Dear Mark Driscoll. He’s Back and, If the Stories Are True, He Appears to Be Bonkers.*

Incredible picture of the Crab Nebula

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“I study the Bible all week, pray to the Lord, and then I speak from my heart. It’s all about brutal honesty.” – Mark Driscoll  Since Driscoll is all about brutal honesty, why should I be nice?


Mark Driscoll was the subject of this blog when I started in 2009. Then came the implosion of Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill where he once said:

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

Perhaps you might find it difficult to believe (but most likely not) that Driscoll has installed a seemingly unusable bus on the campus of The Trinity Church, his new church in Scottsdale.  However, the bus is the least of many who are concerned about what’s going on at the church. I wrote about what appears to bed paranoia on the part of Driscoll in Mark Driscoll and The Trinity Church: Are Church Members Being Harmed by Driscoll’s Apparent Paranoia?  However, it appears to be even worse than I imagined.
Chad Freese, a former head of security guard at the church (yes, it appears there are many such guards,) posted a letter entitled Dear Pastor Mark on the website named Dear Driscoll. Dear Driscoll’s Homepage describes the site:

This site was formed out of the need to centralize articles, videos, podcasts, and other items regarding recent events at The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, AZ and historical events from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA.

This community aims to share truth regarding Mark Driscoll and his staff.

You can read the Article, Dear Pastor Mark, below, where the former Director of Security highlights many issues that led to his resignation and departure of the church.

If you have a story you would like to share regarding The Trinity Church, Mars Hill  Church, Acts29 Ministries, or personal stories, please shoot us a message on our Contact Us page.

Thank you and God Bless!

-The Dear Driscoll Team

This itself is a blast from the past. How many of you remember the blogs that got started by folks who left Mars Hill over the antics of Driscoll?  Since I was unable to get permission to reprint Dear Pastor Mark (I asked too late in the day, I will point out some of the highlights of Dear Mark which shall be the focus of the rest of this post.

Chad Freese introduces himself. He was part of the inner circle and received *top secret* communications.

My family attended The Trinity Church for nearly three years, and my wife attended Mars Hill several years ago. I served on the security team for eight months. I served as the Director of Security for only seven weeks (Feb 27th – Apr 18th, 2021) until I resigned due to the pastor’s immoral, unethical, and unbiblical actions. I did not see these issues until I became part of the inner circle where I attended meetings and participated in “top-secret conversations.” I acknowledge I was complicit in executing the duties of my position.

Directly after this section is the *Table of Contents.* This should tell you that there is much to read and absorb. It took me 30 minutes to quickly read the whole letter. It is well written and quite detailed.

Chad wants to take ownership of the things he did.

I am not claiming innocence in the events outlined below. I take full responsibility for decisions I made, given the information I had and the personalities I faced. I also understand I was complicit just by pure association. The church has been blaming me for saying things like, “Well, Chad was the Director of Security. He recommended this or that…”. That is true.

Chad was told that he should have drawn his gun to protect Driscoll in the following situation.

February 27th, 2021, a man got on stage during service. The man was asking for prayer. He did not try to attack you or anyone else. He was removed from the stage and taken out front, where he was arrested on the church’s front steps for an outstanding warrant not church-related.

…I told John, “Pastor Mark is wrong. In a situation like this, you should always aim to deescalate. Drawing your firearm would have immediately escalated the situation.”

It was after this incident that Chad assumed the position of Director of Security. This was not a paid position.

Over the next seven weeks, I continued to volunteer an average of 50 hours per week, as did many others..

He resigned from his position in April.

On Sunday, April 18th, 2021, I resigned as the Director of Security after serving for only seven weeks. I did not get fired from my position, nor was I asked to leave as many others had been. I tried to be polite and professional, as I was still planning to attend the church and pursue the Chaplain Certification Program. I was careful with my wording because I feared my family would also be shunned and kicked out, as I had witnessed happen to many other families.

… I decided to write an email to clarify some issues that were not sitting well with me. This email shows some examples of frustrations and the toxic culture forced upon the security team. Each service was a battle with the pastors and staff.

Chad discusses some of his concerns about Driscoll: kicking people out of the church, no elders, and threatening to bankrupt others.

  • How do you expect anyone to bring forth concerns when your immediate action is to kick people off the property and out of church altogether?
  • How can anyone bring forth a concern and resolve issues without a proper and accessible board of Elders to hold you and the other pastors accountable?
  • How can anyone feel comfortable bringing forth a concern when you threaten to “bankrupt them in court and bleed them dry?”

This threat about attempting to bankrupt former members by pursuing a phony lawsuit is despicable.

Making sure to be nice to the people who donate the most.

Why did you mention in January that Trinity is no longer a relational church, but the Pastors and staff need to focus on the relationships with those who donate a certain amount of money, at a minimum remembering their names and saying hi to them?

Driscoll appears to have in-law problems and security is expected to deal with them.

  • Why do you not have a good relationship with Pastor Landon’s parents?T hey are your daughter Ashley’s in-laws.
  • Why do you not have a good relationship with Chloe’s parents? They are your son Zac’s in-laws.
  • I discussed with Brandon about the in-laws not allowed on the property as I heard this across the campus throughout the congregation.
  • Why did Pastor Brandon kick Chloe’s mother, Jolie Monea, off campus the Wednesday before Zac and Chloe’s wedding?
  • Why do you cause division with Pastor Brandon’s in-laws, specifically Lanna Andersen’s stepfather and the family?

The hidden, and useless IMO, board of translocal elders

They are now hidden from view but here they are. (And I doubt they are involved whatsoever.) As for being wise, judge for yourself. I certainly have an opinion and I’ve written about my thoughts on Robert Morris.

Other articles have been written about you not having a board of elders. When, in fact, you do have a board of overseers that are geographically distributed, or translocal.

Your overseers include: Jimmy Evans, Robert Morris, Dr. Larry Osborne-he’s mentioned in the bio)
You have Randal Taylor listed as “Wise Counsel”.

You no longer list this team on The Trinity Church Leadership page. You used to have them listed, and they can be seen on an archived version of the Trinity Website from February 2021. Why are they now hidden?

And if you ever had any doubt that this church is not the Driscoll family busine$$

In another security meeting, you told the team that you are the “Head Coach,” and no decisions are made without your guidance and ultimate approval. You told the team if they did not like that, they could find another team. You went on to say the church is structured on your family’s values and the security team is to support what you and your family believe.

There was a group of men who were trusted to be part of Driscoll’s security entourage.

The detail was formed to provide safety for you and your family, with Marc Stirton running the screening and selection process for those so allowed to be in your “inner circle” as he is a “trusted” friend of the family.

…Having your entourage escort you from the parking lot to your office, to the sanctuary and back to the office, then back to the parking lot, and even driving you to and from your house is a tad dramatic

Driscoll is increasingly isolating himself and is allegedly building a secret corridor(I wonder if the church members are paying for this?)

