Saturday, June 28, 2014

on ten painful lessons from the early days of Mars Hill, lesson 1- Driscoll said "I was doing all of the premarital counseling" so what were Mike Gunn and Bent Meyer doing being publicly listed as handling that task?

http://pastormark.tv/2011/12/06/10-painful-lessons-from-the-early-days-of-mars-hill-church

... For the first five or six years of Mars Hill, I was the only paid pastor on staff and carried much of the ministry burden. I was doing all the premarital counseling and most of the pastoral work as the only pastor on staff. [emphasis added] This went on for years due to pitiful giving and a ton of very rough new converts all the way until we had grown to about 800 people a Sunday. At one point I literally had over a few thousand people come in and out of my home for Bible studies, internships, counseling, and more. My phone rang off the hook, my email inbox overflowed, my energy levels and health took a nose dive, and I started becoming bitter and angry instead of loving and joyful. It got to the point where either something had to change or I was going to go ballistic and do something I really regretted.

Well, the unfortunate thing is that it's one thing for Mark Driscoll to simply assert that he did all the premarital counseling and another thing to just go back to the old marshill.fm site to found out who was publicly listed as actually doing that.  Because ... it sure looks like Mike Gunn's name is listed with those ministry activities, doesn't it?


http://web.archive.org/web/20010305224522/http://www.marshill.fm/who/ministries_in_mh.htm

So if Mark Driscoll's 2011 account had it that he was doing all the premarital counseling what's the deal with the December 10, 2000 screen capture on The WayBack Machine revealing that Mike Gunn was the contact person for premarital counseling and counseling? 

In fact Mike Gunn was listed at marshill.fm as handling premarital counseling and counseling at every capture point right up until ...








 ... December 22, 2001 and who, pray tell, ended up being publicly listed as handling premarital counseling and counseling? 

Oh, wow, would you look at that?  Bent Meyer.  So let's see, by December 2000 Mike Gunn was publicly listed as the elder at Mars Hill Fellowship handling premarital counseling and counseling and this stayed steady, at least according to screen captures from The WayBack Machine, until December 22, 2001 when Bent Meyer began to be listed as handling those ministries within Mars Hill Fellowship.  So how on earth could Mark Driscoll have somehow been the only elder in any capacity shouldering the great and difficult burden of premarital counseling at Mars Hill Church? 

For sake of review let's revisit what Mark Driscoll shared about the appointment of Bent Meyer to pastoral counseling from Confessions of a Reformission Rev.

Confessions of a Reformission Rev
Mark Driscoll, Zondervan 2006
copyright 2006 by Mark Driscoll
ISBN-13: 978-0-310-27016-4
ISBN-10:0-310-2-7016-2

page 151

To make these transitions, I needed to hand much of my work load to my elders and deacons so that I could continue to concentrate on the future of expansion of our church.  In some ways I longed for this day because it meant the weight of the church would be off my shoulders and shared with many leaders. In other ways I lamented not being able to invest in every young couple, experience the joy of officiating at so many weddings, or know everything that was going on in the church.

I asked our newest and oldest elder, Bent, to take over the counseling load that I had been carrying. [emphasis added] He was the first person to join our church who had gray hair, and he and Filipino wife, Joanne, were like rock stars with groupies since all the young people wanted to hang out with these grandparents that loved Jesus. My problem was I loved our people so much that if I got deeply involved in the pain of too many people's lives, it emotionally killed me, and I needed to do less counseling.

But ... wait a minute ... in terms of publicly listed roles Mike Gunn was listed as doing premarital counseling and other counseling.  So was Bent Meyer taking over Mark Driscoll's role?  Perhaps but by this time Mike Gunn had transitioned out to launch Harambee as a separate entity and Mike Gunn was publicly listed as handling premarital counseling, not Mark Driscoll.  So whose workload in premarital counseling was Bent Meyer taking over, after all? 

Now, of course, it's possible Mark Driscoll may have done "all" the premarital counseling prior to some point in 2000 when Mike Gunn began to be publicly listed as handling that ... and maybe it's possible that even though Mike Gunn was publicly listed as handling premarital counseling for Mars Hill right up to the point that Bent Meyer got listed publicly as handling that instead that maybe, just maybe, Mark Driscoll wouldn't let them do any of that so that he could counsel couples considering marriage.

But by Mark Driscoll's account in 2012's Real Marriage ...

REAL MARRIAGE: The Truth About Sex, Friendship & Life Together
Mark and Grace Driscoll
Copyright (c) 2012 by On Mission, LLC
isbn 978-1-4041-8352-0
isbn 978-1-4002-0383-3


from pages 14-15
In the second year of the church we had a lot of single people getting married, and so I decided to preach through the Song of Songs on the joys of marital intimacy and sex. The church grew quickly, lots of people got married, many women became pregnant, and my counseling load exploded. [emphasis added] I started spending dozens of hours every week dealing with every kind of sexual issue imaginable. It seemed as if every other young woman in our church had been sexually assaulted in some fashion, every guy was ensnared by porn, and every married and premarital couple had a long list of tricky sex questions. Day after day, for what became years, I spent hours meeting with people untangling the sexual knots in their lives, reading every book and section of the Bible I could find that related to their needs.

Although I loved our people and my wife, this only added to my bitterness.  I had a church filled with single young 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. [emphasis added] One particularly low moment occurred when a newly saved married couple came in to meet with me. I prayed, and then asked how I could serve them. She took charge of the meeting, explained how she really liked her body and sex, and proceeded to take out a list of questions she had about what was acceptable as a Christian for her to do with her husband. It was a very long and very detailed list. As I answered each question, she would ask related follow-up questions with more specific details. Her husband said very little, but sat next to her, looking awkward and smiling at most of the answers I gave.  After they left the counseling appointment to get to work on the list of acceptable activities, I remember sitting with my head in my hands, just moaning and asking God, "Do you really expect me to do this as a new Christian, without a mentor or pastor, in the midst of my marriage, and hold on for the next fifty years?" Peter walking on water seemed an easier task.

So by his own account Driscoll decided, in spite of his own bitterness and resentment toward his own wife on the subject of sex, to make a point of preaching through Song of Songs.  And the church grew quickly because of that?  What a surprise. 

Then, Driscoll told us, his counseling load exploded and lots of people were consulting Mark Driscoll on the subject of sex and the result of that was he resented his wife on the subject of sex even more and became even more bitter than he already was about how frigid he considered his wife to be.  Mark Driscoll even regaled the reader who took up Real Marriage with how he protested to God about how tough it was to be bitter at his frigid wife while being asked questions by fellow youngsters on the subject of sex after he'd spent a few months preaching through Song of Songs. 

