Thursday, May 06, 2021

Warren Throckmorton proposes Mars Hill past could be a prologue to The Trinity Church future, now might be a time to recall that Driscoll boasted from the Mars Hill pulpit of threatening 20 guys if they talked to his girlfriend in his Peasant Princess series

In August 2014, 21 former elders from Mars Hill Church brought formal charges under the bylaws of the church against Mark Driscoll. Recently, I have been listening to people talk about their experiences at The Trinity Church in Phoenix. To quote Yogi Berra, it feels like deja vu all over again.
For those who complain that I am unnecessarily bringing up the past, I will reply with Shakespeare that, at times, past may be prologue. The charges are linked below; those who are currently involved or recently left Trinity Church may want to compare notes with past Mars Hill elders who wrote in 2014. Anything seem familiar?

Not being in a position to hear what people from The Trinity Church have been through I can't comment about that.  But what I can help them learn, if they come here, is the history of Mars Hill governance and associated governance battles and the kangaroo court proceedings that happened. There are at least 144 posts that deal with governance in terms of history and bylaws and so on.

Joyful Exiles would also be a good place to start if you want to read primary source documents chronicling the termination and trials of Bent Meyer and Paul Petry.

For those who don't know the history of Mars Hill there was a period circa 2007-2008 where Driscoll said from the pulpit he protected Grace emotionally in the following ways, one of which involved intercepting her emails so that she would get contacts from people he wanted her in contact with while, apparently, everything else came to him so he could delete emails at his discretion:

but since that stuff doesn't work try this link below 

But since the link in the old post is long dead, go here instead. Start about 33:04 and you will hear: 

... 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.

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.

... 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.

or here, about 33:03

Although the pertinent quote from Driscoll is about what he did to, as he saw it, protect his wife emotionally, the actual post was about how Mars Hill Church was purging material after I posted material.  There was a stretch where if I quoted the above section of a Driscoll sermon that the Driscoll sermon went "poof".  Although formally Driscoll stated the reason he took the described measure was so that nobody took shots "at her" this sermon was preached about a year after Petry and Meyer were fired by Driscoll.  But for those of us who heard a lot of Driscoll sermons Grace Driscoll once told her husband, in Mark's account, that if he was like any figure in the Book of Ruth it was Elimelech.

Earlier in 2008 Grace Driscoll had no problem going on record describing her husband as a short-fused drama queen./full
March 6, 2008
Thor Tolo

When the Lord isn’t talking to this man, kiddingly called a short-fused drama queen by his wife, his critics are blogging about him. Some of the sharper barbs make it difficult for Driscoll to hide the hurt.

But in the 2013-2014 period some content was getting purged that shed light on Driscoll's self-attested capacity to be what some might call a control freak.

Mark Driscoll
Ruth 1:1-1:22
January 07, 2007

...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 (they're all going to die anyways). I am Elimelech.

I asked my wife, "Which one am I?" ... She didn't even breath, didn't even take a breath, "Oh, you're Elimelech." And his name means what? MY GOD IS KING! That was me. If you asked me, Jesus, sovereign, lord, king, God! And if I ever need Him I'll call him but I don't think I do because I've got all this taken care of.
And how many of you are Naomi-ish? You’re a bitter, moody, cranky, self-righteous, finger-pointing, brutally honest, frustrating person that God loves deeply, for no apparent reason. You want to know me? Here’s how I work. I start with Elimelech. If that doesn’t work, I go to Naomi. That’s me. “I’ll figure it out. I’ll make a plan. I’ll lead well. I’ll take care of everything. Give me the variables. I got it all figured out. It didn’t work? Well, God, did you not get the memo? I knew exactly what needed to be done! [emphases added] I’m not sure who to call to tattle.” And if we’re honest, we find ourselves at varying seasons in our lives identifying with each character in the story.

During the 2013-2014 period Mars Hill was actively purging content and it was also a period where my friend Steve Hays proposed at Triablogue that what Wenatchee The Hatchet had shown was that the best way to make Mark Driscoll look bad in those days was simply to quote him accurately and in context.

That Driscoll bragged from the pulpit that he literally threatened twenty guys should not be forgotten by anyone who attended Mars Hill.  He has, to date, not addressed one of his more famous quips about how Paul knew that sometimes you had to put a guy through the woodchipper.  

