So many years after the demise of Mars Hill I was hoping this range of topics could have been fully retired from Wenatchee The Hatchet but things just keep happening:
So many years after the demise of Mars Hill I was hoping this range of topics could have been fully retired from Wenatchee The Hatchet but things just keep happening:
...Anyway. The idea of “musical universals” very quickly devolves into “Western European music is universal”, and that is some white nonsense. There might be some broad overlaps between disparate forms of human music, just as there are similarities in our cooking and clothing and languages and so on. But the particulars are always going to be culturally specific.
Back in the last century Leonard Meyer made some comments about the legacy of Romanticism and its quest for musical "oneness":
There are two performances of this Rebay sonata you can check out.
All seven sonatas are not yet accounted for in commercially available recordings but as the years go by this is, thankfully changing. I'm hoping to blog through the seven solo guitar sonatas of Rebay with more analytical comments some time in the future.
In August 2014, 21 former elders from Mars Hill Church brought formal charges under the bylaws of the church against Mark Driscoll. Recently, I have been listening to people talk about their experiences at The Trinity Church in Phoenix. To quote Yogi Berra, it feels like deja vu all over again.
For those who complain that I am unnecessarily bringing up the past, I will reply with Shakespeare that, at times, past may be prologue. The charges are linked below; those who are currently involved or recently left Trinity Church may want to compare notes with past Mars Hill elders who wrote in 2014. Anything seem familiar?
Not being in a position to hear what people from The Trinity Church have been through I can't comment about that. But what I can help them learn, if they come here, is the history of Mars Hill governance and associated governance battles and the kangaroo court proceedings that happened. There are at least 144 posts that deal with governance in terms of history and bylaws and so on.
Joyful Exiles would also be a good place to start if you want to read primary source documents chronicling the termination and trials of Bent Meyer and Paul Petry.
For those who don't know the history of Mars Hill there was a period circa 2007-2008 where Driscoll said from the pulpit he protected Grace emotionally in the following ways, one of which involved intercepting her emails so that she would get contacts from people he wanted her in contact with while, apparently, everything else came to him so he could delete emails at his discretion:
but since that stuff doesn't work try this link below
But since the link in the old post is long dead, go here instead. Start about 33:04 and you will hear:
... and this is an ENORMOUS part of my relationship with Grace. I mean I still remember when I first started seeing her she, uh, she went off to college, I was still in high school and they ran out of housing so they put her in a guys' dorm. And I was like, "What!?" so I got in the car and I drove to the university and I knocked on all the doors of all the guys on her floor. "Hi. My name is Mark. I love this woman. Anyone talks to her, touches her, thinks about talking about touching her I will beat them. Literally I threatened twenty guys. Just knocked on every door. No way she's gonna get messed with. No way.
Later on when she transferred to another university, WSU, she's five hours away. And she moved out there and her phone wasn't hooked up yet and we didn't have cell phones. And I told her, "When you get there, go to a pay phone. Call me. Let me know you got there safe." Well she ... didn't call so I got in the car and I drove there. Five hours. The day I had to work. And I knocked on the door. She answered it and I said, "Whu, you didn't call." She said, "I forgot." I said, "Are you okay?" She said, "I'm okay." So, okay, good, I got in the car and I drove home. Just checking. Six hundred miles. Who cares? It's Grace.
... even emotionally, people send her nasty emails, text messages, talk trash about me, leave the church and want to take parting shots at her. She has nothing to do with any of it. So I even put a white/black list on her email and some people so some people can email her and the rest come to me. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. So that she doesn't have to feel bad because people are taking shots at her. That's my girl. No shots. That's the rule.
or here, about 33:03
Although the pertinent quote from Driscoll is about what he did to, as he saw it, protect his wife emotionally, the actual post was about how Mars Hill Church was purging material after I posted material. There was a stretch where if I quoted the above section of a Driscoll sermon that the Driscoll sermon went "poof". Although formally Driscoll stated the reason he took the described measure was so that nobody took shots "at her" this sermon was preached about a year after Petry and Meyer were fired by Driscoll. But for those of us who heard a lot of Driscoll sermons Grace Driscoll once told her husband, in Mark's account, that if he was like any figure in the Book of Ruth it was Elimelech.
Earlier in 2008 Grace Driscoll had no problem going on record describing her husband as a short-fused drama queen./full
March 6, 2008
When the Lord isn’t talking to this man, kiddingly called a short-fused drama queen by his wife, his critics are blogging about him. Some of the sharper barbs make it difficult for Driscoll to hide the hurt.
But in the 2013-2014 period some content was getting purged that shed light on Driscoll's self-attested capacity to be what some might call a control freak.
Mark DriscollRuth 1:1-1:22January 07, 2007
...Elimelech is the guy--everything falls apart. It looks dark, it looks bad. He takes a poll he makes a plan. He decides Moab has a lower cost of living. Moab has more vocational opportunity. Moab has food on the table. I will make a plan, I will be the sovereign. I will take care of everything. Trust me. I know what I'm doing. He leads well. He plans well. He tries to be the sovereign (they're all going to die anyways). I am Elimelech.
