First Rule of Acquisition: "Once you have their money, you never give it back." -The Ferengi link
1. The multi site model is dead, for now, at Mars Hill.
Most of our links today will be from Warren Throckmorton's blog. I want to take a moment to thank Warren for his diligent work in exposing the issues at Mars Hill.
On October 31, Warren posted Dramatic Changes at Mars Hill Church: Multi-Site Model Out; Local Autonomous Churches In which included letter from Dave Bruskas which can be found on the Mars Hill Website.
Here are some excerpts:
…Following much prayer and lengthy discussion with Mars Hill’s leadership, the board of Mars Hill has concluded that rather than remaining a centralized multi-site church with video-led teaching distributed to multiple locations, the best future for each of our existing local churches is for them to become autonomous self-governed entities. This means that each of our locations has an opportunity to become a new church, rooted in the best of what Mars Hill has been in the past, and independently led and run by its own local elder teams.
…Please be in prayer for your local elder teams as they contemplate the following options in the next few weeks: (1) becoming an independent, self-governed church; (2) merging with an existing church to create one independent, self-governed church; or (3) disbanding as a church and shepherding current members to find other local church homes. This decision will be made by your local church’s Lead Pastor and elder team.
Bruskas also answers some (not all, mind you,) questions about buildings, staff, etc.
…(1) All of Mars Hill’s existing church properties will either be sold, or the loans on the individual properties will be assumed by the independent churches, subject to approval by the lender; (2) all central staff will be compensated for their work, and then released from their employment; (3) if any funds remain after the winding down and satisfaction of Mars Hill business affairs, they will be gifted as seed money to the newly independent churches, then, (4) the existing Mars Hill Church organization will be dissolved.
And, of course, there was the ever present plea for money.
…Give generously, as your gifts in November and December of this year will make a critically important difference in our desire for 13 churches being healthy and sustainable from launch-day and thereafter.
Dr Throckmorton raises some interesting questions about all of this.
- Why the abrupt about face on their Mars Hill model which, until the past month or so, was predicated on more buildings, more staff, and more money from a global giving base, mimicking the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition.
- Where's the money going?
2. Why should people continue to give to Mars Hill Church? Shouldn’t the giving now go to the separate entities? In my opinion, any appeal to giving should also include full disclosure of what will happen to the funds. Are the severance packages of departed executives dependent on this continued giving? While the future is getting clearer, the leaders still at Mars Hill should provide an accounting of how funds have been spent in the past.
2. The Mars Hill name will not be allowed to be used by the churches link.
I believe this may be a significant act.
Church spokesman Justin Dean said congregations won’t continue under the Mars Hill name.
“They must become their own churches, create their own 501(c)(3), governance, leadership, etc.,” Dean said. “We will provide seed money if we have it, but they are free to start independent and cannot use the Mars Hill name.”
3. Two new churches formed immediately.
Say Hello to Two New Post-Mars Hill Churches: Bellevue Church and Redemption Church (Spokane). Note that the Bellevue Church is the former site of Driscoll's mother ship. Interestingly, it was given to Matt Rogers, one of the guys who supported Driscoll throughout this morass. Here is a comment from Warren's site. Also, this just in. Dave Bruskas will be the interim preaching pastor at Bellevue. Yep-Bellevue is the new mother ship for The Church Formerly Known as Mars Hill.
4. Folks have been expressing relief that Driscoll and the Mars Hill bureaucracy is gone. They are being chastised by the more *godly.*
Both Janet Mefferd and I received some critique on Twitter for expressing relief that the truth is now out and Mark Driscoll has stepped away from the pulpit. However, there are some folks who actually believe a church has died and that we should be in mourning. Julie Anne Smith wrote Is anyone celebrating the demise of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill churches? Is it really over? Should current Mars Hill pastors be leading new churches? Here is what she had to say.
I’ve noticed when something very negative happens in the church, Response Referees come out advising us what we can and cannot say, how we can and cannot feel or express ourselves. I have not seen one comment “salivating” about the demise of Mark Driscoll or the Mars Hill churches.
I have, however, seen rejoicing that the wolf who was freely roaming in a pen of thousands of beloved sheep and devouring some of them, no longer has the ability to do so.
People, is that not something worth rejoicing? Don’t you think God is rejoicing when His people are freed?
The emotional and spiritual chaos has been going on at Mars Hill for nearly two decades. The pain and suffering have been horrible. Many have abandoned their faith. It has torn friends and family apart. This is no light matter. Shouldn’t we be glad that this corrupt leader can’t wreak havoc on spiritual lives anymore?
I don’t see anyone throwing celebratory parties. I see this as a scenario where there are mixed feelings: sadness and grieving for what was lost, happiness that this abuse no longer has to continue. People need the opportunity to freely express their thoughts and feelings about this. Will some people sin in doing so? Maybe. Is that our business? Probably not.
5. Mars Hill Olympia link and Mars Hill Tacoma link will become independent.
6. However Mars Hill Tacoma will need bank approval to do so link.
Basically, there is a loan on the building and the bank will see if the congregation can meet the payments. If not, the church will have to move. Warren raises pertinent questions about this that I address later. The following is an excerpt from the post.
First, Jennings doesn’t know how much money the loan will be. He is talking about placing the congregation on the hook for a large amount of money to maintain their building without knowing the terms. Second, there is only one fund to give money to now at Mars Hill – The General Fund.
7. "Seven Years Later: 18 Mars Hill Elders Issue Letter of Confession to Bent Meyer, Paul Petry, and the Church"
The Wartburg Watch posted the stories of the unjust treatment and firings of Petry and Meyer a couple of years ago. Please read their stories to understand the background. This letter is very important in the overall scheme of things. This letter was posted today on Joyful Exiles which is a blog written by the Petrys..
We want to publicly confess our sin against you regarding events that took place at Mars Hill Church back in 2007. We were wrong. We harmed you. You have lived with the pain of that for many years. As some of us have come to each of you privately, you have extended grace and forgiveness, and for that we thank you. Because our sin against you happened in a public way and with public consequences, we want to make our confession public as well with this letter.
On September 30th 2007, you were both terminated from your employment as pastors at Mars Hill Church. Your status as elders of the church was suspended, according to the church’s bylaws at the time, pending an investigation of your qualification for eldership. It’s hard to imagine just how disorienting and painful this experience must have been for you. That night, Bent, you called Mike Wilkerson, your direct supervisor, to let him know that you’d been terminated. Within hours, Paul, you emailed all of the elders to notify us of what had happened to you that night. We had the opportunity and the responsibility to intervene, to care, to listen to you, and to make sure that any harmful treatment against you was corrected. Instead, we allowed the process of your investigation and trial to continue unimpeded and we participated in it. By failing to intervene and by participating in that process without protest, we implied to the members of Mars Hill Church, to each other, and to you and your families that your termination was above reproach. We stood by as it happened, and that was wrong.
We now believe that you were grievously sinned against in that termination.
…Paul, On October 15, 2007, all twenty-three elders at the time—including most of us signers of this letter—voted that you were in violation of the biblical qualifications of eldership. The alleged violations included a “lack of trust and respect for spiritual authority”. All but two of the elders then voted to remove you from eldership based on these perceived violations.
We now believe our decisions were invalid and wrong.
…Bent, On October 29, 2007, all twenty-three elders at the time—including most of us signers of this letter—agreed that you were guilty of “displaying an unhealthy lack of trust in, and respect for, the senior leadership of Mars Hill Church”. We also unanimously approved that, based on your repentance, you would remain an elder of the church on probation.
Bent, we were wrong to have called you guilty of lacking trust and respect for the senior leadership of the church when you had good reasons for challenging the church’s senior leadership. We were wrong to have insisted that you repent of this lacking trust as a condition of your continued eldership, because it was not sinful on your part in the first place.
…Paul and Bent, we are sorry for our sinful behavior toward you, for harming you, and for bringing shame to Christ’s church. We hope that you will forgive us. May the peace and grace of our Lord heal our hearts.
Mars Hill Elders as of October, 2007
Additional Mars Hill Elders as of December 5th, 2007
My musings and concerns
The men who defended him.
Mars Hill, under the leadership of Mark Driscoll, has been dysfunctional for many years. The rantings of William Wallace II should have been a red flag years ago. Instead, a number of self styled Christian leaders exposed their own lack of qualifications for their positions and had a good laugh over the antics of a man who should never have been allowed near the pulpit. This is not only directed at Mars Hill but at seminary leaders who promoted him and men like John Piper who defended him as well as Christian publishers who pushed him while studiously overlooking issue after issue after issue. Money and size appear to be the criteria for unfettered support so long as they give lip service to Reformed theology.
Multisite Mars Hill is dead for now but churches cannot use the Mars Hill name.
Unfortunately, as money gets tight, the easiest thing to do is to rent a movie theater and beam in *Mr. Gospel™ Rainmaker.* Many churches are abandoning the idea of buying buildings and hiring lots of experienced pastors due to the cost involved. I think we will see a Mars Hill franchise in the future and that is why they are holding onto the name. Mark Driscoll could be resurrected. I really hope I am wrong.
The Mars Hill conglomerate was not the church.
