.,

    https://emotionalabusesurvivor.com/

    Is that who you are thinking of?

    Yes, that’s the lady I was thinking of. Thank you for the link! She is a treasure trove of wisdom!

  49. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    All of the articles about Driscoll on TGC gloss the story over. He was young and he made mistakes …… followed by how great Mars Hill was for the world …….

    I’m sitting here wondering just how many times they can hear themselves says this about one of their leaders before they realize they are the creators of the “young and made mistakes” pastors that filled so many churches across the country . . .

    I have to believe they are spiritually blind at this point. There is no other excuse for their continued lack of repentance for their part in the problems we see.

  50. Darlene wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Darlene wrote:
    @ Velour:
    Velour, do you have a link to that blog from the woman who was mistreated at a Neo-Calvinist Calvinist church? She wrote an article not long ago that living with her abusive husband was like being given the matches to burn down her home.
    Darlene,
    I was thinking of Natalie K.,
    https://emotionalabusesurvivor.com/
    Is that who you are thinking of?
    Yes, that’s the lady I was thinking of. Thank you for the link! She is a treasure trove of wisdom!

    Yes, Darlene, Natalie K. is a treasure trove of wisdom.

    By the way, Natalie has her own soap making business that she uses to support herself and her children. She makes wonderful products. Whenever I want a treat for myself or something special as a gift for another person, I order from Natalie’s business:

    http://www.applevalleynaturalsoap.com/

  51. Oh my gosh. Mark learned humility from Mahaney? That’s like getting grooming tips from Pigpen.

  52. Max wrote:

    throw

    Max, I hope you recognized my statement as sarcasm. Being that there are no sarcastic​ emoticons…..

  53. @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    Deana, TGC removed your comments because they’re all about protecting their Brand, i.e. – Neo-Calvinism. They aren’t interested in exposing the truth about Driscoll because it would implicate them and their skewed belief system.

  54. dee wrote:

    @ On the Healing Journey:
    I am appalled a woman would write such a slush piece for TGC. She obviously knows that names that Driscoll called women.

    TGC has its *useful idiots* and the women who write for them are in that category.

  55. “It released 50 new worship songs …”

    To be a successful YRR church planter, you must have a really cool praise & worship team. It’s the band that attracts the Millennials, not the preaching. You ‘must’ have a loud band with whining guitars and drums and praise singers in tight pants; if they are good enough to release their own songs, you have hit the jack-pot. Add some free coffee and pastries in the foyer, a groovy “pastor” propped on a stool center stage with short sermons from his ESV Bible, come as you are and leave as you are, and you have a recipe for success.

  56. @ Darlene:
    Yes, I read the sarcasm in your comment. I just can’t believe so many otherwise intelligent folks fall for these sort of “ministries”, Darlene.

  57. scott hendrixson wrote:

    I apologize for the rambling, but something in Ruth’s comment resonated with my experience.

    Scott,

    I appreciated your comment and insights about your bad church experience. I think many of our churches have gone off the rails for the very reasons that you cited.

  58. @ Mr. Jesperson:
    As HUG would say… Truth? you must stay on message comrade.. The message is ### of souls saved/baptized, and ### of $$$ raised.. nice, easy metrics..

  59. elastigirl wrote:

    A Roger Jones left a series of comments re: how the remaining MH pastors / LPs / ‘roll off pastors’ had to keep quiet about what they knew so as not to jeopardize the money they would get in the final analysis. The comments were allowed to stay for a while, long enough to generate some responses.

    They are now deleted. In their place are the words “This comment was deleted.” Other deleted comments didn’t get that kind of postscript.

    Wow. I read those comments last night. It seems TGC isn’t interested in any narrative that would expose the toxicity that was Mars Hill Church. As I said up thread, I think they’re about promoting the Neo-Calvinist Brand.

  60. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    @ Jeffrey J . Chalmers:
    PS… never mind he called women “$&@?! homes! Do you what would happen to me if I said that at work?

    that behavior is his ‘brand’ …. his supporters must really admire his abusive contempt for women(?)

    the worst? He had a ‘vision’ that his wife was with another man before their marriage, and he told EVERYONE about this,
    which I find utterly contemptible that a man would throw his wife and the mother of his children under the bus publicly in that way
    How could ANY man do such a thing, let alone a man who says he follows Christ and honors Him in all his ways …. ?????

  61. Jeffrey J . Chalmers wrote:

    The message is ### of souls saved/baptized, and ### of $$$ raised.. nice, easy metrics..

    That could be said of SBC back when. How many baptisms, how much given to the co-operative program. Except they did not abuse people like some folks do not, but none the less ‘the message’ was similar.

  62. Christiane wrote:

    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
    @ Jeffrey J . Chalmers:
    PS… never mind he called women “$&@?! homes! Do you what would happen to me if I said that at work?
    that behavior is his ‘brand’ …. his supporters must really admire his abusive contempt for women(?)
    the worst? He had a ‘vision’ that his wife was with another man before their marriage, and he told EVERYONE about this,
    which I find utterly contemptible that a man would throw his wife and the mother of his children under the bus publicly in that way

    The worst thing is that he blames her for all of their marriage problems, and yet–he admitted he also had sex before marriage. Not only did he go on and on about the fact that she had sex while glossing over the fact that he did, he talked a lot about how much she was in sin over it.

