Sunday, December 13, 2015

considering the articles of incorporation for The Trinity Church, it looks like Mark Driscoll's once again starting a church--after so many years of assuring Mars Hill "I'm not going anywhere"

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2015/12/13/mark-driscoll-listed-as-director-of-newly-incorporated-the-trinity-church-in-phoenix/
http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2015/12/Trinity-Church-Incorp.pdf
Throckmorton links to the following:

http://ecorp.azcc.gov/Details/Corp?corpId=%2020491878

RANDALL TAYLOR
DIRECTOR
21001 N TATUM BLVD
STE 1630-434
PHOENIX, AZ 85050
Date of Taking Office
11/20/2015
Last updated
12/09/2015 

JIMMY EVANS
DIRECTOR
21001 N TATUM BLVD
STE 1630-434
PHOENIX, AZ 85050
Date of taking office
11/20/2015
Last updated
12/09/2015 

MARK DRISCOLL
DIRECTOR
21001 N TATUM BLVD
STE 1630-434
PHOENIX, AZ 85050
Date of taking office
11/20/2015
Last updated
12/09/2015 

So Driscoll took office as a director of a church just a few weeks ago, before Thanksgiving basically. Mark Driscoll once said that what he wished he had done differently in the early years was to have been a regular church member and that he had never been a member of a church he didn't plant.

http://markdriscoll.org/sermons/where-is-my-honor/
Where is my Honor?
I talked to one guy some years ago—I’ll never forget it—I was new to ministry, and I was talking about Mars Hill. We were just a couple years old at the time, and I said, “Yeah, I hope to be here for my whole life, preaching and teaching the Bible. That’s my hope, man. I want to be with these people for the rest of my life.” I said, “How long have you been at your church?” “Well, I’ve been there a couple of years.” He said, “You know, the way it’s set up in our denomination, every two or three years, they move me from one church to another.” I said, “Wow, isn’t that hard?” He said, “No, no, no. I’ve got two or three years of sermons and I preach them here, and then I preach them here, and then I preach them here, and then I preach them—” and that’s his career. He doesn’t need to study the Bible anymore, doesn’t need to pray anymore, doesn’t need to grow anymore, just plays the greatest hits. That’s cheating.

Pastors who steal sermons from other pastors are cheating. Pastors who expect their people to work and give and don’t work and give are cheating. You need to know that we track the giving of the leaders, not in a legalistic way, but to make sure that we’re not asking you to do something that they’re not doing. There’s nothing worse than parents who look at their kids and say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” That’s cheating. That’s cheating.
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-driscoll/6-reasons-why-im-not-going-anywhere/408704470517?__mref=message_bubble
July 6, 2010
...

4. The multi-campus strategy we are using is sustainable and healthy. Being able to distribute as campuses of various sizes and personalities is a bit like the joy of being a father watching children with various resemblances but distinct personalities grow up. Having such a large team of elders, deacons, and members deployed across the campuses is a great relief to me as I see us taking better care of more people than we have ever been able to.

5. My heart is here. While I enjoy the opportunities for ministry that God grants outside of Mars Hill, were I allowed to only do one thing, I would easily and gladly choose to be an elder at Mars Hill, preaching God’s Word and shepherding God’s people. I have zero interest in doing anything other than being a pastor and have zero interest in being a pastor anywhere else. I am very content with where I am and what I am doing, and am very passionate about continuing to press forward together for more people worshiping Jesus more deeply.
From a March 2014 missive, Driscoll wrote the following:

http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2014/03/MHCletterMD.png
...
in recent years, some have used the language of “celebrity pastor” to describe me and some other Christian leaders. In my experience, celebrity pastors eventually get enough speaking and writing opportunities outside the church that their focus on the church is compromised, until eventually they decide to leave and go do other things. Without judging any of those who have done this, let me be clear that my desires are exactly the opposite. I want to be under pastoral authority, in community, and a Bible-teaching pastor who grows as a loving spiritual father at home and in our church home for years to come. I don’t see how I can be both a celebrity and a pastor, and so I am happy to give up the former so that I can focus on the latter.

and later in 2014

https://marshill.com/2014/08/24/an-update-from-pastor-mark
...

Thank you for being a wonderful church family.

Today, we are blessed with lead pastors who love Jesus and the people He gave His life for. These men faithfully serve the Mars Hill family.

While I’m still young, I suspect when I’m old I’ll be known for many things—some good, and some not so good. But I hope that the longer God leaves me on this earth, the more I’ll be known for one thing—that I loved Jesus and His Church, the Church He promised the gates of Hell would not prevail against. I may be an author, a speaker, and a thought-provoker; but in the deepest recesses of my heart, I’m a local church pastor, and that’s what I want to give the rest of my life for.

