Mark Driscoll

Mark Driscoll Stepping Down for 6 Weeks While Charges Investigated

Warren Throckmorton broke the story this morning that Mars Hill pastor, Mark Driscoll is stepping down for 6 weeks.

In a pre-recorded video announcement, Mark Driscoll told his congregation this morning that he will take at least six weeks off as lead pastor of Mars Hill Church while charges against him are investigated. Driscoll preached at Bellevue at 8:30 am to a packed house. According to sources in church this morning, Driscoll said he is meeting with mature Christian men unrelated to the church. The message is being played at each campus this morning.

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Sarah Pulliam Bailey of Religion News Service also picked up the story:

Seattle megachurch founder Mark Driscoll will step down for at least six weeks while the Mars Hill board of elders review formal charges lodged against him from previous pastors. (Religion News Service)

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Zach Hoag also posted a spoof article:

Returning from vacation noticeably more tan than usual, Mark began his video announcement to the church with these words: “Howdy, Mars Hill. So yeah, this month has been totally ridic. I’m out, bro. DONE. Forget angry young prophet and older spiritual father – I’m going to Southern California to chill, and you, Acts 29, and the rest of the Internet can suck it.”

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Morgan Lee of Christianity Today picked up the story as well, but also included discussed other pastors who have stepped aside from their pastorate to take care of personal failings, John Piper and C.J. Mahaney.  Lee’s article is here: Mark Driscoll Steps Down While Mars Hill Investigates Charges

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, a neighbor of Driscoll blogs:

All I want to say, before giving the following report is that I pray for Mark Driscoll and all who have been hurt by him directly or indirectly. As a newish resident church planter in Ballard (the site of the first permanent “main campus” as I understand it) I simply want to love my neighbors affected by all of this.

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Huffington Post now has taken Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s article and run with it: Megapastor Mark Driscoll Charged With Abusive Conduct By 21 Former Mars Hill Pastors

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David Hayward “Naked Pastor” posts cartoon and post:

Many people are calling for forgiveness for Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church so that he and the church can get back to preaching the gospel as effectively as it had and get back on the road to success, just like it was before things started unraveling.

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Andrew Jones of Tall Skinny Kiwi’s shared his thoughts, Will Mark Driscoll Drive to Church Today in a White Bronco?

A strange thing happened on the way to 50,000. The megachurch ceased its upwards numerical surge and haemorrhaged.

If the implosion of Mars Hill Church was just about numbers, it would make an interesting case study for church growth consultants. If it was just about ecclesiology and church government, Mars Hill would be the penultimate example of what happens when a church swaps the accountability of church elders and mutual submission to its members for a dodgy business model with untouchable leaders, shady practices and phantom accounting.

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Brad Sargent, blogger who has studied spiritual abuse, weighs in on the announcement by Mark Driscoll to step down in his article, Responsibility for Spiritual Abuse – Part 1 – Questions of Culpability, Complicity, and Recovery:

This post is about questions I’ve had that have emerge from the case study in allegations of spiritual abuse that Mars Hill Church in Seattle, and its co-founding pastor Mark Driscoll, have provided the U.S. Church. This is highly complex and grievous situation, and involves years of problematic leadership and labyrinthine organizational issues. I’ve been watching the situation especially since 2008 when I started research writing on spiritual abuse issues in depth.

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Jonathan Merritt, senior news columnist for Religion News Service, shares his thoughts:  

As I consider this development in light of the shifting tide of public opinion toward Driscoll and the barrage of scandals that he has endured this year alone, I arrive at only one conclusion: The hyper-masculine minister, Mark Driscoll, has been effectively neutered.   He will likely never write another book, and if he does, far fewer will read its words. He will likely never again jet set around the country speaking to tens of thousands week after week. And even if he returns to the pastorate–which I imagine is likely–he’ll ascend the stage a shadow of his former self. The glory days of Mars Hill and its celebrity founder are irrevocably behind them both. 

Mars Hill releases entire Mark Driscoll Statement.  Here are a few excerpts and my comments:

It is because of my deep love for the local church in general, and Mars Hill Church in particular, that it grieves me to see anything come against it or threaten to harm it. It also grieves me greatly when something I say or do results in controversy and publicity none of you signed up for when you decided to be a part of this church family.

When someone is grieved, they stop, look at the problem, and take appropriate action. People have been calling him account for years and years.  If he’s been “grieving,” he has not shown the appropriate response. These are mere “words” not true sentiments.

Over the years, as I have grown and as the Lord has been molding and pruning me, I have, on many occasions, shared with you some of the lessons I’ve been learning. Some of these have been painful, and some I’ve been slow to learn. I’ve acknowledged and confessed many of my sins, shortcomings and missteps, and God has been more than faithful with His forgiveness. Most of our Mars Hill family has been forgiving as well, and for that I’m grateful and blessed. By God’s grace, I want to always be humble and teachable.

No real commentary here about the victims, their thoughts, feelings. It’s all about MD and the process he’s had to go through. A truly repentant person does not focus on SELF, but on the ones he has hurt.

I want to thank those who have come directly to an Elder, lead pastor or me to tell us of an offense they are carrying. This allows us to deal with it head-on between the two affected parties, rather than in a court of public opinion and public media. I believe God is honored by this approach—the approach He prescribed for us in Matthew 18 and other Scriptures.

This is a back-handed way of saying that anyone who has spoken publicly about his leadership has done it wrong. He’s saying:  “don’t talk, but if you do talk, then come to your leaders.” Let’s not forget the scores and scores of people who attempted to bring grievances to elders/pastors and to Mark Driscoll privately, but were fired/removed put in church discipline and shunned. 

He then complains about people bringing up his pseudonym from years ago, that he took care of it a few years ago.  Perhaps he did not do a good enough job of taking care of it or it wouldn’t have come up again.  Or perhaps it came up again because the same pattern of behavior exists today.

Storm clouds seem to be whirling around me more than ever in recent months and I have given much thought and sought much counsel as to why that is and what to do about it. The current climate is not healthy for me or for this church. (In fact, it would not be healthy for any church.)

It is indeed healthy for both Driscoll and the church. Those who have been inside and who have known Driscoll outside his church are seeing the problems.  It is healthy to deal with this.  It is unhealthy to ignore it.  That’s what has been going on for years.  

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Warren Throckmorton posted the audio of the announcement:

Article by Becky Garrison who uncovers background on the new PR guy Driscoll said will be helping him:
Mark DeMoss to Manage Mars Hill’s Mess

This kind of advice doesn’t come cheap. So, how much will the bill be for his services, and who is footing this bill? Also, for those thinking Mark D. (as in Driscoll not DeMoss) will resign, churches bring in these kind of players to clean the joint up just enough so no one sees the real dirt. So while Driscoll wil be counseled to clean up his act, until the by-laws change to provide for actual accountability and the church opens up ALL of their books to bring about financial transparency, it’s still SNAFU at Mars Hill.

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From Rob Smith:  

Are Mars Hill Church elders elders in name only?

At the end of the day, Mark Driscoll may apologize and say he is sorry, for this and that, but he will not repent of bullying the 2007 bylaws into place.These bylaws removed his accountability to the elders of the church. His bullying included harming, shaming, shunning and slandering Paul Petry. Yet he will not repent of that act. By repenting he would have to admit that the entire bullying episode occurred so that he could change the bylaws via coercion and duress without due process.

Responses on Twitter (I’m posting new tweets on top and these are expressions that I’m seeing on Twitter – some vulgar language and heated sentiments from both sides:

https://twitter.com/KING5Now/status/503610637965344769

https://twitter.com/BrandonAmbro/status/503603740956712960

https://twitter.com/DevinMRose/status/503601516893462528

219 thoughts on “Mark Driscoll Stepping Down for 6 Weeks While Charges Investigated”

  1. I’m just telling you what happened in a church I visited, Pondering, not defining it nor defending nor condemning their practices of identifying leadership. But if you truly want to learn about ordination because you have not come across it before, I bet a Google search could help.

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  2. pondering – what does ordination have to do with the topic at hand? Normally, I don’t mind rabbit trails, but it seems like this is inviting another debate to the table.

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  3. Tim,

    “I think God’s the one who gets to say who’s a Christian.”