    But all marriage issues are the result of the woman, of course. If women just did whatever men told them to do, all marriages would be perfect just like God designed them to be. (/end sarcasm)

  63. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    @ Jeffrey J . Chalmers:
    PS… never mind he called women “$&@?! homes! Do you what would happen to me if I said that at work?

    Yes, Jeffrey…you’d have gotten fired from your job and your employer would have gotten sued!

    That’s the problem I also had with my former NeoCalvinist/9Marxist/John MacArthur-ite gulag: I was ordered to use hate speech against gays, which is unlawful and a FIRING offense at my job in California. I have a gay boss and gay colleagues. They are wonderful professionals and we are just required to get along and do our jobs, and we do.

    My gay boss is hands down a far better human being than ANY of my ex-NeoCalvinist pastors/elders.

  64. ishy wrote:

    The worst thing is that he blames her for all of their marriage problems, and yet–he admitted he also had sex before marriage. Not only did he go on and on about the fact that she had sex while glossing over the fact that he did, he talked a lot about how much she was in sin over it.
    (/end sarcasm)

    Oh and this…

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/sarahoverthemoon/2013/09/you-are-not-your-own-is-rape-just-another-sexual-sin/

    (triggers on assault/rape)

  65. Christiane wrote:

    How could ANY man do such a thing, let alone a man who says he follows Christ and honors Him in all his ways …

    In my opinion, Mark Driscoll isn’t “a man”. He doesn’t know how to be a man. He didn’t have good role modeling (a father) who taught him how to be a man. So Driscoll is grasping at straws. He is a deeply insecure person. Not a man.

  66. Velour wrote:

    In my opinion, Mark Driscoll isn’t “a man”. He doesn’t know how to be a man. He didn’t have good role modeling (a father) who taught him how to be a man. So Driscoll is grasping at straws. He is a deeply insecure person. Not a man.

    That seems to apply to a lot of these guys. I still want to crack up when I imagine Piper getting all miffed by a female police officer pulling him over, as if his fragile masculinity is just going to shatter to pieces and make him cry.

    Decent, strong human beings don’t need validation of their strength from other human beings. It comes from God and is not based on how others treat us. If you are constantly being injured by what others say to the point of forcing everyone around you to say only what you want, including strangers, then you probably have a mental illness that needs treatment.

  67. @ ishy:
    Ugh. I’m sure this is going to make me want to smash things.
    ishy wrote:

    But all marriage issues are the result of the woman, of course. If women just did whatever men told them to do, all marriages would be perfect just like God designed them to be. (/end sarcasm)

    There was a quote from John Mcarthur (I think) where he goes on about how physical abuse is ‘not a woman’s fault’ nevertheless she is supposed to be quiet and docile so she prevents it! Uh huh.

  68. Velour wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    How could ANY man do such a thing, let alone a man who says he follows Christ and honors Him in all his ways …

    In my opinion, Mark Driscoll isn’t “a man”. He doesn’t know how to be a man. He didn’t have good role modeling (a father) who taught him how to be a man. So Driscoll is grasping at straws. He is a deeply insecure person. Not a man.

    IMO, MD is a deeply disturbed and broken individual. He surrounded himself with yes-men from the beginning, and had no one to help him grow up. He is a man-child. I do not think that he is a Christian, but that’s not really up to me to say.

  69. Lea wrote:

    There was a quote from John Mcarthur (I think) where he goes on about how physical abuse is ‘not a woman’s fault’ nevertheless she is supposed to be quiet and docile so she prevents it! Uh huh.

    Piper has said similar things, and I believe that famous quote by Paige Patterson that’s almost exactly that has been on here a number of times.

    Thing is, facts say the opposite. Very little stops an abusive person from abusing others except absence, and even then, often they go stalking what they view is their “property”. And patriarchial authoritarianism teaches men that women and children are their property, so it reinforces how abusers work. Plus, we’ve seen that while New Calvinists talk a big game about church discipline, they only apply it when it’s convenient or harming their authority. And nouthetic counseling doesn’t work, because people lie.

    It occurs to me why New Calvinists would make such a big deal about nouthetic counseling when they really don’t seem to put much stock in regeneration. They seem to believe that if someone says agrees to be in covenant, they must be “saved”, but will throw out people on a dime like their words don’t really matter. I guess nouthetic counseling is probably just a way to hide all the bad stuff that is a result of their theology and really has nothing to do with changing sinful people.

  70. My question is what makes these men any different than what Islam teaches in regards to women children or those they deem unworthy???ishy wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    There was a quote from John Mcarthur (I think) where he goes on about how physical abuse is ‘not a woman’s fault’ nevertheless she is supposed to be quiet and docile so she prevents it! Uh huh.

    Piper has said similar things, and I believe that famous quote by Paige Patterson that’s almost exactly that has been on here a number of times.

    Thing is, facts say the opposite. Very little stops an abusive person from abusing others except absence, and even then, often they go stalking what they view is their “property”. And patriarchial authoritarianism teaches men that women and children are their property, so it reinforces how abusers work. Plus, we’ve seen that while New Calvinists talk a big game about church discipline, they only apply it when it’s convenient or harming their authority. And nouthetic counseling doesn’t work, because people lie.

