Our Only Response to Mark Driscoll…

Earlier today, a series of 14 year old message board comments allegedly written by Mark Driscoll in the early days of his ministry have been making their way around the blogosphere. The comments that Driscoll made back then are some of the most horrifying, destructive, unchristian, convoluted statements I’ve ever read from someone who has become a prominent evangelical leader. Driscoll’s language was simply inexcusable and his theology nothing short of deadly.

Over the past few years, Driscoll has moved away from much of the harsh, abusive language that he was once known for. But even though the tone and semantics of his message have changed, it is clear that he has not departed from the undergirding theology that he has adhered to throughout his ministry. And even though the language and public demeanor of Driscoll’s ministry has changed, the abundance of reports of abuse from  ex-members of his church proves that the same man who was typing these horrific statements 14 years ago is the same Mark Driscoll who currently pastors Mars Hill Church. Nothing about his theology or worldview has changed.

In fact, in an interview I did with Driscoll for my blog about a year ago, I asked him how his theology had evolved since he began Mars Hill. His response to my inquiry was short and simple –

“My theology hasn’t changed, but I am learning to emphasize certain truths that I’ve perhaps neglected in the past.”

When I read that response from Driscoll, I immediately recognized something was profoundly wrong with that statement. My theology changes every other week. Some of the Christian pastors and leaders that have mentored me often have told me about the momentous shifts that take place in their theology and worldview every couple of years. And yet, one of the leading voices in evangelical Christianity says that his theology has not changed one bit. That just doesn’t seem quite right.

This seems to indicate a lack of humility that comes from truly believing that you have got God all figured out. And if that’s the case, why would you want to be humble? Why would you want to be open to new ideas? As I used to say in my old fundamentalist days, “I’m not narrow minded, it’s just that I’ve already found the answer!” This clearly seems to be Driscolls mindset and is perhaps one of the major driving forces between his very…confident…demeanor, both in his preaching and his writing.

But beyond the arrogance that can emerge from believing you’ve got God all figured out, there seems to be something much deeper going on inside Mark Driscoll that is causing him to present himself in such harmful ways. Mark has admitted a number of times that he had a very difficult and abusive childhood. From what we can tell, there is still a lot that Driscoll has yet to deal with. From a basic psychological perspective it seems quite clear that not everything is well with Mark. And today, we see a very powerful and successful man who very clearly is dealing with deep psychological issues that are manifesting in abuse of others.

It is when I begin to view the situation in that light that my anger and outrage towards Mark begins to turn to a feeling of grief. I am deeply grieved by the amount of pain and damage Driscoll is responsible for through his reckless and abusive teaching and preaching. I am horrified as I continue to hear stories of ex-pastors who lost their jobs and were forced uproot their families to leave the state because of Driscolls tyrannical policies. I am sickened when I think about the number of LGBTQ men and women who have been a part of Mars Hill Church and have heard such hate-filled teaching spoken over them week in and week out. But I am also deeply grieved for the man, Mark Driscoll.

I acknowledge that he is 100% responsible for all of his words, actions, and decisions during his time as Pastor of Mars Hill. He has continually made poor choices and refused help and guidance when it has been offered. He has lied, manipulated, and used his power to oppress hundreds of people in the name of Jesus. But, if what my mentor says is true, and Mark is a deeply broken man with festering psychological wounds from his childhood, then I really do hurt for him. It seems to me that Mark Driscoll is a man of incredible talent and anointing that is being dominated by an immature boy inside with deep scars and unresolved issues that he has carried throughout his life. Once again, none of this gets him off the hook. But it does cause me to begin to understand why he does what he does. I begin to see that there is more than just a power-hungry tyrannical leader who is using religion to abuse the masses. No, it is much more complex than that.

It is undeniable that the absolute collapse of Mark Driscoll’s empire is lying just around the bend. Every day there are new reports of scandal and abuse being uncovered at Mars Hill Church. In this season, it is important for us to continue to speak about the false teachings that Driscoll has propagated over the years and to continue to support, pray for, and encourage those who have been harmed through Driscolls ministry, and there are tons of people who are doing just that. But I want to suggest that it is equally as important- though infinitely more difficult- to keep Mark, Grace, their five children, and the church in our prayers. We should pray that God would continue to bring the truth to light and that through it all, he would humble Mark to a place of brokenness. We should pray that his family would be protected through this tough season as they see their husband and father being publicly exposed for copious amounts of sin and scandal. We should pray for healing, redemption, and reconciliation between Mark and all those whom he has hurt and all those who have hurt him. We should pray that at the end of this season of refining, that God would bless Mark Driscoll and his family.

This is perhaps the hardest teaching Jesus calls his followers to, but it is one of the most important. We are called to love those who harm us and to pray for those who hate us. This is the only way to bring true healing and redemption to everyone involved in this dark situation. In the midst of our (very justifiable) anger and even rage against Mark Driscoll and his teachings, we must be careful to guard ourselves against becoming the very person we are speaking out against. We must not resort to gossip, slander, cursing, or mocking- and I am tempted to do every one of those things when I am talking about Driscoll. We must not become people who speak harmful and abusive words back to Driscoll. We cannot return an insult with an insult. This only continues the cycle, deepens Marks wounds, and adds fuel to the already destructive fire.

In times like these, it is easy for our progressive-ish evangelical community to unite in disdain towards a common enemy. Our common anger gives us a deep sense of unity and purpose. Before you know it, we become a raging mob yelling “Crucify him!” But we must remember that One has already been there and done that for us. Jesus has set us free from the cycle of abusive violence. He has offered us a way of true and lasting change. And that is the way of love. Love of God. Love of self. Love of neighbor. And yes, even love of enemy. Even love of Mark Driscoll. Because right about now, I can imagine that Mark could use some love and prayer sent his way. If we want to break this cycle of abuse, we must continue to speak up and shed light on the truth. We must continue to platform the voices of those who have been harmed by Mark Driscoll. We must continue to pray for all of those who have been a part of Mars Hill past, present, and even future. And we must continue to pray for Mark Driscoll.

