One of the things that has been objected to about the recent Craig Gross spam incident is the selling of names for fundraising purposes. Not even Justin Dean has denounced the practice as such, just the wording and claims Gross made about Mark Driscoll along the way.
Craig Gross, for his part, expressed dismay that Mark Driscoll's supporters seemed more angry that his name was mentioned than that their information was bought and sold for promotions and sales.
Something else that might be pertinent to observations of irony ...
in late 2013 Mark Driscoll published "The Hardest Part of Ministry" at The Resurgence, an overview of threats and troubles faced by his family because of his public ministry. He closed with the statement that the path was all too clear and that he was called to ministry and loved the city. He didn't really specify which city he loved, though.
Something that wasn't always clear from Driscoll's 2013 statement at The Resurgence was that Driscoll's conduct had sometimes been a catalyst for some of the trouble he came across.
By Driscoll's own account he'd gotten someone mad enough with his William Wallace II antics that a guy showed up wanting to fight at 3am.
It also turned out that while Driscoll mentioned sex offenders visiting his residence, at least one former attender of Mars Hill recalled of the 2000-2003 period:
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]
In Driscoll's 2013 litany of risks his family faced this went unmentioned.
But what was not mentioned in the 2013 statement was that the Driscolls were no longer even living in Seattle and hadn't since at least May 2012.
While Driscoll urged members to give more and to step up contribution during a trying season, the Driscolls purchased a roughly one million dollar home in Woodway. Now a person can buy however expensive a home he or she wishes to if the money is available. But it introduced a tension between Driscoll's rhetoric of love for the city (which listeners would have tended to infer was Seattle) and where he actually lived for a time.
If one were to follow the Golden Rule in information distribution here and put it in reverse, by not doing to others what you wouldn't want done to you, is there some possible disconnect between the Driscolls and the upper-level leadership being secretive about where the Driscolls lived on the one hand and lately seeming to have authorized the distribution of a massive list that included what seems to have been member contacts and names?
It does seem ironic if Mars Hill leadership had spent time and effort to keep the location of the Driscolls a secret if, lately, its officers and former or present leaders are okay with the contact information and names of members who gave sacrificially being bought and sold for promotions. had Mars Hill leaders and associates not let the names be put on the market to begin with the Craig Gross kerfuffle could not have happened.
If Mars Hill officers did (or did not) authorize the distribution of the names, may they clear the air soon.