Leaving the Church, Mark Driscoll, Spiritual Abuse, Spiritual Bullies

Is anyone celebrating the demise of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill churches? Is it really over? Should current Mars Hill pastors be leading new churches?


Mars Hill Churches dissolving, becoming independent churches.  Are people really celebrating? Should current Mars Hill pastors assume the role of pastors in the new independent churches?



Yesterday, Mars Hill Pastor Dave Bruskas announced that the Mars Hill board decided that Marks Hill churches were dissolving:


Today, I am excited to share with you important decisions recently made about the future of the congregations of Mars Hill Church that we believe will work to accomplish these goals.mars hill

Following much prayer and lengthy discussion with Mars Hill’s leadership, the board of Mars Hill has concluded that rather than remaining a centralized multi-site church with video-led teaching distributed to multiple locations, the best future for each of our existing local churches is for them to become autonomous self-governed entities. This means that each of our locations has an opportunity to become a new church, rooted in the best of what Mars Hill has been in the past, and independently led and run by its own local elder teams.

We recognize this reorganization plan is a significant and complex undertaking on many fronts; however, our goal is to have the process completed by January 1st, 2015.


Related articles:

Response Referees


In light of these new developments, there have been many comments on articles and on Twitter.  I’ve noticed that some seem to want to tell others how they should be responding:

Last night I saw this from J.D. Hall and responded to him:


JD Hall tweet Mark Driscoll demise


I do look at personal criticisms to see if there is any truth in them. I looked through my Twitter feed and found no salivating. I asked Jordan for some examples and he didn’t respond (and he’s tweeted since my note to him).  So, in this case, I have concluded that I need to make like a duck and let the criticism roll off my back.

mark driscoll, mars hill


A similar comment was found:

mark driscoll, mars hill


I’ve noticed when something very negative happens in the church, Response Referees come out advising us what we can and cannot say, how we can and cannot feel or express ourselves.  I have not seen one comment “salivating” about the demise of Mark Driscoll or the Mars Hill churches.

I have, however, seen rejoicing that the wolf who was freely roaming in a pen of thousands of beloved sheep and devouring some of them, no longer has the ability to do so.

People, is that not something worth rejoicing?  Don’t you think God is rejoicing when His people are freed?

The emotional and spiritual chaos has been going on at Mars Hill for nearly two decades. The pain and suffering have been horrible. Many have abandoned their faith. It has torn friends and family apart. This is no light matter. Shouldn’t we be glad that this corrupt leader can’t wreak havoc on spiritual lives anymore?

I don’t see anyone throwing celebratory parties. I see this as a scenario where there are mixed feelings: sadness and grieving for what was lost, happiness that this abuse no longer has to continue. People need the opportunity to freely express their thoughts and feelings about this. Will some people sin in doing so? Maybe. Is that our business? Probably not.

The most important thing that we can do right now is pray for those who have been harmed in the past by the leaders of Mars Hill. Pray for those who are forced to find a new church, some leaving precious friends behind. Pray for those who have abandoned their faith because of what they have gone through. Pray for those who have lost their jobs and will have to find new homes. Pray for those who are in a state of emotional and spiritual confusion.


And that brings me to another point to discuss:

What do you think about current Mars Hill pastors taking over independent churches?

Remember, these are the same men who said that Driscoll was fit for ministry.

You might want to read this article before responding:  Mars Hill Church leadership – giving members the finger to the very end.

From what you understand about the Mark Driscoll/Mars Hill and how Driscoll was handled by his church leaders, are they qualified to lead?  What is next for former Mars Hill members?

What would you advise them?







photo credit: ViaMoi via photopin cc

72 thoughts on “Is anyone celebrating the demise of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill churches? Is it really over? Should current Mars Hill pastors be leading new churches?”

  1. The dissolution is excellent, as long as the leaders of the local churches have learned what was wrong and what was right about Mars Hill. The fact is, there may not have been very much right, but that will be for them to sort out. If those local churches are fortunate enough to be led by wise, godly leaders, then they will do well. If not, then we would not be surprised to see some mini-Marks arise just as Alexander’s generals did when he died. Let’s see if there is an squabbling over “divvying up the kingdom” now. All that said, yes, the dissolution is a good thing worth celebrating. I will go further. Mark Driscoll’s downfall was a good thing and I will not yield to the “should-ers” who always come along telling us how sympathetic we should be to the fallen. Talk to me about that if there is ever any evidence of genuine repentance. And to anyone who is now insisting that there has indeed been true repentance in this case, I say “go and learn what real repentance is.” Finally we should be glad that a mega-tentacled “church” that actually disseminated teaching from its Pacific NW Vatican has come tumblin’ down.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Talk to me about that if there is ever any evidence of genuine repentance.

