Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Blatant Lie About Having His Books ‘Confiscated’ by Conference Organizers

Last weekend, Pastor John MacArthur hosted a conference in conjunction with the release of his new book Strange Fire, in which he rails against the Charismatic movement in Christianity. He calls it a “breeding-ground for scandal, greed, bad doctrine, and all kinds of spiritual chicanery” (as opposed to the other kinds of Christianity, which we know are absolutely perfect in every single way).

Things got really weird, though, when Pastor Mark Driscoll (a semi-Charismatic preacher himself), who was speaking at another conference not too far away from this one, showed up out of nowhere to hand out free copies of his own book in the parking lot:

Driscoll told [the Christian Post] that he thought it was “gracious that they let me on campus at all.”

“They don’t owe me anything and I didn’t go through an official process. I wasn’t planning on it. I just happened to be in town,” he said.

(Yeah, I just happened to be in town! And I just happened to bring along a whole bunch of my books! And I just happened to let everyone know what I was doing on Twitter well before I actually did it!)

Mark Driscoll (in black) speaks to people at the conference (via Parking Space)

When Driscoll came, so did the conference security. They politely asked Driscoll to leave and take his books with him. After all, there’s a process for conferences when it comes to these things. If you want to sell or give away your wares, you have to get approval from the organizers, and Driscoll did none of that.

Security speaks with Driscoll (via Driscoll’s Instagram)

“It wasn’t that we were trying to stir up trouble with Pastor Mark, we just removed them because we have a lot of different publishing partners that are here on campus already and all of their books all the way down the line, everything they are selling has already gone through a pre-approval process,” Pastor Rich Gregory, who is MacArthur’s assistant, told [the Christian Post]. “I don’t think anybody, Mark included, would probably allow their conference just to be opened to whatever private editors wanted to step onto campus and distribute anything that they wanted to. So, that’s a policy that would be consistent with any church or conference.”

Now here’s where things get really good.

Driscoll wrote about what happened next to his 400,000+ Twitter followers, nearly 40,000 Instagram followers, and 200,000+ Facebook followers:

Security confiscated my books. #strangefire

Turns out that’s a big fat lie.

In fact, after the organizers said they needed to take his books away, Driscoll didn’t put up any fight. He told them that was fine and, heck, just consider the books a gift to the church and staff.

In summary, he gave away copies of his own book at another church’s conference, offered to donate them to the church when questioned about it… and then told the rest of the world his books were taken from him by security.

Too bad it’s just his word versus that of the conference organizers…

But wait! There’s video of the exchange!

Darren Wiebe, a Christian seminary student (at MacArthur’s school), was amazed at how a fellow Christian could be such a petty liar:

Pastor Mark, you are a man who claims to speak as a man of God, and as a pastor-in-training, I look for examples to follow. When a leader behaves like a child and buries his sin, the example that you set is far from what I see as godly and certainly not one that I want to emulate. Many have already alluded to the irony of the conference you were speaking being called “Act Like Men,” and questioned the authority you have to speak on such a subject, when you remind us of a boy in High School pulling a prank with little discretion and grave consequences.

But making bold, untrue statements — no matter how the reality of the situation contradicts him — is what Driscoll does for a living. I’m just surprised by how anyone else is surprised.

Incidentally, Driscoll is currently preaching a sermon series on the Ten Commandments. He hasn’t gotten to the sermon about “Do Not Lie” yet. Maybe that’s why he thinks he can ignore that one.

You would think a man who constantly craves attention would understand that, when the cameras are rolling, your lies are exposed to people outside your congregation — the type of people who would never sign a confidentiality form protecting your image and who have no problem calling out bullshit as they see it.

But Driscoll won’t apologize. It’s not his style. He can do no wrong. If the video shows him making stuff up, the fault lies only with the person who uploaded the video.

What the hell is wrong with the members of his church that they would look up to this charlatan?

(via Stuff Christian Culture Likes)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • AFabulousAtlantanAtheist

    He is so Christian he had to spin it in a way that made him look persecuted

  • Amor DeCosmos

    Even the Pope doesn’t like Mark Driscoll.

    • PaulDouglas1

      Driscoll was raised romanist, I believe.

  • Todd

    I know people who go to Mars Hill, and I can’t figure out why. They are the typical Mars Hill type: young, sort of hipsterish, and sort of trendy. They’re also fairly intelligent. They seem to shrug off Discoll’s bizarre behavior and misogyny as if it’s just OK.

    Fortunately, a co-worker and her husband stopped going to the church after a counselor in a parenting class told them that they should raise their newly-adopted daughter to believe that she will never be as good as a boy, and that they should adopt a boy so that they’d have a child to feel proud of.

    • Gus

      The father of one of the kids in my son’s class is the pastor of a church that is affiliated to some extent with Driscoll. I truly worry about just how loose that affiliation is or isn’t.

    • Castilliano

      Holy Shi…take mushrooms!
      Already new they were severely sexist there.
      The blatancy of this…just Wow.