So if doing all the premarital counseling (assuming he even really did all of it) just made Mark Driscoll more bitter toward his wife why even ask God if God wanted Mark Driscoll to sit in an office and listen to young sexually ravenous women share stories about how they wished they could just stop being sexually ravenous and wait for a good husband.  There were, as we've amply demonstrated, other older men who had ministry roles inside Mars Hill.  And "maybe" Mark Driscoll handed off counseling duties to those men at some point but the narrative in Real Marriage conveys that Mark kept getting more resentful on the issue of sex and not less.  And apparently this despite, by his 2006 account, of having handed of counseling duties to Bent Meyer, who was brought on some time around ... 2002? 

But here's the thing, whether it's the 2011 Mark Driscoll account about how he did all the premarital counseling or the 2012 Mark Driscoll account about how frustrating it was to preach Song of Songs and then find out all these youngsters about his age wanted his opinion, as a pastor, on all those "Can We ______?" things; it's not as though Driscoll "had" to do any of this stuff.  Driscoll didn't have to agree to any premarital counseling in any pastoral capacity that might lead him to resent his wife more than he already did on the subject of sex.  In Mark Driscoll's narrative who seems to be responsible for Mark Driscoll preaching Song of Songs and then having to deal with the counseling fall-out of a bunch of new Christian converts who don't know anything about the biblical literature Driscoll preached from and more or less transformed into a sexual pyrotechnics manual in the midst of resenting his frigid wife .... ?  The answer does not appear to be "Mark Driscoll" ... but God. 

And as we've shown from about half a year's worth of screen captures from the marshill.fm site courtesy of The WayBack Machine (because robots.txt wasn't applied very thoroughly, Mars Hill, just so you know) there's plenty of evidence that Mark Driscoll simply wasn't the only person who did premarital counseling in the first five or six years of the church.  There's no way you don't hit the year 2000 within five years after a church started in 1996. 

Maybe Driscoll stopped doing any premarital counseling by about 1999 or even mid-2000, but at this point the main observation is this--

The idea that Mark Driscoll was the "only" person doing "all" premarital counseling at Mars Hill within its first five to six years of existence is impossible to defend because within the year 2001 Mike Gunn and Bent Meyer were publicly listed as doing both premarital counseling and other counseling.  So unless Mark Driscoll meant "all" in some Calvinist fashion in which "all" doesn't literally mean all because of some limitation ... he can't have been doing all the premarital counseling in the first five to six years of Mars Hill. 

Where are they now part 6D, a Tim Smith follow up, documenting his role as

Wenatchee The Hatchet has spent several posts documenting the role of Tim Smith in the earlier years of Mars Hill Church. 

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2013/11/where-are-they-now-part-6-tim-smith.html
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/02/where-are-they-now-part-6b-mark.html
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/02/where-are-they-now-part-6c-driscoll.html
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/05/pastor-tim-smith-taking-break.html

Well ... one of the things noted in part b was how Smith made a case to Mark Driscoll to let him run the entire worship department.  Exactly when this conversation transpired is not entirely clear and to some degree a screen capture from the old marshill.fm site makes things even less clear.


According to the WayBack Machine screen capture from December 10, 2000 Tim Smith was already the worship team administrator.  Now let's recall that Mark Driscoll described letting go the worship leader from the earlier years of Mars Hill in the following way:

CONFESSIONS OF A REFORMISSION REV
MARK DRISCOLL
(C) 2006 BY MARK DRISCOLL
ZONDERVAN
ISBN-13:978-0-310-27016-4
ISBN-10:0-310-27016-2
CHAPTER FIVE, 350-1,000 PEOPLE
page 135
We had to quickly reorganize all of our systems and staff.  Our administrative pastor, Eric, left, which we all recognized was God's call on him.  And our worship leader was a great guy and great musician but was unable to coordinate the multiple bands in the three locations, so we let him go. This was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made because he was a very godly man who had worked very hard and would have been fine if the church had not gotten so crazy so quickly, and he and his very sweet wife were both close personal friends of mind. But I needed a worship pastor who could lead multiple bands, coordinate multiple services in multiple locations, and train multiple worship pastors while keeping up with a church that was growing so fast that we had no idea exactly where it was going. I had no one who could possibly fill this role but felt compelled to wait until God let me know, so I just left a gaping hole in our leadership to create a crisis that would force a leader to emerge. [emphasis added]

As established from earlier posts on this topic (Mr. Smith) actual musical competence was not really a requirement for Mark Driscoll.  That could be paid for once someone with suitable leadership potential as far as Driscoll assessed that had finally been found. 
Let's remember that the eighth season was basically 1998.
http://web.archive.org/web/20001210191200/http://www.marshill.fm/who/our_history.htm
Seasons of Grace: The Story of Mars Hill
By Pastor Mark Driscoll


... In the eighth season, our worship ministry was in great disarray and I had a dream that Brad Currah, who had been a member of our core group before the launch, was leading worship. I repeatedly informed Brad that he was to be our worship leader and after numerous conversations he began volunteering time overseeing the worship and arts ministries. [emphasis added] Brad had spent a few years playing the club scene with his band Springchamber, but was quickly overwhelmed with the demands of his first time pastorate and quit his job at Microsoft to free up time for ministry and hoped to live off of his wife Devonna's salary. But, she soon became pregnant and needed to quit her job. I then got a call from a pastor in Florida who had a network that funded church plants. Grace and I met with Pastor David Nicholas at Spanish River Church, and his church planting network agreed to help us financially. This gift allowed us to bring Brad on full-time, which has culminated in a fantastic independent worship album, multiple worship teams, and an aggressive set of new songs written by some of our many gifted artists. [emphasis added]

So despite what would appear to have been a dream Mark Driscoll claimed he had that Brad was leading worship and despite even going to the trouble to convincing David Nicholas to part with enough money to bring Brad Currah on full-time for ministry in his first time pastorate ... by the year 2000 Tim Smith was publicly listed as the administrative person organizing things.  By Tim Smith's account Mark Driscoll claimed God had given him a dream that he and Smith would be working together.  Apparently divine oracles were relatively common for Driscoll in spite of his tendency during this period to self-identify as a cessationist?


http://theresurgence.com/authors/tim-smith

Tim Smith came to Mars Hill Church in the summer of 1999, never having owned an electric guitar, been in a band, or written a song. Somehow, by God’s grace, he became the worship pastor there and has been able to hang on and give shape to a movement of well over 30 worship bands leading many campuses. Tim is the husband of Beth and the father of three daughters. He also leads Re:Sound, a missional network of music and artists here on the Resurgence.