    It’s interesting that people are so willing to forgive and forget after nearly 2 decades of being a bully without looking for proof of repentance. That’s pretty dangerous.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jeff,

    In my view, this is tragic, none of it is good even though it should’ve happened a long time ago. Non-believers are laughing at the Christian Community.

    The impact of 12,000 followers that embrace Driscoll’s brand of Reformed Theology in my mind, must have created a spirit of confusion, of what to do next.

    Though Driscoll is not someone I care to listen to, any preacher that falls from a place they shouldn’t have been in the first place, shouldn’t be a celebrating “got-cha” moment for any of us.


  4. I see right through the faux holiness junk of claiming we should only be remorseful and not celebratory. Firstly, as you point out, it is an argument based on a strawman. Nobody is dancing on someone’s grave simply because they are happy that an evil tenure is over.

    “Look at me and how holy and remorseful I am” is no more pleasing to God than jewish people crying at the western gate as a show of piety. It most often phony.

    In this case, it is a logical fallacy constructed for the purpose of deflecting justifiable criticism, as has been the case with the whole debacle with Driscoll. Hero worshipers never really want to address the big issue which is that they were duped by a loser with hair gel and hipster clothing who was really just a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    The common themes are almost always:

    1. Don’t be happy. Be remorseful and therefore holy like me. Being happy acknowledges that there was something wrong with the whole ministry we fell for.
    2. Don’t continue to criticize because Jesus needs us to keep quiet and put a happy face on, because neither He nor the gospel are big enough to defend themselves without us covering up our garbage.

    This really isn’t a Driscoll problem these days. I view it as a Neo-Calvinism hero worship problem. I was personally impacted by the fall of R.W. Glenn, and Todd Wilhelm’s blog, thouarttheman.org, is still pounded daily with followers of that ministry shaming him for “dancing on a man’s grave” and making atheists want to stay atheists. It is all garbage to deflect from the real issues with this movement, which in my opinion is..

    Fundamentalist Christians ran away from the errors of their former type of fundamentalism and straight into another ditch called neo-calvinism. I believe it is a pride issue of simply refusing to acknowledge that the sheeple who have funded Piper, Driscoll, Chandler, Platt, Deyoung, Challies, etc etc have been worshipping rock star preachers instead of God. Once these people can acknowledge their sin then they can move on towards a healthier Christian life.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I fully agree with Larry. Keep in mind and do not forget Piper is just an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist with a few “points” of Calvinism thrown in. I am so tired of celebrity preachers who make themselves mini-popes. And if evil is overthrown, of course we should be happy. What we should grieve is that Driscoll & others did what they did.


  6. I grieve for the bodies under the bus. I grieve for current members who will now have to deal with the adjustment. I do not grieve for Driscoll or the dissolution of his empire.

    And JD Hall? The bully who likes to engage minors on Twitter? Who cares what he thinks? He lost all credibility.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I am very saddened at what Mr. Driscoll has done and at what he is going through now. I am also very pleased that things might be changing at MH churches. Being both saddened and pleased is not contradictory, but complimentary. And in no way can it be seen as celebratory.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I find it shocking that these guys think “rejoicing” over this being set straight is something to criticize in light of who Driscoll clearly is and the shame he has brought on the Lord with his perversities, how long he has been tolerated, and how many big names in the Christian community insisted on defending the indefensible.

    The real thing to grieve was Driscoll’s rise to prominence in the first place.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. it is wonderful and I am thrilled and delighted! I think we should always be glad when evil is outed. that is how it is supposed to work.

    to say that it is a sin to be glad that an institution built on lies and evil is dissolving is to not understand God’s Kingdom at all. I do not think God destroyed it I think they destroyed themselves and the money started drying up very quickly. I am too aware of other institutions built on lies and greed that are plodding right along. I will also rejoice and their demise. and pray that the people caught up in these cults will meet the real Jesus Christ.

    this one fell because people simply stopped giving them their money. Praise God!!! stop feeding the beast!!!

    let us pray fervently for all of those caught up in that system who are now trying to figure out what they believe and why it was wrong. and remember there are hundreds and hundreds of Mark Driscoll clones out there in Acts 29. the fallout is far from over and will take years and years.