I asked my wife, "Which one am I?" ... She didn't even breath, didn't even take a breath, "Oh, you're Elimelech." And his name means what? MY GOD IS KING! That was me. If you asked me, Jesus, sovereign, lord, king, God! And if I ever need Him I'll call him but I don't think I do because I've got all this taken care of.
And how many of you are Naomi-ish? You’re a bitter, moody, cranky, self-righteous, finger-pointing, brutally honest, frustrating person that God loves deeply, for no apparent reason. You want to know me? Here’s how I work. I start with Elimelech. If that doesn’t work, I go to Naomi. That’s me. “I’ll figure it out. I’ll make a plan. I’ll lead well. I’ll take care of everything. Give me the variables. I got it all figured out. It didn’t work? Well, God, did you not get the memo? I knew exactly what needed to be done! [emphases added] I’m not sure who to call to tattle.” And if we’re honest, we find ourselves at varying seasons in our lives identifying with each character in the story.
During the 2013-2014 period Mars Hill was actively purging content and it was also a period where my friend Steve Hays proposed at Triablogue that what Wenatchee The Hatchet had shown was that the best way to make Mark Driscoll look bad in those days was simply to quote him accurately and in context.
That Driscoll bragged from the pulpit that he literally threatened twenty guys should not be forgotten by anyone who attended Mars Hill. He has, to date, not addressed one of his more famous quips about how Paul knew that sometimes you had to put a guy through the woodchipper.
Or take this ... where Driscoll once said from the pulpit in his younger days he picked a fight with his own baseball team:
GOOD BAD DAYS
Part 10 of Ecclesiastes
Pastor Mark Driscoll | Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 | June 01, 2003
How many guys, honestly (you don't have to raise your hands), how many guys in their teens or twenties (I'm in my thirties now so I'm at that place where I WOULD fight but it seems like a lot of work). But especially when I was in my teens I would, just all full of myself, I would just, I liked to fight. I would LOOK for fights. Certain guys are like this.
I actually beat up a guy on my OWN baseball team during a game.[emphasis added] Usually, usually, you know, in a baseball game people why--baseball players are all wussies. They never fight. They all just run out to the middle of the field and look at each other which is, I dunno, like prom or something. They're all gazing into each other's eyes. I'm not sure what they're doing. They hardly ever fight and they NEVER take the bats which, to me, seems like the most OBVIOUS thing.
I love baseball and I can remember when I was playing ball. A guy on my own team in the dugout says something so I attacked him. Now very rarely do you see a bench-clearing brawl with just one team. Usually the other team's involved. I was a total hothead. I would fight through high school. I fight quite a bit. Guys would say something, give a cross--you got a problem? That's what he's talking about [the author of Ecclesiastes]. Especially you young guys. Some of you young guys, you're LOOKING for a fight. You want to legitimize it, you want to justify it. Some of you married people are looking for a fight. Provoke. Provoke. Provoke. Boom, off they go like the Fourth of July.
Driscoll once said he could totally be like Haman from the Book of Esther.
Jesus is a better servant
October 28, 2012
Now, I’ll say this: this is really convicting for me, personally. I’m in a position of influence and leadership, and I know that my heart inclines toward pride, so pray for me and pray for your senior leaders that we would clothe ourselves in humility. This is a haunting reality. I look at Haman and I realize, “Man, I could be like him in an instant,” and at times, I have been. And by God’s grace, I don’t want to be. Haman’s pride is tragic. [emphasis added]
Here’s what kills me about Haman: he wants to be like his king. Wrong king. We all want to be like our king, but he’s got the wrong king. See, his king is proud, not humble. His king uses people, doesn’t love people. His king loves the glory and doesn’t love to glorify God. Who’s your king? Who do you esteem the most? Who do you want to be like? Who do you look up to? If his name isn’t Jesus, wrong king. Wrong king. So, he is the case study for pride.
Chapter 6, verse 12. “But Haman hurried to his house.” He ran home, “Mourning with his head covered.” This is public mourning. “And Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him.”
Here’s what’s weird: he’s got a better marriage than King Xerxes. [emphasis added] Esther previously said that she hadn’t even seen her husband in thirty days, and they live in the same palace. It’s possible to be a really proud, ruthless, horrible man who’s got a decent marriage. [emphasis added] He goes and talks to his wife, the one thing that the king doesn’t do.
Do you see where, perhaps, even in his own heart, he’d say, “Well, I’m not a ruthless, horrible man. I’m a good family man. You know? I’m good to my wife. I’m good to my friends”? This is how proud people justify their inconsistency. He seems to have a decent marriage and he does have some friends, and he’s going to be a mass murderer. [emphasis added] So is the human heart.
This could be a moment where Mark Driscoll testified against himself. He may be a loving husband and even a doting father, but that doesn't mean he can't be a proud, ruthless, horrible man to people in his church.
Warren Throckmorton has the interview in two parts with Dave Bruskas and Sutton Turner. It took a long time to cross reference material in that to what I was able to chronicle on my end regarding governance, governance battles and in one case a post-employment survey sent out and all of that is over in this series.