 You currently have an engineering team working on drafting the plans to blast a hole through the concrete and steel wall backstage to have a private entrance into your office from behind stage so you “don’t have to deal with being interrupted by people.”

Bloggers are crazy.

Yep-really crazy.

You often bragged how the videos online are edited, and your controversial sayings are removed, so the crazy bloggers hiding in their mom’s basement do not attack.

What happened when there was a possible child abuse situation? Guess who got thrown out of the church?

On Thursday, March 11th, Paul W., a security team member, brought forth serious concerns involving a staff member’s actions with a child. He was specific in examples of activities which if true, would violate child safety practices and potentially trigger a report to child protective services. When Paul reported this incident to a member of Mark Driscoll’s security detail, Paul was called into a meeting. He thought he would be asked to retell what he witnessed in order to document and trigger an investigation. Instead, the decision had already been made before the meeting that Paul and his family were immediately kicked out of the church, his life group, his real men’s table, as well as the Chaplain Certification Program. This happened because he attempted to report an incident that involved a staff member, and it would be too damning for the church and the Driscoll brand.

…A few weeks later, I sat in a security meeting where we discussed this, among other topics. You and the other pastors laughed about the accusation, just summing it up as a laughable absurdity. You all accused the individual that brought forth the concern of being “demonic,” which is the same thing you say about others that have left or been kicked out. This type of behavior was sickening and indeed not laughable.

Finally, the incident regarding the 15-year-old boy who kissed Driscxoll’s 17-year-old daughter.

On Wednesday, March 24th, 2021, you discovered that Angelo Manuele’s 15-year-old son had kissed your 17-year-old daughter. Brandon pulled Vince into his office to question him about the incident, to which he got angry and went off on him, a kid two years younger than your daughter.

…The week building up to Easter, Angelo certainly had a flood of emotions he had to battle daily. He was angry and hurt by the entire situation, especially seeing how horribly his son was treated. His family had been trespassed from the property and kicked out of the church. For the first time, Angelo and both his sons were starting to see your behind-the-stage behavior

We had information and reports from other church members who had private conversations with Angelo stating he wanted you to resign as the Senior Pastor and repent for your behavior. Angelo requested you form a board of elders to hold you and the other pastors accountable for your actions and properly oversee how business was conducted.

…In these meetings, you said Angelo was “demonic” and labeled him as an out-of-control lunatic. You all made the situation much worse than it was, all because of pride and ego getting in the way. At the time, even I bought into it and was full force on stopping Angelo. You had me and the security team convinced he was pure evil.

Many fingers are being pointed at me as being the one who recommended we have someone follow Angelo. That is true. I did. I take full ownership of that. In many conversations, phone calls, and face-to-face, I was told things that turned out not to be true. On March 29th, Brandon asked for a Private Investigator and wanted as much info on Angelo as possible. On April 1st, I recommended having our Private Investigator follow Angelo, and later that night, Brandon wanted professional eyes on Angelo and made a point how we couldn’t predict crazy.

Threatening to sue Angelo and his family.

In another Angelo security meeting, you and Brandon discussed how you had tripled your litigation fund to approximately $10 million. You said something along the lines of If Angelo crosses me, I will just bankrupt him and bleed him dry in court. It is a numbers game. I guarantee you he runs out of money before I do.” You followed that up with, “In fact, that goes for anyone.” You continued to talk horribly about Angelo and said, “Hell, he’s a broke-ass dad that could not financially take care of his son. He only tithes $25 per month. He doesn’t have much money so bankrupting him will be easy.

The spectrum of trust when the Driscolls are a level 10!

Brandon said my ability to lead my family was in question because I was seen in a photo with a Pastor Dustin, whom you treated horribly and slandered. Brandon said he just sat through a staff meeting where you went over a “Spectrum of Trust” with the staff, where you rated individuals on a sliding scale of 0-10 based on how much trust you and the church have in them. He pulled up a picture he took from the dry erase board in your office and proceeded to brief me on this spectrum of trust. Brandon said that the higher the level of trust, the more access someone gets. I asked, “access to what?” to which Brandon replied, “The Driscolls because they are at level 10“. Once again, It’s All About the Driscolls.

Finally the bus on the church property. What’s it there for?

I have serious concerns about the Trinity Bus, as do many others. I asked Brandon about the use of the bus, and he said it is only to be used as a “prop”. Kevin Pankey offered to drive it, and Brandon gave the same answer, just a “prop”. After an article was published and photos of the bus appeared online, you attempted to hide it by moving it behind a dumpster. Why? What is there to hide?


Special thanks to Dee Holmes, the faithful protestor at The Trinity Church. I’m sure it is making the Driscolls very, very nervous. Please let us know if he hires someone to follow you. If that happens, I will fly down there to protest with you.

*Bonkers (in the title of this post.) This was intended to show Prince Harry the correct usage of the word *bonkers.* It should never, ever, ever be applied to the wonderful First Amendment which allows me the freedom to write this blog in the US. My ability to write this material in the UK would be seriously curtailed. No, Prince Harry, the First Amendment isn’t bonkers

Comments

Dear Mark Driscoll. He’s Back and, If the Stories Are True, He Appears to Be Bonkers.* — 148 Comments

  1. Re. paranoia… I wonder if this is a side-effect of overweening pride.

    Everyday people aren’t afraid of being accosted as they go about their work and don’t need a personal security detail or a secret escape route.

    Reminded me of my brief foray into the inner workings of our (now former and defunct) A29 church. I was tasked with depositing the weekly offerings into the bank come Monday morning. All went smoothly for a while, until the senior pastor found out. “When my brother deposited tithes from his church, he’d always take it to the bank wearing his concealed firearm!” A big strong man from leadership was given the task, instead.

    Given the size of the church and its demographics, I’m pretty sure he had an inflated sense of the amount of money that could be lost if someone HAD decided to rob me.

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  2. Dee wrote:

    “Please let us know if he hires someone to follow you. If that happens, I will fly down there to protest with you.”

    Let’s hope he wastes his money like that, because I’m enormously boring that way.

    I have heard that the pictures I took of “The Trinity Church” bus, which I posted to Twitter, may have been used to get the bus completely off the property. The bus was originally parked on the southeast corner of the lot, long side parallel to McDonald Dr. Apparently (I am no expert) the large lettering on the side of the bus was like a sign, a big sign, and someone turned the bus into the city as either unlicensed or illegal signage. Shortly after that, the bus was parked behind a construction dumpster, and it was off the property shortly thereafter. I’m sure Mark’s fancypants neighborhood in far north Phoenix wouldn’t want him parking that bus on his street, so I wonder if he’s got it stashed in one of those RV storage places.

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  3. Had missed this, but speaking of bonkers and reckless:

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-aud-nw-fbi-checks-migrant-facilities-20210327-wobrm5n7kvcg7czihydwdzezpq-story.html

    ‘US waives FBI checks on caregivers at new migrant facilities, alarming child welfare experts‘

    It’s especially when there is a crisis that you need sufficient oversight; it’s not the time to sidestep it.