    • islandbrewer

      … they should raise their newly-adopted daughter to believe that she will never be as good as a boy, and that they should adopt a boy so that they’d have a child to feel proud of.

      Eww! Just … gah! &^#(&&@%$$!&^%&^*^(*@*^#@$!!!!!!!!!

      • islandbrewer

        That last part was finger apoplexy.

      • Todd

        I almost cried with joy when I learned they weren’t going anymore. Their daughter is so sweet and adorable, and it was horrible to think that someone would try to tell her she was worth less as a person because of her gender. My co-worker is very careful in how she describes her Mars Hill experiences, and generally won’t talk about them at all.

        • smrnda

          I hear they are pretty vicious towards people who leave.

      • Ahab

        I would like to second Island Brewer’s @##$%!!! That kind of misogyny has no place in society, much less a church.

      • wmdkitty

        Seconding your Angrish, here.

    • Nicki

      “should raise their newly-adopted daughter to believe that she will never
      be as good as a boy, and that they should adopt a boy so that they’d
      have a child to feel proud of”

      Okay, as ashamed as I am to admit it now that I’m several years into embracing being an atheist, I was a member of Mars Hill back in 2007 and I really have a hard time believing this is true. Is it a misogyny-pushing cult? Absolutely. It’s a horrible place. But those are words I can’t imagine ever coming out of anyone’s mouth there.

  • Kodie

    Seems like the kind of thing that would help MacArthur sell his books by being the bad example rather than some kind of show-down that he obviously intended.

  • Sarah Jones

    FYI, Driscoll is not Charismatic. He’s Reformed. He and MacArthur agree on most things, which means that they’re competing for the same spotlight in the same doctrinal subset of US Christianity. I think this is probably why Driscoll pulled this stunt.

    • Artor

      “FYI, Driscoll is not Charismatic.”
      Particularly not in the secular sense of the word, where it means someone has an appealing, confident personality. Those are NOT words I’d use to describe a strident weasel like Driscoll.

    • Hemant Mehta

      I have modified that line a bit. There are shades of Charismatic theology that seep into his sermons, and the feud between the two pastors at the center of this post is based on their views of the movement

    • Nicki

      Yeah, his whole “I saw your sin in a dream” thing is kind of key to his cult leader power, so he’s definitely a charismatic in some ways.

  • Holytape

    I thought Driscoll was Jesus’s manly man. And yet he gave up without a fight?! Bro-Jesus is up in Bro-heaven saying “Dude, Driscoll, you pussed out. No virgins for you!”

  • Mick

    What the hell is wrong with the members of his church that they would look up to this charlatan?

    When you’ve been paying tithes to this clown for years, it’s difficult to admit that you’ve been played for a fool – so you decide not to make that admission. You double-down and declare that your leader is always right and never wrong – and now your faith is well-founded: You are no longer a manipulated fool, you are a brave little soldier in the army of the Lord. It does wonders for the ego, and even better, if things go wrong and your leader is shown to be a liar, well you can enjoy the satisfying self-pity that comes with playing the martyr.

    • WallofSleep

      I’ve come to the conclusion that if there is one thing people hate above all else, it’s admitting that they’ve been played for a fool. In fact many people seem to prefer burying their heads in the sand and continue being conned all the way to the poor house rather than admit they’ve been played for a fool.

    • Stev84

      Mars Hill is very cult-like. Retaliation against people who leave can be severe. They sometimes practice shunning for example. So if you’ve spent a few years in the cult, there is a good chance that most of social circle are also cult members.

  • Gus

    The key line from the video is the head of security saying:

    We’re gonna put em back in the Mustang. We want to give em back to you.

    But the way the post is written

    In fact, after the organizers said they needed to take his books away, Driscoll didn’t put up any fight. He told them that was fine and, heck, just consider the books a gift to the church and staff.

    it sounds like they wanted to take the books and Driscoll said fine, consider it a gift, which could still be confiscation, just with him being nice about it.

    But that line from the head of security makes it clear that they never intended to keep his books until he insisted they do so and is what makes the lie clear. In fact, it sounds like he insisted just so he could later claim they were confiscated. To which I say, keep fighting with each other and lying to your supporters, Christians. That’s more time you’re not attacking LGTB people, women, and atheists and more people you’ll drive to think for themselves and discover reality.

    • Karmalkaze

      >But that line from the head of security makes it clear that they never intended to keep his books

      But they took them. They confiscated his property, while promising to give it back.

      “take or seize (someone’s property) with authority:”

      Do you see anything in there that says it’s not a confiscation if it is eventually given back?

    • D.T.

      I have a problem with your ATTACK by claiming I am ATTACKING LGTB people. Why don’t you find something else to do besides ATTACKING those who are supposedly ATTACKING the LGTB people. But, maybe we should redefine ATTACK. I believe the Bible speaks against certain types of behavior, promiscuity notwithstanding, and if I were to talk to someone about the Bible, these contents of the Bible may come up. It is not personal, it is just what the Bible says. If you don’t like it, don’t talk to me! How is that an attack?

