Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spiritual Warfare series Driscoll gave in 2008 is now down, too, along with Peasant Princess

As if scrubbing away all the sermons from before 2008 weren't enough, as if wiping out the 1 & 2 Peter series weren't enough, the Spiritual Warfare series is also gone now.

What happened to the man who took up the pseudonym William Wallace II to published the thread "Pussified Nation" on the old Midrash years ago, to lament how weak and cowardly men had become? 

Just a few days ago Wenatchee The Hatchet published this post.
Mark Driscoll on bitterness as a context for what he says about his past bitterness toward Grace.

As I've noted already, if we take the narrative of Real Marriage at face value, even if we don't ask whether there may be a "synoptic problem" in which Driscoll's 2006 published account of a vomit-inducing nightmare resembles the 2012 published account of Mark Driscoll's nightmare in the 2012 book,  then if we take Mark Driscoll's own teaching about bitterness as a demonic foothold he has to account for how his bitterness for years against Grace Driscoll over the lack of sex in the marriage ended up being an issue over which he may have let a demonic foothold of bitterness build up in his life.  It seems to be easier for Mars Hill Church to quietly erase all traces of that Spiritual Warfare series than to even think about answering a simple question.

Why?  Well, this is just a speculative personal opinion, but it's easier to erase any evidence the Spiritual Warfare series was out there for half a decade than to concede that if Driscoll applied the teaching he's applied to others to himself he might have to question his own qualification for ministry.

Let's bear in mind, those of us who have the series and listened to it, that Mark Driscoll's discourse on the "ordinary demonic" back in 2008 began with not-enough-sex-in-marriage.  We've already discussed in the past how Mark Driscoll wrote that when he figured out that the cure for his depression and moodiness was more frequent sex with the wife that this is a cure for depression that no evangelical would advise a single person to endorse.  Steadily scheduled orgasms as a cure for depression as a self-prescribed cure chosen by a husband sounds like something that would have landed a rank-and-file Mars Hill Church husband in a Redemption Group or maybe a church disciplinary scenario. 

Not Mark Driscoll.  By 2012 Mark Driscoll had already articulated in the Spiritual Warfare series (now quite removed) that if husbands and wives aren't having enough sex (whatever that means) it's like Satan is in bed between them. And once Mark Driscoll was able to convince his wife that more sex could remedy his depression this was apparently pursued. 

But let's think about that a bit, Mark Driscoll's first category of "ordinary demonic" was not enough sex?  Let's bear in mind that in February 2008 this wasn't too far off from when, the previous year, Bill Clem was instructing single guys on the reality that there could be months at a time in marriage when sex might not be possible and that a good husband would find ways to love his wife that didn't necessitate sex.

So let's remember Mark Driscoll has not publicly acknowledged the plagiarism in seven books, he has not only not publicly acknowledged anything about Result Source but the Board of Advisors and Accountability declared it unreservedly stood by the executive elders Mark Driscoll, Dave Bruskas and Sutton Turner despite admitting to the basic reality of non-disclosure agreements and to the use of Result Source via contract to buy Real Marriage on to the NYT bestseller list and even admitting in general what Wenatchee The Hatchet has been slowly and steadily documenting for two years, the vast turnover rate in staff, which the BOAA has lately admitted was not an entirely amicable process. 

One of the things about the now-removed Spiritual Warfare series I've meant to write about for a while is that Driscoll discussed lies.  He discussed mainly lies that counselees believe and how this harms people.  It was a puzzling thing because if spiritual warfare consists in part of confronting counselees about the lies they believe why didn't Mark Driscoll focus on lies in a way that the Bible more commonly addresses, warnings to people who lie to other people?  If people who believe lies open themselves up to some kind of spiritual attack then why not go an extra step and propose that those who lie are tools of Satan? It was an element of the 2008 teaching in which Driscoll did not seem to have the courage or principle to follow through on the implications of some of his teaching.  And, of course, since Mars Hill has yanked all that content down they apparently don't care that much that nobody's in a position to go listen to that stuff now.

