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)

Mark Driscoll Posts Updated Speaking Schedule
American Psychological Association: APA Reps and Government Officials Colluded on Interrogation Techniques
Mark Driscoll Protested at Hillsong Conference
Mark Driscoll Confirms Move to Phoenix
  • http://wornpages.org/ Jules LaPierre

    Please, friends…stop feeding John Carpenter.

    • TigandTag

      In an article that addresses the alleged silencing of a journalist you want to silence John Carpenter. Interesting.

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

        there’s a lot of what can most charitably be called “irony” around this issue. :)

    • melekish

      Can’t agree more, it’s useless talking to him, let us save some time for our precious one than the self righteous Pharisee

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

      the “evangelical industrial complex” is an absurdity! Really laughable and the kind of phrase not used by a serious person. Apparently she got fired because she was pushing this issue and now Mefferd knows better.

      • Mike Stephan

        For someone who has said repeatedly here that we shouldn’t judge someone’s motives, you sure seem to be doing a lot of that.

        • Guest

          When someone makes a major moral issue out of two brief paragraphs lacking proper citation in what is little more than an internal Bible-study guide and assumes that proves intentional plagiarism and thus lying and stealing, there really isn’t any doubt that such people are wrong.

          When they talk conspiracy theory nonsense of a “evangelical industrial complex”, simply because their silly accusations aren’t getting the traction that they hoped, there is no benefit of the doubt to be given.

    • MWorrell

      Love how these discernment and expose sites feel free to remove comments/content whenever they like, but always assign the worst possible motives to ministries/pastors when they do the same.

  • http://wornpages.org/ Jules LaPierre

    Does anyone know how to unsubscribe from these comments?

  • Guest

    The furor over Driscoll’s citation-shortage seems symptomatic of broader, more systemic, ecclesiastical issues — not just the character of a single individual. Perhaps Mefford recognizes this and is refocusing. At any rate, she appears to deals with tons of other topics and doesn’t strike me as obsessed with a single issue or personality.

    When Paul wrote to Timothy (1 Tim 5:19) about replacing defective leaders in Ephesus with better ones, he assumes Timothy has authority to weigh accusations and recommendation and administer judicial decisions in overseeing local leaders. He isn’t giving that instruction to every believer in Ephesus, except perhaps for them to know how Timothy should conduct business.. Paul tells the Timothy not to bother promoting or demoting unless he has at least two or three corroborating witnesses. (1 Timothy 5:19 isn’t censoring bringing forth relevant evidence, it is encouraging it).

    Who is the Timothy that oversees today’s church leaders city-wide — celebrity or otherwise? In our setting, institutions like Mars Hill can organize their 501c3 pretty much however they want, but the only special authority they have is over those who sign their covenant or otherwise choose to follow their leaders — apart of course, from the continual debt to love one another.

    The vast majority of Christians (including blog commentators) looking in are more like Jesus, an outsider to the religious powers of his day, identifying with the weak, and who nonetheless call leaders to account in terms of both their strengths and weakness (e.g. Mt. 23) — the role of prophet. When hypocrisy gets called out, if the sandal fits, wear it. If it doesn’t fit, just give thanks and take it as a word to the wise.

    Personally, I’m reminded to take care with giving credit where credit is due, not out of intimidation, but respect.

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

      A fine comment. Thanks for it.

      1 Timothy 5:19 by extension tells us how to deal with accusations toward elders. (Surely we’re not to believe that Timothy couldn’t entertain an uncorroborated accusation but today now we can.) We give them the benefit of the doubt. In this case, that means NOT assuming intentional plagiarism but assuming it was a mistake, until there is corroborated evidence otherwise.

      Ignoring the principle in 1 Timothy 5:19 is, in my opinion, the really significant spiritual and moral issue in this debacle. It’s those who are quickest to condemn Driscoll for a lack of citation of two brief paragraphs in what is little more than an internal study-guide — they are the problem that is destroying the evangelical church in America (not a lack of a footnote).