A church did not die when they decided to spin of the various Mars Hill church sites. The church is the people. Whether the people stay in one of the old Mars Hill facilities or attend another church, the church sill exists. Mark Driscoll was not Jesus. Jesus is still the head of the church and it really can survive without Driscoll's leadership.
Reformed theology (Mars Hill was Neo-Calvinist) stresses that God is sovereign. If He wanted this group of buildings along with the people who sat in those seats to continue, He would have made it happen. He didn't. I think it is time for people who claim to be Reformed to trust Him to do what He is capable of doing-being the preserver of the church. (It is rather amusing for this nonCalvinist to lecture Calvinists on how to hold onto their theology!)
It is good that people express their relief that Mark Driscoll is no longer in the pulpit.
The people who are upset by those expressing relief are those who based their theological lifestyle around the Driscoll worldview. They are unable to see, for example, that plagiarism is wrong. I have never heard so many excuses for plagiarism like I have heard from Driscoll fans over the last year! In fact, it was those who exposed the plagiarism that were considered the bad guys. One day, Janet Mefferd will tell the full story of what happened behind the scenes when she confronted Driscoll about his sin.
And Justin Taylor still has not apologized for telling authors not to go on Mefferd's show. Why? Is he afraid more plagiarizers will be exposed or is he embarrassed by his silly tweet?
Many questions about Mars Hill finances have not been answered and that is troubling. I would not give a penny until those questions have been answered.
Warren Throckmorton had this to say:
Without full disclosure, how would anyone know that the donations are not going to pay executive pastors’ (Driscoll, Turner, and Bruskas) severance pay? In the past, church leaders have told the congregation that donations would go to Ethiopian and India church planters, yet very little money ended up there. Also, the leaders used a “Jesus Festival” to bring in dollars but no such festival was ever held.
Bottom line, unless current church leaders come glean on the Driscoll’s investigation, the Global Fund, Jesus Festival, year end giving campaigns, and pastors’ compensation and severance packages, I don’t think the current leaders have earned trust. Failing to address these issues is deliberate. Too many public calls have gone out to open the books for the leaders to say they are unaware of the need for disclosure.
Does repentance mean to forget the past and give former leaders unbridled power once again?
I am so glad to hear these stories of repentance from pastors and church leaders. We are commanded to forgive 70×7. However, we are not commanded to place our trust in those men, either now or in the future. We are discussing a church culture that was allowed to fester for years. For some of these leaders, Mars Hill is the only church in which they have actively participated. Habits and response patterns do not disappear overnight. A repentant authoritarian may still be an authoritarian. It can take years to overcome a power addiction.
Basically, the salaries of Driscoll, Bruskas and *King* Turner have never been revealed. There has not been full disclosure on perks, travel and housing *allowances.* There has been no accountability for how the money was spent from the Global Fund or the Jesus Festival. Folks, we are talking about a lot of money. Gone! Unaccounted for. Money that ECFA appears to think is irrelevant. Well, I don't. Where is that money? Do these guys know? Has it all been spent on nice houses and first class airline seats?
Why I believe that there is much left to accomplish in the hearts of the leaders of the Church Formerly Known as Mars Hill.
The Sunday after Mark Driscoll's resignation, Rob Smith, a former elder and friend to Paul Petry and Bent Meyer, urged former members to go to Mars Hill. Folks, this should have been a time of bending over backwards to those who decided to return. I have had the pleasure of meeting Rob. He is a gentleman. He described his return as pleasant but something else was said that gave me pause.
"They were very pleasant to me," Smith says of the weekend visit. "One elder did warn me that if I created a distraction they would take action, but I said 'Why would I want to do that? This is my church,' which surprised them.
The paranoid, threatening authoritarian culture should be on the way out. Is it? That statement is concerning. I think that most people should hold onto their wallets and adopt a wait and see attitude. Sometimes, old dogs hunt long past the time they should be snoozing in front of a fire.
Lydia's Corner: Genesis 8:1-10:32 Matthew 4:12-25 Psalm 4:1-8 Proverbs 1:20-23
Sorry – this is totally off topic, but it is just an example how the CLC debacle still affects those of us who have been out for years. Literally the first thing my roommate said to me yesterday was that she looked out her bedroom window and saw Dave Adams and his wife walking a dog (must’ve been dog sitting in my neighborhood). Still brings back lots of emotions when I hear his name, and think of my friend who married him.
Thanks for indulging me. Carry on!
@Dee – hope you’re feeling better.
…robbing da Lord’s ‘castle’?
(take da money and…’run’?)
justice sleepth not.
[Neither do da blogs, fella.]
GO ON AND ‘TAKE’ THE MONEY AND RUN.
A multi-site church is not a church. From the customer side it is a theater where you pay for the ticket and enjoy the show with close to zero personal investment. From the supplier side, it is a model with very low marginal production costs and very large marginal revenue.
Justin Taylor will never apologize to Janet Mefferd. From his perspective, she is out of line to say anything non-deferential to a male person. To criticize a fellow misogynist is well beyond the pale. Off with her metaphorical head and move on to the next person who fails to tow the line (or toe the line, if you prefer the alternate metaphor.) Justin Taylor is a PR flack for Crossway, and Mefferd is an offense to their core product. It was necessary to make an example of her, lest others Sin By Questioning the Authorities. Which sounds something like what a spiritual despot would do.
I don’t understand how anyone who does not own the rights to “Mars Hill Church” can prevent anyone from using that name, particularly because ISTM the biblical referent should make that name public domainish.
Anyone who contributes anything to the ostensibly non-profit Mars Hill Church should assume that their contribution is going to benefit the Big Three Men at the Top.
I would love to be in the meetings of the “leaders” with the lenders and the lenders’ mostly non-nouthetic legal counselors. It would be very entertaining to see Manly Men lie prostrate, figuratively speaking, most likely before Wimmin who somehow escaped from the kitchen or bedroom and are presuming to exercise financial authority over these Manly Men. It will be the metaphorical equivalent of a digital examination. Of this process (the metaphorical one) I know a little something. Most of all, I would enjoy the little morsels that would come via discovery.
Neither Piper nor any of the others in the Gospel Glitterati will ever say they repent of supporting Driscoll. That is because they agree with him but dare not say so now that he has exposed what they are all about.
Despite the furious and frantic protests of the Driscoll fanboys and the Gospel Glitterati, God did *not* build that monstrosity at Mars Hill. However, when men have taken his place or he otherwise deems it necessary, he will do demolition. Controlled or otherwise.
Oh, and I guess we now know how truly repentant Jordan J.D. Hall is after his tweet to Julie Anne. What is wrong with these men?
The men presiding over the wreckage of Mars Hill haven’t learned a thing. If you’re going to cut loose all these churches and make them independent, wouldn’t you involve the congregations in these discussions as to how they want their church to function? Sure doesn’t look like it. All decisions are apparently being made by ‘leadership’ without any discussion and vote by the congregation – the congregation will have the structure of church governance imposed on them AGAIN!
What’s that old saying? “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” The congregations of these churches should flee like Moses from the Pharoah if they Are not decision-makers regarding the future of their new church. Join another church or churches, set up your own church and hire someone that’s actually studied for a few years to become a minister. Because who knows knows what debt or other obligations from the Mars Hill Gang are going to be foisted on you – I sure wouldn’t trust any of the Gang to be transparent about it, that’s for sure.
As far as Bellevue goes, this is doubly true. Why assume a bunch of debt, who knows how much of which was used to enrich the Mars Hill insiders, for the sake of keeping a building. Tell the Mars Hill Gang to take a hike and start from scratch – you’ve got a much better chance of building a healthy church by severing all ties with those who caused this debacle, particularly since they seemed to have learned nothing from it.
Here endeth the rant. I apologize if I sounded too harsh, but this whole situation is just so wrong.
The Piper tweet is a reference to the stoning of Stephen after his speech to the Sanhedrin in Acts 7 (see esp. vv. 55-56).
I agree, except that these men have not been accustomed to being real leaders, in the sense of character. They were placed in a position of authority probably because the ones above them believed that the ones at the top would benefit from their “leadership” of the sheep. There is no evidence that true leadership according to Biblical standards was ever a requirement for holding authority positions at Mars Hill, or indeed any of the YRR churches. The ones who did exhibit real leadership and spoke up against the abuse were run over themselves.
I doubt seriously whether these men have the skill sets necessary to lead an organization effectively. If they did, I don’t think they would have risen in the ranks because they would have been a threat to the supremely unqualified Mark Driscoll. Their sole function was to keep the sheep in the shearing or slaughter lines. Thus, I remain a skeptic regarding all of the late-coming repentance now that the cost-benefit picture has flipped.
When I see repentance from the poisonous authoritarian and misogynistic doctrines, and not just the faulty implementation of good doctrines, then I’ll believe anything that any leader who was part of the Mars Hill Machine.
Ben Denison wrote:
Thank you. It may surprise you, but there are folks here who are familiar with the Bible, including this incident. Would you care to interpret Piper’s tweet for me, because I’m having a hard time figuring out his point.
Just a comment about the name “Mars Hill Church.”