    It occurs to me why New Calvinists would make such a big deal about nouthetic counseling when they really don’t seem to put much stock in regeneration. They seem to believe that if someone says agrees to be in covenant, they must be “saved”, but will throw out people on a dime like their words don’t really matter. I guess nouthetic counseling is probably just a way to hide all the bad stuff that is a result of their theology and really has nothing to do with changing sinful people.

  71. ishy wrote:

    It occurs to me why New Calvinists would make such a big deal about nouthetic counseling when they really don’t seem to put much stock in regeneration. They seem to believe that if someone says agrees to be in covenant, they must be “saved”, but will throw out people on a dime like their words don’t really matter. I guess nouthetic counseling is probably just a way to hide all the bad stuff that is a result of their theology and really has nothing to do with changing sinful people.

    I think Nouthetic Counseling is more about NeoCalvinists exercisting authoritarian, intrusive control over every aspect of church members’ lives.

  72. Max wrote:

    To be a successful YRR church planter, you must have a really cool praise & worship team. It’s the band that attracts the Millennials, not the preaching. You ‘must’ have a loud band with whining guitars and drums and praise singers in tight pants; if they are good enough to release their own songs, you have hit the jack-pot. Add some free coffee and pastries in the foyer, a groovy “pastor” propped on a stool center stage with short sermons from his ESV Bible, come as you are and leave as you are, and you have a recipe for success.

    This made me literally lol. Or at least bark out “HA!” Pre-divorce, my family attended one of these churches in the greater Portland area. Then only difference was that the ESV Bible sermons were interminable. The pastor was a MD acolyte, and took his elder (there was only one, for a 200-ish member church) north to attend MH and learn from the master several times.

    Aside from nearly losing my religion, and sanity, over the hardcore neo-Calvinist theology the pastor rammed down our throats, the reason I finally put my foot down against my abusive husband and said I was leaving was because they didn’t just refuse to turn the music down to a level that wasn’t painful, they mocked me.

  73. Persephone wrote:

    Aside from nearly losing my religion, and sanity, over the hardcore neo-Calvinist theology the pastor rammed down our throats, the reason I finally put my foot down against my abusive husband and said I was leaving was because they didn’t just refuse to turn the music down to a level that wasn’t painful, they mocked me.

    sounds like a scene out of hell …… this is nothing to do with Christ, not the abusive men, nor the painfully loud ‘music’, nor the mocking

    you are a survivor

  74. roebuck wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    How could ANY man do such a thing, let alone a man who says he follows Christ and honors Him in all his ways …

    In my opinion, Mark Driscoll isn’t “a man”. He doesn’t know how to be a man. He didn’t have good role modeling (a father) who taught him how to be a man. So Driscoll is grasping at straws. He is a deeply insecure person. Not a man.

    IMO, MD is a deeply disturbed and broken individual. He surrounded himself with yes-men from the beginning, and had no one to help him grow up. He is a man-child. I do not think that he is a Christian, but that’s not really up to me to say.

    Lea wrote:

    Persephone wrote:

    they mocked me.

    This is the real tell, I think.

    In my former Christian cult, we were skilled in mocking others. It was elevated to an art form of which we were exceedingly proud.

  75. @ Max:
    … and theatrical on-stage fog rising through the glimmering backlighting, for the casino effect, all in a black box with an entertainment stage. As you mentioned, the guitars are whiny and the vocalists all sound like they’re high on drugs, for the rock concert experience, in church, coming and going “as you are” – again, as you mentioned.

  76. Velour wrote:

    Yes, Jeffrey…you’d have gotten fired from your job and your employer would have gotten sued!

    That’s the problem I also had with my former NeoCalvinist/9Marxist/John MacArthur-ite gulag: I was ordered to use hate speech against gays, which is unlawful and a FIRING offense at my job in California. I have a gay boss and gay colleagues. They are wonderful professionals and we are just required to get along and do our jobs, and we do.

    My gay boss is hands down a far better human being than ANY of my ex-NeoCalvinist pastors/elders.

    I’m just curious–what was the rationale behind the church leadership’s desire that people use that kind of language? It seems to fly in the face of either loving your enemies or loving your neighbor as yourself (take your pick). For the record, I would get fired at my evil too big to fail employer if I did something similar. Not that I would want to–why deliberately make your work environment awful?

  77. So, the big question remains, why is CT doing a puff piece on TGC and MD now? Is there a TGC meeting coming up soon? Is there a reason to try to soften MD’s image and rewrite history? Or has MD hired a new publicist with connections? There has to be an agenda here. I’m looking forward to the next piece of the puzzle, in a jaded sort of way.

  78. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    That’s the problem I also had with my former NeoCalvinist/9Marxist/John MacArthur-ite gulag: I was ordered to use hate speech….

    I’m just curious–what was the rationale behind the church leadership’s desire that people use that kind of language? It seems to fly in the face of either loving your enemies or loving your neighbor as yourself (take your pick). For the record, I would get fired at my evil too big to fail employer if I did something similar. Not that I would want to–why deliberately make your work environment awful?

