Monday, June 30, 2014

with the close of the fiscal year, here are some reminders of how Driscoll in 2013-2014 has contradicted Driscoll from 1999-2011

Setting aside that Mark Driscoll has been documented by Warren Throckmorton and others as having plagiarized in half a dozen of his published books, and setting aside the Result Source Inc contract Sutton Turner signed on behalf of Mars Hill, there remains an unavoidable question for those who have given and would give to Mars Hill.

Mark Driscoll's public accounting of the history of Mars Hill since roughly 2011 has contradicted Mark Driscoll (and Mars Hill more generally) from roughly 1999 to 2008.  Wenatchee The Hatchet can offer list of a few significant revisions

In 2013 Mark Driscoll claimed there was no kids' ministry at the start of Mars Hill because there were no kids in spite of Mark Driscoll's own testimony that the co-founding pastors were recruited by him because they were fathers.

There are a couple of basic points.  The most striking revision to the history of Mars Hill as Mark Driscoll has shared things in the last year is the 2013 claim that there were no children in the early days of Mars Hill as an explanation for why there was no childrens' ministry.
Here’s where we’re at: Recently, 10,177 adults in attendance across Mars Hill. Fifteen churches, five states. We count people because people count. We count people because people count, and it’s not just numbers, it’s faces and names. There are also almost 2,500 kids, right? Can we say, “Praise God”? We like kids. When we started Mars Hill 17 years ago, there wasn’t even a children’s ministry—because there were no children. People are coming in, getting saved, getting baptized, getting married, getting pregnant. Ideally, that’s the order, OK?

Lots of kids are being born 10 and under, so there’s the future, there’s the legacy. We don’t want to do what they did, and one generation builds the temple, and then the next generation abuses it. Percentage of adults who gave, 30 percent. Some of you are not Christian, the rest are evil, OK, based on Malachi.

Confessions of a Reformission Rev
Mark Driscoll, Zondervan
page 54
... The church started as an idea I shared with Lief Moi and Mike Gunn. Lief is a descendant of Genghis Khan and his dad was a murderer, and Mike is a former football player. They proved to be invaluable, except for the occasional moments when they would stand toe-to-toe in a leadership meeting, threatening to beat the Holy Spirit out of each other. Both men were older than I and had years of ministry experience, and they were good fathers, loving husbands, and tough.  ...

from page 145
Jamie [Munson] came to Seattle at the age of nineteen, drinking, smoking pot, and having spent most of his life driving around in a maturity cul de sac, listening to Bon Jovi albums in the great nation of Montana. In Seattle, he lived with his sister and brother-in-law, Jen and Phil [Smidt], who had been with the church from the beginning. They were the first couple who showed up with kids when we were in our core phase.
So Mark Driscoll in 2013 directly contradicted Mark Driscoll from 2006.  As if that weren't enough in itself.

Mars Hill had the names of the children Mike Gunn and Lief Moi were fathers to respectively.  The idea that there were no kids at the start of Mars Hill is directly contradicted by Mars Hill's early website and Mark Driscoll's own published account of the history of Mars Hill in 2006.  Yet in later 2013, against pretty much all observable evidence over the previous sixteen years, Mark Driscoll simply asserted there was no kids' ministry at Mars Hill because there were no kids in the Malachi series. 

Number Two:
Mark Driscoll claimed in the roll out for "God's Work, Our Witness" to have handled all the premarital counseling in the first five to six years of Mars Hill Church.

This was discussed in some detail over here.  Mike Gunn and Bent Meyer were publicly listed in 2001 as handing premarital counseling and counseling in general in "ministries in MH" at the old site.  Mark Driscoll wasn't even listed as someone to talk to for either type of counseling and despite Mars Hill implementing robots.txt across all its websites to preclude search engine research on a few things the screen caps providing evidence that Mike Gunn and Bent Meyer were publicly listed as the people to contact for premarital counseling rather than Mark Driscoll are up at Wenatchee The Hatchet for consultation. 

So in addition to only lately getting the idea there were no kids at the start of Mars Hill Church Mark Driscoll also seems to have gotten the idea he did "all" the premarital counseling in the first five to six years of Mars Hill when the Mars Hill website from 1999-2001 mitigates this possibility. 

Number Three
Mark Driscoll has two distinct accounts of a nightmare where he woke up, threw up, and stayed up all night on a coach and found out the things in the nightmare were true.

Short version, the nightmare Driscoll describes in Real Marriage as predating the birth of Ashley Driscoll caused him to wake up, throw up, and stay up that featured Grace Driscoll cheating on him early in the relationship resembles an account from Confessions of a Reformission Rev from 2006. In the earlier book Driscoll describes a singularly terrible experience he had via nightmare a few years AFTER Ashley was born and that the dream was satanic and accusatory yet all the details in it turned out to be true.  He indicated that he felt it would be inappropriate to mention more about the nightmare because it would impugn the character of someone else. 

There's a synoptic problem here because the basic narrative of Driscoll having a nightmare that causes him to wake up, puke, and stay up all night hoping the nightmare wasn't true but finding out it was is pretty much the same in both accounts.  How many nightmares leading to emesis did Driscoll have before and after Ashley was born?  If the 2012 account refers to the same nightmare that the 2006 account referred to did the dating of the nightmare account change from one account to another?  Or did Mark Driscoll simply have two nightmares that caused him to throw up?  If the former, then, well, Mark might have been prudent to not share the story to begin with because in the 2006 account Mark Driscoll clearly said the nightmare was satanic and in the 2012 account the vomit dream is described as a revelation of the sort he sometimes got without any explanation given for its provenance.

These might seem like mundane details to someone who has never, say, written checks to support Mars Hill, but if Driscoll's narrative of the history of Mars Hill and the history of his own marriage is as fluid as it sometimes seems to be one has to ask whether the shifting details sugest more basic shifts in the narrative.  At this point Mark Driscoll has made his personal narrative so inseparable from what Mars Hill has become that any fuzziness in his narrative may constitute a crisis in shared narrative for the community.  In the earlier years of Mars Hill when all three co-founding pastors were around quite a bit less hinged on Mark Driscoll's public persona and narrative having to be coherent across sixteen years.

For a fairly detailed comparison of the accounts from 2006 and 2012 books go here.

Those are just three fairly basic narrative points to consider.

That Mars Hill has been purging mountains of content more or less merits another post.

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