Janet Mefferd Removes Evidence Relating To Charges Of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll; Apologizes To Audience

Just a few minutes ago, in a stunning about face, Janet Mefferd disclosed that she removed from her website the interview with Mark Driscoll that prompted charges of plagiarism. She also removed all of the visual evidence of plagiarism and apologized to her audience for her conduct during the interview. Saying she should have gone to Tyndale House first, she expressed regret that the matter had become a controversy among Christians.

For most of the morning, observers on social media had noted that her blog was down and her twitter feed had been purged of references to the controversy.

In her brief announcement, Mefferd did not indicate what triggered the change of mind.

It strikes me that the horse is already out of the barn on this.

Ironically, her 4pm guest is slated to discuss Christian celebrity culture.

Ms. Mefferd’s full statement as heard on her December 4 broadcast (2nd hour from 5:29-6:28) is as follows:

Before we go to break, I just want to say something really, really quickly to you. A few weeks ago, as many people know, I conducted an interview with pastor Mark Driscoll. And I received lots of feedback on that interview, both positive and negative, but I feel now that in retrospect, I should have conducted myself in a better way. I now realize the interview should not have occurred at all. I should have contacted Tyndale House directly to alert them to the plagiarism issue. And I never should have brought it to the attention of listeners publicly. So I would like to apologize to all of you and to Mark Driscoll for how I behaved. I am sorry.

Unfortunately, I didn’t anticipate that the story would go viral online the way it did and creating such dissension with the Christian community was never my aim. And so in an effort to right things as best as I can, I have now removed all of the materials related to the interview off my website, and also off my social media.

See also:

On The Allegations Of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll (12/2/13)

Zombies, Plagiarism And Mark Driscoll Helped Me Write This Blog Post (12/3/13)

Mark Driscoll And His Church On Plagiarism (12/4/13)

Mark Driscoll Accused Of Plagiarism By Radio Host (Religion News Service)

More Allegations Of Plagiarism Surface Against Mark Driscoll (Religion News Service)

  • http://www.spiritualsoundingboard.com Julie Anne

    As someone who was sued by my former pastor, Chuck O’Neal, for $500,000 in a defamation lawsuit for speaking out about spiritual abuse, I must say that I’m getting a creepy feeling that she is being pressured by “outside sources” to remain silent. People may not like what she said, but if she is calling out the truth as she see it as a journalist, she has the right to publish it.

    Send me the documents, Janet, I’ll post them on my blog. My former pastor had to pay approximately $60K to cover our attorney fees when he lost the case. I’m not afraid of Driscoll or any other “Christian” bullies who try to silence bearers of truth.

    • http://wornpages.org/ Jules LaPierre

      One would have to be blind, deaf and dumb to not deduce that Mrs. Mefferd was pressured into making that “apology”.

      • That One Guy

        or, could it be, ladies, that she did what she thought was right? Couldn’t that also be an option? Not everything’s a scandal.

        Plus, Pastor Mark is in an even more sensitive spot WITH the apology because of what he normally does.

        • Warren Throckmorton

          I certainly won’t quarrel with her over an apology. She must do what she believes is right. However, the information is out there and the publishers of the copied material will either step up and protect their authors’ interests or they won’t. We’ll be watching.

      • César Restrepo

        Ok, maybe I’m blind, deaf and dumb, but I think she did the right thing by apologizing for the ambush she did on Driscoll, even though he did wrong. There are more Christian ways to do things instead of embarrassing him on public radio. She has regained my respect now. I think she’s a woman of integrity and did not do this because of the pressure but because of her conscience.

      • Simple Man

        If it is a fake apology she is sinning by lying to us all.

        • Huskersuck

          it’s not a fake apology. She apologized to her audience and for Tyndale. She was correct in confronting Driscoll about his plagiarism.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            Apparently, she says she was not correct. I think you just have an ax to grind.

          • Oswald Carnes

            You must be getting paid by Driscoll. Or you’re his boyfriend.

          • Guest

            You spew false accusations in violation of the 9th commandment (Ex. 20:16) and make vile innuendo. If you imagine that a true Christian writes the kinds of things you do, you are gravely mistaken. You need to examine your heart as to whether you are really in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5) or are you just a self-deceived religious hypocrite.

            And for the others here prowling for something to nail Driscoll with, Oswald is only more brilliantly showing what kind spirit you are of.

          • Adam Cummings

            Geez John. You don’t take a breather on these Mark Driscoll sites, do you? Mark Driscoll, the same guy that kicked out several leaders of his church in a coup like fashion? I agree with Warren above. I’m not against her apologizing if she felt she handled it badly. But evidence is evidence. Why is everyone silent about this plagiarism? Word for word. The text was played with and slightly adjusted. The commentary was not cited but the sources the commentary cited were, in fact, cited. I mean, really? I understand, John, that it can be hard to accept a leader we look up to so much needing to step down. But, even with the men I love, I would hope I would do the right thing and encourage them to step down if they are in ongoing sin. I would not keep defending them and claiming the Holy Spirit as being on my side.

          • Guest

            You’re assuming it’s not a mistake. And you absurdly say, here of all places!, that people are being silent about plagiarism. That’s not serious.

            The “publication” in quesion is apparently, little more than an internal study-guide. Many churches produce these kinds of documents, for Sunday School or small groups, and probably many of them also inadvertently fail to have proper citation for their sources. Mars Hill simply has the resources to put out it’s documents to the standards of professional publishing. That you (and others) are salivating over making this into some kind of great moral issue is evidence that you (and the others) have a great moral issue in yourselves you need to start dealing with.

      • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

        Perhaps she was “pressured” by the Holy Spirit to do the Christian thing.

    • TigandTag

      It could be her boss as well. Her interview with Driscoll was not one of her brightest moments. Salem Radio may be the “bully” here.

      • http://beingperfectlyhuman.blogspot.com/ Eric Fry

        Salem Radio gets a lot of ad money from extremely conservative evangelical sources. Big money doesn’t like to buy barbecue made from their sacred cows.

        • TigandTag

          That’s funny, Eric! I think she’s a good journalist who made a mistake. The topic is very important. Maybe she can approach it from a different direction and avoid being “Bashired”, if you know what I mean.

        • Nelson

          I think Eric got it right. I didn’t think of that possibility – advertiser pressure. I hope Ms. Mefferd recovers from all of this OK.

    • Dan Phillips

      (This was wrongly posted as reply to Julie Ann; moving it)

      (…and now my reply has vanished. So, go figure)

      • Warren Throckmorton

        Not my doing Dan, not sure what happened to it.

    • http://whatfoodisfor.wordpress.com/ RStarke

      Julie, don’t let your own past experience cloud your discernment in applying 1 Cor 13 to this situation. Unless there is verifiable, irrefutable evidence that your speculation is true, it’s uncharitable.

      • http://www.spiritualsoundingboard.com Julie Anne

        Yea, let’s talk 1 Cor 13. What Janet did was love. She exposed a pastor who preaches one thing and does another. Her concern was for the Saints and for the reputation of Christ.

        1 Corinthians 13 is not about turning a blind eye to bullies, rstarke. I named no names – just shared what I know to be a pattern that bullies use. Being uncharitable is ignoring this situation.

        • Guest

          You don’t have any evidence that Driscoll “preaches one thing and does another.” You are assuming he is guilty. 1 Tim. 5:19 says that elders are not to be treated like that.

          As for what Mefferd did,, it’s not appropriate to play “gotcha” like that among Christians. It would be like some disgruntled agitator going on the internet and posting all kinds of baseless accusations rather than following what the Lord Jesus told us about how to handle perceived sins (Matthew 18:16ff). According to the Word of God, pastors are to be given MORE benefit of the doubt not less. See, 1 Timothy 5:19.

          • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

            He preaches against plagiarism; he plagiarized. QED. Also, more than two witnesses agree to that fact!

          • Guest

            You’re assuming it wasn’t a mistake. And, no witnesses have looked into it and proven that Driscoll personally copied the material and intentionally with-held the citation so he could get the glory of looking like a great Bible scholar.

          • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

            Any college freshman knows they would receive a failing grade or worse for that kind of “mistake.” See the quote on Driscoll’s own webpage defining plagiarism here: “If you don’t cite him, you are plagiarizing.” Again, QED, regardless of his motives.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            There is a difference between doing something on purpose and doing it by mistake. That you want to ignore that and condemn Driscoll suggests problems in YOUR heart. I suggest those problems are a far more serious issue than this silliness.

            The “publication” in quesion is apparently, little more than an internal study-guide. Many churches produce these kinds of documents, for Sunday School or small groups, and probably many of them also inadvertently fail to have proper citation for their sources. Mars Hill simply has the resources to put out it’s documents to the standards of professional publishing. That you (and others) are salivating over making this into some kind of great moral issue is evidence that you (and the others) have a great moral issue in yourselves you need to start dealing with.

          • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

            Driscoll’s own definition of plagiarism doesn’t mention motive or scope of the publication. At minimum this makes him a hypocrite, and makes you willfully ignorant.

            As for your false accusations, I refer you to your very own words above. Ninth commandment! And I don’t suppose you have two or more witnesses supporting this “great moral issue”? I may use this next time I need a sermon illustration about double standards.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            Sorry, making a mistake does not make one a “hypocrite.” Claiming to be interested in holding Christians to a Biblical standard and then willfully refusing to abide by what the Bible says in 1 Tim. 5:19 and Exodus 20:16, as you appear to be doing, however, would.

            You’re assuming it wasn’t a mistake. That’s wrong. If you won’t repent of your slanderous assumptions, then you need to step down from being a pastor, if you are one, because you are not “above reproach”. You also need to examine yourself as to whether you are really “in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). Believe it or not, you don’t get to assume the worst, without any evidence, jump to conclusions and then condemn people.

            Frankly, I’m disgusted with frauds like you.

          • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

            In your case, I am in fact strictly abiding by what the Bible says in Titus 3:10, which means our conversation is at an end.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            So, you come here, leveling false accusations, completely unable to prove your attacks against a pastor which you made in total violation of 1 Timothy 5:19 and the 9th commandment, and it’s me who is “divisive”? That’s absurd. You’re a fraud who needs to repent.

          • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

            I’m glad that Driscoll has people like you to defend him. Good day.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            You said above our conversation was over. And then you broke your word and continued to comment. Are you a person of integrity? Or do you commonly condemn others based on assumptions and second-hand information? And then say you’re going to do one thing but do another?

          • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

            LOL. “Good day” means “Goodbye.” I guess that’s what I get for trying to be polite.

            To the other readers here: Don’t Feed the Troll.