It’s a registered trademark and service mark. The full trademark is for the stylized letter M in circle plus the words “Mars Hill Church.” The trademark is held by the following (copied straight from the USPTO page):
MARS HILL CHURCH NONPROFIT CORPORATION WASHINGTON 1411 NW 50TH STREET SEATTLE WASHINGTON 98107
I would argue that this is an asset of the Mars Hill Church Inc. nonprofit corporation and as such, it could be given away, traded or sold. It could even wind up in the hands of MHC creditors. I’m thinking an inquiry needs to be made into the disposition of this *very valuable* piece of intangible property. (I’m being serious here.)
After viewing who the Lord chose for his disciples, I’m loath to criticize other men as unqualified for the position. I never would have picked the twelve.
I don’t have a problem with a multi-site church. Some will prosper, some won’t. The Lord leads in mysterious ways.
Finally, I’m sure many congregants want their Mars Hill Church, under whatever name it will become, to continue on.
The local church as ALWAYS been a mess. It’s rather amazing it has survived.
Gramp3, who has the gift of interpretation when my thoughts are a little dysfluent, has informed me that this sentence does not make sense. I meant to say that the leaders have only repented of poor implementations of Driscoll’s doctrines, and they have not repented of the underlying poisonous doctrines of authoritarianism and misogyny nor have they informed us why they were complicit. When they do that, then I will believe what they say about anything.
This reminds me so much of the way Maranatha Campus Ministries dissolved in the 1990s. The churches all became autonomous churches– the one I attended was one of them. Mark Driscoll reminds me of several of the “superstar” preachers we had in Maranatha.
I wonder sometimes if churches ever learn from the past mistakes of other churches.
This letter was posted today on Joyful Exiles which is written by the Petry’s
Did you mean written by Mars Hill Elders of 2007?
It’s interesting to me that people who study megachurches define them as, basically, churches that come together around a single charismatic leader, skyrocket in size and popularity, and then quickly fizzle out as soon as said charismatic leader is gone. Thus, Driscoll resigns, Mars Hill (at least on the organizational level) immediately disintegrates.
Very interesting, and it raises a passel of other questions. I am not clear on the various entities, boards, and officers. Who or what, if anything, is being dissolved? This should keep some attorneys and accountants busy.
My IT job deals secondhand with state and county governments, and I live in a state who’s gotten “creative” with their General Fund. Let’s just say there’s a lot of tricks you can do with a General Fund, from Plunkett of Tammany Hall to Third World Kleptocracy.
Or is it a “Let’s Just Change the Name and Labels and ballyhoo Our Great Changes” like the USSR used to do?
You said the secret woid, Sopy!
Here’s the Steve Miller Band:
Kristen Rosser wrote:
“THIS TIME WE *WILL* ACHIEVE TRUE COMMUNISM!”
(always because This Time The RIGHT People(TM) will be in charge…)
Isn’t that also characteristic of a (dum dum dummmm) CULT?
Having a Brigham Young to succeed a Joseph Smith is actually pretty rare, both in religion and business startups.
The only megachurch where I have seen a successful transition is Southeast Christian in Louisville, Kentucky. It was done gradually and with plenty of lead time, as the pastor’s retirement was announced well in advance, the next pastor (an existing staff member) was trained and mentored by the outgoing pastor, and they stuck to the timetable they had set.
I wholeheartedly agree with your comment.
Kristen Rosser wrote:
Apparently not. 🙁 That's the sad reality.
Oh I agree! They need to start with a lay board (of men AND women), none of whom are tainted with stain of being any type of Mars Hill leader. There are plenty of seminary trained people around to act as pulpit supply and sources of information while they figure out what they want to be.
I'm sorry. Poor wording. The letter was posted on Joyful Exiles, which is a blog written by the Petrys.
I can’t see any actual changes. It seems like the same dealers are reshuffling their old decks of marked cards but claiming that their game is now clean.
Or “Meet thenew boss, same as the old boss.” Etc. etc. etc.
I am stunned at their audacity in signing off on this letter now. Do all those words – written only after a series of extremely embarrassing incidents exposing the corruption in their little cult – actually mean anything?
It strikes me as a little bit much lily-gilding, conveniently timed for those still in charge, and thus patently insincere. Some who signed may truly mean it, but if fels as if they’re just trying to get the Petrys, Meyerses and all the others who have been speaking out to hush up and go away.
I believe that Mars Hill Bellevue is being positioned for the return of Mark Driscoll and the creation of Mars Hill 2.o
I’m posting a series of three or four articles as “capstones” to the Research Guide on Mark Driscoll/Mars Hill that I posted in September and October. The first article is “A Critique of the Three Official Options for Dissolution of Mars Hill Church.”
Hopefully the situation at Mars Hill will spark additional attention about the organizational infrastructure used to control people, and maybe about the process of church planter assessment and church leader qualifications. Seems about time for that to happen in a bigger way …
Shoot, Brad beat me to the punch. I was coming to post his link, too. I highly recommend Brad’s articles. Here’s one excerpt and I concur 100% with Brad’s assessment. He’s been studying abuse systems for decades and really understands spiritual abuse. (http://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/capstone-1/)
I’m trying to remember when they sued another or other church(es) that were using the name Mars Hill (obvs not Act 29 ones) ?
“Future Demonstration Of Religious Pastoral Proficiency?”
‘Victim’ Driscoll has apparently taught a whole new generation of ‘potential’ 501(c)3 non-profit religiou$ ‘leaders’ how ta ‘bully’ their way in, and get out fore da cops, or da tax-man cometh.
Of course, he apparently, chapter and verse, wrote da religious play-book.
…unless of course, he ‘lifted’ that too?
Bully McDri$Co.™, ‘Dri$Co.botz’® at your feet, did you think dat ‘church money’ was heaven sent?!?
They may well mean something. Put it this way: some years after we were thrown out of a smaller and less famous Glasgow church for questioning the leader (or “being divisive” as he told all our friends!), one of the people we’d known there wrote a letter to us, out of the blue, apologising for the way he (first person singular) had behaved towards us and asking for our forgiveness. I can assure you that letter meant a lot to us. Likewise, the above letter may well mean a lot to the clans Petry and Meyer. Especially if it is true (and I’ve no reason to believe it isn’t) that many of the signatories have personally contacted them in between times.
Of course, “re-pent” means “change-your-mind” or, perhaps more accurately, “transform-your-mindset”. Equally obviously, a changed mindset cannot help but produce a changed lifestyle. I agree that we shouldn’t take a letter to mean more than one letter can mean. Nor can the signatories at this point be credited with as much integrity as the Petry’s and the Meyer’s, who took their stand at a point when questioning Driscoll was nothing like as in vogue as it is now, even outside of NeoCal circles. But anybody’s repentance has to start somewhere.
@ Julie Anne:
Nothing encapsulates the need for systemic repentance at MH more than the people dismissed as [dead] “bodies” under the bus, IMHO. Nothing else so starkly demonstrates the falsehood of its historic claims to be “a church”, and of Driscoll’s historic claims to be a “biblical” or “godly” “pastor”.
Repentance and change, therefore, might do a lot worse than start with them. Indeed, that’s exactly where the 21 elders signing the above letter do seem to be starting. The first people to speak at any new incarnation of MH should be drawn from that group. If repentance is genuine, then MH must demonstrate mutual submission where it once sought to impose ungodly rule. Undoubtedly, many of the people thrown out of MH have found new church families and can’t simply “come back”. But it was those people who were truly leading MH in the right direction all along, even if MH was unwilling to follow them at the time.
So, the 21 elders do it their way, dump on 2 in the past, say they are sorry for screwing up 2 elders lives (wives/children, etc.). Now these “elders” are asking MH churches to give (i.e. general fund?)?
I still ask the question, what was the exit/golden parachute package given to MD behind closed doors? What golden parachute exit package is being planned for the 21 elders, etc? MH churches (men/women/children) are giving their $ for this kind of “B$”??? Wake-up and smell the scriptures! You have already partnered with this kind of EVIL in the past and they want you to continue giving to it…FEEDING/ENABLING it?!?!
Is that the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ?
You shall know them by their fruits!
People groups, are you proud of this “fruit” and your “leaders” (so called)? If not, why not? Think about it and go somewhere else where you can focus on the person of Jesus Christ as LORD, and not these men with their pin-head theology…
“Something Went Bump?”
Anybudy said Somebudy somewhere should ‘repent’, but Nobudy, anywhere did.
You are asking “Anybody” to take personal responsibility?
As long as they are good at hiding all the evil and shenanigans that go on back stage. yes they are very proud of their 40 year ‘apostolic succession’ plan…..
you don’t have to check your brains to go to church… ask to see a budget there. unless you are one of the well-heeled you will never see one but they have been trained to be very nice about not showing you one. Wink
Jerry Falwell successfully passed it on to his sons with Jonathan at Thomas Road as senior pastor and Jerry Jr. as chancellor at Liberty U. It helped that both of them are seriously educated and quite capable and worked under the prior leadership for a long time. But Jerry did not try to build an empire just based on himself but rather got some good people and gave them leeway to do their thing, at least he did that with the university. Don’t know about the church. Big or little, you can’t build it all on one man.
I found the letter interesting. I wouldn’t trust any of these guys in leadership. Even if they feel bad about it, their knee jerk reactions are still in place and will take years to overcome.
I have to hand it to Jerry Falwell. His mix of politics and religion was not my cup of tea. I thought Liberty would survive, but just barely. They jumped on the bandwagon of online education and are succeeding, big time. In fact, lots of other well known colleges are beginning to head in the direction of online. Even Duke School of Medicine allows most of its first year classes to be done online!