  10. pray that the people caught up in these cults will meet the real Jesus Christ.

    Shouldn’t that be the point? The side show and abuse have been stifled. It will be interesting to see how many will stay without the hip sexually perverted pastor on the stage. I certainly hope that many will realize the wrong path they have been lead down and seek Christ in all this. No man can effectively shepherd a flock of thousands. They wouldn’t even know that many of them if seen on the street. I don’t know about the rest of the leadership. I hope there aren’t many that will carry on where MD left off.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What is going on behind the scenes about money and debt. Are here any objective people who are monitoring the payment of debt or distributions of profits? I hate for the contributions to be pocked by the “professional Christians” who feel they are owed something.


  12. “What is going on behind the scenes about money and debt.”

    Ann, I think this is the real reason Driscoll got out so quick. To make sure he got his high severance payout before it totally dries up and everyone they owe is standing in line. I think he is a charlatan to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Larry, Can you, or someone else, please tell me more about Tim Challies? I have often read his book and movie reviews, and found them very helpful. However, I was very disappointed recently over some of his reading and ministry recommendations for women.

    I am perhaps being too cynical, but I see this new move of offering independence just a political move for Mars Hill leaders to distance themselves from those churches who have already been built and lead on Driscoll’s foundational teachings. It’s cruel, in a way; like Frankenstein running away from his own terrible monster.


  14. As far as Jordan Hall is concerned – he and I have had conversations via phone and e-mail. I think most people here know my issues with him regarding the Caner situation, but we do have some common ground, so when he suggested that I was “salivating,” I really did want to check my tweets and my heart. My heart is fine. I think it’s fine to express a positive response when people are set free. I mean think about other situations where we would rejoice: the 3 young ladies held captive for 10 years in Ohio, Elizabeth Smart, those who leave cults like Been There Done That – – freedom is a joyous thing. There is already so much sadness, anger, confusion and unsettled feelings along the way – to have this glimmer of something positive is good. But it’s only for a moment because there is now recovery work to be done as most of us know.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I am celebrating. I am celebrating the end of spiritual abuse, the removal from the pulpit of a false teacher, and the dissolution of his empire. No, it is not over; there is much to do and the attendees (there are only three legal church members) have much to process. And there may be some would-be Marks who perceive a vacuum and make a grab for power. No, no one who went along with the bullying, the shunning, the demon trials, the devaluing of women, the obsession with sex, the book sale shenanigans and the diversion of money meant for foreign missions is fit for ministry.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. My own opinion – let all the MH churches fade away, let those church pastors retire for a season (or two) to process and meditate on what has transpired and let the MH parishioners find new, healthier church homes.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. When Babylon falls, there will be great rejoicing in heaven. Same with MH which is part of a Babylonian system/spirit. As to the current MH pastors teaching elsewhere… It’s like this … If you are caught here abusing and creating mess, move elsewhere and continue the same. Sound familiar?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Of course its not over. As I said in a comment on PPT, just because Mars Hill empties out doesn’t mean anything…other than that some poor local Arminian church just got took over by an influx of Calvinists. Calvinists are like refugees from the 3rd world who come to the USA and vote to turn it into the cesspool that they came from. So Calvinists flee Mars Hill over abuse, and go turn the Freewill Baptist church down the road into a Reformed Baptist church that will end up in the same kind of abuse.


  19. Tim Challies is essentially a neo-cal blogger/writer/pastor/conference headliner. (I am suspicious of anyone being able to doing all of these tasks well without doing half a job at some of the others, but that’s another matter all together.)

    He is fairly mundane in my opinion, sticking mostly to, as you say book reviews and some writing. I’ve never found his blog posts to be particularly offensive or enlightening as they often seem to focus on reactionary type “relevant” stuff. For instance, when the girl gets in the news about wanting to die since she has a terminal illness, he feels like he must write an article about this pop culture topic of the day and why reformed Biblical Christians have the answers to this and all of life’s problems.

    So really, in some ways he is a little bit like the rest of the trend, except he is not much on the end of being a dynamic speaker. (I won’t fault him for that.)

    I do fault him for two things though.