      • Guest

        The idea of “the evangelical church in America” strikes me as more someone else’s mental construct than reality, so I’m not clear on what would destroy or build it, ‘cuz I’m not clear on what it is. Forgive me if I’m being “tribal.” I do connect with believers outside of my weekly “fold.”

        If MD reported to me, which he does not (nor I to him!), he would have some ‘splainin’ to do, since evidence has been produced. But yes, he would have opportunity to give his side of the story in weighing the texts, including presumption of innocence.

        Two or more witnesses to reach verdict is biblical justice for EVERYBODY — even elders. In everyday life, outside the celebrity world, few people get hired or fired without it.

  • Trace Batton

    “As John Milton said regarding truth: “Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter? Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing.” I am with Milton here: The freer the press, the less the innocent have to fear and the more the guilty need to be worried.” -Carl Trueman here: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2013/12/04/areopagitica/

    • Warren Throckmorton

      Trace – I agree. This has become a bigger issue than Driscoll and Mefferd by now. Can Christians do investigative journalism and have a forum for it? Or must they go outside Christian run media to do so?

      I think this is why RNS is very important, as well as Patheos and independent bloggers.

  • Salvatore Mazzotta

    This is heart-breaking. The state of the church in America at this time is worse than many of us thought. The wolves occupy the highest, most-visible, most-influential places. Church-goers fawn after them. Lord Jesus help us!

  • J. Dean

    The impression I got was that she apologized for HOW she did it, not what she did. And whether she is right about that or not, that still doesn’t let Driscoll off the hook.

    • Fernando Villegas

      Well, she did say that the interview should not have occurred at all. So, “what she did” (the interview) was included in the apology. But you’re right, the apology does not let Mr. Driscoll “off the hook,” and do I think it was Ms. Mefferd’s intention to do so. I think she was taking responsibility for her own errors, which was admirable.

  • Fernando Villegas

    My own two cents worth on this:

    As has been said, the evidence is out there in public, and people can look at it for themselves and draw their own conclusions (which they certainly have been doing!).

    Mr. Driscoll may be held accountable for any plagiarism that he may be guilty of. Or he may not. Either way, I imagine most of us really have no say in that. Those who are vested in this are primarily Mr. Driscoll himself, his publisher, and those whom he allegedly plagiarized. Of course, those who are readers of his published works also have a vested interest, and they have their say simply by choosing not to continue to read his books if they believe he is guilty. That is how they hold him accountable.

    Regardless, I would not worry about him “getting away” with anything:
    “The Lord is in his holy temple;
    the Lord’s throne is in heaven;
    his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.”

    I respect Ms. Mefferd’s apology. Unless there is evidence that her apology was pressured from an outside force, there is no reason to assume so. We must take her at her word that she “should have conducted [herself] in a better way.” And she is right. It would have been a wiser decision to have contacted Tyndale House directly, and to inform Mr. Driscoll that she was doing so, and see where it went from there. Having done so would’ve given her more credibility had she eventually decided to go public with the charge, and it certainly would’ve given less credibility to the idea that she was only looking to ambush Mr. Driscoll for the purpose of ratings.

    I’ve been a pastor for fourteen years now, and one of the things I’ve learned is that in most every dispute between two or more people (although there are exceptions, of course), rarely is one side completely wrong and the other side completely right. Usually, both sides have acted in ways that have not been right. The sins of the other should never be used to excuse my own.

  • johnharmstrong

    I would not be so quick to judge why Janet did what she did. I have taken down material simply because I realized it was not in the best interest of the church to broadcast it in the manner that I did. Why conclude she did otherwise until or unless she chooses to tell us her reasons? How about some charity on every side in this heated debate? The body of Christ could stand for us all to “slow down” on such matters. If the publisher is rightly involved I have every confidence in Tyndale House personally.

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

    Love it when a Christian quotes Calvin before the Word of God. Yes, sarcasm voice is presently engaged.