By 2000 Smith was worship team administrator.  For sake of review:


http://theresurgence.com/2008/10/04/interview-with-tim-smith
from about 5:30

MD: At the time we were at a place as a church that things were very disorganized, very loose. We had a number of good musicians but we didn't have any good leadership to really put it all together.  I remember you came into my office one day and said, "Give me the whole department, music and worship [TS smiles and nods] Let me give it a shot and if I do a good job then bring my on staff and if I don't do a good job then don't bring me on staff.  But at that point ... I don't think you ever played an electric guitar.
TS: Hnn-nn [shakes his head]
MD: You had never played in a band
TS: [smiling] No
MD: And, dude, I love you but you know you could not sing.
TS: Yeah, I was not a good singer.
MD: You know it sounded like you got captured by al-Qaeda [TS laughs] It was terrible. So I was, like, "Okay, you want to run the music department
... but you were a really good leader and I had a really, really, I loved you and had a good friendship with you and just felt like we were brothers right off the beginning of the relationship, and saw in you good teaching ability, love for the Bible, good leadership, you do have a sweet wife and you guys were getting your life put together. And so you took it and the first thing you did was fire everybody and cancelled everything. [TS laughs], bought an electric guitar, got vocal lessons  [TS laughs], put some things together. So you've been with us, then, for ten years. [emphasis added]
So in spite of Smith's lack of demonstrable musical competence Driscoll felt like he and Smith were brothers right off the bat at the start of the relationship and Driscoll saw potential in Smith, so Smith was given the whole music department.  Was this as far back as 2000?  In any case, by Mark Driscoll's account in 2008 the first thing Tim Smith did was fired everybody and cancelled everything., whenever that officially or unofficially began.  Whether or not Mark Driscoll directly let Brad Currah go or whether there was another party or two in the "we" that let the worship leader go has not yet come to light with any documentable certainty.  But it is at least "possible" that because Tim Smith, in the account of Mark Driscoll, lobbied to run the music department Smith could have been involved ... or not.  But by this time Currah had been, from the sound of things, brought on full time with a stipend of some kind provided by David Nicholas and yet Currah was, in the larger history of Mars Hill, basically canned almost as soon as everything was in place for him to even start doing his apparently Mark Driscoll's-dream-predicted job.


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Friday, June 27, 2014

comparative list of charts of who is around, who was, and who may or may not be at Mars Hill, comparing the MH elder list to Throckmorton's list to WtH's list from 2011

As has been noted at a few blogs, Mars Hill Church has experienced significant staff changes in the last few years, most notably since about mid-2011, which would coincide with the emergence of Sutton Turner as a leader within the executive leadership team.  The following four lists may be a useful reference point for people considering just how much has changed in the last four years at Mars Hill Church.

List A is simply a recent list of publicly listed men who are pastors at Mars Hill Church.  List A would not include Jamie Munson, for instance, because even if Jamie Munson is still a pastor at Mars Hill he is not publicly listed or acknowledged as a pastor by MH's public pages.

List B is, give or take a few names, Warren Throckmorton's published list of elders who have stopped being at Mars Hill in the last couple of years.  Nowhere at any point in list B are explanations given for the departures and as some have noted already some men left on good terms, others on bad, others were removed after having been found unfit for ministry and any details would be missing as to which was which unless a person had some documentation.

Now List C, for regular readers of Wenatchee The Hatchet, was compiled from all the Mars Hill campus listings that were available for public consultation in late 2011.  These names include not just pastors but staff of various sorts and were at one point names that could be assembled from the MH campus sites before the website overhaul of early 2012.  The list of names was available to assemble from captures by The WayBack Machine until at month or so ago when Mars Hill began to introduce robots.txt to preclude the use of The WayBack Machine in finding stuff like what you'll find not only in List C but also ...

List D is simply (as accurately as could be managed, so take it with a grain of salt) the formerly publicly listed City profiles of all the people who were in list C.  One or two exceptions may appear because, well, sometimes things come along.

General numbers.

List A has 51 names
List B has 43 names
List C has 91 names
List D, unsurprisingly, has the same number of entries.

What someone who currently has access to The City could theoretically do is go through all of lists C and D and compare them to Warren Throckmorton's List B and cross reference that against List A to see how much overlap there is.  You may notice that some of the people from List C may not have been pastors in 2011 but have turned out to be publicly listed as pastors as of 2014. 

Perhaps in the future there may be a supplemental List E of men who voted in 2007 trials of Paul Petry and Bent Meyer.  Since Mars Hill reported that there was unanimity amongst those elders that voted on whether Petry and Meyer ought to be removed it would seem moot to subdivide a List E by who voted what way. 

On the other hand, in light of all that has come to light about both the nature of the trials as they were handled by Scott Thomas and the Elder Investigation Taskforce, and still further in light of all that has transpired since earlier 2011, it remains to be seen whether or not those men who voted in the 2007 trials and voted in the bylaws Jamie Munson drafted might not have come to different conclusions about the rightness of their vote and the reasons for casting their 2007 vote as they did. 

Until there is a List E to add here ... let's move on to the previously described Lists A, B, C and D.

Well, maybe let's bump things down a little bit and have a jump/break so as not to clutter things too terribly.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

revisiting the time where Mark Driscoll crashed the Strange Fire conference, who are these guys?

Last year Mark Driscoll crashed the Strange Fire conference.  It got a little discussion here and there on the internet but most notably over at this spot.

http://www.parkingspace23.com/open-letter-mark-driscoll/

But there's something else that hasn't gotten quite as much attention as might be warranted.  Who are these guys?



 
Were these ... Sutton Turner and Dave Bruskas?  You know, the executive elders who are part of the Board of Advisors and Accountability? Were these two guys outlined in red and blue them?  Because ... well ... if Turner and Bruskas were right there with Mark Driscoll when he crashed the Strange Fire conference and tweeted about his books allegedly being confiscated by security they were ... right ... there? 
 
If this was the case then in addition to Turner having signed the Result Source Inc contract that rigged a place on the NYT bestseller list for Real Marriage (a book that turned out to have plagiarized  material from Dan Allender's The Wounded Heart) then people like Turner and Bruskas have not only not done a particularly compelling job publicly reining in Driscoll's lesser stunts they may have actually been caught on video as participants with Driscoll in one of his more attention-grabbing stunts from the last 12 months. 


Well ... they kind of look like these guys. 




If there's anything about Mars Hill in the last decade we can be sure about it's that they WILL have a video and social media presence of some kind, no matter how many years of Mark Driscoll sermons they may obliterate.  It's a little tough to just run with the assumption that Sutton Turner would be holding Mark Driscoll accountable about anything if Turner signed the Result Source contract.  And it would be a little tough for Bruskas to be thought of as meaningfully holding Mark Driscoll accountable for shooting his mouth off if he was physically present with Driscoll when Driscoll crashed the Strange Fire conference.  And that question may well go double for Turner, who by the time of the Strange Fire conference had signed a contract to rig a best seller list on behalf of a Mark and Grace Driscoll book.  To add to THAT action a willingness to be present with Driscoll as he crashed the Strange Fire conference and tweeted about books being confiscated by security does not suggest that either Turner or Bruskas would be as apt to rein in Driscoll. 