          • http://wornpages.org/ Jules LaPierre

            Mr. Carpenter bears all the characteristics of a troll…or someone on Driscoll’s payroll.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            Baloney. You simply have a craving to tear down pastors and you hate being reminded of the Word of God which would tell you differently if you’d listen to it.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            You said (4 hours previous to this) that our conversation was over. And yet you kept commenting. You lied. And then you want us to believe that you’re really righteously grieved by plagiarism? Get serious.

          • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

            Obvious Troll is obvious.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            Again, you said (4.5 hours previous to this) that our conversation was over but you kept commenting. You lied. Meanwhile, from you’re point of vied, you’re doing exactly what you are telling others not to do. Given that, it appears implausible that you really have an ethical problem with plagiarism. Something else is motivating you.

          • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

            Oh for goodness sake. Do you have any idea how ridiculous you’re making yourself look? As I explained, as any English speaker knows, “Good day” does not continue a conversation but ends it. Anyway, I never said “I will stop commenting,” just that there was not any good reason to continue the conversation.

            Since after all that you still insist on baiting me, I will add one thing. You think I’m guilty of the sin of lying? Well then by your own standards as you incessantly explained them in this thread, you should have confronted me privately–according to Matthew 18:16ff. Instead you accused me in a public forum. According to your views, you further refused to abide by what the Bible says in 1 Tim. 5:19 and Exodus 20:16, entertaining the accusation without so much as one other witness collaborating it. In other words–You just did exactly what you have been so furiously telling everyone else not to do all day.

            Given that, it is impossible that your concern is what you say it is. Your behavior proves you to be a hypocrite, a liar, a contentious man, and a false teacher. You are condemned by your own words. If you behave that way to someone you perceive to be sinning, then you have no grounds to condemn anyone else for behaving that way to Mark Driscoll. Now go away.

          • Janet

            John, I would love to share details with you about my excommunication from a neo-reformed, 9 Marks-adoring, Mark Driscoll-fawning, EFCA Church. If I had not been in the crosshairs of their weapon, I never would have believed the degree of bullying, deceit, and above all, cowardice displayed by these self-proclaimed “leaders”. They truly are becoming just like their media mentors. And on the contrary, pastors are to be given NO wiggle room when caught in sin…but then ask any of us who have been their victims and I think you will find an amazing, calculated, lack of witnesses and no paper trail. Evil loves darkness.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            Sounds like you need to seek reconciliation with your church. According to the Word of God (1 Tim. 5:19), the benefit of the doubt goes with them, not you.

          • http://www.spiritualsoundingboard.com Julie Anne

            Can you please expound on that thought, John: “the benefit of the doubt goes with them, not you.”

            I can’t wait to read it.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            I sense sarcasm in the last sentence.

            1 Timothy 5:19 says that we are not to even “accept” an accusation against an elder unless it’s supported by multiple witnesses. It’s not only about acting on the accusations but even simply accepting them. It’s referring to a matter of church discipline. In Mt. 18:16ff, one person can initiate an act of church discipline but in 1 Tim. 5:19, it takes multiple witnesses to initiate against an elder — because they are more vulnerable to false accusations.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            John Calvin declared that elders are often the targets of baseless rumors because “Satan makes most people, in fact nearly everyone, over credulous so that without investigation, they eagerly condemn their pastors whose good name they ought to be defending.” In other words,
            there is a weakness to believe the worst in our leaders. We must be aware of this weakness and struggle against it. In fact, the more diligent an elder is about leading the church and trying to help believers grow, the greater the risk of suffering from false accusations. Leaders who are willing to confront problems head on and change the status quo, to discipline us, to tell us what the Bible says even when it is unpleasant, — such a pastor will often be grumbled against. The inspired apostle in 1 Timothy 5:19 tells us to put down such insidious attacks on the leadership.

          • E. Stephen Burnett

            1 Tim. 5:19 says that elders are not to be treated like that.

            Doesn’t work or apply, brother. Driscoll operates in two capacities: a local-church elder, and a Christian leader to many, many churches — the broader Christian community. He is therefore quite open to criticism on that latter level. One cannot teach and act outside local-church “parameters” and then when tagged with something immediately run back, touch the local-church “base,” and expect suddenly to be protected by local-church “rules.”

          • Guest

            That’s all nonsense. You’re trying to avoid following the Bible. The rebels don’t like anything — including the Word of God — to get between them and the pastor they want to smear.

          • E. Stephen Burnett

            Blast it, John, you got me. That’s exactly what my motive is. In fact, this morning I woke up, chucked on a black cape and black bowler hat, and skulked out the door, moo-hoo-hoo-ha-haing and muttering, “You know what I’d like to do today? Avoid following the Bible. Also, smear a pastor.” As a sign of penance for this sin, would you like to know the location of my hidden rebel base?

          • E. Stephen Burnett

            Or …

            1. Which part of what I said, exactly, is nonsense?

            2. Which part is an attempt to avoid following Scripture?

            3. In this fun little exchange, which one of us has actually ducked the other’s references to specific passages?

            4. Did the Holy Spirit tell you I’m an authority-hating rebel?

            Related:

            5. Is there even any possibility of a good Christian critiquing a leader you like, and this not being because he/she is a rebel who has “authority issues”?

            6. If a Christian authority does wrong, before the eyes of a watching world and other Christians outside his church, how should other Christians respond? Close ranks? Blast accusations? Risk covering up/enabling sin?