    1. He tows the party line and doesn’t say anything that will rock the boat with his buddies or his sponsors that help pay the bills and give away free stuff. When Mark Driscoll was popular, he towed that line and cautiously appreciated him. When people turned on him, he, like the others, turned his back and ignored his other endorsements.. He writes a book with RW Glenn on modesty, but doesn’t say the first word about Glenn’s lack of modesty when he, oh, had an affair with a church member. In essence, everything he writes amounts to be PR for the Gospel Coalition crowd. If it reflects poorly, he conveniently dodges it.

    2. He doesn’t accept or address criticism very well, in my opinion, even with polite dissenters on his blog. Therefore, he has one of his idiot moderators say a few rude things and then ban you. (Sounds kinda like his buddies at TGC.) I wrote just a couple of very small polite, and non argumentative comments about how he seemed to be gushing too much (hero worshiping) over one of his idols in an article and then instantly received the axe, cause you can’t criticize the boss man. Its bad for business.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. “Today, I am excited to share with you important decisions recently made about the future of the congregations of Mars Hill Church that we believe will work to accomplish these goals.”


    They had no input from the people who paid the bills and were told to assume the position. I still have not heard one real apology from the senior management of this franchise. I think it is good they are dissolving this division of the business but it is not because of prayer or other such nonsense it is the same tool that was used by driscoll from back in 2007. Pragmatism. They trashed thousands of people’s lives to some degree and there is not one iota of concern. The fact that they are still paying driscoll is obscene. I bet the first part of any revenue goes for salaries of the top folks, that to is obscene. Shame on them.


  21. Mark Driscoll’s resignation was not only necessary but long overdue. However, I do not celebrate his downfall. I sincerely hope he submits to a restoration process which leads to repentance, making amends to those he’s hurt, and preparation for the next chapter in his life, whatever that may be.

    As for Mars Hill’s dissolution, it’s for the best. The Mars Hill model as practiced was clearly unhealthy, and unhealthy structures need to be demolished. Let’s not forget, though, that the dissolution will have some significant consequences for a lot of innocent bystanders. Consider the employees who will lose their jobs and paychecks even if they had nothing to do with the failures of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill’s leadership. Is that something worth celebrating? I think not.

    Regarding Julie Anne’s question concerning new churches with current Mars Hill pastors, I’d rather not see those who enabled Mark Driscoll’s abuses pastor those or any churches unless they go through a restoration process as well. Ultimately, it will be up to the individual churches to decide. If the leadership of those churches refuse to allow members to have a say in future operations, I hope those members vote with their feet and their wallets.


  22. Regarding Tim Challies, he wrote a post a year and a half ago in which he told us how to think “biblically” about C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries. To say it fell flat would be a significant understatement. I have other points of disagreement with Challies as well, and he and his site moderators are known for deleting dissenting viewpoints from the comments section of his blog. While Challies writes the occasional thoughtful piece, for the most part I have little use for his blog.


  23. I would like to reiterate what singleman said if the higher ups cared about the regular laity or average MH employee they would have taken a cut, or no salary and paid them. They would have stood up to MD when this all first started with the changing of the bylaws. But they all just stayed on the bus as it ran over people on the way up mocho mountain. I may be wrong but I have not heard one of the senior leaders reach out to the shunned elders who were physically threatened and intimidated. Now they are dumping all the assets and I bet dollars to donuts most of the money will be going to senior level leaders salaries and some type of golden parachute. I could be wrong but that seems to be a pattern.

    The article about the laity that supported this and stayed are getting the finger. Personally they should band together and seek redress in the courts, freeze the assets and hit the higher ups including MD right where it will hurt the most, in the wallet. Then the persecucion band will strike up I got money that MD will be back in less that six months, maybe even three.


  24. Guys Kevin Potts at Repeal the Bylaws launched another effort to get Paul Petry and Bent Meyer exonerated. This is what he wrote, and he included Dave Bruska’s email address. Maybe we can all send an email separately and labor n the behalf of Paul Petry and Bent Meyer and their families and stop the shunning.

    (Kevin Potts)

    I’ve just sent this email to Dave Bruskas in light of the announcement that the Mars Hill entity will be closing down by the end of the year. I encourage each of you to send him a message to daveb@marshill.com You’re welcome to use this text, identical to what I’ve sent him, if you want. Please, do not let them slide away from this!

