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Mark Driscoll: New Church Same Old Ugly Personality


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Something I just noticed: Trinity Church’s IG has around 8,500 followers. But most of their posts get fewer than 100 likes, and zero comments. I think it’s highly likely that many of the followers were purchased. 

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23 hours ago, G33kywife said:

Something I just noticed: Trinity Church’s IG has around 8,500 followers. But most of their posts get fewer than 100 likes, and zero comments. I think it’s highly likely that many of the followers were purchased. 

He did buy his way (with Mars Hill money, not his own) onto the NYT Best Seller list, so it's definitely possible.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Cease and desist letters threatening lawsuits. Sheesh. Hard to believe this has gone so far south so fast.

Driscoll didn't learn from the disaster that was Mars Hill.  Instead he's bearing down and working on perfecting the authoritarian church model, which is inherently problematic

He attracts followers to a church with the promise of love, inclusion and kindness, who then notice that at his core he is not loving, inclusive or kind.  Ruthless suppression of dissent follows.  The craziness will intensify as it all unravels. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Howl
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  • 3 weeks later...

Unroll of twitter thread: 

Ok, so who's going to do a podcast about Mars Hill that isn't biased in the direction of assuming that the problem was the messenger not the message?

And a follow up thread here: 

and she continues: 

Quote

fuck that. How many men let their friends get away with disgusting BS because "it's just a joke" And they wanna get me to feel less grossed out by their choices by pointing to how many people got baptized? Gross.

I'm so sick of men who enable their shitty friends, co-workers, pastors, and then get to walk away from the resulting damage, wiping their hands clean, because they didn't MAKE their friend say those things, they just laughed it off when he did.

CT helps create these big profile pastors, then gets to release a show "examining" their downfall, while also using that same show to insinuate that the damage comes from the personality of the pastor, not the actual content of his horrible theology. Nice work if you can get it.

I know I've got some followers who are professional evangelicals and boy, I tell you what, I am in the MOOD to weed out my followers. My goodwill is in short supply today!

 

Edited by Howl
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  • 2 weeks later...

1238932267_MarsHillPodcastCriticism.thumb.png.79fb527c079901093d064e4535f1580f.png

Two episodes into this podcast, and I have to agree with that tweet. 

I appreciate some of the  background -- such as the history of mega-churches -- but so much of it is "Mark is brilliant and people were saved, even if he did it wrong." The podcaster & his (male) guests seem incapable of recognizing the underlying toxicity at both Mars Hill and the other fundie churches.

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14 hours ago, CrazyCatLady said:

Keep listening and I think you'll change your mind.

Sadly, I did finish listening but canʻt change my mind. The last episode, featuring Josh Harris, was too much. 

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1 minute ago, hoipolloi said:

Sadly, I did finish listening but canʻt change my mind. The last episode, featuring Josh Harris, was too much. 

I agree. They still get back to “yeah he was bad but…”

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Sadly, I did finish listening but canʻt change my mind. The last episode, featuring Josh Harris, was too much. 
I thought the episode about women was a hard listen, but good info. I attended MH once as my sister was a member for several years and I was very turned off by mark. I always thought it was weird that so many of my friends and family attended the church given mark's obvious misogyny.

I too, am skeptical of CTs involvement in this pod as they have promoted the toxic bullshit people like Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Josh Harris and others have espoused. Seems like they're "cashing in" on a problem they helped create and maintain.

For now I'm hoping something good can come from this podcast in terms of awareness. It's incredibly disturbing that Driscoll continues his abuse in his current cult in Arizona.

FWIW Josh Harris stopped the publication of his books, has apologized (and continues to make amends) for the harm he has caused and is no longer a Christian. He is now actively trying to amplify the voices of women who he silenced for so long. He's not perfect and nothing can undo the damage he's done, but he does appear to be taking accountability for his behavior.
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1 hour ago, CrazyCatLady said:

I too, am skeptical of CTs involvement in this pod as they have promoted the toxic bullshit people like Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Josh Harris and others have espoused. Seems like they're "cashing in" on a problem they helped create and maintain.

