Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Throckmorton: Soma clarifies relationship with Mars Hill Bellevue

and here WtH was posting just yesterday how there's been no formal confirmation Vanderstelt's taken a certain job yet ...


Hey everybody,
A growing number of you have been asking for clarification about what’s happening with Jeff [Vanderstelt] and Soma in relation to the Mars Hill Church in Bellevue.
I thought I would clarify here quick, so that you get the right information, rather than some misinformation flying around social media.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/11/25/soma-church-clarifies-relationship-with-mars-hill-bellevue/#ixzz3K95jCvYX

One can only wonder what "social media" and what "misinformation" has been flying around.  In the last year it's seemed at times as though more misinformation has come out of Mars Hill than has been circling about outside it about Mars Hill.

But perhaps some kind of official confirmation may yet spring forth that Vanderstelt's definitely joining the Bellevue team.  We'll just have to wait and see.

MH Pastor Scott Harris ... executive director of ministries - Global? formerly or currently?

Senior Leader - Executive Director of Ministries - Global
Mars Hill Church
November 2012 – Present (2 years 1 month)|Greater Seattle Area
Oversaw and led ministries across all 15 Mars Hill Churches in 5 states. This included Community Groups, Redemption Groups and Biblical Living, Worship, Students, Kids, Women's Ministry, Mars Hill Network of Churches and Leadership Development. My role was to work with the ministry directors in leading each of these ministries to provide leadership and direction as we make disciples and plant churches.
• Formulated standards for existing and new Mars Hill locations and implemented best practices of core services.
• Propelled growth through key initiatives in seven different ministries including 200+% increase in Next Gen.
• Collaborated with Executive Leadership to envision future strategy and direction.

 In 2012, Mars Hill was the 3rd fastest growing churches in America. Mars Hill has planted over 481 churches through its www.Acts29Network.org and trains disciples through www.theResurgence.org

There's no indication of that internally of late .... though Harris is apparently still listed as a pastor, which confirms a statement from the Ballard News Tribune about his continuing presence ...


Monday, November 24, 2014

a follow up question on the Vanderstelt announcement, has Vanderstelt even publicly indicated he's even accepting the job?


One of the things that may be worth considering is that while there are commenters over at Throckmorton's blog who have written to the effect that everyone connected to MH and A29 are thick as thieves ... well ... if Vanderstelt's history of any association with Acts 29 goes back to 2002 then David Nicholas was still involved.  It's potentially important to recall that based on Ron Wheeler's account ...


Nicholas was not out of the picture in the leadership of Acts 29.  How and why Nicholas ended up out of the organization he co-founded has been one of the mysteries of its history.  If Vanderstelt's selection and activity is going to represent a true change of direction then what Vanderstelt may know, if anything, about David Nicholas' disappearance from the Acts 29 Network might be worth sharing as a token of good faith.  Just an idea for consideration.

Anyone who may actually have record of David Nicholas' correspondence to Acts 29 about Mark Driscoll might want to consider making it available to the public for consideration. 

While the odds that people connected to the history of Mars Hill may not have "completely" clean hands now is not exactly the best time to impute comprehensive guilt by tangential associations.  If anything there's some evidence that Driscoll has a history of taking drastically different approaches depending on his audience. Take this, for instance, click on the image of the headphones for the audio:


audio from August 24, 2007

[interviewer] I don't know if you remember when you did the assessment for me at the boot camp a million years ago [Driscoll says, "no"]. You pulled my wife and I into a room. And this is, like, you chewed me out the first time we met and you were the nice Catholic boy around my wife, which was really cute, it was a nice move. [Driscoll laughs] Suddenly she thinks, "He's a nice guy. Why are you saying he's mean?"  and, and, you asked my wife, "Who is your husband's pastor?" and she started trying to name the guys of a three-thousand person church that was sending us out, and your answer was, "No, you're his pastor."

Can you talk a little about the dynamic of a family, behind the scenes, planting a church together? What does it look like to have a wife who is submitting to you but brave enough to speak into your life? What is it like to have kids who are planting maybe in an area that is not an area you would want to raise kids in?
Now we "could" get into the problem of this idea slamming facefirst into Driscoll's ideas about headship ...

Covenant and Headship
Part 4 of Proverbs
Pastor Mark Driscoll | October 21, 2001

There’s a lot of – men are still the head. That’s my point. They’re still in charge, and they still dominate. And you say, “Well, I don’t dominate. I just left.” Well, you still dominate in your absence. If you don’t raise your kids, you’re dominating their lives. If you don’t love her wife, you’re dominating her life. If you’re a delinquent who is just sort of ruining everything around you, you are dominating, and you are influencing everyone because you’re a head.

Why Driscoll would have shifted by 2007 to the idea that the wife is the pastor's pastor when he'd been so firm about headship all the way is hard to explain.  The only way having the woman who is supposed to submit to and trust the husband could be the pastor to/over the husband in some authority fashion that would make sense if a person were to take all of Driscoll's ideas equally seriously would be to postulate that the wife can never really be the pastor over her husband and that by invoking the necessity of "respect" a man could have the wife be a pro forma "pastor" to him and he'd never have to actually have any men mentoring or pastoring him.  But that's just one possible interpretive angle ... .

Meanwhile, while Driscoll has long since resigned membership and eldership within Mars Hill in the wake of being faced with a restoration plan ... only time will tell if Vanderstelt will consider the offered job worth taking in light of the scandals that have not yet been resolved.  Anyone have confirmation that Vanderstelt has formally accepted the job?  Wenatchee has been ... stuck in traffic a bit lately.  :)

No sign of accepting the job on his twitter just yet ...


IF there's anything we've learned about Mars Hill this year from their Jesus Festival it's that just because they make a big public announcement and repeat it a few times doesn't mean it's actually happened or going to happen for sure. When Mars Hill leaders announce resignations those have turned out to be sort of accurate ... but when Mars Hill announces positively that they're doing something .... we can't be so sure.  Let's wait until Vanderstelt himself to confirm that he's even taking the job before we get too confident about things that have been announced by Mars Hill or its would-be spin-offs.  After all, Mars Hill Bellevue has a particularly dubious track record thanks to stuff about that International Paper Building, right?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Alastair Roberts on "rescuing Christian mascculinity" and a crisis of masculinity in the modern West, what if the crisis he's looking for is the "disposability" of the male?


Behind all of these things, it seems to me, there lies a deep crisis in contemporary masculinity, which in turn is a symptom of a crisis of contemporary society. Unfortunately, few people have put their finger upon this. The crisis of masculinity is in many respects prompted by economic and political factors, resulting from the combination of several developments: the movement from a production to a service-based economy, the rise of a unisex workforce and society, the triumph of the model of gender neutral companionate marriage between individuals, the movement from labour to consumers, the rise of the ‘pink police state’ (with its aversion to risk and responsibility), the valuation of ‘empowerment’ over the responsible exercise and development of our own power (moving us from a population that responsibly exercises power in self-governance and over against other agencies to one that relates to state and business more as children might do to their parent), the ascent of a therapeutic understanding of human nature, the resistance to and diminishing of the figure and authority of the father, the shrinking of the size and realm of the family, etc.

Well ... okay ... but when Roberts says "few" let's trust he is aware that a few have put their finger on this crisis or something like it.  Roy Baumeister addressed it indirectly by pointing out that one of the essential ways that males contribute to cultures is by way of their disposability.


He put it rather bluntly by saying if half the penises in a generation were lost there would be enough wombs to produce a future generation whereas the same could never be said of the inverse loss.  What Roberts describes seems contingent on two proposals.  The first is to take the essential disposability of males as given and the second is to propose that that the out-sourcing of production in post-industrial Western economies has made what the still-disposable males could be doing something that can be done by others.  The rise of a unisex workforce in itself may well be overstated and less critical to the outsourcing of production. 

The flip side of risk is that you don't just win big, you lose big. 

Christian attempts to recover some kind of masculinity in the West have tended to hinge on risk-taking and contribution as disembodied ideals.  There has been less engagement with the possibility that male disposability is quite possibly the underlying "crisis" of masculinity in the West.

As for alternatives, a healthier kind of clean, manly Christian practice ... this is a virtually ageless concern in each generation.  A century ago one Chaplain Evers was concerned to promote a clean and masculine evangelical faith and he did so, rather literally as well as figuratively, at the trenches of combat in World War I.