Let me get back to the first category of "ordinary demonic" because if Mark Driscoll by February 2008 had told pastors and staff at Mars Hill that not enough sex was Satanic and if in the 2012 Real Marriage book Driscoll claimed that more frequent sex was a cure for his depression then, well, not only was more sex something Driscoll had over time claimed was necessary for curing his depression he had also developed a diabology of "ordinary demonic" in which not getting enough sex could be construed as giving the devil a foothold.  Yet at the start of the whole series Driscoll had pointed out that most of the time devils don't have to pay attention to ordinary Christians.  So was not-enough-sex a demonic foothold only in cases of pastors like Driscoll?  I don't remember Bill Clem ever once saying that not being able to have sex with his wife who was dying of cancer was somehow setting up a demonic foothold.  What special dispensation gave Mark Driscoll the occasion to say that not-enough-sex was Satanic in his estimation, the first ordinary demonic category of spiritual warfare, while his Ballard lead campus pastor in-waiting went without sex?

This, dear readers, is one of the most striking cases of double standards not just within Mars Hill Church on its leadership culture vs its congregational regulars, but it could even be a demonstrable double standard within the leadership culture of Mars Hill itself.  If this surmise has any merit then it's little wonder Mars Hill Church and, by extension, Mark Driscoll, has now found it easier to just remove the entire Spiritual Warfare series. 

But if you've got part 2 of Spiritual Warfare, "the Devil", go to minute 10, roughly, and start listening from there. You'll get to hear Mark Driscoll explain how withholding sex in marriage is demonic. About 15:30 in you'll get to hear him explain that sex between a believer and a non-deliver is Satanic (even though you'd think that Paul's instructions to those in Corinth to not divorce unbelievers would be a canonically unavoidable caveat to this).

About 52:200 into part 2 you may hear something like this, "In the history of Mars Hill I have had to put a firewall, a moat, guard dogs and a high wall with barbed wire on top and snipers behind it around my wife." 

Later in 2008 in the Peasant Princess series Mark Driscoll would again describe the lengths to which he went over the years to protect Grace, including threatening assault to men in a dorms he lives in and, circa 2008, screening her emails.
It would start about 33:40
About 2:01 into the YouTube clip, assuming it'll still be available:

... 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.

[to go by the audience laughter Mark Driscoll threatening twenty guys with assault was both chivalrous and funny, disappointing, to put it nicely]

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.

[this has been commented on by others and so it's merely worth noting that a cumulative ten hour road trip because Grace didn't call him sounds weird]

... 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.

[it's worth noting that this particular thing didn't get mentioned in the 2007 Scotland sermon, which was in later 2007 around the time the controversial firings had not completely wrapped up, by the next year something had transpired where Mark Driscoll took to screening emails Grace got so she didn't get nasty emails or nasty emails about him.  About 1,000 members left in the wake of the 2007 firings and by-law changes and so the most logical guess for why by 2008 Mark Driscoll suddenly saw the necessity of screening his wife's emails was that former members may have broached the subject of the firings to her enough that Mark Driscoll didn't want her connected to that]

But that's Mark Driscoll's opinion about how much Grace Driscoll needed to be protected from nasty emails sent her way about him.  And there's the moat, guard dogs and all that.  But a question that can be raised in light of Driscoll's own preaching is how badly Grace Driscoll needed to be defended from people who might have negative things to say about Mark Driscoll given what he said from the pulpit she was willing to tell him to his face.
January 7, 2007
Redeeming Ruth
Part 1: God's Hand in Our Suffering
Ruth 1:1-1:22

Let me wrap all of this up. As your pastor, who loves you very much – I say that sincerely – would you be as honest as Naomi today, and would you acknowledge that your life and mine are like Naomi and Ruth’s stories in which the providential hand of God is at work, in which he calls us to be honest and to run to him and one another as God’s people, to work out those parts of our life that we consider afflictions, but not yet have received them as sanctified? And would you identify yourself with someone in the story – who are you? How many of you, you’re Elimelech-ish? You’re Elimelech-ish. 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. Everybody dies anyways.

