How Dan Kellogg Failed as a Pastor and also Gold Creek Community Church, Greater Seattle, and Mark Driscoll – Simultaneously

In light of Matt Chandler’s profound apology to Karen Hinkley I wanted to write a post about the epic fail that Dan Kellogg committed in prostituting his pulpit to Mark Driscoll. This explains how Dan Kellogg failed as a Pastor. How he failed Gold Creek Community Church (GCCC), Mark Driscoll and greater Seattle all at the same time. This is also an analysis of Dan Kellogg’s communications and blog post. This is coarse due to quoting Mark Driscoll. I dedicate this to Van Rue who I understand used to attend GCCC.

“Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent – the Lord detests them both

Proverbs 17:15 NIV

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Often misattributed to PT Barnum

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”   

Aung San Suu Kyi (Opposition Leader in Burma)

“This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry I’ve ever been involved with.”

Paul Tripp on Mars Hill Church

    I have been wanting to tackle the topic of Mark Driscoll returning to preaching for some time. The situation at The Village Church consumed my free time in writing. That said, in light of the amazing and bold apology that Matt Chandler did to Karen Hinkley and The Village Church’s repentance; I thought it would be a good time to contrast that with the epic fail by Dan Kellogg and Gold Creek Community Church and how he treated Mark Driscoll. There is a lot I have to say and Dan Kellogg when I am through you should hang your head in shame, repent and reach out to the people hurt by Mark Driscoll and repent in person. After all they are in your backyard. Be a man instead of a wus…if that is possible for you. I also want to state that in today’s journal entry I will be quoting from Mark Driscoll so this will be bold and difficult. After all a number of Mark Driscoll’s talks I would largely consider to be pornographic in nature. So I want to give you a heads up before proceeding further. So if you are offended by coarse language you have been warned. But with Mark Driscoll this goes along with the territory.

On May 17, 2015 something sick and detestable happened in Christendom. It was so shady, questionable, and dirty that it was something that could have taken place in a Nevada brothel. On May 17, the Senior Pastor of Gold Creek Community Church prostituted his pulpit and pimped it out for personal gain. It was a shady business transaction and both parties had come out ahead in the end. First of all Dan Kellogg helped Mark Driscoll further re-launch his preaching career and prostituted his pulpit in the process. So Mark Driscoll got what he wanted a further step in resuming his preaching. In exchange Dan Kellogg protected and enhanced his business franchise, I mean church and helped send off his competition and pick up a number of followers from Mars Hill who are still high on the Kool-Aid. For Dan Kellogg it means more money, more tithers, and oh did I say money? In the process Christianity in the United States was given another STD. Nope not a sexually transmitted disease, but something similar…a “Spiritually Transmitted Disease” in the name of Mark Driscoll. In this post I am going to be brutally blunt and I am not going to hold back about what transpired at Gold Creek Community Church and I am going to explain how Dan Kellogg failed as a Pastor and why he should not be a Pastor. Furthermore I am going to explain how Dan Kellogg failed Gold Creek Community Church, Mark Driscoll and greater Seattle. It was an epic fail, and in this arena Dan Kellogg batted a thousand. So with that said upfront let’s move ahead.