As hard as it is, we must be willing to step out of the mob, take a knee, and pray for our enemies. It’s the only option we’ve been given. It’s the only hope we have for redemption.

Will you join me?

pray for mark driscollmarshill pray

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  • Jeff

    Change the request just slightly, to ‘Pray for Mark Driscoll To Be Run Over by a Convoy’, and I might consider it.

    • Martin Browne

      I know how you feel… but didn’t you read the article you’ve just commented on? We CANT ignore Jesus’ teachings and continue to pretend we are Christians. Jesus says love and pray for your enemies, and do good to those who do evil to you. We must do so if we wish to continue saying we follow Jesus.

  • http://adelasteria.blogspot.com/ K. Elizabeth Danahy

    Last night, after reading ~5 pages of Driscoll’s rant, I was at first floored at the level of vitriol and ludicrous hate I read. Then heartbroken and enraged for his victims (and I still am).

    And then that “pray for your enemies” phrase came to mind. Mer.

    So, yeah. I will join you – praying for both his victims and him.

  • Tony B

    Right on. And VERY difficult to do so with him, probably because I think I am, to my shame, more right than he. Thanks for the post.

  • http://adammclane.com/ Adam McLane

    I think you’re being politically correct here, dude.

    What specifically should we be praying for when you’re asking us to pray for him? And why pray for him but not the people whose lives are being flipped upside down by him? Why not pray for the church leaders on clean-up duty? Why not pray for his wife and children? Why make his name famous even if it’s for infamous reasons.

    I’m over people defending his actions and, like others have said, I’m sick of talking about him… which is just leading to more hero worship.

    • Pixie5

      You missed where he said to pray for everyone, not just Driscoll. He is not defending his actions at all. He is writing in the spirit of what Jesus said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

      Granted though it is hard to do.

  • R Vogel

    This reminds me of the dialogue in Fiddler on the Roof when a man asks the Rabbi if there is a blessing for the Tsar:

    ‘A blessing for the Tsar? Of course! May God bless and keep the Tsar… far away from us!’

  • R Vogel

    Your statement that your ‘theology changes every other week’ reminded me of this gem I read recently from William Stringfellow (on Richard Beck’s blog if you want to read more):

    “any ethical system which is settled and stereotyped, uniform and preclusive, neat and predictable” is both “dehumanizing” and “unbiblical.”

    • Frank2918

      If it wasn’t so fallacious that statement would be laughable.

  • JosiahCox

    I must pray for him? It’s the only hope for redemption???
    Screw that. I don’t want Mark redeemed and I sure as hell will not pray for him. I want him destroyed like the cancer that he is.

    The only thing I must do is condemn Mark Driscoll for abusing people while assuming the power and the voice of God. For that he get’s no forgiveness from me.

    He is no different to me than pedophile priests that use their position of power to bully and abuse those that they are meant to help.
    Jesus can do what he wants with Mark but he will get no prayers from me except the ones where I beg for him to be destroyed so he will never be able to spew his hate filled “truth” to anyone ever again.

    Cult leaders (which Mark is) who pretend to follow the teaching of Christ in order to create their own kingdoms do not get to be treated as just another christian who needs prayer. They are cancer. Cancers get cut out of the body so that the body stays healthy.
    You can pray for that cancer to get better all you want but this specific cancer likes to double down and eat even more healthy cells when you try and address it. My opinion is that it should be surgically removed, just like the doctor ordered and then burned with fire.

    Go ahead, ask me how I really feel. :-)

    • Wales P. Nematollahi

      I am not saying he is not a cult leader (I really don’t know). However, you and I should be praying for Mark Driscoll, the pedophile priests, and any other leader in a church _ and anyone else, including our enemies_, who has sinned or is sinning. We should also hope for the eternal redemption of them all, not wishing that they go to Hell. The latter emotion is not Christ-like at all; Remember “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing”?

      • JosiahCox

        Most of the time I would agree with you and I really do try and turn the other cheek with most people in my life but I have a special reserve of hatred for religious leaders who abuse those they claim to shepherd.
        And I never said I want Mark to go to hell. I want him to suffer on this planet just as he has made other’s to suffer. If God wants to give him a pass. That’s on God. Me, I’d rather have justice. If that is a human emotion and unchristian so be it.

    • Frank2918

      Apparently we all need to pray for you instead.

      • Wales P. Nematollahi

        … or as well.

      • JosiahCox

        Pray away Frank. That’s your right but what are you praying for exactly? My anger over this is totally justified and if you don’t like my words, fine. I am okay with that.

        Mark Driscoll is a man who’s go to insult for other men he finds lacking is to compare them to women. Even better to a womans reproductive organs.
        You see, Mark views women as lesser than. If you do too, save your prayers for someone who wants them. I don’t need the prayers of misogynists.

        Mark is a serial abuser who has built himself a kingdom where his abuse of women, men who are not “manly men”, homosexuals and anyone else he finds to not measure up to his view of the bible, is not just permitted, it has become the very culture of his church.

        May your eyes be open and you find the courage to condemn those who use their power of authority to hurt and abuse any of God’s children.

        • Frank2918

          Thanks for proving my point.

          • JosiahCox

            Man, good retort. I see now the error in my ways and I will repent Frank. If you can only pray for me maybe I’ll be able to ignore all of the evil this man has done in the name of God. Maybe I’ll even learn how to treat women like they are the cause of all of the evil and problems in the world.

            How very noble of you. How very kind to offer, nay, observe that I need prayer.

            Thanks for dismissing my pain over abuse Frank, you smug, self righteous Godly man you!

    • Paula Coyle

      “Go ahead, ask me how I really feel. :-)”

      You really feel more righteous than anyone else. That’s how you feel.

      • JosiahCox

        Than anyone else?? Not hardly.
        And by the way, that’s telling me how you think I feel.

  • peterhamm

    I have to question the wisdom of sharing what sounds like a private conversation with this “mentor”. That’s just plain gossip (and no, I am not a Mark Driscoll fan boy).