            Specific numbered answers please. And without the exact kinds of ad hominem slurs you expect others to avoid against a pastor, but which you’ve gladly hurled at anyone who is not a favored pastor (in violation of the Biblical equality and preciousness of all believers, even disagreeable ones, and not just Dear Christian Leaders.)

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            1. It’s nonsense that 1 Timothy 5:19 (one of the most ignored scriptures in the American church, perhaps second to Hebrew 13:17) doesn’t apply. 1 Timothy 5:19 does apply. Don’t “accept” an accusation against an elder unless it’s substantiated by multiple witnesses. So far, all we have is evidence of a lack of citation.

            2. see above.

            3. you. I don’t see that above you’ve even referred to any scripture. All that you’ve done is to say why we don’t need to follow it.

            4. Your actions suggest you are an authority-hating rebel. You’re rebelling against what the Bible says so that you can smear an authority. The only logical motivation for that is hatred.

            5. Yes.

            6. Carefully but eventually toward church discipline, if possible. That’s why it’s better for leaders like Driscoll were in some kind of extra-local accountability relationships (like a denomination).

            The main issue this brings up — because, face it, it’s only two brief paragraphs in what is little more than an internal study guide — is the tendency of many (mostly white) American evangelicals to use any perceived problem as an excuse to attack. It’s the individualist, hatred of authority.

            John Calvin declared that elders are often the targets of baseless rumors because “Satan makes most people, in fact nearly everyone, over credulous so that without investigation, they eagerly condemn their pastors whose good name they ought to be defending.”

          • E. Stephen Burnett

            “1 Timothy 5:19 does apply.”

            Ipso facto statement is not persuasive. To whom was it written? All Christians ever in the entire capital-C Church world? Or other elders within that local church? What’s an “accusation” here if not something that could disqualify a leader from ministry? If I say that Joel Osteen is a false teacher and a poltroon, must I first approach the leaders of his “church”? Even more relevant: if John Piper says something bizarre or gets a verse wrong (every good teacher will do this), is it contra 1 Tim 5:19 to point it out?

            2. The question was about my rebuttal to your assertions that somehow, only in the case of Blog Commentators Vs. Driscoll, we must be constricted to “following Matt. 18,” a point you were very glad to make publicly and with calls for repentance (I think), without first approaching each individual blog commentator in the style of Matt. 18. :-P

            3. I held your inconsistent expectations to the actual standard of Matt. 18, which refers to personal, individual offenses that shoudl be handled according to a process. It does not relate to disagreements over teaching that church leaders publicly present. (Otherwise, Paul is in trouble in Gal. 2 for opposing Peter to his face in front of everyone.) That is my micro-exegesis of Matt. 18, in case it was uncertain before. Once again, what say you?

            4. You need to get out more. Sometimes people oppose others’ actions of views — why, even pastors — because they have sincere motivations. To jump immediately to decrying everyone’s motives for this does absolutely no benefit to your case, or to Driscoll’s, or to the discernment shown by his fans or Acts 29 devotees.

            5. Thank you. What do you think that would look like? Is it even possible for someone to critique Driscoll, specifically, for a perceived wrong, for good reasons?

            6. I agree. But church discipline is only in the case of persistent, unrepentant sin. It also only applies to members of the specific church, which I (and I would presume you?) are not, in this case. If someone outside the church, or enough voices, were to say, “Enough is enough” about one church member’s or leader’s public errors, I would hope the member/leader would think to reevaluate and repent before discipline must be planned.

            “That’s why it’s better for leaders like Driscoll were in some kind of extra-local accountability relationships (like a denomination).”

            Agreed. But I think Acts 29 quickly becomes its own denomination. That’s what it looks like from here, anyway.

            “It’s the individualist, hatred of authority.”

            Yes, it could be. But it could also be legitimate criticism designed to prevent the leader(s), and the faith itself, to be seen as a laughingstock to outsiders. And to warn the repeat offender to repent, or at least address the issue. There are other potential sins that we can commit than disrespect for authority. If Driscoll, et. al, are not aware of them, they are doomed to repeat them themselves, or else enabled them. Such sins recently brought down another evangelical leader, Doug Phillips of Vision Forum. He spent his life teaching against “rebellion” and lack of authority, and now must repent of at least one extra-marital relationship and other scandals coming to light.

            My encouragement — I hope not vainly trying to see you as more than a troll — is to think the best of even those who critique Christian leaders, who seem to you to hate all authority, and even those who use nasty rhetoric. By doing this yourself you become like them, and don’t well help others consider another side (such as the chance of unintentional plagiarism, or plagiarism by a ghostwriter). This also fails to show the same “assume the best about a brother” principle you advocate toward only Driscoll.

          • Guest

            Apparently you don’t take scripture or morality very seriously. In that case, why don’t you cease trying to pose as morally superior to a pastor who perhaps the worst thing he did is forget to put in a proper citation in what is little more than an internal study guide?
            But I guess that would rob you of all the pleasure of smearing pastors.

          • E. Stephen Burnett

            Don’t let’s go verse-hopping, man. Engage my argument about your incorrect use of Matt. 18 versus public, out-loud correction of a Christian leader. Meanwhile, sorry, 1 Tim. 5:19 only applies if the accusation against an elder is one from a local-church member that could lead to him being disbarred from ministry. I haven’t made that claim. I haven’t seen anyone else here make it.

            Again, the specific charge is: “Driscoll, or someone in his charge, has ended up duplicating another’s material and claimed it’s his own. What’s he gonna do about it?”