Yet behind the scenes, thanks to the disclosure of documents possessed by Bent Meyer over at Joyful Exiles ... :
https://joyfulexiles.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/bent-meyer-written-record-8-28-14-letter-combined-document-set.pdf

page 28 of 110

To date, governance has been structure on the assumption that Mark would outlive us all, yet the reality is that he will not outlive the organization. In fact, he made it clear that under the right pressure or discouragement he would bale [sic], which means the bylaw have to consider what would happen if the next lead pastor, had different doctrinal leanings and a different mission.

Even as far back as 2007'ish there was report within Mars Hill leadership that Driscoll had signaled that under the right pressure or discouragement he would bail. Seeing that Mark Driscoll not only did bail in 2014 but he bailed in a way that was followed up by the dissolution of Mars Hill Church it seems in hindsight that Driscoll's repeated assurances that he wasn't going anywhere were not credible.  His public protests withstanding, it now seems that Mark Driscoll's commitment to Mars Hill was far less fixed than he assured people it was.

This willingness to bail under the right circumstances may even have been confirmed as within the realm of the conceivable even by Driscoll himself when he wrote a letter to the church in 2007.

http://joyfulexiles.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/elders-response-to-questions-11-9-07.pdf
From "A letter from Pastor Mark Driscoll"
November 8, 2007


page 3 of 145
At the same time I began receiving other lucrative job offers that would allow me to study, preach, and write without all of the administrative duties and burdens for which I am not sufficiently gifted
to be responsible for. For the first time in my life, the thought of leaving Mars Hill sounded very relieving. Since I had given ten years of my life to the church and love the people desperately, it
was obvious to me that something was deeply wrong that such offers would even be intriguing.

So it now seems as though with a fuller documented history of internal correspondence and discussion, the threat of Mark Driscoll bailing on Mars Hill under the right circumstances or with the right external offers or internal pressures had been burbling in some fashion or another for more than half a decade.

Let's consider what Driscoll has said over the years. What was one of the things Driscoll felt was a problem?  How about the bit where he was never a member of a church until he started his own.
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/09/throckmorton-quotes-driscoll-i-made.html
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/09/24/eldersauthority/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9vbaq5cO20&feature=youtu.be
5:25
That's one practical thing is, I'd never been a member of a church until I started my own. [emphasis added] So I didn't know a lot about church. But I wanted, I knew I was a big personality and pretty intense so I wanted to be under authority but I made a mistake of--how do I say this carefully?--trying to be under the authority of my elders but the truth is all my elders were new and young and green and they would want to help but they really didn't know what they were talking about.


And so what I should have had was a team of pastors outside of the church who were older and more seasoned that could, you know, help Grace and I put life together.

So if Mark Driscoll really felt the trouble the first time around had been he was never a member of a church other than the one he started how is being the director of a pending church plant demonstrate a life of lessons learned and repentance?  A rabbi or two have suggested that repentance looks something like, when you face a comparable temptation to the one you succumbed to earlier, you resist temptation.  By that practical definition of repentance there's not much evidence Mark Driscoll's repented of anything even if he hands most of the preaching duties to Evans or Taylor, whoever those people are.

It's interesting to consider something Driscoll preached in 2014 that's available to consider.
http://markdriscoll.org/sermons/empowered-by-the-spirit-for-ministry-2/

So I want to be careful with this because this can be an opportunity for spiritual abuse. Because sometimes people say, “God told me.” Well, we’ll see, OK? You can’t just pull out the “God told me” card. [emphasis added] Ladies, let’s say you meet a guy and the guy says, “God told me to marry you.” “Interesting, he didn’t tell me or my dad, you know, so I don’t have to just assume that because you say the Lord says that the Lord in fact has spoken.”You need to be very careful. Somebody comes along, “God told me to plant a church.” Let’s check that. All right, you can’t—I mean, 1 Corinthians 14 is clear. If you think you got a word from the Lord, you’ve got to check it by the leaders. So what we’re looking for, if you believe God has told you something, especially to do something that is difficult like this, we’re looking for a godly person—Peter’s a godly person. In godly community—it says he’s with the apostles, they’re all agreed. Under godly authority—they all agree on this. With a godly motive—to talk about Jesus. Doing a godly thing—wanting to minister to people. In a godly way—by being open in public and not hiding anything. So if you believe the Lord has told you something, he may have, but I would ask, “Are you a godly person in godly community under godly authority with a godly motive doing a godly thing in a godly way?” ... [emphasis added]

Just because a Mark Driscoll claims God said he could quit doesn't make it true, it also doesn't make it a consistent living out of the precepts Driscoll spent decades telling others to live by.  To date Driscoll's never really clarified what "a trap has been set" may have meant.