    • http://kathrynbrightbill.com/ KB

      I agree. I’m certainly no great fan of Mark Driscoll (anyone who doubts this can check out my “Mark Driscoll or Tyler Durden” snark on my blog and Twitter yesterday), but I’m deeply uncomfortable with sharing what this mentor had to say. At best, it feels like gossip, but even more than that it seems like a breach of Mark Driscoll’s trust by this former mentor, and no matter what Driscoll has done it’s not right to repay his bad behavior with this kind of gossip disguised as a prayer request.

      It’s clear from Driscoll’s own writings that he’s got some serious issues that he needs to work through with a trained professional. Why not just leave it at that? A spiritual mentor getting all gossipy and someone else spreading that gossip around the internet isn’t going to help him to get the help he needs. It’s the kind of thing that makes matters worse.

      Criticize his ideas and actions, don’t do this public voyeurism invasion of his privacy.

      • Paula Coyle

        Where are you folks getting the idea this was Mark’s former mentor? It’s not there. It just IS NOT.

        • http://kathrynbrightbill.com/ KB

          Paula, the post has been edited since last night. The original version explained that Brandan’s mentor had mentored Driscoll and included information that Driscoll had shared with the mentor, presumably with an expectation of privacy. That information has been removed or edited to present it as opinion, with the “if what my mentor said is true” line as the only remnant of what remained.

    • Paula Coyle

      “But, if what my mentor says is true, and Mark is a deeply broken man with festering psychological wounds from his childhood, then I really do hurt for him. ”

      This can be a statement of opinion easily based on what has been publicly admitted by Mark and by what has been made publicly available concerning his behavior. It has nothing to do with gossip. Anyone who follows what is going on in evangelicalism can make this assessment.

  • http://www.utahadvance.org Ross Anderson

    I’m no Driscoll partisan but this post is pure gossip and speculation. Most unworthy.

  • Roger Morris

    Driscoll represents the worst example of self-assured, arrogant narcissism so typical of Neo-Reformed types. On the other hand, there is nothing worse than a disingenuous call to prayer from his critics. Both sides are unattractive to me.

  • Tikva

    When one changes one’s theology every two years it would seem that one is following every wind of doctrine.

    • Wales P. Nematollahi

      Not necessarily. Brandan Robertson obviously is not referring to abandoning belief in the Atonement or anything essential here. It could be called maturation, or a Christian’s continuing conversion, or Christian formation. Do you read every passage of Scripture the same way you did a few years ago?

      • Tikva

        What most people are referring to when they say that they have changed their theology is their theology about homosexual lifestyles. They have not changed their theology concerning thieves or extortioners, just homosexuals. I find that disarming. Sex is the unapproachable subject. We must not judge in regards to sex. Live together without marriage, have sex with whomever you like. Love, love, all we need is love. But don’t you dare steal my car!

        Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor. 6:9-10 KJV
        Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men NIV
        Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, ESV

        • Wales P. Nematollahi

          With all due respect, the assumption in your first sentence has not been established here. Now, if you have specific information that Brandan Robertson is referring to that, please give me a reference.

          BTW, what translation are you using? I’ve never seen “effeminate” in that passage. I know of heterosexual males who are effeminate; such a one may refers to his girlfriends or wife as his “significant other” and put on other airs. While such behavior, _if it can be helped_, is an unimpressive affectation, it is not the same thing as same-sex activity.

          • Tikva

            This statement was made in the article itself. “I am sickened when I think about the number of LGBTQ men and women who have been a part of Mars Hill Church and have heard such hate-filled teaching spoken over them week in and week out.” The main concern of the author is the teachings shared about the lifestyles of LGBTQ people. “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you….And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you…deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 KJV The Bible is very clear that fornication whether it is incest as in this case, or homosexual behavior, or heterosexual sin should be addressed firmly. It is no favor to sexually deceived individuals to let them think that their behavior is all right with a holy God. He is more than willing to forgive these sins, but He is not mocked. Rebellion against His holiness will be followed by consequences. I am using the King James. The word for effeminate is “malakos” referring to “a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man” or “a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Galatians 6:7 NIV

          • Wales P. Nematollahi

            There’s a radical difference between those who disagree with a lifestyle and those who denigrate anyone with same-sex attraction. The latter are true homophobes; the former are not.

            The NIV and the New Jerusalem Bible, along with others, have “sexually immoral”. Only in the KJV is the wrod “effeminate” used, and the word probably had a different connotation at that time. The problem with the KJV is that there have been many lexical changes over the centuries, and most who use it are unaware of that. I’ve seen _one_ KJV pew Bible that had an appendix with a list of such changes; the appendix ran for several pages.

          • Tikva

            The problem in our society is not with “homophobes” as the spin doctors are always accusing committed Christiains of being, but rather with people who are not “Theophobes.” They do not fear God. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1 When you use the phrase “probably had a different connotation at that time” I know you haven’t done your homework.

          • Wales P. Nematollahi

            Let’s try this again. “Theophobe” literally would mean God-fearing in an unhealthy way. If you hate someone for their _orientation_, which most of them _do not choose_, you are a homophobe, and you are violating the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. disapproval of homosexual activity (hating the sin) is not homophobia; hating the person who has that orientation is homophobia.

            “When you use the phrase “probably had a different connotation at that time” I know you haven’t done your homework.” Neither have you, and your comment was not exactly Christ-like in its tone. I know enough linguistics to know that there is a difference of meaning for many words in the KJV from the meanings today, as that pew Bible confirms. Some people try to use that to their advantage in arguments.

            If you’re going to descend into ad hominem attacks of me to support Driscoll, let’s drop the discussion now. However, don’t try to tell me you’re responding in a Christ-like manner, because that would be bearing false witness.

          • Tikva

            Any time someone disagrees with the gay agenda they are un-Christlike. So Paul was un-Christlike. Christ was un-Christlike. It’s become rather obvious that this entire conversation is geared to protect the lifestyle of people who do not want to bow to the Word of God. If I do not tell my neighbor that he has an unhealthy orientation and let him think that he is perfectly fine in being homosexual, I am letting him run off a cliff without warning. If a person has an orientation toward dogs or sheep, that is not healthy and Christ-like. The problem is that statements are made as if they are just self evident when they are not.