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  4. Godith: How can so many people be so deceived?

    The problem with deception is that you don’t know you are deceived because you are deceived. Those who attend his church are uninformed, misinformed or willingly ignorant about the potty mouth preacher from Seattle. There is a segment of churchgoers in America who seek out “pastors” which act no differently than them … it makes them feel better about themselves.

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  5. Godith:
    When I read that people treated Driscoll like I deity I almost gagged. The truth of what’s going on there is incredible. Calling the church Trinity is blasphemous–taking the Lord’s take in vain. How can so many people be so deceived? Shocking.

    The only reason they use the name Trinity is because of the involvement of Jimmy Evans in starting it. Evans (who is now on the Gateway staff) is also involved with an Amarillo-based multi-site operation called Trinity Fellowship. The Phoenix group isn’t part of the Amarillo multi-site arrangement; they only have similar names (that, and they couldn’t use Gateway since Gateway also has a church plant out there which isn’t part of its multi-site arrangement).

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  6. Officially the account is that The Trinity Church is named after the church that was pastored by Grace Driscoll’s father Gib Martin. whether or not Evans influenced the name could be hard to prove. Evans “prophesying” that Driscoll would have an even bigger career post-Mars Hill IS easy to prove, thanks to Throckmorton documenting that, although that’s also something Driscoll has alluded to in his post-MHC books.

    We now may have stories that flesh out what on earth Driscoll was getting at writing about the “Absalom spirit” in Win Your War, which seemed to be little more than a male variation on “Jezebel spirit”. I’ve been ex-Pentecostal for a long time but I’d literally never heard of “Absalom spirit” before Driscoll used the term. It’s gotten to the point where I might have to blog through that book to highlight a few things.

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  7. WenatcheeTheHatchet: We now may have stories that flesh out what on earth Driscoll was getting at writing about the “Absalom spirit” in Win Your War, which seemed to be little more than a male variation on “Jezebel spirit”. I’ve been ex-Pentecostal for a long time but I’d literally never heard of “Absalom spirit” before Driscoll used the term.

    Looks like those Medieval Demonolgists and Burning Times Witchfinders-General missed a couple in their detailed catalogs of every Demon in Hell.

    P.S. “Win Your War”? Really?

    “IN THE GRIMDARK FUTURE, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE WAR!”
    — Warhammer 40K

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  8. Recent reports here and at other ‘blogs about TTC seem to me to suggest the intentional cultivation of a culture, among the leaders, of competition for access to and favor with the supreme leader.

    The thought occurs that this resembles the relationships among the Apostles prior to Jesus’ sacrifice, which grieved him and which he repeatedly criticized, and which (I think) was the reason for the Jesus’ words about the necessity of his permanent departure from the midst of that group, since otherwise the relational environment would continue to be incompatible with the coming and working of the Holy Spirit.

    That it is possible for a church’s culture to grieve the Spirit seems apparent (Eph 4); likewise it seems apparent that it is possible for a recognized congregation of Christ to drive the Spirit away and cease to be regarded (by God) to be “of Christ” (Rev 2).

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  9. I think the greatest tragedy here, and I mean this, is that the people on the “Dear Driscoll” site still seem to think Driscoll might care about their opinions of him. They still plead with and entreat him, trying to provide examples of his terrible treatment of people and logical arguments as to why this treatment is so bad, as if he might actually read these letters, think about them, and change.

    Perhaps it’s really just a form of therapy for the writers and a warning to others, but addressing Driscoll directly, when he clearly couldn’t care less about anyone but himself, still elevates him to a level above the writers.

    Just to be clear – I don’t think these letter writers are doing anything bad. It’s my wish they really wake up to the depth of Driscoll’s narcissism, write down their stories, and process what happened to them, without still trying to involve Driscoll in the process – which they are doing by writing letters to him, as if he’s the type of person who responds to correction.

    Driscoll is not going to provide closure for anyone. He’s on his own path. I hope he changes, but what’s that to anyone else? They still have to deal with the trauma. I think it’s really healthy to write down the experiences as a form of therapy (perhaps even in the form of a letter), but I think the best path forward is to be done completely with any form of communication, or attempt at communication, with Driscoll.

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  10. Jack:
    I know that it seems like I’m victim blaming, but who in their right mind follows this clown?

    I had the same thought. Isn’t he in Phoenix? Or is it Scottsdale? Either way, it’s a place with plenty of churches to choose from!

    I’m not victim-blaming either. Just wondering what would draw someone to such an abusive church. Especially since Driscoll already has a well-known track record.

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  11. Mark R,

    Its legal language. Let’s say I think Discoll’s church is a cult. I would not write “Mark Driscoll runs a cult.” Instaed, for legal reasons I would write “I believe Mark Driscoll appears to run a cult.”

    Given Driscoll’s threats of suing people who used to be members,I decided to be careful except to say “I agree with you.” 🙂

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  12. Dee,

    For some (but not all) leaders in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, I believe the theology is just another way to exercise control over people. It’s the same for non-Pentecostal fundamentalists like MacArthur. One side says, “God told me,” and they mean direct revelation. The other side says, “God told me…” and they mean the Bible. As long as they get people to believe it’s God speaking through them, they can execute a great amount of control over people.

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  13. The Trinity Church website appears to have undergone some recent revisions since the latest spate of revelations from their former director of security. No “Wise Counsel” listed (at least none easy to find) and now there is a handful of “pastors” listed on a separate page from El Numero Uno. Perhaps to create the impression that there is some sort of level of accountability?
    https://thetrinitychurch.com

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  14. Gee whiz…Driscoll sounds almost as paranoid and vindictive as Scientology’s own David Miscavige! However, at least Miscavige doesn’t do these things in the name of my precious Savior! Sending around guards to ‘follow’ people and suing folks into bankruptcy certainly demonstrate the true marks of a follower of the Cross, don’t they?!? SHEESH! 🙁
    He seems to me a desperate, egotistical, self-absorbed little man…grasping by any means he can to maintain his power and control over people!

    What kind of cognitive dissonance or rationalization do you have to have to follow such a pathetic creature? I have absolutely no interest in the sort of ‘jesus’ that he’s hawking…because that kind of ‘jesus’ isn’t even remotely similar to the Jesus that I know!