That is my new mantra. If they will not show their budget and tell you what the pastor is making, I don’t give money to any “General Find.” Instead, I have decided to see what ministries the church is involved in and give directly to those sources.
For example, if they support a homeless shelter and I know it is well run, I will give directly to the homeless shelter.
Until these questions are answered, there is still a great deal of sickness in the institution. I wouldn’t give a dime directly to there church.
@ samuel smith:
I agree that there may be something in the works. The 2 things that caught my attention is
1. No one can use the Mars Hill name
2. Bruskas and Rogers at Bellevue.
So far, nothing is being said about all the money floating in the system. How much is being oven to Driscoll and *King* Turner? That place was run like their own cash cow and the people who came to the church (who were not even allowed to become members- there were only three members, Driscoll and friends) were the ATMs.
Thank you for letting the readers know about this.
@ Julie Anne:
I totally agree with Brad. to add another layer to it most of these guys were young and Driscoll’s corrupted ‘spiritual’ way is all they know. the other problem is all most of them know how to do is make a living in ministry.
it is also good to ask if the pastor has other sources of income outside of his full time job there. surprisingly very few of the staffers even have a clue how much money these guys make outside of their “full time” ministry job.
I’ve not read everything on Mars Hill so forgive me if my question has long ago become irrelevant. Has driscoll now become a verb? There are many churches, large and small, white and black, evangelical, mainline, even Catholic that have been driscolled. The authoritarian, abusive and dishonest minister has made a grand mess with the help of henchmen and then cut and run. That church has been driscolled.
Good grief. That must be really radical. We spent so much time in labs first year I can’t even count. How do you do gross anatomy, histology and biochem without labs? They must have rearranged the whole thing. Duke is really upscale quality, though, and I am sure they have figured some way.
I’m betting the MH trademark is owned by one of the many shell corporations owned by Driscoll.
A very funny thing I noticed at my local Christian bookshop (Koorong) here in Australia recently. Virtually all of the remaining copies of “A Call To Resurgence” by you-know-who were placed in the remainder/clearance bins. I guess there ain’t anymore money to be made from him anymore. The even funnier thing is that I’m sure it was a featured title not less than 3-4 months ago in the paper catalogs…
@ Nick Bulbeck:
Honestly, after my own experience of being booted, i am very skeptical of the motivation and timing, *especially* if there’s a behind the scenes move to create MH 2.0. In which case, this might well be supposed clean-up of some of the people thrown under MD’s bus. That way the signatories can claim that they’ve “done the right thing” and everyone can just move along nicely, because there’s nothing here to see.
I do not see how these people can be trusted.
I’m thinking you are correct…
I think the letter is part of a knee-jerk reaction, frankly. I hope I’m wrong, though…
Just looked up trademark information for *Mars Hill Church*. This link in the U.S. government’s official Trademark Electronic Search System leads to this:
So, looks like that wordmark is still “live” and is ownership is registered with the Mars Hill Church non-profit corporation. Which used to have Mssrs. Driscoll, Turner, and Bruskas listed as the governing board members.
If you look up “Mars Hill” in Wikipedia there are a lot of things named Mars Hill this or that. There is even apparently a Mars Hill Bible Church. Personally, I would not pay a dime for “Mars Hill Church” if I could go plant Mars Hill Community Church, Mars Hill of Chicago, The Church at Mars Hill (we have a town named Mars Hill in NC). I mean, take your trademark MD et al and contribute it to charity and maybe you can get a tax break, because that seems to be about what it is worth.
Many of the celebrity wannabes write speeches and books on the church’s time.
Meanwhile, if you want to find other related trademarks, go to this main search page …
… into the SEARCH TERM field put MARS HILL CHURCH, and into the FIELD field (yes, awkward) select ALL in the drop-down menu so you get maximum detail, and into the RESULT MUST CONTAIN field select ALL SEARCH TERMS (AND).
Hit the SUBMIT QUERY button and voila! Multiple related trademarks and wordmarks owned by *Mars Hill Church* and some non-related. [For instance, I did note that *The Last Things Initiative* is dead, which provided a daily dose of irony to go with my morning coffee out here on the West coast.] [Oh yes, and some other “Mars Hill Church” holds several live “Quickie Coupons” trademarks.] [Curious, that.]
Anyway, Mars Hill Church (non-profit) owns the following live and dead trademarks and wordmarks:
* Resurgence (2 different trademarks)
* R (3 different wordmarks)
* Mars Hill Music
* Re:Sound (dead)
With Resurgence and R, one of each of them was originally registered by Mars Hill Fellowship dba Mars Hill Church. I’ve still not been able to find out the date for the official name change from MHF to MHC.
Okay, so there’s that …
You bet. I think it is going to be taken out, dusted off, and used again.
@ Ruth Tucker:
I have heard driscolled and driscollized.
@ Brandon F:
Ah, the free market decides what something is worth and publishers respond. It is rather amusing that Driscoll’s books are in the discount barrel.
I was on a cruise a couple of years ago and saw his book, Real Marriage, in the free library. I was a good girl and left it there. I wonder if it has been off loaded!
🙂 :0 🙁
Where is Re:bus?
You do know that Mars Hill had lawyers contact a little church in California to threaten them about calling themselves Mars Hill and had a logo that was close to Mars Hill.? Why? I bet they were going to be moving into town. The little church backed off. They though Mars Hill had taken it from them!
Must’ve been underneath the other Mars Hill ones?
That’s what I remember thinking, too, Gram! I thought he was supposed to be backing off social media for a while, concentrating on his own flock and all that. Guess he just couldn’t help himself…
senecagriggs yahoo wrote:
There’s a difference between Jesus and us, Seneca. He can see into people’s hearts, and we can’t. If a man has been routinely harming and using the people entrusted to him, without a sign of brokenness, how are we supposed to trust them?
senecagriggs yahoo wrote:
Has it always been a dictatorship? That seems to have been the case at Mars Hill.
My concern is that somehow, people are associating the Mars Hill issues with multi-site church models and I think that is a false conclusion to reach. Not all multi-site churches have problems with abusive leadership or celebrity pastor issues.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
I’m not sure Mark Driscoll ever returns to church pastoring. I think maybe that ship has sailed. A generation has come and gone since he first began to pastor. I don’t think he captures that lightening twice.
You also were a Driscoll fanboy-chastising people for their critiques, including the Deebs in a most harsh manner. So, of course you would defend the pastors “about whom we know very litttle.” yo uare wrong, btw. We know quite a lot.
Ben Denison wrote:
I think Piper is drawing attention to how Stephens face was described in the passage, and to say that is what our transformation will be like too. Therefore we should look forward to our death in anticipation of receiving a face shining light like an angel, irresistible wisdom and fullness of grace and power.
A couple days later Piper tweets: “Do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the Lord.” Jer 45:5
He also declared destruction upon Dubai, and the Burj Khalifa in a video that’s been removed, when he was there and promoting, at the time, the upcoming Cross Conference where he encouraged young people to go to their deaths and become missionaries.
Meanwhile, John Piper the Global Apostle, and his lesser companion Noel Piper, the World Christian, have just returned alive from Japan.
(Call it what they will, and themselves what they please, but to the rest of us it looks exactly like leisure traveling as opposed to the kind that the Apostle Paul undertook in which his life was constantly in peril because he was, literally, on a mission.)
One has gotten the impression in the past that Piper hopes for his life to be threatened, and then all those overseas trips can be justified.
And maybe he was thinking of Stephen and martyrdom after hearing how his good friend Mark Driscolls life was severely threatened after he was nearly stoned to death in his own back yard, and the tweet was a secret coded word of encouragement. Maybe John Piper is one of the guys involved in ministering wisdom to Driscoll now, as he alluded to in his appearance at Gateway, and Piper was saying to Mark, “Hang in there buddy. Remember Stephen. We are not professionals, but we should expect to die on the job. I’m here for you. I’ve had death threats, too.”
Who was he thinking about? Himself? His brothers in arms out there on the battlefield fighting the cause of Christ? Because just three days before his Stephen tweet he tweeted, “Should the death of military combatants be gender specific? Yes. Manhood means take the bullet if you can.”
Meanwhile, in the midst of all this Piper was thinking about Brittany Maynard and her plan, which she followed through with, to take her own life. Which seemed to deeply affect John Piper because he wrote a long article about it at Desiring God.
So, surely he wasn’t thinking about Brittany Maynard when he tweeted “prepare to die”.
Or was he?
Who knows. Piper never responds to inquiries about the meanings of his tweets. Guess he likes the mystery, the intrigue, the awe, and wonder he inspires as he busies himself tweeting multiple times a day, sharing his pearls of esoteric wisdom, ready to take the bullet anytime, and die a martyr’s death.
Jenn Grover wrote:
Mars Hill is the multi-site model taken to the ultimate. I’m sure there are multi-sites that don’t do things the way Mars Hill does. The question is whether or not multi-site can be an organic church or whether the organizational requirements will eventually swamp the organic purpose of the church.
