Saturday, February 01, 2014

CT--Drew Dyck interview of Mark Driscoll, Jan 2014 touches on pastoral health and Driscoll's naturopath

Before we get to recent history we need to revisit the past:
http://web.archive.org/web/20070320075759/http://theresurgence.com/md_blog_2007-03-17_of_brokenness_and_buddies
Mark Driscoll, March 20, 2007

Of Brokenness and Buddies



I write this blog while flying somewhere over the United States late on a Thursday night heading home from a conference in the great nation of Texas. I have blogged very little thus far in 2007 as I have been playing hurt in terms of my health. I have been pushing it for ten years since Mars Hill Church opened up, and the end of last year was a particularly rough patch. I was looking forward to a few weeks off after Christmas to catch up on sleep. Sadly, what happened is that I would be very tired and go to bed at a decent hour only to wake up a few hours later, unable to return to sleep. I was not stressed out or thinking, but it seemed something was physically wrong. Even sleeping pills were of little to no help and by the end of the holidays I was exhausted, having slept an average of perhaps three hours a night. A naturopath said I had overextended myself and worn out my adrenal glands (which regulate my sympathetic nervous system). [emphasis added] The result of basically a decade of perpetual stress and a final taxing season was that I was exhausted all day—I literally had blurred vision and would fall asleep quickly only to wake up a few hours later, unable to sleep again. So, I have been conserving energy for my family and church, but some Sundays are brutal. I find myself nodding off on the side of the stage before one of the four services I preach live.

I am learning a lot about how to do more than just push through it and hope to share what I am learning at an upcoming regional training in Seattle for pastors. The sessions will be vodcast and podcast here on Resurgence in hopes of helping other leaders learn from my mistakes and avoid my condition. Nothing permanent seems to have been done, but without a change in pace, stress, Sabbath, vacations, diet, exercise, and supplements, I could end up in a really bad place a few years down the road. I find this to be what the Puritan Flavel calls a “sanctified affliction,” given to me by God out of His great love. My naturopath, who is a wise and godly Christian brother, said that if I heed God’s advice, I will enjoy a Sabbath rest. But, if I ignore it, He will impose a Sabbath on me through physical inability to continue and so I am taking steps to walk in greater wisdom and repentance. In January we added no new services or campuses in an effort to slow things down until we can aggressively expand the church next fall. However, we still grew by as many as 1,000 people in a month and had to turn people away from services for the first time in many years. This means that the demands are as intense as ever so the Sabbath issue is an urgent priority. Encouragingly, the past month has also been filled with some wise counsel that has been very helpful in laying out a plan for the next season of life and ministry.



http://web.archive.org/web/20070616233420/http://theresurgence.com/md_blog_2007-06-13_death_by_ministry_part_1
Mark Driscoll, June 14, 2007

I have been pushing it for ten years since Mars Hill Church opened up, and the end of last year was a particularly rough patch. I was looking forward to a few weeks off after Christmas to catch up on sleep. Sadly, what happened was that I would be very tired and go to bed at a decent hour only to wake up a few hours later, unable to return to sleep. I was not stressed out or thinking, but it seemed something was physically wrong. Even sleeping pills were of little to no help and by the end of the holidays I was exhausted, having slept an average of perhaps three hours a night. A naturopath said I had overextended myself and worn out my adrenal glands (which regulate my sympathetic nervous system). [emphasis added] The result of basically a decade of perpetual stress and a final taxing season was that I was exhausted all day—I literally had blurred vision and would fall asleep quickly only to wake up a few hours later, unable to sleep again. So, I spent a few months conserving energy for my family and church, but some Sundays were brutal. At times, I actually found myself nodding off on the side of the stage before one of the four services I preach live.

Nothing permanent seems to have been done, but without a change in pace, stress, Sabbath, vacations, diet, exercise, and supplements, I could end up in a really bad place a few years down the road. I find this to be what the Puritan Flavel calls a "sanctified affliction," given to me by God out of His great love. My naturopath, who is a wise and godly Christian brother, said that if I heed God’s advice, I will enjoy a Sabbath rest. But, if I ignore it, He will impose a Sabbath on me through physical inability to continue and so I am taking steps to walk in greater wisdom and repentance

Now having laid the groundwork there, we can revisit the recent Christianity Today interview.
Published January 1, 2014, this Christianity Today interview between Drew Dyck of Leadership Journal deliberately avoided the still unresolved cascade of controversy associated with Mark Driscoll's plagiarism and focused on Mark Driscoll's history as a leader and discussed the importance of health for pastoral work.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2014/january/survivor.html

...  Put my head down, worked seven days a week. I preached, gosh, 48 or 50 Sundays a year, five or six times a Sunday, an hour or more per sermon. And I traveled to speak, to make ends meet, because I was still supplementing my income. I didn't even have a full-time assistant until we hit 6,000. And by then my wife and I had five kids.