Understanding the appeal of Mark Driscoll might be something we could boil down to the sales pitch he gave to men.  The sales pitch was, to put it in distilled terms that would be worthy of Driscoll, legacy.  Join this movement and we'll change the city for Jesus across generations and walks of life.  As it became more and more clear over the last fifteen years that Mark's vision of fixed up masculinity could be described as markulinity, a vision of manhood in which Mark Driscoll kept making himself both the measure and the goal of proper manhood, even people in the "manosphere" began to dismantle Driscoll as yet another guy extolling a vision of manhood that only had room for the alpha male rather than the beta male.  For at least one possible example, see Dalrock.

Long ago, back in the William Wallace II days, Driscoll made a point of yelling at guys.  Per "the men and two stones" part of God's Work, Our Witness, Mark yelled at the guys to shape up and fly right and it ... worked. 

There were maybe 100 to 120 guys at that time. Probably the average age was maybe early twenties, twenty years old. You’re talking college guys. But a lot of those guys, to this very day, they did it, man. They’re running companies. They’re deacons, elders. They’re starting churches. They’ve gotten married. They’re having kids. Their lives are changed and they are still, you know, hands up, chin down, feet forward, getting it done. And it’s just really cool what God did in this place.

The reason it's not possible to believe that Driscoll "repented" or was really sorry that he did the yelling thing is that 11 years after he did it he was crediting God as having done a cool thing that, if you were there, was pretty clearly Mark Driscoll's idea and initiative.  There was real estate to be bought, after all.

Paradoxically Driscoll had to sell men on the idea that they were NOT disposable. Driscoll has said over the years that if you get the young men you get everything, you win the culture?  Why?  Because basically they have the power to become the establishment of tomorrow.  Promise them a legacy and they will probably deliver, or at least try, and then you can figure out what stuff to keep and what stuff to distance. 

There were a whole lot of guys in the leadership culture of Mars Hill over the years who didn't object to much of anything within Mars Hill, why?  Well, let's propose that they never imagined that they, as individuals, were disposable, so they didn't object to the general tenor of things on the ground.  When you feel and think you belong then you're less apt to feel and think that what you belong to may have problems in it. 

Phillip Zimbardo has suggested that the emergence of cults may tell us something about what our society at large fails to provide and the cult of Mars Hill (if it can be described that way) might be a potent case study of how a group gains momentum and identity by proposing itself as a remedy to a specific social problem.  In the case of Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll the proposed problem was a crisis in masculinity but the proposed solution was ... the community and social dynamics of Mars Hill.  This may have worked a little better earlier when the community was far more decentralized in terms of who was able to make what decisions, and that may be why people who had no problems with most of the general theology and ideals of Mars Hill or even Mark Driscoll felt the terrible shift from the halcyon days of a plurality of elders was 2007.

But the problem with that explanation would be that personality cults were clearly in play years before 2007 happened.  Anyone who was single at Mars Hill from 2002-2007 may recall the idiotic courtship fad, which probably only had the traction it had because a majority of unmarried males hoped against all odds they could marry one of the daughters of a popular proponent of courtship.  There was a great deal of heat and little light in discussing courtship and whether the couples held up as the poster couples for the fad even had very ideal courtships was probably moot. 

But the self-enforcing expectations and presentation was so secure that elders would say that even though it was not necessarily defended by either the biblical texts themselves or history, the elders all agreed courtship was a good way to go so that was the deal.  Wenatchee The Hatchet is going to remorselessly suggest that such idiotic lockstep conformity on an issue that didn't matter to church governance for half a decade was like incubating a pattern in which when the elders had a chance to make decisions about things that did matter in governance the lockstep expectation of conformity that would meet dissent and difference with combat or dismissal was already going to be in play.  For those who would wish to explain the history of Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll in terms of a cult and a system of control then it needed the 2002-2007 courtship fad as the beta-testing stage for getting everyone at all levels to buy into the program regardless of objections and then, with that safely settled as a kind of case study, the real moves could be possible.

But that would ascribe a level of shrewdness and competence that seems too generous for anyone in leadership at Mars Hill in light of the 2005 boondoggle purchase of the corporate headquarters. 

Still, if one were going to hammer the 2007 by-laws as a signal event one should consider that that moment did not emerge in a vacuum; the expectation that all the elders be completely in agreement had to develop in some fashion and that cultural expectation was going to moot whatever plurality of elders may have existed even if the 2007 by-laws had been rejected, at least in the long run.

So, getting this back to a crisis of masculinity, a bit.  There are times when the "crisis of masculinity" seems less about masculinity than the economics of the nuclear family.  Wenatchee the Hatchet considers the nuclear family to be a historically and globally aberrant form of family life and one that Christians in the United States should not necessarily endorse as either "biblical" or necessary.  It's not that a nuclear family is necessarily a bad thing but that many of Driscoll's failures could be described as a failure to provide anything other than a Law with no Gospel. 

Driscoll's lectures on manhood tend to founder whenever real world details become necessary.  It's easy to tell guys they need to go get real jobs and not "joe jobs" (but didn't Driscoll's own father, Joe, swing a hammer for a living for years as a union drywaller?).  Mark Driscoll's career has been one that ribbonfarm might describe as one of "conspicuous production", yet the last year's worth of scandal associated with Mark Driscoll has shown us that that conspicuous production may have been the result less of Mark Driscoll's actual intellect and labor and more a result of ... well ... Result Source Inc played a part, but so did help from the Docent Group a few years ago and probably a team of assistants and even maybe ghostwriters.  Mark Driscoll had become a brand and with that brand much of the content credited to his name may have been work-for-hire that was actually done by others.  The production was so conspicuous under Driscoll's name that it could be seen as too much and too good to be true ... which it seems, in the end, it was. 

And one of the key problems of a masculinity reform initiative is that the person making the bid has to be able to live it out, literally or figuratively in the trenches. Thus the old comparison earlier this year between Mark Driscoll and Chaplain Evers. 

Driscoll may well have advised guys to get "real jobs" but the emphasis was on the prestige and financial compensation of the job, whatever it was, as a springboard for getting that wife, making those babies, and moving "upstream" to change culture.  But if Driscoll's career can be described as conspicuous production perhaps his career can also be characterized by succumbing to what someone at ribbonfarm called the artisanal fallacy.

The pull quote for the day would be this:
If the uniqueness in the product mainly makes the producer feel more special and unique, without leading to profitable differentiation, it’s the optional kind, like latte art.

Driscoll sure felt like Real Marriage was a great big important book that could help people but why should someone have bought that book when The Christian Directory by Richard Baxter could be downloaded for free at archive.org?  It's not a matter of whether someone benefited from reading a Mark Driscoll book, it's a matter of why Mark Driscoll got the idea that there was any reason for him to write the book to begin with.  If Driscoll felt better for having produced the book then, to borrow ribbonfarm's idiom, writing the book was optional, like latte art.

So now here we are, a year later, and all those times Mark Driscoll talked on twitter or instagram or Facebook about his job and put "job" out there in those scare quotes ... well ... it's like there were reasons for that. 

What if the way to truly address a potential crisis in masculinity is not to tell men to not accept the dead-end joe jobs but to find a way to instruct them about how to adapt to the reality of dead-end joe jobs?  Maybe we could rephrase this not as a "redeeming ambition" platform but "godliness with contentment is great gain" platform.  As a former pastor from Mars Hill once explained a thing to me, there was this tendency at Mars Hill to define any potential singles' ministry ONLY in terms of marrying everyone off so there would no longer be a need for a singles' ministry, but that would be bad, because that one-size-fits-all approach couldn't be sustainable.  Yep.

If there's a crisis amongst males and it is connected to disposability then, at least in Baumeister's working understanding of men and masculinity that disposability is a feature and not a bug. 

Throckmorton: Jeff Venderstelt announced as teaching pastor for the Mars Hill Bellevue that's turning into Bellevue Church. a short overview of what little WtH has noted about Vanderstelt as part of Re:Train


Something from the start of the November 23, 2014 letter warrants comment.

November 23, 2014
Eastside, family

We have all been in prayer together for some time now concerning the eastside church we believe Jesus wants to build through us, and also specifically for God to bring forward the lead teaching pastor that he desires for that church.

In the history of Mars Hill Bellevue it's a bad start to invoke what you believe Jesus wants built or done since the Thomas Hurst letter explaining how the "we" of Mars Hill leadership was persuaded that God wanted Mars Hill Bellevue to have the International Paper Building.

capture from October 26, 2013
As we walk down the path God has laid out for us, we want to share with you a bit of a paradigm shift: Bellevue is now in “core group” phase.