Dan Kellogg Introduces Mark Driscoll

Before Mark Driscoll preached Dan Kellogg said the following remarks. (Shout out to Julie Anne Smith who transcribed Kellogg’s opening remarks and is letting me use them!) My analysis is going to be in red below: Repurpose is really about repurposing your faith – our faith – and our church. When I started preparing for this series, there was a prompting in my spirit to consider inviting Mark Driscoll to come and to kick off this series. [Applause.] That’s cool.  Now, there’s no one better to speak on this subject and here’s why.  [Because] he’s in the middle of repurposing his life. If you know Mark, he’s in the middle of repurposing his life. Graciously, he’s agreed to speak today. Sorry Dan Kellogg my BS detector is already screaming as I read these comments. Mark Driscoll is the best person to speak on this topic? Nope, sorry that is nothing but crap. Mark Driscoll created his own problems. He was emotionally, verbally, and spiritually abusive. He is responsible for the destruction of Mars Hill Seattle. So I am not going to shed a tear for someone like Mark Driscoll. What I do grieve for is for people like Rob Smith, Paul Petry, Van Rue and the countless others who were hurt by Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Seattle. If Mark Driscoll wants to spiritually repurpose his life he can start by repenting of his emotional, spiritual, and verbal abuse. Dan Kellogg you are a Pastor and if you don’t know that then frankly you should not be a Pastor.   Before he comes out, though, I want to recognize three types of people that are sitting in the service here today. The first type of people … are people that just clapped that absolutely love Mark, many of them have found Christ in his ministry. And they’re here, they are thankful, they are excited about hearing from Mark again. Stop the BS Dan Kellogg, you are introducing a wolf to your congregation. You have failed as a shepherd. You are misleading the first type of people in the process. You should be looking out for them, not exposing them to evil. The people clapping trust your judgment so in return you are misleading them. You are failing miserably as a pastor to care and shepherd your flock especially if this is how you start out.   There are some who are here that have strong opinions against Mark. And you’re here. Thank you for being here. Many of you have made some of those opinions based on gossip – on somebody else’s … opinion of Mark. That’s not been fair to Mark. I believe he’s been unfairly treated by former staff people and by the media. And I want to support Mark and his family, especially during this time. [Chokes up.] Opinions based on gossip? What’s the weather like on your planet Dan? Or are you so invested in this business transaction that you have to choose to ignore the facts. Is the truth just inconvenient for you Dan Kellogg? First let’s describe what gossip is in case you have never learned what that means. According to gossip is described as “idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others.” Have you ever bothered to research the facts? Have you read the documents that the Petry’s have posted online? Have you bothered to reach out to Paul and Joan Petry and ask them first hand? Have you reached out to Rob Smith? Have you reached out to others who used to be at Mars Hill? I mean these people are right in you background in the Seattle area. You could call them up, shoot off an email and ask to grab some coffee and give them an hour to explain things. Did that happen Dan Kellogg? How can a guy who lives and works in the Washington, D.C. area become acquainted with the facts and read them from the parties involved and come to a different conclusion? Is it in-convenient for you Dan Kellogg? This just disappoints me Dan. You talk about being concerned for Mark Driscoll…what about Paul Petry, Bent Meyer, and all the Pastors who brought charges against Mark Driscoll? Why aren’t you concerned for them? Mark Driscoll has not been unfairly treated, its the other way around as Paul Petry, Bent Meyer, Rob Smith and so many others are the ones who have been wronged. They are the ones who were unfairly treated. Dan Kellogg, Evangelical Christianity is a very sick and diseased movement…and you are illustrating why it is diseased by these comments. One more question…the theatrics were brilliant especially choking up on stage. Have you ever thought of a career in Hollywood or Broadway? It was a good act. But here is a question I have for you Dan Kellogg….have you shed a tear for the Petry’s or the Meyers and countless other for what they endured? Some of you don’t know who Mark is. That’s a whole bunch of you – you go, “Who’s Mark? What are we talking about? What’s going on?” We’re glad you’re here. We just want you to have fun. So no matter what your opinion is today, I want you to be open to God’s Spirit today.  You don’t have to change your opinion. But you can hear from God today. We’re people of grace. If you don’t know this about us, Gold Creek is full of people of grace. We make room for anyone. We are not for everyone, but we’re for anyone, so I’m asking you to give Mark a warm welcome, a grace-filled welcome to the stage. Mark Driscoll, come up here. You do not go to church to have fun. You go to church to worship the Lord. Furthermore the Lord cares about injustice and you mock the Lord Dan Kellogg when you perpetuate that injustice and use your authority and pulpit to continue it. Have you read your Bible? What do verses like Jeremiah 22:3-5 say? “This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials and their people. But if you do not obey these commands, declares the Lord, I swear by myself that this palace will become a ruin.” You are not doing what is right instead you are promoting the oppressor and using your pulpit to do it, plus that is not why grace is designed. Grace does not exist to allow a woman to return to her domestic abuser and face more abuse. Grace does not exist for Mark Driscoll to continue unabated and start a new organization and repeat his abusive problems all over again. Honestly Dan if you were open to God’s spirit you wouldn’t have let Mark Driscoll preach. Its that simple. I have more to say on this below.