    Of course you said this is “your thought” but God has indeed given to man the freedom to choose (aka freewill) and believe in Jesus Christ or the freedom to not believe. But, God has not predetermined anyone’s salvation or damnation.

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  4. Come on, pondering, we were talking about judging other people’s position in the family of God, not how one gets there in the first place.

    And as for bringing up ordination, that was only in the context of showing how women and men elders were exercising authority in that church, not to discuss the process of ordination. For crying out loud, I was only visiting that church anyway. Why challenge me on their practices?

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  5. Scott,
    Jack Schaap–I had never heard of before, but obviously in addition to being a pedophile he is an exhibitionist. This whole thing has gotten so far out of hand. There is nothing that these men are “preaching” on that has anything to do with Jesus. It certainly doesn’t represent what marriage is suppose to be about and the way that God gave us the gift of intimacy. I don’t know why I am surprised. The Bible says it will get this way and it’s happening before our eyes.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Mr. Piper’s tweet too. He hopes Mr. Driscoll comes out of this well?

    Tim, I think John Piper went over to the dark side a long time ago along with Driscoll and many others. I don’t consider any of these men followers of Christ, but wolves ready to devour the flock and gain glory for themselves and really don’t care about what would build up the church or honor and glorify God.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Tim,

    God says Christians are to judge those who profess to be a Christian.

    ! Cor 5:12 Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

    Not only are we commanded to judge be we are also commanded to do something, remove the wicked person.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. TWW just put up a good post about Driscoll. Silly me, how did I forget that it is I WHO IS NOT THE CHRISTIAN because I will not take the proper stance on Mark Driscoll. ( For the record: I’m not “repenting”.)

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  9. “You say, “I think God’s the one who gets to say who’s a Christian.” Yes, of course, He gets to make the definitive determination. However, there must be some reason we are told how to discern for ourselves:”

    I agree, Gary. Otherwise we are fools.

    This is one of those tricky areas we really need to be able to discuss without people telling us it is a sin. What about fruit? There are many places in the NT people have to ignore or turn into justification (instead of sanctification) to get around this one. Some try to float the “all sins are the same and of equal value to God” defense. I certainly don’t buy that one for one minute whether it is OT or NT. And some try to redefine sin to make dissenting from the leader a bigger sin than child molestation. I mean where is common sense?

    Perhaps the reason we have so many celebrity charlatan “Christians” is because we don’t discuss this one in depth as we should. It has become verboten.

    Jesus warned some Jews early on: I never knew you. That warning applies to us, too.

    I honestly believe that if people would read the Gospels over and over with a focus on our own volition, they would not chide folks for suggesting there is a lack of an indication of the fruit of salvation in many places of Christendom that are very popular.

    We tend to ignore HOW Jesus lived. What He did and did not do. I believe His LIFE and resurrection are where we should focus. The cross is a done deal. We either believe it or not. So how does it affect our daily lives in living out the resurrection?

    I mean seriously, how many here PLAN on advancing themselves on the backs of others in the Name of Jesus? How many sit around and rationalize such things as fame and greed as being “for Christ”? How many so called “Christian” child molesters are being guided by the Holy Spirit? Does God reside in their hearts while they are molesting? Is Jesus present when you are forming a back room coup de tat in the church?

    Does this mean sinless perfection? Of course not. That is not the goal. Holiness is. Sinless perfection is impossible because we are born into corrupted bodies into a corrupted world. Growing in Holiness is the standard. Sinning less and less as we mature in Christ. It does not mean fluffy platitudes at church, big smiles and fake niceness. it means character, integrity, honesty, love, justice, mercy, etc. It means as my brother/sister in Christ you should be able to trust me with your children, your finances and life.

    I am often confused why so many pastors ignore Hebrews 10. Actually I am not. It is one of the “scary” parts. And someone above quoted from 1 John. I often hear pastors quoting chapter 1 but rarely quoting chapter 3. Why is that? Because these passages give the pew sitter too much power over themselves. Too much volition to think too deeply on them and say, wait a doggone minute! I am responsible for what I believe, who I believe, what I do, etc.

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  10. 1 Cor 5:12 Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves”

    That is right. And Peter has some things to say about the same. I can remember how much the culture war kept us evangelicals looking to the outside and judging the culture while ignoring the serious problems of the greed of mega churches, pride of buildings and fancy programs. We looked at ourselves with smugness and thankful we were not like “them” out there. Totally ignoring what scripture has to say about that. it is real clear.

    Now many take these verses and parse them down to mean if you do not attend that church and are not a member, you have no right to say a thing. Even if the celebrity in question has worked hard to build a national or international brand of themselves. I don’t buy that one either. But many do.

    And if you notice 1 Corin was written to the entire Body. Not to elders, etc. In fact, the closest thing we have to any of that is a reference “Chloe’s People” which does not sit well with some when brought up. :o)

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  11. Yeah, I don’t get the whole “Driscoll rehab” focus. He should do this or that and he will be “acceptable” to us? Driscoll might just take you guys up on it to save his empire. You would be surprised at what these guys would do when pushed to the edge. He might become the tweed jacket father figure he longs to be after his paid sabbatical. He might crown Grace an elder. Who knows. Would not make a bit of difference to me.

    I mean if he has not disqualified himself by now after YEARS of neon red flags, there is not a lot of hope for evangelicalism. And frankly, I don’t think there is. Evangelicalism has ceased to even understand basic right and wrong.

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  12. @ Brenda,

    Daisy, MD has a marriage book? If it is as vulgar as some of his sermons it should not be labeled as a marriage book, but in the porn section.

    Yep, and yes it has some tawdry stuff in it. The book title is “Real Marriage.” I think that is the book his church paid $200,000 to have placed on the NYT best seller list.

    You can read more about that book, and excerpts from various reviews about it on this site:
    Real Marriage – reviews from the Driscoll Controversy Site

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  13. I took great offense at the call of some for unconditional forgiveness for Mr. Driscoll so that his ministry might continue. Forgiveness, yes; unconditional, no. Such blind, foolish faith that is willing to ignore a man’s overt sin “because he done so much good.”

    I faced this when I admitted to recycling all of our VF and Doug Wilson materials after Doug Phillips’ fall — when I read DW’s defense of DP, and started reading about some of the sketchy things DW has done (public record, not just internet “gossip”). People blinking at me and telling me not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, that the men had good teachings, that people have benefited from and can benefit from in the future. Um, no. I don’t think so. There’s a fundamental flaw.

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  14. Scott, I agreed with most of your post.

    The one minor area of disagreement I have might be with this part:

    Why is his big sister teaching marriage & parenting seminars when she has NO experience with either? Maybe her and Bill Gothard should get married so they actually have some real life experience. I’m always shocked that Christians are so stupid and take advice from novices and inexperienced people.

    As you may know, a few of Julie Anne’s readers here are single adults.

    Some, such as myself, have never married, and I am over 40 years of age.

    Some childless women work as pediatricians, or as school teachers, or they baby sit their sister’s kids. Just because someone has not married nor had children does not mean they have no knowledge of the concepts, or no valuable input.

    I was engaged for several years – I dumped the guy, but I was in a long term, serious relationship, never the less, so I have some clue of what marriage may be like. Just because I’ve never walked down the aisle in a white dress doesn’t mean I’m completely unqualified to discuss marriage or offer advice or insights into relationships.

    And lastly please remember that many evangelical and Baptist churches do not permit adult singles to serve as teacher or leaders, not even in classes for adult singles!

    Many of these churches will only allow married people to teach adult singles classes, and I mean singles who are over 30, 40 years of age.

    Most people who are married now, if they are say, 45 or 50 years of age, or older, probably got married when they were 18 to 20, or 35 and they have been married ever since.

    They have not been single since high school and college.

    Being never-married past age 30, 40 and older is far, far different from than what it’s like to be single when one is college aged or even mid 20s.

    Yet these churches put these relatively clueless, long-time married people in charge or leadership of adult singles, people like me who are 40+ who have never married.

    I see from blogs and books written by 50 year old married preacher men, who were typically married when they were 22 years old, that they do not understand what adult singleness is like at age 40, or older, today in 2014.

    Being single at 21 years of age back in 1956, or back in 1963, or whenever (and you were engaged to get married to your high school sweetie at 22 when you’re finishing college) is not the same by a long shot.