While many churches plant with a core group of 25 people, or 250 people, Mars Hill Bellevue is currently a core group of 2,500 people. As we look ahead, the Bellevue elders and the Executive Elders are not just praying for 1,000 people, or 5,000 people on a Sunday, we’re praying for 10,000 people to worship on a Sunday at Mars Hill Bellevue…10,000 individuals whose lives are forever changed by the Gospel. To this end, we need to think, act and pray differently, starting today.  If we wait until tomorrow, a year from now or three years from now when our lease is up, it will be too late.

With this in mind, we have found a site in Bellevue that meets these needs. I’m asking you to pray with us as we explore what it will take to move Mars Hill Bellevue to this new location, and how you can be a part of the mission.

The International Paper Property on 120th St.

After many months of searching and narrowing down our choices, only one building in Bellevue is available that meets the needs of the church that God is building on the Eastside. A few weeks ago we made an offer on a property in the Bel-Red corridor on 120th St. which is currently owned by the
So where Bellevue goes, you have to remember its leadership team has a history of saying this kind of stuff and having it not ... quite ... pan ... out as planned.

Now, about Venderstelt, Wenatchee The Hatchet does not know a great deal about him. The letter published by Throckmorton indicates Vanderstelt worked with Bill Clem in the launching of Doxa and Soma (though Wenatchee has previously understood Doxa to have actually been an Acts 29 plant, at least based on Mark Driscoll sermons ... so further clarification there is welcome)

What few times the name has come up in researching the history of Mars Hill would be as follows:

He's had a board role in the Acts 29 Network history

Vanderstelt, according to a Chris Blackstone ( who may be the same with a LinkedIn profile indicating studying Re:Train from 2009 to 2010), was co-teacher of a "missional practicum"
for instance:
Missional Practicum taught by Mark Driscoll, Scott Thomas, and Jeff Vanderstelt

Perhaps Vanderstelt can explain how and why the Resurgence Training Center withered on the vine after a big press roll-out in 2009?  The announcement of Vanderstelt's selection seems to downplay connections to the founder of Mars Hill, perhaps for reasons too obvious to bother stating. 

Vanderstelt's connections to Acts 29 affiliated people thus seems to go back as far as the founding of Doxa in 2002. 

Vanderstelt was at one point "second vice-president" in the Acts 29 Network

Jeff Vanderstelt is Second Vice President of the Acts 29 Network. In 2003, he came to the Seattle area to help Bill Clem plant churches between Seattle and Tacoma. To plant Soma Communities, he went through the Acts 29 Network assessment process and became a member.

Friday, November 21, 2014

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 2 part 7 commentary, if we compare the 2008 session to the 2012 narrative of Real Marriage it seems the "ordinary demonic" abounded.

At this point there is no plausible deniability as to whether or not Mark Driscoll could have somehow stumbled upon the concepts of "one-ism" and "two-ism" by some providential happenstance.  He explicitly credited Peter Jones with the concepts back in 2008 in the spiritual warfare seminar he gave to leaders. 

Noting this on the anniversary of Janet Mefferd's on air accusation that Mark Driscoll was a plagiarist who, in particular, used a lot of Jones' ideas with sparse citation, is simply noting what people should have already been aware of.  But since not everyone heard or became familiar with the 2008 spiritual warfare session it seemed good to transcribe and comment on this session to get to this specific point and then move forward from it.

Because the way Mark Driscoll describes idolatry as worship of fame and money and sex can lead a person to ask whether or not since he gave that talk in 2008 Driscoll hasn't confessed to a kind of worship of those things.  In Real Marriage Driscoll's concession that he tended to view sex as a god was a given.  What Driscoll didn't clear up in the 2008 session was whether one of his precepts worked in reverse, if sexual sin is idolatry would idolatry of sex also be sexual sin, too?  In other words, while Driscoll was going on about the usual suspects for conservative Protestants and sexuality one can't help but ask why an idolization or idealization of the sexual/marital bond in itself could not constitute an idolatry that needed to be repented of.  For those who read Real Marriage the resolution of the tension between Mark and Grace Driscoll was resolved how?  Apparently by Mark Driscoll convincing his wife that having more sex with him would cure his mood swings and depression.  How was that supposed to be repenting of making a god of sex, exactly?

A case could be made that Driscoll has idolized fame?  Why? Simple, he admitted to using Result Source for Real Marriage, a book which has turned out to have never credited Dan Allender's work in its first edition. In fact the number of citation errors in Real Marriage is so high that between the citation errors and the Result Source deal and the problematic questions the narrative of Real Marriage opens up in light of both the general public narrative of Mark Driscoll from 2000 to 2008 on the one hand and the 2012 narrative in Real Marriage itself on the other, the writing and promotion of the 2012 book can be construed as the book that at every conceivable level destroyed the legacy of Mars Hill Church.  The Driscolls saying they were privately bitter and resentful and confused while Driscoll preached some of his most salacious sermons on sex upended the veracity and credibility of the narrative Mars Hill members and leaders had tended to believe.  The book gaining a place on the NYT bestseller list by way of Result Source Inc activity showed the book gained its reputation through a dishonest method, and then it turned out, at length, that a lot of ideas that were written and published by others were not adequately cited. 

And in light of the scope of the problems in the Driscoll dating and marriage relationship, especially when all the axiomatic teaching from the 2008 spiritual warfare teaching is accounted for so far, one is virtually forced to ask whether or not Mark Driscoll, by the metrics of his own ideas of the "ordinary demonic" started into and stayed in a marriage for many years that was simply characterized by the demonic, the ORDINARY demonic, but the demonic nonetheless.

After having admonished pastors to use reduction ad absurdum in apologetics and debate it's possible to quote Driscoll accurately; quote him completely in context; and cross reference the cumulative and disparate narrative strands of his public statements in ministry, and suggest from that that by now the burden of proof is going to be on Mark Driscoll himself and the Board of Overseers and the Board of Advisors & Accountabilty to explain why Mark Driscoll ISN'T demonized and HASN'T been demonized for at least some stretch of his ministry career.  Go through every category of "ordinary demonic" from the 2008 session and cross reference it to the scandals and stories associated with Driscoll and this possibility seems exceptionally hard to rule out. 

It's not that Wenatchee The Hatchet thinks Mark Driscoll is actually demonized, as such, but that Mark Driscoll's own axioms and anecdotes, taken as a whole and in context, seem to testify on a grand scale against Mark Driscoll's own spiritual health and any board that would to any degree exonerate Driscoll in light of his cumulative self-testimony and axioms on spiritual warfare simply may not have the competence in theology, biblical interpretation, or normal human relations to have any business speaking on these matters in public. 

It's not just that the 2012 book up-ended the previous narrative and showed that it may have been a sham, it's that for those leaders and laity in ministry who heard the 2008 spiritual warfare session it raised some pretty awkward questions about whether by Mark Driscoll's own teachings we'd all have to consider his marriage so fraught with the "ordinary demonic" it may have passed into something more extraordinary.  A more generous explanation could be that Mark Driscoll, after a year or two of sleep deprivation and self-attested symptoms that could indicate a caffeine dependency, crashed both mentally as well as physically and has been overdue for sounder physical and psychological care than he may have been getting from the likes of Catanzaro since about 2007. The best possible thing for Mark Driscoll at this point would be to be away from any kind of ministry altogether and to just be a rank and file member of a church learning how to actually submit to authority, a thing he's been so famous for advising others to do.

Or, if Driscoll wants to be measured by his own axioms ... the burden of proof is on him and his defenders to explain why he didn't end up demonized.  Wenatchee The Hatchet is going to suggest the alternative is the more generous explanation.

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 2 part 7: idolatry as ordinary demonic and Driscoll name-drops Peter Jones' one-ism and two-ism

February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll

Part 2: The Devil


Last, too, ordinary demonic, idolatry. 1 John 5:18-21 talks about idolatry. I hit it on Sunday that idolatry is worshipping creatION instead of creaTOR. Romans 1:25 says they exchanged the truth of God for a lie or THE lie and the worshipped and served created things rather than the creator God. Peter Jones, a leading scholar in the world on paganism, lectured here not long ago, did a great job in Romans 1. He said there really are only two world views, there's THE truth and THE lie. And THE truth is that God is creator and he rules over creation and we exist to worship creator and steward creation. The lie is that God and creation are the same. It's two-ism vs one-ism. Two-ism is creator/creation. One-ism is that creator and creation are essentially the same. It comes out in philosophical language like monism, pantheism, panentheism, (pantheism [is] that all creation is God, panentheism that creation is the body which contains God). This is most Eastern religions, most pagan religions, radical environmentalism, it's one-ism. We believe in two-ism. We believe that God made things not that God and those things are esentially the same.

