Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Driscoll 1-22-06 on the problem of a pastor having a domain name with his name in it, two years after the registration of

Domain ID: D104853693-LROR
Creation Date: 2004-09-07T15:38:06Z
Updated Date: 2014-12-10T02:19:44Z

Registry Expiry Date: 2015-09-07T15:38:06Z
Sponsoring Registrar:eNom, Inc. (R39-LROR)
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 48
WHOIS Server: 
Referral URL: 
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Registrant ID:24938753-NSI
Which gets us to this sermon a couple of years later in 2006 where Driscoll talked about the problems of teams and loyalty to teams in Corinth.  This one took a while to track down because Wenatchee The Hatchet had mistakenly remembered this stuff being said closer to 2004 than 2006.  But, here you go.
Part 3 of 1st Corinthians
Pastor Mark Driscoll
1 Corinthians 1:10-17
January 22, 2006

You know, what happens is they get these teams and they fight. Everybody gets a jersey, and it’s like you’re rock stars. And the indie rockers don’t like all the teeny-bop pop fans and everything’s sorta – and they carried this sort of cultural arrogance into the church. And they said, “Well, Paul’s my guy”, or “Peter’s my guy, Cephas.” Or “No, Apollos is my guy.” And they broke off into teams in the church. So they’d show up with their jerseys on, you know. The Raider fans over here in their silver and black, and then the Hawks fans over here on this side, and the East Coast hip-hoppers, and the West Coast hip-hoppers. And the whole church is divided and fighting, and they need not be.

They need not be the team of Paul, the team of Apollos, the team of Peter. Because Paul and Peter and Apollos all love Jesus, all said the same thing. They all serve the same God. Apollos was a great preacher. Peter was the leader of the disciples. And also Paul was the one who had founded the church. There were good reasons to respect each of these men. And what happened was that the church had an elevated sense of human leadership, and they adored, appreciated, admired and almost worshiped their leaders too much. This still happens in Christianity, right? Some of you love John Calvin. Some of you love John Wesley. Some of you love whomever it might be.

Some of you have teams that you consider yourself to be on, theologically or philosophically insofar as how church should be done. And what happens is that certain Christians get elevated like rock stars, and it’s not good. It’s not good at all. I know one church the pastor’s name is the domain for the church website. That’s not good. Like if it was and that was our website, you’d go, “You know that’s a little much.” That’s a little much, because if he gets hit by a car do we gotta get a new name? That seems that the church should be more than a focus on one person. That’s why to be honest with this church I try not to show up and speak at every event.

Then video venue/multisite happened, what, within the next two years?

But of course Mark Driscoll isn't a pastor anywhere at any church right now in this season.  He resigned his eldership and membership from Mars Hill this year.  And while he didn't use for Mars Hill as such, it's interesting to note that before the 2006 sermon in which he joked about PastorMarkRocksMyWorld he'd set up 

Driscoll moved along to discuss how things can get dangerous for the health of the church when the leadership consists of kings, when the pastor is a king and nobody can get rid of him if he doesn't want to leave. 

I heard a report of one church that the pastor has gone crazy in his thinking and the church has gone from thousands down to dozens, and they still can’t get rid of him because he’s the king, and he’s the little god, and this church is his possession. And everybody leaves and he’d left with nothing, but no one has the authority to say, “You are not obeying God and your doctrine is weird, and you’re not making any sense and you can’t lead us anymore.” This is very dangerous. This is where churches take on a cult-like posture. Where they’re so loyal to one leader that whatever he says, goes, period.

So we need to be careful that we do respect spiritual leadership, that we do honor pastors and leaders and elders and deacons, that there is a respect for people who God has appointed to lead the church. But there shouldn’t be an over-emphasis on our leaders, and they should not be the final authority. [emphasis added] And when someone comes and asks the question, “Why does your church work?” they should say the name of Jesus, not their pastor. And as well there was another team in this church – very, very sadly – that not only over-emphasized – see, the one team over-emphasized human leadership. The other just disrespected it altogether. And I guess these are the two extremes of Christianity.