    These 50 year old married dudes writing guidance or tips for singles age 30 and up did not even having dating sites such as eHarmony around when they were single X decades ago.

    They have no idea what it’s like using dating these days, or the other challenges singles age 30 and up face today. Yet churches insist these types of out of touch guys get to lead adult singles.

    Why can married people lead and teach never married adults, but Christians take issue with a never married and/or childless adult teaching about marriage and/or parenting? That’s a double standard.

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  15. Refugee says, “People blinking at me and telling me not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, that the men had good teachings, that people have benefited from and can benefit from in the future. Um, no. I don’t think so. There’s a fundamental flaw.”

    I agree. Bad fruit, bad tree. Bad tree, bad fruit. Certainly we need not be overly concerned every time a preacher or teacher stubs their toe, especially if they are open and up front with those affected. However, if the situation is such that the preacher is shown by the criteria of 1 Jn 3:4-10 to be an unbelieving child of the devil, i.e., if they practice unrighteousness, do not love the brothers (and sisters), etc., surely we must see them as bad trees whose teaching must be bad fruit.

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  16. The “spin” started at the end of Driscoll’s statement. Having his family come on stage and seeing his wife hold onto him for dear life was sad and a PR move. I think he uses his family like a prop to lend him credibility and sympathy. If I could say one thing to Driscoll it would be, “Don’t publically drag your family into your cesspool of lies!” God help his wife and children!

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  17. Ann,

    Absolutely. This PR thing happens a lot in the political and sports world when married politicians/sports figures are caught doin a little sumpin sumpin on the side. They bring out their wives to stand by their man in front of the press and cameras going click click with the flash, flash for a huge phoney show of support.

    Do these people not realize that we can see right thru that PR move?

    Ed

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  18. Scott said,

    This whole the “marriage bed is undefiled” has been taken so out of context it’s crazy. It’s not a green light to sexually enslave your wife, humiliate her and cause her emotional and physical pain so you can feel like a “real man”.

    Not to get this too far off topish, but.

    This is one of my annoyances with how marriage/ gender/ sex is taught by certain types of Christians or denominations. I will try to keep this tasteful.

    First, there is the assumption that married women are cold fish and dont like sex at all, only men like sex.
    Which isn’t true. There are plenty of women, single and married, who enjoy sex. I have heard first hand from female pals who are fed up because their spouse or BF won’t have sex with them for months on end. I see this same complaint by women in advice columns.

    Next, and maybe from that assumption, I notice that male preachers, when talking about sex, if they get explicit and detailed about sex, only mention certain sexual activities or frequencies of activity that most men prefer

    I’ve yet to hear a male preacher tell the husbands in the audience that, “Maybe you should try performing sex act X on your wife, because lots of women enjoy X.”

    Instead, we get Driscoll -and men like him- telling women that since so many men enjoy oral sex (or whatever act/ position/ duration), that they should perform that act on their husband. I never, ever hear these men specifying how a man can please his wife in the sack. It’s always a one-way street on this.

    About the most some of these guys will do in these “sex and marriage sermons” is tell the husband to “bring the wife flowers once in a while” and “talk to her in the morning before work, and help her do the dishes, if you want sex at 8 PM that night.”

    That’s all great and everything, but it has nothing to do with sex. Women do have sexual needs and likes and dislikes to, beyond the husband bringing her flowers or cleaning the dishes. But that’s ignored by cave man preachers such as Driscoll.

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  19. Scott said,
    I fear for my little nieces and wonder what type of men they will encounter in life as they grow up.

    I can tell you. I’m early 40s, have tried dating sites off and on since my mid 30s. Most churches are empty of single adult men. The ones who do attend tend to be very socially awkward and/or unattractive, not date material.

    The ones on the dating sites are perverts, they talk about sex early in the communication, they have kinky jokes right there on their profiles.

    A lot of self professing Christian men expect sex prior to marriage. So if you are a woman wanting to stay a virgin until marriage, good luck with that.

    I read a book by Christian authors for Christian adult singles.

    There were all sorts of anecdotes in it, like the adult single woman who went to a new church – she was probably around her mid 30s. She stopped by the adult singles leader teacher guy after class to ask a question.

    He had his lap top open and on. She glanced at the screen. His monitor was set to naughty or racy nekkid women photos or something.

    He blushed and made some kind of comment that once he gets married again (he was single) he would of course not engage in that action or in sex outside of marriage anymore. The woman said she told him something like, “Some of us are still virgins and waiting until marriage, it’s just wrong, Christians are to be celibate outside of marriage not viewing dirty photos.” The dude got very uncomfortable and hemmed and hawwed about it, was like, “Um, I suppose so, good for you if you are abstaining.”

    Some recent survey of poll I saw paid for by a dating site several months ago said that a large number of evangelical adults singles are having sex prior to marriage and see nothing wrong with it.

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  20. healingInHim said,

    Tim — Could you please show me in Scripture how an abuser is portrayed as being a Christian? Christians sin and then ‘repent’ of their actions.
    Abusive, non-repentant so-called professing Christians are NOT Christians. My spouse has finally admitted that he is not truly saved, however, much damage has been inflicted and instead of taking responsibility and repenting of his behaviour;

    I’m very sorry for what you went through.

    This sort of validates a view of mine that has shifted the last few years, and I think Julie Anne just did a blog post about it a few days ago, about if Christians should marry only other Christians or not.

    I know some Christians are very insistent that Christians only marry other Christians (“be equally yoked”), and I used to feel that way as well, because I was raised to feel that way.

    However, given that there are not enough Christian single men for all the single ladies who want one, I feel I should consider dating/marrying a Non Christian guy. But then other Christians chide me for that, and beat me up with the “don’t be unequally yoked” verse.

    Okay, but I see tons of stories online about Christian men who are spouse abusers, they are pedos, they are dirty web site addicts, or have many mistresses. I don’t want to marry a guy who is abusive, a pedo, who has affairs, etc.

    I saw one article about a Baptist preacher who was a serial rapist and when cops caught him, he was out prowling for a new victim, and IIRC, police found rope and weapons in his trunk (he was apparently going to kill or torture his next rape victim).

    It doesn’t matter if these men doing these things are “real” Christians or not. Christians like to debate that point back and forth, if the guy in question is “real” Christian or not. I don’t get what difference it makes.

    Most Christians are like like, “Well, that guy you were married to must have not been a “real” Christian, because a “real” one never would have hit you (or had an affair or molested a child, -whatever-).”

    How does that change the woman’s plight who was married to the guy, though? It doesn’t change a thing. She walked into that marriage honestly believing the jerk was a God fearing, Jesus loving Christian guy.

    I do not see any practical reason for Christian women to only consider dating or marrying Christian men.

    (Any arguments about “the man might pull you away from God” don’t phase me and aren’t terribly relevant to me. I’m currently quasi-agnostic, quasi-Christian, have little interest in going to church anymore, and don’t trust 99% of people who say they are Christian.)

    I’ve seen some Non-Christians, or read about some, who show more compassion than self-professing believers.

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  21. Scrolling through the comments some more, I see Tim got clobbered a little bit from a few people. From what I’ve seen of Tim here and his blog, he’s a genuinely nice person and abhors sexism and Mark Driscollian Cave Man views of women.

    It seems to me Tim has been misunderstood in some of the posts above. I’m not saying people cannot disagree with his views or comments, but I feel his character or motivations may have been misunderstood.

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  22. @ Brenda,
    Jack Schaap–I had never heard of before, but obviously in addition to being a pedophile he is an exhibitionist.

    Schaap went to jail and is still serving, if I remember right, for having sexual relations with a teen girl from his church over a period of several months.

    The last I heard (a few months ago), his lawyer put out commentary blaming the teen to try to get his time cut short, claiming she had a pot smoking past and was known to be loose.

    Video on You Tube:
    Jack Schaap Demonstrates How To Polish A Shaft

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  23. Carmen said,

    TWW just put up a good post about Driscoll. Silly me, how did I forget that it is I WHO IS NOT THE CHRISTIAN because I will not take the proper stance on Mark Driscoll. ( For the record: I’m not “repenting”.)

    I left a post or two in that thread. I am still on permanent moderated status there at TWW (Wartburg Watch), so after I make a post, it might not be approved for minutes or hours. As a result, some of the posts I make at that blog are not noticed by folks much of the time.