Now there are those who would propose Mark Driscoll didn't hear from God at all.  He made stuff up because he's a con man, they might say. Or they might say he heard from demons.  Well, let's consider the possibility that maybe the words were audibly heard.  What precedent is there in the Bible for people being able to escape from traps once God has said He has set traps for them?  Did Ahab escape the trap that was set for him so he would be enticed to go die?  Nope.  When God warns of an impending disaster it is not necessarily so that the disaster can be avoided.  Joseph did not say the years of famine could be avoided but that they could be planned for.  If we assume for the sake of friendly conversation that Mark is sure God really spoke and arned that a trap had been sset then it's not out of bounds with a knowledge of the biblical literature to point ou tthat generally when God says a trap has been set you're not going to escape it.  Trying to outsmart the trap can lead you straight into it. 

Let's bear in mind what Throckmorton reported from Mars Hill leadership, that Driscoll resigned in a way that was unexpected and that cut short a restoration plan they had in mind.  So if Andrew Lamb was considered a wolf for how he handled things and how he had stories that didn't altogether add up why should Mark Driscoll be viewed with less suspicion than that?  Which is not to say how Mars Hill decided to discipline Andrew seemed just of reasonable ... but it returns to the question of why a guy like Mark Driscoll didn't stick around to cooperate with the kinds of spiritual discipline and submission to spiritual authority he'd spent nearly two decades preaching others to live by ... a standard of submission that, when push came to shove, he metaphorically and literally walked away from even at the church that he founded himself, the church that was the one church he was a member of because he'd never been a member of a church he didn't start.

If this is the next church Driscoll's a member of then it looks like it won't matter what he says in public or even in private, when the chips are down he's only going to keep bein ga member of a church he started or had a hand in starting.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Next up: decide who gets to play prophet, priest, and king.

It is also a matter of curiosity whether this will be within the non-compete radius of the former Mars Hill Phoenix.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

there's the possibility of a founder's exception to any non-compete clauses, assuming any of those were legally enforceable to begin with.

chris e said...

I assume his interpretation would be that the trap that had been set had been set by the opposition, and God was warning him in the sense that God warned Joseph to go to Egypt.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

as even Driscoll would know, getting an oracle about an event doesn't mean how a person responds to that is godly. So there was a word the younger would be the master of the older brother. Did that make the deception of Isaac okay? Nope. Even If we assume that a divine message was really given to Driscoll is his decision to bail proof that he made the right call? Did he not trust that even if a trap was set that God could not and would not preserve him through that trap? No Psalm 91:3?

Maybe Driscoll could have stayed put and trusted that whatever the trap God would save him from it ... but it would appear that Driscoll decided to take matters into his own hands. Like he once preached during his series on Ruth, if memory serves, sometimes you have to be the answer to your own prayer.

molly245 said...

Can you give us any information about the other people who are listed as directors?

Where did they come from? Any backstory or history with MD?

Unknown said...

The statement that Mark made about not ever being "a member of a church until I started my own" is false.

Mark was a member of Antioch Bible Church (where one of my best friends attended at the same time as Mark), and was part of the outreach group from that church that started Mars Hill.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

molly245, probably not for a while yet. Don't know about Jimmy Evans and Randall Taylor is so common a name that variant spellings are an issue and this, too, is someone who doesn't ring any bells yet. Might be able to find some things out but this week has other things on the schedule for the most part.

unknown, would it be possible to confirm membership at ABC or did ABC keep records of that stuff? That MHC was sent out from ABC has been amply attested even by Mark himself.

Unknown said...

http://gatewaypeople.com/profiles/jimmy-evans

Jimmy Evans is the pastor of Trinity Fellowship Church and the leader of Trinity Fellowship Association of Churches. My guess Mark will be a member of this church. He is also an Apostolic Elder for Gateway Church lead my Robert Morris and yes Robert Morris is an Apostolic Elder for Trinity Fellowship Church.

Randall Taylor is a litter harder to find.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Taylor's a relatively common name, too, which means precision is essential to identifying which Taylor it is. Turner sometimes got listed as Sutton Turner or John Sutton Turner in documents associated with Mars Hill connected corporations, for instance.