Dan Kellogg on his Blog

After Dan Kellogg prostituted his pulpit to Mark Driscoll he added insult to injury and helped poor old Mark Driscoll drive a bus over a few more bodies by what he said on his blog. My comments will be in red below. Again I will be blunt. I am sitting here before the morning events unfold thinking about Grace. Today we will have Mark Driscoll speak for us. I have done my homework. He is a controversial speaker but after talking with his accountability board they said: “There is nothing Mark has done that disqualifies him from ministry”. You’ve done your homework?!? As they say in the US military….”Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!” By the way I’d love to know what you mean in that you contacted the Mars Hill accountability board. Can you explain that to me? So in addition to that you are aware of all Mark Driscoll’s plagiarism? You are aware of the mock trial against Paul Petry and Bent Meyer in 2007? In Confessions of Reformisison Rev Mark Driscoll boasts of stealing sound equipment (Page 62) so you are okay with a pastor boasting of theft? You’re okay with Mark Driscoll calling Esther a slut, that doesn’t bother you in the latest. Then there was Mars Hill spending $210,000 to fraud the New York Times best seller list…that doesn’t bother you that a church commits fraud? Then there is Mark Driscoll teaching that Jesus commands a woman to perform oral sex on her husband. You can read the sermon was given in Scotland here. I can go on read the details and the long list of what I wrote here. Then forgive me for being brutally blunt but in light of this infraction I have to ask you the following. The most outrageous thing I would suggest that Mark Driscoll taught is that women are penis homes. After all that is all the Australian press spoke about but you said you did your homework, so here is what Mark Driscoll actually said, “Knowing that his penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife. And when you marry her and look down you will notice that you wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home.” So let me ask you this Dan Kellogg…you claim you did your homework, do you agree with this teaching by Mark Driscoll? Is that how you view your wife Audrey? Is Audrey basically a home for your penis Dan Kellogg? This is just an honest question Dan Kellogg. Can you answer me? I felt compelled in my Spirit at the beginning of this series on Repurpose to invite him. I never intended for it to become a public protest. We did not announce his name. I just know he is in the middle of repurposing his life. Very soon he will move and begin again in another city. He has learned some valuable lessons. He is a changed man. He is ready to talk on the very subject that this series is about. Dan Kellogg this is the most disappointing paragragh I have read in this blog post. Mark Driscoll has learned some valuable lessons? He is a changed man? Dan that is not true and you know it. You’re not fooling anyone, and you’re not fooling me. You know better than to issue a statement like that. This is 100% pure horse crap.   I now know there will be protesters this morning. “Christians that are taking the time on Sunday morning to protest.” He is not their pastor. He has not committed the unforgiveable sin. They are angry and unforgiving. I wish they would take the time to hold signs that protest the Christians killed in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Nigeria. But, they will focus on Mark. The wonderful world we live in gives us the freedom of speech. Thank God for this freedom of expression. Angry and unforgiving? Can I refer you Dan Kellogg to that Proverbs quote I have leading this post? Proverbs 17:15 speaks volumes in this area. Many of those who protested are not unforgiving they actually want Mark Driscoll to repent, own his mistakes and seek forgiveness. That’s all many people want. Furthermore it is a mockery and outright bull crap for an individual like Mark Driscoll to claim that he is being persecuted, and suffering for his faith. That is a mockery for those actually suffering for their faith in North Korea. To claim persecution is a mockery to those Christians that ISIS decapitated in Libya. For Mark Driscoll to claim persecution is a mockery to Christians being persecuted in Nigeria and at risk for their lives.  Today though Gold Creek will be about grace. God’s grace allows us a fresh start. Mark needs that Grace today. We need to give that grace today because everyone of us wants that grace for ourselves. I may receive more than my fair share of criticism for allowing Mark to preach. But I hope, for the person who is watching this play out, that they will see Gold Creek as a place to find Grace for EVERYONE, even the protesters. You are so quickly to embrace Mark I must ask…what about the Petrys or Meyer families? What about the Kevin Potts? What about the Van Rues? Do they need grace after how they suffered from Mark Driscoll or is that inconvenient a question to ask and a threat to your business franchise?

