Saturday, May 24, 2014

Driscoll talks about failure from the pulpit and distinguishes between sin and failure in Acts 6
Mars Hill Church

 Empowered by the Spirit to Fail (Acts 6:1–7)
Pastor Mark Driscoll — Acts 6:1–7 — May 18, 2014

So, now, we finally get to the recently discussed sermon from the Acts series in which Acts 6:1-7 got preached.  We'll get to the redacted version of the sermon because interesting though the excised materials are they don't have any bearing on what has been made publicly available.  The "maybe Jesus made mistakes" point is so completely irrelevant to the overall arc of the sermon as would-be expository preaching it can be bracketed off to one side (for now).  So, with that in mind, let's get to what's available:

The Difference between Sin and Mistake

Number four, there’s a difference between a sin and a mistake, and it’s really important that I emphasize this. I don’t think, historically, I’ve emphasized this enough in my teaching, so let me clarify it today. So the situation here [is this]: they’re trying to help, love, serve, and care for widows. Now, their critics would look and say, “They don’t care about people.” They do, they’re trying to help. And some would look and say, “They’re in sin. They’re not loving and caring for people. They’re in sin.”

Here’s my question. They are in failure, but there are two kinds of failure. Some failure’s a sin. Other failure’s a mistake. Do you get the difference? Their failure, is it a sin or is it a mistake? OK, think about it for a minute [humming Jeopardy theme song] OK, what do you think it is now? Ready for your answer? How many of you think they’re in sin and they need to repent? How many of you think they made a mistake, they’ve got to learn and grow from it, and fix it?

There’s a difference, right? I don’t think they’re in sin. It’s not that they don’t love people. It’s not that they’re trying to help. It’s not that they have bad doctrine, bad character. It’s not that they’re not trying or working hard. They just stink at it. Any of you had anything like that? They need to improve on it. They need to learn and grow in it.

Friends, this is where we need to give grace to one another. And not every issue is, sin, repent, sin, repent. Yeah, we hit sin and repent a lot. Sometimes it’s mistake, learning, mistake, learning, and we give grace to one another. They made a mistake, and they need to learn from it. You make mistakes; you need to learn from it. We make mistakes; we need to learn from them. I make mistakes; I need to learn from them.

Yeah, well, I've got you something from Deuteronomy here:
Deuteronomy 27:19
"Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow" Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

Neglecting Hellenstic widows in the context of the early Christian church, assuming that Deuteronomy was recognized as having some kind of divinely inspired, canonical value makes it virtually impossible for Mark Driscoll to split hairs from the pulpit about whether or not failing to care for a subsection of Christian widows within the early church could be described as merely a mistake but not also as a sin.  When Yahweh insists that the people of Israel pronounce a curse on anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, from the fatherless, or from the widow that seems like something that might, you know, be considered sinful.

For those who don't have this precedent of reading Deuteronomy for the fun of it, there's also stuff in Detueronomy 24:19-21 prohibiting going over your crop-yielding parcels of land and revisiting branches to pick stuff you missed.  Why?  Because those gleanings that went ungleaned are to be left for the foreigner, the orphan and ... yes ... the widow.  Isn't there a whole little book of the Bible about a widow, and a foreign widow at that, who found favor with some guy named Boaz who advised his men on how she should be allowed to glean in the fields undisturbed?  Didn't Driscoll preach through the book of Ruth at some point?  The idea that it's merely a "mistake" in Acts 6 that some widows are given food while other widows in the early church were neglected seems hard to sustain for anyone who's ever cracked open the Old Testament even once in their lives.

And moving slightly further along in the Old Testament canon:

Isaiah 1:15-17 (NIV)
When you spread out your hands in prayer,
    I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
    I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!
Wash and make yourselves clean.
    Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
    stop doing wrong.
Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.

Now, to be sure, it's fair to point out that properly defining who qualified for care from the church in widowhood was an ongoing concern.  1 Timothy 5 springs to mind.  Clearly by the writing of the pastoral epistles (never mind when scholars debate they were written and by whom) the early Church was concerned, significantly, with how to properly define who was a widow for whom the help of the local church was warranted and who was a widow for whom family within the church was to learn obedience through helping mom.

If Driscoll had framed his discussion of care for widows more broadly he could have broached this entire question in a way that would have illuminated a concern that runs through the New Testament such as the rather blunt and immutable James 1:27.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Wasn't James an epistle Driscoll preached through a few months ago? But James here was not necessarily one of the Twelve and maybe James the brother of Jesus didn't have enough clout within the early Church for his views to matter just yet in the narrative of Acts 6?  Hard to say.