            Evidently what he does, judging from your conduct, is the very manly action of incidentally enabling the sending out of his folks to act like stooges on blogs and holler at even sincere questioners as disobedient gone-rogue authority-issue-afflicted pastor-hating God-haters. I see no one, no one, go to bat like that for any other Christian leader except for the ones who veer toward authoritarianism. You are not doing anything — anything — to bolster the case for Driscoll’s ministry or all of the Acts 29 network. My view of them is even lower than it was before. “Impressive.”

            Other charges have involved Driscoll’s claims to get mystical “visions” from the Holy Ghost that show other people fornicating, or whether he was telling the truth about another ministry’s staff supposedly “confiscating” his books. One can raise this issue of (at best) persistent carelessness with truth without raising the kind of “charge against an elder” you wish to avoid.

            By the way, if you wish to verse-hop, I suggest hopping forward one verse in 1 Tim. 5, to no. 20: “As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that
            the rest may stand in fear.” If you consider the folks here, including myself, little more than automatic members of Driscoll’s church — with him as de facto “elder” over us all
            — then you’ll not have a problem with me being a very good member of Driscoll’s much-larger-than-expected church and rebuking those who are persisting in sin. :-P

            My arguments still stand about your (well-meant, I am sure) misuse of Matt. 18 to apply to issues of public teaching, not personal reconciliation. It’s a frequent argument people attempt when Christian leaders get criticized, but it’s an abjectly fallacious argument. Note again that by continuing to participate in this exchange, you continue to confirm that you actually do agree that public false teachings should be called out publicly. I’m glad that we actually do agree on at least this one idea!

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            You don’t get to ignore 1 Tim. 5:19 and then follow 1 Tim. 5:20.

          • E. Stephen Burnett

            And if I were actually “ignoring” 1 Tim. 5:19, rather than attempting to put it into context and show that it applies to other local church elders bringing a “charge” in a local-church setting — rather than only pointing out a leader’s possible wrongful action or wrong teaching — that rebuttal would actually apply to me. :-P But see below for a longer response to you that might actually help us get somewhere.

      • http://wornpages.org/ Jules LaPierre

        Someone needs to drop the pious finger-wagging routine.

        • Guest

          I guess you don’t want any of those Biblical commands getting in the way of your fun of condemning pastors.

          • http://wornpages.org/ Jules LaPierre

            Mark Driscoll stands self-condemned.

          • Guest

            Oh really. I didn’t know that. Please quote him condemning himself.

            Of course, what you really mean is that you condemn him, in violation of assorted scriptures which I would bother to quote but I don’t think you care about them, and so you read your condemnation into him. You interpret what you want to get the condemnation you want. In that case, you need to think seriously about whether you’re really a Christian (2 Cor. 13:5).

          • http://wornpages.org/ Jules LaPierre

            It’s quite simple, John. There is clear, empirical evidence of his plagiarism, which is theft. His condemnation is a matter of public record.

          • Guest

            You’re assuming that it wasn’t a mistake.

            It’s quite simple. There is clear, empirical evidence of your condemning false judgments, your violations of 1 Timothy 5:19 and Matthew 7:1.

  • David Pitman

    We need a scholar to look into this matter. ;) You know some folk at Thomas Nelson, right?

    • Warren Throckmorton

      Actually, I don’t know many people at Thomas Nelson; they took action after reading our book but we did not approach them or have contact with them before they removed Barton’s book.

      I think the action is with the publisher of those books. Will they protect their authors or not?

      • David Pitman

        You did not contact Thomas Nelson before you published your book?

        • Warren Throckmorton

          I contacted Mr, Barton privately months before the book came out with no contact back.

          RE: Thomas Nelson, we requested an advance copy of the book which they supplied.

  • E. Stephen Burnett

    Only Mefferd can know her own heart and motivations. If she has
    apologized for what she professes to have been wrong, folks should not
    question it. At the same time, the proof of plagiarism — however
    unintentioned and by whichover likely ghostwriters — was quite
    conclusive. Regardless of Mefferd’s acts, results, or whoever yelled the
    loudest at anyone, Driscoll and/or Tyndale and/or Mars Hill’s staff still have
    some ‘splainin’ to do. Until that occurs, suspicions remain warranted.

    • CanIbeFrank

      I totally agree. There’s something more here, that’s for sure.

  • That One Guy

    Anyone claiming Janet backed down b/c of bullying/pressure: you realize that you’re speaking very low of her, don’t you? I don’t know her well enough, but if she’s got the guts to confront someone like she did Driscoll – even though she has apologized since – she seems to be a woman who has the guts to stick by it if she was in the right. I may not agree that an apology was warranted, but I’m not going to demean her character by saying she caved to any sort of bullying. Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt.

    • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

      Yes, let’s give her the benefit of the doubt, the very thing that so many don’t want to give to Driscoll and which the Bible commands that we do give to elders (1 Tim. 5:19).

      • That One Guy

        If I recall, elders are supposed to be above reproach, and Driscoll left that building some time ago.

        • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

          And unless you can actually substantiate that charge with real evidence of him having violated real instructions of scripture, then YOU have violated the 9th commandment (Ex. 20:16) by bearing false witness. If you profess to be a Christian, then you need to examine yourself as to whether you are really in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5).
          Believe it or not, your accusations actually have to be true.