    Nearest I could tell, the pastors/elders and many of the church members at my ex-church buffed and shined their petty hatreds and prejudices. Many of them follow pastor John MacArhtur (Grace Community Church in Southern California) who is a big proponent in cutting off relatives who are different and never speaking to them again, including adult children.
    I think many of the haters never wanted to look at their own incredibly messed up lives and do the hard work of working on themselves.

    I work a job in the real world in which we just get fired for that nonsense/prejudices/discriminatory acts. It is not permitted.

  79. @ Max:
    Both – laugh and cry.

    Mentioned earlier, I was watching 3-4 churches online live streaming in my area that are all preaching the same sermon series – it’s canned or networked, or mandated, or something. There’s a Mothership behind it all, obviously.

    Another church stood out because it is NOT a canned presentation. It’s original. Started going to that one, even though a number of local celebrities also go there (can win it all). Also, some of their outreach to the community is pretty amazing.

  80. Deb wrote:

    The SBC will be gathering in Phoenix in a week or so for their annual meeting. Guess who has a church in nearby Scottsdale…
    Not sure if that’s a factor, but it could be.

    I see some of the usual suspects are going to be at the SBC.

    ERLC/9Marks
    Monday, June 12, 2017
    Phoenix Convention Center – Level 300 , Room West 301D
    9:00 p.m.

    9Marks @ 9 (SEBTS)
    Tuesday, June 13, 2017
    Phoenix Convention Center – Level 300 , Room West 301D
    9:00 p.m.

  81. I seem to remember a time when Driscoll was “the man” in the YRR, GC, neo-cal world. At that time, I remember reading articles that gave me the impression that Chandler, Platt, etc. we’re tag-alongs basking in the light of his greatness at conferences and other gatherings. I’m sure it would be impossible to find those articles now; does anyone else remember it this way? I also was under the impression that they were

  82. @ Max:
    Not that there is anything inherently wrong with the Opening Song, guitars, haircuts, jeans, etc.

    However, the Enemy is the Great Imitator. There is no power in imitation. God is power. The Holy Spirit is simply not in the imitation. It’s false. God creates and will never cease to do a new thing, Isaiah 43:19.

  83. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    They claim 1,000 new baptized converts but forget to mention how many left the faith out of disillusionment.

    Not to mention the bodies under the Mars Hill bus.

  84. elastigirl wrote:

    A Roger Jones left a series of comments re: how the remaining MH pastors / LPs / ‘roll off pastors’ had to keep quiet about what they knew so as not to jeopardize the money they would get in the final analysis

    Isn’t that commonly called “Hush Money”?

  85. Lea wrote:

    I swear, these men can say and do literally anything and people will eat it up. Piper, CJ, Driscol, Wilson…

    “I kill my own mother and still they cheer me!”
    — Nero Caesar, in Paul Maier’s historical novel Flames of Rome

  86. @ JYJames:

    “Not that there is anything inherently wrong with the Opening Song, guitars, haircuts, jeans, etc.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    no, not wrong. just incredibly boring, unoriginal, non-thinking, vacuous, empty…. just like a young teen age girl whose personality and self has disappeared and is replaced by a contrived identity that is a copy of everyone else.

    a message to young teen age girls: i know how hard it is to be 13, 14. but remember, your uniqueness makes you the most interesting girl in the room.

    a message to church leaders: it’s long past time to grow up.

  87. Somewhere in the many links in the original post there is someone describing himself as a “baby Christian.” He means new to the faith but I am suspicious of the phrase. Calling yourself a baby in any way makes you think of yourself as a baby in other ways. Overly dependent on others, not able to exercise judgement, etc.

  88. @ Thersites:
    Those negative stats are not important, and “off message”, so don’t even think of mentioning them…. Any one that does raise them is labeled with something negative, such as ” divisive”

  89. JYJames wrote:

    Not that there is anything inherently wrong with the Opening Song, guitars, haircuts, jeans, etc.

    Agreed. I may be an old guy, but I’ve never had a problem with form as long as there is some substance to it. I even wear jeans to church (but avoid the spiky hairdos).

    The man and message in much of the American pulpit are not producing the spiritually mature … instead, many “remain as children at the mercy of every chance wind of teaching and the jockeying of men who are expert in craftiness and deceit” (Ephesians 4:14). As elastigirl noted “it’s long past time to grow up” rather than delivering to the generation what it wants. It’s not necessary to add any gimmicks to the pure preaching of God’s word.

  90. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    So, the big question remains, why is CT doing a puff piece on TGC and MD now?

    Indeed. It’s part of some sort of rehab tour, surely.

    Because no man can fail hard enough at this, or abuse enough people, or cheat enough, or steal enough, to not be accepted back good as new in a few years.

  91. JYJames wrote:

    I was watching 3-4 churches online live streaming in my area that are all preaching the same sermon series – it’s canned or networked, or mandated, or something

    Preachers of the Gospel who spend hours in prayer and study of God’s Word – who come out of that place with a fresh word for God’s people – are rare and endangered species in America. It’s much easier to borrow a canned sermon than wait on the Lord. It’s much easier to go to the file for a message, than to position your life and ministry to receive one from God by His Spirit. We’ve got a great multitude of preacher boys in our pulpits, but not many men of God.