What happens is if you believe the lie instead of the truth, if you believe one-ism instead of two-ism, you worship created things rather than creator God. And in Romans 1 he says this leads to lesbianism and homosexuality and sexual perversion and sin of all kinds. You know what it is? God made the body very good. He made everything good. He made the body very good. Gender, sexuality, pleasure, I read for you guys Sunday Steven Arterburn, a Christian counselor who says that the only thing as pleasurable as sex, chemically, is heroin, that's why it's so addictive. God intends sex to be between one man and one woman and the pleasure and passion that bond them together as a loving married couple (which is why when sex is outside of marriage it leads to devastation, addiction and destruction) people who commit sexual sin, they are worshipping the body, they're worshipping nudity, they're worshipping parts of the body, they're worshipping the pleasures of their body, they're worshipping the appearance, taste, touch, sight, smell of someone else's body. Sexual sin is idolatry.  It's worshipping creation rather than creator. It's a much bigger issue than just a lifestyle issue. It's a worship issue.

I shared with you on Sunday, as well, the insight of Martin Luther, who said that the first two commandments is that there's only one God and the second is that you're only to worship God and Luther says if you don't break the first two commandments you won't break the rest. You won't murder anybody. You won't commit adultery. You won't covet, you won't lie, you won't steal, you won't because if you worship God ONLY you won't worship sex, power, fame, money and glory and you won't commit idolatry. Peter Kreeft, the philosopher, says the opposite of Christianity is not atheism but idolatry. That we're all worshippers. We all GIVE ourselves to someone or something. Romans 11:36 he talks about, you know, "to God be the glory now and forever. Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And there he's talking about glory, holding something in glory. He's talking about worship, giving yourself to it. Sacrifice time, energy, money, health, for the good of this person, this thing, this feeling, this experience, that in that way sports is religion and sex is religion and work is religion and intellect is religion and power is religion and fame is religion and it's ALL idolatry. It's ALL the worship of ME and US and the feelings and the passions and the joys and the pleasures and the pride that we enjoy.
That ultimately Satan just wants to take our Imago Dei that is made to worship and have it worship created things rather than creator God. That's all he wants to do and he's so good at it and people are idolatrous and they're worshipping Satan when they commit idolatry.

POSTSCRIPT: 11-23-2014
The lecture(s) potentially in question may be the following:

January 8, 2008 and for a second reference to the same lecture, Gary Shavey was mentioning tha tit was coming up in December 2007.

Resurgence is hosting two free events on January 8, 2008 to help the church and believers understand and address this root issue. We invite all Pacific Northwest pastors, church planters and ministry leaders to join Dr. Peter Jones, professor and author, for a free morning workshop that includes lunch. ...

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 2 part 6: on lies as ordinary demonic, a bit more about believing lies than telling lies

February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll

Part 2: The Devil

John chapter 8, Satan also likes to work through the ordinary demonic of lies. Jesus says there that Satan is a liar. He is the father of lies. He has been lying since the beginning. Lying is his native tongue.

Here's the situation with lies, lies work. [emphasis added] The vast majority of your demonic counseling will simply be figuring out the lies that people believe. Jesus says "You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free." That's, "People are in bondage to lies and the truth sets them free."
This can be theological but sometimes it's just really practical.
[short pause]

I'll give you one situation, I use this analogy all the time.  Let's say there's a woman and she believes that her husband doesn't love her and she believes that he's cheating on her committing adultery.  Let's say it's a total lie, it's not true. If she believes that will that effect anything? It destroys everything. Why? Because it doesn't need to be true to devastate it just needs to be believed and then acted upon as if it were true.

One of the things I like to do with people who believe lies--and it's amazing [the] lies people believe. We'll get into accusations and vain regrets and all of that--but one of the things I like to do with people is I just like to have them keep a journal. Tell me all the lies you believe about others, God, theology, the truth, Jesus, yourself. What are the lies?  I mean, what are the lies. 

I've had people come to me with pages and pages and pages and pages of lies. I've had woman tell me things like, "I deserved to be raped." That's a lie. "Well, I got raped because I had too much to drink and I was under-dressed and I was kind of asking for it." That's a lie. I had one young woman tell me (I've done more than my share of abuse counseling and rape victims and molestations and it's devastating but so many of them believe lies) [emphasis added] I had one gal who was molested by her father say, "You know, it really is my fault. When I was a little girl I would sit on his lap and I would rub his face and I would kiss his cheek and he did molest me but it was my fault because I, I  caused him to desire me."

No, that's a lie.  A little girl should sit on her daddy's lap and rub his face and kiss him on the check and that should elicit no sexual response in the daddy. In fact just the opposite of sexual response, pure fatherly love. Embrace, snuggle, hug, kiss encourage, nothing sexual. That's in him, not in you.  That's his flesh. That's not your affection. That's a lie. That's a lie.

People believe all kinds of lies, it's unbelievable. One of the first things you've gotta do is figure out what all the lies are. That's why I have them journal out, "What are all the lies that you believe." Just journal what you think might be a lie. And if they're married I bring in their spouse. I'll ask, "What are the lies that your spouse believes?" and usually the spouse has a better read on it.
I had one woman, wonderful gal, sweet gal, she was convinced of the lie that her husband was committing adultery on her. So every time he'd go to work she would literally have a panic attack and would go into the closet and shut the door

and be there for hours having a literal, full-blown nervous breakdown panic attack.
Her husband's a great guy. Loves Jesus, loves her. It [the idea that the husband was cheating on his wife] was a total lie but something in her believed that lie and I think, for her, that struck at the core of her sense of security and identity and Satan got her to believe that lie and it absolutely undid her.  She went to counseling; she was diagnosed bipolar, paranoid schizophrenic, multiple personality disorder (I believe that such things are true but sometimes they're a junk drawer for other diagnoses for people that are experiencing real spiritual problems); they put her on all kinds of medication, she still had panic attacks, still freaking out, still in the closet; and I just told her, I said, "Sweetheart, it's a lie." It's a lie.

Her husband's sitting right there, I said, "Okay, God's honest truth, have you ever committed adultery on your wife?"
"When you leave the house are you going to commit adultery?"
"No, I'm going to work."
"Have you ever touched another woman, are you looking at porn, are you doing anything."
He's like, "I'm not doing anything. I go to work and I come home. That's what I'm doing. I love her.  You know, I'm delighted to be with her. She's the best."

I looked at her, I said, "Okay, here's what faith looks like for you--believe the truth. Don't believe the lie. If you believe the lie, you're going to ruin everything. If you believe the truth, you'll be okay. And you know what?  By God's grace she repented of her feeding the lie. She needed to see that believing a lie was a sin. It was a sin to be repented of. Here's the truth, here's the lie, I chose the lie. That's a sin, I need to repent.  I need to believe the truth. I need to have faith to live in light of the truth, like Jesus said, then I'll be free in the truth.

[She] went off her medication, no more panic attacks, no diagnoses, she's fine. This has been some years, they've got a loving marriage, they're doing great, they love Jesus. They're wonderful people.  But she fed the lie.  Don't feed the lies. And they're everywhere and part of your art in counseling is asking enough questions to figure out what the lies are that people believe.

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 2 part 6 commentary

It's a bit of a puzzle why Driscoll camped out so much on the ordinary demonic being that a person believes lies rather than tells lies. 

