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Mark Driscoll and the Mars Hill Megachurch complex

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  • Mark Driscoll and the Mars Hill Megachurch complex

    I'm posting this in GT rather than Apologetics because I'm not looking for a flamefest. Thoughtful criticism of Mars Hill is welcome in this thread, but smearing Christians in general with Driscoll's excesses is not.

    It takes a lot to get your church business onto the front page of the New York Times, but Mars Hill has managed it.

    Facing Ire, Mark Driscoll Says He Will Take a Leave
    Mark Driscoll, the conservative evangelical leader, said Sunday that he would take a leave from running his megachurch in response to a parade of complaints that he has been a bully and abusive to staff members.

    I don't follow church gossip in general, so I hadn't been following this dustup in particular until it hit my go-to news source last week. I was busy, so I didn't get a chance to follow-up until this morning, and when I did ...

    "Parade" is an understatement. This looks like a case study in how badly a church can go wrong without the usual complaint of a pastor who couldn't keep it in his pants. It's being written up in the pages of everything from Christianity Today to the Religion News Service. There's charges of plagiarism, bullying, financial shenanigans in general, million-dollar salaries in particular, intimidation, and the beat goes on. His church planting ministry, Acts 29, has shaken the dust off their feet on him.

    One Patheos blogger in particular, Warren Throckmorton, has turned his blog into an all Mars Hill / all the time updater.

  • #2
    I honestly am not familiar with Mark Driscoll and his megachurch. I'm wondering if he's related to Phil Driscoll - the guy who played the trumpet on the Tammy Faye show.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    • #3
      He's HUGE ... <— practicing my Texan ... with something like 15,000 members scattered across his church campuses, a couple hundred thousand viewers on his YouTube channnel, and half a million twitter followers.

      So of course, I didn't know anything about him either.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
        He's HUGE ... <— practicing my Texan ... with something like 15,000 members scattered across his church campuses, a couple hundred thousand viewers on his YouTube channnel, and half a million twitter followers.

        So of course, I didn't know anything about him either.
        Yeah, reading up on this. I like his complaint about being a pastor in the information age (maybe he said media age) --- in other words, it's a lot harder to get away with stuff because it's a lot harder to control information.

        Source: the article

        “This is one of the paradoxes of being a pastor in the media age: The same media channels that can be used to carry a sermon to virtually anyone around the globe can also be used by anyone around the globe to criticize, attack or slander,” he said. “However, another part of it is simply my fault, and I will own it, confess it, and move on from it as God continues to redeem me.”

        © Copyright Original Source



        In other words, it's much easier for people to fact check.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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        • #5
          Notice Mars Hill is based out of the Seattle metro area. Bill Gates country. Bellevue, across the bridge, is where all of my Microsoft buddies live. Apparently, he did his hugification by way of the same media resources that are now burning him down.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
            Notice Mars Hill is based out of the Seattle metro area. Bill Gates country. Bellevue, across the bridge, is where all of my Microsoft buddies live. Apparently, he did his hugification by way of the same media resources that are now burning him down.
            I'm trying not to be cynical, but it seems to me this is more of a "I'm sorry I got caught, and there's no way to defend what I did, so I'll own it, then come back and do whatever I want".
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
              I'm trying not to be cynical, but it seems to me this is more of a "I'm sorry I got caught, and there's no way to defend what I did, so I'll own it, then come back and do whatever I want".
              This one's so far over the top, cynical's not even on my radar yet. It's just jaw-dropping. Non-disclosure, non-compete agreements? Is this thing even a church?

              I know Christians get all hot and bothered when somebody suggests they're not a Christian, so I won't go there. I think I'll just an acknowledge Driscoll as True™ Christian®, and let it go at that.*

              *Not packaged for resale, warranties void where prohibited by law.

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              • #8
                Non-competitive agreements seem completely indefensible in a church context. Their purpose is to protect an edge in the labor market in capitalism, and the implication is that one's church is actively competing against other churches for members, or worse, money.
                "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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                • #9
                  Throckmorton has posted an August 22 letter to the Full Council of Elders at Mars Hill Church (PDF) The letter cites one Dr. Paul Tripp, a "pastor to pastors," apparently, and a former member of the Mars Hill Board of Advisors and Accountability:
                  This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.

                  I should point out that this is what their friends are saying about them.

                  Yeah, wow.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                    Throckmorton has posted an August 22 letter to the Full Council of Elders at Mars Hill Church (PDF) The letter cites one Dr. Paul Tripp, a "pastor to pastors," apparently, and a former member of the Mars Hill Board of Advisors and Accountability:
                    This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.

                    I should point out that this is what their friends are saying about them.

                    Yeah, wow.
                    Yeah, wow.
                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                    • #11
                      Check out Driscoll's fence.

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                      • #12
                        And if the fence fails....there's always the German Shepard guard dog...really?
                        "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                        "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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                        • #13
                          Now there's a guy who REALLY doesn't want to be bothered by JWs.

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                          • #14
                            I wonder if he's an ex-Mormon
                            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                              This one's so far over the top, cynical's not even on my radar yet. It's just jaw-dropping. Non-disclosure, non-compete agreements? Is this thing even a church?

                              I know Christians get all hot and bothered when somebody suggests they're not a Christian, so I won't go there. I think I'll just an acknowledge Driscoll as True™ Christian®, and let it go at that.*

                              *Not packaged for resale, warranties void where prohibited by law.
                              You can always saying that one is behaving in a non-Christian manner or not consistent with Christian teachings

                              I'm always still in trouble again

                              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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