ON PRIDE/ARROGANCE AS A SATANIC TRAIT
The way Driscoll explains pride is worth noting in some detail before we get to its broader significance. One of the things that leaps out is that there are a few cases of the Epimenides paradox (i.e. if all Cretans are liars how can you be sure that the Cretan who tells you this can possibly be truthful?)
So in bothering to discuss spiritual warfare to begin with didn't Driscoll risk landing himself in the kind of arrogance he considered satanic? Think about it, he says this:
... you're not to grow up and be proud, to rise up in arrogance, saying: "I understand Satan and demons, and I know how to defeat them." That is absolutely demonic in and of itself. The power is Jesus.
Right, because that might inspire someone to spend more than three hours explaining to other pastors and staff at Mars Hill how to approach spiritual warfare? But this, too, is a stepping stone to a more significant statement.
This isn't even the only odd formulation in Part 1 of Spiritual Warfare. Consider this earlier statement, one said then that may create a pickle now:
Satan may be bugging Billy Graham, but if he's gonna pick one person it's probably not gonna be you or me, right? He's got more important people to attack. Now you and I could have demonic opposition, to be sure, but Satan and demons are not omnipresent. They're not everywhere.
So on the one hand Satan wouldn't be wasting time with anyone at all at Mars Hill, including Mark Driscoll but it has been popular among some advocates for Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll to propose that recent events are nothing but the work of Satan over against Mark Driscoll's explicit repudiation of such a thing being possible in 2008. Of course paradoxically what the right hand took away the left hand spent quite a bit of time giving back.
BE MINDFUL OF SATANIC FAKES
AKA THE SEED OF AN AD HOMINEM NARRATIVE WITHIN MARS HILL CHURCH
Incredibly that's not all there is to be said about this section because now we're finally ready to get to what Steve Tompkins described this week as an "ad hominem" narrative. First we have to get to the overview of all the falsities Driscoll warned about.
Starting about half-way through minute 26 Driscoll began to explain how there were false prophets, false apostles, false teachers, false leaders and false Christians.
... False prophets include false preachers. They lead cults, they lead false religions, they promulgate false doctrine. There are false prophets, people who have supernatural ability and power, people who (when they speak) things happen--people follow them, they're very powerful. [emphasis added]
Also working with Satan and demons are false apostles. They'll pioneer new ministries, they'll pioneer new churches, they'll pioneer new religions. That's why in the book of Revelation Jesus says that there are some churches that are really synagogues of Satan, that they look like churches but really Satan is the one who is in charge and false apostles and false prophets are ruling there.
There are also false Christians (Galatians 2:4 speaks of)--false Christians really don't love Jesus, really don't belong to Him but they come into a church with the desire (demonically inspired desire) to absolutely destroy. 1 John speaks of this saying some people who were in the church, "They went out from us but they really weren't of us. If they were of us their either would have stayed with us or returned to us." meaning, there are people in the church that, just like Judas getting into the inner circle of the twelve disciples, and then being filled with Satan and inspired to destroy Jesus, there are false Christians who get into churches and they are just divisive, the promulgate false doctrine, they tell lies, they confuse people, right? [emphasis added]
That may be true but since the leaders who have resigned and bailed on Mars Hill Church in the last three months have been none other than Sutton Turner and Mark Driscoll himself isn't it pertinent to suggest at least the possibility that by the measure of a false leader as defined by Mark Driscoll in the 2008 spiritual warfare series that Mark may have tragically become one of those sorts of people who "went out from us but they really weren't of us"? After all, if Driscoll loved Mars Hill so much why leave? The safety of family? Well, fair enough ... and yet when talking to and about so many other people Driscoll has stayed with "fear of man is deadly".
And let us consider another way in which the paradox of Epimenides could apply here. Driscoll refers to false prophets who have supernatural abilities ("I see things", anyone?) but has identified himself at times as a prophet and an apostle. So how did Driscoll manage to avoid putting himself in a potential bind where HE could be identified as a false apostle and false prophet? After all "I see things" in itself is not insurance against being a false prophet, is it? Driscoll may have paradoxically outed himself as a potential false prophet/false apostle by invoking supernatural power (discernment" in the session. After all, "A gift of discernment kinda comes to the fore for me." seems to make it clear Mark was willing to tell leaders within Mars Hill he had discernment.
But in Driscoll's session he introduces to the leaders that the great threats to the health and safety of Mars Hill were from the inside. Driscoll went so far as to say that a real problem in Mars Hill up to 2008 was that basically the pastors were too nice to people.
... A good shepherd is not just one who gives mercy to everyone. `Kay, this has been, this has been a real problem at Mars Hill, that some of you who are shepherding (this will be my fatherly rebuke) you're cowards and you're hurting. You're hurting the church because you, in an effort to be really, really nice, want to shepherd everyone. Well, you don't shepherd a wolf. You don't shepherd a wolf. Part of shepherding is the ability to distinguish between wolves and goats and sheep. Sheep need to be brought to repentance, cared for, helped, loved, served. Goats need to be rebuked and not given the illusion that they're sheep. And wolves need to get shot. Right?
The greatest threat to the health of any church, including Mars Hill Church, is wolves in the flock. [emphasis added] Right? It's not the dark city and the atheists and the homosexuals and the abortion doctors. We want them all to meet Jesus and come to repentance. But the truth is, in a church like Mars Hill, if someone says, "I hate Jesus," they're not going to get a big following of our people. It's the person who comes in and says: "I love Jesus but I don't submit to spiritual authority, I don't submit to sound doctrine. Listen to me, not to them. I have my own issue, my own agenda, seeking my own ministry, my own cause, my own fame, my own glory, my own power." Just read various manifestations of spiritual pride, which is demonic, and then people are confused by that because wolves love to eat sheep. Paul says they will distort the truth and lead people astray. They'll plant their own church, start their own ministry, begin their own doctrinal instruction, whatever it may be. [emphasis added]
So for people who would think that behind closed doors Driscoll would rip even more on gays, not quite. But what he did do was say that the most dangerous person is someone rolls into a church and isn't interested in submitting to spiritual authority ... and yet Driscoll famously said of himself he started his own church because he didn't like any of the other churches in his city enough to join them. Not even Antioch Bible Church, which sent him out? Apparently ... .