  • Alan

    The evidence against Driscoll is anything but baseless… at least 4 pieces of evidence in black and white with his name attached…

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

    1. 1 Timothy is written to Timothy telling him how to deal with the elders under him, perhaps in several locations. By extension, it tells us how to deal with accusations toward elders. We give them the benefit of the doubt. In this case, that means NOT assuming intentional plagiarism but, unless the elders with him or the publishers who’s work wasn’t properly cited find, assuming it was a mistake.

    Assuming that the principle in 1 Timothy 5:19 be ignored, is, in my opinion, the really significant spiritual and moral issue in this debacle.

    2. In the case of the sin of some posters assuming the worst and making false accusations, there is no doubt that they have sinned and done so publicly. Therefore, they can be rebuked publicly. In Driscoll’s case, a mistake is not a sin and so we have no evidence of him publicly committing a sin — as eager as some here are to find that evidence.

    3. Apparently now Ms. Mefferd agrees that she should have followed Mt. 18 in privately addressing the issue. Your problem is that you continue to assume it is a “sin” — without any evidence, refusing to acknowledge it could be a simple mistake. So, having assumed that, you then think it is a public sin that you are free to blast away at. You maybe right in the later conclusion but you’ve failed to see that your original assumption is mistaken.

    4. This isn’t an issue of “views”, as though a doctrine were at stake. It’s an issue of accusing Driscoll of intentionally plagiarizing (hence lying) which would be sinful rather than allowing for the possibility of making a simple mistake. The failure to allow for the later possibility is, indeed, an expression of authority-hating rebelliousness.

    Ironically, here, you are trying to tell me that I need to allow for more possibilities of why people like you like to jump on any perceived problem with Driscoll while you are disallowing any other possibility of how the lack of citation occurred in his 1 Peter study-guide. Why not allow Driscoll the same charity you want for yourself?

    5. Sure, according to scripture. If he teaches false doctrine (as judged by a widely held statement of faith) or has a moral problem (like adultery) or steals from his church, etc. I saw Driscoll in a “Gospel Coalition” discussion video along with Mark Dever and MacDonald (I think) and I thought Driscoll came across as very immature and lacking self-awareness, absurdly telling Dever that Dever’s model was too “pastor-centered”, etc. But I don’t think that’s sinful, per se.

    6. Most of the time what people in other churches do is simply none of my business. I rarely comment on people in other churches, even high profile people, like Joel Osteen because I lack the knowledge to be sure that I’m right. Even though I suspect that Osteen is probably a false teacher, I don’t have the knowledge or the interest to come to a conclusion, nor is it usually necessary for me to do so. So I’m amazed at people who probably know less about Driscoll than I do and because of a lack of citation for two brief paragraphs in what is little more than an internal study guide immediately conclude he’s guilty of some great sin that requires he be removed from one of the most fruitful orthodox evangelical ministries in the USA today. It’s insane and is at the heart of why the evangelical church is suffering today.

    As for my approach, I am, admittedly, very tough on people I take to be hypocrites. They can’t claim to be sincerely motivated by a love for the truth of God’s Word when they won’t abide by it themselves — for example, in their wily-nilly ignoring of the 9th commandment. I don’t apologize for this because I believe that is what Jesus did. See Matthew 23.

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

    Except, of course, I actually quoted scripture first. See 1 Timothy 5:19. So, assuming that you were accusing me, your accusation is false and you have violated the 9th commandment (Ex. 20:16) by bearing false witness. Don’t claim you believe in upholding the Word of God when you won’t live by it.

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

    Actually, while posting here, I’ve constructed a whole power-point presentation for the Sunday service, done a church bulletin, selected the songs for Sunday, up-dated the church’s facebook page, gone jogging for 30 minutes; gone swimming, had lunch at Taco Bell, driven too and fro, etc. But, yes, it has taken too much time.