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  15. I came across this in DelveranceMinisterOnline from 2014.
    “IDENTIFYING AN ABSALOM SPIRIT
    Do you know someone …
    Who has an inner desire, drive or compulsion to control everything, everybody and every situation?
    Who continues to get his way every time; speaking loudly, persistently and aggressively out of turn, with the intent to control a conversation or situation so that he has his say and way, even when others don’t agree with him?
    Who is so manipulative in your home, family, office or church that he gets his way by manipulating others in order to get what he wants and in the manner or way he wants?
    Who is a spiritual (or secular) “know-it-all,” who has to be the center of attention, who craves an audience and the praise of men and is compelled to have the last say on any subject of discussion?
    Who exhibits or acts out inappropriate behavior in a setting or environment which is under another person’s authority? For example, someone who blatantly and consistently disregards a person in authority, interrupts that person and seeks to disrupt social or spiritual etiquette and protocol, in order to take control, to further his own agenda;
    Who grieves the Holy Spirit in you when he prophesies “in the flesh,” not by the Holy Spirit, to make himself appear to be super-spiritual and important?
    Who interrupts or speaks out of turn without invitation, to criticize, correct or debate with a person who is in an assigned position of authority, with the intent to make that person look inferior, while he seeks to make himself look superior?
    Who is critical of your pastor and others in positions of authority and leadership in the church?
    If any of these characteristics describes someone you know, then an Absalom spirit is present and manifesting”

    Who does it sound like? Answers on a postcard……..:-)

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  16. Root 66: He seems to me a desperate, egotistical, self-absorbed little man…grasping by any means he can to maintain his power and control over people!

    Does he show the signs of the TA Mind Game “Tough Guy”?
    i.e. Acting like a Weak Man’s idea of what a STRONG Man is like?
    Hanging out with (or claiming to be) actual Tough Guys like Gangsters or Navy SEALs?

    The louder they brag “I’M SO TOUGH!”, the greater the physical cowards they are when actually confronted mano-a-mano by a REAL Tough Guy. At which point they roll right over on their backs whimpering in submission. Kiss Up, Kick Down.

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  17. Dee, you may find this article interesting (or not; I dunno).

    It’s kind of long, so I don’t know if you have the time to read it. If you’re short on time, maybe just a skim would do.

    It talks about (among other things) how and when Southern Baptists choose when and if to give the boot to churches who don’t follow all the standard, accepted SB beliefs or practices.

    What Are Southern Baptists Really Fighting About?
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevin-wax/what-are-southern-baptists-really-fighting-about/

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  18. There’s a lot I could say about the Driscoll letter,
    but I think I will limit it to expressing amazement that so many people keep walking into these churches or situations.

    It’s not like Driscoll’s bullying behavior is hidden.
    It’s been all over the internet for years.

    Then you have the folks who slavishly defend these preacher pigs, especially online.
    They see perfectly valid criticism of these jerks- in- the- pulpits, and they start bashing the critics on the blogs and on social media.

    Jesus himself warned that there would be many false teachers and false prophets after he left this world.

    The rest of the New Testament says over and over again to be on the look out for the false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing…

    But the “preacher defenders” are like living in denial or something.

    When the founders of your faith tell you in advance to EXPECT dirt balls to sneak in among you,
    and warn in advance the dirt balls will turn people off from the faith, or hurt them in many ways
    (financially, verbally, physically, or spiritually), you should take heed and not act surprised about it when it happens.

    And don’t act defensive and run around, starting hate blogs and hate social media accounts, to bash the “discernment or watch bloggers” who are just pointing out what your founders foretold.

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  19. Catholic Gate-Crasher: I had the same thought. Isn’t he in Phoenix? Or is it Scottsdale? Either way, it’s a place with plenty of churches to choose from!

    I’m not victim-blaming either. Just wondering what would draw someone to such an abusive church. Especially since Driscoll already has a well-known track record.

    Scottsdale. Actually, the part of Scottsdale he’s in is a narrow 20 block/2 mile E-W section in between Phoenix and the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. In fact, when I’m out protesting, I can see the spire of St. Maria Goretti church from the sidewalk of Driscoll’s church.

    But these very popular churches bring in people from all over, and there are 4.5 million people here in Maricopa County, which is bigger than New Jersey. We have a LOT of freeways. It’s easy to get around when it’s not rush hour, so going to a church a fair piece from home is also easy. I live 16 miles away from TTC, I can get there in 20-25 minutes when it’s not a rush hour, and a good chunk of that time is just getting to the freeway. (My office is also 16 miles away; when I was going there it was during rush hour and it took 45 minutes to an hour to get there. So a significant difference.)

    I would also note that Driscoll made the decision last year not to require masks and to open up as soon as possible. Thus he picked up a lot of new people whose previous churches were being more careful. I’m kind of the opinion that people who will change churches based on factors like mask wearing are somewhat more intense and, shall we say, militant than your average churchgoer. To be clear, this is a choice one can make. But I’m not sure I would want that kind of intensity in my life.

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  20. Dee: Driscoll appears to be associating with Pentecostal folks.

    Driscoll is a regular speaker at James River Church, a mega Assembly of God church in Springfield MO. They apparently like his “strong man” style of preaching: https://jamesriver.church/smcsessions/mark-driscoll

    In that atmosphere, he comes across as a macho-man-throw-folks-under-the-bus-if-you-have-to charismatic Calvinist resembling his Acts 29 days.

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  21. In the future, when historians and sociologists of American religion study this period … I wonder to what extent the maladies of the churches will be attributed to the influence of “transformational individuals” — people like the leaders of the A29 network — and to what extent they will be seen to have been the result of historical or cultural forces (such as the pressure of economies of scale, “Gresham’s Law” style races to the bottom, changes in the wider culture, etc.).

    If the former, it may be that MD will be seen to have been important for the evolution of religion in US. I saw hints of “tasting of the tree of power and control” at my last church but one, with reorganization of governance away from congregational style polity toward plurality of elders (in name, but the senior-most elder was not resisted when it mattered).

    One wonders what he reckons his lasting legacy will be.

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  22. Samuel Conner: it may be that MD will be seen to have been important for the evolution of religion in US … One wonders what he reckons his lasting legacy will be

    He was certainly a key figure in the early days of the New Calvinist movement. He was a darling of the the new reformation – even on the Council of The Gospel Coalition with all the NeoCal big boys. While TGC may not have liked his potty-mouth style, they put up with him because he was good for the movement. When he became a potato too hot to handle, TGC dropped him. But the young, restless and reformed loved him … many patterned their “ministries” after his Acts 29 model of doing church, even adopting his spiky hairdo.

    His legacy? Thousands of bad-boy Driscollites in American pulpits.

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  23. dee:
    Mark R,

    Your comment is quite interesting. Morris is also part of the ARC. I have suspected that they are also supporting this church. What do you think?

    On the ARC church list Driscoll’s church isn’t shown as an affiliate. Though Trinity Fellowship (where Evans used to be primarily and still serves in some form) is and so is Gateway. Gateway doesn’t publicly publish its financials in any detail so outside of a leak we won’t know. I would not doubt it.

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  24. Paul K,

    The Bible teaches that Christians are to pray for those who persecute them. Jesus prayed for those who were crucifying Him on the cross.

    Will Driscoll ever read anything on that site and repent? Very likely he will not, but again we do not know.

    If nothing else, publicly sharing the details will serve as a warning to those who might have considered going there, or who are still there and are “on the fence” about leaving. If they see that many others have left, they might be more willing to consider following suit, knowing that they may lose some friends but can pick up new ones.

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  25. Dee:
    WenatcheeTheHatchet,

    Driscoll appears to be associating with Pentecostal folks. What do you think? PS-Good to hear from you!!

