Why Driscoll Might Go Down and Why He Should…
Mark Driscoll may be forced to either really repent or resign…and that will be a first of sorts.
Long time readers here will know how frustrated I’ve been over the years at how easy it has been for rogue pastors to survive scandals, indeed to prosper after the scandals died.
Why might it be different this time ?
As with most of these situations, the internal accountability of Mars Hill is nil.
Because the structure is set up to keep the powerful in power, the call for accountability has to come from outside.
That’s where social media comes in.
We’ve run stories about abuse at Mars Hill for at least six or seven years….others have done more, longer.
Social media is never enough to force real change.
The real change has to come from inside and out and the biggest blow to Driscoll was when multiple former elders and pastors admitted to being both abused and abusers.
That triggered the real key to reform…the people in the pews started to leave and take their money with them.
Those three keys working together made it uncomfortable enough in the throne room for Driscoll to move from stonewalling (the most effective way to deal with social media pressure) to vague apology…where he blew it.
When he declared his detractors anonymous, they decided to remind him of their names.
That has led the local media in Seattle to run stories about the matter and brought Driscoll and Mars Hill to the tipping point.
It takes all three factors I’ve outlined to make it so…the only one that will work solo is #3.
1. Social media.
2. Internal sources willing to speak and ready to change.
3. The pews choosing to take definitive actions.
All three have come together against Driscoll…now they just need to finish the job.
I think Jonna Petry said it eloquently;
“Why would a Christian protest a church?” Because years have passed and abuse and corruption continues unchecked, because people are exploited and harmed and the gospel is maligned…because a real Christian loves Jesus and wants to see His church healthy and strong and the LOVE of God proclaimed. Below are my personal reasons why I will be joining a peaceful protest this Sunday August 3rd at the Bellevue Campus. I hope many will join me us.
1.Out of love for God and others (Matthew 22:37, John 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 16:13) 2.To warn and protect others from harm (Acts 20:28-30. 1 Corinthians 13) 3.To call abusive church leaders to account (Matthew 18:17, Luke 17:1-3) 4.To expose lies, deception and evil (Ephesians 5:11) 5.To advocate for victims and perpetrators (Matthew 25:40) 6.To promote healing, growth and new life in people, relationships and communities (Luke 5:31) 7.To stand against oppression, injustice and greed (Luke 4:18, Jeremiah 22:13, 1 Timothy 6:10)
I’ll just say the “amen”.
The genius that is Wenatchee the Hatchet has provided context and even more material to yesterdays “Pussified Nation” rants.
Whats really heart breaking about this is the laity who came because they just wanted to follow Christ.Instead they had their hearts broken …..spiritual disappointment is so difficult to overcome.
It has proven to be very damaging to too many…
He will survive. The missing factor is that once a leader is able to claim persecution he is able to rally support. Plus, people really hate to admit being duped by a powerful personality. Many will rally needing to feel vindicated by his survival.
Humbling himself means yielding to the unmanly mob.
But this makes me sad. So many forced inside and out leading to demise of the larger church. A complete makeover may ensue or a dark time. Christianity is losing voice as a viable choice for allegiance. The debts are mounting. The bills will be paid.
He may endure.
However, this is a both a portent and a template for the new Reformation.
Mega church, pop Christianity is being forced to the margins politically and socially.
Biblical faith and the church that contains it…thrives on the margins.
Not to minimize the pain many feel, but as an outsider looking in, this seems like a huge social experiment as Driscoll and Mars Hill leveraged the internet and social media to the hilt in building a large following and now those who were drawn in through those avenues are leveraging it against him and Mars Hill in protest. Interesting to watch. Painful for those who are a part of it, I’m sure.
Paul Tripp has resigned from the Mars Hill Board of Accountability…another brick falls.
Travis…it is an interesting social situation.
How it ends will tell us much about the immediate future.
Good trend to see. May it spread to Calvary Chapel.
““Why would a Christian protest a church?” Because years have passed and abuse and corruption continues unchecked, because people are exploited and harmed and the gospel is maligned…because a real Christian loves Jesus and wants to see His church healthy and strong and the LOVE of God proclaimed. Below are my personal reasons why I will be joining a peaceful protest this Sunday August 3rd at the Bellevue Campus. I hope many will join me us.”
I am being sued by my Calvary Chapel pastor-step-dad for similar public statements. The case is winding down in appellate court in California. May free speech and blogging win the day as warning the public and advocating against abuse and corruption in the church is about the only accountability there is in some Denominations or Non-Denomination Denominations.