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  24. Lydia, thank you for your post of AUGUST 25, 2014 @ 2:52 PM.

    This is something I’ve been grappling with in concerns to having severe doubts about the Christian faith the last couple or so years. There are many reasons I may leave the faith, this is just one.

    I don’t expect sinless perfection from any self identifying Christian, but especially in the years since my mother passed, and I have gone to other Christians seeking help or what have you, I’ve had my eyes opened.

    I’m seeing a lot of Christians I bump into personally, or read about online, who are not even attempting to live out the most basic aspects of the Christian faith. The hypocrisy I see from lots of people who claim the name of Christ is staggering.

    My mother was a Christian. She consistently lived out a Christian faith. I’m not saying she was perfect, but she more or less consistently lived a moral life, she helped people who needed help (with food, money, she’d do them favors, etc).

    Online, I’m not only seeing stories of preachers who are selfish or greedy and who mistreat people at their church, but they even have fan clubs who back them up. Their “fans” (people at their church who like them) are as bad as they are. If someone writes a post critical of their preacher, they will defend the preacher guy tooth and nail and insist his critics are awful.

    I do not understand how or why so many people who claim to follow Christ would continually support churches or preachers who are not regularly displaying the hallmarks of an actual Christian that the New Testament says we should be able to witness.

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  25. Interesting comment about Mars Hill / Driscoll by someone at Jezebel (Jezebel = leftist feminist site).

    Here is his/ her comment:
    ——————————–
    by OlyB
    Being domineering is okay so long as its the men doing it to women. This drama amuses me because the ousted male pastors are having their careers damaged and cash flow impacted which is suddenly causing them to frown upon the misanthropic ravings of a power-hungry dude who claims everything he does is dictated by God. As long as they were profit-sharing members of the church, they thought he was a godly delight.

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  26. And part of a follow up comment by the same person (OlyB), which I think has some merit to it:

    My point is that the ex-elders are horrified and dismayed to find themselves in the position that they automatically grant women. The mental contortion it must take to be offended by their plight while still acknowledging they support Driscoll’s doctrine…. just wow.

    She’s (or he’s) kind of right.

    The male preachers or male elders who are now lodging public complaints against Driscoll all over the internet are chaffing against, in effect, how that church has treated women all along.

    That is interesting. Men at the Mars Hill Church are willing to place women in weaker, powerless, second-citizen positions, but after years of Driscoll doing that to them, they don’t like it anymore and start raising a fuss.

    The men of that church were basically being treated similar by Driscoll to how they think all women should be treated under gender complementarian teachings by all men.

    Like

  27. What is reprehensible about Driscoll’s marriage book is that he threw his wife under the bus by discussing her sexual history before marriage. He blamed her for his anger problems and even says that had he known then what he knows now, he would never have married her.

    Never mind that he was not celibate during his teen years either. Were I his wife, I don’t think I could recover from a betrayal of this magnitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. “One of today’s most-repeated clichés is that there are lots of people who find God believable, but the church unbearable, Jesus appealing, but the church appalling.” –Wright, N. T. (2011-10-25). Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters (p. 220). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

    Well, I contend that any expression that so aptly expresses the place to which corrupt “church” has driven so many of our Lord’s precious lambs ought to be immune from being labeled a cliché.

    Like

  29. @BrendaR:

    I don’t consider any of these men followers of Christ, but wolves ready to devour the flock and gain glory for themselves…

    Not wolves, Brenda.
    FERAL JUNKYARD DOGS.
    Wolves have more class than that.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. @BrendaR:

    hat is kinky sexual fantasy given Christianese-Respectable form.

    HUG,
    I find nothing respectable about it. I don’t understand why there were still people sitting in the pews by the time this was over.

    Maybe they were getting off vicariously with their own sexual fantasies? And he was stoking it?

    If Pastor Bee Jay does it, then that makes it OK?
    That’s what I mean by “Given Christanese-Respectable form.” Like Church Ladies listening to JUICY testimonies, getting a porn fix while still looking Holy and Respectable.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Guest, your story breaks my heart…and makes me so angry at the evil creature who abused you so badly. Like Julie Anne, words escape me.

    [Mod note: Edited comment p/user request.]

    Bozos like Driscoll helped reinforce my anger and sadness, and my entire belief system up to that point, concerning God, women, men, sex, marriage and more. He proved me right, is what I thought. I always worry about the messages that he and others like him are sending to so many, especially to those who have been abused…

    Like

  32. Added another link to the post: Are Mars Hill Church elders elders in name only?

    At the end of the day, Mark Driscoll may apologize and say he is sorry, for this and that, but he will not repent of bullying the 2007 bylaws into place.These bylaws removed his accountability to the elders of the church. His bullying included harming, shaming, shunning and slandering Paul Petry. Yet he will not repent of that act. By repenting he would have to admit that the entire bullying episode occurred so that he could change the bylaws via coercion and duress without due process.

    Like

  33. “Driscoll’s public display of his wife’s sexual background is despicable. ” Yes, it was Julie Anne, because you have a soul, but when you join the corporation not in the least you slut out who ever is needed to make raise sales. You know when I read that part of his Real Marriage book I really felt bad for her, goes to show what a child of Satan I am. You just dont say things like that about your wife, or friend, another reason God hates me. I dont get it, Driscoll rakes in at least 1/2 million bucks a year, I make maybe 35 K take home a year. I have had colostomy bags smacked upside my head, I have been bitten well over 50 times, Got hit with a frying pan, metal chair, pushed down the stairs, blocked a fork heading for a clients one remaining eye I still have the marks on my hand, she drove that fork down to the bone. I have seen clients bite their fingers off, pull hair bite, through feces etc. This does not include the attempted rapes thwarted, the abuse, the clients being stabbed to death etc. The folks suffering from dementia cursing God and saying some very vile things.

    This is the road I went down, that is a sin I think God should not forgive. Look people I dont know what to do what I saw and experienced. I should have gotten over it. I did not shame on me.

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  34. Gary W, I know this is an aside, but may I give you the medal for English Language Usage?

    “ ‘The only reason that I can think of why she hasn’t left him is the permanence view of marriage.’ Except, what marriage? Mrs. Driscoll would have to speak for herself insofar as her relationship to Mr. Driscoll is concerned, but at some point it has to be recognized that the line has been crossed between marriage and involuntary servitude.

    “Going forward, whenever I see or hear a reference to the permanency view of marriage, I will understand that what is being discussed is the ownership and enslavement of women by men.”

    Gary: that is the only use of “going forward” as a phrase which I think I have ever heard without it grating on my nerves. So often people use “going forward” with complete redundancy. You could omit the words “going forward” from their sentences and the sentences would not suffer at all, they would only be pleasingly less cluttered.

    I had formed the view that the phrase “going forward” is always just the mucus clogged redundancy of management-speak, but you, Gary, have made me revise my view. You’ve shown me that the phrase “going forward” can actually be useful in a sentence!

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  35. Daisy,
    I will not beat you up no matter what you choose, but be careful no matter a “Christian man” or being unequally yoked. I have married both. A Christian man who had many affairs, which of course were my fault and who also hit me and our son. The man I divorced this past year was a non believer but very kind and very good to his own son so I thought it could work and wanted a good father for my own children. That blew up as well. He was abusive verybally, emotionally and in other ways to me and my kids. Instead of getting a husband I got 2 extra children; him and his son.
    No matter what you choose keep your eyes and ears open. I would prefer a Christian man, but one who is really a Christian and not just faking it.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. daisy,
    Super glad Jack S is in jail. It is where he belongs. If I were on the jury the video would have been enough to convince me of his guilt.

    Like

  37. Thank you, Barbara, and g’day! And speaking of the English language, I propose that we Americans would gain much by adopting a bit of Australian English. It’s just that I fear the likelihood of committing embarrassing misusage, not to mention the possibility of bumping into unexpected off-color (or is it off-colour?) connotations. For example, is it appropriate for me to greet you with g’day when it is approaching midnight in Oz? Did I use the greeting in a manner that would be more appropriate as an expression of best wishes between departing friends?

    But what I would really like to know this morning is whether the term bull dust is sufficiently innocuous for use in polite company. Could I safely observe that the permanency view of marriage, the doctrine of patriarchy, and such like are plain just bull dust? Or is bull dust thought a rather crass term, as is the case with it’s American counterpart?

