"We genuinely hope this helps Christians make wise decisions and provide wise counsel – especially parents and ministry leaders.”
– Mark Driscoll in the forward to John Catanzaro's e book on Marijuana.
I am a bit rattled today. We received two threatening emails probably related to these posts. The boys in Seattle sure play rough. Forgive me if there are more typos than usual.
A TWW commenter asked us why this story was a "Christian" story as opposed to just another medical fraud story. Let me build a case that Mark Driscoll, as pastor, decided to hide behind a website scrub as opposed to acting like a man and addressing the issue. (Although, after seeing our emails today, perhaps he is afraid that he will get beat up.) This retreat into silence should come as no surprise to those who have followed the ever changing history of Mars Hill. Wenatchee the Hatchet has documented story after story of "now you see the pastor; now you don't."
When a pastor endorses an individual and has him write a number of posts for the Resurgence website, members and admirers will naturally take that as an endorsement of the Christian character of an individual. When Driscoll refers to him as "my doctor", this is high praise indeed. Recently, Mark Driscoll wrote the forward to John Catanzaro's E book on Marijuana link. In fact, Mark Driscoll's name is featured prominently on the title page. Here is what Driscoll wrote:
“With the legalization of marijuana in Washington State I wrote a free ebook on the issue theological- ly and pastorally. I did not address the medical issues because that was beyond my scope of expertise. However, my doctor and friend Dr. John Catanzaro was kind enough to research the medical aspects of marijuana usage and write them up. We genuinely hope this helps Christians make wise decisions and provide wise counsel – especially parents and ministry leaders.”
-Mark Driscoll Pastor Mars Hill Church
Hmm…wise counsel? It is apparent that Driscoll, in his role as Pastor of Mars Hill, is providing a significant endorsement of Catanzaro. Driscoll, in that forward, says one thing that would prove to be true. Medical issues do seem to be beyond Driscoll's scope of expertise. Did he check out the resume of his naturopath before he endorsed him? As an aside, I did find it interesting that naturopaths in Washington can prescribe marijuana.
It is disturbing to me that Catanzaro was allowed to publish posts on the Resurgence site even after he was accused in 2007 link of running afoul of the prescribing laws.
So, Driscoll props up Catanzaro by having him publish all sorts of posts on the Resurgence website and suddenly, it all disappears. Of course, nothing ever really disappears from the Internet. Wenatchee the Hatchet archives all of those posts at this link. If you will note, these posts started two years after Catanzaro's first brush with the Washington Department of Health.
When a pastor speaks, people listen. Those words have consequences. Here are some Mars Hill folks who sought the care of Dr. Catanzaro.
On Friday, 6/17/11, (We) met with Dr. Matt Angove – a Naturopathic doctor who I have seen before and who works with Dr. John Catanzaro, a doctor who writes for the Resurgence blog and who our Pastor, Mark Driscoll, has sung praises of in addressing his own health. Dr. Catanzaro specializes in Integrative Oncology and the treatment of Cancer.
Mark Driscoll again discusses his medical choices. From Christianity Today, Leadership Journal, The Survivor,
First I went to a conventional doctor, who told me I needed blood pressure meds, heartburn medicine, sleep medicine, anxiety medicine. I'm like, Man, I'm in my 30s. That's a lot of medicine! So I went and found a naturopathic doctor, who said, "You need to quit your job and find a different vocation."
So I found another naturopathic doctor. He gave me supplements, vitamins, minerals, IV treatments for adrenal support, and custom tailored vitamins. He put me on a regimen for wellness and recovery. His approach was to naturally rebuild the body, to not just treat the symptoms. He told me, "You've got to work really hard to change your lifestyle and your organization, everything."
Mark Driscoll now discusses, in that same article, how he feels about his church.
I feel about the church like I do about my kids,
I stick it out. I genuinely love the people of the church and I feel very committed to them. In 1 Corinthians 4 Paul says that when he preached the gospel and people got saved, he became their spiritual father.I feel like Mars Hill is a family. A lot of these people got saved here. They look to me as a spiritual father, and Dad's got to love, he's got to serve, and he's got to hang in there
Mark Driscoll's "Gospel" responsibility
There is a peculiar habit that I have seen amongst certain pastors. They cannot admit they make mistakes. Oh, they admit that they overeat or speed, but they cannot admit they were wrong about something important. They pretend that their mistakes never existed. Mark Driscoll has another peculiar problem. He claims he is given visions about people having sex. I wonder why he doesn't get visions about issues like we have been discussing.
I am forced to believe that Driscoll is embarrassed by his endorsement of John Catanzaro. Why else would he scrub the Resurgence website? I also wonder if he knows more than he is letting on?
There are church members out there who have heard him endorse or praise his "doctor". These are people that he claims to genuinely love. He says he loves them "like his kids". Here is my question. If it involved his real kids, would he warn them personally about his concerns? Or is that "love em like my kids" just a crock?
Mark Driscoll should spell out why John Catanzaro's posts are no longer on his website. There are people in his church who are hiring Pastor Mark's doctor to give them therapy. If he truly loves his people, he will tell them the truth. If he doesn't, it will be just one more example of Mark Driscoll's "same old, same old".
Lydia's Corner: Jeremiah 10:1-11:23 Colossians 3:18-4:18 Psalm 78:56-72 Proverbs 24:28-29