Driscoll's offer to MacArthur in the wake of the stunt of crashing Strange Fire did not seem like much more than a follow-up stunt to Wenatchee the Hatchet.

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2013/10/mark-driscoll-invites-john-macarthur-to.html

Driscoll had already blown off MacArthur's overtures at private discussions about Mark Driscoll's views of Song of Songs.  But after Driscoll crashed Strange Fire an invitation to talk was publicly extended.  To date it would seem  MacArthur's team decided one stiff refusal deserved another and, in any event, just a few weeks later Mark Driscoll would get accused by Janet Mefferd on the air of being a plagiarist, Mefferd would provide evidence, and a little scuffle about just how many books Mark Driscoll published would turn out to have cribbed from the works of others would become the subject of journalistic coverage and a little blogging. 

But whether or not the role that Turner and Bruskas played in being with Driscoll when he crashed Strange Fire has been discussed earlier is an open question at this point for Wenatchee The Hatchet.  Maybe Chris Rosebrough over at Fighting for the Faith might have mentioned something about it?  Can't recall.

But in light of the BOAA defense of the executive elders of Mars Hill issued March 2014, it seems worth revisiting that at least three of the seven members of the BOAA were present when Driscoll crashed Strange Fire ... and if James MacDonald was there then, well, a bit more than half the BOAA was with Driscoll crashing the Strange Fire conference then, wasn't it?

POSTSCRIPT 06-28-2014
8:40PM

Thanks to some comments we've got some context to suggest that James MacDonald was also definitely at Strange Fire with Mark Driscoll.

https://twitter.com/austintduncan/status/391277631737323520/photo/1

For those not already familiar with how Driscoll presented crashing the Strange Fire conference, screen caps from Instagram.


 
So it looks like not only was Mark Driscoll crashing the Strange Fire conference, Sutton Turner and Dave Bruskas and James MacDonald were in tow.  When four of seven of the members of the Board of Advisors and Accountability are along for the ride when Driscoll crashes a conference it's getting kind of tough to make a case that the board is of advisors and accountability as much as co-participants in a publicity stunt.  How the three executive elders managed to be on the BOAA which supposedly has an important role of including people who are not employees or executive leaders within the MH governmental system could be held accountable by a BOAA that includes them to begin with has yet to be explained.  



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sutton Turner mentions "We are ending our fiscal year at one of the most trying times for our church in recent memory".

Well, okay, so maybe there's some internal rumblings that times have not been easy.  This was conveyed to Wenatchee The Hatchet recently:


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and for those that don't/can't do images

From Pastor Sutton Turner:
Mars Hill Family,


We are ending our fiscal year at one of the most trying times for our church in recent memory. We know that God calls us to pursue humility and faithfulness during all seasons, and also to look to Jesus for continued growth as leaders and as the body of Christ.

This is just a quick reminder that gifts made by midnight on June 30th help us end our current fiscal year strong. Your tithes and offerings support 16 churches here in the US with facilities to gather and worship for weekend services and also with the staff to care and love those who are meeting Jesus and growing in their faith. You also support evangelists and church planters in Ethiopia and India.
With your tithes and contributions, more churches will be planted, more pastors will be sent out, and more people will be saved by Jesus Christ.

But I need to hear from you by midnight next Monday night. Please go to marshill.com/give, and thank you.

I am so thankful to Jesus for your generosity and faithfulness.
Gratefully,
Pastor Sutton

Executive Elder & Executive Pastor
It's not surprising that there's no mention of what might be included in "one of the most trying times for our church in recent memory.

No mention of plagiarism controversy from Turner (seven books of Mark Driscoll's were shown by Warren Throckmorton to have citation errors of various kinds) or of the Result Source controversy, even though Sutton Turner himself signed that contract

So on the whole evidence suggests that the executive elders themselves made the "unwise" decisions that have been the cause of controversy and difficulty for Mars Hill in the last year.  It's interesting and not surprising that neither Sutton Turner nor Mark Driscoll have seemed as yet all that eager to say anything about the plagiarism controversy and have only voiced the most passive and even blame-shifting sorts of regret (via the Board of Advisors and Accountability that they are on) about the "outside counsel" that suggested Result Source.  Now while Chronicles and Samuel alternately ascribe David's late-career census as the agency of the devil or God David is the one shown taking ownership of a sin that cost the lives of thousands and thousands of people. 

To say "I’m more a prophet than a politician."  is to misunderstand the starkly political nature of prophetic activity (and also to skate altogether past its judicial role within the Torah and through the earlier books of the Old Testament).  More to the point, when men claim to be prophets and then get caught up in plagiarism controversies and controversies about rigging sales, to say nothing of "I see things" it is well past the point that when someone who appoints himself a public figure and refers to himself as a gigachurch pastor be able to handle being on the receiving end of some public criticism.  Yet time and again Mark Driscoll seems to balk or even bristle at being on the receiving end of what he has historically been willing to dish out.  Whether it's a history of publicly blasting The Shack in 2007 and before shaking hands with T. D. Jakes in 2012, or whether it's saying in 2009 he didn't start a side company to manage book royalties and then going on to set one up in 2011, Driscoll's flip-flops may be of a higher order than those alleged to have been done by John Kerry in election cycles.

And if Mark Driscoll seriously believed that in the case of Grace Driscoll out-earning him in the earlier years of Mars Hill that he had essentially denied the faith and become worse than an unbeliever then if he had any scruples or consistency about his own self-proclaimed scruples he should have resigned from ministry altogether for having denied the faith and become worse than unbelievers.  But that's clearly not what happened.  What happened was Driscoll got a salary and eventually went on in 2011 to tell Mars Hill that they have historically stunk at giving.  Maybe they have but since Mars Hill Church in the last eight years seems to have historically stunk at transparency in the wake of controversy maybe there could be a bit more give and take here. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Warren Throckmorton mentions "demon trials" held at Mars Hill, references story of a former member

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/06/24/mars-hill-churchs-demon-trials-mental-illness-considered-sign-of-demonic-involvement-along-with-pedophilia-and-habitual-lying/

The former member/attender is not "Amy" as recounted by Matthew Paul Turner back in 2012 but a woman named Darlene who has shared her story through welovemarshill.com.  Darlene Lopez may be the first person who has been part of Mars Hill to reference how MHC has at times approached what Driscoll called "demonic counseling" in the Spiritual Warfare presentation he gave church leaders in February 2008.  We've referenced several extended segments from just part two of that presentation, "The Devil" here at Wenatchee The Hatchet.