Or take this ... where Driscoll once said from the pulpit in his younger days he picked a fight with his own baseball team:

Part 10 of Ecclesiastes
Pastor Mark Driscoll | Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 | June 01, 2003

How many guys, honestly (you don't have to raise your hands), how many guys in their teens or twenties (I'm in my thirties now so I'm at that place where I WOULD fight but it seems like a lot of work). But especially when I was in my teens I would, just all full of myself, I would just, I liked to fight.  I would LOOK for fights. Certain guys are like this. 

I actually beat up a guy on my OWN baseball team during a game.[emphasis added]  Usually, usually, you know, in a baseball game people why--baseball players are all wussies.  They never fight.  They all just run out to the middle of the field and look at each other which is, I dunno, like prom or something. They're all gazing into each other's eyes. I'm not sure what they're doing.  They hardly ever fight and they NEVER take the bats which, to me, seems like the most OBVIOUS thing.

I love baseball and I can remember when I was playing ball. A guy on my own team in the dugout says something so I attacked him.  Now very rarely do you see a bench-clearing brawl with just one team. Usually the other team's involved. I was a total hothead. I would fight through high school. I fight quite a bit.  Guys would say something, give a cross--you got a problem? That's what he's talking about [the author of Ecclesiastes]. Especially you young guys. Some of you young guys, you're LOOKING for a fight. You want to legitimize it, you want to justify it. Some of you married people are looking for a fight. Provoke. Provoke. Provoke. Boom, off they go like the Fourth of July.

Driscoll once said he could totally be like Haman from the Book of Esther.
Jesus is a better servant
October 28, 2012
Mark Driscoll

Now, I’ll say this: this is really convicting for me, personally. I’m in a position of influence and leadership, and I know that my heart inclines toward pride, so pray for me and pray for your senior leaders that we would clothe ourselves in humility. This is a haunting reality. I look at Haman and I realize, “Man, I could be like him in an instant,” and at times, I have been. And by God’s grace, I don’t want to be. Haman’s pride is tragic. [emphasis added]

Here’s what kills me about Haman: he wants to be like his king. Wrong king. We all want to be like our king, but he’s got the wrong king. See, his king is proud, not humble. His king uses people, doesn’t love people. His king loves the glory and doesn’t love to glorify God. Who’s your king? Who do you esteem the most? Who do you want to be like? Who do you look up to? If his name isn’t Jesus, wrong king. Wrong king. So, he is the case study for pride.

Chapter 6, verse 12. “But Haman hurried to his house.” He ran home, “Mourning with his head covered.” This is public mourning. “And Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him.”

Here’s what’s weird: he’s got a better marriage than King Xerxes. [emphasis added] Esther previously said that she hadn’t even seen her husband in thirty days, and they live in the same palace. It’s possible to be a really proud, ruthless, horrible man who’s got a decent marriage. [emphasis added] He goes and talks to his wife, the one thing that the king doesn’t do.

Do you see where, perhaps, even in his own heart, he’d say, “Well, I’m not a ruthless, horrible man. I’m a good family man. You know? I’m good to my wife. I’m good to my friends”? This is how proud people justify their inconsistency. He seems to have a decent marriage and he does have some friends, and he’s going to be a mass murderer. [emphasis added] So is the human heart.

This could be a moment where Mark Driscoll testified against himself.  He may be a loving husband and even a doting father, but that doesn't mean he can't be a proud, ruthless, horrible man to people in his church.  

Warren Throckmorton has the interview in two parts with Dave Bruskas and Sutton Turner.  It took a long time to cross reference material in that to what I was able to chronicle on my end regarding governance, governance battles and in one case a post-employment survey sent out and all of that is over in this series.

If the people at The Trinity Church don't know the last twenty years of who they're dealing with because access to who Mark Driscoll was and even said he was over the last twenty-five years is hard to get to then history may very well repeat itself. 


Without commenting directly on recently circulating reports, there was a report or rumor at one point that Wenatchee The Hatchet was investigated at the behest of Mars Hill leadership and possibly even tailed.  Naturally, I hope that wasn't the case.  If it were the case, however, then confirmation that such surveillance activities were undertaken might be a relevant thing to know if there are reports of authorized surveillance in a new context, if only to establish that the reported pattern is either new or has some kind of precedent. I took the rumor to be a fabrication of some kind on the part of someone who wanted to believe it was true, much like some progressives still believe Mark Driscoll said anything about Gayle Haggard when he didn't. 

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