ISTM that the multi-site model is the logical result of elevating the preaching function above the other gifts and functions in the church to the place that everything is ultimately focused on the preaching/preacher and the other functions become basically props for the center ring. IOW, the church becomes the vehicle for the preacher, and the other members of the body become passive spectators. Because what do they know anyway.
Jenn Grover wrote:
How could they eventually not have those issues? The whole reason for the multi site model is so the main guy can remain the main guy with more followers. In many instances his sermons are watched on giant IMAGS at the other sites. He is beamed in, so to speak, as their “pastor”. They have lesser mortals at the other sites doing something on stage but he is not the “big guy”. The model actually facilitates spiritual abuse based on being “set apart” and specially anointed. So tell me why they can’t just plant churches with the hope they become totally independent? Because that would not serve the real purpose.
If that is not a recipe for spiritual abuse, I do not know what is. Frankly, another reason for the multi site model is money. When they have exhausted marketing efforts they tap other areas. Find cheap space and funnel most of the funds to headquarters. It really has become the last ditch effort of many mega’s struggling to pay for huge campi. They must tap new giving units.
You have nailed it. Cult of personality.
Absolutely! No other real reason for it.
If I remember a college Economics 101 textbook (“Worldly Philosophers” by Heilbroner), Karl Marx predicted something similar in Das Kapital when he was writing as a systems analyst instead of an Apocalyptic Prophet. Big corporations growing bigger and bigger by corporate raiding and acquisition until their bloated-spider monopolies are all that’s left, and when there’s nothing left to prey upon they go down HARD and take everything with them. (This is where Marx flips into Apocalyptic Prophet and starts on Come the Revolution.)
“I tell you One and One make Three —
I’m the Cult of Personality!
“You give me Glory,
You give me Fame,
You give me POWER
In your God’s Name;
I’m whatever you want me to be!
I’m The Cult of Personality!”
Big Brother on the Telescreens all over Oceania.
I am way behind on understanding who is who and what is what at Mars Hill.
But my basic question is this: So much has happened regarding MD over the past few years.
What was the straw that broke the camel’s back?
Is that just not being talked about or revealed?
senecagriggs yahoo wrote:
That’s fine, you may not have a problem, Seneca, but of course, that’s why people such as you are a big part of the problem.
The Bible has some very clear qualifications for leaders and elders, and I dare say there may not be a soul left standing in leadership at Mars Hill who would meet them. None of the disciples were involved in systematic abuse, financial misfeasance, throwing others under the bus, etc–none save one, of course. Further, the disciples did not yet have the Holy Spirit in the manner that we now have and have come to understand, and were operating under a pre-Christian paradigm (as was King David, for that matter). People often gloss over this to their confusion and that of all who are foolish enough to consider their reasoning..
And in any event, please don’t insult the readers of this blog by making comparisons of Mars Hill members to those whom Jesus chose as disciples, it makes you look very foolish.
There is a church in Minneapolis/St. Paul, North Heights Church, a mega, that is not pastor-centric, is not a cult of personality, and has undergone three transitions of leadership in the past 15 years while steadily growing.
When he first came on my radar screen, I was astonished that people thought this man was a good idea. That was around 2004 or 2005 when he was still the cool kid. Observing things since then, the events of 2007 were obviously a huge red flag that went unnoticed among the Gospel Glitterati. The though that he was possibly trouble among the Gospel Glitterati seems to have come in the wake of Elephant Room 2, despite James MacDonald’s valiant efforts at damage control.
The idea gained plausibility with the revelations by Janet Mefferd, Warren Throckmorton, and Wenatchee of plagiarism, but even then the criticism was aimed mainly at the critics of Driscoll, particularly that Daughter of Eve, Janet Mefferd. The idea of Driscoll as trouble gained probable status when the stories started gaining traction and became certain when the news of the bestseller manipulation using church funds came out.
It’s hard for even the Gospel Glitterati to ignore possible illegal behavior, so that’s when I think the Driscoll issue reached critical mass, and it became too expensive for them to defend him. Not that it fazed the True Believers on Mars Hill for whom he is still god.
Paula Rice wrote:
You may be onto something…Thankfully for Pastor Mark, Pastor John has his back.
the secular media started covering it.and he became too big of an embarrassment for the “Christian” celebrities and his pew sitters to ignore.
when Time magazine quotes Driscoll teaching on women being penis homes, what more should it take? Plagiarism? buying your way onto the New York Times bestseller list with tithe? Lying about donations to third world countries? Porno diviations?
it took the secular media reporting all this for celebrity Christians to start backing off. But I would not be a bit surprised to see a Driscoll rehab push from some of them such as Piper.
Law Prof wrote:
Actually, EMR is misinformed about the process of succession there but believes exactly what that mega church wants the pewsitter to believe.
Kyles daddy was owed a favor and after Kyle’s “celebrity church” plant out west was a big failure, he desperately needed a high six-figure salary and a secure platform in which to launch his new national brand.
So the SECC elders announce that the Holy Spirit has spoken to them and the Apostolic succession contiues.
That is how it works. nevermind the power plays backstage.
“Pulpit & Pen retweeted
JD Hall @fbc_jd · Nov 3
Brittany Maynard took her life this weekend, to ease her suffering. Sadly, it did not ease her suffering.”
I truly have no words.
@ Paula Rice:
Paula, that was a great analysis. Piper’s tweets do exactly what he wants them to do…has us trying to figure them out. I think he misses his weekly stage appearances and fears obscurity.
but I do think he needs a Twitter intervention. the Piper mystique is quickly turning into the Piper who needs meds.
On Christmas eve, in 1965, William Branham was killed in a car accident in Amarillo, Texas, and his body was buried in Jeffersonville, Indiana. But he was resurrected via recordings which devoted “Branhamites” religious gather to listen to. The worldwide franchise grew and continues to this day. The “Voice of God” Recordings, the distributor of materials related to William Branham’s ministry, currently produces print, audio, and video materials in 65 languages, ships to 174 countries, and maintains offices in over forty countries. The Voice of God website claims that “upwards of 2 million people worldwide believe Brother Branham’s Message” and that believers are found in every country of the world…more than 500,000 Message Believers are found in Africa.
You ask, “What has happened regarding MD over the past few years?”
According to Lajos Egri, “Exposition itself is part of the whole play” which is certainly true throughout the Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill drama. And although the final act could not have been foreseen, many people prognosticated the demise of Mars Hill based on a logical sequence of events.
But if you were to ask me, I would say the climax, or the turning point, which changed the protagonist’s (Mark Driscoll) fate, was his radio interview with Janet Mefferd, who proved to be a worthy antagonist. Imagine that, a female delivered the decisive blow and many in the audience, myself included, stood up and applauded. And because Mark Driscoll is worse off now than at the beginning of the play, this is a definite Tragedy for Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill.
The dénouement is when a bus suddenly appears and runs over Mark Driscoll, which, according to the laughter heard throughout the theatre, turned the play into, at least for the audience, at the end, a Comedy.
Yeah, that was pretty tasteless. Why do pastors have to tweet about everything? 🙁
I currently proudly wear on my garment a sticker which says “I Voted.” I just loooooove election days, all of them, for their very own sake. There is something bizarre about the fact that some churches are using congregational voting on church business less and less.
There are no words that a fool can hear. Jordan is demonstrating that he has not learned anything from his Caner disgrace.
Jordan, if you are out there, what good do you think you accomplished by that tweet? Did that tweet adorn the Gospel? I’ll bet you and the Pulpiteers are congratulating yourselves on your superiority.
Have you ever had to make really tough decisions? Have you ever demonstrated competence at anything besides being a talking head on Twitter and in YRRville? Do you know what relentless pain is like, especially when you have the certain knowledge that it will only get much, much worse and that your suffering will cause others to suffer? Obviously, you do not. Please go private until you mature emotionally and spiritually. Really, you are demonstrating that you have no concept of much of anything except how to out-Piper Piper. Congratulations. I’m sure the Lord is pleased by the way you and Piper and all your pals make him look.
That commentary was directed at Jordan, not at Brian. Sorry for the confusing rant.
What a tremendous blessing we are privileged to enjoy. There was a big crowd at our precinct this morning.
BTW, I was NEVER a Driscoll fanboy – you’ve always been wrong about that; perhaps wrong about other men too.
I echo that. His “Caner repentance” just feels like dirt in my mouth now.
Is this “Serpent Seed” Branham?
Problem with Twitter is it’s hard to say something more complex than “I Made a Poopie!” in 140 characters.
Haha, I know, right? Or his Twitter followers will need meds to help them deal with Piper’s Destruction of the World that’s coming soon!
CUT! “Whatz In A Name, Anyway?”
Christianity was intended to be a power of liberty; Mars Hill, apparently by corrupting it, ( it would seem) made it a modern power business ‘hill’ of 501(c)3 religious despotism.
“Religious 501(c)3 ‘church re-tread’ ?”
Fool us twice?
Comic relief: Cartoon: “Paperback Writer”
Bonus: Paul McCartney – “Paperback Writer”
Life is too dang short ta live in a 501(c)3 ‘religious sewer’…
make a change.
Comic relief: “Twist Out N’ Shout”
An apology is not repentance. He was doing PR cos media picked up on the story.
Paula Rice wrote:
He’s also into End Time Prophecy obsession?
Truly Reformed plus Pre-Trib Dispy sounds like the worst possible combination.