In any case, rather than getting hung up on about six minutes of material that got scrubbed from a recent Driscoll sermon let's focus on the bigger picture.  The E on the eyechart here is that care for widows is so prominent a theme in the Old and New Testament it beggers belief that failing to do this would constitute merely making a mistake.  If you fail to care for widows in their distress you're failing the religion that is pure and faultless thing and if you've failed that then there might be some sin involved, whether omission or commission.

It doesn't matter how long Driscoll sings the Jeapordy theme song while waiting to answer his own rhetorical question that sets up a false dichotomy between "mistake" and "sin" on the care of widows.  That's the opinion of Wenatchee the Hatchet, at any rate, for whatever little it may be worth. It doesn't matter what the six removed minutes about maybe Jesus made mistakes does or doesn't say about Jesus if the entirety of the argument from which that audio was excised hinges upon such a ridiculous false dichotomy shoved into a rhetorical and leading question that Driscoll pushes on the audience to the effect that failing to care for Hellenistic widows was a "mistake" rather than a "sin".

If Mark Driscoll has only gotten around to thinking about how maybe a "mistake" isn't a "sin" after he publicly told Janet Mefferd on the air that maybe he made a mistake but that a mistake isn't a sin with respect to the intellectual property of others then the entirety of the sermon might sound to at least some listeners like an extended exercise in special pleading that has very little at all to do with the actual text of Acts 6. And that's setting aside, for the moment, the entirety of the OT and NT on the subject of how God orders Israel through Moses to pronounce curses on those who withhold justice from the widows and the foreigners.  Assuming Christianity emerged as a religious movement from within 1st century Judaism it simply defies belief that early Christians would not have known about that curse in Deuteronomy and would not have had it in mind when a complaint about the neglect of Hellenistic widows rose up.  Clearly the Twelve, if we're going to take the narrative of Acts at face value, thought the complaint was serious enough and legitimate enough to not get defensive about it so much and to ask the people to appoint men qualified to address the problem.

Acts 6, then, does not have to be read as a depiction of mistakes being made but as an apostolic response to a legitimate complaint about systemic injustice in the early Church regarding the care of widows that was met with blessing the appointment of seven from the early Church to remedy the problem.  It is the opinion of Wenatchee The Hatchet that after years of Driscoll saying from the pulpit that we should not miss the big E on the eye chart that Driscoll has missed that big E with respect to Acts 6 and that the entirety of the sermon is an unfortunate exercise in special pleading with respect to Mars Hill in general and Mark Driscoll in particular more than a reasoned and responsible expository sermon on what is actually in the text of Acts 6.

Let's move on from the bit about mistakes and sins to the part where Driscoll talks about delegation:

Number four, they then lay hands on them, which is delegating authority. What happens in the
Bible is that when a leader chooses another leader and it’s confirmed by the Holy Spirit and
the rest of the team, then they lay hands on that person and they commission them into
ministry, and here’s what it’s showing. We believe that God has put his hand on them,
proverbially speaking, and therefore we’re going to put our hand on them, physically speaking.
And as they go out to do their ministry, they’re doing it under our authority. Under our
authority. [emphasis added]

So the apostles are saying, “We’re not going to be there like, you know, the chef, chopping up
the vegetables, and like the waiter, serving the meal. We’re going to send these people, but
they come on our behalf. They represent us. So if you don’t like the meal, you don’t need to
talk to us, you need to talk to them. If you don’t think that things are run well, you don’t
need to talk to us, you need to talk to them because they represent us.”

Let me ask you this: Do you think anybody was upset that they didn’t get Peter to bring them
their soup anymore, that John couldn’t come sit at their table for a few minutes and check in
on them? Do you think that displacement felt like a loss for some people? “Who are you?” “Well,
I’m Stephen.” “I don’t know you. Where’s Peter?” “Peter’s not here anymore.” “Oh, he’s too big
for us. Yeah, he’s moved on. “Uppity, uppity, uppity. Got a book deal, I heard. He thinks he’s
writing the Bible,” right, OK? Right?