I am Elimelech. I asked my wife, “Which one am I?” Oh, my wife – she didn’t even breathe. Didn’t even take a breath. “Oh, you’re Elimelech.” And his name means what? My God is King! That was me. If you ask me, Jesus, sovereign, Lord, King, God, and if I ever need ‘em, I’ll call, but I don’t think I do ‘cause I got this all taken care of. Elimelech-ish.
Of course that whole series has been scrubbed away, too.  As has the 2004 stuff and it's worth consulting that material for this:

Part 6:1 Timothy 3:1-7
Preached February 08, 2004

...I love my wife. I’ve been totally faithful to her. I’m a one-woman man. I met her at 17. I married her at 21. I’ve been chasing her ever since. I’m quicker than she is, so I’m happily married. You know, things are good. I just am. I love my wife. I adore my wife. I enjoy my wife, you know? I – I’m so glad I married the woman that I did. She makes it easy to love her. It says that he has to be a one-woman man. Some women make that easier than other women. Some women are like Kryptonite. You know? They’re hard, but you still gotta love them. I was blessed with a lovely, sweet, nice, enjoyable, great, glorious woman that I completely adore. ...

...  When a guy goes into ministry, his wife and is children are going into fulltime ministry with him as a team, right? My wife is my partner, my friend, my confidant. Every stupid decision I ever made is because I didn’t ask my wife, literally. She has discernment.

So in 2004 Driscoll was willing to say every stupid decision he ever made was because he didn't ask Grace for her opinion and she had discernment.  Then four years later things seem to be more about screening emails so she's protected from nasty comments about Mark even though in 2007 Mark Driscoll said she compared him to Elimelech without a moment's hesitation.

Who, exactly, was really feeling a need to be protected in all that? 

Which may just get back to the question of why Mars Hill Church has seen fit to pull the vast majority of Mark Driscoll's sermons off their website.  It's too late for that to do any good, Wenatchee The Hatchet and dozens of other bloggers have quoted from the primary source material enough times that the stuff's out there.  The Spiritual Warfare series was sitting out for anyone to go listen to for six years until recently.  Justin Dean even apparently referred Matthew Paul Turner to the content when Turner contacted Dean about the story of "Amy".  Where is it now?  Where's Peasant Princess and those stories Mark Driscoll repeated about all the various ways in which he protected Grace over the years?

And now?  It's gone.  Years ago when I was taking journalism classes a professor once said that the biggest story is frequently not what everyone is already talking about but the one nobody's talking about.  Since others are covering the BOAA and the open letter leaked from The City then Wenatchee The Hatchet's most productive activity is documenting a media purge unprecedented in the history of Mars Hill Church.


ExeGe said...

We have sometimes wondered about Mark's "visions" of sin that he has described from the pulpit. One, of the girl who was molested as a baby and, two, his vision of his wife cheating on him.

We've wondered if this 'gift of knowledge', as Mark has described it at times, is actually demonic.

A graphic "video tape" vision is needlessly detailed and Mark's description, even from the pulpit, was not God-glorifying but sin glorifying.
(And maybe glorifying the 'powers' of demons, who can only describe what has happened as they cannot see the future)

Not to cast paranoid suspicion but maybe this demonic oppression removal path that Mark has talked about in the past might actually be incredibly helpful for him.

Sonja said...

I have to agree with ExeGe -- I remember sitting at Ballard and just stunned.

Yet I had to go to the site to confirm -- how very strange to scrub entire series. The spiritual warfare thing wasn't even a series, it was given to staff yet I was volunteering during the day and sat through it all since I was invited. And even back then, the cameras were rolling. For such a tech-savvy organization, boasting about the RED cameras and sound stages, why delete?

I simply pray that Mark would step down for at least as long as his self-imposed penance from social media. And then let's hear about numbers if *that* happened.

Gem said...

If he would only submit to Grace's discernment instead of avoiding and evading it...


Could the media scrub be to avoid scrutiny and erase evidence? God won't forget.

Plus MD still has Real(Bad) Marriage out there with abusive episodes toward Grace chronicled without remorse nor recognition. And the "apology" letter where she clearly walks around on eggshells rather than speak plainly to him.