    I think we can only make educated guesses at the moment but Mark was pivoting to getting support from the charismatic/Pentecostal scene since 2012. When he declared TD Jakes a traditional trinitarian, for instance, I don’t think he or Macdonald fielded whether or not Jakes had renounced Word-faith. For my part I wasn’t convinced Jakes had really been all that vigorous in renouncing modalism and there are other reasons to be skeptical about Driscoll claiming Jakes is without any questionable doctrines.

    That Robert Morris said he counseled Mark to leave ministry and “heal up” days after Driscoll resigned is another indication Mark was pivoting his patronage base in the last two years of Mars Hill.

    It wasn’t the first time such a patronage pivot happened. Mars Hill had support from Antioch Bible Church early on and some backing from Leadership Network but the shift to Spanish River Church/Acts 29 happened around the time ABC seemed to withdraw support, though reports from early MHC people on this are a little fuzzy. There were reports to the effect that Hutch and ABC thought Driscoll’s conduct as WWII made him seem less fit for ministry than they previously believed but since no one has been willing to go on record to confirm or deny that it amounts to whisper network reports. By that period, however, I was a member so I do know that WWII stuff was getting purged and people were being asked to never distribute the materials. Had they stayed more readily available in the 2001-2004 period Driscoll’s meteoric rise might not have happened, or not in the same way.

    All that is to highlight that in Driscoll’s “Seasons of Grace” materials at the marshill.fm site he mentioned the early ABC connection and the A29 pivot. That some in the early A29 believe Mark engineered a kind of take-over of A29 that was, in at least one written account, started entirely by David Nicholas is something that gets more discussion at WtH.

    Per some correspondence we’ve had over the years offsite, it looks like Driscoll’s demise within the New Calvinist (as distinct from neo-Calvinist) movement was partly catalyzed by tensions between the old Reformed/historic Reformed wings hammering Driscoll on intellectual property issues whereas the New Calvinists considered Driscoll on their team.

    Which may make it all the more striking in Brad Vermurlen’s new book Reformed Resurgence that Mark Driscoll told Vermurlen for the record he never considered himself an actual Calvinist but I’d have to dig up the page number for that when I get around to writing about that book. I might be misremembering that part.

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  26. Max,

    It is a little hazy but I’ve networked just widely enough across progressive and conservative branches of religious and non-religious groups that the consensus is that the Emergent Village and Driscoll did get some initial support from Leadership Network but both branches veered away from Leadership Network with their own branding activities. Osborne, however, has stayed in the Driscoll support wing and was openly credited by MD in his 2006 book was advising things that led to the governance changes of 2006-2007.

    Mark described himself as “charismatic with a seatbelt” for about a decade. One of my friends quipped that what that really meant is the church is seatbelted into the car and Mark drives it where ever he wants and for anyone with a background in Pentecostal or charismatic church life the barb in that joke is that Mark is willing to claim spiritual super-powers he won’t believe are really available to others.

    I think a case can be made he’s chameleoned a couple of times if only just enough to think he could in good faith accept the patronage of whichever group was functionally and currently bankrolling him. He was an avid Calvin fan while he was backed by a Presbyterian but not necessarily before. After folks in the Reformed scene (I’m PCA, as is Wendy Alsup and Mefferd is OPC from what I recall) built a hard-to-refute case that he wasn’t all that Reformed and had some IP violations (Throckmorton did the most on that front, by far) Driscoll all of a sudden pivoted and decided he wasn’t even really “in” the New Calvinist movement (he did openly bail on TGC in 2012 at the peak of his MHC celebrity, after all AND proclaimed Jakes an orthodox trinitarian). Suddenly the new Calvinists for which he was the poster boy all had “father wounds” as if appealing to guys with absentee fathers wasn’t documented about Driscoll as far back as that 1998 Mother Jones feature.

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  27. Max: Sooooo … put them in ministry and have them work out their broken psyches on church folks.Yeah, great idea.

    Since that’s what “he” says about “them” I don’t take it at face value. It seems more probably a projection of his own gimmicks read onto the New Calvinists than a reflection of what anyone else in the New Calvinist scene was actually doing or saying.

    Which is to say that it makes the most sense read as an act of transference on Driscoll’s part where he imputs to others “everyone” or “we all” what is most likely fairly specific to him. I.e. an author writing for Mother Jones nailed the method back in 1998.

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  28. Daisy: What Are Southern Baptists Really Fighting About?

    I ‘was’ a Southern Baptist for 70+ years. Attendees at annual conventions have always wrangled about something. Even local churches get in on the squabble, with contentions over everything from the color of the carpet to the color of the preacher. Yep, fighting is part of SBC’s DNA … something that’s certainly not pleasing to the Lord. Why are SBC baptisms and overall membership in decline? … Why has New Calvinism taken over? … Why has a once-great evangelistic denomination lost its identity? Well, it might have something to do with fighting each other rather than being engaged in the battle against darkness.

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  29. Max: New Calvinist church planters in my area certainly act like they are mad about something or somebody.

    I’m not contesting that part, but I was initially describing Mark Driscoll’s claims about New Calvinists after denying he was ever in that scene and that “the media” labeled him as one.

    Now he’s claiming his stance on soteriology is “Lutheran”. He’s probably still some variation of an Amyraldian monergist rather than being Lutheran because I seriously doubt he’s actually changed the post-Zwinglian stance on the sacraments he endorsed at MHC (not that he’s probably read a lot of Zwingli or Bullinger so far as I can tell).

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  30. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    The article touched on some things that discuss what Dee blog about.

    It inadvertently high lights how Southern Baptists are OK with giving the boot to churches with women pastors but not with taking sexual abuse seriously and giving the boot to churches that support or cover up child abuse.

    It also discusses infighting in SBC about racism and CRT.

    It also talks about infighting in SBC about whether or not to use the Bible alone to treat psychological problems.

    I thought Dee may find it useful, interesting, or helpful in that it pertains to many topics she blogs about here.

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  31. Bridget: I hope there are many sites up and sharing the truth about Driscoll. People, including his children and their spouses, need to read them and get the heck away from Driscoll and his sickness. He is ruining so many lives. It needs to stop. He is a sick man parading as a pastor.

    At this point I don’t know if it makes any difference. How much truth can they possibly need? I didn’t even know half the people this blog talks about but I knew who Driscoll was and had him pegged as a psychopath.

    I feel bad for the kids who get dragged into this because their parents decided to follow this most unfunny clown.

    For his followers I don’t feel to much empathy. They’re probably birds of a feather.

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  32. Daisy: amazement that so many people keep walking into these churches or situations.

    I share your amazement. What I think I’ve observed is that most attendees and members simply do not care about how a church is governed or by whom. If the music, preaching, and children’s ministries are entertaining, or in some way meeting the needs or wants of the congregant, that’s good enough for most people. I think we’re living in what Neil Postman observed, a age where entertainment is everything.