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

    and yet you keep commenting. I’m not the one who said I was going to stop. That was you. And yet you keep commenting. You need to start taking your words more seriously, especially if you’re going to try to accuse others of lying

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

    Don’t assume it’s not a mistake.

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

    I wasn’t aware that Mefferd is in Driscoll’s church.

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

    This apology does not in any way minimize the issue of plagiarism.

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

    Does your Bible have Calvin’s Institutes included? I’m thinking you must have some big ol’ book similar to that of LDS kids I see at the public high school. They have a 4-in one book (Bible, book of Mormom, and 2 others) all in one.

    Your devotion to Calvin is really showing. Might want to scale it back a bit.

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

    > I’m not the one who said I was going to stop.

    And, as I just explained in the clearest possible terms, neither am I. The fact that you seem unable to grasp simple English may go some way to explaining your views of Driscoll and the Bible. You also entirely evaded my point that you violated your own standards for accusation of sin–twice now. You’re wrong and that’s all there is to it.

  • MWorrell

    Who said it did? Driscoll may be guilty. But that is no worse a sin than lying, which is exactly what Mefferd did when she clipped the end of the interview to create a false impression to her audience (including me). She has apologized (without mentioning that particular point, however), and I believe Driscoll both apologized for any unintentional plagiarism and said he would address it. If he does, to the satisfaction of the publisher and the party infringed upon (in this case or any other), then there is no issue.

  • TigandTag

    No, it does not. Mefferd is not a liar, so please accept her word on why she apologized.

  • MWorrell

    They will be judged with greater strictness by God, my friend. Not you.

  • Warren Throckmorton

    Donna – Did you see this post? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2013/12/02/on-the-allegations-of-plagiarism-against-mark-driscoll/. It is clear that his guide on 1&2 Peter copies material without citation. Whether it was an oversight or not, it seems to me that he should acknowledge it and make repair.

  • Warren Throckmorton

    Yes, I’m really serious. Calling people frauds and telling them to repent as if you know their hearts is out of line. Discuss issues and facts.

    The lack of citation in those paragraphs and others which Mefferd documented is a matter of public record. No one except Driscoll knows how that happened and he is not saying.

  • TigandTag

    So, now you are calling me a liar, or what? I “saw” it all. It is possible that there is a case against Driscoll, and with more calm and time, Janet or others will be able to make that case. It was a rush job, and not effective. I think that Janet is a good and serious journalist, and she did the professional and Christian thing to back off. I do not think she is a liar.

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

    Still attacking Driscoll and refusing to deal with the substantial issues of sin that your posts attracts. Donna has wise words in the above two posts. I wish you’d make her concerns yours — instead of being obsessed with a lack of citation of two short paragraphs in what is little more than an internal study guide.

  • TigandTag

    I think that was a genuine misunderstanding. That kind of thing happens a lot on talk radio. I do not think either of them are lying.

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

    Exactly! Well put. Thanks for it.

  • ken

    “So, now you are calling me a liar, or what?”

    Wow, where did THAT come from? All Warren did was ask about what evidence you had seen. You were suggesting that Driscoll did nothing wrong, but it is pretty clear he copied the text without proper attribution.

  • Warren Throckmorton

    No, Donna, I didn’t call you anything. It was an honest and innocent question. I don’t know what you have read or seen so I asked. I don’t think Janet is a liar either.

  • TigandTag

    I agree, John. It is fine to examine a teacher to see if they are living up to what they are preaching. It has to be done differently, as Janet so eloquently stated in her apology.

    There are also roving bands of destroyers on the Internet. I do not think that Janet is among them, but got carried away. There are real victims of real abuse, but generally, those who shout the loudest are often not among them, I have found – at least on the Internet. The “shouting” is often agenda-driven.

    http://pbiscandal.blogspot.com/

  • PhilipWalker

    “Mars Hill simply has the resources to put out it’s documents to the standards of professional publishing.”