    Dave, I just read your announcement on Mars Hill’s website regarding the future of the Mars Hill entity. I implore you, before our Savior Jesus Christ, and in His name and by His Spirit, PLEASE do not close down the organization prior to making a public statement rescinding the shunning of the Petry family and publicly acknowledging and apologizing for the wrongful, sinful firing of Paul Petry and Bent Meyer. This is your duty as a pastor, this is your duty as a human being, you have the power to rectify this last remnant of Mark Driscoll’s sins in these matters. You are the sole remaining individual identified with the previous body called “Executive Elders”.

    Please do the right thing, Dave.


  25. I’m deeply glad, even joyful, at the dethroning of a despot. I’m sad for the people he’s hurt directly and indirectly, whether through malignant, unbiblical teaching or through spiritual hit men. My empathy and sympathy are reserved for the victims. Only in modern western evangelicalism do we grieve over evil wolves while offering not much more than a pat on the head of the bleeding sheep while we encourage them to stop bleating.

    It’s similar to how I feel about looking forward to my divorce moving forward: giddy at the thought of eventually being free from an abusive non-marriage; sad that reality wasn’t what I thought, expected, worked for, or dreamed of.


  26. Seems to me that accusing you and others of “celebrating” as though that is a bad thing, is simply an attempt to make you the problem rather than dealing with the real problem. Typical abusive behavior.


  27. Hi Julie Anne

    You ask in the Title of this post…
    “Should current Mars Hill pastors
    assume the role of pastors in the new independent churches?

    Was wondering… In the Bible… Did any of His Disciples…
    “assume the role of pastors in the new independent churches?”

    If NOT one of His Disciples assumed the role, or the “Title,” of pastor…
    Why do WE, His Sheep, His Ekklesia, His Church, His Called Out Ones…
    “Assume” that the role of today’s pastor actually exists for us today?
    If it is NOT in the Bible?

    If someone “Assumes” the role of pastor? In Mars Hill, or anywhere…

    Are they one of His Disciples?

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Julie Anne

    You ask in the comments…
    “What about new churches with current Mars Hill pastors?
    Does anyone have any thoughts on that? I sure do – lol.

    Yeah – Current Mars Hills pastors preaching weak after weak…
    That should work out real well for the pew sitters.


  29. singleman, Just curious…what is a “restoration process”. What would that look like for someone like Driscoll?


  30. Larry, you got it right about Challies. I used to read over there about 8 years ago quite a bit. He was just a YRR blogger in the early days but was invited to “blog” their conferences and from there became a rising star. He tows the party line with some odd posts.

    His star rose fast and eventually became a source of income for him. I find him rather odd. He moderated quite a bit if one dared question one of the Neo Cal stars.. One of my first interactions with the “God is glorified by throwing babies into hell” type of Calvinist was on his blog. I had no idea such thinking still existed in this day and time even in Calvinist circles. He had quite a few commenters there who thought like that. They were never challenged by Challies.


  31. @Lydia:

    singleman, Just curious…what is a “restoration process”. What would that look like for someone like Driscoll?



  32. @A.AmosLove:

    Yeah – Current Mars Hills pastors preaching weak after weak…
    That should work out real well for the pew sitters.

    A dozen little Pastor/Dictators instead of one Big Brother beamed in on all the Telescreens. A dozen little Markys on their own little Iron Thrones instead of The One in Seattle, each building their own little Mark’s Hill. After all, who handpicked and trained them?


  33. @Brian:

    if the higher ups cared about the regular laity or average MH employee they would have taken a cut, or no salary and paid them. They would have stood up to MD when this all first started with the changing of the bylaws. But they all just stayed on the bus as it ran over people on the way up mocho mountain.

    Because they were personally benefiting from it. Big Brother’s Court Favorites. How do they know they’re Court Favorites? Because they threw the last batch of Court Favorites under the bus on Marky’s say-so! Marky even let them do the punch in the nose before throwing them under! ME MAN! RAWR!!!!!!


  34. @Brian:

    They had no input from the people who paid the bills and were told to assume the position. I still have not heard one real apology from the senior management of this franchise.

    Because The Party Can Do No Wrong, Comrade.
    Ees Party Line, Comrade.
    Back in your pew and Enthusiastically and Joyfully exceed your Tithing Quotas.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. HUG

    “A dozen little Pastor/Dictators instead of one Big Brother…”

    And these phony, fake, faux, pastors, still at Mars Hill, today
    Are the so-called, wanna-be pastors, Marky still liked. Well, tolerated. 😉

    If these guys had any integrity…
    These sham, man-made, pastors/elder/overseers
    would remove themselves, and go do something else…

    And, finally, be an example to the flock on what to do…
    When you do NOT Qualify to be an elder/overseer.