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  33. WenatcheeTheHatchet: Mark is willing to claim spiritual super-powers he won’t believe are really available to others.

    What the gamers I knew would call “Masters of Mighty Magick”, Illuminated Adepts of great Magickal Powers which the common rabble could not grasp. Even if it’s all in their own mind.

    “Ours is a High and Lonely Destiny, Digory.”

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  34. Fact: Russell Moore has left the SBC altogether and joined an Acts29 church that is not affiliated with the SBC.

    IMO: Mark Driscoll is nothing more than a power hungry, money hungry huckster who knows or cares nothing about the real church. I wonder where he’s going to go and set up shop when he milks this Arizona cow dry? What’s he going to do when he walks through his secret entrance and finds no peons in his “church” to rule over?

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  35. I’m sorry to stray off topic, since Driscoll is so entertaining, but Russell Moore is hitting the news big time. And now this:

    “Evangelical Theologian Russell Moore Says QAnon Has ‘All of the Characteristics of a Cult'”
    https://www.newsweek.com/evangelical-theologian-russell-moore-says-qanon-has-all-characteristics-cult-1596295

    Uhhh … Moore should know something about cults. He’s been in one for years: New Calvinism.

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  36. Jack: Driscoll….pegged as a psychopath.

    Exactly what I was thinking when I read Lowlandseer’s comment upthread describing the “Absalom spirit” (which could also accurately describe a malignant narcissist).

    Unfortunately, if Mark Driscoll (and his “church”) can’t be de-escalated, I think some very bad (and violent) things are going to happen.

    dee: Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    Please be careful. Driscoll sounds like he is getting worse every minute.

    That.

    (And I would be willing to bet that Driscoll is being watched very carefully by those who are responsible for watching cultic evolution….)

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  37. Max,

    A29 definitely didn’t cut Driscoll loose until there was no benefit in keeping him around. The stuff Turner and Bruskas shared last year was, actually, very informative as to how there came to be a rift between the BoO and the BoE on Mark’s unfitness for ministry but that’s too complex a history to try to get into here. The question of why Jon Phelps, Matt Rogers, Larry Osborne and Michael van Skaik on the Board of Overseers decided to disregard the Board of Elders conclusion that Mark was unfit for ministry is something that those four men have yet to explain based on reports for the record so far.

    the potty mouth preaching didn’t really get him in much trouble except with Pyromaniacs and some SBC. The draconian double standardized church discipline of Andrew Lamb in 2011-2012 sparked coverage from Matthew Paul Turner and a review of Real Marriage by Wendy Alsup and the creation of Joyful Exiles catalyzed further investigation in 2012 and by late 2013 Mefferd told Driscoll on air he was a plagiarist and by early 2014 Warren cole Smith broke news of Result Source rigging a #1 on the NYT for Real Marriage while Throckmorton had chronicled that Driscoll’s “citation errors” spanned Mark’s entire book-publishing career.

    The thing about the abusive behavior, though, that needs to be pointed out, is that Driscoll insulated himself from most criticisms by acting through proxies. Petry and Meyer may have been told to their faces by Driscoll he was firing them but the trials and investigations were put in motion by former MHC president Jamie Munson and executive elder Scott Thomas respectively (the latter signed the letter of confession at Repentant Pastors, btw). What I shared with a friend is something I will repeat now, that Mark has been so used to using proxies as ways to implement decisions that alienate people that while he may think that’s a strength it can become a weakness when the designated proxies have enough of a conscience that they start refusing to enforce things Mark wants or regret what they played a part in enforcing in the past.

    I used this analogy years ago but I once blogged about how even in the court of Ahab there was Obadiah. Part of why I have blogged the way I have about MHC and MD is because I have known Obadiahs in the court of Ahab and I try to write in a way to consider their plight. Yes, they are part of an abusive leadership culture but they may themselves be stuck there for reasons we won’t be privy to. None of us can know why Obadiah ended up in the court of Ahab, for instance. There may not even be an Obadiah in the court of this particular Ahab but we can’t presume there isn’t one, either.

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  38. WenatcheeTheHatchet: A29 definitely didn’t cut Driscoll loose until there was no benefit in keeping him around.

    So A29 and the larger New Calvinism community used Driscoll while he abused the church! What a sweet arrangement.

    The New Calvinist elite put up with him because he was good for the movement in its early days. The young reformers loved his bad-boy preaching style and joined the new reformation in great numbers – rebellion against mainline Christianity was so cool. Seems like everytime I discovered a new “lead pastor” in my area in those days they were sporting a Driscoll spiky hairdo and parroting his “sermons.”

    Yep, Pastor Mark has left his ‘mark’ on the American church … a legacy shared by multiple other personalities in Christendom whose affiliation with Christ is questionable.

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  39. Max: The church is Immanuel Nashville.

    I know where the church is —- I’ve driven by it a few times….. nice area, just west of downtown, not far from the Parthenon.
    It’s about an hour and twenty drive for me, probably less than that on a Sunday morning (not that I intend to attend services there!).

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  40. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): I know where the church is —- I’ve driven by it a few times….. nice area, just west of downtown, not far from the Parthenon.

    The Nashville Parthenon has always been on my “Why?” list. Why is there a full-scale replica of a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena in Nashville, TN in the heart of the Bible Belt?!

    To stay on blog topic: “Why Driscoll?!” is also on my list.

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  41. WenatcheeTheHatchet:
    Max,

    A29 definitely didn’t cut Driscoll loose until there was no benefit in keeping him around.The stuff Turner and Bruskas shared last year was, actually, very informative as to how there came to be a rift between the BoO and the BoE on Mark’s unfitness for ministry but that’s too complex a history to try to get into here. The question of why Jon Phelps, Matt Rogers, Larry Osborne and Michael van Skaik on the Board of Overseers decided to disregard the Board of Elders conclusion that Mark was unfit for ministry is something that those four men have yet to explain based on reports for the record so far.

    the potty mouth preaching didn’t really get him in much trouble except with Pyromaniacs and some SBC.The draconian double standardized church discipline of Andrew Lamb in 2011-2012 sparked coverage from Matthew Paul Turner and a review of Real Marriage by Wendy Alsup and the creation of Joyful Exiles catalyzed further investigation in 2012 and by late 2013 Mefferd told Driscoll on air he was a plagiarist and by early 2014 Warren cole Smith broke news of Result Source rigging a #1 on the NYT for Real Marriage while Throckmorton had chronicled that Driscoll’s “citation errors” spanned Mark’s entire book-publishing career.

    The thing about the abusive behavior, though, that needs to be pointed out, is that Driscoll insulated himself from most criticisms by acting through proxies.Petry and Meyer may have been told to their faces by Driscoll he was firing them but the trials and investigations were put in motion by former MHC president Jamie Munson and executive elder Scott Thomas respectively (the latter signed the letter of confession at Repentant Pastors, btw).What I shared with a friend is something I will repeat now, that Mark has been so used to using proxies as ways to implement decisions that alienate people that while he may think that’s a strength it can become a weakness when the designated proxies have enough of a conscience that they start refusing to enforce things Mark wants or regret what they played a part in enforcing in the past.