    Clearly it doesn’t have the resources for professional editorial controls regarding matters such as referencing and plagiarism. Whether this is one of the standards of professional publishing may, I suppose, be left up to others to dispute.

  • Guest

    You sound like a scoffer. You need to humble yourself and repent. Perhaps making restitution against your pastor that you publicly attacked.

    If you don’t, then you need to examine yourself about whether you are really “in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5).

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

    The FACT is that he assumes what he can’t prove while accusing others of doing what he does. That’s what frauds do.

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

    Did I say by me?

    …For that matter, does the verse say by God?

  • Guest

    As much material as they put out, if that’s the worst they’ve done (one citation missing from two brief paragraphs in what is little more than an internal study-guide), they’re doing pretty good.

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

    About 7 hours ago you posted: “our conversation is at an end.”

    About an hour (and 5 posts of yours) later, you write: “> I’m not the one who said I was going to stop.

    And, as I just explained in the clearest possible terms, neither am I.”

    Yes, you did, as I just indicated. You’re either lying or you don’t know simple English. I simply don’t know how you can claim that “our conversation is at an end” and then absurdly claim later that you never said that.
    My conclusions are sound.

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

    I gave you a link for proof, seven hours ago. Did you even look at it?

    The evidence is incontrovertible that Mark Driscoll took credit for someone else’s words without citing them, even passing off their footnotes as his own. See the quote on Driscoll’s own webpage defining plagiarism here: “If you don’t cite him, you are plagiarizing.” No mention given of the motive, whether it is on purpose, or the scope of the publication.

    By his own definition (whether or not by yours), Mark Driscoll is plagiarizing.

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

    So I’m a scoffer and you get to judge my salvation because I question that you quote Calvin in the same way you quote scripture? Nice, John.

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

    Dude. Learn to read. “Our conversation is at an end” “I promise that I will not comment ever again.” Your conclusions are hilariously unsound. Of course, our conversation did indeed reach the end of its productivity seven hours ago, when you ignored the abundant, easily accessible evidence I provided you in a link and instead accused me of being a fraud and a liar.

    Now please answer my simple questions: Why did you make an accusation of sin in public, rather than following Matthew 18:16ff? When you made this accusation, why did you assume the worst and ignore the need for more witnesses, refusing to abide by what the Bible says in 1 Tim. 5:19 and Exodus 20:16? And doesn’t that make you a hypocrite by your own standard?

    As an acquaintance of mine once said: “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.” You lose this debate. Time to go.

  • MWorrell

    Matthew 12:36… that’s the accounting. You as a mere man have no greater strictness available by which to judge your brother. In fact, in Matt. 7:2 we are explicitly warned not to attempt to apply a greater standard to others than we apply to ourselves.

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

    You have no evidence that wasn’t a mistake. You can’t possibly be so ignorant as not to understand that is the issue. So the evidence is incontrovertible that you refuse to stop judging and condemning and violating 1 Timothy 5:19.

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

    By his own definition of plagiarism, it doesn’t matter whether it was a mistake. It’s a misattribution, therefore according to Driscoll’s definition it’s plagiarism. Any of my students in college would be failed for that, whether or not it was a mistake.

    I’m not violating 1 Timothy 5:19 because, as you would have seen if you followed the link, there are more than two witnesses agreeing with me that this is plagiarism. However, you are violating 1 Timothy 5:19 when you accuse me of fraud with exactly zero witnesses collaborating you.

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

    You’re a fraud. You say “our conversation is at an end” and then you continue it. And you seriously want to accuse other people of a lack of integrity. Realize that you are supposed to mean what you say. That’s what “let your yes be yes” means. Instead, your “our conversation as at an end” really means the opposite.

    Your sin is plain and undeniable. You haven’t even ascertained that Driscoll really sinned or just made a mistake.

    You need to repent and shut up. If you won’t and keep playing word games, then you need to examine yourself as to whether you’re a Christian at all (2 Cor. 13:5.)