There may be virtually nothing to say beyond that general observation on the anniversary of Janet Mefferd's on air confrontation in interview with Mark Driscoll where she accused him of being a plagiarist and referenced the work of Peter Jones.  And on that note ... let's just move along to the part in the February 5, 2008 spiritual warfare session where Driscoll explicitly refers to Peter Jones.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 2 part 5: commentary 2, cross referencing Mark Driscoll's policy about who can be friends with Grace to the narratives in Real Marriage

Real Marriage: the truth about sex, friendship and life together
Mark and Grace Driscoll
Thomas Nelson
copyright (c) 2012 by On Mission, LLC
ISBN 978-1-4041-8352-0

page 123
One night, Mark and I were casually talking about past relationships and situations in our lives when I found myself describing sexual abuse that had occurred in my past as if I were explaining how I did the laundry yesterday--no emotion, seemingly no pain, no pause for tears or reflection on my words. Mark was crying as I finished the story, and when I asked what was wrong, he informed me that I had just explained abuse.  What? I had so much shame and had stuffed it for so long that I didn't even know it was abuse until Mark told me it more than fit the definition.
page 124
I had described to Mark a relationship I was in before he and I ever met, with a guy who was a little older than me and who came from a rough family life. I met the guy in church, and I was an emotionally needy, naive girl who didn't have brothers and wasn't informed about boys or protected from the bad ones--admittedly not a good combination. We voluntarily slept together, and I lost my virginity to him. Over time the guy became controlling, telling me what clothes I couldn't wear in public, because he was very jealous. He controlled when I went out with my friends and who I could hang out with (which basically was rarely and few). He determined my schedule and free time, having me stay with him at his work much of the time. He even organized his life to follow me around and keep an eye on me. It was like having an invisible fence around me, getting stung when going outside the boundaries, and I was ruled by my fears. [emphases added]

Sadly, I thought all this was him taking care of me and saw myself as increasingly unable to make my own decisions. At one point his jealousy turned to rage, and he ran after me, caught me, and threw me up against a wall. I grew more and more afraid of him, too afraid to tell him to leave me alone. Like many other girls, I didn't see this as abuse and thought he would change, but it continued for too long. I was filled with my own guilt from fornicating and told myself if I married him it would cover my sin somehow. So that was my plan until he confessed he had been sleeping with another girl. Somehow that was the one thing that took my fear away long enough to end the relationship, which I now see as my "way of escape" given by God. If in that moment I had chosen to continue being abused, my life would look completely different.

The first and possibly most striking part of the chapter 7 narrative is one of its earliest claims, that Grace Driscoll simply could not identify what had happened to her so many years ago as sexual abuse until Mark Driscoll said it was.  This is ... possible ... and yet it raises a question of just how compartmentalized Grace Driscoll's thought life might have been if she'd been familiar with Dan Allender's work since at least six years (or more) before the story she recounted to her husband (which Mark Driscoll has at a couple of occasions placed in the zone of 2006).  After all ...


Grace Driscoll
Occupation: Mom
Spouse: Mark
Children: Ashley, Zachariah
Education: B.A. in Public Relations/Communications, with a minor in Technical English

Favorite author: Ken Gire, Dan Allender, Donald S. Whitney, Jerry Bridges, the Apostle Paul (Romans)

After that, it is noteworthy about the earlier man is that he came from a rough family background.  Driscoll has long emphasized his blue-collar, lived-by-a-strip-club, son-of-a-union-drywaller past.  It's worth noting that Mark Driscoll himself, could be described as having lived in a rough neighborhood, and that the prevailing tendencies of the Driscoll clan were toward violence and alcohol-abuse.  His parents left North Dakota to remove their family from that influence.

Real Marriage: the truth about sex, friendship and life together
Mark and Grace Driscoll
Thomas Nelson
copyright (c) 2012 by On Mission, LLC
ISBN 978-1-4041-8352-0

page 5
The men on my father's side [Mark Driscoll] included uneducated alcoholics, mental patients, and women beaters. This includes an uncle who died of gangren and his sons, roughly my age, who have been in prison for beating women and were supposedly on the television show Cops. One of the main reasons my parents moved from North Dakota to Seattle was to get away from some family members when I was a very young boy.

The next thing that is particularly noteworthy from chapter 7 of Real Marriage is Grace describing the degree to which the abusive boyfriend controlled her social life and how she appeared. 

One of the more remarked-upon anecdotes from the Driscoll marriage has been the "mom haircut" story, which can be quoted as a comparison point to the anonymous former boyfriend of Grace Driscoll.

Real Marriage
page 11
Our marriage was functional but not much fun. As we approached the launch of the church, Grace was pregnant with our first child and suffering from painful stress-related issues caused by her public relations job, which culminated in me apologizing for not bearing the entire financial burden for our family. ...

In this season we shifted into ministry-and-family mode, neglecting our intimacy and falling ot work through our issues. This became apparent to me when my pregnant wife came home from a hair appointment with her previously long hair (that I loved) chopped off and replaced with a short, mommish haircut. She asked what I thought, and could tell from the look on my face. She had put a mom's need for convenience before being a wife. She wept.

So far as controlling who did and didn't get to be friends with Grace Driscoll it is at this point, especially, that the way Mark Driscoll described his gatekeeping activity on behalf of his wife as at least potentially controlling:


February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Part 2: The Devil

  I'll tell you, in the history of Mars Hill, I mean, I have had to put up a firewall, a moat, guard dogs, and a high wall with barbed wire on the top, and snipers behind it, around my wife. There are certain women who, they just need to know what Grace is doing and they are determined, they say things like, uh, "Hey, we need to have dinner with your family." [slight chuckle] No you don't. "Hey, we need to have coffee." No you don't.  "Hey, phone number." What? Nope. "Email." Nope.  Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

"Oh, come on." Nope.
"But I thought you were our pastor."
I am and my first lesson is to tell you you're Satanic.
"Oh, come on, in our last church the pastor's wife [sob] she was my best friend and I got to talk to her all the time."

Well, she was Satanic, too.  Give me her number, I'll call her and tell her. We'll help her out.

A person could be forgiven for wondering if the distinction between the anonymous boyfriend and the behaviors and actions undertaken by Mark Driscoll to look after and protect his woman might not be considered a distinction without a difference.

Consider that while Grace described the anonymous boyfriend she lost her virginity to as re-ordering his whole life to keep track of her, Mark Driscoll shared from the pulpit in the 2008 Peasant Princess series the lengths to which he would go if Grace so much as forgot to call him one day.  While Driscoll explained the catalyzing incident, that Grace was assigned to a mens' dormitory, it's striking how far he was willing to go (literally) and the actions he was willing to take to ensure that Grace was, in his estimation, going to be safe.

the pertinent anecdotes start at about 33:40

... and this is an ENORMOUS part of my relationship with Grace.  I mean I still remember when I first started seeing her she, uh, she went off to college, I was still in high school and they ran out of housing so they put her in a guys' dorm. And I was like, "What!?" so I got in the car and I drove to the university and I knocked on all the doors of all the guys on her floor. "Hi. My name is Mark. I love this woman. Anyone talks to her, touches her,  thinks about talking about touching her I will beat them. Literally I threatened twenty guys. Just knocked on every door. No way she's gonna get messed with. No way.

Later on when she transferred to another university, WSU, she's five hours away. And she moved out there and her phone wasn't hooked up yet and we didn't have cell phones. And I told her, "When you get there, go to a pay phone. Call me. Let me know you got there safe."  Well she ... didn't call so I got in the car and I drove there. Five hours.  The day I had to work. And I knocked on the door. She answered it and I said, "Whu, you didn't call." She said, "I forgot." I said, "Are you okay?" She said, "I'm okay." So, okay, good, I got in the car and I drove home. Just checking. Six hundred miles.  Who cares? It's Grace.

... even emotionally, people send her nasty emails, text messages, talk trash about me, leave the church and want to take parting shots at her. She has nothing to do with any of it. So I even put a white/black list on her email and some people so some people can email her and the rest come to me. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. So that she doesn't have to feel bad because people are taking shots at her. That's my girl. No shots. That's the rule.

And if that doesn't work (or didn't work) try finding the audio courtesy of ...

The first two anecdotes could be construed as the efforts of someone who could have trusted that his girlfriend was going to be okay and that forgetting to make a phone call did not require driving five hours one way. 

The third anecdote, dating as it does from 2008, may be another case of a form of protecting Grace that post-dated the controversial 2007 re-org, terminations, and trials.  As much as Mark Driscoll has leaned on protecting Grace as the nature of what he's done, let's not forget that Grace has said things recounted by Driscoll or others that suggest she wasn't exactly a shrinking violet.

March 6, 2008
Thor Tolo

When the Lord isn’t talking to this man, kiddingly called a short-fused drama queen by his wife, his critics are blogging about him. Some of the sharper barbs make it difficult for Driscoll to hide the hurt.