The last most recent reference in a tagged post was on the fact that Mark Driscoll's talk about how in some cases women fear their husbands are cheating on them and that these women sinfully believe lies was given just days before Nicholas Francisco disappeared, a detail that has been brought to light by Christine Carter sharing some of her story at welovemarshill.com

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/06/mark-driscolls-2-5-2008-spiritual.html

While Carter was not counseled by Driscoll her story features being told by an elder to make herself more available to her husband and that her husband loved her and wouldn't cheat on her, more or less.  Well ... unfortunately for everyone the headlines about Nicholas Francisco have already told that tale.  Whoever believed he had discernment (because the highest likelihood is that a male in some eldership role at Mars Hill was advising Carter) regarding Nicholas Francisco didn't actually have it.

An earlier post here at Wenatchee The Hatchet surveyed Mark Driscoll's teaching from the 2008 event on the subject of the "ordinary demonic" and how the first entry in that set of things was "not enough sex within marriage".  In Real Marriage Mark Driscoll related that he persuaded Grace Driscoll the cure for his mood swings and depression was more frequent sex.  Curiously, when talking about the marriages of other people he was willing to say that withholding sex in marriage was simply satanic. 

As noted earlier, one of the more alarming omissions in Real Marriage was that neither Mark nor Grace Driscoll mentioned that Grace had no less than five C-sections and a miscarriage even though Mark Driscoll himself mentioned all of this in Death By Love.  He even went further and said, in a letter drafted to address his youngest son, that after four C-sections and a miscarriage Grace was ready to be done having children but that Mark Driscoll did not at that point want to do anything permanent to preclude the possibility of another child.  Thus, eventually, their youngest child was born.  So when in the 2012 book the Driscolls talk about how Mark was dissatisfied with the frequency and the quality of the sex he was having at no point would the variable of having children approximately once every two years (not counting the miscarriage) and the associated physical trauma of a C-section delivery seem irrelevant to the amount of sex that was or wasn't happening in the Driscoll house. 

What the 2012 book failed to mention got mentioned in Death By Love in a Driscollian letter that has not only informed a Driscoll kid but the whole world that he exists because while Grace wanted to be done having children already Mark didn't want to cut off the possibility of a future child for which both Driscolls are now grateful.  Okay ... but when the kid grows up to be about seventeen will it seem wise to have out there for millions to read the sentences that convey the sense of "Your mom didn't want more kids but I wasn't willing to stop at four and so that's how we have you."  Something to mull over, perhaps.  In the past Driscoll has preached about the evils of parental favoritism within the family and in a sense it's a possibility that a form of unhealthy tension in a parent-child relationship could be if one parent ever leverages the information that only one of the two parents wanted another child who could have been precluded from life had that one parent with misgivings gotten their way.  It seems that a husband and father should avoid saying anything that could be construed in this fashion but what do single guys know about stuff like that?  Moving along ... .

Prior to that blog post Wenatchee The Hatchet surveyed part 2 of the Spiritual Warfare series from 2008 as a context for Mark Driscoll's comment in Real Marriage about how bitter he was toward his wife over the lack of sex he felt he was getting in the marriage.  If Mark Driscoll applied to himself his teaching to other Mars Hill leaders in 2008 the idea that any bitterness of any kind is by definition a satanic foothold embraced regardless of the legitimacy of the grievance then couldn't it be said by Driscoll's own working definition of bitterness as a satanic foothold that he had satanically defiled much (if not all) of Mars Hill through his bitterness toward Grace over the lack of sex he felt he was enduring?

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/03/mark-driscoll-on-bitterness-as-context.html

Within about a week of that blog post going up the entire audio of the Spiritual Warfare series came down.
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/03/spiritual-warfare-series-driscoll-gave.html

Also missing was the Peasant Princess series in which Driscoll related a story about how he basically threatened 20 guys on a dorm floor with assault if they talked to or looked at his girlfriend Grace when she began to attend college a year prior to Mark Driscoll's college career.

So, as you can see from this post Wenatchee The Hatchet has covered just a few parts of just part 2 of Spiritual Warfare from 2008 and by now the audio is no longer available.

There are a few things worth noting for those who never heard this material.  The Spiritual Warfare content was never preached as a sermon on a Sunday, it was given on a more mid-week event and was just for leaders at Mars Hill Church.  Rank and file members did not hear this material.  Wenatchee The Hatchet was, years ago, in a ministry that was fielding doctrinal and textual questions on behalf of MH leadership and people in that ministry were expected to be familiar with the content from the Spiritual Warfare teaching event.  Besides having doubts about the fiscal competence of MH leadership with real estate Wenatchee The Hatchet also could not endorse the Spiritual Warfare teaching and opted not to renew membership.

For those who may remember all the way back to posts in 2012, the post that Slate linked to as supposedly objecting to Mark Driscoll's leadership style was really where I wrote that I came to doubt both the competence and the good will of pastoral counseling at Mars Hill Church and felt it would be imprudent to continue membership.  At the time I stopped being part of Mars Hill I heard rumors but had no confirmation of what had happened with the trials of Meyer and Petry.  My reasons for leaving Mars Hill had much more to do with doubts about their fiscal competence as a leadership culture and even graver doubts about the counseling activities of Mars Hill pastors.  In time these concerns turned out to be more well-founded than even I had guessed. 

My opinion, of course.  Your mileage may vary.

As more people publicly share things they have observed and experienced at Mars Hill it may be necessary to point out that the spiritual warfare teaching from 2008 has been pulled but not in any way disavowed or repudiated.  In fact when Matthew Paul Turner published the story of "Amy" he was advised to refer to the Spiritual Warfare series that has in the last few months been removed.

There are those who may not consider the plagiarism and list-rigging scandals associated with Mark Driscoll to be as problematic as what has emerged about MH and MD on spiritual warfare.  My advice is to avoid any temptation to separate these categories.  Plagiarism matters and rigging sales in a way that is not honest matters just as employing spiritual warfare teaching that runs with the idea that, say, Maslow's hierarchy of needs is satanic matters.  It matters because in the last year's worth of controversies we seem to be seeing a situation in which the leadership judges itself (or has itself judged by) a markedly different standard than the laity would be.  While Driscoll and other elders at Mars Hill might say that a husband bitter toward his wife over a lack of sex was giving the devil a foothold through bitterness that could wreck everything Driscoll has never seemed to connect the dots about how his own bitterness toward Grace about sex could have, by the measure of his own teachings about and to others, have defiled the church that is Mars Hill.  When confronted on air by Janet Mefferd about plagiarism Driscoll said that maybe he made a mistake and that a mistake is not a sin.  And yet if a woman believes a lie, specifically that her husband is cheating on her when he isn't, the 2008 spiritual warfare series indicated that believing lies was demonic.  What about telling lies?