It was go, go, go, and at some point my body just couldn't go anymore. I once had an old car and the ignition would get stuck. You'd have to literally pop the hood and disconnect the battery to make it stop. I was like that car. I couldn't shut down. I couldn't sleep. I'd fall asleep for an hour, wake up, and then be up all night. I'd be exhausted but unable to sleep. I had adrenal fatigue.

What finally happened?
First I went to a conventional doctor, who told me I needed blood pressure meds, heartburn medicine, sleep medicine, anxiety medicine. I'm like, Man, I'm in my 30s. That's a lot of medicine! [emphasis original] So I went and found a naturopathic doctor, who said, "You need to quit your job and find a different vocation."
 

Let's not bother discussing adrenal fatigue as a possibly junk drawer diagnosis on the order of something like peripheral neuropathy.  Let's stick to the narrative as narrative for now.

In this first page of the interview Driscoll explained how he was running ragged and went to a conventional medical doctor who advised him to take medications for heartburn, blood pressure, and sleep.  Driscoll seemed to feel this was a lot of medicine to take so he turned to a naturopath whose advice was "quit your job".  Not wanting to quit his job he then found another naturopath ...

http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2014/january/survivor.html?start=2
I said, "Well, Jesus said to do this, so that's not really an option."  So I found another naturopathic doctor. He gave me supplements, vitamins, minerals, IV treatments for adrenal support, and custom tailored vitamins. He put me on a regimen for wellness and recovery. His approach was to naturally rebuild the body, to not just treat the symptoms. He told me, "You've got to work really hard to change your lifestyle and your organization, everything."

So the conventional medical doctor was going to prescribe a lot of medicine Mark seemed to feel he shouldn't have to take in his 30s and the first naturopath told him he needed to quit his job.  Whether or not the second naturopath Driscoll described in the CT interview was John Catanzaro is not 100% certain because in the 2007 blog posts Driscoll just mentioned one naturopath. 

The subsequent pages of the CT Jan 2014 interview can be read at this links.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2014/january/survivor.html?start=3
http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2014/january/survivor.html?start=4

Since the scrub job on John Catanzaro at The Resurgence is pretty thorough it's worth noting that after half a decade Mark Driscoll has referred to his naturopath in so many settings since 2007

For those who haven't read the news lately:

http://www.bothell-reporter.com/news/242811021.html
http://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/2014NewsReleases/14014SnohomishCountyNaturopathSuspended.aspx

The response from Mars Hill via The Resurgence has been to scrub all of Catanzaro's articles that were formerly available there.  If you want to find captures of all the articles Catanzaro wrote that were formerly available at The Resurgence they've been compiled at this blog post here at Wenatchee The Hatchet.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"A naturopath said I had...worn out my adrenal glands"

Too bad MD's gifts of discernment didn't help him discern quackery.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Well, to be fair to Catanzaro, the complaints made about him in the past were apparently ones he was able to respond to in some fashion that prevented him from being permanently suspended from practice in the state, since if he hadn't he couldn't have become Driscoll's naturopath back around 2007. Not a personal endorsement of naturopathy on my part, by any means, just an observation that Catanzaro has time to make a case for himself.

Which makes it all the stranger and more ridiculous that Mars Hill via its for-profit branch The Resurgence has seen fit to wipe away any trace of Catanzaro as soon as a controversy erupted about ethics and honesty. Couldn't Driscoll express some hope that Catanzaro may turn out to be innocent and express some solidarity with Catanzaro after more than half a decade?

But, yes, that Driscoll couldn't pick up that there were legal filings of complaint about Catanzaro available in the last ten years makes it hard to know whether his claims of discernment or his self-identification as a prophet holds up. Meanwhile, MH and Resurgence seem to feel the best option is to erase any trace of Catanzaro's role writing for Resurgence. Unfortunately for a group so devoted to social media as the arm of expansion that ship has sailed. When Driscoll was plugging his naturopath even in a January 2014 interview at Christianity Today it won't be possible to just pretend Catanzaro wasn't Driscoll's naturopath all these years.

Anonymous said...

Careful there. Naturopathy is a legitimate medical practice. Just because the allopathic medical community doesn't like it doesn't mean that it's made up and junk science. More than anything, it's about understanding the proper function of the body and structuring diet to get the body with nutrients it needs. At its room, naturopathy is really just nutation. But naturopaths ARE doctors and can prescribe meds when needed. (Careful that you don't lump naturopathy with homeopathy--which though spurious, still does have some legitimate support.)

That said, I've meet Catanzaro a handful of times. He always struck me as a combination of gauche bravado and slimy used car salesman. But just because he seems sketch don't lump all of naturopathy in with him as "quackery."

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Points noted. Though it's not quite my thing I can appreciate that Catanzaro might not be a fair representative of the practice.