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  38. @Daisy:

    That is interesting. Men at the Mars Hill Church are willing to place women in weaker, powerless, second-citizen positions, but after years of Driscoll doing that to them, they don’t like it anymore and start raising a fuss.

    To use prison gang-rape terminology, Everything was Great until he started making a woman out of THEM.

    I’m reminded of the definition of Homophobia: “Fear that another man will use you like you use a woman.”

    And any System is always Great as long as YOU’re among those who personally benefit from the System. Now that it’s THEIR turn in the barrel, they start Squeeeling like a Pig.

    Like

  39. I was talking to my friend (and pastor) yesterday and we were discussing Driscoll and how he exploited his wife in his book. “A good pastor should never make use of his people’s pain.”

    Liked by 1 person

  40. The Jack Schaap case is an important one to remember at this time where the PR campaign to support Driscoll has started and made its way to blogs who are discussing the problems he caused.

    We are hearing that it is none of our business, that we are only gossiping, that matters should be handled internally at Mars Hill and that God will take care of it in His own time. But here is an example of a church that fostered two generations of sexual and physical abuse, not just among the pastors and elders but men that were ordained through the church’s unaccredited seminary. And no one stopped them until Schaap misplaced his cell phone and an elder picked it up and saw a picture of Schaap in a compromising picture with a teenage girl in his congregation whom he had been counseling. And even then there would have been no arrest (and Schaap’s ministry might well have recovered considering what the church had tolerated to that point) but Schaap had miscalculated. Sixteen is the age of consent in Indiana which he pointed out but he had taken her across state lines, making his sexual predation a federal offense. In federal law, the age of consent is 18.

    All of that is to say that the body of believers IS the church and if the people in the local congregation allow people to be victimized, then it is our responsibility to speak up.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Check out this excellent analysis of Driscoll’s statement.

    I have recently begun working with perpetrators of domestic abuse. I am facilitating a Respect accredited programme with men who have chosen to be violent and abusive to their partners. And if there is one thing that perpetrators are “gifted” in, it is avoiding responsibility and manipulating people’s views of them. I would suggest that some of what we see in Mark’s announcement uses those same tactics, whether intentionally or not, whether orchestrated by a PR plan or by the man himself. I would like to clarify that I am not suggesting Mark is perpetrator of domestic abuse, but that his words and actions mirror those of abusers.

    http://mrsglw.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/translating-mark-driscoll/

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Schaap had miscalculated. Sixteen is the age of consent in Indiana which he pointed out but he had taken her across state lines, making his sexual predation a federal offense. In federal law, the age of consent is 18.

    Marsha, I am very glad that is is serving jail time for this no matter how it happened. As far as any pastor, having physical or emotional relationships with anyone who is not their spouse should be reason to get them out from behind the pulpit. It discredits their ministry, Christianity and God.

    How many people are being lead to an eternity of torment because they see God through a broken mirror. How many in the mega church think they are saved and decieving themselves because they think that being a part of that church or following that leader is their way to Heaven and the path to God.

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  43. Gary W said,

    “One of today’s most-repeated clichés is that there are lots of people who find God believable, but the church unbearable, Jesus appealing, but the church appalling.”
    –Wright, N. T. (2011-10-25). Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters (p. 220). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

    Reminds me of,

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

    Liked by 1 person

  44. About anyone in this thread considering leaving the Christian faith due to how some Christians have taught offensive or painful things about God, gender, marriage, etc.

    As I said above, I have my own reasons for possibly leaving the faith (I’m undecided about staying or leaving).

    I will say that while I too am troubled by how sexism is running amok in Christianity under the heading of “gender complementarianism,” I do recognize that there are Christians who fight that sexism within the faith, and they challenge the biases and twisted biblical interpretations used to keep women down.

    Some of these Christians who fight sexism go by the label “egalitarian” (some don’t go by any label, but they do not agree with complementarianism, or teachings such as women should stay in abusive marriages, or that sexual abuse victims are at any fault at all for the abuse).

    They have sites such as
    Christians For Biblical Equality
    And that’s just one site, There are other blogs, forums, and sites by Christian gender egalitarians.

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  45. @ Brenda.
    Oh yes, I’m not under any illusions. I know that some Non Christian men can be cheaters or abusive as well. My sister has dated/married Non Christian men, and some of them were losers or jerks.

    But. I see a strong push by a lot of Christians to shout at single ladies who want marriage, and are tired of waiting and are now open to marrying an atheist, to “wait for God’s timing” for a “Christian man.”

    For pete’s sake, I am over 40 years of age. I’m not 25 anymore. How much longer do I have to wait for a C. man?

    Any time I walk into a church, there are either zero single Christian men over 30, or the two that are there, are 876 pounds in weight, and/or mentally defective or weird (I.O.W., they are not dating or marriage material.)

    My position on this now is that a C. woman should consider dating/ marrying C or Non C men, but you have to judge a man’s actions, not their profession of faith in Jesus or lack thereof.

    I’ve seen too, too many self professing C men, who even go to church weekly, who turn out to be sex fiends, abusers, etc, to bother with the “be equally yoked” idea any further.

    Some Non C men can be abusive or selfish too, which is why I think women have to judge the guy’s life, his personality, his actions, how he treats people, not by if he goes to church or not or believes in Jesus.

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  46. “One of today’s most-repeated clichés is that there are lots of people who find God believable, but the church unbearable, Jesus appealing, but the church appalling.” –Wright, N. T. (2011-10-25). Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters (p. 220). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

    Ecclesiology is one area in which I disagree with Wright.

    Like

  47. Yes, Daisy. When I compare my own talk to my walk, it is all very sobering. One dare not become complacent, which is exactly the place to which one is lead when they buy into the lie that, if they will only say the sinners prayer, they will go to heaven when they die. To falsely think that one has by cheap grace purchased an irrevocable fire insurance policy is to turn away from our infinitely loving Lord, who would give us His life in exchange for our own. Yet, the exchange must actually be made. Let us not allow the Mark Driscolls of the world to make themselves out to be the picture and example of what it is to be a Christian. That might well be to allow them to steal our very souls.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. “Ecclesiology is one area in which I disagree with Wright.”

    I haven’t paid much attention, but it does seem that to accept much of what Wright says about church, one must presuppose a different church than the sort of church of which Wright is a (former?) bishop.

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  49. I don’t agree with a lot of the views on this site, but this one page seems right on:
    Blame Muscular Christianity For Driscoll Fiasco

    …any criticism of Driscoll should also be directed at the system that allowed him to emerge in the first place. Driscoll may certainly be an extreme case among evangelical leaders and evangelical culture more generally, but we should not understand him as an exception.

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  50. @ Gary W,

    if they will only say the sinners prayer, they will go to heaven when they die.

    It depends if the person sincerely meant the sinner’s prayer.

    I said it when I was a kid and meant it.

    I also lived the faith out, though. I did not just say, “Oh yes, I believe in Jesus,” said the prayer, ~ then slept around, smoked, cussed, and did whatever I pleased. I tried to live by the teachings of Christ, and I did, more often than not.

    My issue is not with the sinner’s prayer. The Bible says you are to communicate to God you know you are a sinner and need his Son, and that to me, is what the sinner’s prayer conveys.

    I don’t think the problem is with the prayer itself but the heart or will of the one praying it. Maybe some of the people who pray it do not understand the content of it, what they are praying, or the severity.

    As I said in a big post higher up this page, one reason of many I am having hard time holding on and am becoming agnostic is I see a lot of people profess the name of Christ but they do not even attempt to live out the most basic facets of the faith.

    My mother was a true blue Christian. She did not just SAY she was a Christian, her life reflected that she was one, that she meant what she said. Talk is cheap.

    I was a true blue Christian until two years ago, when after Mom died several years before, I looked around after he death and saw how most other “Christians” live, and they how ever they please. Jesus does not make a difference in the lives of the people who claim to believe in him, so what is the point.

    The cherry on top for me is not only are a lot of self professing Christians hypocrites who don’t even try to live by the Bible’s teachings, but, they sit around defending and excusing the frauds, liars, and perverts who claim Christ’s name.