Were any of the barbs ultimately as sharp or as prescient as the Elimelech assessment credited to none other than Grace Driscoll? 

[roughly one hour in]

...Elimelech is the guy--everything falls apart. It looks dark, it looks bad. He takes a poll he makes a plan. He decides Moab has a lower cost of living. Moab has more vocational opportunity. Moab has food on the table. I will make a plan, I will be the sovereign. I will take care of everything. Trust me. I know what I'm doing. He leads well. He plans well. He tries to be the sovereign (they're all going to die anyways). I am Elimelech.

I asked my wife, "Which one am I?" ... She didn't even breath, didn't even take a breath, "Oh, you're Elimelech." And his name means what? MY GOD IS KING! That was me. If you asked me, Jesus, sovereign, lord, king, God! And if I ever need Him I'll call him but I don't think I do because I've got all this taken care of.

And by Driscoll's own account, he seemed to agree that she was right.

Those words could be considered inadvertently prophetic in light of the pending death of the corporation known as Mars Hill Church. Centralizing and tightening the circle of influence and power into a smaller and more powerful executive branch was considered the necessary thing to have a "nimble" organization that could pick up real estate and make key decisions more efficiently and seven years later that leadership decision catalyzed a trajectory that has led to the death of the corporation, so it would seem. Perhaps it was necessary for Grace to describe her husband as Elimelech and it seems in the long-run he went on being Elimelech anyway.  It was he who said it, after all.
About a year later, during the February 5, 2008 spiritual warfare session Mark Driscoll was explaining how he screened out women from being friends with Grace because of how many were demonic gossips; and how he threatened twenty guys with assault years earlier if they touched her; and how he deleted emails and screened her emails so that she'd never see "nasty emails" about him; then it would seem that the actual gap between one boyfriend and the other could be hard for an outside observer to notice, in light of the sum of public statements the Driscolls have made together.

For all of the years that Mark Driscoll's defenders have insisted he protects women others could legitimately ask whether his idea of protecting a woman doesn't look suspiciously like controlling women.  Taken as a whole Mark Driscoll's statements as a pastor and public figure about the lengths to which he's shielded his wife from what he considered threats can sure "seem" to be in the same basic range of actions that Grace Driscoll described as abusive and controlling on the part of her long-ago anonymous boyfriend mentioned in chapter 7 of Real Marriage.

Throckmorton: Mars Hill Church 2011 and 2012 executive compensation studies


link presented without comment as there are other things incubating.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 2 part 5: commentary--on the paradoxical possibility that Driscoll's denunciation of gossip exemplfied the same

There was little to say about part 4 of Part 2 on foolishness and drunkenness.  What might be worth noting about Mark Driscoll's discourse on gossip is that if we do the usual Christianese thing and consult a dictionary as to the meaning of gossip ...

casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true

Then couldn't virtually everything that was anecdotal in the 2008 session that wasn't explicitly referring to Driscoll himself and possibly his wife have paradoxically counted as ... gossip?

That to a large degree Mark Driscoll's lengthy history of using sob stories to gain sympathy for himself directly or through stories about his family has already been discussed, yet it's worth pointing out again because while Mark Driscoll condemned a range of emotional ploys as "female manipulation" they have historically and demonstrably been part of Mark Driscoll's own rhetorical/relational arsenal.

This could be yet another way in which Driscoll denounced a relational method in 2008 that has been inextricably woven into Mark Driscoll's public discussion of himself as a public figure, which arguably reached its zenith in print over here

and from the stage as reported here


But if these sorts of emotionally manipulative ploys were satanic when women did them has Mark Driscoll gained some kind of phallic reprieve from being found wanting in using similarly emotionally manipulative ploys?

What is worth noting is that Driscoll singled out Wendy Alsup is not being like or having any of the traits that the demonic gossip mama/drama queen women had. 

Something else to note about the formal charges leveled by former pastors is that if you were to boil them down to their most distilled essence they basically made a cumulative charge that Mark Driscoll was a bully ... and what seems to be an inferential case that he's a gossip.  So if gossip was something former MH elders concluded was a problem and Mark Driscoll declared that gossip was part of the ordinary demonic ... well ... it's another level at which Mark Driscoll's abstracted teaching on spiritual warfare could be seen as a possible self-indictment.  More and more it could appear that the way at least some former elders have described Mark Driscoll suggests that "slander" seems like gossip and if so, well, Mark Driscoll's bracketing of gossip into the ordinary demonic makes it seem as though there's yet another stupendous gap between the abstracted precept told to leaders and the implications such a precept would have if applied to Driscoll's own conduct and speech.

Some things could be observed about Mark Driscoll's approach to spurning overtures of friendship from women toward his wife but that would necessitate cross-referencing a few things from Real Marriage and Peasant Princess, which warrants a separate post.

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 2 part 5: the ordinary demonic of gossip as a uniquely womanish vice, and on how womens' ministry was "like juggling knives"

February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Part 2: The Devil

How about this one? Idle gossip and busybodying. 1 Timothy 5:11-15. THIS one is amazing. Ladies this one is especially for you. Some of you say, "Oh, it's not me." Yeah, it is. 1 Timothy 5:11-15, "but refuse to enroll younger widows for when their passions draw them away from Christ they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith.  Besides that they learn to be idlers"

Women learn how to make a lot of free time. Going about from house to house. Well now it would be from email to email and from phone call to phone call. Technology makes idle busybodying far more effective than ever.

And not only idlers but also gossips. They like to talk about people. How are you doing? What are you doing? And this isn't sisterly accountability, this is "I need to know what everybody's doing because I like to know what everybody's doing and then I can tell other people what other people are doing and then I can say, `Hey, you need to pray for so-and-so.' and I can make it sound spiritual so that when I'm gossiping and busy-bodying I'm doing so in a way that seems really Jesus-like." And busybodies, they need to know what everybody's doing. They need to know what everybody's doing, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children and manage their household, right? Stay busy, and give the adversary (that's Satan) no occasion for slander. For some have already strayed after Satan. Hmm.

A woman who's a gossip and a busybody; a woman who has to put her nose in everybody's business and knows what everybody's going on; know what they're doing, she's working with Satan. Now I know most women would say: "No, no, no. I'm not Satanic, I'm concerned. I'm not Satanic, I'm an intercessor. I'm a prayer warrior. I'm not Satanic, I'm an accountability partner.  I'm not Satanic, I'm a concerned friend."  Okay, you're a Satanic intercessory prayer warrior accountability partner concerned friend but just start the whole list with "Satanic" so that we don't misunderstand your job description. 

Now there's a difference between someone inviting you into their life and saying, "I want to be friends, I want to have an accountable  relationship." and you pushing yourself into everyone's life, okay?  I'll tell you, in the history of Mars Hill, I mean, I have had to put up a firewall, a moat, guard dogs, and a high wall with barbed wire on the top, and snipers behind it, around my wife. There are certain women who, they just need to know what Grace is doing and they are determined, they say things like, uh, "Hey, we need to have dinner with your family." [slight chuckle] No you don't. "Hey, we need to have coffee." No you don't.  "Hey, phone number." What? Nope. "Email." Nope.  Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

"Oh, come on." Nope.
"But I thought you were our pastor."
I am and my first lesson is to tell you you're Satanic.
"Oh, come on, in our last church the pastor's wife [sob] she was my best friend and I got to talk to her all the time."
Well, she was Satanic, too.  Give me her number, I'll call her and tell her. We'll help her out.

You ladies KNOW these women. Right? How many of you ladies know these women? They will try first with the hyper-spiritual, "Oh, praise the Lord! I'd love to pray for you. Let's get together. Let's do Christian community. Let's go to heart." If you decline, then they emotionally manipulate, [inhales, sobbing voice], "I thought we were friends, I thought you loved me. I don't have anybody to talk to." It's all manipulation. It's FEMALE manipulation.  Some of you ladies, right now? You think, "I can't believe he said that." It's all true. It's Satanic, Satanic.

Paul says, "Don't be a busybody, stay busy." Right? Your husband, your kids, your family, your home, Jesus Christ. You got things to do.

Busybodies stay busy inserting themselves into everyone else's life. In some churches there are certain women, if you call them, they'll know everything that's going on because, somehow, they know everything. There's a difference between being a woman who is invited into someone's life for friendship, prayer and accountability, and a woman who emotionally manipulates and is pushy and is sometimes hyperspiritual and demanding and forces herself in because she's a drama queen and has to be at the center of all the drama. That is a Satanic woman.