          • That One Guy

            Lewd visions of his own members and calling them gifts of the Holy Spirit. affirming a prosperity preaching modalist as a fellow laborer in Christ – neither of which he’s repented of – are two examples.

          • Guest

            I’ll take that as evidence that you have no Biblical basis for your accusation against Driscoll. Therefore, you need to repent of breaking the 9th commandment (Ex. 20:16). If you won’t do so, then you need to examine yourself as to whether you’re really a Christian or just a religious hypocrite (2 Cor. 13:5).

            It’s your interpretation that the purported visions are “lewd”. You don’t have any scriptural basis to claim that what Driscoll claims is not possible and cannot be a spiritual gift. Therefore, you are simply judging him based on your own opinion and breaking the command of the Lord Jesus (Mt. 7:1).

            D. A. Carson also thought Jake’s confession was sufficiently Trinitarian.

            If you are a pastor, then you are not above reproach, as an (as yet) unrepentant slanderer. So you need to step down and stop posting.

          • That One Guy

            For a man who asks for grace toward Mark Driscoll, you sure are quick to turn that sword around! I think I will stop posting with you, if only for the sake of your blood pressure. Grace to you.

          • Guest

            There’s no repentance there for your false accusations. Driscoll hasn’t broken the 9th commandment (Ex. 20:16) (as far as I know) as you just have. You need to repent of bearing false witness. If you won’t do so, then you need to examine yourself as to whether you’re really a Christian or just a religious hypocrite (2 Cor. 13:5).

  • http://whatfoodisfor.wordpress.com/ RStarke

    It takes a very brave woman to apologize for even a small part in such a large mess. Inasmuch as she violated commonly accepted journalistic principles (not to mention common courtesy), her willingness to own that piece and do what she can to make it right is really commendable. Now to see what the *other* perpetrators of this latest mess do.

    • Warren Throckmorton

      I’m curious, what journalistic principles do you think she violated?

    • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

      You’re right. It sounds like she got caught up in a worldly pattern of journalism. I’m not sure what journalistic principles she violated by worldly standards, but what she did doesn’t appear Biblical. It’s not appropriate to play “gotcha” like that among Christians. The Lord Jesus gave us a pattern of how to handle perceived sins (Matthew 18:16ff) that we’re to try to follow. And 1 Timothy 5:19 tells us not to accept an accusation against an elder unless there are multiple witnesses.

      • E. Stephen Burnett

        The Lord Jesus gave us a pattern of how to handle perceived sins (Matthew 18:16ff)

        Ah, the old Matt. 18 appeal trick. Works every time (unless it’s called out). But here it doesn’t apply. As with the attempted switcheroo between teaching/acting outside the local church, then expecting to be treated only according to local-church-elder rules (noted above), the Matt. 18 switcheroo suddenly assumes that public teaching or public actoins must only be challenged privately. Of course, you’re quite glad to “violate” this supposed standard in order to challenge such public violators publicly. Why not apply the same standard and approach Warren Throckmorton privately “per Matt. 18″? The answer is that you believe public error that goes beyond a simpler personal offense should be corrected publicly. The same is true of those who critique Driscoll, or any other public evangelical leader. So let’s not suddenly switch standards only regarding certain leaders.

        • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

          Asking people to obey the Lord Jesus isn’t a “trick”. I’m sorry that you apparently think it is.

          In the case of Driscoll, it could have only of been a mistake that they forgot to put the citation in what was little more than an internal study guide. If the proper procedure would have been followed by Mefferd or others, that could have been ascertained, as apparently even she now realizes.

          In the case of the hypocrites and frauds salivating at the chance to attack a pastor, there isn’t any doubt about their sinfulness. The 9th commandment, Matthew 7:1, 1 Tim. 5:19 are there for a reason and not for ignoring simply because you may have issues with authority.

  • Mark

    The visual evidence is already out there, apology or no apology. You don’t have to apologize Janet Mefford. Your evidence speaks for itself. So even if you apologized to your audience many of your audience know the real story.

    • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

      We know that she ambushed a pastor on live radio for putting out what is little more than an internal Bible study guide lacking proper citation for two short paragraphs.
      And your post and fascination with this may apparently be evidence of something much more serious.

      • Warren Throckmorton

        John: The study guide as you call it is for sale online and it was self-published by Mars Hill. It is available to the public and by Driscoll’s own standards, it was wrong to cite without citation.

        Regarding fascination, I believe in your many comments here you may have spent as much time here as I have.

        • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

          It is still, apparently, little more than an internal study-guide. Many churches produce these kinds of documents and probably many of them also inadvertently fail to have proper citation for their sources. Mars Hill simply has the resources to put out it’s documents to the standards of professional publishing.

          My fascination is with the religious hypocrisy, the worldly distrust of authority (contrary to the Word of God, 1 Tim. 5:19, Heb. 13:17), the scandal mongering, and, in particular, the visceral hatred many “Christians” apparently have for Driscoll, even though he is a theologically orthodox and, as yet, morally above reproach, effective Christian leader. Those are important issues to issues to deal with. Two paragraphs without proper citation in a self-published study guide, isn’t.

          • http://wornpages.org/ Jules LaPierre

            John Carpenter…you could not be more uninformed and dull if you had to be.

          • Guest

            You spew insults. You need to deal with why you are so eager to condemn pastors.

          • Guest

            And name one statement in my post that is “uninformed”?

            Are you informed that the publication in question is little more than an internal study-guide?

