Saturday, January 03, 2015

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 3 part 5 commentary 6 "don't believe the demonic lie that I don't care" CF 2007 "You either got on the bus or get run over by the bus. Those are the two options but the bus ain't gonna stop."

The first thing that seems relevant to share is that as tempting as it may be for some readers or listeners to think all the stuff Mark Driscoll said on February 5, 2008 was some long con and that he doesn't believe in any of this stuff, you probably didn't listen to the nearly 3.5 hours, did you?  Nobody goes on at such astonishing length about topics they neither care about nor believe in, do they?  Not even in entertainment. 

The sincerely of Mark Driscoll has never really been a question.  Driscoll's motives, as such, have not even been inherently important.  Let's reframe this in light of something readers of Wenatchee The Hatchet will already know is a pet subject, biblical literature.  The biblical authors expressed relatively little interest in expounding on the interior monologues and emotional highs and lows of figures described in the biblical texts.  We're nowhere near Dostoevsky or confessional memoirs. No, the biblical authors tended to focus chiefly on what people said and what people did and that summation accounted for their character, good or bad.  So for the purposes of Wenatchee The Hatchet speculating as to Mark Driscoll's sincerity in his teaching on spiritual warfare isn't relevant.

On the other hand, the social and political framework within which Driscoll spoke is relevant. 

Don't believe the demonic lie that I don't care. I founded this church in my living room. Many who are on staff I had the privilege of leading to Christ and baptizing.

Let's propose that Mark Driscoll would not have said those sentences in a vacuum.  He wouldn't have told pastors and deacons to not believe the demonic lie that he didn't care unless he thought there might be any reason at all for them to actually think that.  Why might people wonder whether or not Mark Driscoll cared about the "ground war" or the rank and file?  At the risk of pointing out the obvious

"There's a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus and by God's grace it'll be a mountain before we're done." 

Something like that. At the top of October Driscoll talked about a pile of dead bodies and how two guys weren't on mission so they were unemployed.  In November Driscoll preached the Scotland sermon.  Though he'd wrapped up a lot of writing for Death By Love as far back as 2006 he had transitioned into preparing it for publication with Breshears as a co-author. 

Mars Hill was also preparing to expand and grow.  Driscoll seemed to sense that there was a real risk of dissent from within the church and was willing to frame that dissent in terms of diabology.  But he didn't go so far as to demonize opposition in any direct way.  Instead what he did was he framed a general discussion of spiritual warfare in terms of practical (or theoretically practical) considerations about individual counseling and solidarity within Mars Hill leadership. 

But a lot of that push for solidarity seemed to come in the form of warning of wolves within and of infiltrators.  It was not a given that even a deacon was even really a Christian, for instance.  And just a few months earlier it had transpired that even two elders (Meyer and Petry) who Mark Driscoll seemed to have personally recruited into taking up ministry had turned out to not be on mission and were thus fired.  If there were reasons leaders might wonder if Mark Driscoll really cared or not it might be because some of the men whom Mark Driscoll had recruited into ministry were the men Mark Driscoll had thrown under the bus.  Some of the men who heard the February 5, 2008 teaching on spiritual warfare, Satan and demons would have also been present for the "here's what I've learned" speech.

In later 2007 Driscoll would regale members with an account of how he nearly died from health problems and of how a couple of men were standing in the way of progress for the church.  But in the infamous "bus" audio Driscoll also made it clear that the people who weren't on board were going to get thrown off the bus or get thrown under the bus and run over by the bus.

If Mark Driscoll had any reason to wonder why maybe, just maybe, there were doubts about whether or not he and the other executive leaders of Mars Hill loved the people of Mars Hill in general or even cared about their welfare it would seem like a reasonable proposal to suggest that some people heard what kinds of things Mark Driscoll was willing to say to fellow leaders behind closed doors and have reason to doubt.

Even within the 2008 session Driscoll had earlier categorized doubt about the motives of the executive elders as belief in a demonic lie.  It might have been easier to quell doubts and insecurities from the lower level leaders about Driscoll's approach if he hadn't made a couple of explicit statements literally and figuratively demonizing dissent. 

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