            As to Theophobe being a term which would mean an unhealthy fear of God: first of all, I coined the term myself to make a point. “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” Luke 12:5. The problem today is that Christians are too involved in the world and have no fear of God at all and so do whatever they please.

            If I offended you because I said that you have not done your homework, that is truly regrettable, but what I have noticed is that when Christians now a days argue, they often do not even use scripture to make their points. Is it because they have not truly read it?

          • Wales P. Nematollahi

            I assumed you would know the Scriptures to which I was referring. I’,m a convert to Catholic Christianity from Protestant Christianity, so I prefer the New American bible, revised Edition (NABRE. However, everything I post here would read the same or very closely in the NIV, the NASB, and other translations. Oh, also, no, Pope Francis _did not_ condone homosexual activity.

            Mt 21:28-32:
            28 [Jesus said] “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
            29 He said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went.
            30 The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go.
            31 Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.
            32 When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.

            Mk 12:31-34:
            31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
            32 The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, ‘He is One and there is no other than he.’
            33 And ‘to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself’ is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
            34 And when Jesus saw that [he] answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

            Jas 2:8-9:
            8 However, if you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.
            9 But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

            See also Lv 19:18; Rom 13:9; and Gal 5:14.

            How is Driscoll following these and other verses?

          • Tikva

            Loving your neighbor as yourself, does not mean that you do not confront him. I would perhaps not use the same language as Mr. Driscoll, but then I know that my Lord called people hypocrites, and white washed tombs in Matthew 23:27 of the New American Bible. He called Herod “that fox,” in Luke 13:32 of the same version, which was a very derisive insult at the time. “The epithet “she-fox” is perhaps the bitterest and most contemptuous name ever given by the pitiful Master to any of the sons of men.” Matthew Henry. Some have even said that he was referring to a homosexual proclivity. Going on to Peter, said he in Acts 8:23 “For I see that you are filled with bitter gall and are in the bonds of iniquity.” And of course Elijah in the Old Testament laughed right in the faces of the priests of Baal. Elijah taunted them: “Call louder, for he is a god and may be meditating, or may have retired, or may be on a journey.” Some versions say that he was saying that Baal may have been on the potty. :)
            Anyway, that established, the concern is not how someone says something, but do they allow people to go off to hell without a warning. I rather like homosexual people. My sister in law used to be homosexual before she saw how injurious her lifestyle was, and my best friend in high school was a homosexual young man who was being seduced by a much older male. I am not particularly defending Mark Driscoll. I am however saying that defense of homosexuality is not a favor to homosexuals. In today’s culture all you have to do is say you don’t think it’s right and people will call you a homophobe and maybe you will lose your job. That is pretty bad politics.

          • Wales P. Nematollahi

            OK, so why not confront Driscoll as well? Two wrongs don’t make a right. Furthermore: (1) I never heard nor read before that Mt 23:27 and Lk 13:32 referred to homosexual proclivity, and I’ve been attending church for most of my life; (2) Once again, there’s a difference between homosexual attraction and homosexual behavior. I understood that all sexual activity outside of marriage was sinful.

            With respect to your last sentence: When Brandon Eich was forced out from Mozilla earlier this year for having contributed money to California Proposition 8 years ago, quite a few people came to his defense in the IT weblogs and said they were getting rid of all Mozilla software on their computers, _including many in support of same-sex marriage and many homosexuals_. Mozilla did themselves a lot of damage that is not undone.

          • Tikva

            What I said was that some have said that Jesus reference to Herod as a “she-fox” in Luke 13:32 may have alluded to his sexuality. I read that several years ago and cannot find the article. So you can take that or leave it. He was quite debased, and therefore it would not be unlikely. I also never said that if someone does not act on his attraction he is sinning. However, if one is heterosexual and has not chosen to be celibate, eventually he or she will probably act on his or her attraction. Jesus did say that even our fantasies of lust are sin, so thinking about sex with someone of the same sex is still homosexual sin. Homosexuality must be repented of. It must be seen as an evil or a person will eventually act on it because he is justifying it in his own mind. If someone is attracted to children sexually would you want them in a daycare center just because they had never acted on it?

            This is a very good article from a Catholic perspective. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2014/08/gender-confusion-and-abundant-living.html?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=standingonmyhead_080314UTC030842_daily&utm_content&spMailingID=46614330&spUserID=MTAxNTAzMTEzNDU0S0&spJobID=500352141&spReportId=NTAwMzUyMTQxS0

            The sexual attitudes that had their beginning in the 60′s are now bringing about a generation that has no foundation in what is normal sexual behavior. What do you think it will be like in another 50 years if even the Church does not speak out about this problem? Another good article from a more Protestant perspective. http://www.openthoumineeyes.com/Articles/ExposingSin.htm

            I am not a homophobe because I believe in holiness. I am not a “hater” because I uphold the standards that have prevailed for 1000′s of years. Homosexuality has always been seen as aberrant. It is only our generation that has made it a civil right to sin.

          • Wales P. Nematollahi

            I did not state that you were a homophobe. I was trying to delineate the difference between hating the sin and loving the sinner, and I believe the Mars Hill mentalist fails at that.

            Also, I have no argument with the Catholic and other (non-modernist) Christian position on this subject. Don’t get me wrong here. However, here is the problem from a Christian perspective, and it goes well beyond sexual activity outside of a heterosexual marriage: The modernist loves the sinner, but chooses to love the sin; The fundamentalist hates the sin, but chooses to hate the sinner. Neither is acceptable in true Christian life.

            I agree that the sexual attitudes became evident in the ’60s have continued to the self-indulgence we see today. I grew up in Berkeley, California in the ’50s and ’60s. However, I believe it started in the ’20s, and my mother, who was a social worker with a strong background in social history, agreed with me.

            FTR, attitudes toward homosexual behavior have varied over the thousands of years; for example, the ancient Greeks and the ancient Chinese (in one period) had little problem with it. I give less credence to what happens in the USA, since this country is very young and does not have the wold influence we often think it should. The “American century” is over effectively, and I don’t buy into the “America in prophecy” Reconstructionist Christian worldview.

            As for Driscoll: Compare his responses to those of, say, Billy Graham or Pope Francis. See the difference?