  36. Amos, like Jethro Bodine I am a double naught spy.

    seriously I am on a different phone and this is how it comes up. I have ceased to try to figure out WordPress or Google or any of it. is this social media big brother decides that I am Lydia double zero then what can I do?


  37. And Lydia, I’ve decided I’ll just leave it. It’s too time consuming to go through each comment. At least WP seems to be consistent for the moment. Lol. Maybe one day in one of my computer classes I’ll figure this stuff out.


  38. lydia00

    Well, maybe WordPress is giving you your just due…

    You became a spy – And now report the lie…
    In the mega’s you once worked for


  39. I have said this also about SGM and Mahaney. I would hope that people’s attitude would be like Samuel who after coming to Saul and telling Saul how God had rejected him as king then also mourned for Saul. God came to him a little while later and even asked Samuel how long he was going to mourning over Saul but to go and annoint David as the knew king of Israel.

    We should mourn for the waste had the leadership of Mars Hill (especially Driscoll) followed what Paul wrote about in Phillipians 2. We should mourn for the reproach Driscoll and other leaders have brought on the body of Christ. Paul warned that many will follow their (leaders) shameful ways and the way of Truth brought into disrepute as Driscoll and those that supported himdid.

    We should also mourn that if this church really started of God how far it moved from allowing God to build the house and doing what God wanted.

    When both Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggard were exposed one pastor’s comment was that God was routing things out of his kingdom that weren’t of him. It appears that something similar has happened here with Driscoll and Mars Hil Church.

    Other ministries like a college ministry Maranatha Ministries had apparently ventured so far from what God wanted that the only option was to close the ministry. Apparently something similar happened with Driscoll and Mars Hill.


  40. Lydia

    And yes – Lot’s Mark Driscoll clones out there in Acts 29.
    “let us pray fervently for all of those caught up in that system who are now trying to figure out what they believe and why it was wrong. and remember there are hundreds and hundreds of Mark Driscoll clones out there in Acts 29. the fallout is far from over and will take years and years.”

    And, there is NO Acts 29, in the Bible.

    And, Most of what the Acts 29, phony, fake, faux, pastors proclaim…

    Is NOT in the Bible either. 😉

    Is that “Irony?” Or, is that “Ironic?”

    Liked by 1 person

  41. JA, I would fix if I knew how. But I agree with you. Too much trouble. if I were only using one computer it might be different. but who knows the computer gremlins might designate me as just plain old Lydia next time.


  42. Steve, forgive me in advance but when anyone brings up the Saul/ David situation I always feel compelled to mention the fact that God was angry that the Jews begged for a king in the first place. He was their King. But He relented and gave them what they asked for to their own detriment. Including David, BTW. I fear we totally misunderstand the David situation. he is often tried it out to make excuses for bad behavior in church leaders.

    He is still King. King Jesus. we don’t need spiritual leaders, we have One.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Still, WHERE is the money? Does anyone know where the treasure chest is buried? Maybe Driscoll’s back yard, where his kids’ safety is traded in for the security of his “hard earned cash”! Maybe some of the bodies from under the bus are now buried in Driscoll’s yard to protect his booty!


  44. The Mars Hill leaders have learned nothing. They are announcing what is going to happen (independent churches) without it ever occurring to them that they should ask the attendees. If they don’t realize that they have a moral obligation to do so, you would think that they would realize that these heavily mortgaged churches cannot survive without donors and volunteers.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Ann, I would guess that the money went to high salaries and severance pay for the big shots and purchasing more and more new buildings with big mortgages. Any other church would pay off their own mortgage before planting a new church but not Mars Hill. Apparently this was Driscoll’s idea of ‘winning.’ As Driscoll said in 2007, “I am a guy who is highly competitive. Every year I want the church to grow. I want my knowledge to grow. I want our staff to grow. I want our church plants to grow. I want everything – because I want to win.”

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Brad’s new article is on this very topic. It is excellent (http://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/capstone-1/)

    The documented situations of spiritual abuse and organizational obfuscation make all current and former leaders suspect – including all who have served as an Executive Elder, on the Board of Advisors and Accountability, Board of Elders, or paid staff. We must assume they were/are all part of the leadership problem at Mars Hill until each can individually prove otherwise.