  92. scott hendrixson wrote:

    I seem to remember a time when Driscoll was “the man” in the YRR, GC, neo-cal world. At that time, I remember reading articles that gave me the impression that Chandler, Platt, etc. we’re tag-alongs basking in the light of his greatness at conferences and other gatherings. I’m sure it would be impossible to find those articles now; does anyone else remember it this way?

    BINGO!

  93. scott hendrixson wrote:

    I seem to remember a time when Driscoll was “the man” in the YRR, GC, neo-cal world.

    Certainly! He was the face of New Calvinism during the early days of the movement. He was America’s macho-man in-your-face potty-mouth preacher, a son of the wrong thunder. He first appeared on the scene with the “emergent” church (Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Don Miller) … and then launched his new thing as “resurgent” (reformed) to help put New Calvinism on the map. He eventually sinned enough to become dethroned and was “submergent” for a while before his unrepentant comeback. I’m not sure what label to put on him now – I’m running out of “ent”s. He’s a chameleon, but an excellent communicator. If the New Calvinist elites thought he could enhance their brand again, they would get behind his false humility and cleaner presentation. On the other hand, they might fear that he is getting ready to spawn a new thing and draw disciples after himself; he never actually lost his Driscollite following.

  94. The article quoted numbers the author(s) found impressive. Scientology does the same thing.

  95. Max wrote:

    He was the face of New Calvinism during the early days of the movement.

    Well, there were two primary faces of New Calvinism at its inception. The radical Driscoll and the more refined Piper. While they represented two different streams of the movement, their arrogant goals were the same … to restore the gospel that the church had lost (gospel = Calvinism).

  96. When you see this (Comments are disabled for this video) posted on any preaching on Youtube, that should be a BIG red flag of pride and deceit from any preacher that will not allow comments about his " message". MD still can't take any criticism , what a baby. Yet people are still supporting is trash.

  97. Dew wrote:

    Somewhere in the many links in the original post there is someone describing himself as a “baby Christian.” He means new to the faith but I am suspicious of the phrase.

    It was a common phrase when I was in-country in the Seventies to mean what’s now called a “noob” to the faith. All tied up with Salvation by Altar Call/Say the Magic Words. Got so common it became seriously overused and lost all meaning.

  98. Max wrote:

    Well, there were two primary faces of New Calvinism at its inception. The radical Driscoll and the more refined Piper. While they represented two different streams of the movement, their arrogant goals were the same … to restore the gospel that the church had lost (gospel = Calvinism).

    http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-most-important-paragraph-in-the-bible
    This was reposted a few days ago. The gospel begins in Romans?????

  99. elastigirl wrote:

    no, not wrong. just incredibly boring, unoriginal, non-thinking, vacuous, empty…. just like a young teen age girl whose personality and self has disappeared and is replaced by a contrived identity that is a copy of everyone else.

    Your analysis is right on the money. And those who sell this load of horse poo-poo to young women? Man-o-Manischewitz have they got the verses to “prove it”…

  100. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-most-important-paragraph-in-the-bible
    This was reposted a few days ago. The gospel begins in Romans?????

    To Piper and his Piperites, yes! The New Calvinists put way too much emphasis on the Pauline epistles, at the expense of the Gospels! When Piper says that Romans “was the birthplace of my Christian Hedonism”, he puts his hedonism on the throne over salvation in Christ. Of course, he distorts Paul’s writings in order to support reformed theology – a deception he has mastered well. John Piper has missed God in his ministry and is leading countless others to not experience Him as well.

    When Piper says “I do believe that if I had to die in taking an exam to guess which is the most important paragraph in the Bible, this would be it. Romans 3:21–26.”, he may just do that … die without knowing the truth behind what is really the most important paragraph in the Bible, including a warning to folks like Piper:

    “So you are a teacher,” said Jesus, “and you do not recognize such things? I assure you that we are talking about something we really know and we are witnessing to something we have actually observed, yet men like you will not accept our evidence. Yet if I have spoken to you about things which happen on this earth and you will not believe me, what chance is there that you will believe me if I tell you about what happens in Heaven? No one has ever been up to Heaven except the Son of Man who came down from Heaven. The Son of Man must be lifted above the heads of men — as Moses lifted up that serpent in the desert — so that any man who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God loved the world so much that he gave His only Son, so that every one who believes in Him shall not be lost, but should have eternal life. You must understand that God has not sent His Son into the world to pass sentence upon it, but to save it — through Jesus. Any man who believes in Him is not judged at all. It is the one who will not believe who stands already condemned, because he will not believe in God’s only Son.” (John 3:10-18 Phillips)

  101. @ Muff Potter:

    all the more reason that “biblical” and those who sell their ideas with that mindless qualifier are as vacuous as their ideas.

    they remind me of the potato sitting on my kitchen counter.

  102. Max wrote:

    John Piper has missed God in his ministry

    In fact, his ministry should be called “Missing God”, rather than “Desiring God”. He desires reformed theology above all else … and in the process, has missed God. It’s sad that such an intelligent guy just doesn’t get it … but sadder still that he has led so many others to the same dead-end.

  103. JYJames wrote:

    Mentioned earlier, I was watching 3-4 churches online live streaming in my area that are all preaching the same sermon series – it’s canned or networked, or mandated, or something. There’s a Mothership behind it all, obviously.