So the concerns Wenatchee The Hatchet has written about are definitely not either one or the other, plagiarism and sales-rigging or spiritual warfare.  The concern is cumulative.  Take the entirety of the Driscoll narrative across book after book and sermon after sermon over a twelve year period and the cumulative concern is that he has increasingly shown himself in public to have become the sort of thing he warned us from the pulpit to be wary of.  Now as, reportedly, people have begun to leave Mars Hill Church the most that seems to be conveyed by leadership is that people need to stick together during this difficult season.  Mainly, it seems, stand by your men because even if the Board of Advisors and Accountability admits up front that there have been gag orders they approve of and a contract to rig a place for Real Marriage on the NYT bestseller list, well, everybody just hold on tight and be grateful the executive elders have patiently endured so many false claims about them that the BOAA has in several cases admitted aren't even false claims at all.

In the Ten Commandments series Mark Driscoll commented about how "we even lie about our lying" and went so far as to propose that even if you tell the truth but tell it in a way that aims to bring harm to someone that's still basically lying. 

http://marshill.com/2013/11/23/we-even-lie-about-our-lying

Sometimes gossips say things that are untrue, but more often they’re simply “saying what they should not.” Telling other people about somebody else’s business is no way to love your neighbor. In fact, gossip is often sharing damaging information with the intent of murdering someone’s reputation. Murder can be physical death, but gossips commit a form of murder that destroys a person, emotionally or psychologically.

So, surely, sharing that Grace Driscoll didn't want a fifth child after she endured four C-sections and a miscarriage in Death By Love couldn't under any circumstances be taken by anyone as Mark Driscoll sharing information that is potentially true but that maybe didn't need to be advertised to any of the Driscoll kids, let alone the entire world? 

This polemic from Driscoll reads a bit as though he's saying even if you tell the truth but the truth damages someone's reputation that's still, basically, lying.  If you read stuff that's true but your heart-motive is bad then it's somehow still dishonesty.  If Driscoll applied this remarkably stringent measure of deceit to himself then how could seven of his books have ended up plagiarizing the works of others and including egregious factual errors such as 1) the impossible claim that Arminius was the son-in-law of Calvin or 2) that to say "begotten" in the creeds somehow gives a foothold to Arianism or 3) that the Targum Neofiti was written two centuries before rather than after the birth of Jesus, let alone that a Jewish rabbinical commentary on Genesis written centuries before the birth of Jesus could somehow affirm a Trinitarian view of YHWH?

If Driscoll measured himself by the measurements he use to say that others are liars or satanic could he even pass his own tests? 

Believe it or not Wenatchee The Hatchet has only blogged about at most maybe ten percent of the content from the 2008 Spiritual Warfare teaching event.  That Throckmorton has broached any of this material even indirectly is certainly interesting.

Er, finally (for now) those who have been willing to trudge through all that who may want to read an extremely long discourse on the nexus of debunked recovered memory counseling, the cessationist/continuationist debate in Christian pneumatology, and, uh, Mark "I see things" Driscoll ...

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2011/12/mark-driscoll-i-see-things.html

So, that's the overview of what WtH has written in the past about the spiritual warfare series and you can find a few quotes from the material at your leisure amid these posts.  This year has been a little odd at Wenatchee The Hatchet because it's sometimes begun to seem as though WtH will quote something and then the relevant material from MH or Driscoll will just vanish a week later. 

But since one of my key concerns over the last six years was that the competence and good will of Mars Hill counseling might lead to some very serious damage to people and relationships I'll just reiterate what I've obviously been saying for a while--it's not just the stuff that has come to light in the last year that is worth being worried about, it's piles of stuff only people who have been inside the church who have not shared it publicly until now that also needs to be considered.  Even if Driscoll hadn't shown himself eager to roll out "satanic" to denounce a James Cameron movie while comparing Jack Bauer to Christ Driscoll's public track record of invoking Jesus for pop culture he likes and Satan to inveigh against stuff he wished he didn't spend money on might give us all cause to doubt how far we should take any of his advice on what, precisely, is demonic. 

But Wenatchee the Hatchet may just leave it to others to flesh out the full scale of material from Driscoll on spiritual warfare as it connects to stuff like gossipy women or how Maslow's hierarchy of needs is totally satanic.  

What has been suggested by some of the stories at welovemarshill.com is that the kind of counseling approach Mark Driscoll outlined in his teaching event at 2008 may not have been common but there's little doubt that the paradigms and principles Driscoll laid out to MH leadership in early 2008 were things he considered normative for "demonic counseling". Whether Mark Driscoll could pass some of the evaluations he has asked members to assess themselves by (or be assessed through by a MH elder) remains to be seen.





Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mark Driscoll on "the hardest part of ministry", Driscoll compared to Driscoll on threats, and stories from the earlier days of MHC



Before Janet Mefferd made her on-air accusation that Mark Driscoll was a plagiarist Driscoll shared what was for him the most soul-aching part of ministry. 

http://theresurgence.com/2013/10/26/the-hardest-part-of-ministry
The hardest part of ministry
October 26, 2013
Mark Driscoll

The hardest part of ministry
Mark Driscoll   » Church Leadership Heart Culture Suffering 
...


Upon occasion, I like to answer questions that leaders (often young) ask about ministry. One that often comes up: What part of your ministry is the most difficult? Nearly everyone who asks this question is someone who is new to ministry and seeking to anticipate a possible landmine in front of them.

The most soul-aching concern I face

For me, the answer is simple: family safety. By far and away, this is the most constant, soul-aching concern that I deal with. Those ministering in more family-friendly suburban communities that welcome megachurches and gated neighborhoods may not understand the complexities of a ministry that is more urban and the dangers it can pose.

In 1 Corinthians 7:32–35, the Apostle Paul speaks about how a family, though a blessing, can also be a burden. I used to assume that he merely meant that someone who was single would have more time for ministry, but now I know the issue is much deeper.

Paul worked mainly in hostile, urban contexts where the backlash against the gospel was so strong that he faced very real danger. Having a family in such circumstances would have been even more difficult and dangerous. It’s one thing if opponents seek to harm or kill a single man, but a husband and father holding hands with his wife and little girl prompts an entirely different level of concern.