          • Tikva

            I think it is a vast generalization to say that “fundamentalist” Christians hate the sin and choose to hate the sinner. First of all, there is no homogenous group called fundamentalist Christians. Each person is unique. To judge fundamentalist conservative Christians by the likes of Westboro Baptist Church is to use the same prejudice that you apply to the group that you are judging. I could just as well say that by in large the conservative Christians that I am associated with are wonderful loving people who are committed to Christ in a sacrificial way. I have friends that ache for their gay children as they would ache for their drug addicted children.

          • Wales P. Nematollahi

            All fundamentalists share certain traits, as do all modernists. FOr example, U.S. fundamentalists almost always lash themselves to right-wing secular politics, just as U.S. modernists almost always lash themselves to left-wing secular politics. The results are two groups, one more right-wing Republican first and Christian second, the other more left-wing Democrat first and Christian second. Note that I am _not_ questioning anyone’s salvation here, although both fundamentalists and modernists tend to do so. I am questioning whether they use their faith as a yardstick for their politics or vice versa.

            Also, there is a difference between a fundamentalist and a theologically “conservative” Christian, just as there is a difference between a modernist and a theologically “liberal” Christian. Note that I never linked fundamentalist _Christians_ to the Westboro pseudo-Baptist cult. There are fundamentalist and modernist Christians, then there are fundamentalist and modernist followers of cults.

            I have no more respect for fundamentalism than I do for modernism, and neither does my Southern Baptist wife.

          • Tikva

            As for Driscoll. He’s just a man. Your faith and your church affiliation has to be based on more than a man. He has faults. Find the gold and throw away the dross.

          • Wales P. Nematollahi

            Yes, he is. However, you must admit that for many people that bumper sticker that says “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it” means, “My preacher said it, …”. One thing that bothered me when I was Protestant was that for a group of Christians that claim the priesthood of the believer, many grant more unquestionable authority to their pastors than almost all Catholics and Orthodox do their priests.

            A Southern Baptist I knew also pointed out that the problem with an independent church is that there is no body of doctrine, therefore, the pastor becomes the sole source of doctrine. (Please don’t tell me the Bible is the sole source of doctrine; if that were true, there would not be over 10,000 Protestant denominations and at least as many independent churches worldwide.) He went on, so I asked if the members of such churches consider their pastors more infallible than any Catholic ever did the Pope or any Orthodox ever did a Patriarch, and he said yes. Of course, we were generalizing, but the point was valid.

          • Tikva
  • Michael Sprague

    There is no content to the article, just an exhortation to pray, which is good, but it’s not enough.

    • Wales P. Nematollahi

      It does support the impression I already had that that Mark Driscoll has no business leading a church. What remedy do you suggest?

  • Tab Smith

    His mentor broke confidentiality and shared Driscoll’s past with you?

    • Wales P. Nematollahi

      Perhaps this information had already come out. If not, you’re right, it’s unethical on the face of it. However, I’d read odd things about Driscoll before.

  • Tab Smith

    I asked Rachel Held Evans to encourage her readers to pray for Driscoll. Her answer was essentially “No thanks but go on ahead.”

    I’m sad for both sides. It’s all around the worst kind of ugliness.

    • queenknitter

      Understand that there’s a difference in saying “We need to pray for him.” and “You need to encourage other people to pray for him.” And there’s no need for judging RHE for refusing your suggestion.

      Praying is not “our only response.” It just isn’t. It’s one among many, and holding him responsible (like defrocking him, perhaps?) is the first thing.

      • Tab Smith

        Praying is our first response. Always.

        • queenknitter

          Yes, yes. You can take the higher-spiritual-plane. Fine. You are clearly superior.

          My point is that we need to hold him responsible. Your judging RHE and all the rest is irrelevant. We need to hold Driscoll responsible.

          The tactic of “praying alone” lets his scumbaggery continue.

          And believe it or not, I’ve prayed before hitting “post.”

          • queenknitter

            And the tactic of “praying is our only response” feminizes the entire Church into just submitting to his masculine persona. You all realize that? It’s not different than Driscoll’s Calvinista friends saying that an abused woman just just stay and pray.

            No, no. Come now. We must act. We can act. Defrock Driscoll.

            Praying still. . . .

          • Tab Smith

            Didn’t say only. Said it was our first response.

          • queenknitter

            Correct. You did not. The original post, however, says it is “our only response.”

          • Frank2918

            Good grief get a life.

    • Anthony

      I was disappointed with RHE’s recent post on Driscoll, and, especially, the vitriol of the comments on the post. Didn’t Driscoll just in the last few months (I want to say March) announce that he intended to repent and change his ways, and isn’t he currently taking a leave of absence?

      Unless something happened recently that I missed, I feel like continuing to blast the man (for legitimate wrongs, don’t get me wrong) is like kicking him when he’s already down.

      • Paula Coyle

        He did not take a leave of absence from anything but social media. this was self imposed. It is not appropriate to the level of reformation that needs to take place in his heart and mind or the sins of which he is guilty. He needs to step down entirely and find another line of work. He is not fit to pastor.

        • Anthony

          I didn’t realize he was still working (I missed that the leave of absence was only for social media – which is astonishing).

          In that case, carry on….

  • queenknitter

    Too often those who abuse power manipulate us to feel sorry for them.

    We need to hold Mr. Driscoll responsible. Does that involve prayer? Well, sure. But the goal is to hold him responsible for his actions. That’s how this works.

  • Artistree

    The statement ” my theology changes every other week” can be either good or bad. On one hand if someone is on a faith journey and it’s just him and his Bible with no interpretive authority outside of himself and he’s wandering through various voices coming from this direction and that, then I suppose changing ones viewpoints every other week is normal and could be good. However, if one begins with the Faith Once Delivered and the Apostolic Tradition, and Prima-Scriptura, and then one diverts from that and changes his mind every couple of weeks, then I’d say that individual has no solid anchor and is danger of drifting into the illusions of modernism and decay. So I ask myself, who is my authority, what lens do I read Scripture through ? For example, we have the letters/epistles of men who were taught, approved, and ordained by the Apostles themselves. John taught and ordained both Polycarp and Ingatius, two of the more famous of the many John placed into ministry. These men were exposed to hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of personal instruction from John….so how does my theology compare with Polycarp or Ingatius. Or how does what I believe sit with Clement who was a companion of Paul and ordained by Peter ? If I start out holding to the Apostolic Tradition as passed down from the Apostles and then finding myself changing from week to week….I’m in big trouble, I suspect.