    I used this analogy years ago but I once blogged about how even in the court of Ahab there was Obadiah.Part of why I have blogged the way I have about MHC and MD is because I have known Obadiahs in the court of Ahab and I try to write in a way to consider their plight.Yes, they are part of an abusive leadership culture but they may themselves be stuck there for reasons we won’t be privy to.None of us can know why Obadiah ended up in the court of Ahab, for instance. There may not even be an Obadiah in the court of this particular Ahab but we can’t presume there isn’t one, either.

    Using proxies to do the dirty work: downright Pecksniffian!

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  42. Max: The Nashville Parthenon has always been on my “Why?” list. Why is there a full-scale replica of a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena in Nashville, TN in the heart of the Bible Belt?!

    That’s an excellent question Max.
    Seriously, the cultural contradiction is glaring, and deserves a look.

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  43. Muff Potter: That’s an excellent question Max.
    Seriously, the cultural contradiction is glaring, and deserves a look

    I was under the impression that the United States was constitutional republic not a christian theocracy.

    Probably they just liked it. It was built in 1897 for Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Our modern democracy owes a fair bit to Hellenic Greece and at that time there was an appreciation for classic architecture. Look at buildings like the Capitol – similar homage. Neat tourist attraction too – I’d like to check it out someday.

    I think appreciating the architecture and art of a given culture or era doesn’t equate a buy in to the beliefs of that culture – I’ve always had a fondness for Egyptian hieroglyphs.

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  44. Max,

    Muff Potter,

    I’m in and out today- things to do and storms knocking out satellite internet out ……

    Nashville Parthenon “why?”: There’s more to it, but just to boil it down to as simple an explanation as possible —- Nashville was once known as “the Athens of the South” (lots of old South, antebellum and Greek revival, etc.) So, when Tennessee celebrated it’s centennial (in Nashville) certain people decided they needed a Parthenon, so a temporary one was built. It was so popular that when it began to dilapidate, a new permanent structure was built to replace it. The actual statue of Athena wasn’t completed until 1990, I think.
    Warning: if you ever visit the Parthenon, even with the city lights it’s pretty creepy after dark.

    Uhm, y’all do know that Memphis has a pyramid, right? I guess it’s a Tennessee ‘thing’???
    Can’t wait until they dream something up for Carthage!

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  45. Max: As my German immigrant neighbor said the other day “You can do anything you want to in America” … that obviously includes the church based on TWW reports.

    Freedom to believe what you want (even if that belief is in the minority) is enshrined in the constitution. And that’s a good thing. I would never want one religion or even a strain of one religion to take the reigns of the government.

    While not perfect – the U. S. at least has the constitution and we have seen it work (eg same sex marriage)

    In Driscoll’s case, it’s not the belief, it’s the actions that are in question. I read a book about UFO cults where contactees believe they receive messages from “space brothers” – mostly about environmentalism. In and of itself not concerning.

    But when a person or a group proceeds to perpetrate criminal actions or exercises control over the members that infringe upon freedom of association, thought or expression – then we have issues – like Driscoll (for example).

    In North America, Christian majority in general has been both a blessing (no irony – honest) and a curse. Christian ethos laid the foundations of documents like the constitution and that same ethos also led to devastating harm (for example the recent discovery of a mass grave of indigenous children outside a former Catholic residential school in Kamloops B.C)

    Based on what I’ve read here and other places – my opinion is the biggest challenge to modern day North American christians of all strains is to break the culture of compliance – to take back your faith from those in the “priestly class” who would tell you what is right and what is wrong.

    I have no doubt that many people who have attended these authoritarian churches (all of them – not just the worst offenders) are deeply damaged when they know it’s wrong and they continue to comply. You don’t have to be a member of a cult to “drink the kool aid”

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  46. Jack: Based on what I’ve read here and other places – my opinion is the biggest challenge to modern day North American christians of all strains is to break the culture of compliance – to take back your faith from those in the “priestly class” who would tell you what is right and what is wrong.

    Agreed. The new “priestly class” in Southern Baptist ranks (the New Calvinists) have been scurrying to strip long-standing Baptist doctrines of “priesthood of ‘the’ believer” and “soul competency” from SBC belief and practice. The new reformers don’t want church members to know that the laity is just as important as the clergy in the Body of Christ. Without a counterfeit church hierarchy in the pulpit, they have no control over the pew. Whose job is the ministry? Every believer has a part!

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  47. Jack,

    “to take back your faith from those in the “priestly class” who would tell you what is right and what is wrong.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    yeah… this notion that one’s faith must be managed by a professional christian is stupid.

    it creates jobs, of course.

    criminy, for flying fick and squids’ sake, it’s long past time to assume ownership of one’s own faith. it’s part and parcel of personal responsibility for one’s own life.

    for a religion of small govt, i’m amazed this is lost on so many.

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  48. Jack: the recent discovery of a mass grave of indigenous children outside a former Catholic residential school in Kamloops B.C

    And like many other people, I am afraid they will find mass graves of indigenous children outside a least some of the other Catholic residential schools. And it makes me wonder if there might be mass graves outside some of the Anglican residential schools as well….

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  49. elastigirl: this notion that one’s faith must be managed by a professional christian is stupid

    Jesus came to redeem individuals, not institutions. Each soul is competent to know and respond to God’s will. Each believer is a priest before the Lord. Christianity is a profession shared by the Body of Christ, each connected to the other to fulfill the Great Commission together – with no distinctions of race, class, or gender. Every Christian is accountable for managing his/her own faith. Ultimately, we will stand alone before God.

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  50. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Can’t wait until they dream something up for Carthage!

    There’s an American city with a symbolic street grid laid out by an early prototype of today’s mega preachers.

    Once in awhile I mention Dowieites, who are in our family tree. John Alexander Dowie founded Zion, Illinois, as an earthly kingdom. To honor his own British heritage, he decreed that the street grid should be laid out like a Union Jack. (Clearly God wanted all the traffic to meet in the middle.)

    Dowie was nutty and cruel. In 1902, his daughter Esther, 23, a student at the University of Chicago, accidentally set her hair and clothing on fire with a lamp, in a room where she was apparently locked in. Dowie denied her medical care, and Esther died in agony.

    The city of Zion officially espoused flat earth doctrine until the 1940s.

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  51. researcher: And like many other people, I am afraid they will find mass graves of indigenous children outside a least some of the other Catholic residential schools. And it makes me wonder if there might be mass graves outside some of the Anglican residential schools as well…

    The whole system was rotten, I would not be surprised in the least. It came from an idea that one culture had ultimate supremacy over another. It’s been repeated many times over the millennia.

    On a lesser scale – and to the point of our post – you see the same supremacy in psychopaths like Driscoll. The idea that serving (your specific version) of God by any means possible leads down some dark roads. What amazes me is that “God’s purpose” usually enriches the one who is dictating what “God’s purpose” is.