That paragraph set in bold up there reveals how fundamentally Mark Driscoll either fails to grasp the basic reading of the text or opted to ignore it. This wasn't some case where the Twelve delegated authority to people that people didn't recognize but that the Twelve appointed to solve a problem. What does Acts 6:2-6 actually say? We'll highlight a few details here and there:

So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.  Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”  This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.  They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. (NIV, again)

That's the Twelve saying "YOU choose seven men from among YOU" not "We will pick the seven guys we already have in mind for this task."  The Twelve offer to turn the responsibility of making sure that all the widows, Jewish or Hellenistic, in the early Church were not neglected in the daily distribution.  Then the text tells us the whole group was pleased with this PROPOSAL (not a command) and that THEY first chose Stephen, and six other men.

So when Driscoll riffs a few jokes about how Stephen might not be recognized by one of the group Driscoll has to joke in spite of the plainest and most obvious reading of the biblical text that just explained to us that the group chose Stephen and that this was in response to a proposal (rather than a delegating decision) from the Twelve.  This was not authority delegated from the top down to the seven that the underlings had to just deal with because the Twelve picked them, this was authority invested by the Twelve into the seven who had been appointed by the whole group, which would have arguably included the Hellenistic widows who were being neglected in the daily distribution and those who had made the complaints.  The response of the Twelve wasn't, "We're going to delegate authority to hand-picked people we already know" so much as the Twelve saying, "Appoint from among yourselves people full of the Spirit who you trust to remedy this inequality." 

For all of Driscoll's riffing and joking about people not recognizing Stephen and wanting to know where Peter was he seems to have had to do this at the expense of showing any basic competence in understanding what's actually in the biblical text he preached from. 

For a sermon about failure in the early church it can seem as though Driscoll failed, ultimately, to demonstrate a basic understanding of what's in the biblical text.  Never mind the deleted stuff about Jesus in some alternate universe not being perfect in Little League or Driscoll digressing on to his kids (again) when there's no reason to do so in explaining a biblical text.  At least this time Driscoll didn't hang a lot of emotional weight on a tendentious reading of a biblical text by appealing to the ethical ruminations of his teenage daughter.  But if attenders of Mars Hill Church or people listening to the sermon online came away from the sermon Mark Driscoll preached on Acts 6:1-7 thinking it was a compelling or even competent expository sermon on what the biblical text says then, well, Wenatchee The Hatchet disagrees with that opinion.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Mars Hill began introducing delayed rebroadcast and editing of Driscoll sermons in 2009, excerpt from Mark Driscoll sermon explaining process and reasons

On March 16, 2014 Wenatchee The Hatchet discussed the beginning of the broadcast delay set in place at Mars Hill Church for Mark Driscoll sermons.

For those who want to read that blog post again they can do so but this blog post recapitulates that material, seeing as the degree to which Driscoll sermons have editing done to them before public release on the internet has been the subject of blogging and news coverage.

Back in May of 2009 Mark Driscoll explained from the pulpit how and why Mars Hill Church was switching over to delays in when a preached sermon would go up online after having been rebroadcast to other campuses.  He discussed it at some length and the pertinent remarks have been quoted in the past at Wenatchee The Hatchet.  While the sermon series from which this material has been quoted has since been taken down the original content was available to be listened to at the time WtH transcribed it.  Unusually, the entirety of the sermon went untranscribed in this particular case.

Now, of course, the audio for this sermon is no longer available at the Mars Hill website and robots.txt has been introduced to the site so The WayBack Machine can't be used to crawl the old site.

Nevertheless, since Wenatchee The Hatchet tries to keep things around for public education and journalistic enquiry ... :

Prophets, Priests and Kings
Trial: 8 witnesses from 1 & 2 Peter
May 3, 2009
1 Peter 5:1-5

starting about 5:30
This leads to an enormous change in how we do things. You may know that today we use satellite television technology where we live satellite the sermon to our various campuses but (you may have noticed, as well) we're on the Left Coast, left in EVERY way. We're over here on the Left Coast and on the Left Coast we're behind the other time zones.

So we need to find a way to sync up the sermon with every time zone so we're going to a week delay of the sermon beginning this month. Here's how it'll work.  I'll preach Sundays at Mars Hill Ballard as I always do.  We'll take the best sermon--and, yes, they're not all good. Some of them aren't good at all, and some of them, SOME weeks there's a good one.  Some weeks, you just take what you get.
And sometimes, you know, one sermon's better than the other. We'll edit it. We'll take out the technical difficulties, things that I said that could get me picketed, we'll fix it, for Jesus, and then we'll send it out to the campuses. They'll play it back and once it's played back at all the campuses on week delay THEN we'll put it online.  It won't go on the internet until it's played at all the campuses. And that's how it will work. [emphasis added]

There are eight reasons for this. I'll tell you why.