  • DC Rambler

    This is yet another case of shaping the faith to fit your prejudices, hang-ups, ego and personality. You cherry pick a few verses here and there that you can cram into your narrative and you deliver it to the willing masses with holy authority and in no time at all..Mega church !!! Cha- Ching !!

  • DC Rambler

    My take on these big-time pastors that fall from grace..I would 100 % think that they were sincere if they announced that they were going to serve God by moving to the inner city or some desolate place and spend their lives serving the least of these..I won’t hold my breath..

  • MKulnir

    “The same man who was typing these horrific statements 14 years ago is the same Mark Driscoll who currently pastors Mars Hill Church.”

    And the same man was also the pastor of Mars Hill Church when he wrote those horrific statements!

    • Pixie5

      Yes why was he hiding his identity?

  • spaul40

    Brandan, in your excellent missive regarding Mark Driscall, you have asked for your readers to pray for him and all who have been harmed by the Mars Hill Church. To me and I’m sure others, the act of prayer can only be understood as if one was reading a novel about people praying. To many of us, the concept of a god is foreign to us; therefore, the concept of prayer is meaningless. Should Mark Driscall ask for your help, my help, or others to make his actions more humane, compassionate, and desirous of correcting those attitudes that have harmed others, then yes, he should be supported in this endeavor. However, until that day happens, he deserves nothing but our scorn.

  • Tikva

    It is a shame that Christian pastors cannot speak their minds without being accused of being psychologically aberrant by those with whom they disagree. The things that are said on television every day are far more “vulgar” than anything that Driscoll has said. Pussificcation is certainly an interesting coinage of terms, but surely people can intelligently address the concept without their knickers getting too firmly in a twist.

    • Pixie5

      I don’t know if you read the actual statements but there is really nothing there to intelligently address. It is simply hate-filled ranting with no substance whatsoever. The rantings of a very troubled man who desperately needs mental treatment.
      I have to wonder about you as well, since you seem to think that kind of behavior is okay. It isn’t just the vulgarity that is the problem. In fact that is the least of it!

      • Tikva

        I make my point. Not only is Mr. Driscoll accused of mental problems, but so is anyone else who defends his right to speak. This IS America. And yes I did read his statements, some of which I disagreed with, but I see his point. American men have been put in a position of having to apologize for their masculinity. Feminists have destroyed much of our culture with their insistence on their right to be just like men. This is not a scientific fact. They are not just like men. They are equals before God, but they are not just like men. They have no right to kill their unborn children. They are not supposed to be sleeping around with anyone they meet at a bar. They should not be put into combat positions. They should not be put in the position of a bishop or pastor. And men are afraid to stand up and take leadership. When was the last time you heard a man get up and speak in tongues in church (if you happen to be Pentecostal)? Women have taken over and men are placed in a place of mockery.

        • Pixie5

          That is your opinion and you have a right to it. I happen to strongly disagree. But again, Driscoll has gone waaay beyond the stuff you are saying. Do you believe that a woman is sinning if she does not perform oral sex on her husband? Driscoll does!!! So a woman has to be completely submissive to the point of having no free will at all? Even if I believed the hogwash that a man has to be in charge of a woman, even the bible does not go as far as Driscol does. He is clearly an abusive men and does not deserve to be in a position of authority.

          Beyond that there is nothing wrong with a man who is sensitive to others. In fact that it a REQUIREMENT for any good person, and even more so more a man who claims to follow God. He implies that there is something pathological about it.

          The amount of hateful venom he spilled against women is PATHOLOGICAL though. And the fact that he had to HIDE his identity is sure telling. Why was he not brave enough to say this in the pulpit? You say it is a shame that Christian pastors can’t say what they want to their congregation, but he did not even have THE COURAGE to say it to their faces? This was HIS church and HIS comment board and yet he LIED on there!

          You seem to think that just because he and you believe in the Bible that I think both of you are mentally troubled. I did not say that. What I did say is that the BEHAVIOR and the rage is disturbing to the point of being pathological. He hates women. Period. There is simply no reason to be that angry and to say women have caused all the problems in the world, past and present. His behavior was and still is abusive.

          This is not the way Jesus treated women. In fact in an era where women were supposed to not carry on conversations with men, he actually treated them as equals. Remember Martha and Mary? The woman at the well? Can you see Jesus talking the way that Driscoll does?

          • Tikva

            I said that I disagree with some of what Mr. Driscoll believes, but I believe he has the right to say it, and if the people in his church don’t agree with him, they can vote with their feet, just find another church. But upon reading the original article it would appear that the main contention is that Driscoll disagrees with the lesbian/gay faction in the church and has hurt their feelings. That is just not to be apologized for. They want to have a Gay Pride demonstration out in front of the church and that is not at all appropriate.

          • Pixie5

            Yes there is a mention about gays in the article, but it is not clear to me that this has much to do with the stuff he wrote on the message board. Those are two different issues entirely.
            There is an implication here by the author but since it hasn’t been spelled out then I am not going to comment on that.

          • Paula Coyle

            You’ll have to read the whole thread. Most of the articles only have snippets. The whole thing is 140 pages long:


          • Tikva

            Nothing is really spelled out in the article, just that the author thinks that Driscoll is psychologically challenged because of his beliefs. It is really a very vague article meant to lead others who are not going to investigate further into not liking Driscoll.

          • Wales P. Nematollahi

            One can not call profanity-laced hatred true Christian preaching. Yes, under the First Amendment, he has a right to express his views. However, that _does not mean_ his attitude, or even his stated views, are Christ-like by default. There is a radical difference between disagreeing with same-sex activity and denigrating everyone who has a same-sex attraction. If Jesus had acted like that, he would never have gone near tax collectors and prostitutes, but would have been a Pharisee. Oops… did I just define Driscoll?