    Wow. Speaking of a ‘mothership’, yesterday I went for my yearly haircut appt. to the lady who has messed with my mane for over twenty years, God bless her, and is a good friend. She told me of a new Bible study for non-denominational people that she has been attending, and I showed interest. She shared some interesting things: they don’t let you talk about your denomination’s point of view, they assign you to small groups, they cover certain books and your group ‘shares’ and then the leader/facilitator wraps it up at the end.

    I wondered if Kristin hadn’t wandered into something unwholesome. But so far, she seems to enjoy it and, as a single mother, I think she needs to have the support of other women from different walks of life.

    They don’t ask for payment, but accept ‘donations’.
    At one time, one of their groups ‘punished’ people who didn’t attend regularly by putting them out after a number of absences, but Kristin says they changed that because so many women work shift work and are not so free to attend all of the time.

    What are the chances that my friend’s ‘bible study’ has a ‘Mothership’ somewhere? 🙂

    ‘Non-denominational’ ???? Kristin thought it sounded harmless enough.

    I don’t. But I would nothing to discourage anything that she had found some comfort in, as her life has not been easy (her ex does not send $ for their son) ….. still I am left with concerns for her …. any thoughts from you good people would be appreciated, as she is a dear person and I care that she not be ‘harmed’ in the ways I have read about here by them what operates out of ‘Motherships’ with stealth, Yikes! (frown face)

  104. Christiane wrote:

    a new Bible study for non-denominational people … What are the chances that my friend’s ‘bible study’ has a ‘Mothership’ somewhere?

    Could be harmless or sinister … depending on the leader and the study material they are using. If your friend says they are doing a study based on a book by Piper, Keller, or one of the other New Calvinist notables, the leader is a New Calvinist and may have a church plant in mind, starting with a cell group from the bible study. These folks are masters at going into a community by stealth and deception with reformation on their mind.

  105. Max wrote:

    …starting with a cell group from the bible study. These folks are masters at going into a community by stealth and deception with reformation on their mind.

    “Cell group” as in a Communist Party and/or Terrorist cell?

    I keep saying if “these folks” were doing this 60-80 years ago, it would have been Communism instead of Calvinism. Different Ideology, different Scriptures, exact same goal and tactics and deceptions.

  106. Christiane wrote:

    ‘Non-denominational’ ???? Kristin thought it sounded harmless enough.

    There was a joke going round in the Eighties:
    “Non-Denominational — you know, Baptist with the labels painted over?”

    Though in my area, “Non-Denominational” usually meant “Calvary Chapel Clone” with the labels painted over. (In that case, the “Mothership” was Papa Chuck, Mini-Moses of Costa Mesa. Calvary Chapel dominated the local born-again scene and Christianese AM radio.)

  107. Muff Potter wrote:

    And those who sell this load of horse poo-poo to young women? Man-o-Manischewitz have they got the verses to “prove it”…

    “I Know I’m Right —
    I HAVE A VERSE!”

  108. Deb wrote:

    The SBC will be gathering in Phoenix in a week or so for their annual meeting. Guess who has a church in nearby Scottsdale…

    That could be it. Sadly, the fates of the SBC, TGC, MD and CT are pretty closely connected.

    Wow, that’s alphabet soup. We’re talking about the Southern Baptist Convention, The Gospel Coalition, Mark Driscoll and Christianity Today being connected in their desire to rewrite Mark Driscoll’s history, and rehab his image. This cabal is also called the Evangelical Industrial Complex [EIC].

  109. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    There was a joke going round in the Eighties:
    “Non-Denominational — you know, Baptist with the labels painted over?”

    In my little corner of the world, non-denom usually means Baptist with cool t-shirts. And maybe a faux-hawk hairdo and skinny jeans, if the pastor can pull it off.

    Now that I think about it, around here, Baptist is almost synonymous with Christian. Over half of all Christians are Baptist.

  110. Deb wrote:

    scott hendrixson wrote:

    I seem to remember a time when Driscoll was “the man” in the YRR, GC, neo-cal world. At that time, I remember reading articles that gave me the impression that Chandler, Platt, etc. we’re tag-alongs basking in the light of his greatness at conferences and other gatherings. I’m sure it would be impossible to find those articles now; does anyone else remember it this way?

    BINGO!

    Look up Matt Chandler Impersonates Mark Driscoll on YouTube.

  111. Max wrote:

    his ministry should be called “Missing God”, rather than “Desiring God”

    or “Desiring god”, [what/who ever that is] … gawd?

  112. Max wrote:

    never had a problem with form as long as there is some substance to it

    Substance is the key: love, of God, of our neighbor.

  113. JYJames wrote:

    “Desiring god”, [what/who ever that is] … gawd?

    As I’ve noted before, New Calvinists talk a lot about “Gawd”, with only occasional reference to Jesus, but hardly a word about the Holy Spirit. They mess with the trinity by overemphasizing God’s sovereignty, subordinating Jesus, and diminishing the Spirit. While they pride themselves as orthodox, that is about as unorthodox Christianity as you can get.