How Dan Kellogg Failed Gold Creek Community Church

Dan Kellogg on GCCC’s webpage the following is stated, “Gold Creek Community Church exists to impact our community and world with Christ-like love, acceptance, and forgiveness.To accomplish this, we have 3 core values that direct us as we try to realize the vision for our church.” Did that really happen with Mark Driscoll preaching at GCCC? Was the church shown Christ like love by presenting him to the congregation? Is Mark Driscoll an example of Christ like love in all of his verbal abuse, control and spiritual manipulation? When Mark Driscoll spoke about how Ted Haggard’s wife let herself go is that an example of the love of Christ? Does Mark Driscoll represent these standards of GCCC? You also talk about acceptance and forgiveness yet your anger is directed at the people who were hurt by Mark Driscoll and not Mark himself. Why is that Dan Kellogg? Here is the real problem with what Dan Kellogg did. Dan Kellogg failed Gold Creek Community Church by presenting a wolf to the congregation. I find it ironic that you published a book in 2014 called “Watch out for Bears“. In that book you speak about an encounter with a bear and how that influenced your life. Its deeply ironic in how the tables have turned. You call for people to look out for a bear than as a Pastor you present a wolf to Gold Creek and give him your full endorsement in the process. Maybe someone at Gold Creek can publish a book called “Watch out for Wolves” and talk about their Senior Pastor being an accessory. Dan Kellogg you failed to look out for the spiritual needs of the church. Jesus commands you as a shepherd to feed his sheep (John 21:15-17) He doesn’t say expose the sheep and have them barbecued in the process. The sheep are to be protected. Dan Kellogg failed to look out for the spiritual needs of the congregation and that is a disgrace.

How Dan Kellogg Failed Greater Seattle

On the website for Gold Creek it says the following, which I quote, “Gold Creek Community Church exists to impact our community and world with Christ-like love, acceptance, and forgiveness. To accomplish this, we have 3 core values that direct us as we try to realize the vision for our church.” According to the religion statistics for Seattle are 37.3% of those involved in a place of worship. Nationally its 50.2%. Now in researching this I also discovered some push back about the faith issue in Seattle. Is Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest secular and most unchurched region of the country? Now Gold Creek claims to exist to impact its community. I would like to show how Dan Kellogg failed the greater Seattle region. The Mars Hill mess is profound in its scope and has been reported and followed by my local paper the Washington Post. Just last week they had another article about Mark Driscoll being barred from speaking at Hillsong. To further make my point even the New York Times has also been profuse in reporting the issue of the scandal playing out at Mars Hill Seattle. So many people are aware of the scandal and problems that exist. An opportunity existed for Dan Kellogg to stand up and help resolve the problem and bring Mark Driscoll to the table along with the wounded parties and bring this to a close, and start the process. This could have been done before the city of Seattle, and people could have watched and witnessed what happened if Dan Kellogg prodded Mark Driscoll to own his sin, repent and seek out forgiveness from those he hurt. Instead just the opposite happened…Dan Kellogg drove the bus over the wounded while becoming an accessory to the problem. When he had the spotlight on him he failed to have Mark Driscoll repent and in the process the city of Seattle missed a golden opportunity to see something rare. Matt Chandler’s The Village Church recently disciplined a woman, Karen Hinkley, who got an annulment from her husband who was addicted to child pornography and has sexually abused a couple of people as a teenager. It was church discipline run amuck and got the national headlines such as this article in the Daily Beast. To right the wrong Matt Chandler flew to North Carolina and repented to Karen Hinkley in person. He showed Dallas something rare and did something that neither Mark Driscoll and CJ Mahaney have been unable and unwilling to do. Dan Kellogg had an opportunity to foster and nudge Mark Driscoll toward repentance and he blew it. It was an dastardly fail. In the eyes of the world and before Seattle Dan Kellogg failed horribly.