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

    There you go again! You’re making an accusation of sin in public, violating God’s standard in Matthew 18:16ff! And you’re assuming the worst with no witnesses, which means you’re refusing to abide by what the Bible says in 1 Tim. 5:19 and Exodus 20:16! That makes three times now that you’ve been a hypocrite by your own standards. I think it’s time for you to examine yourself– 2 Cor 13:5, isn’t it?

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

    There’s no doubt that your false accusations are sin. You’re doing it in public.
    You make commitments — that you’re not going to converse with me again — and then you break them.
    You break 1 Tim. 5:19 by assuming that Driscoll has sinned without any witnesses — and then claim I’ve broken it even though you are not an elder and so don’t deserve any protection.
    You’re a fraud.

  • Guest

    You are a scoffer. That’s obvious. We should be careful not to listen to your nonsense (Psalm 1).
    I didn’t judge your salvation. I gave you the criteria by which you ought to judge your own salvation.

  • melekish

    Don’t worry Julie, he calls everybody a scoffer, in fact I believe in his eyes, everyone holds a different opinion than him is a scoffer, so I guess we should call him St. John….

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

    You’re not an elder — or at least I hope not. 1 Timothy 5:19 applies only to elders.

    You have zero witnesses proving that Driscoll sinned. Zero.

    We’ve seen here you make a commitment — that a conversation is at an end — and then immediately break it. You don’t keep your word. You’re a fraud. You need to repent.

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

    Yeah, about two short paragraphs without proper citation in what amounts to little more than an internal study guide. It’s ridiculous to make so much out of this. But I’m arguing over hypocrisy, judgmentalism, false accusations, breaking the 9th commandment, the rebellious and cynical attitude toward leadership, etc. Those are the real issues at stake.

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

    >There’s no doubt that your false accusations are sin. You’re doing it in public.

    How sinful it would be to make an accusation in public! As you’ve done repeatedly.

    > You break 1 Tim. 5:19 by assuming that Driscoll has sinned without any witnesses.

    Please produce even one witness who agrees with you that replying to a comment after saying “This conversation is at an end” (not “I promise not to comment again”!!!) amounts to the sin of fraud– rather than, say, just changing my mind, or having my intentions be misunderstood. You’re assuming the worst, aren’t you?

    > You’re a fraud.

    I’ve never pretended to be anything other than what I am. You, however, are a hypocrite.

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

    Show where I say one thing and do another — like you did when you said the “conversation is at and end” and then continued it. You refuse to recognize the plain meaning of your own words.

    You don’t even understand what I’m getting at by referring to Mt. 18 and 1 Tim. 5:19. It means when there can be a benefit of a doubt, give it — ESPECIALLY to elders (not to be especially cynical of them).

    You’ve continued to make false accusations, breaking the 9th commandment (Ex. 20:16). You need to examine yourself as to whether you are really a Christian (2 Cor. 13:5). Real Christians don’t keep lying like you do.

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

    You didn’t even look at the links I provided, did you. Way more than zero witnesses agree that Driscoll is a plagiarist.

    And for goodness sakes with that “conversation is over” thing! That’s not a commitment. Ask anybody what it means. Let it go, man.

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

    > “Show where I say one thing and do another.”

    OK, hmmm, let’s see. In that very comment, you said “It means when there can be a benefit of a doubt, give it.” Yet, again in that very comment, you refused to give me the benefit of the doubt that, hey, maybe when someone says “This conversation is at an end” it doesn’t necessarily mean “I vow before God that I will absolutely never ever say anything else, no matter what, not even to make a defense when someone refuses to stop making unfounded attacks on my character.” Surely even you can see there’s room for the benefit of the doubt there? The plain meaning of the words isn’t even remotely like it. Yet you don’t give it at all, preferring to make false accusations against me– which you’ve also said we shouldn’t do, I might add.