  114. @ elastigirl:

    Don’t get me wrong, the Bible is a great and wonderful thing. And as far as holy books go it has no equal. But its been abused, misused, and co-opted by fundagelicalism more so over the last 40-45 years than at any other time in human history (my opinion).

  115. @ Muff Potter:
    The Word of God will survive …. it does not need ‘defending’ as it contains that which can lead people to God even under the worst abuses of ‘fundagelicals’ and people with agendas …. that it contains within it the info needed to help a person find salvation is something that works through another ‘channel’ out of the reach of those who manipulate and corrupt and mis-use …. the Holy Spirit’s inspiration is not something that can be destroyed or corrupted, as that is the feature of the Word that makes it ‘sacramental’ in its nature, so you can be at peace.

    “”For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 12″For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace…”

    (from Isaiah 55)
    some have called the Book of Isaiah ‘the fifth Gospel’ …. I can see why 🙂

  116. The title of this post just registered with me ……”…. Opened a Can of Worms”. How appropriate, considering that they are all lowly worms!

  117. Max wrote:

    In fact, his ministry should be called “Missing God”, rather than “Desiring God”.

    For months now, whenever I see or think of “Desiring God” the words that come to mind are “Denigrating God.”

  118. Lea wrote:

    Good lord, that’s a lot of yammering! Skim, skim, skim…oh that one. figures that it would be the one with ‘all have sinned’ rather than ‘for god so loved the world’.

    Really. He rambles in circles like crazy in that article! But, the “where the gospel begins” part jumped out at me! That article was originally written in 1999 – 18 years ago! Just imagine how loony toons Piper is now!!!

  119. Don’t you realize that when they say they’ve been humbled and are “publicly repenting” it’s only a tactic to get additional sympathy? Don’t you understand that they don’t mean a single word they say? Don;=’t you understand that when they say they’ve been humbled they only mean “Worship me and glorify me, a poor, abused, true prophet of God, set upon my minions of Satan in the form of online bloggers such as TWW?” Don’t you understand that they don’t mean a single word they say, have never meant a single word they say, and never will mean it? When will people just acknowledge that these people hate Jesus, truly hate Him, and that’s why they so abuse anyone who loves Him?

  120. JYJames wrote:

    From the Reboot article:

    “And even though the collapse of Mars Hill left hundreds hurting and soured on the idea of belonging to a church, it also sparked a wave of healthy soul-searching and a realignment of churches with the gospel.”

    Purpose of the article? Schadenfreude, maybe, and then TGC’s formula for a realignment of churches with the TGC “gospel”, as the answer or in response, picking up the pieces.

    Max wrote:

    Max wrote:

    He was the face of New Calvinism during the early days of the movement.

    Well, there were two primary faces of New Calvinism at its inception. The radical Driscoll and the more refined Piper. While they represented two different streams of the movement, their arrogant goals were the same … to restore the gospel that the church had lost (gospel = Calvinism).

    That’s interesting about Piper because in reading the link to the Desiring God site that Nancy2 posted on this thread, he (Piper) talks about when he first came to Christ by faith for the forgiveness of his sins. He was 6 years old and his mother preached the gospel to him and she led him in prayer. I can tell you, knowing enough about John Piper’s upbringing, that it wasn’t Calvinism that his mother preached to him. Yet, he says that is when he first heard the gospel and was forgiven for his sins.

    But Oh My My….how could that have been the True Gospel if it wasn’t Calvinist being preached to him?

  121. __

    “Polarized Reform’d : An Re-Vitalized Angle Forthcoming?”

    hmmm…

    Mark Driscoll de-faced Christianity in the United States for this generation. Introducing anal sex in the Christian bedroom, and calling women penis homes did not help the New Calvinist cause. More rather, Mars Hill’s demise has helped to further de-popularize the neo-Calvinistic movement and complementarianism as well.

    huh?

    Kind folks are just beginning to realize the depth of the damage these neo-cal’s have done to the body of Christ. Now with the proliferation of seminary trained 501(c)3 church wreckers and neo-cal take-over pastors on the rise, the New Calvinist movement is receiving a social media black eye.

    What?

    It will be hard to put the proverbial ‘religious denizen’ back in it’s bottle I suspect. But since these ‘elect’ individuals can never ‘fall away’ (or so their doctrine goes), and still possess tricks up the sleeves, and slay of hand to pull the wool over (cough, cough – deceive) the unsuspecting, I expect we’ve not seen the last of them.

    All is fair in New Calvinism and their religious war, I suppose.

    (sadface)

    It is time for kind folks to shake the dust from off their feet, this movement as well, and move on…

    ‘Nothing’ to see here.

    ATB

    Sopy

    🙂

  122. Law Prof wrote:

    Don’t you realize that when they say they’ve been humbled and are “publicly repenting” it’s only a tactic to get additional sympathy? Don’t you understand that they don’t mean a single word they say?

    Remember the most common characteristic of a Sociopath:
    The ability to turn the tables, play the Poor Poor Innocent Victim (Pity Me Pity Me Pity Me), and Manipulate through Sympathy & Pity.