I don’t know how any woman could respect Mark Driscoll. The way he speaks about women is disgusting.
So what is the end game to this? If no one else leaves the church, then are the critics satisfied … as if ‘the people have spoken’, or do the now outsiders continue to try to destroy what those in the pews want to keep?
Who has the say, the ones who stay or the ones who left??
“What problem needs to be fixed? The young men need to be yelled at so that they shape up and fly right. They need to get real jobs, find women, marry them, make babies and do all this for Jesus’ fame. The possibility that many of those 20-something men won’t find “real jobs” because of changes in the economy in a post-industrial context where “we” exported a lot of our unskilled labor overseas or a lot of unskilled labor is unglamorous drudgery “real Americans” don’t want to do may not be on the Driscoll radar. That neo-Calvinists lament the median age of first marriage has soared up to the highest levels we’ve seen in the last forty years may need to be offset by the observation that the last time that number got so high was during the Great Depression. It may be people would like to get married but we don’t have a housing or employment market of the sort where a bootstrap social conservative Social Gospel in the closet will work any better now than the progressive Social Gospel that, whether people may remember this or not, was more characteristic of evangelicalism over the last 150 years than contemporary political discourse might have us believe.”
Unglamorous drudgery “real Americans” don’t want to do????
Sorry, but on this ONE ISSUE, the circa 2000 MD was right. The hatchet is serving the body by exposing the monster that is MD, but young men are not served by thinking their mom’s couch is an acceptable place to be.
Michael, re Tripp:
Perhaps it should be a requirement of all independent churches to have the county sheriff on their board.
Jim, I think he correctly saw a problem but that his particular Social Gospel experiment may not prove to be an answer. And I think we’ll miss the historical context for identifying the problem if we forget how many decades we’ve spent exporting our industrial base overseas. If we create a job market in which there are fewer and fewer options for “unskilled labor” that people can or will do then the piles of student debt won’t add anything to the problems at hand. When Mark has talked about “real job” activity it has been focused less on actual productivity than on financial rewards. It’s a detail that I admit outsiders wouldn’t necessarily catch. If Mark were careful to make a distinction between the ambition to contribute positively to society and coveting a particular status over the years I’d find it easier to agree with some of his diagnoses regarding young guys. I’ve come to personally liken Mark’s approach to a Marxist one, right down to his penchant for promoting reverse-engineered five-year plans for success. 🙁 As with Marxism, I suppose, it’s possible to grant that Mark Driscoll could correctly perceive a set of problems without having a compelling solution for them (no offense meant to any Marxists who might be reading Phoenix Preacher).
I heard online that Ergun Caner’s eldest son committed suicide last night / morning.
fyi, this post has been updated with an additional screen cap from another thread where Mark explained that he was William Wallace II
You’re the best at what we do.
Good to see you on the blog. I’m with you brother. God bless and protect you.
And I’m with Michael on #3: “The pews choosing to take definitive actions.” That’s really where the rubber meets the road. (Now make sense of that idiom.)
Then again, Brian is often right on: “it’s a business.”
Shouldn’t be, Lord knows, but it so often is. Christianity in America. What’s the icon for scratching my head?
In 2000, my kids were 20, 17, and 15. The job market has had zero effect on any of them, although they have friends sleeping on mom’s couch. They live in Florida, Georgia, and NY.
Somehow, growing believing that they create their own job market made them “lucky”.
I’m sure that is a great encouragement to people in Michael’s situation on whom the job market has had a profound effect, Jim.
I think that we’re talking about 20-30 something young single men who don’t want to grow up.
And do you genuinely think that the poor economy isn’t an issue for 20-30 somethings? If they just tried hard enough or something? All three of my brothers had to go back to school because their undergraduate degrees were worthless in getting jobs that had any future and paid more than minimum wage. I can assure you that they are all hardworking, responsible men who wanted to grow up. Simply being hard-working and responsible was not enough to get them more than a job at Beaner’s in this crappy economy. Thankfully, they had the intelligence and financial support necessary to go back to school and get post graduate degrees so that they could get jobs that would allow them to support families.. Not everyone is so fortunate.
That’s for sure. None of my kids are post grads, and dear old dad married 19 year old mom when he was 20 and broke, with an adult ed high school diploma.
j2, only because you brought it up – may I ask what undergraduate degrees were basically worthless in the job market and what then was secured as a graduate degree that led to gainful employment for the three of them?