          • Tikva

            That would invalidate everything that Luther and Calvin had to say because they could be quite harsh at times. And I quote my Lord
            “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” Matthew 23:27 But read the whole chapter for how loving Jesus was when he disagreed with someone.

          • Tikva

            Jesus made a point to tell people to “sin no more.” Unrepentant sexual sin is not sinning no more.

          • Paula Coyle

            “I said that I disagree with some of what Mr. Driscoll believes, but I believe he has the right to say it, and if the people in his church don’t agree with him, they can vote with their feet, just find another church. ”

            They have been. But that assumes they can discern the false teaching. Basically they are beaten (mentally and spiritually) into believing this is right behavior, to submit to a domineering ungodly leader *in the church.* Some have been able to get up and leave and as a result their entire social network is removed from even talking to them. That’s not a small matter. It’s cultic, much like leaving the Mormon church or the JW’s. You make it sound so easy.

          • Tikva

            The Christian life is never easy. It is the Christian’s responsibility to know the Word of God him or herself and not follow heresy. Buy a Bible and be like the Bereans who were more noble than others who searched the scriptures for themselves. Acts 17:11 If you do not learn to do this you might end up like the followers of Jim Jones who started out as an Assembly of God pastor.

        • DC Rambler

          ” They are not supposed to to be sleeping around with anyone they meet at a bar .”..Umm..Does this rule apply to men ? I can tell by your zeal and confidence that you are the holder of the divine truths but let me ask you this..How many female church leaders have been caught in scandals like plagiarism, misuse of funds, drugs or the the big one S E X ? Sure, it has been the tradition in the past that men ran things but looking back on history it is nothing to brag about..

          • Tikva

            Of course it applies to men, and I am no one special. I simply own a copy of the Bible. Katherine Kuhlman In 1935, Kathryn met Burroughs Waltrip, a Texas evangelist who was eight years her senior. Shortly after his visit to Denver, Waltrip divorced his wife, left his family and moved to Mason City, Iowa, where he began a revival center called Radio Chapel. Kathryn and her friend and pianist Helen Gulliford came into town to help him raise funds for his ministry. It was shortly after their arrival that the romance between Burroughs and Kathryn became publicly known. Amy Semple McPherson. See: http://www.aimeemcpherson.com/kidnapping-and-scandals.html Martin Luther was a great swearer and in the end had a real hostility toward the Jews for not accepting the gospel as he had hoped. All of these people are simply human beings apt to sin. We act as if they should be sinless Saints which they are not. Listen to everything a person has to say and throw out the dross.

        • Paula Coyle

          I don’t have a problem with pastors speaking their minds but they are supposed to speak what is true. And that comes from Scripture. Anyone who questioned him in that thread simply got insulted and didn’t get much reasoning from Scripture as a response. Mark simply points to everyone else as the problem in the world. He’s doing the manly thing, the rest of you better get with it. When a pastor holds himself up as the example, there’s a problem. Jesus wasn’t a bully and didn’t berate people continually. He didn’t beat people up, instead he allowed himself to be beaten and killed. Why do you suppose we are considered sheep to be slaughtered, as he said?

        • teresaInPa

          Yes, every day I think about how hard men have it in this society, particularly straight white men. Poor dears.

          • Tikva

            No where in my statement did I say anything about straight white men. I also didn’t realize that we were talking at all about race here. We are talking about a problem in our society in which it has become a societal crime to defend masculinity as a good and honorable thing. In the past 50 years women have been put into a completely sexualized status. They think they have freedoms that they didn’t have before. What freedoms? to have one more abortion? To sleep with one more man? To get a bullet in the back because they have to prove they are just like a man? Our society is declining rapidly because we are not honoring women and we are not honoring men.

          • JosiahCox

            “No where in my statement did I say anything about straight white men. I also didn’t realize that we were talking at all about race here.”
            You may not have named it that way but straight white men run the church and have all of the privilege and that is exactly what we are talking about.

            This subject is not about an attack on masculinity, it’s about the attack on women. It’s about institutionalized misogyny. But I get it. You’d rather women stay lesser than because equality would just be too damn messy.


            the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

            Sounds real horrible to me, treating others like you want to be treated.

          • Tikva

            It would seem that you need to find another church experience. There are plenty of churches out there that treat women rather well. Go church shopping!

  • Pixie5

    I decided to slog through the rather horrifying and depressing 14 year comments and came across one, that well, tickled my funny bone. A perfect response to the jackass Driscoll who takes himself way too seriously:

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When my wife tries to show me how to do something, for example, I simply remind her that I Timothy 2:11-12 says that “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

    When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

    I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

    I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

    Lev. 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

    • Wales P. Nematollahi

      Slam dunk!

      • Tikva

        It would seem that you need to approach the scripture with a desire to understand the unusual rather than just a mocking attitude. This requires a great deal of study which many people do not want to attempt.

  • Tikva

    The basic direction of all of this is that everyone here should read your Bibles! If a teacher doesn’t follow the Word of God, confront him on that basis, and if need be leave the church and stop supporting the ministry. That is your responsibility. Stop going to churches based on how the music sounds and how big it all is. Go to a church because they preach the Word. Maybe a small Baptist Church would be better. But if you have a sexual sin problem, don’t blame the pastor, repent!

  • Olivia Mae

    Thank you Brendan for daring to lift our eyes up and soften or knees. Yes. I, for one will pray. For Mark Driscoll and for all those who have been deeply hurt.

    I had the thought recently- what if all of our energy, once facts have brought to light -is to pray. Powerful, humble, collective prayer. I don’t have a blog. So thank you. Thank you.

  • Justin

    Everyone should be concerned for and pray for Driscoll and all those he has negatively influenced or abused by his teachings. But follow the bread crumbs a bit. Driscoll didn’t pull these ideas out of thin air. He may have been susceptible to them as a younger man precisely because the neo-Reformed movement* is empowering to a certain kind of hyper-masculine, complementarian mindset – it is the wrong kind of empowering. The kind of empowering that upholds zero-sum power relationships, one that affirms strict hierarchies rather than leveling them. Who are some of his influences? If you can manage reading through the distorted, rambling misogyny of the posts he made as a younger man. . . you will see some names crop up. Doug Wilson. John Piper. Now are we surprised?