If the people at The Trinity Church don't know the last twenty years of who they're dealing with because access to who Mark Driscoll was and even said he was over the last twenty-five years is hard to get to then history may very well repeat itself.
Without commenting directly on recently circulating reports, there was a report or rumor at one point that Wenatchee The Hatchet was investigated at the behest of Mars Hill leadership and possibly even tailed. Naturally, I hope that wasn't the case. If it were the case, however, then confirmation that such surveillance activities were undertaken might be a relevant thing to know if there are reports of authorized surveillance in a new context, if only to establish that the reported pattern is either new or has some kind of precedent. I took the rumor to be a fabrication of some kind on the part of someone who wanted to believe it was true, much like some progressives still believe Mark Driscoll said anything about Gayle Haggard when he didn't.
The tendency of many orchestras in the Western world to try to make themselves ‘useful’ to society, to become instruments of social change, results from the decreasing status of classical music as a whole, and especially one of its most expensive mediums: the symphony orchestra.
Justification of the costs has now to be found in some form of utility that lies outside music because music as such becomes much too difficult to see as something socially relevant. In a time when the notion of culture, and of psychological and spiritual subjects, is eroding, only the material and the financial aspects of life remain visible, and social injustices because they are understandeable by most people, including the culturally-challenged, on the most basic level.
So, in an attempt to survive in an increasing hostile environment, where classical music is seen by large groups as 'white suprematist', 'elitist', 'inaccessible', 'outdated', 'irrelevant to the modern world', a number of people at symphony orchestras think it necessary to turn away from the idea that classical music is a common good in itself and accessible to anyone, and to prostitute the medium. It is like an upperclass woman whose husband has left her and emptied the mutual bank account, and who desperately tries-out selling herself for survival.
But the idea that a symphony orchestra is not, or less, relevant to society if it is not directly connected to the needs of social change, is entirely wrong. Classical music is not an utility instrument, it is an art form which has no other ‘use‘ than being itself. In a world where so much is measured for its utility, it is the arts who offer an island where the value of a psychological and spiritual experience can be found in itself, as itself, and not in relation to some ulterior motive. Classical music addresses itself to the inner experience of man, and not to the outer world with its worldy concerns and needs. It is the opposite nature of classical music to the nature of the world that this unique art form finds its value and relevance, to compensate for the materialist, commercial, trivial and utility-saturated world of modernity, a world which tends to leave people nihilistic, depressed, exhausted and meaningless.
It turns out Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars have finally recorded all of the masses of Josquin des Prez.
But what if Nero wasn’t such a monster? What if he didn’t invent the spectator sport of throwing Christians to the lions in the Colosseum? What if he wasn’t the tyrant who murdered upstanding Roman senators and debauched their wives? Indeed, what if the whole lurid rap sheet has been an elaborate set-up, with Nero as history’s patsy? After all, we have no eyewitness testimony from Nero’s reign. Any contemporaneous writings have been lost. The ancient Roman sources we do have date from considerably after Nero’s suicide in A.D. 68. The case against Nero, then, is largely hearsay, amplified and distorted over two millennia in history’s longest game of telephone. Besides, no one really wants to straighten out the record. Who wants another version of Nero? He’s the perfect evil tyrant just the way he is.
A few lonely voices have come to Nero’s defense. In 1562, the Milanese polymath Girolamo Cardano published a treatise, Neronis Encomium. He argued that Nero had been slandered by his principal accusers. But Cardano was having his own problems with the Inquisition at the time. Sticking up for a guy who, among other things, supposedly martyred the first Christians for fun was not likely to help his own cause. “You put your life at risk if you said something good about Nero,” says Angelo Paratico, a historian, who translated Cardano’s manifesto into English.
During the past couple of weeks, several former members of The Trinity Church in Scottsdale have contacted me to talk about about aspects of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. They contacted me due to my coverage of Mars Hill from late 2013 until 2015. They tell stories remarkably similar to those I heard from former Mars Hill members during that span of time. There is one major difference. In the current church, there are no elders who are putting on any brakes. There are no elders to whom appeals can be made. Several former members and staffers have told me that The Trinity Church does not have elders.
Some things do sound the same. Non-disclosure agreements are again being used. Money is again conditioned on silence. People are describing abrupt decisions about membership without due process. Friends and family who are considered disloyal to the church are being shunned. At some point, these stories may be told. For now, according to former members and staff, the pastors who are there in addition to Driscoll are not elders in the decision making sense of the office. If elders hold you accountable in one place, eliminate them in the next place.
Also by Terry Mattingly, a piece looking at thoughts from Thomas Kidd and Russell Moore on how U.S. church membership has fallen to all-time lows.
Kidd highlights a trend in American religious life where lack of formal church membership is not prima facie evidence of being secular or secularist. In other words eve among the “none” or “done” categories of people who won’t attend churches this is not necessarily a sign of being irreligious. Not being an evangelical Christian with a church membership contract doesn’t mean a person couldn’t be one in doctrinal terms, or a deist or a pantheist or have some form of belief in the divine.