            Are you informed that many churches produce these kinds of documents and probably many of them also inadvertently fail to have proper citation for their sources.

            Are you informed that Mars Hill simply has the resources to put out it’s documents to the standards of professional publishing.

            Are you informed that Ms. Mefferd has retracted her accusations and apologized?

            Are you informed that the Word of God says not to accept an accusation against an elder unless it is attested by two or more witnesses (1 Tim. 5:19)

            Are you informed that when you make an accusation, it actually has to be true? Otherwise, you are breaking the 9th commandment (Ex. 20:16).

            Are you informed that you spew baseless insults because you don’t follow the command to love others?

            Are you informed that if you can’t love Christians, then you don’t love God?

          • ken

            “And name one statement in my post that is “uninformed”?’

            “Two paragraphs without proper citation in a self-published study guide, isn’t.”

            It was more than 2 paragraphs. Warren only focused on the most obvious examples, Mefferd cited more examples than just those 2 paragraphs.

          • Guest

            Baloney. Let’s see the proof that it was more than 2 paragraphs. (The stuff derived from Jones is not plagiarism.) Evidence. Beware: if you make a false accusation it is worse than plagiarism. There is actually a commandment against it.

  • Huskersuck

    I don’t think she apologized to Mark, nor should she. She should have apologized to Tyndale for airing their names, etc.

    Mark still committed plagiarism. Evidence of this plagiarism will be available through many other sources.

    • Guest

      You were wrong. She did apologize to him and she should have.
      What we have now is evidence of your judgmentalism which is a far more serious issue.

  • Huskersuck
  • Jalamb

    Where did Janet Mefferd say she removed the Driscoll interview and apologized for her conduct? I’m listening to the 1st hour of her Dec. 4 show and there’s no mention of these things.

    • Warren Throckmorton

      It came just after 3pm et. It was very brief, perhaps 30 seconds.

      • Jalamb

        Thanks, Warren. I hope to hear more from her. Or perhaps someone should act as a journalist and interview her.

        • Warren Throckmorton

          I am about to add her entire statement to the post above.

  • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

    It’s not appropriate to play “gotcha” like that among Christians. She could have pointed out the problem to the publisher or directly to Driscoll and if no correction came then to a wider circle of accountability around him. Then if the problem still remains unresolved a public exposure is called for. The Lord Jesus gave us a pattern of how to handle perceived sins (Matthew 18:16ff) that we’re to try to follow.

    And pastors are to be given MORE benefit of the doubt not less. 1 Timothy 5:19 commands as much.

    • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

      1 Timothy 5:19 merely holds pastors to the exact same standard as anybody else– see Deuteronomy 19:15. “Two or more witnesses” is the minimum standard for legal proof.

      James 3:1, meanwhile, says “those who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”

      • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

        1 Timothy 5:19 says that we are not to even “accept” an accusation against an elder unless it’s supported by multiple witnesses. It’s not only about acting on the accusations but even simply accepting them. It’s referring to a matter of church discipline and in Mt. 18:16ff, one person can initiate an act of church discipline but in 1 Tim. 5:19, it takes multiple witnesses to initiate against an elder — because they are more vulnerable to false accusations. Dt. 19:15 is Israel’s civil law. In James 3:1, it’s God who judges with greater strictness, not you.

        • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

          And 1 Tim 5:20, immediately following the one you quote, says, “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” That’s what many of these witnesses are in fact doing– in precise accordance with the Bible.

          The fact is, as a minute’s research will show, that there are more than two witnesses calling Driscoll out for his plagiarism. An elder should be “above reproach” (1 Timothy 3:2), but the evidence here would be sufficient to get him fired from any secular publishing or teaching job.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            That’s false. The issue hasn’t even been looked into yet. Now Mefferd is backing down and rightly saying she should have approached the publishers. She’s apologized to Driscoll.

            You haven’t even determined whether it was just a mistake or intentional plagiarism. Without the intent to commit plagiarism, there is no sin. And Driscoll is not “continuing in sin”.

            You’re jumping to conclusions and violating 1 Tim. 5:19 and Matthew 7:1.

            You’re also blowing this entirely out of proportion. The “publication” in quesion is apparently, little more than an internal study-guide. Many churches produce these kinds of documents, for Sunday School or small groups, and probably many of them also inadvertently fail to have proper citation for their sources. Mars Hill simply has the resources to put out it’s documents to the standards of professional publishing. That you (and others) are salivating over making this into some kind of great moral issue is evidence that you (and the others) have a great moral issue in yourselves you need to start dealing with.

          • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

            So first you rail against religious hypocrites who are quick to make false accusations, and then you accuse me of a “great moral issue”? On the grounds that I… hold a pastor to his own standard of ethics? That’s rich.

            To quote someone I once read on the Internet: “I’ll take that as evidence that you have no Biblical basis for your accusation against [me]. Therefore, you need to repent of breaking the 9th commandment (Ex. 20:16). If you won’t do so, then you need to examine yourself as to whether you’re really a Christian or just a religious hypocrite (2 Cor. 13:5).”

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            No, you’re intentionally twisting the words to condemn. You seem to like to do that. You’ve made an accusation that depends on the lack of citation in the study-guide to have been intentional plagiarism.

            Produce your evidence that proves that it wasn’t a simple mistake. If you can’t, then you are a hypocrite for not abiding by the scriptures you claim to uphold. Produce the evidence. NOW!