You need to believe that and the worst thing you can do is accomodate her. Okay, we'll have you over for dinner once. And then, the next month, it's "Okay, buddy, we haven't been together in a month. We need to get together again. I'm sure a lot has happened in your life and I don't know what it is and I need to know because I need to know everything. I have a God complex of omniscience. I want to know everything about everybody." And what you find with these people, Paul says, they tend to be gossips, meaning you don't just talk to them, then they talk to other people.  "Well, did you know their marriage is struggling? Did you know that she's depressed?  Did you know that  she's post-partum?  Do you know that, sexually, her husband's impotent?" These are the conversations I've heard in this building. Really?

Sometimes womens' ministry is the cesspool that this kind of activity flourishes in. Some have asked, "Why don't you have womens' ministry?" The answer is we do, but it's, you have to be very careful, it's like juggling knives. You put the wrong women in charge of womens' ministry, the drama queen, the gossip mama, all of a sudden all the women come together, tell her everything, she becomes the pseudo-elder  quasi-matriarch; she's got the dirt on everybody and sometimes the women all get together to just rip on their husbands in the name of prayer requests. Happens all the time. Happens all the time. We have worked very hard so that the women who teach here are like Wendy Alsup who I really love and appreciate and respect. She's not like that. It is not that no woman should lead, that no woman should teach, that no woman should in a position of authority over other women  under the authority of their husband, Jesus and the elders it's just that the wrong women tend to want it. The wrong women tend to want it and they tend to want it for the wrong reasons. And sometimes it's the humble woman, who isn't fighting to be the center of drama, control and power; who doesn't have to be up front; she's usually the one who is most capable and qualified.  

And for you single men as well I would say be very, very careful because if you're on staff at Mars Hill  (everything I say sounds terrible, this will just be added to the pile) there are certain women who will tell you, "I want to marry a pastor." Really? You should want to marry a Christian who loves Jesus, loves you, loves your kids should God give them to you. I've lectured enough Bible colleges and seminaries, the young women who come up and say, "I want to marry a pastor"  my immediate default question is, "Are you a gossip? Are you a busybody? Are you a drama queen?" "No. No, I feel called to serve the Lord."  Well, you can serve the Lord without being called to be a pastor's wife in fact, take it from me, it's easier to be a woman and serve the Lord than being married to a pastor.   You single  guys, you gotta be careful, man. There are some women, they want to marry the pastor so they can be the center of power, authority; they can be the first lady; everybody knows them, everybody wants to be their friend, everybody wants to tell them everything; and they can be the center of all the drama. Run for your life. Run for your life. Run for your life. It's Satanic.

See?  I need you women to really search your own heart. Are you Satanic? Is this still part of your flesh, this sick desire in you to know everybody's business? I'm not saying you don't have friends but how much are you on the internet? How much time do you spend emailing? How much time do you spend crying and freaking out and knowing everybody's business and on the phone and having to meet with people because, "Did you know so-and-so did such-and-such and so-and-so is feeling this way and did you--?" Are you the center of LOTS of activity? Why? It's Satanic. It's Satanic. I think I've made my point.

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 2 part 4: ordinary demonic continued, foolishness and drunkenness

February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Part 2: The Devil


How about this one, foolishness and drunkenness? Do you know that Satan loves to party? Chapter 5, verse 8 of Ephesians, at one time it says "Do not associate with people who are walking with Satan. Therefore do not associate with them (verse 7) for at one time you, too, were darkness but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true, and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (You notice light, darkness, God, Satan). It is shameful to even speak what they do in secret, but when anything is exposed by light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says "Awake, O sleeper. Rise up from the dead and Christ while shine on you."(I love the Strike Force song out of those verses) Look carefully, then, how you walk, not as unwise but as wise making the best use of the time for the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is, and do not get drunk with wine for that is debauchery but be filled with the Holy Spirit, addressing one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing, making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one anothoer out of reverence for Christ.

Do you know what Satan loves to get people to do? Just walk in darkness; hang out with people who love to sin; do stupid things; and get drunk. It's just bait the hook because what he says is you can't be filled with the Spirit (and the concept there is, as I understand it, os like a ship sets at sail and the wind fills it and compels it forward. So we are to repent of sin and walk in the light and then the Holy Spirit compels us, propels us, toward greater holiness and Christ-likeness). Unrepentant sin, foolishness, getting drunk, is taking down your sail. It's not that you don't have the Holy Spirit, and it's not that He's not at work, it's that you're resisting the Holy Spirit, you're grieving the Holy Spirit, you're quenching the Holy Spirit, all of that New Testament language. And it's telling people: "Look, when you go out partying; when you go out drinking; when you're out doing stupid stuff with your buddies you're putting your sail down." You're dead in the water. You're drifting. You're not making any forward progress with God. That's what Satan wants. You can't be filled with the Spirit and drunk. You can't be led by the Spirit and be participating in darkness. It's ordinary demonic.

Catanzaro agrees to settlement and suspension of his license with a probation, found to have acted unprofessionally in information but did not harm patients


Details in the article.  Say what you will about Catanzaro as a naturopath, he's agreed to a license suspension and a probationary period.

That's more than can be said about either Mark Driscoll or the leadership of Mars Hill that let Driscoll resign his membership rather than face a restoration process. 

MH releases 2014 public disclosure package and projects through June `14 package


Throckmorton spotted the announcement. You have to slog through a short series of links to get to these actual documents and the most recent annual report is the old FY2013. 

For now ... here's a summation of numbers that may be food for thought.

You'll probably need to minimize all the drop down menus ar the right for this after the break.
Of course if you're patient and detail-oriented you can go to the docs, though in a lot of ways they don't say a whole ton.

"Lessons" from Breshears misses a couple of steps, one about bloggers netting income by "gossip", another about his contribution to Driscoll's errant use of Targum Neofiti to claim Jews believed in a Trnity before the birth of Christ


Breshears' commentary was, for the most part, a standard-issue Star Wars summary crawl but there was a misstep near the end.

A final lesson is being written as I write. Even as MHCC will discontinue operations in a few weeks, the Mars Hill churches are in process of replanting, many with a lot of continuity of their leadership teams and congregations. Many of those leaders have privately pondered and publicly repented. In a context of vulnerability, trust can be rebuilt and the work of the gospel go on. While bloggers continue to build their income with disparaging gossip, the people hope in the power of gospel centered transformation, hoping in the sense of the confident expectation of good based in the character of the God of Exodus 34:6-7

Bloggers continue to build their income with disparaging gossip?  Which bloggers, exactly?  Wenatchee The Hatchet has never monetized this blog since its birth and is not chomping at the bits with adding advertising.  Wenatchee The Hatchet has also spent quite some time transcribing Driscoll's teaching on the subject of spiritual warfare straight from the multi-hour primary source.  If quoting Mark Driscoll accurately and in context and studiously citing primary sources (whether sermon download, sermon transcript or published works by ISBN number) constitutes "gossip" then Breshears has painted with too broad a brush.

If anything Wenatchee The Hatchet may have at times been more scrupulous about what to claim and how to source it than Gerry Breshears.

After all, at least according to Mark Driscoll in March 2008 in the Doctrine series
God Is
Part 1 of Doctrine
Pastor Mark Driscoll
March 30, 2008
Now, what I want to share with you now is super exciting to me ‘cause I’m a total – I’m kind of a geek. And I really like – I really like the Bible and I like learning things I did not know. And I learned something this week that I did not know. It comes from Dr. Gerry Breshears, who’s a dear friend of mine and my co-author on Vintage Jesus and some other books. He’s the head of theology at Western Seminary in Portland. And what he showed me was – he sent this to me, it’s called the Targum Neofiti. It’s from roughly 200 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. [emphasis added]

Now, let me tell you what a targum is, okay? A targum was an accepted Jewish translation and reading of the Old Testament, okay? And the Jewish scholars would translate, read the Old Testament and they would write them down as accepted targums. Now this targum – again, think is through – is 200 years before the birth of Jesus, more than 200 years before the Christian church in its present form came into existence, 500 years before something we’ll get to call the Council of Nicea where the Christian theologians officially declared the doctrine of the Trinity as true orthodoxy. Hundreds of years prior, here is the Targum Neofiti.