    And, until each individual leader documents and demonstrates otherwise and clears his/her reputation, everyone else should assume that he/she brings the exact same, corrupt “spiritual DNA” to the table for any future ministry developed from scratch or joined in through a merger.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Brad’s new article is on this very topic. It is excellent (http://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/capstone-1/)

    And, until each individual leader documents and demonstrates otherwise and clears his/her reputation, everyone else should assume that he/she brings the exact same, corrupt “spiritual DNA” to the table for any future ministry developed from scratch or joined in through a merger.

    Because the remaining “leaders” of Mark’s Hill are all Marky-Mark’s Mini-Mes.

    And in a dominance hierarchy where you either Hold the Whip or Feel the Whip, “gaining your Freedom” means “Now *I* Get To Hold The Whip!”

    Liked by 1 person

  48. @Marsha:

    Apparently this was Driscoll’s idea of ‘winning.’ As Driscoll said in 2007, “I am a guy who is highly competitive. Every year I want the church to grow. I want my knowledge to grow. I want our staff to grow. I want our church plants to grow. I want everything – because I want to win.”



  49. JD Hall needs to get his arrogant butt off social media once and for all. I never bought his repentance in the first place, it smacked of self-serving damage control, it did not sound anything like the dirt-eating of a man shocked that his actions might possibly have contributed to a boy’s suicide. Didn’t he say something in his “repentance” about turning his back on all this for reflection and the like in the wake of the tragic suicide?

    If he does really care about what he may have done to contribute to young Mr. Caner’s agony that led to his death and really did mean it when he said he was going to back away from social media to prove up his repentance, he sure has a funny way of proving it.

    What does the Bible say? A dog always returns to its vomit.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Me, I’m sad about the tragedy. I’m sad that apparently a lot of people on the elder board who should have known better let it slide for years instead of taking action. I’m sad that what should have been a big contributor to the Gospel in the area fell prey to a bunch of chicken manure stuff. Doesn’t make the Gospel look good. I’m also sad to see that Driscoll wasn’t willing to submit to a corrective action/rehabilitation plan. Sorry, Mark, ya need to do this. It’s part of repentance.

    I’m glad, though, that Driscoll at least realized that a church built around his personality needed a graceful out if he were to be eliminated somehow. That’s what the split is–it’s an “E stop” that the elders have likely been discussing for years. The reason that the people don’t get a vote is really because Mars Hill is not congregational in polity, but presbyterian. The elders are the trustees, vote, done.

    Are the elders eligible for further church office? Well, at least once they explain why they either did not know what was going on, or after they explain why they didn’t take action, and pledge to follow a “corrective action” plan so that it’s less likely to happen again, I guess. Peter wasn’t pushed out for good (see Galatians) after he refused to eat with Gentiles for a time, thankfully.


  51. In the Presbyterian model, the elders are elected by the congregation, the church members. At Mars Hill, the only legal members were the three executive elders, Driscoll and Turner, both of whom resigned, and Bruskas. The 13,000+ attendees were required to sign membership agreements but were not in fact legal members for the purpose of voting and decision making.

    Thousands of member gave millions of dollars and many volunteer hours and it comes down to this. Mars Hill is owned by one man.

    Liked by 2 people

  52. I thought the guy had this new understanding that he had supposedly come to that compelled him to step back from promoting his brand on places like twitter, blogs, etc. I thought that was part of his repentance package, or whatever you’d call it. It seems to have not lasted very long if he’s active on twitter accusing Julie Anne.


  53. Calvinist JD Hall, grown preacher MAN, Cyberbully/Cyberstalker, of (underage fifteen year old boy). JD Hall is sooooooooooo embarrassing, so are his feeble, following, little minions.

    Rest in peace Braxton. You were a cute little boy.


  54. You deserve the leaders you follow.

    That may be a little harsh. What about the children and their children’s children who may have been decieved?


  55. If I’d followed my dad, I’d have been sleeping around in my younger years, committing fraud as a businessman in the prime of my life, drinking fairly heavily and getting into bar fights well into middle age, leaving my mother without an inheritance in death, and rejecting Jesus, so far as anyone in the family could tell, throughout. But I sure wouldn’t have an excuse in the world before a holy God; I have to answer for myself.

    But that said, certainly an innocent child who’s been dragged along has a lot less culpability, of course, but still, when they are of age, “…since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” None of us has a single excuse for anything.