The Mark Driscoll of late 2013 may be a mellower one than the one of 2004 who published Radical Reformission (recently republished as just Reformission, which might signal a lack of radicalness)

Radical Reformission
ISBN 0-310-25659-3Mark Driscoll
Zondervan
copyright 2004 by Mars Hill Church
page 14


... So I married Grace, began studying Scripture with the enthusiasm of a glutton at a buffet, and started preparing myself to become a pastor who does not go to jail for doing something stupid. To pay the bills, I edited the opinions section of the campus newspaper, writing inflammatory columns that led to debates, radio interviews, and even a few bomb threats--which was wonderful, because the only thing worse than dying is living a boring life. [emphasis added]


Yet the Apostle Paul famously wrote that it is better for the unmarried to remain unmarried, an idea that Driscoll has never shown any significant public record of agreeing with.  If opponents (of what?) seek to kill a single man that's one thing (what is it?) but it's another level of concern if opponents seek to harm or kill a father holding hands with his wife and little girl and ... ?

So perhaps Mark Driscoll has over time begun to discover that if you ever revel in writing inflammatory columns and making provocative statements in broadcast and social media that you might get a few bomb threats.  In 2004 Driscoll said this was a wonderful thing because the only thing worse than dying is living a boring life.  Others who subscribe to the idea of living a quiet boring life being productive rather than catalyzing bomb threats may find this notion of the earlier Driscoll juvenile not simply on its own merits but because no one who starts a family can keep on that path without, at length, embroiling their family in the risks associated with being a deliberately and willfully provocative public figure.

Driscoll went on to list the dangers he has faced in his time in ministry.  Two are particularly noteworthy.  No, not the two knife incidents.  Let's consider this one.

  • On one occasion, a man tried to get into my home in the middle of the night. Demanding to meet with me, he woke up and frightened my family. The police arrested him and put him in a mental health facility. The man escaped and started walking back to my home in his underwear. The police intercepted him when he was not far away.
Driscoll has mentioned someone wanting to meet with him in the past. 

CONFESSIONS OF A REFORMISSION REV
Mark Driscoll,  Zondervan
copyright (c) 2006 by Mark Driscoll
ISBN-13: 978-0-310-27016-4
ISBN-10:0-310-27016-2
CHAPTER FIVE: JESUS, WHY AM I GETTING FATTER AND MEANER?
350-1,000 people

At this time, our church also started an unmoderated discussion board on our website, called Midrash, and it was being inundated with postings by emerging-church type feminists and liberals. I went onto the site and posted as William Wallace II, after the great Scottish man portrayed in the movie Braveheart, and attacked those who were posting. It got insane, and thousands of posts were being made each day until it was discovered that it was me raging like a madman under the guise of a movie character. One guy got so mad that he actually showed up at my house to fight me one night around 3 a.m. [emphasis added]

Things were starting to get out of hand with the men, so I called a meeting and demanded that all of the men in our church attend. I preached for more than two hours about manhood and basically gave the dad talk to my men for looking at porno, sleeping with young women, not serving Christ, not working hard at their jobs, and so on. I demanded that the men who were with me on our mission to change the city stay and that the rest leave the church and stop getting in the way because you can't charge hell with your pants around your ankles, a bottle of lotion in one hand, and a Kleenex in the other.

On their way out of that meeting, I handed each man two stones and told them that on this day God was giving them their balls back to get the courage to do kingdom work. Guys put them on their monitors at work or glued them to the dash of their truck and kept them. The stones of remembrances from the Old Testament. The next week the offering doubled and the men caught fire. It was a surreal time, since I was basically fathering guys my own age and treating them more like a military unit than a church.

The life change was unreal. We had guys getting saved. We had gay guys going straight. We had guys tossing out porn, getting jobs, tithing, taking wives, buying homes, making babies, and repenting of the sins of their fathers. We had guys who had divorced their wives remarrying them. We had men adopting children so they would have a Christian father. It was a lot like Acts because the whole city seemed to be abuzz.

This season was messy and I sinned and cussed a lot., but God somehow drew a straight line with my crooked Philistine stick.  I had a good mission, but some of my tactics were born out of anger and burnout, and I did a lot of harm and damage while attracting a lot of attention.

This latter incident, the marathon of shouting, has been attested to elsewhere in the fundraising/documentary film God's Work, Our Witness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfu-cjd1Nlc
http://marshill.com/media/gods-work-our-witness/gods-work-our-witness
http://marshill.com/media/gods-work-our-witness/gods-work-our-witness/ajax_transcript?lang=en
http://download.marshill.com/files/2011/12/04/20111204_god-is-faithful_sd_audio.mp3
http://download.marshill.com/files/2011/12/04/20111204_gods-work-our-witness_tv_sd_progressive.m4v


The Men and Two Stones

Pastor AJ: There was an event at the Paradox, and Pastor Mark’s getting all the guys together.
‘Cause guys would repent of sin, and then they want to meet and they’d be talking, “Oh, I’m sleeping with my girlfriend.” “Oh, I’m looking at porn.” “Oh, I can’t get a job.” “Oh, I don’t know what I want to do with my life.”

[Driscoll] And it got to the point where I couldn’t have that many counseling meetings, so I just decided to bring all the guys together and absolutely yell at all of them at one time. And so I called an all-men’s church meeting.

Jason: People actually flew in to attend.

Pastor AJ: The instructions are, “Grab two stones. Read 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. And when you finish, read them again. And when you finish, read them again.”

Jeff: And we all show up and they hand us a pair of rocks.
We literally filled up every single seat. I met every guy at the door and I told them, “I want you to shut up. You’re not allowed to talk. Nobody is allowed to speak. You guys all just sit down and shut up until I’m ready to yell at you.”

Pastor AJ: And you just keep reading 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus; 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, wondering, “Why do I have these two stones?”

Jason: I think half the people probably thought he was going to apologize for some of his harsher rants that he’d posted online and then say, you know, “You without sin, cast the first stone.”

Pastor Phil: And that silence was just so palatable, just like, “What’s going to happen?” Like you’re waiting for an earthquake, like, “When’s it going to hit?”

Pastor Matt: And Driscoll had just had it and he was losing his mind.

Pastor AJ: Pastor Mark then goes off on the guys.

Jeff: Pastor Mark gets up onstage and just starts yelling!

Pastor AJ: It seemed like a couple of hours, just yelling at us about all of our perversion, all of our laziness, all of our lack of drive and ambition, all of our ungodly living.
“You belong to Jesus. I’m giving you your stones back. It’s your church. We’ve got to fix this building. We’ve got to raise the money. We’ve got to do this thing. This is what God told us to do.”
So I got up there and I preached a sermon on what it means to be a man. I literally think the sermon went about three hours, screamed and yelled at all of the guys.

Pastor AJ: All of us just completely, like, laid open, and he says, “You guys are men, and until you find your own stones, use these.”
And then closed in prayer and told them to shut up and leave.

Pastor Matt: And for a lot of us, this is the first time we heard this kind of stuff.