    Look at big name preachers such as Driscoll, Perry Noble, John Piper, and Steve Furtick, who say and do all manner of abusive, shady, insensitive, or greedy things, and instead of being horrified by their behavior and calling these men to accountability, or demanding they step down from the pulpit, their little fans run around the internet defending these charlatans to the hilt like crazy people and screaming at anyone who says, “what these men are doing is terrible.”

    Their anger should be directed towards the misbehaving preacher, not those who expose their wrong doing.

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  51. christianpundit,
    Your mama had it right. and so do you. Their anger should be directed towards the misbehaving preacher, not those who expose their wrong doing. What my Christian mama always said was, If someone jumps off a bridge are you going to follow ’em, Obviously, from the south.

    My question is, why do you consider being agnositc? if you know God is with you and have accepted Him. Jesus does make a difference in the lives of those who believe in Him and seek relationship with Him. Those who are not seeking relationship will fall away. Prayer, reading the Word and dwelling on what is good and righteous is what makes Christ real in your life. What everyone else is doing has nothing at all to do with you. Each person has there own opportunity for Christ to be real in their life. It is up to each one to use that opportunity well. Never give up no matter how fierce the storm.

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  52. christianpundit,

    You say “I was a true blue Christian until two years ago, when after Mom died several years before, I looked around after he death and saw how most other “Christians” live, and they how ever they please.”

    I propose that it is dangerous to judge our Lord by those whose lives put the lie to their claim to be His. If we must judge, as in discern, it is better to judge/discern only those whose lives we are observing. Discern who Driscoll truly is, but do not judge the Lord to whom he (possibly falsely) claims to belong.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. missdaisyflower,

    When you identify people that profess to be Christians but practices hateful, arrogant, judgmental and self serving behavior, they are living a miserable existence and may not even be Christians and that may include preachers who consider themselves well versed..

    I really become suspect if the preacher is even a Christian if the church he leads is so consumed in a state of repetitive unworthiness that people lack noticeable joy every time they leave church.

    I have reached a point in my own life where if I identify unforgiveness and hatefulness in a church or where there is a constant degrading of people (man or woman) in a church, I have to walk away, because their focus is on “self” and not in a loving Christ.

    If I what to pursue hatefulness I can get all I want in a Godless secular world.

    Strangely I have noticed that most of the judgmental and hateful Christians do not like Joel Osteen or even Adrian Rodgers type preaching, who in my view are more loving and don’t degrade people or embrace a chauvinistic view in life.
    .

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  54. Thank you Brenda for your comments.

    @ Gary.
    I just do not see the Christian faith as being true anymore, if so many who claim it are not demonstrating changed lives.

    It makes me wonder now if my mother (who was Christian) was living a good life due to her own morality, will power, personality, and such, not that she was indwelt by God or given a changed heart by God.

    The Bible says that people who claim Christ but who yet continually do wrong (or neglect to do right) cast dispute on the Lord’s name, so I don’t know about this part of your post:

    that it is dangerous to judge our Lord by those whose lives put the lie to their claim to be His. If we must judge, as in discern, it is better to judge/discern only those whose lives we are observing. Discern who Driscoll truly is, but do not judge the Lord to whom he (possibly falsely) claims to belong.

    The Bible (in New Testament) recognizes that God himself will be judged by the actions of those who claim to follow him. This is one reason why Paul and other NT writers constantly tell Christians to watch how they live.

    Romans 2:24:
    For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written.

    Then there are these sorts of verses from the Old Testament that go by the same principle:

    2 Samuel 12:14
    “However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.”

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  55. Mark,
    Strangely I have noticed that most of the judgmental and hateful Christians do not like Joel Osteen or even Adrian Rodgers type preaching, who in my view are more loving and don’t degrade people or embrace a chauvinistic view in life.

    Same here. A lot of Christians deplore Osteen. I think Osteen may be quasi “Word of Faith”, and I’m not Word of Faith supporter, but I do not think it’s wrong that most of his sermons are uplifting.

    Some Christians are very critical of Osteen for not making every single sermon about Hell, salvation, that he does not “beat up” on his audience enough for being sinners, or that he does not name drop Jesus every two minutes, and that he does not quote more than three Bible verses per sermon.

    I do agree that a lot of sermons today are too “light” and shallow, and that can be a problem. So to a degree I agree with the Osteen critics on that, I suppose.

    On the other hand, I think there are times when an uplifting sermon is needed. Osteen may have what the Bible says is the “gift of encouragement,” so it would follow his sermons are going to sound more like pep talks than ordinary sermons.

    Like you, I have noticed that some of the most angry, judgmental, or theologically arrogant (they think their theology is 100% correct at all times, or their preferred method of preaching is the only right way) Christians cannot stand pastors like Osteen and take every opportunity to shred him on their blogs, forums, and pod casts.

    I’m not completely in support of Osteen’s message or delivery method, I can see where there are some problems here or there with him or his preaching, but the Christians on the internet who seem totally against him trouble me too.

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  56. christianpundit,

    Joel Osteen admittedly proclaimed that he felt his gift was an “encourager”. So maybe verbally “beating up people isn’t his strength. He won’t even verbally beat up on his critics.

    He is a topical preacher, He may not beat up his congregation but the subtle ways in which he combines scripture in his messages does challenge us of living a life of joy, in a hateful world we live.

    If you lack noticeable joy and love after getting an “Exegetical” chewing out after every service, it will make it more difficult to reach others for Christ instead of embracing joy and love in a hateful world.

    I have suggested “why would an Un-Believing world want what Christians have in Christ if by appearance.Christians are more miserable than non-Christians?”

    I’m not suggesting Church should be a “Pep Rally”: but it shouldn’t be so “Abusive” that believers are so “mentally drained” full of their unworthiness they become ineffective in reaching out.

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  57. I haven’t paid much attention, but it does seem that to accept much of what Wright says about church, one must presuppose a different church than the sort of church of which Wright is a (former?) bishop.”

    Oh, I don’t know. Ever heard much about Rowan Williams former Bishop of Canterbury? The more I read up on Anglicans, the more of a mishmash they are of just about everything. Wright contends the liberals say he is a right winger. The right wing accuses him of being a liberal. I can relate. But they are still funded by the government!

    I still disagree with Anglican ecclesiology. :o)

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  58. That Osteen smile makes bank off Jesus big time. I would not want to go up against Victoria, though. :o) They promoted some financial hucksters that took advantage of some folks and then acted like they had no responsibility for it.

    I read about it the same week I read about Dave Ramsey’s former staffers who are getting the word out but are stil scared of him. It is bad out there folks. it is about fame, greed, money, brand, etc. Where is Jesus in any of it?

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  59. On TWW Marsha left a comment stating that “according to his former secretary whom he fired for ‘heresy’ for suggesting he needed accountability from elders, Driscoll was physically and verbally abused by his father”.

    Although all children who are abused do not grow up to be abusers, it’s evident that Mark Driscoll is an abuser. He was an abuser when The Leadership Network launched his career, and he has not changed since the day he stepped behind a pulpit. According to secular sources, abusers rarely change. Again, I refer you to “A Cry For Justice” and Jeff Crippen.

    If only women were treated better and as equals? Exactly how is that going to happen when people only wring their hands over the symptoms and won’t go near the ideology ( a systematic body of concepts) that drives the behavior.

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  60. Lydia,

    I have no answer to the corruption that plagues our churches.except I know God will not allow us to get away with it.

    King David and King Solomon didn’t escape God’s judgement and I believe they loved God. My impression is Joel Osteen loves God.

    Joel Osteen doesn’t verbally abuse his Congregation which I believe is a strength.

    If he (and Victoria fall) in the same manner as King David (and they may), I’m sure their critics will have a “gotcha” moment.

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  61. Guest & Oasis,

    Just want to say I read what you both wrote. I wept & prayed, (been weeping a lot of late) and wondered if I should say something. The thing is, I don’t know what to say, besides I am so sorry, and with all my heart, I wish you hadn’t been sexually abused. ab-used. USED to satisfy a man’s lust… the cry of my child’s heart inside of me is still unpacking shit that happened 50 some years ago.
    Why did my innocence get soiled within?
    Why did I absorb my abusers sin?
    He damaged my ability to know what it is to trust,
    by using me to satisfy his perverted lust.
    Sending you both warm thoughts of grace & mercy today.