  • ShoeUnited

    A new height of persecution bullshit complex syndrome…ectomy, when you lay down your bullshit on fellow Christers.

  • invivoMark

    A pastor does something unethical, breaks the rules, and then lies about it after being called out? This is dog bites man sort of news.

    • TnkAgn

      In fact, I am at a loss as to why Hemant even gave this space on his website, except as a cautionary tale about the chicanery of modern Christianity, American-style in particular. As if his audience needed one. Slow news day, perhaps?

  • tracy two crows

    Rutroh Raggy, the sectarian violence is just around the corner.The Christians are now trying to eat their own.No surprise,since Deuteronomy 23:53-55 gives them the go ahead. tis a silly bitchfight(like all religious squabbles) with not so silly consequences down the road.#GladtobeGodFree

  • WallofSleep

    “Darren Wiebe, a Christian seminary student (at MacArthur’s school), was amazed at how a fellow Christian could be such a petty liar”

    Oh boy, Darren. What the world is gonna do to you…

    • BrowncoatVoter

      It is all part of gawd’s plan for him.

    • Al Dente

      Christians are as susceptible to rationalization as anyone else; perhaps more so since they believe in a higher good. E.g. if lying about something brings more people to God than it is a good thing since it serves a higher purpose. Many Christians use the warrior metaphor and all’s fair in war (ignoring secular influences like the Geneva convention etc.)

  • Lee Miller

    We have a similar church in our town, reformed/Presbyterian theology, very hip . . . and they’re thriving becaŭse so many people go there. Yet the pastors are aloof and arrogant, and spout the same kind of drivel. I keep wondering what is it that lets an educated, connected young person support that kind of behavior, and accept it in people they see as in “leadership” roles over them.

    • smrnda

      Some people may feel anxious without an authority type. I don’t understand that, but it may be what leads people to cults like this. You have some super-confident guy up front telling you what’s right and what’s wrong. Not that people like that are sheep, just they may feel better having someone like that to give them direction. They get suckered in and then end up staying.

  • Houndentenor

    I am glad someone is talking about the shady financial set-ups of some of these charismatic churches and mega-churches. I was raised Southern Baptist. There was a lot fucked up about those churches, but the church’s finances were open and discussed once a month at a business meeting that any member could attend. For most things more than one person had to sign the check. There was very little chance of anyone embezzling or skimming without getting caught. Extra steps were taken to ensure that even the appearance of possible financial impropriety was avoided. This is NOT true of a lot of churches, especially the independent ones. The pastor pretty much has carte blanche and anyone asking too many questions is chastised and/or ostracized. That to me would be a red flag, even when I was still a believer (or later, going through the motions of believing). I don’t know why nonprofit organizations are not required to have the transparency that most churches have anyway in order to keep their nonprofit status. We wouldn’t allow charity groups to operate the way some churches do.

  • WallofSleep

    Sahses? SHASHES!?!? We don’t need no stinking…

    Actually, sashes aren’t necessary, as they are quite easily identified the second they open their mouths.

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    The video didn’t highlight what, IMO, was the smoking gun quote. The security guard says at 0:23:

    “We’re gonna put them back in the Mustang. Yea, we wanna give them back to you.”

    They were never even trying to take the books away, they were trying to give them back.

  • Alice

    Sounds like he is really desperate to promote himself. I hope this means he has been losing popularity and sales.

  • Art_Vandelay

    Wait…uncharismatic preachers have an issue with charismatic preachers? I didn’t realize that was something you had control over.

  • dsmith

    “Pastors” prefer to stir up emotions (My books were confiscated) (The end times are upon us) (there is a War on Christmas) so the sheep will continue to think in a persecution and apocalyptic mindset…in other words, keep pounding that fear of impending doom!

  • Rain

    Thou shalt not covet thy other dude’s marketing sales prospects.

  • Rain

    When thou gets busted, pretend like thee are gracious and generous so thou don’t look like an idiot.

  • Fentwin

    That video definitely “confiscated” any pretense to honesty that lying sack of horse apples may have imagined he possessed.

  • Chip Fox

    A Christian spouting BS? I’m shocked.

  • wmdkitty

    Holy crap, this guy is a douchenozzle.

  • laura simmons

    You should be ashamed of yourself. Read Mark’s post on the Resurgence website.

  • Karmakaze

    Funny… I swear I heard that security guy say “we’re going to take the books”.

    Are you saying he didn’t say that? Or are you saying the fact they said they would give them back means they effectively never took them?

    What exactly is your argument?

  • Redeemed

    How about playing the events that happened prior to where you conveniently start your film. Then we can discuss who’s not telling the truth.

  • Rose

    “We’ll just take and put them in the mustang for you….. We want to give em back to you….” And now you may know the rest of the story…. or not.

  • John