“But if you were to ask me, I would say the climax, or the turning point, which changed the protagonist’s (Mark Driscoll) fate, was his radio interview with Janet Mefferd, who proved to be a worthy antagonist. Imagine that, a female delivered the decisive blow and many in the audience, myself included, stood up and applauded. And because Mark Driscoll is worse off now than at the beginning of the play, this is a definite Tragedy for Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill.”
Judges chapter 4… So much for those who say women can’t be in ministry! I guess MD got it in the END. You reap what you sow…
Thanks for all of the thoughts. Sounds like it was a slow build up.
I really thought that Driscoll had engineered things so much that he could not be practically forced to do anything. That is, he was the untouchable big dog at Mars Hill and the governing documents were drafted such that he could not be disciplined.
Did he flinch? Did he agree to some procedure that set the end in motion.
Or did the money stop flowing in such that a change had to be made, and even he could see that?
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
The great thing about Twitter, though, is it enables learned and erudite men to find more complex ways of saying exactly that.
senecagriggs yahoo wrote:
The internet never lies. We can start with this one and work backwards. You are a fan boy.
Seneca “j” Griggs. on Sat Oct 18, 2014 at 11:55 AM said:
Mark Driscoll hasn’t “resigned from the ministry.” He has resigned as senior pastor of the Mars Hills Churches.
I would urge him not to give up pastoral ministry.
Oh, and before I forget it, one comment not approved!
Yes. The Driscoll’s wrote a book entitled “Real Marriage” and they agreed to pay ResultSourceInc $210K to boost the sale of the book so it would appear on the NY Times bestseller list, a fact Driscoll added to his CV.
I don’t remember exactly but I seem to recall Mark Driscoll denying any knowledge of this. His wife, Grace, seems to have lost her mind, or at least her ability to speak about anything.
I believe, and I think the Seattle Weekly agrees as well, that it all started with the plagiarism. And to be frank, I have never heard so many excuses for plagiarism by so many gospel™ leaders in my entire life and I am not exaggerating.
Justin Taylor and others at TGC owe Janet Mefferd an apology. Big time!
If you want my opinion, which, well, this is an online community, so what the heck, you’re getting it anyway.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I think he simply forgot that God cannot indefinitely be mocked. He famously “can’t worship a guy I can beat up”, but lost sight of the fact that God is not such a guy.
When Driscoll set up his own church such that no-one inside it challenge him, and having done that, marketed membership of it to other congregations, inviting pastors of small churches to come under his authority so that they could have the security of “being part of something bigger”, that is rather a direct implication that being part of Jesus’ Church is not enough. I don’t sense any authority to speak for God here, but I can’t help but wonder whether that act did not cross a line of public disrespect.
And the bodies under the bus? I’m struck by a comment from James to those he calls simply “you rich”:
That last bit is particularly interesting. Some (perhaps many) of those thrown under the bus they had worked so hard to help build genuinely left in sorrow and did everything they could to bless him and speak well of him even as he robbed them of everything. However clever and well-resourced your marketing may be, you can only escape the consequences of your actions for so long.
… never mind.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
Perhaps she meant ‘The Internet never forgets’.
Paula Rice wrote:
This is called “juicing the book”, and while legal is considered a shady business practice.
Or was there a coup from within, and the Beta Elders in the feral dogpack saw a chance to be their own Alpha Pastor?
The Ferengi are basically the vultures of the galaxy…..
Could have been one of those situations slowly building to a tipping point. Everything continues “as it was in the days of Noah”, then one day all that slow buildup hits critical mass and BOOM!
They were originally invented for pure comedy relief, back when Roddenberry was Executive Producer and vetoing script after script (except Q and Holodeck) because “We’ll have Evolved Beyond All That”, “that” being conflict and imperfection needed to work a story.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Right, it’s legal. But where did the $210K come from? It came from donations from a congregation who had no clue, not out of authors checking account. Driscoll responded by saying the church would benefit from sales. Riiiight. Guess he wasn’t thinking of things like his and Grace’s appearance on “The View”, or that they would personally benefit from an uptick in speaking invitations from the Conference Circuit. But when he denied benefitting personally from the book hitting the NYT bestseller list, I’m sure he was thinking about a pesky little organization called the IRS.
And also, if it was clean, then why does Result Source’s webpage now look like this? http://resultsource.com/
And their Facebook page like this: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Result-Source-Inc/283224675062950?ref=br_tf
Not to derail this thread into a rant over JD Hall’s tweets, but…
I noticed another one from him a few days ago. I can’t decide whether it’s as clueless and heartless as his one about Brittany, but it left me nauseous.
Read only if you have a strong stomach:
@ Nick Bulbeck:
I meant that which is said on the Internet never goes away.
I am not going to argue with you. I have comment after comment after comment of you defending Driscoll. I can look them up quickly in my dashboard. I gave you the most recent one. So, you are a fan boy of Driscoll. You can run but you can’t hide from your internet record.
I am not going to make this about you which is what you want. You can live with the things you have written. And three more comments not approved.
As to one of the those comment, we know you think we criticize and that you think you are loving, just and kind. We do not need you repeating this over and over and over.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
That guy is sick. He is saying that being gay and part of the “gay community” would be equivalent to a “wife beating community.” This translates to wife beating being equivalent to homosexuality. Grow up JD Hall and learn some logic.
I have been responding to him on Twitter.
Jimmy…Jimmy… It beggars belief on how you manage to run afoul of proper decorum even here in Al Andalus (TWW).
Texas A&M med school classes are online as well with only labs done in the classroom. There is a mixed response to the trend.
@ Serving Kids In Japan:
I don’t think it’s ever occurred to Mr. Hall or others who hold to the ideology he does that gay and lesbian folks want the same real ‘values’ they want. A decent living wage, safe neighborhoods, and freedom from fear to name a few.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
Thanks for reminding me that I questioned him about this tweet and he hasn’t responded. Hmm
This mess in evangelicalism makes me very cautious about belonging to a mega church. I am not quite a separatist, but we need better models of church polity where it isn’t all about the pastor. It isn’t a Reformed or Arminian issue, though most of abuse described on WWW appear to be from neo-Calvinists and Neo-puritans. I write this as someone who may be described as an admirer of John Calvin’s theology. The problem is the same problem that has been described since the dawn of the Reformation and that is corruption of clergy. Unchecked power combined with wealth corrupt even the best people in my opinion. This is the what I perceive in some of these mega church pastors. And the tithe has become as an indulgence in their coffers.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Yes, indeed. He and his messages from the Spectral Emma go on & on & on &…………
Paula Rice wrote:
It says that 3 people like it.
I’m trying to think who the third person is. *
* I think it not unlikely that OldJohnJ will recognise the original source of this quote…
I know… to quote one of my Philosophy of Science lecturers: I said that by way of a joke.
Muff Potter wrote:
If only you knew, Muff, if only you knew. grin
hello — i need help.
i’ve been gone a while — maybe not many remember me. my mom is having grave health issues, strange set of issues. her Kaiser dr.s have no answers. pain getting worse by the day it seems. i feel like she is dying before my eyes. total bewilderment and desperation here.
does anyone have experience with Lyme disease? any knowledge?
and how to get Kaiser to think outside the box on this one?
very desperate. exhausted. (see, so desperate i’m making no effort at making this comment interesting to read)
(She has a mysterious combination of issues — IBS related abdominal pain, mild parkinsons, SIBO, blasto parasite, extreme intolerant reactions to all meds & supplements, skin extremely sore to the touch, electrical shock sensation from metal zippers & glasses frames and clothing hooks, etc). total bewilderment here.)
I don’t see how that would help. We had 1 hour lecture and then four hours lab daily in gross anatomy. Biochem was 1:3 and histology, if I remember correctly 1:2 or 1:3. So you sit in class and then walk just down the hall to lab, or you sit at your station on your stool with your lab stuff spread out before you while you listen to the lecture from a professor with pass-outs, a chalk board and the habit of walking around while he was talking.
On the other hand, lab assistants are cheaper than professors, and not all professors are that good verbally, so maybe they are taping their best and brightest and using it from year to year. I can see that if that is it.
If you know the background and what the are doing I would be interested in hearing that.
Good grief. After you get all the information her doctors can get, and they still tell you they have no idea, then sometimes a second opinion for the University of Elsewhere may be the way to go. That can raise insurance issues sometimes with managed care situations, and finding the right place to go requires a lot of information gathering and time on the phone, but lots of people do it. For some it turns out to have been a great idea, for others not so much.
I wish I had something accurate and immediate to say, but I do not. Diagnosis can be hideously difficult. My prayers are with you and your mother. Keep us informed.
from, not for
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Nick,I don’t indulge in facebook. CLue me in about the quote, Thanks.
The quote was from Sir Arthur Eddington, Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge University and one of the most eminent scientists in the UK. He was an “early adopter” of general relativity, and it was in this context that he is said (perhaps apocryphally) to have made the statement. The conversation, as reported by Ludwik Silberstein, went thus:
Silberstein: Professor Eddington, you must be one of three persons in the world who understands general relativity.
Eddington: [pauses, without answering]
Silberstein: Don’t be modest, Eddington!
Eddington: On the contrary, I am trying to think who the third person is.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Thanks, Nick. Yes, it is a famous and well known quote!