One was a business major, one was English or History or maybe both, and one was a Sociology or psychology major. The business and english brothers both got law degrees and the sociology one is now working on a phd in some kind of engineering (chemical or biological or something like that). I didn’t graduate from college and they were getting the same sorts of jobs that I could get with only a high school diploma.
WTH, you’re right on with this: “When Mark has talked about “real job” activity it has been focused less on actual productivity than on financial rewards. It’s a detail that I admit outsiders wouldn’t necessarily catch. If Mark were careful to make a distinction between the ambition to contribute positively to society and coveting a particular status over the years I’d find it easier to agree with some of his diagnoses regarding young guys.”
My husband is one of the most driven, hardworking men I’ve ever met. However, the fact that he’s an artist and has for years taken jobs in the coffee industry to pay the bills and provide insurance for us, while pursuing his art as a primary calling, was grounds for being told by a MH pastor that he was being self serving and unbiblical in the *type* of work he was doing…basically he was told to go sell his soul and find te best paying corporate job he could so I could stay home and have babies instead of being “forced” to work. No matter that my husband would have literally gone crazy if he’d done that.
Now that we’ve been gone from MH for about 5 years and he is pursuing his art as his primary calling and only working pt, he is such a happier human being; he has joy…instead of being fodder for Mark’s group of sheeple. It really is about image…and families where the wife is the primary breadwinner bc the husband is an artist don’t fit the image.
I guess that is the hazard of going to a church that preaches the Christian, the lifestyle and the how to live your life lingo – instead of going to a church that preaches the Christ and how he lived… and died.
I imagine you could get an economic report off the TV. Why get up and shower on a Sunday morning for that?
Praise God for Mark and all he has done for the Lord and will hopefully continue to do for HIm. I’ve watched him grow over the years and apologize, ask forgiveness, and repent. Yet we believers still accel at shooting more bullets and arrows at leaders instead of reaching out our hands. It must be exasperating for him to have all these armchair critics who know really know nothing about the whole picture regarding him and MH continually beat the deadest horse I have ever seen. Very unfortunate.
There are now hundreds of people who have been abused by Driscoll who are coming forward.
Driscoll has repented of nothing.
Where has he repented of plagiarism or the funneling of funds intended for global missions?
Please direct me to one place where Driscoll has repented of any specific offense against a specific person.
As an outsider to MH, it almost appears from some of the comments above, that MD connected Christian maturity with economic success. And/or, that MD associated economic success with a man’s fidelity to his calling as a husband and father. Is that what some are saying?
I have seen the opposite of Kathleen’s story many times, both as pastor and in family and friends I know. Which is why her point (and J2’s yesterday) are important – there is no absolute on issues like family support, the key is unity and harmony in the Lord, guided by Him.
Which is MLD’s point – preach Christ crucified, teach the word – and stay out of general life counsel from the pulpit and save it for (competent, trained) personal counseling if warranted and sought. Making happy couples feel guilty because of the pastor’s personal axe to grind is something I know I sure would not want to stand before the Lord to give an account for…..
If one believe the whole bible is inspired, then he/she doesn’t ignore the texts that address the Christian life (from the pulpit or elsewhere). MD may be misinterpreting the Bible, but that doesn’t mean one ignores the texts he gets wrong.
Jean, there’s a March 2013 sermon by Bill Clem that he preached a couple of months after he resigned from leadership at Mars Hill called The Community of the Crucified King (week 3).
A link would normally hardly be adequate but Clem gave this sermon so soon after he left MH it might give you some reference. Plus I admit I liked Bill while I was at MH, respected him, and liked this sermon.
Just like on RHE’s blog yesterday where all the fanboys came out claiming the criticizing MD was damaging the image of the Church and will drive non-believers away, so it continues on this site (see post #29).
Michael (post #30), I would have used much harsher language, since that is what seems to be the modus operandi of many MD fanboys.
There is not a single person who is a non believer because people criticize MD. Where would anyone get the idea that something I do determines a person’s eternal destiny.
That my friends is LOL funny. Everyone who is an unbeliever is an unbeliever because they are enemies of God.
So you really think there are alternatives to teaching Christ and him crucified. If you are going to preach lifestyles … well heck Jews and Mormons can teach lifestyles much better than us.
I would think that if MD preached Jesus instead of ‘manly’ lifestyle, perhaps Mars Hill would be a Christian church, instead of the YMCA.
“But as for you, communicate the behaviour that goes with sound teaching.” (Titus 2:1)
MLD, I think the church should use the whole counsel of Scripture. My understanding is that the early church read and taught Paul’s letters aloud in the assembly. Should we do less?