Overemphasis on leaders? Shouldn't be the final authority? The irony of Driscoll saying that as Mars Hill increasingly came to be defined by Mark Driscoll as a brand probably speaks for itself.

Driscoll would go on to say ... :

It’s amazing how few Christians have a pastor and have a church that they actually are connected to, involved in, and growing in. There is a growing number of people who profess to be Christians and just claim to be on Team Jesus. “I don’t need a church. Just me and Jesus, we hang.” These are people who have no respect for spiritual authority. They don’t have any real heart to show up and contribute to and benefit their church. They just tend to be people who are very – quite frankly – arrogant and proud. They’re so close to Jesus and they’re so much like him that they don’t need anybody else.

Is Mark Driscoll currently a member of a church anywhere submitting to spiritual authority?  Because if he's not then the stuff he said back in 2006 might suggest people not take what he seriously in instructing others if he isn't following his own instruction.

Well, at least the domain is and not PastorMarkRocksMyWorld, right?


C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

The human particularly male instinct to be an empire builder is only the half the equation. The other half is the desire of the sheep to want a human king. So we have this evil relationship between the empire builders and the king loving sheep which undermines every thing Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God/Heaven.

One more point you touched on is that the size of the church isn't the issue. I have known pastors of tiny churches where the same dynamic of empire building and king loving sheep was prevalent.

dmb said...

Excuse me, but your post is not right.
Mark Driscoll was very specific in saying that the church website should not have the name of the pastor in it. As far as I know, Mars Hill has its own domain name without the pastor's name in it.
Anyone in the world is free to register a domain in his own name, and there is nothing wrong with that. The point he was making was that the identity of the church is wrapped up in the pastor's.

As a Christian, you must be careful not to accuse people of wrongdoing.
I do not condone Mark's leadership style; this has been rightly criticized.
However, you are now trying to find something to blame him for. This is not right. You should write in a different spirit, one of grace and truth.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

The irony worth pointing out was that Driscoll said from the pulpit that the ministry being named after the individual wasn't good, two years after he'd registered a domain in his own name. The irony being that he preached about the problem of a church having the domain name of the pastor, and about how too many Christians were seeing themselves as not connected to a church, submitted to spiritual authority, or having a spiritual authority they're in submission to.

So with all that in mind it's worth asking 1) who Mark Driscoll is spiritually submitted to (Grace doesn't count because Driscoll said of husbandly headship that it's not headship until you disagree and that the husband is head; 2) what church is Mark Driscoll currently a member of and 3) if he's neither a member of a church nor submitted to spiritual authority to which he can be accountable it's not unreasonable to ask how he has avoided becoming in 2014 what he explicitly warned against in 2006?

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

There are two more things to note.

It's hard to overstate the significance of Driscoll having already registered in 2004 before he preached the 2006 sermon. It'd be one thing if he had a change of mind and registered an org site with his name on it AFTER he preached the 2006 sermon and another for him to have registered the name in 2004, preached against a ministry being built around a single personality in 2006, and then in 2014 activating the domain name with his name in it as he prepares to launch a ministry without any clear indication that he's submitted to spiritual authority or a member of a church. He's looking like he's relaunching a public ministry having explicitly turned into everything he preached against for would-be spiritual leaders in particular and Christians in general back in 2006.

Then there's the second thing, which is that having preached against the "god box" procedures of mainline and liberal denominations Mars Hill has transformed into a corporate organization with its own God Box that exists (until the start of 2015) in the form of the Board of Advisors and Accountability:

If you go through all the sermons and what Driscoll said ten and eight years ago it looks disturbingly as though at every level Mark Driscoll and the leadership culture of Mars Hill has, at length, mutated into everything he warned us publicly from the pulpit to be wary of.