Again, different time zones. To go to different states, potentially different nations we need a different delivery method.

Number two,  it does allow the bust sermon.  Currently over half of the church is on video. The majority of Mars Hill is on video, not at Ballard where I preach live. Going forward, if we attain our goal of reaching 50,000 only ten percent MAXIMUM will be at Ballard hearing the sermon as I speak it.  Ninety percent of the church will be watching it on week delay on video so I want to get the best sermon to the majority of our people.

Number three, campuses get a better preparation timeline. By getting the sermon in advance they can put together their music for Sunday, kids ministry, small group discussion questions, pastoral care and follow-up. Right now they have no idea where the sermon is going because I have no idea where the sermon is going. They keep asking, "Tell us what you're going to talk about."  I don't know! Preaching happened. That's how it works, I just go and sometimes they're having a really hard time putting a service and following it up and I understand this and that will help.

Number four, it's cheaper. Right now the television satellite technology requires a lot of gear that we're able to sell to turn some profit. It requires the renting of satellite time, downlinks, dishes on campuses.  All of this can be eliminated it saves, literally, over the course of our history, will save us millions of dollars. It's a big savings and it makes facilities much easier.

Here's what's happening. Our new campus which we're hoping to launch in Federal Way needs a facility. Olympia needs a permanent facility. Shoreline needs a bigger facility. And as we expand it becomes very difficult and limiting to do satellite. It requires a permanent installation.  Schools, community centers, theaters, they don't allow that because it's their building and they don't want the infrastructure of their technology adjusted in any way and rightfully so. By going to week delay it allows WAY more flexibility to use innumerable facilities and move quickly from one to the other.
Last few reasons why we're doing this.

Number six, technical simplicity. Right now it's like a dish on your home and your cable. If the wind blows hard and it shifts we lose signal.  Also, if it snows we have a real problem. We call them interns. We put them up on the roof with a broom and they're literally dusting off the satellite dish hoping not to fall off the church and meet Jesus prematurely. You can always tell who the interns are who do the short straw. They're the ones on the roof during the snow storms. This makes it more simple. It's easy playback technology.

Number seven, it allows translation and close caption. Right now I THINK my sermons are on TV in Korea. They translate the redneck jokes into Korean. I don't understand this.  Apparently there ARE redneck Koreans and what this allows, this allows us to translate to different languages and also potentially to do closed caption for those who are hearing impaired. It allows us
more flexibility.

Now this leads to the last question. Some have asked, "Why not do a Wednesday or Thursday night service, capture the service, and then play it back?" Couple of reasons. One, I travel during the week.  I've got book deadlines, media deadlines. It really would be a big imposition on the Ballard campus.  Additionally, I don't have as much time to prepare the sermon. It won't be as good and if I don't do a good job the majority of the church is stuck with the worst sermon. Also, some have asked, "Well, why not do Saturday night?"  And I won't. 

So it's been established as of years ago that MHC would edit Mark Driscoll sermons before they were rebroadcast to other campuses where Driscoll wasn't preaching live, and that sermons would be edited so that things that might get Driscoll picketed wouldn't be included by the time the material went online, as Driscoll put it himself from the pulpit in 2009.

So to go by the publicly preached example Mark Driscoll shared for for why material might be removed from one of his sermons, "things that I said that could get me picketed" was something to screen out from the sermon audio/video before things went online.

It has also established that there could be anywhere between a one to two week delay between a sermon being preached at Mars Hill and the audio formally appearing on a Mars Hill webpage. 
So while it might be a surprise for people to learn that Driscoll sermons can be or have been edited in advance prior to online publication this is neither unprecedented nor surprising given what has publicly been shared from the pulpit over the years.  Of course the entire Trial series in 1 & 2 Peter has been swept away so you can't find it any longer, it seems, but it was in that sermon series Driscoll articulated the methodology and reasons for sermon broadcast delay and stated that removing things he said from the pulpit that would get him picketed was something that would get done.  Sure, it was a joke, but sometimes the most tossed off joke can be the clearest indicator of how a person thinks about something.  If Driscoll joked from the pulpit that his sermons would be edited in advance to remove things he said that could get him picketed Anthony Ianniciello's comment about editing sermons for length is an interesting point but one of secondary importance to Mark Driscoll's own words.