You only have 52 Sundays in a year and most people will make to 60 – 75% of those Sundays – 20 – 35 min at a time.
If you want your pastor teaching people how to be a good husband or how to handle their finances … well fine. Do that in a classroom.
But in that time period, I want my pastor teaching the people about Jesus.
Point taken MLD. I won’t argue with that perspective.
I suppose MD could have sown his crap in a different venue or medium, which would have also misled his congregation.
Guys like MD teach their peeps exactly what they want to hear. They don’t want to hear about Jesus, they want to hear about themselves. I am sure at one time MD taught Jesus and salvation outside of the believer. The crowds probably dwindled or did not grow, so the decision was made – let’s preach about the Christian … tickle their itching ears and we will leave Jesus for Christmas and Easter.
MLD (post #36)…I honestly don’t think that MD’s fans really care that criticism may drive away non-believers and damage Christ’s reputation. I think they care more that “their guy” is under the microscope.
Dan, do you really believe that people are unbelievers because of MD or his followers??? Weren’t these folks unbelievers even before they ever heard of MD? What was their excuse before?
MLD (#44), I TOTALLY agree with you. People will reject Jesus not because of some criticism about Mark Driscoll, but because they are enemies of God.
The church HAS to stand up to people like MD.
BTW MLD, I think I was unclear on my posts. I was just parroting what MD’s fanboys say about people rejecting Christ, not what I believe about the situation. Thanks for wanting the clarification.
MD….The guy doesn’t get it.The church roof is on fire and he’s just sitting there……..
Rethink that a bit. Driscoll is not stupid. I would guess that:
1. he thinks he is justified; and
2. he thinks he can weather this storm.
Ixtlan @ # 48:
The Fuhrer believed the very same even as the Wehrmacht was collapsing on both the Eastern and the Western fronts.
I cannot even believe that MEN would allow themselves to be ridiculed and humiliated by being treated like jr high boys being disciplined while being talked to by someone who sounded more like their molester than their pastor. Reading this stuff is insane. How has this church been built on such a spirit of pride? And how do you make men act like men by handing them their stones? When did you castrate this herd to begin with?
Amazing how susceptible people are to abusers both individually and corporately.
Some of these men are now reclaiming their manhood…
Standing up to this little tyrant is a good first step.
“How has this church been built on such a spirit of pride?”
The one force one cannot contend with. $$$$
Live by the internet, die by the internet.
We shall see.
If Driscoll had sinned sexually, like Bob Coy, do you all think he’d still be at Mars Hill?
Jtk, in the wake of the 2007 firing controversies a friend said that at least the scandal wasn’t about sex or an affair. My reaction to that in 2008 was to say that’s what bugged me, that when the scandal involves insider politics, institutional power, the use of money and real estate we evangelicals seem to not care so long as there’s no sex involved. Yet love of money and abuse of power and institutional and informal authority certainly seemed to be the points at which Jesus had a severe condemnation for the Pharisees and law experts.
What has been strange but fascinating to document is just how much material MH has put on the internet that has been too late to remove. Driscoll can’t put the genie back in the bottle by saying the unmoderated Midrash was a bad idea. It actually wasn’t a bad idea and to say so only fourteen years later is silly. As someone who participated on those forums the bad ideas were not using real names and writing in a way that presumed the shield of the pseudonym could never be penetrated by shared lives and the passage of time.
MH was so eager to embrace the new and innovative at such a swift pace I think we had a habit of embracing the power of social and broadcast media as a community faster than we develop a sense of etiquette or social responsibility in our engagement of media (and there is, sure enough, a theory of media called social responsibility theory as distinct from the libertarian theory of the press). Since Driscoll was a speech communications major and his wife was trained in PR it would “seem” like they both got some kind of training on theories of the press at some point … but it’s hard to be sure.
On the other hand if after fourteen years Driscoll can (whether directly or indirectly) stop his vacation long enough to address what he wrote as William Wallace II then there’s no reason for him to not publicly acknowledge that Joyful Exiles exists and address the audio session where he talked about the pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus in 2007.
Michael, absolutely love your comment #4 in this topic. Spot on!!
Jim, regarding your comment #11, the wild irony to me is that at the A29 “church” I formerly attended, the people who most personified the image of guys who didn’t do anything were the “pastors.” What a bunch of clowns. And here’s something else I never understood about MD. A fat, overweight guy wearing a Mickey Mouse T-shirt talks about women letting themselves go?!? Haha, the irony there is too rich.