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!)
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.
“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.”
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?