How Dan Kellogg Failed Mark Driscoll

Mark Driscoll doesn’t need to preach he needs to repent. He needs to own his sin and go back and clean it up. What does scripture say about repentance? Obviously the founding pastor of Gold Creek Community Church doesn’t know much about what the Bible says about repentance so let me help him out. There is 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Then there is Acts 3:19 which states, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” Scripture also teaches in Ezekiel, “But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” I could keep writing and writing but I will close on 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 which says, “yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.” Mark Driscoll needs to repent, instead Dan Kellogg enabled him instead. He coddled Mark Driscoll and did the worst thing he could have done to Mark. He ignored his sin, he didn’t challenge him, he didn’t push back, and in the end because of what he did Dan Kellogg failed to show Mark Driscoll love. If Dan Kellogg was going to pastor Mark Driscoll he would have pulled him into a room picked up a phone and told him, “Call Paul Petry, Bent Meyer and Rob Smith, let’s all have a talk and let’s work things out…” If Dan Kellogg loved and cared for the soul of Mark Driscoll that is what he would have done. Instead Dan Kellogg failed Mark Driscoll be letting him preach.

How Dan Kellogg Failed as a Pastor

Dan Kellogg committed an epic fail on May 17, 2015. He failed to look out for his congregation Gold Creek Community Church by having Mark Driscoll preach. By refusing to address the greater issues of Mark Driscoll’s sin he also failed the greater Seattle area by letting this train wreck continue and letting wounds be hurt further. Dan Kellogg as a pastor failed Mark Driscoll in letting him preach and not calling on him to repent. Dan Kellogg also failed as a pastor for other reasons as well. He used his pulpit for a business transaction in endorsing a highly questionable pastor and in the process he used his pulpit for personal financial gain. I wonder if he has another book in the works, and if he needs more people to purchase and buy it in the end. In the process Dan Kellogg likely acquired more people from the former Mars Hill by having Driscoll preach. Furthermore Dan Kellogg ignored the least of these, those who have been subjected to spiritual abuse and manipulation. He failed to heed their cries or acknowledge their pain. Dan Kellogg’s behavior as a pastor illustrates why evangelical Christianity is a sick and diseased movement. In the end Dan Kellogg has no regard for the basic premise of scripture which is to love your neighbor. Its the greatest commandment God gave to people. By letting Mark Driscoll preach Dan Kellogg failed to show love to Mark Driscoll by calling on him to repent. By enabling Driscoll and promoting him Dan Kellogg ignored his neighbors in the Seattle area. In this process Dan Kellogg committed an epic fail unlike any that I have seen. To screw up once or twice will happen…but this is a failure of epic proportions. It takes a lot of talent to screw up like this and Dan Kellogg is quite talented in this area. Its this readers opinion in how Dan Kellogg handled this situation that he should not pastor or lead the flock of a church. He is unprepared and lacks the needed discernment to be a Pastor. What sickens me the most is that he goes after the people hurt by Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll. Sorry Dan Kellogg I am just going to call you out and call that bullshit. I know Mark Driscoll has the reputation as the cussing pastor. I am a Christian in the Washington, D.C. area who has a righteous anger in seeing this garbage affect the church and denominations like the Evangelical Free of which I once belonged. In closing since Dan Kellogg goes after the victims and calls them angry and unforgiving and saying that people are listening to gossip I have this to say. The victims of Mars Hill are not to be blamed. They didn’t start the problems they are the ones who were wounded. So Dan Kellogg I dedicate this Billy Joel song to you. The Petry’s, the Meyers, the Smiths, the Van Rues and others didn’t start the fire. Its is Mark Driscoll who bears ultimate responsibility in the end. Now go hang your head in shame Dan Kellogg.

4 thoughts on “How Dan Kellogg Failed as a Pastor and also Gold Creek Community Church, Greater Seattle, and Mark Driscoll – Simultaneously

  1. There are some things that should not be debatable. I am simply appalled that someone with this level of responsibility would not just defend Driscoll but attack others who have been harmed by him. Kellogg: “I believe he’s been unfairly treated by former staff people” I fear speaking to Kellogg would violate Proverbs 23:9.

    Thanks for providing a detailed take down on Kellogg, he is but one of the recent defenders for Driscoll, one who has no defense.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On those quotes at the top, don’t forget Frank Herbert (author of Dune):

    “Power attracts the already corrupt and the easily-corrupted.”

    Or either J.R.R.Tolkien or the filmscript adaptor for Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring:

    “For the hearts of Men are easily corrupted, and the Ring of POWER has a Will of its own.”


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