  56. All of what you say is true, and could say similar things about my father and stepfather or worse. It is true when you turn 18 in this country you have choices and may have to be rewired. Repentance and acceptance of Jesus is crucial. I do feel empathy for those who are deceived and none for the deceiver. It is true that when we stand before God, we will only account for what we have done, not what was done to us.


  57. Hope you get that tooth handled soon, Marsha!

    To the question of do we “deserve the leaders we follow”, while we do owe ourselves due diligence to watch for the signs that someone is not on the up&up, we also appear to be dealing with a certain portion of people who seem to be consummate actors and will lie to get what they want.

    So it would seem that at least a portion of the suffering of people at Mars Hill would appear to be “through no fault of their own”. Now we can improve how we suss out narcissists and such (thank you to the gentleman who posted those links, BTW), and we can work to avoid situations preferred by them, but it strikes me that we are nonetheless going to have to deal with a certain number of disappointments like this.

    Which would be, I’d think, why the Bible provides passages like Matthew 18:15-19 to help us deal with it in a manner that pleases Him.

    Which is a long way of saying; Truth Detector, I see your point, but I think you’re a bit too harsh on this.


  58. Truth Detector

    I kinda gotta agree with you @ NOVEMBER 4, 2014 @ 10:06 AM…
    “You deserve the leaders you follow.”

    And Brenda R and Marsha…
    I understand why that may sound “Harsh” at first.

    I did NOT like it when an Exxx-pastor, who I respected, said to me…
    “There are NO leaders in Christianity.”

    I did NOT believe that for a moment…
    After all, I was in leadership and reading all the books on leadership…
    There are lots of them… 😉

    But – I heard it. “There are NO leaders in Christianity.”
    “ALL are Brethren, ALL are Servants.”

    And, little by little, it took 4-5 years…
    With so many so-called “leaders” being abusive, disappointing…
    Demanding they were “God Ordained Authority” ‘Spiritual Authority”
    And, I must submit to them… Ouch!!!

    I started to question “The Corrupt Religious System”
    The 501 (c) 3, Non-Profit, Tax $ Deductible, Religious $ Corporation.
    I started to question “The Traditions of Men”
    And, I started to see Bible verses that changed my thinking about…
    Mere Fallible Humans as leaders…

    Jesus even instructed His Disciples NOT to call themselves “Leaders.”
    For you have “ONE” “Leader.” – {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}} Mat 23:10 NASB.

    And, Jesus refferred to Him Self as The “ONE” Shepherd. John 10:16

    It seems His Disciples ALL believed Jesus…
    Because, NOT one of His Disciples called them self “Shepherd or Leader.”
    ALL His Disciples called themselves “Servants.”

    Why follow Mere Fallible Humans as shepherd? Or leader???

    When you can Follow The “ONE” Shepherd? – The “ONE” Leader?

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}


  59. Well, it’s just kind of something we have to do in life: make judgments. No apologies there, if the fellow with the bloody axe shows up at the door asking about my daughter, I’m going to judge him a good bit, and if I don’t and let him run amuck, then that’s on me–my fault.

    In the same way, if the neocalvinist cult leader speaks of punching noses and brags of dead bodies crushed under his church’s “bus” and people continue to follow this man, then they get what they asked for and they have the leader they deserve.

    I am judging myself as well.

    When I led my family into an authoritarian neocalvinist cult some years ago, do I get a pass because there were various reasons behind it, any of which might provide an explanation for my profound stupidity? No, of course not. I deserved the leaders I chose. My kids? I covered that, of course they have less culpability, in fact no culpability because they didn’t make that choice. But when they grow up, if they want to play the “Daddy was once an elder in a neocalvinist cult that twisted the Bible and abused people, ergo I’m rejecting faith in Jesus”, then they don’t get a pass, either.

    None of us have any excuse, I can’t wring anything else out of Romans 1.


  60. TD: perhaps you walked past the bloody axe, but a lot of others are deceived–and should we have to hire a detective to find out the truth every time we enter a new church?

    No, God’s Word provides a posteriori remedies for when people are deceived. It’s OK.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. We are not to be judgemental but we are called to make a judgement call. If we were not there would be no prison overcrowding. Unfortunately when a Church leader falls, many of the babes are almost destroyed. Don’t set your leaders up on a pedestal, where only Christ belongs. Pray for your leaders and as they follow Christ then follow them. Many Christ-centered churches are led by man centered folks.
    All leadership is accountable at all times. Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. And to leaders don’t let your liberty become a cloak to be deceiving.
    Carl Martin, D. Min. Cand.


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