I’m so sorry, Elastigirl. I’ve been through that with my parents, and I ditto Nancy’s advice. Will Kaiser refer out? Please let us know how you and she are doing.
Hi, long-time lurker here. Elastigirl, one of my good friends has been fighting chronic Lyme and a co-infection for several years now. I don’t know much about it, except that it took a *very* committed doctor a long time to figure out- and now he kind of specializes in Lyme disease. I’d be happy to connect you to her, if you’d like to email me. butterflyrouge(at)yahoo(dot)com. I’ll be praying for you and your mother 🙂
I will post a few suggestions in the Open Discussion forum–to get Kaiser to think out of the box. I concur with Nancy and Gram3 advice to get a second opinion.
Firstly, of course we remember you, and we only wish you’d been absent for happier reasons.
I can’t pretend to have much of an answer about your mother’s condition, not being medically qualified. I can tell you a little about Lyme disease, though, as although I’ve never had it, it does occur here in the UK (a few thousand cases annually) and is something one has to be aware of if one frequents the outdoors.
Lyme disease is not directly contagious; it is hosted by mammals and spread by tick-bites. Because it is bacterial (specifically, the Borrelia Burgdorferi bacterium), it can be treated effectively with antibiotics. But it is notoriously difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are quite generic; a confident diagnosis generally requires a blood-test a couple of weeks after infection.
The commonest early symptom is a circular rash around the area of the bite; this takes several days to develop, and the bite itself often passes unnoticed. This may be followed by flu-like symptoms such as headaches, tiredness and muscle or joint pain. Lyme disease can lie dormant for months or even years if left untreated, and if it does, then it can result in fibromyalgia-like symptoms similar to those you describe in your mother – these may include IBS, confusion and increased sensitivity to pain. It can also cause more specific neurological symptoms – partial paralysis of the facial muscles is typically cited as an example.
I don’t know where an intolerance to medications fits into the picture, but – and I must stress that I’m only guessing here – if her digestive and nervous systems are significantly compromised, then those reactions might be part of the general disruption. On the whole, though, in your position I’d probably want a test for Lyme disease done, even if only to rule it out.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
thank you so much for such a comprehensive, thoughtful response.
Thank you so much. i knew the TWW community wouldn’t let me down.
Thank you so much.
thank you so much.
Thanks for letting me know. My husband will be fascinated by this.
Oh my. I am ptraying for you and your mom; everyone else has covered the bases and i have nothing to add (wishni did, believe me).
Paula Rice wrote:
Of course he didn’t. Just like he didn’t think that his words and actions would ever catch up to him.
thank you so much.
We have gone after Paige Patterson, Mac Brunson, Steven Gaines, Benny HInn (and other prosperity prostitutes), Ed Young Jr., Steven Furtick, Robert Jeffress, Dino Rizzo, Stovall Weems, and now….Robert Morris. Now, i wonder if Driscoll will stay *Reformed* or jump ship. That one is going to be interesting.
Unfortunately, the Neo Calvinist crowd has been jumping around and screaming “look at me” over the last few years so we do tend to pick those in the spotlight.
The old nurse in me kicked in and I thought you had written, I kid you not, *the Spectral Enema.*
I am so sorry. Here are a couple of thoughts on the matter.
Lyme disease is under diagnosed because some people do not test positive. Sometimes, a history of a tick bite can help guide doctors. There are also strange types of arthritis which, due to them being an inflammatory process, can mimic some of those symptoms you mentioned. Even extensive blood work may miss the diagnosis which can be obtained by serial X Rays of the bones in the fingers over 6 months. Lyme disease is noted for arthritic like symptoms.
Also, inflammatory issues bring up the possibility of fibromyalgia. However, that should be a diagnosis of last resort after all tests have been exhausted. It also can be a contributing factor and not the main diagnosis.
I have three suggestions, for what it is worth.
1. Ask for a referral to a rheumatologist. A good one will run a series of X-Rays and blood work which might point at something. Read up on arthritis on Google to get an idea of the wide range of inflammatory issues that can be involved.
2. Ask for a referral to an infectious disease specialist who could rule out some overlooked process. They can also refer you to specialists in Lyme Disease.
3. Finally, I am a big proponent of pain clinics which are a fairly new subspecialty. They are often run by anesthesiologists and employee people who are really good at figuring out how to deal with issues of discomfort-this would include IBS, skin pain, medication sensitivity, etc.
They have been wonderful in treating my elderly mother and stepfather for their issues. Not only have they tried some medicines that I would never have considered, they have had them assessed for braces, Tens like units that they can use while they are sleeping, as well as specialty creams which are formulated in specialty pharmacies.These creams can include anti-inflammatories and other pain meds suspended in the ointment which then can be rubbed into the areas which have pain.
These clinics can also refer to physical therapy, etc for more specifically targeted treatments.
If you go the route of consulting someone who specializes in Lyme Disease, be sure to check out if they have ever had complaints/suspensions registered with the medical licensing boards. These folks will often suggest high dose IV antibiotics which can be effective in true Lyme’s Disease. However, long term IV antibiotics can cause some other problems. Since your mother has IBS like symptoms, that would be a concern.
Make sure that one doctor is aware of all her of referrals and treatments which can be lifesaving if you get into a situation of “too many cooks spoil the broth.” I have a physician from Doctors Making Housecalls who gets all of the paperworks from each group. She is also willing to make referrals for specialty groups. I appreciate her and that group a whole bunch.
And, I have noticed your absence and prayed for you. I am always careful about contacting people because I know that many want their privacy and space. Please let me know if I can be of any help to you.
I honestly don’t know a whole lot about it. I flew down to TX for a few days last month and visited with my best friend and her husband (the one in the med school) for just a few hours. My best guess is that it is a cost saving measure in that they only have to record the lectures once and then can use them for many years to come. My best friend is a nurse and expecting her first child early next year; for their family having the classes online provides a certain measure of flexibility for childcare. On the other hand, my sister-in-law is an administrator at a medical school in the mountain west and she is opposed to online classes. You lose the sense of community when you stay behind the computer screen. I tend to agree with her as I found most of my learning as an undergrad occurred when I actively participated in discussions and asked challenging questions in front of classmates. I feel like we sharpened each other when we met in person rather than via email. I guess what I am trying to say is that I can see both sides of the argument equally and I think they are both right.
And now I am back on topic. Kind of. When I learned of Driscoll speaking (not preaching) at the Gateway Conference in TX, my first thought was that he was gearing up to move his for-profit corporation down to the South to start another mega-church in slightly more “fertile” grounds. Am I too far off base with this thought? Texas at least loves a good celebrity pastor or fifteen. I would not be too surprised to hear of him house-hunting away from the Seattle area.
Assuming he’s not moving into an already-oversaturated market like Dallas/Fort Worth/GCB Country.
Sure that isn’t hidden truth below the surface.
And with “Spectral Emma”, you’ve got to be talking about Tatted Todd and his Pet Angel/Familiar Spirit.
Wait a minute.
Serpent Seed Branham had a Spectral Emma too?
Either Tatted Todd ripped him off, or Spectral Emma needed a new host/medium/pet owner. Or both of them were BS.
And with its emphasis on God’s Omnipotence and Predestination, Calvinism would be prone to the same types of corruption of clergy you find in Islam.
Wealth is a side issue.
Unchecked Power plus Utter Righteousness (Truly Elect and they KNOW It!) is a REAL dangerous combination.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
Speculation abounds! He’s apparently very fond of Orange County, and MH has rented him a house there in the past. Others think the Bellevue soon-to-be-former Mars Hill will bring him back in. One thing no one’s speculating is that he’ll go off to India or Ethiopia and found an orphanage.
Though no nurse, young or old, kicked me, I thought this too.
Shame on you!
Dave A A wrote:
Or head up mission trips that actually do anything.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
Just for you, a slight journey back off topic. A belated Halloween horror story for those of us who share similar phobias: a potato (unknown that it was rotten) exploded in my hand as I was taking it out of the bag to make supper, puking its guts all over its innocent potato friends. The end.
Back to topic. I have seen a pastor successfully shepherd two churches simultaneously. He is a Lutheran minister in a very rural area populated by far apart ranches. There are two small churches, roughly 75 miles apart, who could not support two pastors. So they joined together and asked this minister to preach at both churches and shepherd both flocks. Odd number months he preaches the early service at Church A and even number months he preaches the early service at Church B. He spends his entire week actively meeting the needs all of the members, often drive hundreds of miles a day. And he does with all with humility and gratitude. He does not seek glory or attention nor has he expressed a desire to broadcast the service to the other church via a large screen. The total members of the churches is maybe 150 and that is more than enough for him. I have attended both churches and have come away both humbled and inspired by what I have learned from the communities. To me, his churches are the true “mega-church”.
So sorry to hear this elastigirl. Will be praying.
Their are blood tests that confirm inflammation in the body. If the numbers are high, try to get referred to a Rheumatologist. He can confirm and rule out a host of issues. I spent an entire summer tracking down the cause of my sons mysterious onset of symptoms which ended up being reactive arthritis which was set off by food poisoning. It was important to remember and recount the weeks leading up to the onset of symptoms. The rheumatologist was the first Dr. That was able to connect all the dots.