    “Under cover of Heaven’s gate
    I. MANIPULATE.
    — Steve Taylor

    And they literally can’t stop manipulating others.
    They literally can’t stop playing the mind games.
    They literally can’t stop climbing over and using others to exalt their throne.
    http://i0.wp.com/www.nakedpastor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/achievement.jpgIt's an all-consuming obsession, the Constant, Sleepless, Unsmiling Concentration on manipulation and advancing self. It’s where they move and live and have their being.

    Perhaps their only vulnerability is an accompanying obsession to appear Righteous and Respectable.

  123. Law Prof wrote:

    Don’t you realize that when they say they’ve been humbled and are “publicly repenting” it’s only a tactic to get additional sympathy? Don’t you understand that they don’t mean a single word they say?

    Remember the most common characteristic of a Sociopath:
    The ability to turn the tables, play the Poor Poor Innocent Victim (Pity Me Pity Me Pity Me), and Manipulate through Sympathy & Pity.

    “Under cover of Heaven’s gate
    I. MANIPULATE.
    — Steve Taylor

    And they literally can’t stop manipulating others.
    They literally can’t stop playing the mind games.
    They literally can’t stop climbing over and using others to exalt their throne.
    http://i0.wp.com/www.nakedpastor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/achievement.jpg
    It’s an all-consuming obsession, the Constant, Sleepless, Unsmiling Concentration on manipulation and advancing self. It’s where they move and live and have their being.

    Perhaps their only vulnerability is an accompanying obsession to appear Righteous and Respectable.

  124. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    Now that I think about it, around here, Baptist is almost synonymous with Christian. Over half of all Christians are Baptist.

    Maybe here in the States, but not globally.

  125. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    That could be it. Sadly, the fates of the SBC, TGC, MD and CT are pretty closely connected.

    Wow, that’s alphabet soup.

    Right up there with the American and Russian governments and Microsoft documentation.

  126. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    The title of this post just registered with me ……”…. Opened a Can of Worms”. How appropriate, considering that they are all lowly worms!

    I was hoping someone would pick up on the double meaning. 🙂

  127. @ Muff Potter:

    we are in agreement there.

    well, actually i’m sick of the bible. sick of what it has become — hijacked by professional christians, making it into more than it is. and through both edifice and artifice they use it as a blunt instrument to control people. and teaching their minions to do the same.

    some day i’ll be able to enjoy it again, i think. psalms are always great, though. in a league of their own.

  128. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    When will people just acknowledge that these people hate Jesus, truly hate Him, and that’s why they so abuse anyone who loves Him?

    I tend to agree.

    maybe they are angry that the ‘God’ Jesus reveals is not the hateful wrathful Being they have sold to their followers???

    so they take Our Lord down and belittle Him, making fun of ‘Red Letter’ Christians who hold Our Lord’s words and actions in sacred Scripture as central to its meaning, who decide that the Christ of the Holy Gospels is not ‘manly’ enough for their gang of bullies, and who place Our Lord ‘lower’ in the Holy Trinity in their creation of the ESS doctrine, or as some do, call the Father ‘God’ but not the Son.

    Painful to witness. Must such people always attempt to create a ‘god’ they can ‘control’? Because once they have done this, then the sacrficing of victims to their ‘god’, who is made in their own image, can begin in earnest (?)

  129. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    maybe they are angry that the ‘God’ Jesus reveals is not the hateful wrathful Being they have sold to their followers???

    You’ve posted some great musical links on this blog. Here is a version of the Nicene Creed put to music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TnsL4yJ0KI.

    Do Roman Catholics sing any of their liturgy?

    Thanks for the compliment …. and yes, we sing parts of the liturgy still 🙂

    here is a favorite link that you may appreciate from the Eastern Church, an Aramaic version of the Our Father:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=locW-9S00VU

  130. Darlene wrote:

    I can tell you, knowing enough about John Piper’s upbringing, that it wasn’t Calvinism that his mother preached to him. Yet, he says that is when he first heard the gospel and was forgiven for his sins. But Oh My My … how could that have been the True Gospel if it wasn’t Calvinism being preached to him?

    Piper is a mixed up, strange little man. Just listen as he rambles through a sermon. New Calvinism will drive most folks crazy after a while.

  131. Max wrote:

    Piper is a mixed up, strange little man. Just listen as he rambles through a sermon. New Calvinism will drive most folks crazy after a while.

    Like something out of H.P.Lovecraft?
    “IA! IA! CTHULHU FTHAGN!”

  132. Lea wrote:

    @ ishy:
    Ugh. I’m sure this is going to make me want to smash things.
    ishy wrote:
    But all marriage issues are the result of the woman, of course. If women just did whatever men told them to do, all marriages would be perfect just like God designed them to be. (/end sarcasm)
    There was a quote from John Mcarthur (I think) where he goes on about how physical abuse is ‘not a woman’s fault’ nevertheless she is supposed to be quiet and docile so she prevents it! Uh huh.

    If a woman is a contentious shrew that’s wrong and she is at fault. If a man can’t keep his fists where they belong that’s his fault. He doesn’t have to hit his wife no matter what her behaviors are! A lot of men (mostly beta males who aren’t leaders at Mars Hill churches) put up with nagging, shrewish wives and NEVER HIT THEM. Then there are sweet, patient, saintly wives who get beaten all day for burning the toast, not making the coffee strong enough, or simply cause their alpha hubby had a bad day at the office.

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