    But, since it seems you’re reduced to railing frantic ad hominem attacks on my character rather than engaging with anything meaningful, allow me to say what I did not say before: I won’t bother to comment to you again. However, please do take your own advice and examine yourself to see whether you really are a Christian (2 Cor. 13:5)– from the fruit you’ve displayed tonight I have my doubts, although unlike you, I’ll give you the benefit of them.

    Now watch how much I don’t respond. Also, if you really want to demonstrate you’re not a contentious hypocrite, then let’s see you resist the temptation to have the last word.

  • TigandTag

    Thanks for the clarification.

  • Fernando Villegas

    As much as I disagree with much of what John Carpenter has commented, I’m afraid you haven’t come across too well in this particular exchange either.

    When someone says, “This conversation is at an end,” it generally does mean you won’t continue to comment, at least not on this particular thread. Face it, you painted yourself into a corner with that initial comment, and would have probably been better off simply letting his “unfounded attacks” on your character slide, thus showing yourself to be the bigger man. I mean, really, did you honestly expect him to concede anything?

    Instead, now you have yielded the “high ground” to Mr. Carpenter. For now that it has been over four hours since you baited him to have “the last word,” and he has not taken the bait, has he not in fact demonstrated, by your own words, that he isn’t a “contentious hypocrite”? And worse for you, have you not thus demonstrated that it was perhaps you who could not resist the temptation to have the last word?

  • Warren Throckmorton

    Hope you keep commenting, but feel no need to respond to John C.

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

    There is no doubt that when one says “this conversation is at an end” that they mean that the conversation is at an end. But you didn’t mean what you said. You’re fraud.

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

    Fernando: I’ll admit I made a foolish misstep in not following my own advice not to feed the troll, and I certainly stand by my statement that I won’t comment further to him.

    As to the purpose of my “baiting”… He’s been quiet for over four hours, you say? Maybe there’s more than one way to silence a false teacher.

  • Alan

    The only high ground for Mr. Carpenter is if he gets high on his meds… tongue in cheek. there

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

    Thanks very much, Warren, and sorry for any drama I may have precipitated. In hindsight of course I should have followed my own advice not to feed the trolls.

  • Matt H.

    I hope the same thing for Ms. Mefferd that she did for Mark, she should step down. She should be held accountable (those are her words for Mark). Well Ms. Mefferd are you going to walk the walk or just talk the talk????

  • melekish

    Eric, dont know me, but don’t worry about John C., he doesn’t stop, he comments continuously on any other sites or blogs that are against Driscoll like he is hired as a full time Driscoll defender. And you know, for some of these comments he posted, the wording look exactly the same… Hmm, I wonder if he plagrized himself… Ah, no wonder he is always giving the benefit of the doubt to plagiarism.
    Just ignore him…

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

    You should have shown some integrity and did what you said: end the conversation. Yet, in the greatest irony, while campaigning to find someone else guilty of lack of integrity, you’ve shown a lack of integrity.

  • crazycoach

    Having worked among many of the Christian big names for a few years, in addition to hosting my own show, many of them plagiarize. They also use ghost writers which I find misleading. Moreover, there’s a bunch of Christian bullies among the leadership! They don’t pay their employees but use them for their well-oiled financial machines. While others live in poverty, they sit like fat cats (the men and women). If you have a few hours, I can tell you my stories and that might not even be enough time!

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

    Thanks, melekish! Normally I know better than to let myself get baited by that kind of troll, but I lost my patience yesterday. I appreciate the support.

    I do in fact know of a few cults who have full-time social media interns whose job is to leave favorable comments about them. Hmmm.

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

    You like ignoring the truth?

  • melekish

    Seriously? They hired people to do that? That actually sounds quite scary, except, those who are hired for the job need to stop plagiarizing, even from their own words… No kidding, iPhone Siri can do a better job than this…

  • melekish

    If “taking scripture seriously” means interpreting it the same way mr. Carpenter does it, then no, I seriously don’t “take scripture seriously” and am not planning to…

  • Fernando Villegas

    Fair enough, you’ve got a point. However, I think you could’ve “silenced the false teacher” just as well by not continuing to “feed the troll” to begin with! Sometimes, you really do need simply to let the other have the last word, not just bait him to it. Anyway, live and learn, eh? Enjoy your weekend!