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  62. Guest,
    I wanted to respond to your post right away, but the words were not coming. I was brought up by a sexually abusive and in many other ways evil step-father. He in no way claimed to be a Christian so the church became my refuge at around age 10. It was the only place I felt safe. From what you have said, I understand why the opposite would have happened to you. I had a very difficult time believing that God/Jesus loved me or why would these things be happening to me. I had to have done something that I was being punished for. I didn’t trust any men, but wanted badly to be loved by the Prince Charming that didn’t come.

    I wish so much I could take all of this pain from you. I hear similar stories all too often from women who were so abused by Christian and non-Christian men as children that they can find no joy in a good man if one were to come along and are either afraid of God because He is a male figure or hold a grudge against Him.

    The men you encountered were very vile and at a time when you should have been able to go to family to rescue you, you were thrown under the bus. I don’t believe that the behavior these men portrayed has anything to do with being a Christian, it is just a word they call themselves as they twist scripture to suit themselves, even against a defenseless little girl. I was made to be afraid to the point that I couldn’t open my mouth if someone would have asked me if there were a problem, which no one did. I felt so much shame, believing that I had caused it all myself. I was an adult before I told anyone what had happened.

    Guest, if there is anything I can do for you, let Julie Anne know and she can make it possible for us to connect. (((((HUGS)))))

    Like

  63. JA, I just realized that I misspelled your name in my last post. Sorry!

    Admin note: JA fixed it 🙂

    Like

  64. The issue of the subjugation of women in the church and in the home continues to be a hot topic. Taking a serious look at what we find in history enlightens our understanding and helps us to see where we are at with this topic today. Knowing the historical record helps us to push back against flawed thinking among church leaders and empowers us to speak out for justice!

    I am delighted to announce that my website designer has posted a new article on my website. It is entitled: Women in the Church—American History, Slavery, and Feminism.

    This article looks into the historical record regarding the influence of ‘evangelical feminism’ especially in the 19th century. It looks at slavery and how women were treated in this era. There is much pertinent information available.

    Go to: http://www.ChurchExiters.com
    From the home page, scroll down to the very bottom to: Newest Articles.

    Like

  65. Pastor Jack Schaap loses bid for sentence reduction.

    12 years is a light sentence in my opinion. If I were judge, which I’m sure he would be very glad that I am not, he’d be in prison for the remainder of his days. (I actually have a different means of dealing with this type of individual in my mind, but I am sure that sentence would not make it through moderation here and may be considered cruel and unusual punishment.) His whole demeanor has “abuser” written all over it. He is blame shifting to a 16 year old girl. Each time he tries to get out of his sentence they could add 5 years and see what he thinks of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Gail, thank you for your wonderful wish and your warm thoughts, you are very kind! 🙂 Not sure what to say, either. I want Guest to know that she’s not alone in her feelings and thoughts, but I probably shouldn’t have said anything at all, and I’ve asked Julie Anne to delete my above comment.

    But, want to tell you that I really love the little poem you wrote. It made me cry. Is it okay if I save it?

    [Mod note: modified previous comment p/user request]

    Like

  67. Mark Driscoll encourages anal sex: the sodomizing of wives by husbands.
    So would Mark Driscoll like his body to be the recipient of sodomy?
    After all, Ephesians 5:28 says “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.”

    I bet the “professional ‘c’hristian men” skirt around that one in their conversations with Mark Driscoll.

    What a circus it all is! But there’s no amusement in it for the victims of Driscoll and his cronies cum ‘accountability figures’.

    And I bet there’s no amusement for Grace Driscoll and their children. They are most likely walking on eggshells in deep fog, trying to avoid hidden land mines and the buried fragments of cluster bombs from previous explosions. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Barbara,

    I have to admit, I have never had the desire to explore Mark Driscoll’s views simply because he is viewed as a Neo-Calvinist,.a doctrine I can’t embrace.

    This is the first time I heard some of his views of spousal “intimate requirements”

    Did he really say these things? Where did he suggest it? Behind the Pulpit or in his book?

    Hard to imagine any Pastor would openly expose his (and hers) most intimate details that should stay private.

    I can’t imagine his wife thinking she is married to someone that respects her privacy.

    Like

  69. Scott said: His sex laced sermons are the norm. Personally I bet you anything he is a 24/7 porn freak with tons of filth stored on his laptop right along side his “sermons” .

    Yeah, I think the same thing.
    Not to mention that he has a list of porn/sex-toy sites recommended on his website. Because, you know, people might not be able to find enough of that stuff w/o Marky to guide them……

    Like

  70. Barb Orlowski,
    Thank you for bring this to our attention. I read the article, “Women in the Church”. It is a good reminder of where we came from and sadly where we still are in many cases. The difference is it is under the law of the husband and not the law of the land.

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  71. What will Mr. Driscoll say when he stands before Jesus one day to give his account?

    What may (or may not) surprise us today, is the number of pastors filling these so called offices whose eyes and hearts lust after sex continuously, whether it be their wife or another outside of marriage…..and one of the most terrifying aspects of this sin at large, there is NO REPENTANCE and at best, a FAKE REPENTANCE in the life of this church (official).

    Jesus, oh Precious Jesus, be there for the broken hearts of the victims left in the wake of these blood thirsty wolves. We petition You to help these precious souls to gather up the pieces strewn about, and through the Power of your Precious Word, we pray they will be made whole again through You. Please help these souls to forgive themselves as You have already freely forgiven. Give them new life, LORD, for You are our One and Only Mediator in this world, in Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. 🙂
    ‘Bull dust’ is thought of as fairly crude language and potentially offensive. You could use it among friends who were not offended by a bit of mild swearing, especially if you were having a few drinks at the pub or a BBQ in the back yard. But you should not use if if there is anyone in the audience who might be offended by crude language. It’s *offensiveness rating* is pretty similar to ‘bull shit’ (for which it was originally a euphemism, I suppose).

    In Oz, BS is more commonly used than BD. BD has lost all the euphemistic value it may once have had. Sigh.

    Regarding the risks of using an idiom wrongly, I have personally stopped worrying too much about that. I have so many Yankees in cyberspace as my friends that if I put something wrong or they don’t understand I’m sure someone would gently call me out and tell me. 🙂

    And btw, in cyberspace it doesn’t matter what time it is. Only the day of the week matters, and only then if you are a blog administrator and you have to have (as I do) two days running in your head all the time: my day is one day ahead of yours. That matters when I’m scheduling posts and such like.

    And your use of “g’day” was spot on, Gary.
    Spot on, I have discovered, is an Aussie idiom — one my American cyber-friends have now adopted. YAY!

    And yes, the Permanence View is a house of cards made of BD held together by threat and bluff and blindfold.
    Blow the house down, let’s blow the house down! Yay, Hey, Blow the house down!

    Like

  73. May I gently request that you give us an exact link Barb Orolowski, when you tell us about one of your articles? I found the article, but it took some doing.
    Thanks.

    Like

  74. Gail,

    Why did my innocence get soiled within?
    Why did I absorb my abusers sin?
    He damaged my ability to know what it is to trust,
    by using me to satisfy his perverted lust.
    Sending you both warm thoughts of grace & mercy today.

    All questions that I asked for a very long time. I don’t any longer. Recently, I think I found the answer. God has purpose for our lives even through the muck. For myself, I feel that what I went through prepared me to help others. My prayer is that at some point my knowledge will help prevent this from happening to another person and not needing to pick up the pieces afterwards. (((((HUGS)))))

    Like

  75. Mark, I have read from many sources and places people reporting that Mark Driscoll recommends wives to allow anal intercourse from their husbands. I believe it is in his series on Esther? Or his “Real Marriage” book? But maybe he has said it from platforms too. I am not able to give you further citations or details, but perhaps others on this thread are.

    I’ve read so many reports of him endorsing sodomy in marriage that I have never doubted he does so. The reports I have read have been from folk I know who I respect and trust for their accuracy in fact-giving. Frankly, I have never been moved to read Driscol’s marriage book or his Esther sermons myself. Aargh! I have too much other stuff to deal with already! All the abuser droppings (verbal faeces) we get on A Cry For Justice, plus the horrendous stories that victims tell us. . .