It's curious that Mars Hill Church has spent the last few months expending so much effort to preclude the possibility of quoting Mark Driscoll accurately and in context over the last fifteen years of his public ministry, though.  At least it seems that way to Wenatchee The Hatchet but there may be some perfectly reasonable explanation someone can provide for why Mars Hill has been scrubbing away the majority of Driscoll sermons.  Compared to the mass obliteration of a decade of Mark Driscoll's pulpit teaching a mere six minutes of excised comments about Jesus maybe making mistakes in some alternate universe where he could have been in Little League is miniscule.

Warren Throckmorton blogs on Driscoll sermon edited before online posting, Christian Post response, a review of previously redacted content

The content removed from the Driscoll sermon in which Driscoll asked rhetorically whether Jesus made mistakes got blogged about a few days ago.  We'll get to the content of the sermon itself in time but it's worth noting the headlines, so to speak, for now.

Mars Hill Church has defended the edits of the Mark Driscoll sermon on Acts 6:1-7.  Throckmorton links to the following:

Anthony Ianniciello, executive pastor of Media & Communications for Mars Hill Church, mentioned that sermons are edited partly to conform to time restraints.  Taking that at face value that is still, literally, a partial explanation.  It doesn't happen to be the reason Mark Driscoll shared from the pulpit in 2009 for why material from his sermons might get cut out but we'll get to that later.

That sermons or teachings prior to the recent Acts sermon have been edited is something documented at this blog before:
Short version, in her review of Real Marriage with her husband Andy Alsup, Wendy Alsup quoted from "The Man", a sermon in which Driscoll explained that he put a leader through the woodchipper.  There was actually another blog post over here that documented from the same sermon that a woodchipper anecdote about an elder of some sort at Mars Hill was shared. So after Wendy Alsup quoted from a Driscoll sermon in which Mark Driscoll mentioned putting an elder through the woodchipper that anecdote was removed.

Mark Driscoll TRAINING PASTORS at an Acts 29 session in Raleigh NC, September 20, 2007:

“…not contentious. You ever meet a guy, it doesn’t matter what the issue is, he’s always gonna play the other side. Those guys are the worst elders in the history of the world. And it doesn’t matter what you’re talk, I had a guy like that; I recently put him in the wood chipper in my church. Seriously. I could say hey, we’re all going to get suckers. He’s be like, what flavor? Whatever flavor you want. Is it sugar free? If you would like. Well, I didn’t say I wanted a sucker. You, you know, you need to die. You know. He just was the guy, he just, he had to nitpick at everything; he had to resist everything, he to look at the other side, if everyone was for something he felt obligated to be the e-brake pulling everything. And you’d ask him why, he’d be like, well, I just wanted to make sure we’ve looked at everything and everybody is considering all the angles. Its like, dude, you’re playing the devils advocate, which is not good. I don’t want anybody for the devil on my team. You know? But there’s some guys like that. It just, they’re contentious, it doesn’t, they’re always fighting, always arguing. There’s, I’ve had guys in eldership, where, in the meeting, everything’s going fine, and they’ll say, I got something, I got something I need to say. And everybody’s head does this; everybody looks like they just got kicked in the sack. You know, I mean literally, they just the air comes out of their body, they just fold in half, because you know, here he goes again, here he freaking goes again. You know. That guy on an elder board, robs the board of any joy at all, and you already got enough criticism and people and work, when you get together with your elders, you don’t all men to be yes men, but at the same time, somebody who’s just contentious, and a neatnick and e-brake puller, I mean those guys, I mean all of a sudden you despise your elder’s meetings, and I’ll tell you what, when you despise your elders, at that point you have no safe place in the world from which to do ministry. Elders meetings stink, people are shooting me, everything’s hard, and I go to meet with the guys, and there’s always one guy there who just, he’s just like a fart in an elevator, and its just, you know, I’m just counting the minutes till I can get away from this guy. You can pray for me, you may say, it seems like he’s dealing with this right now, yes, I am. I’m thinking of certain people. If it weren’t for Jesus I would be violent.”

So, that anecdote was excised from "The Man" back in 2012.  So whether or not people may realize this there's a precedent for editing out content from Driscoll sermons that has been in place for a while now. How far back this has gone warrants another post.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

... dormancy ...

there's a bit going on these days so blogging activity has been scaled back a little bit.