Yes to all this. They seem incapable of understanding that MD was and is not a one-off. Heʻs a logical outcome of the YRR movement and the abusive theology of people like John Piper, who has been around much longer and supported by CT for the entire time. 

I also agree that Josh Harris has been trying to make amends -- at least, heʻs done a better job at it than CT and many others. 

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The tweet above talks about "assuming that the problem was the messenger not the message". To be fair, the podcast has covered more than just Mars Hill; they've talked a lot about the history leading up to MH, and the cultural trends like the YRR that are the forerunners and the context for MH's explosive growth. There's at least an implied criticism of the message, although I wish it was more explicit. Mainly you get the criticism directly from the former MH people they interview -- most notably the women.

Then there's this:

On 8/6/2021 at 3:04 AM, hoipolloi said:

so much of it is "Mark is brilliant and people were saved, even if he did it wrong."

4 hours ago, Giraffe said:

I agree. They still get back to “yeah he was bad but…”

This is the #1 thing that bugs me about the Piper/YRR/TGC crowd that supported Mark Driscoll before the collapse, and have never retracted that support afterwards. "Well, he may have done a few things I wouldn't have done, he was young, he made some mistakes, but his theology was right, and God used him." Great. I'm sure that was a big comfort to the many people he hurt with his spiritual abuse.

Overall it seems like the podcast's narrator and writers are trying to bend over backwards to be "balanced". I guess the one good thing that might come out of that, is that more people may listen to the podcast and realize how toxic both the messenger and the message were (are) -- people who might have been turned off if their approach had been only to lambaste MH and MD and focus only on the negative.

Edited by Antipatriarch
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16 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

Yes to all this. They seem incapable of understanding that MD was and is not a one-off. Heʻs a logical outcome of the YRR movement and the abusive theology of people like John Piper, who has been around much longer and supported by CT for the entire time.

There's a reading of the CT podcast that goes this way; The YRR problem was an extreme example of the problems seen in megachurches and American evangelism of all stripes (for completeness they could have featured Tony Jones alongside Bill Hybels rather than interviewing him on Driscoll).

Unfortunately this isn't going to be the angle they take as they have to both sides everything.

Edited by stylites
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18 hours ago, Antipatriarch said:

The tweet above talks about "assuming that the problem was the messenger not the message". To be fair, the podcast has covered more than just Mars Hill; they've talked a lot about the history leading up to MH, and the cultural trends like the YRR that are the forerunners and the context for MH's explosive growth. There's at least an implied criticism of the message, although I wish it was more explicit. Mainly you get the criticism directly from the former MH people they interview -- most notably the women.

Then there's this:

This is the #1 thing that bugs me about the Piper/YRR/TGC crowd that supported Mark Driscoll before the collapse, and have never retracted that support afterwards. "Well, he may have done a few things I wouldn't have done, he was young, he made some mistakes, but his theology was right, and God used him." Great. I'm sure that was a big comfort to the many people he hurt with his spiritual abuse.

Overall it seems like the podcast's narrator and writers are trying to bend over backwards to be "balanced". I guess the one good thing that might come out of that, is that more people may listen to the podcast and realize how toxic both the messenger and the message were (are) -- people who might have been turned off if their approach had been only to lambaste MH and MD and focus only on the negative.

Could not agree more. The Collin Hansen stuff irritated the shit out of me. They act like if MD had just "submitted" to John Piper then the real problem of driscoll's abusive personality would have been counseled away. But John Piper is just as misogynistic, he just isn't vulgar in his language. And did they have a problem with Driscoll "not submitting" because they were worried about the people he was supposedly pastoring? OR did they have a problem with Driscoll threatening their power and their platforms and their slice of influence??? 

I got married in fall 2014 and was going to an Acts29 church at that time and did pre-marital counseling with the pastor of that church. He recommended we check out Driscoll's marriage sermons and just ignore some of the belligerent stuff that Driscoll was just then getting in trouble for. I can't believe how long I put up with that shit. 