            If you can’t — and we both know you can’t — then you’ve made false accusations, broken the 9th commandment and 1 Timothy 5:19 and need to repent. If you won’t, then you are unqualified for spiritual leadership and your church needs to begin church discipline against you. We don’t need hypocrites and slanderers in the pulpit. Then you need to examine yourself as to whether you are really “in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). True Christians don’t delight in making false accusations as you do.

          • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

            http://lmgtfy.com/?q=mark+driscoll+plagiarism+pdf

            Again, Driscoll’s own definition of plagirism would include a word-for-word borrowing without attribution, regardless of whether it was a “mistake.”

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            It’s a mistake if he (or an assistant) simply forgot to put a citation in! Any fair minded person knows that.

            You didn’t produce the evidence but dodged the question, trying to divert attention away from the real scandal here: your (and those like you) penchant for jumping to conclusions based on second-hand and partial evidence, refusing to give the benefit of the doubt and making a blanket conclusion.

            You’re a fraud. Repent if you want to start living like a real Christian.

          • Warren Throckmorton

            John – Refrain from judging others.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

            Are you really serious? You start several discussions about the lack of proper citation in two brief paragraphs in what is little more than an internal study guide, as if it were a monumental moral issue, having to know it would attract the likes of Eric and others who immediately jump to the conclusion that it couldn’t have been a mistake — and you tell ME to “Refrain from judging others”.
            Do you at all have any sense of irony?

  • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

    It’s a good, humble, and mature apology. I hope the rest of you here who flocked to condemn Driscoll will learn from it.

    • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

      The truly important issues that came up in this controversy are:

      1. the worldly distrust of authority (contrary to the Word of God, 1 Tim. 5:19, Heb. 13:17),

      2. the scandal mongering, that some love to indulge in as sport;

      3. specifically, the visceral hatred many “Christians” apparently have for Driscoll, even though he is a theologically orthodox and, as yet, morally above reproach, effective Christian leader.

      Those are important issues to deal with. Two paragraphs without proper citation in a self-published study guide, isn’t.

      • GinaRD

        I’m sorry, are you really saying that the issue of whether a pastor stole someone’s intellectual property is not important??

        • Guest

          You’re assuming that it was stolen. I’m saying the issue of people assuming the worst is important. Deal with your sin.

          • GinaRD

            How about you deal with your own sins and don’t worry about mine? :-) Unless you don’t have any sins to deal with. You certainly speak as if you were above the rest of us lowly mortals.

          • Guest

            So, you think you can simultaneously accuse a pastor of stealing AND tell others to deal with their own sins and not worry about others? Do you have any conception of how much of a hypocrite you are?

          • GinaRD

            And that, folks, is what they call projection.

          • Guest

            ^ no, that’s what they call denial. You are the one who is simultaneously accusing a pastor of stealing while telling others to deal with their own sins and not worry about others. Take an honest look at yourself.

      • TigandTag

        I think you make a good case, John. You have articulated things that have been bothering me about this whole thing. I’m not sure if I am a Driscoll supporter, exactly, but I have been blessed by a number of his sermons at different times. His series on Ruth was very helpful to me personally.

        I have also enjoyed Janet’s program from time to time, but would not be a follower.

        Janet did not make her case against Pastor Mark on the plagiarism issue. I looked at the evidence, and thought it to be pretty weak. Then, the anti-Mark crowd called anyone who disagreed with them bad Christians for not caring about it. I care, but did not agree with the conclusions at all.

        Now the anti-Driscoll chorus is actually questioning Mefferd’s integrity. How are they doing that? Whenever they claim that somehow, someone got to her and forced her to make an apology, they are calling her a liar.

        Her statement is clear. She felt guilty about the way she did the interview, so she make a public statement to that effect. If she is not acting on conscience, then she is lying.

        I don’t think that she is lying. The Driscoll haters do ,evidently. It puts them in a difficult position. Do they now throw Janet Mefferd under the bus? Is she just so much collateral damage in their crusade to destroy the Driscoll empire?

        What will be their next move? Not sure if I’ll be watching, or why I am watching now. It just seems to be a growing trend in Christian circles. All in the name of stomping out spiritual abuse, of course. I have a hard time with that tactic – abuse people in the name of stopping abuse.

        Some of us alumni of Prairie Bible Institute just went through a couple of years of that sort of thing. The accusations were baseless, and the “victims” turned out to be the real abusers.

        • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

          Wow! Excellent and wise comments. Thanks much for sharing them.

          I actually don’t have a “dog in this fight”. I’m not at all associated with Driscoll; I’ve never met him or directly communicated with him. I think he’s a fine Christian leader although my “tastes” are more in line with Mark Dever of 9 Marks. I’m just disturbed at the spirit of rebellion and hatred of authority that is manifest in this crusade and the blatant ignoring of scripture that they do in their supposed quest to uphold scripture.. And I’m particularly disturbed as to why some are so baselessly hateful toward Driscoll. I think it is, as you said, “the “victims” [are] the real abusers”.

          Thanks again.

  • Joe Summers

    This thread is so funny… What better way to spend your day then arguing over the internet about something you don’t even know happened or did not happen. Whatever floats your boat!

  • MWorrell

    Regardless of the validity of the accusation, I thought her “gotcha” conduct in the interview was disturbing, not to mention that she edited the end of the interview in such a way as to misrepresent Driscoll’s reaction.

    • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

      Apparently she now agrees and has retracted the accusations and apologized for her conduct.


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