Content is slated for publication some time down the road but to everything there is a season, as an old saying has it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

it appears there is no sermon archive at The Gospel Coalition lately (including Driscoll sermons, obviously)

For readers who remember this blog post here.
That quoted from Driscoll in a 2004 sermon about liberal denominations and the God Box in Manhatten, there was a link that was to Gospel Coalition sermon resources for those who might want to hear the Driscoll sermon for themselves and not just read quotations from the transcript. 

In a way this is simply continuing a blogging journalistic project that has been in place since 2012, starting about here (Sunday May 11, 2014 blog post)
Now seeing as Mars Hill Church has been purging its media library of sermons from before 2008 and has introduced robots.txt to its various websites to preclude web crawls from The WayBack Machine perhaps the buddies of Mars Hill in the past, The Gospel Coalition, maybe be of some help.  They happen to have the audio for the sermon available for download.  Download it while you can, though.
Wenatchee The Hatchet had a hunch that it would be a matter of days after quoting the material and linking to the sermon contents before the content was somehow removed.

... and ... for now ... it's looking like The Gospel Coalition isn't having Driscoll sermons in the audio library so much these days.  Or ... maybe just about anything for the moment.

The page you were looking for doesn't exist.

You may have mistyped the address or the page may have moved.
If you are the application owner check the logs for more information

So here it is, folks, ten days later, and that content's gone. 

It hasn't been the first time that Driscoll content that has been quoted accurately and in context abruptly vanishes from some venue.

Here at Wenatchee The Hatchet there was a case of documenting Mark Driscoll's teaching on spiritual warfare from a 2008 talk in which he discussed bitterness as demonic and cross-referenced that teaching to his 2012 statements in Real Marriage about how he was bitter toward his wife Grace over the lack of sex in their marriage.

That was March 17, 2014

On March 19, 2014 Wenatchee The Hatchet noted that a whole lot of sermons just vanished from the media archives at Mars Hill Church, replete with screen captured evidence for consideration.

On March 22, 2014, it turned out the whole Spiritual Warfare series from 2008 was removed, along with the sermon series Peasant Princess. There's actually a lot of purged content you can't get to anymore that was quoted in this next blog post. For the sake of educational/journalistic purposes you can peruse the blog post if so inclined over here.

On March 24, 2014 WtH published  a discussion of Driscoll's presentation on how not-enough-sex-in-marriage was satanic.

More recently, WtH has noted that robots.txt had been introduced at The Resurgence.

This has been an epic level of purging of media content and of introducing measures to preclude ever finding that content with The WayBack Machine. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mars Hill finally added robots.txt to the campus prefixes

Recently Wenatchee The Hatchet documented that Mars Hill implemented robots.txt to prevent The WayBack Machine from crawling but that there was a loophole that went unobserved, campus prefixes.

Time was you could plug that into The WayBack Machine and get results.  Of course it was noted this would not last long and sure enough:

Page cannot be crawled or displayed due to robots.txt.

Not that it particularly matters that robots.txt has been introduced.  The point of the earlier post was to highlight that because of the oversight, because of that loophole in how robots.txt was implemented, a whole raft of user profile numbers on The City were clearly made available to the public for any interested party to document.  Reassigning all those profiles is probably not worth the trouble and in any event the aim of the blog post was to give those who have access to The City an opportunity to investigate for themselves whether Willie Wilson, for instance, might still be a member of Mars Hill Church now that he's stopped being a pastor at the Rainier Valley campus.

Mars Hill Church | Rainier Valley
Pastor Willie Wilson inviting you to come "Grill & Chill" with us at Othello Park THIS SUNDAY at 2pm... For more information, visit us at

Wilson hasn't been a pastor that has been publicly listed for a while.

On the other hand, Jamie Munson may still actually formally be listed as a pastor within Mars Hill in spite of a lack of public mention of this role at Mars Hill websites.  Why would this matter?  Because Storyville Coffee got some fisking from The Stranger over its Mars Hill Church affiliations and Storyville seemed to be saying there wasn't really a formal connection.  That's arguably literally the case but not the point. An informal or indirect connection would still matter if the owner Jon Phelps turned out to be on the Mars Hill Church Board of Advisors and Accountability (as at least one person seems to have stated).  It would also matter if Jamie Munson were internally recognized by Mars Hill as a pastor if the public statements have been otherwise. 

Driscoll's made no secret over the years that it's important to get "up stream" where you can influence culture.

But as to why so much preaching and teaching got gutted and why robots.txt has been introduced ... it's not possible to say for sure.  But Wenatchee The Hatchet can document things anyway.  As noted before, this is a blog which is more process-oriented than goal-oriented about a few things.