    Like

  76. Oasis,

    Yes, you can save it. I hope Guest had a chance to read what you said, because you reached out to her, from that place inside, that many have never had to travail through. That said, I respect your decision to have your comment deleted. Peace to you! xo

    Like

  77. “All questions that I asked for a very long time. I don’t any longer. Recently, I think I found the answer. God has purpose for our lives even through the muck. For myself, I feel that what I went through prepared me to help others. My prayer is that at some point my knowledge will help prevent this from happening to another person and not needing to pick up the pieces afterwards.” (((((HUGS)))))

    Brenda R

    That is wonderful. You obviously have a beautiful heart for people. I loved reading how you cared for the lady who has dementia. Life is so odd. I could have written what you did fifteen years ago. I hope to get back on track.
    Thanks Barb & Brenda for the ((((hugs))))

    Like

  78. I’ve just did a quick google search for Mark Driscoll anal sex. First item that came up on the google listing was from the Mars Hill website and it was a Q and A about anal sex.
    I just looked again for it and it’s gone (404 error message! Wow! that was quick!)
    Here is what the google seach page looks like:

    About 9,560 results (0.32 seconds)
    Search Results
    Question #21: Can I perform anal sex on my wife? | Mars Hill …
    marshill.com/2008/11/…/question-21-can-i-perform-anal-sex-on-my-wif…
    Nov 30, 2008 – This set of posts comes from Pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife Grace. … Thus, anal sex is technically permissible, but for a host of reasons may …

    The second item in google’s list was Denny Burke’s review of the Driscoll’s book “Real Marriage”.
    http://www.dennyburk.com/my-review-of-mark-driscolls-real-marriage/
    Here is a quote from that review:

    “The bulk of the chapter [Chapter 10 of “Real Marriage”] gives an ethical assessment of a variety of sexual activities. The Driscolls invoke 1 Corinthians 6:12 as the basis for the evaluation, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” . . . Among the activities that the authors deem permissible within this taxonomy are masturbation, felatio/cunnilingus, sodomy (on both spouses), menstrual sex, role-playing, sex toys, birth control, cosmetic surgery, cybersex, and sexual medication. The Driscolls are careful to stipulate that these are activities spouses may participate in by mutual agreement, but not that they must participate in (p. 180). No spouse should be manipulated into doing anything that violates his or her conscience (p. 178). The only item in the list deemed impermissible in every circumstance is sexual assault.”

    So, assuming Denny Burke is accurately conveying what the Driscolls wrote, Mark Driscoll endorses both females and males being passive recipients of sodomy. Words fail me!

    And Mark Driscoll has demonstrated repeatedly that he will not respect anyone’s “No” if he don’t want to — so whatever “Real Marriage” says about the importance of non-coercion, it is likely to be just hot air in Mark Driscoll’s own case. Mark Driscoll has not respected the “No’s” of all the former leaders and congregants from Mars Hill who tried over the years to tell him to stop being such a bully and power-monger. . . .

    Like

  79. No spouse should be manipulated into doing anything that violates his or her conscience

    It is scary that I have heard that statement made in sermon at my church. I don’t believe that my pastor is any way in the abuser category as MD, but it does bring up the thought. Two pastors saying the same sentence, but meaning it in entirely different ways. My pastor does speak out against most of the things on the list that Driscoll says are ok. So that makes me feel that he would not say it is ok in anyway to physically abuse another, which is what anal sex is. There are so many physical problems that can be caused by that act.

    Barb, I have no desire to read his marriage book. I have far better things to do with my time.

    Like

  80. “Yes, you can save it.”

    Thanks, Gail! You seemed to speak from my own heart in your poem… So glad you shared it here.

    “Why did my innocence get soiled within?
    Why did I absorb my abusers sin?”

    These questions, I read in a very different way… They describe how I feel, and are things I try to understand about trauma and how our brains work. Asking whys of God is not something I ever do, because to me that implies he is responsible, in either causing or allowing the abuse, which I do not believe…

    Peace to you, also, as you unpack the stuff that happened 50 years ago!

    Guest, if you are reading here, we care about you. You or anyone else can e-mail me anytime. Julie Anne has my address.

    Like

  81. Oasis,

    I wrote that poem 15 years ago when I was entrenched in a church that taught God was sovereign. I had a spat with my pastor after he screeched from the pulpit that those who have been sexually abused, might try thanking God for their abuse. He stated, it could be the key to our healing. In closing, he spit across the pulpit, and said, but, some of you, will refuse to do this, so, in essence, you are spitting on the authority of the scriptures.

    It is another long story. However, I refused to thank God for being molested. I was open to how God might use me to sit in sorrow & solidarity with another who has been wounded. But no way in Hell was I going to say Thank You Jesus.

    I spent 20 some years trying to use that insane doctrine, backed up by the b-i-b-l-e
    to cure my wounds. It didn’t work. Now that my blinders are coming off and I am learning how abusive this Calvinist driven theology is I am struggling something fierce to recover.

    Like

  82. Gail, words escape me! 😦 I do remember now that you mentioned here some months ago, what he said to you. How disgusting and HORRIBLE.

    Why thank Jesus for sin/evil, which does not come from him, and which he is opposed to and commands against, over and over? And which he grieves over? Really? How much sense does that make? I believe God is very offended when people attribute sin/evil to him, in any way, and teach/promote this blasphemous picture of him to others.

    Character assassination, painting Jesus as the man behind the curtain, the psychopath god, who designs every second of child torture and calls it good. Follow the white rabbit and you end up in a religious Wonderland nightmare.

    Anyway, struggling to recover, from the abusive doctrine? We are in the same boat, if that is what you mean… Nothing in my whole life has ever hurt me as much as this doctrine, which was a sledgehammer to my mind and heart, because it attempted to shatter my view of God and turn the only one I can trust into the one who betrayed me the most. So, you have someone to scream and/or cry with, if you need her.

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  83. Gail, I think sovereignty was not explained correctly. God is sovereign, but that shouldn’t be a bad thing. He is the supreme ruler. No one else is above Him. It doesn’t mean that he preplans the bad things that happens to us. We all have free will and unfortunately wicked people use that free will against others. And no, I never said thank you for being molested either. I have thanked Him for getting me through it I look at it as though I am a little girl and he is the dad I always wanted. He doesn’t want bad things to happen to me or any of us, but He will be there to pick us up when we call on Him.

    Like

  84. Hey Oasis,

    It is a religious nightmare! Yes, the abusive doctrine for sure is part of my struggle, maybe more, than I even realize, at this point. I have sunk into a funk, not to make light of what really is going on, but I am having a hard time with depression, which has been an on again and off occurrence in my 60 years of living. Have some big decisions to make in the following weeks. I need to rant a bit, if this is too much info,
    take it with a grain of salt, I am feeling more angry today about all that religious crap and want to vent. John MacArthur, Mr. “Grace to You” mentored my X Pastor, so that might give you an idea of what I learned in Church. UGH. Maybe I won’t vent on second thought…

    But I whole heartily agree with you on this:

    “Nothing in my whole life has ever hurt me as much as this doctrine, which was a sledgehammer to my mind and heart, because it attempted to shatter my view of God and turn the only one I can trust into the one who betrayed me the most.”

    I agree, along with shattering my view of God, it put me into a constant, hyper state of fear, always looking at my depravity, wondering when the next shoe would drop, when God would give me something to really cry about, as part of refining me into His image, and the freaking false guilt, trying so hard to measure up, jumping through so many hoops, it was toxic and exhausting. The feelings of being terrified of God, rather than knowing Him as a comforter, were the daily diet I was fed for fourteen years. I know I am rambling, I know I am not alone, so many have been crushed by these men of gawd. I wonder how smug they will be when they stand before Jesus and He shows them how many they led into unbelief or despair.

    Like

  85. Oasis,

    I would love to scream & cry with you. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, OK that was my warped sense of humor, but look out, when I come out of whatever this fog I am in, I am going to raise some heck.

    Like

  86. Brenda R,

    “Gail, I think sovereignty was not explained correctly.”

    I hear your heart however, I think the church explained perfectly what their pet doctrine was. I just didn’t understand what reformed doctrine was. I naively trusted my pastor. However, I recall how my gut was screaming at me, when us wimmen wanted to start a MOPS (Mothers of preschoolers ministry) it caused such a ruckus with the pastor, the elders had to pray about it. You know why, I imagine you do, it was because women would be teaching in the church, albeit to other women, and they weren’t sure if that was biblical.

    Like

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