I have found the podcast to be an interesting listen because it is revealing that this is as far as CT will go to calling out the problems and asking the questions. But, I mean, TGC hasn't even commented on it, so I guess CT is doing something. BUT BUT BUT, it's never going to be a truly helpful conversation or podcast until they ask what is fundamentally flawed about organizations like Acts 29 that they NOT ONLY had Mark Driscoll removed for being shitty, but also saw Darrin Patrick resign after conducting an affair with a woman he was counseling pastorally, and did absolutely nothing when Matt Chandler put a TVC member under church discipline and publicly disparaged her for trying to annul a marriage when she discovered her husband was a pedophile.

So yeah, I mean Driscoll is a piece of shit and would be that way in whatever industry he had pursued IMO, but he used the evangelical church and the reformed church to gather wield power. What is it about the church that sets these abusers up and gives them such power? Until they ask those questions, they'll think the biggest problems are the individuals and not their precious organizations. 

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair

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47 minutes ago, theotherelise said:

So yeah, I mean Driscoll is a piece of shit and would be that way in whatever industry he had pursued IMO, but he used the evangelical church and the reformed church to gather wield power. What is it about the church that sets these abusers up and gives them such power? Until they ask those questions, they'll think the biggest problems are the individuals and not their precious organizations. 

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair

:greetings-clappingorange::greetings-clappingyellow::greetings-clappingorange:

ALL of this. The CT podcast participants & its host are too chickenshit to look at the real issues. 

Itʻs almost as if they donʻt want to understand how these things happen because it might disrupt evangelical Christianity too much and throw too many off the fundie gravy train.

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And as such, evangelical Christians will continue to leave and become Nones, which is a very good thing.

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  • 1 month later...

Good article at Religion Dispatches on the MH podcast series by the author of Biblical Porn:

Quote

 

Whereas my book chapters connect the dots between Driscoll’s preaching and leadership style, the church’s visual and digital culture, members’ testimonies to spiritual and emotional abuse, and events and scandals in descriptive detail, Cosper’s podcast lacks this flow and comprehensive analysis and often goes on unrelated tangents that distract rather than inform (e.g., comparisons to The Exorcist in Episode Eight or Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight in Episode Nine). But you don’t have to dig too deeply into Cosper’s background to get a sense of why he may not be the most reliable narrator for this particular story.

Cosper was a worship leader at Sojourn, a church in Louisville, Kentucky, which adopted the same Christian counter-cultural style and GenX-indie atmosphere as Mars Hill, went multi-site, and was affiliated with the church planting network that Driscoll co-founded, Acts29, before starting their own. Cosper asks his audience why “we” platform and attach to leaders, becoming acolytes of and serving personalities “whose charisma outpaces their character,” when in fact he has first-hand experience in doing so himself in the case of Sojourn’s Daniel Montgomery, who resigned from his position as lead pastor as Driscoll did his at Mars Hill, after issues were raised concerning his leadership. 

 

 

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On 5/31/2021 at 10:36 AM, G33kywife said:


Previous Mark Driscoll Content linked above. Recent events at his new church in Scottsdale, AZ have brought Driscoll back to evangelical headlines. Several blogs have been covering what is happening. 
 

This article is a long, but very thorough summary of just one recent event that exposes how much Driscoll has not changed. 
https://julieroys.com/mark-driscoll-cult-like-actions-24-7-surveillance-loyalty/

Basic Driscoll summary for those unfamiliar with his history: he was pastor of a mega church in Seattle called Mars Hill. It eventually went down in flames with a lot of hurt people. Driscoll was declared unqualified for pastoral ministry. Undeterred, he took his family to Arizona, managed to obtain an historic church building in Scottsdale, and launched a new church. He has no elders, or any type of accountability. The staff is stacked with his family. He punishes anyone who disagrees with him. Stories have recently started coming out about his abusive and toxic leadership, including from staff and high ranking volunteers who decide to leave. 
 

I suspect that in the weeks and months to come, there will be a significant number of other former attendees who start speaking out. 

Whew! That article was something else. Thank you for posting it.

On 6/2/2021 at 6:48 AM, clueliss said:

I posted this (or a version of this) in the other thread. 

But I'm going to repeat myself in the new thread.