    I hasten to reiterate your statement, Brandan: Mark Driscoll is responsible for his own actions. I’m not suggesting he’s a victim of theology – he made choices on what voices he allowed to influence him, especially on the issue of gender and “gender roles.” But these neo-Reformed guys associate with him and, in some cases, mentor him. They distance themselves from his vulgarity and tone, but not his message. And his message is the thing that is abusive, not merely the tone. These are bad fruits and they are coming from some bad theology. They are absolutely not a *deviation* from this neo-Reformed complementarian theology – they are a product of it. This is important because I know what is going to happen: Driscoll is going to be thrown under the bus, a sacrificial offering to preserve the pristine reputation of the neo-Reformed movement. Well, this issue isn’t isolated to Mars Hill. And it won’t be the last of the abuses and problems produced by this theology, if we don’t recognize that there is a larger conflict going on.

    *Not all Reformed folks are of this camp – but enough of the leadership is to warrant concern.

  • Somebody

    There is a lot of problems with this article, I think.

    First, there is the trivalizing of mental health using what is pop-psychology (an aspect of stigma) and then there is the attempt to understand his poor choices by relating it back to mental health problems. Again, the stigma here is that mental problems explain negative choices.

    Second, after this stigma is used to explain, then there is an assumption that a lot of what it is to be Mark is due to his ‘issues’ (Oh, I dislike the word ‘issues’). No one here, I would assume, met Mark or knows him at all; and even if you did, you are in no way qualified to assume and worse to assume from prejudicial attitudes regarding metal health. In other words, stick to the theology and if you wish to correct poor choices, then do so in the spirit of charity and don’t explain it with assumptions and worse prejudice.

    Third, Mark is entitled to hold to what he believes to be constant regarding his faith. I am sure Mark intends by his theology Orthodox Christian belief regarding a triune God, incarnation, original sin (original sin being a fixation of Western Christianity) etc. Then there are other issues pertaining to his more specific Protestant brand of Christianity. He has made it clear (check his videos) that he is ecumenical about the latter beliefs, more so than other Calvinistic Evangelicals (he doesn’t even strictly subscribe to Calvinist ideas around free will). In my opinion, he is more ecumenical toward other Protestants and to a lesser extent Catholics + Eastern Orthodox, as long as they adhere to the ‘great councils’ (Nicene, Chalcedon etc.)

    Of course, Rob Bell et al. are viewed as heretical and you may wish to correct Mark regarding his judgemetn but also how he goes about condeming others.

    • Somebody

      OK, I’ve read the message board comments Driscoll wrote and it is pernicious, to say the least. Also, if he is referring to his misogynist views as something constant, that nothing changed in 14 years, than that is something very different to what I stated regarding theological views (I still think he is relatively ecumenical with that). In fact, he is excusing his misogyny with his reading of scripture, which he still does.

      Now saying that, I still hold to the problems in Brandan’s post relating to mental health prejudice and the dangers of assumption.

      • Somebody

        Let’s hope Driscoll changed his views regarding mental health too! There is a lot of horrible prejudices in his message board comments.

    • Wales P. Nematollahi

      First, claiming to follow orthodox Christian theology does not give one a free license to preach on a “p#$$ified nation”. I’d expect that from a drunken or high redneck, but not from a true preacher.

      Second, I dealt in another weblog (not this site) with someone who claimed to be a member of this church. He told me that he considered me to be unsaved because I’m a Catholic Christian (I grew up a Congregationalist (Free Church) Protestant Christian). He not only considered Catholics (and, by extension, Orthodox) to be unsaved, he also considered Calvinists to be unsaved because they were, in his eyes, closet Catholics!

      I’d like to know how this man knows my heart or the hearts of over 90% of Christians worldwide. (My wife is a Southern baptist ans she told a Pharisee that oh, yes, after 27 years of marriage, she’s certain I’m a Christian and saved.) ‘Threrfore, if this man really is a member of Mars Hill, either he isn’t paying attention at church or someone there is preaching a false gospel. Frankly, I lean toward the latter.

  • John

    Sorry, but phrases like “A man of incredible talent and anointing” just kills this whole thing. Anointed with what? How about if we are just honest – Mark has made a lot of bad decisions and has bad character.

  • Chuck

    The title of your blog implies that you’ve come to a conclusion, but the content makes you seem unsure. That is, you seem to affirm that you should love him, but you can’t resist going on at length about why it is so hard.

    The content of the post reads more like gossip to me than about a choice to love and forgive someone for whom Christ died.

  • choctaw_chris

    Many contributors here have picked up on various problems with this article, not least the assumption that the author has some insight into Mark’s issues. I’ve long since rejected the notion that we need to know the ins and outs of something in order to pray for it – that our own knowledge makes prayer more effective. That, in itself, verges on gnosticism. It also encourages gossip and gives us a sense of over-importance.

    In my own experience prayer can be a form of spiritual abuse. I would sleep easier knowing someone were praying for my destruction than they were praying over my critical spirit. That’s not a million miles from Voodoo dolls. If we are in judgement of Mark Driscoll (as opposed to being critical for the sake of the church) we should not be looking for reasons why we can overlook them. Our forgiveness and forbearance should be unconditional and we should be praying for him and his family regardless if we have any concern.

    Brendan makes the mistake of regarding his judgements more valid than that of MD. I believe the balance of truth swings in Brendan’s favour but we must be very wary of patronising a fellow believer. He can pray as he sees fit but am I the only one seeing a kangaroo court in session here? I always hated the ‘God bless everyone everywhere’ type of prayer but I hate more the ‘God, you know…’ prayer that we think can fix anything.

    The church is full of fixers continually asking God to change things and people. Its much more healthy to believe that God is at work in the hearts of men and women and rather than waiting for us to point out what needs fixing, wants our hearts to align with his and to seek his kingdom. Brendan may well be right in his observation and I don’t question his heart but the article presumes too much.