What is fascinating about the demon trial material is that it needs to be heard and understood in light of the earlier content directed explicitly at the leaders. Driscoll had laid out that a great threat to the welfare of Mars Hill would be the wolves within the leadership, that there was a demonic lie out there about the executive elders not really loving Mars Hill and about how to approach the ordinary demonic.
For all the lengths to which Driscoll went in describing how he conducted demon trials and investigations it's interesting that there's never been any indication whether he or anyone close to him conducted the same kind of demon trial/investigation on Mark Driscoll himself. Why rule it out?
After all, Driscoll explained over the years stories about physical attacks and peril. Yet if we take Driscoll's inventory of reasons professing Christians could open themselves up to demonization the litany seems to span sins. I.e. you have to sin in certain ways enough to end up on demonic radar or ... well ... Driscoll never really spells out a case for why Christians might face demonic attacks because they're doing such amazing kingdom work Satan opposes them. He had at the start of the session, after all, dismissed the idea that Satan himself was going to bother with anyone below the level of, say, Billy Graham. So this would imply, by process of elimination, that the normal ways Christians, even leaders of Christians, might open themselves up to demonization would be sinful patterns, correct?
What kinds of sinful patterns were in the ordinary demonic?
2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 2 part 2: the start of the "ordinary demonic", not enough sex within marriage
As we've noted before, the problem with "not enough sex in marriage" is that whoever wants sex the most would, by default, get to define how much is not enough.
Then there's bitterness, which is an ordinary demonic foothold. Given how bitter Driscoll said he was over the lack of sex (itself the first of the ordinary demonic things), shouldn't there be some question as to whether ten years of Mark resenting his wife over the lack of sex had crossed from ordinary demonic to extraordinary demonic? What if Driscoll's resentment was so significant it opened him up to physical attacks from demons, at least if we allow Driscoll to be measured by taking his doctrinal positions seriously and as applicable to his own life? What is more, how on earth did all the elders to whom Driscoll kept saying he was accountable never pick up that this was some kind of recurring issue in the Driscoll marriage? For that matter, while Mark Driscoll talked about how in the past he'd made a god of sex the implied past tense nature of his idolatry of sex presumes a change that has never been proven to have taken place. Let's keep in mind that by Mark Driscoll's own account the cure for his mood swings and depression was more frequent sex. Not repenting of sin, not lifestyle change, not change in diet, not changes in exercise, more sex (though all those variables must have played some role if Driscoll's depression lifted).
Even if we were to take everything Driscoll says in part 1 of this Part 3 of spiritual warfare at face value, the light Real Marriage retroactively shone on the life and times of Mark Driscoll makes it hard to avoid the question of whether Mark Driscoll himself as been the subject of a demonic inventory or investigation or a demon trial. Because it sure seemed with the release of the 2012 book we were getting a story that, if this was Mark Driscoll assessing some other guy's story, might be a candidate for a demon trial. It's at least something to consider.
Of course we'll have to get to the demonic inventory in a bit and it is in that section that the semi-notorious "I see things" was said. Too many bloggers have tried to analyze this outside of the vastly larger context of the 2008 spiritual warfare session as a whole. They generally don't know it was teaching giving a few months after the controversial firings of Petry and Meyer or the controversial changes in bylaws and amid questions about real estate acquisitions and fiscal management. By February 2008 Driscoll had basically laid down a law that presumed that expressing doubts about the love of the executives for the church was demonic yet for a decade earlier, perhaps, Driscoll himself may have been a candidate for one of his own demon trials because of the possibly ten years of not-enough-sex and his bitterness. Assuming all the demonic encounters he's described should even be taken at face value (and there's at least some ground to be cautious in a couple of cases), who's to say Driscoll hadn't opened himself up to demonic attacks because of his resentment and bitterness? The Driscolls said they didn't feel they could tell anybody and yet ... we'll see what Driscoll said by way of "tell me everything" shortly.