Jeff: Hearing the truth that we needed to man-up and that God had something better for us, and we weren’t seeing clearly—

Pastor AJ: Guys glued those things to their dashboards. They kept them in their pockets all the time. It was just this reminder of God has made us men, and we will be men. Who does that stuff?

Jeff: We kept hearing that over and over and over again, sermon after sermon after sermon addressed towards men, specifically young men, specifically, taking initiative to lead and love well like Jesus. And that was life changing, life changing.

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.

So to return to the bullet point incident:
  • On one occasion, a man tried to get into my home in the middle of the night. Demanding to meet with me, he woke up and frightened my family. The police arrested him and put him in a mental health facility. The man escaped and started walking back to my home in his underwear. The police intercepted him when he was not far away.

Back in 2006 Mark Driscoll documented that one guy who insisted on confronting Driscoll at 3am did so because he was angry when it was discovered that it was Mark Driscoll who was posting as William Wallace II.  By Driscoll's own 2006 account he cussed and sinned a bit in this stage of his ministry.  Did it ever occur to Driscoll to consider the possibility that his deliberately inflammatory and provocative approach to emergent and liberals might have in some way indirectly jeapordized the safety of his family?  Not that Wenatchee The Hatchet is either emergent or liberal but the point might be worth underlining, Mark Driscoll's antics as William Wallace II was, in a previous decade, given more direct credit by Mark Driscoll himself as catalyzing some violent and negative reactions to him that had an impact on his family.

Then there's a second bullet point.
  • Twice I have arrived home from work to find a registered sex offender seeking to engage with my family while waiting to talk with me.
So there was more than one case?  But people who were around Mars Hill in the earliest days only heard about one incident which of late has been recounted by one Mark Yetman

http://welovemarshill.com/post/89384014008/mark-yetman
Mark Yetman

2000-2003
 Paradox

In 2000 my wife and I moved 3000 miles to Seattle. We didn’t know anyone or anything about Seattle but we rented an apartment on the Ave. Everything was new and exciting for us and we sought out to explore everything this city. I don’t remember when we decided to enter the doors of the Paradox but I think it was late that summer. Entering those doors we were exposed to something we had never seen. Team Strike Force was doing their best Nirvana impression with deep and heartfelt Christian lyrics (no Jesus is my boyfriend lyrics). The pastor was dynamic, edgy, and speaking the Gospel with strength and conviction. What was truly radical for me was an evangelical church that served communion and you went up when your heart and soul were ready to accept Christ. For me it was a personal altar-call every time.

We would mainly go to the Paradox but occasionally go to the Ballard church (house). I remember going to Mark’s birthday party/5 year anniversary party and going to a retreat where Damien Jurado was there (He did a great rendition of Pink Moon). I started going to Mark’s house by the Montlake bridge for a men’s bible study. His uber-macho/hyperbolic public persona practically disappeared. He revealed a man that was Christ-filled caring and compassionate man. I remember one time him speaking about having a child-molester in his house and was uneasy about it but believed that Christ had changed this man’s heart. ... [emphasis added]

So in at least one case Driscoll had mentioned to at least a few people that he had met a child molester in his house and concluded that the man was truly changed. 

That's a detail from one of apparently two incidents that Mark Driscoll didn't mention in "The Hardest Part of Ministry" that was relatively heard of in the earliest days of Mars Hill.

Near the conclusion of his October 2013 piece Driscoll wrote:

When people learn that my concern for family safety is the most difficult part of my ministry, I usually get the follow up question: Why don’t you just quit and go do something else or go do ministry somewhere else?

Honestly, I’ve pondered that question myself on the darker days. I love my family. I love Jesus—and so does my family. I love our church—and so does my family. And I love our city—and so does my family. On average, we have seen 100 people get baptized every month for about the last five years. We are seeing lives change, and we find great joy in that. That said, I do all I can to care for my family and protect them, without being paranoid, and the truth is if I were not called to this line of work, I would quit.

Driscoll has, by 2014, surely come to view the idea of bomb threats in reaction to his at times inflammatory remarks to be less wonderful.  But the question Driscoll mentions being asked is why he doesn't quit, not why he doesn't drastically alter the tone and in some cases the content of what he preaches and teaches.  Even Driscoll himself has taught over the years that you can win an argument and lose a person. 

Driscoll reaffirmed in late 2013 that he loves Jesus and so does his family.  He said he loved Mars Hill.  When he got to "And I love our city" he didn't mention that "our city", for the Driscolls, hasn't been Seattle since at least May 2013.  Perhaps the incident in which someone left a pile of excrement on the old property would inspire someone to move, that's understandable.  But Driscoll can't in complete honestly convey to Mars Hill Church or anyone else a statement of "I love our city" and have it refer to Seattle if he doesn't even live in Seattle proper any longer.  Woodway is not Seattle.

The case for continuing on as he has boils down to ... numbers.  100 people getting baptized every month for about the previous five years.  What is striking, nearly a decade since the publication of Confessions of a Reformission Rev is that every chapter had a couple of subheadings.  The first subheading was some pithy summation of that stage of the church history and the second was always a numeric bracket of how many people were attending or members.  Those numbers over that many years may sum up why Driscoll has convinced himself he needed to keep doing what he was doing as of October 26, 2013.

And then ... Janet Mefferd accused Mark Driscoll of being a plagiarist on the air in November 2013.  And then ... World Magazine documented that Mars Hill Church contracted with Result Source Incorporated to get Real Marriage a #1 spot on the NYT bestseller list.  Driscoll has since made statements to the effect that the angry young man stage has to get replaced by a fatherly type ... even though the fatherly type was how Driscoll described himself in 2007 in the wake of the terminations of Bent Meyer and Paul Petry?

Are those numbers worth the trouble still?  One of the things Mark Driscoll may not fully appreciate is that once you buy real estate county records aren't that hard to look up.  Even if things get obscured with trusts and transfers being obedient to government regulations requires that they know where you live and in the age of the internet it is fairly simple to find addresses and publicly accessible documents. 

As thoroughly understandable as it is that a father worries about the welfare and safety of his wife and children, Mark Driscoll may not have shared everything about some of the incidents that he recounted in his reasons for getting sympathy on behalf of his family.  Have sympathy for his family, by all means.  They merit it.  But whether Mark Driscoll has fully considered the role his own deliberately inflammatory statements and self-selected public activity may have on the safety of his family remains to be seen.   In at least the case of the would be late night fighter, it may be impossible to separate that man's desire to confront Driscoll (and this by Driscoll's own account) with Mark Driscoll's antics as William Wallace II.

And yet to go by both Confessions and God's Work, Our Witness, Mark Driscoll seemed to consider the unreal life change in the lives of the men he yelled at to have been worth it.  But ... worth what?