Friday, January 02, 2015
2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 3 part 4 commentary 7: false teachers within, abusers of members without? grandpas and uncles come off pretty badly in Driscoll's cycle of anecdotes
I know one family where incest was just part of the family. They actually had very intricate rules to control incest. The grandfathers and uncles could molest little girls but daddies couldn't and you could only do that once they hit the age of ten. You couldn't molest any child before that. I get these complicated rules that have been passed down for generations for the sexual abuse of the children. You're like, this, your struggle here, your temptations, your issues, they have generational lineage.
Next question question I'll ask, "When did you come to them?" And you know what's amazing to me with this, most of the time I get year, month, date and sometimes hour. It is unbelievably precise. If it's ancestral it'll be in the womb or birth. If it's at some point in life--I mean I've heard things like, (and I'm, like, making up the day) "Well on March 27th of 1983 they were seven years old and when their uncle molested them that's when I came." Hmm. They'll just, the person'll just say this and I'll say, "Okay, when were you born?" We work backward, make sure it's true. "I was born in 1980 and they say they came 1987." "Yeah" "March 23, is that when your uncle molested you?" "Uh, uncle molested me, that sounds right, yeah. Yeah, it was at my cousin's birthday party and his birthday's March 23. That's true."
I dealt with one girl, years ago. She was repeatedly sexually abused as a child and then raped and a couple of the older men (I think it was an uncle and a grandpa) who would molest, after they were done with her they would say, this is what they'd tell her, "You're a dirty girl. That's why I make you do dirty things."
In part 3, with Driscoll's rambling discussion of ground rules and arrival times for demons, a person could begin to get the impression that grandpas and uncles are the worst sorts of people in the history of humanity. Whether Driscoll somehow kept running into these molesting and abusing uncles and grandpas amongst counselees sharing things at Mars Hill over and over, or whether Driscoll kept recycling the same story from a number of different perspectives it would seem that uncles and grandpas were harmful.
Demon trials and demonic inventories have been rather generally alluded to in discussions of Mars Hill but as yet there's only been one direct, concrete allusion to a demonic trial from someone with a real name.
A couple months passed and then she of the blue said, “I don’t want to be your friend. I went to a demon trial”. Apparently, the elders were doing demon trials on members or anyone who had oppression in their life. Mark Driscoll wrote this whole procedure on how to summon, and then put on trial the demons that are oppressing the believer. It all sounded strange to us. I asked her why she couldn’t be my friend and she said my name was brought up in a demon trial. I asked her what that meant, and she didn’t answer any more questions other than “talk to your elder about it, but that she would no longer ask me for prayer, talk to me about spiritual things, etc. without giving any other reasons. She said we were still welcome to attend community group, though. A flood of emotions came in, there was no sin issue as we had already dealt with her concerns of gossip/talking too much two months prior so I didn’t understand why now she didn’t want to be friends. Her defense was that she should have listened to God two months ago and not be my friend. I asked her if she saw any changes in our friendship since then. She said yes, that we were talking less on the phone and that when we did talk we were praying and keeping it Christ-centered. To this day she says she ended our friendship because of “sin.” But it wasn’t until that demon trial that things changed.
Well, since as mentioned earlier, Wenatchee The Hatchet felt obliged to not renew membership after hearing about the demon trial process, it's seemed overdue to make available to the public the raw material that was once available for millions to download. Lopez' story touched on content that has turned out to have been available for years. While the content's been taken down on the Mars Hill side and the recycled recent variations by Driscoll (or done on his behalf) strip away a lot of the meat, we can try to keep the raw material up and highlight a few things about it.
It's worth noting that there can sure seem to be a prevalent pattern in which the outsider or the upstart who isn't a member of Mars Hill could be viewed as a demonic gateway.
When in the course of the sprawling spiritual warfare session Driscoll explained that he basically never let any of his kids go to slumber parties it's remarkably easy to get an overall sense why, quite possibly any slumber party could turn out to be a fateful encounter with demons.
And well before getting to part 3 Driscoll had explained how scrupulous he was in shooting down women wanting to be friends with his wife because so many of them were demonic gossip mamas or drama queens.
If in Part One of spiritual warfare Driscoll spoke of the danger of false teachers and dissent from within in the demonic inventory and ground rules of Part Three he seems to shift, and the shift may have implications for pastoral counseling within the history of Mars Hill and the possible emergence of an ad hominem narrative not just within the leadership about dissent, but possibly also amongst the laity attending Mars Hill with respect to outsiders.
While the accounts of counselees discovering or being told they were abused as children, subjected to demonic dedication rituals and the like may well distill all the fads of the 1980s and early 1990s that have been debunked, it could seem as though there was a common thread, the source of demonic entry might have involved a counselee sinning but the entry time and method seemed to involve those who could have been considered outsiders to the Mars Hill scene. One could only hazard a guess that the molesting grandpa was probably not also attending Mars Hill at the same time a counselee might have been meeting with Mark Driscoll.
The reason it seems necessary to have dredged up so much of this material years after it was taught is that as more and more stories came to light it has become more and more evident that what Driscoll taught in early 2008 informed member discipline and pastoral counseling. Unless at each of the campuses pastors who have affiliations and history with Mars Hill repudiate this kind of counseling approach it will be perpetuated within the churches that have been spinning out of and rebranding away from the Mars Hill umbrella. And it may still be a risk that leaders may see the entry points for demonic influence in members or attenders as coming from outsiders. The fuller potential significance of demon trials for demonized Christians, as Driscoll has explained that may warrant a separate post in which Wenatchee The Hatchet takes a shot at trying to explain what it may mean in terms a secular reader may be able to appreciate.
Why Driscoll could imagine any abusers would just admit straightforwardly to whatever he's claimed they did is still mindboggling. There's just no real words for that. But there are words for something else coming up shortly.