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

    I should clarify that I’m not aware of Mars Hill having done this, despite Mr. Carpenter’s evident dedication to the task, but it is a known tactic of several groups. Here’s one blog post about a cult that got caught doing it a couple years back: http://www.recoveringalumni.com/2012/01/teen-manias-communications-consultant.html

    As howcultswork.com aptly puts it, “Legitimate groups have nothing to fear from their members reading critical information about them.”

  • melekish

    Okay, now I am seriously scared……

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

    Well, the lesson to learn is merely the same one Driscoll should have followed: Always verify the source. :)

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

    And just when I thought this story couldn’t get any more annoying.

  • Wayne MacKirdy

    18 pages is not an innocent “mistake”

  • melekish

    And I wonder where is Mr. Carpenter now?

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

    Perhaps my anti-troll bait was more potent than I expected! … EDIT: Whoops, I guess we spoke too soon. LOL.

  • Alan

    1Ti 5:19-21 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. (20) Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. (21) I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
    The Two witnesses have already been made plain, the evidence is easily accessed and does not take rocket science. The definition of plagiarism is already set and has been transgressed by Mark D. whether or not he did it intentional is irrelevant to it being done. Even if it was a ghost writer or whatever his name is on it so he is responsible for it and the content.
    He did this publicly and it should be addressed publicly as per the scriptures above, which you only posted part of. Matt 18 is for personal offenses and not for an offense to the whole Christian body, which Paul addressed in public with Peter. to those who have been given much responsibility much will be required and a greater judgement.

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

    ^ you’re spewing insults, like a hypocrite

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

    the only substantial accusation of plagiarism is with two very brief paragraphs in what is little more than internal study guide.
    I don’t know what you’re talking about with “18 pages.” I doubt you do either.

  • Alan

    So you think DA Carsons commentary just fell into place, almost word for word, several paragraphs with no citation at all and it was just a mistake? That would be a really big mistake for someone with so many to work on a project and it would be really good if it was to uhm explain it just a little, really wouldnt take much if it was just a mistake. And I would have a hard time believing all 4 examples were just mistakes especially 14 pages. At best he needs to make a statement and fire his editors (unless he likes those who make such blatent mistakes)

  • Alan

    Dont take a tounge in cheek so seriously JC….

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

    Thanks, Fernando. I look forward to a long and happy life of not responding to John Carpenter’s trolling in the future. (Note, he has now replied to me yet again, LOL.)

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

    If it was an attempt at a joke, it was a very bad one. It was a stupid insult and you should apologize and delete.

  • Guest

    And that’s your problem. You don’t take the Word of God seriously.

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

    1. Why would you use a 400+ year old, inferior translation?

    2. Why don’t you use quotation marks to demarcate the quote from your comments?

    3. For this case, the issue is whether Driscoll simply made a mistake in not providing adequate citation for two brief paragraphs in what is little more than an internal study guide (which is an over-sight, not a moral problem) or whether he intentionally did so.

    Two witnesses have not been presented to show that he intentionally plagiarized. In fact, no witnesses have been presented.

    4. Whether or not Driscoll did it intentionally is at the very heart of whether it is a mere mistake or a sin. If the former, then it’s really none of your business. If the later, then it is an issue to take up. To say that it doesn’t mater whether he did it intentionally is absurd and shows you aren’t being fair or morally serious.

    5. 1 Timothy 5:19 shows that elders have MORE protection from accusations not less. I believe this is to protect them from scoffers like you.

  • Guest

    False. As yet there is only one case of serious plagiarism, that from the commentary on 1 Peter.
    What you’ve revealed is that you blindly believe every accusation made. This is why pastors need greater protection: people like you are eager to smear them.


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