The Message believers attracted my attention back in the early ’00s because Voice of God Recordings was claming a copyright on the audiotape sermons and charging a lot of money for them. Others struck back with databases and other formats to get around VoGR’s stranglehold. Then it became clear that VoGR did not have a copyright on the sermons because Branham himself did not copyright them. Under the copyright law of the time, they fell into the public domain. VoGR is still selling its collection of Branham sermons for just under $500, but even it has bowed to the times and has made the individual sermons available for download on its site.
I went to a Message church service once and it was most unusual. A audio sermon of Branham was played while pictures/video of Branham preaching were projected on a screen. Otherwise it was strangely Pentecostalistic in style. Not something I’ve cared to repeat.
Maybe a radical mission trip to an undisclosed Marriott in Dubai?
Very sorry to hear about your mom, elastigirl. I went through a similar process about 10 years ago with mine. I know the stress of not knowing even how to treat. Thankfully we were able to bring in a group of specialists who worked together. Her condition was so rare it took 6 months and tons of tests to get a diagnosis. It was weird as she was perfectly healthy traveling the world and in just one night, it all changed.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Circuit-riding Preacher like in the Old West.
You find the same thing in the Catholic parishes of the Owens Valley — lotsa tiny towns between Mount Whitney and Death Valley (Lone Pine being the largest, and St Rose’s there can’t seat more than fifty) with one priest circuit-riding Confessions & Masses for all of them.
Like a low-tech version of Big Brother on the Telescreen.
Or a scene from an old comedy movie called “Cold Turkey”. There’s a scene where this group that’s a thinly-fictionalized John Birch Society has “a guest speaker” from their founder — a record player up on stage playing a recorded speech, accorded all the respect and deference as if their founder/leader were there in person.
Dave A A wrote:
I’m in the OC. The last thing I want is for him to reboot his cult in my area.
This is starting to sound like that joke from the World Cup:
“Canada vs US for high stakes — loser has to take back Justin Beiber.”
in one of the posts on one of the facebook groups there was a link to one of your blogs. It contained a parable about a man who had harmed many and was told to take a feather pillow and empty it on a hillside…then gather all the feathers back into the case. Now I can’t find the FB post/link, and I can’t find it on your site. It must have been old? Can you help?
“…Doctors Making Housecalls…”
would they come to my mom’s house in California?
Thanks so much, Dee — fabulous information. i am copying it into my running document on mom’s health (136 pages & going strong). There’s even a coupon for
marijuana ready to print — haven’t used it yet. I mean, SHE hasn’t used it yet.
One of her dr’s has ordered the Western Blot test, so i hope to bring her in this week to do that.
thank you to everyone for your kind concern and support. this really is quite novel.
One of the things I’ve noticed about people whom I would consider real–rather than nominal–Christians is their ability to be introspective, eat dirt, and genuinely apologize.
One of the things I have noticed about neocalvinists is an almost pathological inability to apologize in any genuine way.
thank you, bridget. i’ve copied your info into my running mom’s health doc.
thank you so much, Lydia. was it Lymes, by chance?
@ MJ Moore:
thank you so much, MJ. yes, i will email you. i would very much like to talk to this person if they are willing
Here it is.
“A man visited his rabbi to confess that he had spread a lie about his neighbors. He asked what he should do to rectify the situation. The wise rabbi understood that this man needed to apprehend the gravity of his action. So, he asked the man to meet him at the top of a windy hill in the town. Once there, the rabbi handed him a feather pillow and scissors and told him to cut open the pillow. Once open, the rabbi told him to shake out the entire feather stuffing. The feathers flew everywhere in the wind. The man asked what this had to do with his lie. The rabbi looked at him sternly and said to go and collect all the feathers. The man finally understood the problem. One can apologize but how does one collect all the “feathers?”
@Christine. This may be the link you’re looking for, and an excerpt from what Dee wrote.
[…] I think a good rabbinical story is in order. I have heard this story told on a number of occasions and do not know its origination.
A man visited his rabbi to confess that he had spread a lie about his neighbors. He asked what he should do to rectify the situation. The wise rabbi understood that this man needed to apprehend the gravity of his action. So, he asked the man to meet him at the top of a windy hill in the town. Once there, the rabbi handed him a feather pillow and scissors and told him to cut open the pillow. Once open, the rabbi told him to shake out the entire feather stuffing. The feathers flew everywhere in the wind. The man asked what this had to do with his lie. The rabbi looked at him sternly and said to go and collect all the feathers. The man finally understood the problem. One can apologize but how does one collect all the “feathers?”
Dee … she’s faster than the speed of light … which makes sense, as she seeks to bring light into the darkness!
Law Prof wrote:
Maybe they think that God sovereignly appointed them to be jerks.
Darn, Brad. How do you do it?
@ Nick Bulbeck:
You would have been fun to work with!
It reminds me of the day my daughter had her first neurosurgery. The neurosurgeon was sitting next to me, calmly explaining the procedure (remove skull, chop out brain and keep fingers crossed.) I looked like a deer caught in the headlights.
The nurse gave Abby her pre op prep and she was groggily sitting in my lap. As he explained the prep meds and the long term sedation, I held out my arm and said “Go for it. I shot for Abby and 1 shot for Mama.”
They all laughed but, had they offered it, I think I would have taken it. Dealing with an illness in your family can be tough on the caretaker.
Law Prof wrote:
The Attitude of the Utterly Righteous who KNOW they are Utterly Righteous.
Didn’t this one Rabbi from Nazareth have a lot to say (none of it good) about those with that attitude?
Sorry to hear about your mother. A woman in our church has struggled for years with that, and all kinds of bad symptoms. She has been followed by treating physicians, and I believe has had some relief recently, but I do not know the particulars. If I find something out that I believe will be helpful, I will come back on and let you know.
FWIW, it was a high-probability modified boolean search on the TWW search bar for the words “feather” and “pillow,” which were the key words Christine gave, plus I had a vague recollection of that post and its story, plus there may be such a thing as too much research experience …
But I think I may prefer the mystical narrative version: Saint Jude the Obscure is the patron saint of we who research.
… or should that be Saint Anthony, for help in recovering lost items?
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Yeah, but that was the Old Covenant, before Calvin.
Sadly, I think that you may be right.
Why would anyone not repent of supporting Driscoll? They don’t think he’s done anything wrong!
One of the subtle differences between NPD and ASPD is that sociopaths (ASPD) tend to be more reckless with their behavior and thus are more likely to get caught. My thinking is that Driscoll probably falls on the ASPD spectrum (and thus has gotten caught) while guys like Piper fall on the NPD spectrum, and have managed to avoid significant troubles like those that Driscoll is experiencing.
ROTFL!! What a thought!!
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
I think it may be a little more nuanced — this whole area of “election” in traditional “Calvinism.” I have seen the charts that place John Gill and Muhammad together as fatalists. A fatalism that states that this existence is awful, and everything is predetermined, so why change things? I always perceived that the stream of thought associated with Calvin had to do with the awe inspiring Sovereignty of God and His grace. My grandparents on my Mother’s side were continental Presbyterian, otherwise known as Reformed. I don’t think my grandparents were fatalists who just said “by the will of God” every time something bad happened or a sociopath acted badly. Can’t take human agency, or free will, out of the formula.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
Does he park all the time
In the handicapped spaces
While handicapped people
Make handicapped faces?
GREAT LINE, GUS!
P.S. Austrian flag by your name. Where are you posting from?
Thank you so much, Anonymous.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Linz, Austria. Or from the small village nearby, where I live.
I visited Austria for a week back in 2005. What a beautiful country! Spent half the time in Salzburg and the other half in Vienna.
My weakness is Swarovski crystal. I have quite a collection. 🙂
I think it would be prudent, for Mr. Driscoll, were he ever to purpose to return to the pulpit, that he insist that it be a congregationally-ruled church. The longer I live, the more I believe that congregational church government, with or without Elder leadership, is best.
@ Bob Cleveland:
Bob Cleveland wrote:
Mars Hill is independent and wouldn’t it have a congregational polity since it isn’t associated with a denomination or hierarchy? Not sure congregational polity always makes a difference as far as spiritual abuse. Independent Baptist churches have a congregational polity and sometimes dictatorial and abusive pastors. There is no checks and balances against a pastor’s power. Sometimes in churches with more of a ecclesiological hierarchy such as presbyters there is a kind of double check against pastors becoming too egotistical. Maybe a presbyter would have acted against Driscoll before the problems at Mars Hill escalated into a crisis? I prefer congregational polity, but it has to do with my free church sympathies, but some more structured denominations with presbyters or bishops may not have as many problems with abusive egotistical or narcissistic pastors?
Sadly this is true. I was invited to one of these ‘churches’ about 13 years ago. It was weird!
I am praying for Dave Briskis.
Aside: Dee, you’re a Trekkie. What does the name “John Gill” bring up when cross-indexed with “Jim! Spock! Bones!”?
@ Headless Unicorn Guy: You are funny, Headless Unicorn Guy, and I mean this as a complement.
“Trying to make everyone’s day a bit more surreal.”
— Calvin, Calvin & Hobbes
I will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously: The Marzhil Bus and it’s Vulgar Driver hath He thrown into da sea of derision.
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