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  52. Max: with no distinctions of race, class, or gender. Every Christian is accountable for managing his/her own faith. Ultimately, we will stand alone before God.

    Wait …….. what? You mean my husband isn’t going to be judging me when I stand before the bema seat?(sarc.).
    Methinks we have too many saduccees and pharasiees (and wolves) leading too many of our churches.

    Friend,
    The entire city?? Yeah…… Santa Claus, Indiana is a stretch for me!

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  53. Max,

    “Every Christian is accountable for managing his/her own faith. Ultimately, we will stand alone before God.”
    +++++++++++++

    it’s really mind-twisting.

    will i hypothetically be judged for how ‘biblical’ i was? or on the merits of my integrity?

    i find many things purported as ‘biblical’ to be manipulative, deceptive, harmful, dishonest, unfair, self-centered, self-dealing, power-mongering (what a word)…

    am i required to silence my own conscience and adhere to these things?

    God will judge me on how well i silenced my own conscience? is silencing my own conscience an act of faith?

    what am i going to be judged on? how much I sinned or how much integrity did i live by?

    really, they’re 2 different things.

    (well, i’m going for integrity. i can live in honesty and in confidence with my head held high that way. makes for a good night’s sleep, peace in my soul, and improves my quality of life.)

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  54. If there really is a litigation fund as stated then, well, it seems someone learned the worldliest possible lesson from being a named defendant in a civil RICO.

    A short review for anyone who forgot about that.
    https://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2021/06/chad-freese-mentioned-driscoll-claimed.html

    Actually, probably will revisit Driscoll quitting both leadership of A29 and TGC in early 2012 at peak MHC celebrity with the release of Real Marriage at some point. One of my friends heard that Driscoll didn’t like the idea of anyone at TGC dissenting from some of his moves a la Jakes as fully orthodox stuff.

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  55. WenatcheeTheHatchet,

    The mention in Chad Freese’s letter was attention-getting.

    That it’s “a numbers game” might be an appropriate assessment of TTC — expenses versus income; it’s a profitable enterprise and perhaps it’s important to manage the participants to keep it that way. But, thinking along those lines, if people are alienated faster than they are recruited, the balance may shift over time.

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  56. dee: And the Russell Moore letter.Incredible.

    And two articles about Liberty U refusing to acknowledge a rape in 2005. Sometimes I think the label of “whitewashed septic tanks” for these celebrities is wholly inadequate to express the true sickness of these individuals. I can see why Jesus described such with the term “son of the Devil.” That really sums it up. They dress up as ministers of light while their deeds are like a load of horse manure on fire. They lie. They steal, like Patterson. They do outrageous things while maintaining a straight face. They are like Abimelech. I have no doubt if they thought they could get away with murder and thought it would benefit them in some way they would. That is the only difference. In a different place and time they would be murdering.

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  57. Mara R:
    WenatcheeTheHatchet,

    Yes, there are so many male “spirits” to chose from.
    I thought a Balaam spirit was a good choice since he was mentioned in The Book of Revelation like Jezebel. But then, I suppose, telling the Bible story of Balaam and his donkey would get awkward.

    For what it’s worth, many years ago there was this Cable TV show on one of the pseudo-documentary channels that handled “the Bible story of Balaam”.

    For what it’s worth, one of their interviewees claimed that in the original language the donkey’s phrasing when speaking to Balaam had sexual undertones. (Donk was apparently a Jenny. If not, that adds a whole new dimension.) And that this may have been the writer’s way of “showing what kind of man Balaam ben Beor was”. As in “He’ll screw his own donkey if you wave enough money under his nose.”

    Hmmm… Another description of so many Preacher-Men Prophets(TM)?

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  58. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    “He’ll screw his own donkey if you wave enough money under his nose.”

    Which HAS happened. For Real.

    Except it was a turkey instead of a donk and “enough money” was “a Twenty-Dollar bill and a tin of Red Man (chewing tobacco)”:
    https://www.newspapers.com/clip/1342995/the-gettysburg-times/

    I have a source in that area (who does not want to be named) and he told me this was not only in the papers but very much talked about. Including details that didn’t make it into the papers:
    * The above-mentioned “20 bucks and a tin of Red Man”.
    * Guy’s boss walked in on him in mid-“incident”.
    * Guy got fired.
    * His wife divorced him.
    * Not to mention trouble with the law.

    As my old college roomie would say: “You know what the Bible calls this guy? A FOOL.”

    But what raised him from the possible inspiration for that South Park episode (“Turkeylover”) to Book of Proverbs material was the following interaction my source actually had with the guy:

    “I can’t get a date.”
    “Well, what do you say when you talk to her?”
    “You’ve probably read about me in the newspaper…”

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  59. Mr. Jesperson: They are like Abimelech. I have no doubt if they thought they could get away with murder and thought it would benefit them in some way they would. That is the only difference. In a different place and time they would be murdering.

    “A different place and time” as in “Anointed Rulers of a Truly Christian Nation(TM)”?

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  60. “… Driscoll blew up at one of the pastors, repeatedly shouting the f-word at him … Driscoll called the father “demonic” and vulgar names … Driscoll distrusts everyone “to the point of installing a firearm safe with assault rifles in your office and even having your detail carry collapsible carbines around campus …” (Chad Freese, former head of Trinity Church security)

    https://julieroys.com/megachurch-pastors-mark-driscoll-stop-abuse/

    Whew! The potty-mouth from Seattle is now a potty-mouth in Phoenix. And those assault rifles!

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  61. Max,
    “Collapsible Carbines” as in folding-stock assault rifles?
    M4s? Older Colt Commandoes? Paratroop AK-47s?

    “FOR ZARDOZ YOUR GOD GAVE YOU THE GIT OF THE GUN! THE GUN IS GOOD!”

    Arizona is an open carry state, with no state gun laws beyond Federal.
    With a lot of expats who couldn’t stomach the Woke-ocracy of the Left Coast.

    Thing is, I may have to move there after I retire (taxes & cost of living about half that of where I am now) and I’m worried about all the Patriots painting my California Traito’s forehead with a laser sight.

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  62. Headless Unicorn Guy: “Collapsible Carbines” as in folding-stock assault rifles?

    Whew! Scary to think that Driscoll has access to those!

    Remember this from his Mars Hill days?:

    “There are a few guys right now that if I wasn’t going to end up on CNN, I would go Old Testament on them, even in leadership in this church … Here’s Nehemiah’s deal, Romans 13 says we need to obey the Government, so you can’t just walk about beating people up, tragically [laughter from congregation] — it does just simplify things, there’s no attorney’s, blogging; just like, I punched you in the mouth, shut up.’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE3FHMTAWHY

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  63. Jack,

    My question exactly! This guy is a total nut yet he manages to build a kingdom and collects millions apparently despite his disgusting behavior! I don’t get it! Even if my eyes were not opened to a lot of things that go on in the church I would never stick around or be a part of a church run by this guy. He’s very open about the garbage he shovels.

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