One of my personal 'checks' on churches/religious organizations is:  Does it appear to be an employment agency for the Pastoral/extended pastoral family.  (If so, Liss no go, because you are too entrenched for your - and the congregation's - own good). 

I also pay very close attention to fun details like the openness of financial information and 'dumb' little issues like, you know, NDA's being issued (it's church, why are we issuing NDAs?)

Why is there a security detail? Unless you're The Pope, that's the weirdest thing I've ever heard, for a church to do.

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Grew up in Phoenix, in the East Valkey, so I was curious as to where this historical church was located. After the original pastor left, the church became part of Reformed Church of America, and a new pastor from Michigan took over. By 2005, a female employee figured out that he had embezzled at least $60k, possibly more. https://www.eastvalleytribune.com/news/pastor-fired-accused-of-theft-of-church/article_ef311c22-d729-5315-9ba4-71e6a94daf29.html

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49 minutes ago, SnarkyLawyer said:

Grew up in Phoenix, in the East Valkey, so I was curious as to where this historical church was located. After the original pastor left, the church became part of Reformed Church of America, and a new pastor from Michigan took over. By 2005, a female employee figured out that he had embezzled at least $60k, possibly more. https://www.eastvalleytribune.com/news/pastor-fired-accused-of-theft-of-church/article_ef311c22-d729-5315-9ba4-71e6a94daf29.html

 

Interesting. 20211003_164041.thumb.jpg.97270475fa8eee82e7212df49e4dc0a4.jpg

2 minutes ago, SnarkyLawyer said:

 

Interesting. 20211003_164041.thumb.jpg.97270475fa8eee82e7212df49e4dc0a4.jpg

Apologies. Meant to quote the letter to Driscoll from the former Director of Security, not my own post. Couldn't figure out how to fix it.

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It's worth the 45 seconds to hear what Driscoll is pitching now. Black/White thinking is biblical; nuanced (critical) thinking is demonic. And btw, the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves by embracing "critical theory." There's maybe a white power sign flashed in there somewhere, too.

Side note: Mark's not looking too good. He hasn't figured out how to age gracefully out of his tough boy pastor image and he just seems overstuffed and uncomfortable.

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Critical theory is...what, exactly?  So, I googled.  A few things that popped up: 

Quote

Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole. ... Critical theories aim to dig beneath the surface of social life and uncover the assumptions that keep human beings from a full and true understanding of how the world works.

and 

Quote

Critical theory is any approach to social philosophy that focuses on reflective assessment and critique of society and culture in order to reveal and challenge power structures. 

 

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37 minutes ago, Howl said:

Critical theory is...what, exactly?

Bottom line, it's whatever Driscoll says it is.

He does look bad -- apparently Grace can't expect Mark to maintain *his* appearance.

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Driscoll wants to act like he is the ONLY one able to understand Evil Critical Theory and protect poor little Christians from it, but this is all old news.

The SPLC covered this anti-semitic conspiracy theory back in 2003 back when they were calling it Cultural Marxism.

Critical theory was a real set of philosophical ideas put forward by the Frankfurt School in 1930s. They argued that both capitalism and communism offered too-easy answers, and instead we needed to dig beneath (be critical of) the stories that society tells about itself (i.e. what @Howl quoted above). Many of the thinkers affiliated with the Frankfurt School were Jewish (like Max Horkheimer) or of partial Jewish ancestry (like Theodor Adorno). They all fled the Nazis, and some restarted their institute as part of Columbia University in New York. So, some of these thinkers ended their careers as college professors in the U.S., and their philosophy fell under a wider intellectual category of Marxism, even though they weren't communists in a traditional sense.

So the thinkers of the Frankfurt School make convenient scapegoats (what if everything you hate about society is the fault of Foreign! Jewish! Immigrant! Marxist! College Professors! And maybe before they left Germany they also cause the Holocaust to happen to themselves??)

It's also helpful that no one who thinks Critical Theory/Cultural Marxism is evil could understand any of their books, which are complicated academic philosophy. If Mark Driscoll has read Adorno I'll eat my yarmulke.

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