Genesis 1:1-2, it declared, “In the beginning, by the Firstborn” – who’s that? That’s Jesus. That’s the same language we find in the New Testament. Paul says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God, and he is the firstborn – that’s preeminence. That’s prominence. That’s rulership over all creation. “In the beginning, by the Firstborn” – Jesus – “God” – that’s the Father – “created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” I can show that there were Jews who were waiting for the coming of Jesus Messiah who loved and studied the Bible – 200 years before the coming of Jesus interpreted Genesis 1, the opening line of the Bible, and Genesis 2 to be Trinitarian. That the Father through Jesus Christ, the preeminent firstborn Son, along with the Holy Spirit created everything. Trinitarian.
At the risk of quoting self again.:

To all that the scholars Robert Cargill, Christian Brady, and Scott Bailey could be said to have replied "No", "No" and "Hell no" respective to their usual blogging tones. Brady, in particular, as an Aramaic targum scholar, has been in a good position to point out that Driscoll (and Breshears) claim the rabbinical commentary on Genesis was written in the second centure BCE when it is generally accepted as written in the second century CE.  I.e. 2 centuries BC is four centuries too early for something scholars agree was written in the 2nd century AD, for folks who are old school.  Driscoll opens out the gate misrepresenting (at best) or lying (at worst) when the commentary on Genesis was written. 

Brady closed his friendly post with:

Feel free to offer other comments on the video. For the first time I have actually left comments on a YouTube video because I think this is so egregious. And for those who don’t know me as well and to be open and clear, I do believe in the Trinity, I just abhor bad sermons and errors.  [emphasis mine]

To the extent that Mark Driscoll credited Gerry Breshears with a "discovery" that the Targum Neofiti predated the birth of Christ, and no less than three scholars obliterated the historical and textual claims Driscoll leaned on and credited to getting from Breshears, one of the lessons that may be learned is that one should be cautious about learning lessons about Targums from Gerry Breshears.  In addition to making a claim that bloggers have generated income by blogging "gossip" another claim that Breshears may have an even harder time backing up is that the Targum Neofiti predated Christ. 

To be sure, Breshears' overall overview covers a lot of ground that is confirmed, it's just that the conclusion marred the overall thing, and the overall thing did not sufficiently address a history of Breshears' contributions which did not elevate the doctrinal discourse within the history of MH.  But, as someone put it, it can be much easier to observe the faults of others than our own and that may be why diversity in the body is needed.

Meanwhile, if a blog turns out to be a practical way to preserve what has been said on the record for the record then preserving as large a chunk of the public ministry of Mark Driscoll within the context of Mars Hill seems like an appropriate contribution to the public discourse. Later this week, health and time permitting, a continuation of Driscoll's 2008 spiritual warfare as not just a doctrinal statement but a possible political manifesto within the leadership culture of Mars Hill.  But we'll see how that works out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 2 part 3: commentary--if bitterness was so big a part of the ordinary demonic presentation in 2008 did the leaders of MH know how bitter Driscoll was against his wife for so long?

Part 6:1 Timothy 3:1-7
Preached February 08, 2004

... I love my wife. I've been totally faithful to her. I'm a one-woman man. I met her at 17. I married her at 21. I've been chasing her ever since.  I'm quicker than she is, so I'm happily married.  You know, things are good. I just am. I love my wife. I adore my wife. I enjoy my wife, you know? ...
This was largely the public story of Mark Driscoll about his relationship to Grace in the first half of the `00s.  There were a few difficult seasons but there was rarely any sense that there was anything seriously, hugely wrong. 

Of course Grace Driscoll describing her husband as a "short-fused drama queen" might have seemed like an indication that there were some things a little off.

March 6, 2008
Thor Tolo

When the Lord isn’t talking to this man, kiddingly called a short-fused drama queen by his wife, his critics are blogging about him. Some of the sharper barbs make it difficult for Driscoll to hide the hurt.
Another hint that maybe things were a bit less than picture perfect came courtesy of Mark Driscoll sharing a story. Driscoll asked Grace who he most resembled in the book of Ruth.  He was probably fishing for a compliment on how like Boaz he was.  Nope.  Grace had a different answer altogether:
[roughly one hour in]

...Elimelech is the guy--everything falls apart. It looks dark, it looks bad. He takes a poll he makes a plan. He decides Moab has a lower cost of living. Moab has more vocational opportunity. Moab has food on the table. I will make a plan, I will be the sovereign. I will take care of everything. Trust me. I know what I'm doing. He leads well. He plans well. He tries to be the sovereign (they're all going to die anyways). I am Elimelech.

I asked my wife, "Which one am I?" ... She didn't even breath, didn't even take a breath, "Oh, you're Elimelech." And his name means what? MY GOD IS KING! That was me. If you asked me, Jesus, sovereign, lord, king, God! And if I ever need Him I'll call him but I don't think I do because I've got all this taken care of.

Now that Mars Hill as a corporation is dying Grace Driscoll's words may have proven remarkably prescient, perhaps? 

Then Real Marriage got published.

Real Marriage: the truth about sex, friendship and life together
Mark and Grace Driscoll
Thomas Nelson
copyright (c) 2012 by On Mission, LLC
ISBN 978-1-4041-8352-0
PAGE 9-10
Before long I was bitter agaisnt God and Grace. It seemed to me as if they had conspired to trap me. I had always been the "good guy" who turned down women for sex. In my twisted logic, since I had only slept with a couple of women I was in relationships with, I had been holy enough, and God owed me. I felt God had conned me by telling me to marry Grace, and allowed Grace to rule over me since she was controlling our sex life. 

PAGES 14-15
Although I loved our people and my wife, this only added to my bitterness. I had a church filled with single women who were asking me how they could stop being sexually ravenous and wait for a Christian husband; then I'd go home to a wife whom I was not sexually enjoying. 

... We still disagree on how often we had sex (I [Mark Driscoll] was bitter, and she [Grace Driscoll] was in denial, which skews the perspective), but we both agree it wasn't a healthy amount to support a loving marriage.

This is looking like an awful lot of bitterness and if by Mark Driscoll's 2008 account bitterness is a demonic foothold and not enough sex in marriage is a demonic foothold then how demonic was the Driscoll marriage early on?

Even Mark Driscoll's counseling to young couples further fueled his bitterness.  When your attempts at working in a pastoral counseling way simply fuel the bitterness and resentment you feel toward your wife over the sex life you think you deserve wouldn't that fit into what Driscoll described as bitterness being "ordinary demonic?"

If one simply quotes Mark Driscoll accurately and in context both from his 2008 teaching seminar and his 2012 marriage book it becomes difficult to avoid the question of whether, by Mark Driscoll's own teaching, the Driscoll marriage wasn't a hotbed of demonic footholds and whether or not Mark Driscoll's bitterness had over the years escalated to a damaging degree. 

In fact, if one simply compares everything Mark Driscoll had to say about not-enough-sex-in-marriage and bitterness in 2008 to the narrative in Real Marriage and accepts all the statements at face value then one is virtually compelled to conclude that the majority of the Driscoll marriage was characterized by such a level of infrequent sex and bitterness that Mark Driscoll, by his own metrics, had a mountain range of demonic footholds.

It's worth asking in light of Driscoll's teaching on bitterness as demonic in 2008 and on his bitterness at a lack of sex in marriage whether this was a problem that could be remedied by reverse-engineering his life with advice from Jon Phelps.  Hadn't Driscoll by his own account gotten bored with MH and blowing everything up to introduce "strategic chaos" back around 2001-2002?  Yep.  So it's possible that a good deal of chaos Driscoll saw in his life was chaos he deliberately created ... excepting the lack of sex ... and a question Phelps in particular must some day be able to answer is why Driscoll was worth investing so much in if by Driscoll's teaching and life disconnect a person could ask whether or not Driscoll's demonic footholds were leading in such a chaotic direction.

The level of bitterness Driscoll seemed to say he had against Grace in the earlier years didn't sound like a small thing. What level of bitterness on the part of a pastor over a lack of sex crosses a nebulous threshold into "not qualified for ministry"?  In the case of "not enough sex in marriage" this could have been something where maybe Grace was single-handedly capable of disqualifying her husband by not putting out enough regardless of Mark Driscoll's response, since it's possible in Driscoll's system that the husband (or the wife) could unilaterally decide how little sex was too little.

If the Board of Overseers somehow imagines that Mark's sin issues have not constituted sin enough to question his qualifications for ministry let's at least consider the possibility that Mark Driscoll's cumulative testimony may be testimony against himself.