A Wolf Rises in Phoenix: Mark Driscoll and The Trinity Church

On February 1, 2016 it was announced that Mark Driscoll is launching his church in Phoenix, Arizona. The name of the church is called The Trinity Church. While Robert Morris is supporting Driscoll the other supporters are disturbing. It includes men like Josh McDowell,  Ron Beers and others. This is Eagle’s thoughts on The Trinity Church and what we as a community need to do. We need to push back hard and challenge Mark Driscoll. If we keep one person out of The Trinity Church, that will be one less person writing on blogs such as “Trinity Church Refuge” when they launch. We must always remember Paul Petry and Bent Meyer in the process.

“We live in a completely Pussified Nation. We could get every man, real man as opposed to pussified James Dobson knock-off crying Promise Keeping homoerotic, worship loving mama’s boy sensitive emasculated neutered exact male replica evangellyfish, and have a conference in a phone book. As a result, he was cursed for listening to his wife and every man since has been his pussified sit quietly by and watch a nation of men be raised by bitter penis envying burned feministed single mothers who make sure that Johnny grows up to be a very nice woman who sits down to pee.”

Mark Driscoll on a Pussified Nation

“How do you show your love and obedience to God? According to Driscoll, oral sex on your husband does the trick. “I said, ‘You need to go home and tell your husband that you’ve met Jesus and you’ve been studying the Bible, and that you’re convicted of a terrible sin in your life. And then you need to drop his trousers, and you need to serve your husband. And when he asks why, say, “Because I’m a repentant woman. God has changed my heart and I’m supposed to be a biblical wife. She says, ‘Really?’ I said, ‘Yeah. First Peter 3 says if your husband is an unbeliever to serve him with deeds of kindness.’” Of course, there’s no mention of a husband serving his wife with anything in return.”

Mark Driscoll on oral sex

“The first thing to know about your penis is, that despite the way it may see, it is not your penis,” Driscoll allegedly wrote. “Ultimately, God created you and it is his penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while. While His penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wondering (sic) the streets looking for a house to live in,” Driscoll’s post continued. “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 your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home. Though you may believe your hand is shaped like a home, it is not. And, though women other than your wife may look like a home, to rest there would be breaking into another man’s home…if you look at a man it is quite obvious that what a homeless man does not need is another man without a home.”

Mark Driscoll on women being penis homes

 

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Matthew 10:16 NIV

 

The next Mars Hill bus…

Mark Driscoll resigned from Mars Hill Seattle on October 16, 2014. The board of overseers received his resignation letter. While the Mars Hill board of overseers said that Driscoll hadn’t done anything that was immoral, illegal or heresy they did say that he is guilty of “arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner.” Driscoll’s resignation was a surprise. On October 31, 2014 the lead pastor Dave Bruskas announced that Mars Hill would dissolve the remaining campuses on January 1, 2015. What happened that lead Mars Hill from going to a thriving mega church to one that folded?

 

Mark Driscoll’s Legacy of Scandal

Before I continue I need to remind people of what happened in Seattle. There is a nasty and horrific legacy that Mark Driscoll created and left behind. Remember there were many churches that looked at Mars Hill as a model. So what took place? Here is a list for starters of the corruption that flowed out of the organization:

  • There was Mark Driscoll’s bizarre behavior at Strange Fire in which he lied about “being in the area” to “gift his books” while being verbally abusive. His behavior was overlooked by “King” Sutton Turner and Dave Bruskas. After the incident Driscoll lied in his tweets.
  • There is this moving and disturbing letter by Ron Wheeler to Mark Driscoll where he confronts Driscoll’s behavior and how he treated people. You can read that open letter here.
  • There was the fraudulent trial in 2007 that harmed the reputation of Paul Petry and Bent Meyer.
  • There was this comment made about Ted Haggard’s wife letting herself go. “It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness,” Driscoll wrote. “A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.’”
  • Then there was the time when Mark Driscoll said that he can’t worship a guy he can beat up. Here’s the original quote, “In Revelation, Jesus is a prize fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.”
  • There was this boast in the book Confessions of a Reformission Rev, “Mars Hill began having ‘boot camps’ for men, teaching them how to get a wife, have sex with that wife… buy a house… study the Bible… and brew decent beer’. (Confessions p130).” 
  • In Confessions of Reformisison Rev Mark Driscoll boasts of stealing sound equipment. (Page 62)
  • Mars Hill Elders and attorneys sent a Cease and Desist Letter to Mars Hill Community Church in Sacramento, California telling them to stop using the Mars Hill name. Christianity Today covered it here.
  • Mark Driscoll also taught on how Jesus Christ commands a woman perform oral sex on her husband, and other takes on female anatomy. You can read parts of the sermon given in Scotland here.
  • Mark Driscoll’s anger at Grace for her past sexual mistakes.
  • How Mark Driscoll described Christians in Great Britain in the following way, “When you’ve got guys in dresses, you know, preaching to grandmas and young men won’t show up as a nation, you’ve gotta ask yourself, you know, have we picked a course that really fits the past but isn’t gonna work for the future?”  
  • There was Mark Drisocll’s sermon series on Esther, where he calls her a slut. Here is the quote where he slams Esther’s character, “She grows up in a very lukewarm religious home as an orphan raised by her cousin. Beautiful, she allows men to tend to her needs and make her decisions. Her behavior is sinful and she spends around a year in the spa getting dolled up to lose her virginity with the pagan king like hundreds of other women. She performs so well that he chooses her as his favorite. Today, her story would be, a beautiful young woman living in a major city allows men to cater to her needs, undergoes lots of beauty treatment to look her best, and lands a really rich guy whom she meets on The Bachelor and wows with an amazing night in bed. She’s simply a person without any character until her own neck is on the line, and then we see her rise up to save the life of her people when she is converted to a real faith in God.” 
  • There was Mars Hill spending $210,000 at ResultSource, Inc (RSI) to get Mark Driscoll’s “Real Marriage” on the New York Times Bestseller list, while committing fraud in the process.
  • Then there remains the financial scandals, especially the Global Fund in which money raised for international use was used locally instead. How much money did make it over to India and Ethiopia?
  • There was the brave stand by 9 Mars Hill Elders.
  • There was the attempt by Mark Driscoll to destroy Agathos and threaten Rob Smith.
  • How can one forget what Mark Driscoll wrote on the Midrash and his comments about a “pussified nation?” (Again Mark Driscoll’s words not mine…)
  • Leif Moi and 21 other Mars Hill Pastors brought charges against him.
  • Plus there is all the plagiarism that Mark Driscoll engaged in, which Warren Throckmorton documented and reported on. Books like, Who Do You Think You Are?, A Call to Resurgence, Doctrine, Real Marriage, Religion Saves, and Death By Love were all plagiarized. Plus I think there were others…am I correct? Honestly how many people could engage in plagiarism on this scale? Could a cadet at the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs plagiarize 7 papers? What about a grad student at University of Ariozna on his thesis?

Mark Driscoll went silent for a while before popping up at Robert Morris’s Gateway Church in Texas. Then Dan Kellogg prostituted his pulpit and gave it to Mark Driscoll while going after those that were hurt. I wrote about that in this post here. (BTW…Dan Kellogg and his staff also received my post by email. I hope the intern got the hint and got the hell out of  Gold Creek Community Church I mean dodge) Meanwhile Mark spoke at a number of churches in 2015 to include the following:

 

The Trinity Church Plant and Phoenix

Mark Driscoll moved his family down to Phoenix. It’s been my understanding that his church is a PO Box at a UPS store in the area.  I’ve been keeping up with Warren Throckmorton’s updates. Today in my email I got the latest update and when I saw the news my blood pressure rose significantly. Mark Driscoll’s church plant is launching in Phoenix this month – February 2016. Here is how Mark Driscoll announced it on his blog, which is followed by the Youtube video.

We have some exciting news to share from Mark Driscoll Ministries. Lord willing, in 2016 we’ll be launching The Trinity Church in Phoenix, AZ. Check out this video from Pastor Mark and Grace for more details, and to learn more about how you can be involved through prayer, support, and participation.

In 2016, Mark Driscoll Ministries will be the best place to find blogs, videos, sermons, and content from Pastor Mark. The Trinity Church will be a local church that is focused on the people of Phoenix. If you’re in the Phoenix area, we encourage you to visit The Trinity Church website.

I noticed that you can’t leave a comment on the Youtube channel. Now there is a surprise. The website for The Trinity Church is up and you can read it here. The Associate Pastors of Trinity that will be under Mark Driscoll are Andy Girton, and Brandon Anderson. Brandon Anderson was the Executive Pastor at Mars Hill Everett, while Andy Girton was a former staff member at Mars Hill. What is most interesting in studying the website is that it makes no mention whatsoever to Mars Hill Seattle. I imagine if Mark Driscoll actually tried to get a job in the real world and submitted a resume that withheld a significant portion of his employment history it would cause a company to reject him.  Only in evangelicalism can you find lower standards than the world. The website declares that Trinity is ruled by God (snort!) but also states who offers counsel to Mark Driscoll. These individuals supposedly have apostolic gifting. The “men” advising Mark Driscoll as “Wise Counsel” are the following:

Its disturbing to note that the Governing Board and Wise Counsel are basically the same thing, the only difference is that Mark Driscoll is in on Governing Board.  What is also disturbing is the prayer team for The Trinity Church. You can see the entire list in this link, but here are some that stood out for me:

It should also be noted that according to Warren Throckmorton Wayne Grudem was also on the prayer list but a number of hours later his name was removed. Wayne Grudem is a corrupt figure of the Neo-Calvinist movement who helped translate the ESV and who allegedly took a large sum of “Gospel Centered money” from C.J. Mahaney which has been discussed at SGM Survivors.

screen-shot-2013-07-09-at-7-15-47-am

The mission and the target of The Trinity Church are the following:

We are a multi-generational church that welcomes people from all stages of life, reflecting the fact that Phoenix is a city of ‘four kinds’.

  1. A city where people attend college to get their degree. ASU is among the largest universities in America, and Grand Canyon University is a large and fast growing Christian college.
  1. A city where people move to start their career and build their resume as a single professional. Within 5 years over 200,000 new people are expected to move to Phoenix, which will make it the 4th largest city in the U.S.
  1. A city where people move once they marry and want to buy a house and start having children. A combination of reasonably priced housing, open school enrollment, and publicly funded charter schools has attracted a large number of families with young children to Phoenix.
  1. A city where people move after they have raised their family. Phoenix is a very attractive place for those who retire and spend their winters in Phoenix and summers in their hometown.

When a city is primarily in one category, it has a difficult time being a multi-generational church. Because of the nature of Phoenix, The Trinity Church will be multi-generational with an emphasis on non-Christians and young families.

 

My Concerns and My Prediction

The media in both Seattle and Phoenix have already been jumping all over this church launch. Here is what the Seattle Times has said in a recent article, and what the Seattle PI published. In Phoenix ABC news had the following newscast about the situation. I have to confess to you when I read this I felt sick. I felt absolutely sick and I fear for the future. My greatest fear is that what occurred in Seattle will be duplicated and the pain, hemorrhaging, and problems will occur in the Phoenix area until it implodes. Mark Driscoll is drunk with power, and under no conditions is he even qualified to lead a body. To have Mark Driscoll as a pastor is akin to having infamous serial killer Ted Bundy lead eHarmony or another internet dating service. I expect to hear about financial scandals and problems from this situation. I also fear that within 5 years we will see blogs such as “We Love The Trinity Church” or “Trinity Church Refuge” start to pop up and we will hear atrocious situations. Situations that could all be avoided and prevented from occurring if the evangelical Christian church could just practice discernment. This is a major issue and it a watching world its disturbing that we even have to talk about this issue. After all that transpired in Seattle for this to even go forward I feel sick in my stomach. There is a reason why I led this post with a video of a bus being hit by a train…well we’re going to see that again. It’s just a manner of time before it happens. I expect to see something flourish, caught up in scandal and then in the course of time implode, and then Mark Driscoll relocate to another city.

Mark Driscoll still needs to repent and he still needs to own what happened. He still needs to repent to Paul Petry, Bent Meyer, Rob Smith and so many more. I view him as a modern day Jonah who keeps fleeing. Part of the reason why Mark Driscoll needed to be disqualified in Seattle is to prevent this from occurring. That is the reason why I am disgusted and livid that he was let off the hook. I have a number of proposals that I believe we as the Christian community need to do. Those of us who have the means and the knowledge to speak out and lookout for the other sheep need to act.

 

What Needs to Take Place

There are a number of proposals that I think we need to undertake to help keep people away from The Trinity Church and Mark Driscoll. Here is a list of recommendations:

  • I do not know the status of the RICO lawsuit against Mars Hill. The last I heard is that it was still being worked on. I wrote a post earlier this year in which I explained why the lawsuit needs to move forward. You can read that post here. Here in Washington, D.C. the local magazine the Washingtonian published an article about the implosion of C.J. Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Ministries due to scandal and covering up child sex abuse. I wrote about it here. In the article in the entry an evangelical stated that “someone needs to sue these bastards.” Indeed, I couldn’t agree more…someone does need to sue these bastards. We allow many to be steamrolled, hurt, and to twist and distort scripture. People are intentionally hurt and then those in control pull the claim, “but you can’t sue…” I make a proposal here and now…evangelicals need to use the God ordained legal system and expose frauds, charlatans, and cons. People need to realize that you can’t treat a person like garbage and get away with it. Its for that reason that I state someone needs to bring a lawsuit against The Trinity Church and Mark Driscoll. It needs to be knocked out before it can be started. Mark Driscoll is shady enough, its time that this occur. If there ever was a time for the RICO lawsuit to kick off…now would be good.
  • On that prayer list all those individuals need to be contacted and challenged about their support for Mark Driscoll. I would suggest that veterans of Mars Hill Seattle approach each one individually. Get them alone in a room, and tell your story. Some of you from Mars Hill Seattle travel for work, see if you can coordinate work travel to the cities involved and make plans and try and meet with the people?
  • Someone needs to contact Matt Chandler and ask him, why the hell is Josh McPherson on that list? I thought the Acts 29 network was supposed to distance themselves from Mark Driscoll? This behavior by Josh McPherson illustrates why the Acts 29 network is a sick and diseased network and tainted by Mark Driscoll’s DNA. Josh McPherson and Matt Chandler are both getting this blog post in an email. But this needs to be pressed and stressed.
  • The evangelical church needs to reach out to organizations as Arizona State, University of Arizona and local schools and warn the students. Cru, Intervarsity, Navigators and others need to be warned. The Trinity Church needs to be treated like a cult. The ministerial staff of those schools need to be warned so they can advise and not recommend The Trinity Church. It will be my goal to get this post into the hands of leadership at Cru, IVCF and the Navigators.
  • I understand that Mark Driscoll is planting his new church in Mierele’s backyard! I would encourage her to protest The Trinity Church each and every weekend. Perhaps The Wondering Eagle and The Wartburg Watch could supply Mierle with ice, cold bottled water as she stands outside and holds up a banner saying, “Remember Paul Petry” and “Remember Bent Meyer”
  • This church needs an active protest movement locally. People need to stand outside protest and give away fliers letting people know of Mark Driscoll’s history.
  • The former Mars Hill community will have to step up and engage further to prevent more people from getting hurt. I am willing to take this project on in addition to others that I am juggling here. No doubt my East Coast Mom and The Wartburg Watch will do that same thing.
  • It is my contention that Paul Tripp who played a key role in Mars Hill Seattle has let Mark Driscoll off the hook. Its my intention in the course of time to pursue that topic. The former Mars Hill community needs to challenge Paul Tripp and ask him why he is silent about Mark Driscoll? It is my contention that Paul Tripp is using his platform for his own purposes and not to help others when he has a moral responsibility to do so. That is a disgrace and he needs to be called out on it.
  • It is my hope that Warren Throckmorton will continue to pursue this topic. He has done an amazing job and his work is deeply appreciated. I wrote this open letter to Warren thanking him for his work, and hoping that he can research and write about C.J. Mahaney one day. I want to make a bald man in Louisville who is being dogged by allegations of criminal activity sweat profusely. I could use the help! 🙂

Its my hope that we who have been wounded and hurt by the modern evangelical church can work together to prevent this wolf from rising or being successful. It will be a lot of work, and a lot of effort. Its my hope that we can be a vigilant and constant reminder and a thorn in the side of Mark Driscoll. Even if all we do is keep one man or woman away from The Trinity Church then I would consider that a coup. One life spared from pain, one life who would not be posting their story on a blog called “The Trinity Church Refuge” 5 years down the road. Let’s be diligent, and let’s be Bereans, and let’s protect the sheep from this wolf. Its with that in mind that I’ll dedicate this classic by Duran Duran to Mark Driscoll…the wolf of Phoenix.

 

21 thoughts on “A Wolf Rises in Phoenix: Mark Driscoll and The Trinity Church

  1. Tell ya what: Let’s see what happens. If this really is the same Mark Driscoll, then I think people will broadcast that — and his old ties with Mars Hill.

    I do think it’s too early for him to go back into ministry. I think he has brought about a great deal of harm to the Church in general and has yet to demonstrate any noticeable repentance.

    I honestly think he’d be better off spending some time working a non-clergy job for a few years first, and learning what it means to have a humble attitude and genuine love for people.

    I’ll also go on record as saying that I think that Mark Driscoll has spoken shamefully and disrespectfully of women. I have been under abusive male leadership before. Not again for me. I personally would not want a man like him as my pastor, unless he has truly repented.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “I do think it’s too early for him to go back into ministry.” I believe he should never go back into “ministry”, he should never have authority in a church again, at least not with ANY authority. It is not a matter of repentance, it is a matter of trust, he has proven his inability to handle power and authority. I may forgive and hire some who embezzled from me and later repented, but I would hire them as a brick layer and not as a bookkeeper.

      I agree with Eagle, those with the means and the knowledge need to intervene where possible. I am also not as worried as some are, I think Driscoll’s time has come and gone, his personal brand is badly tarnished. I imagine a lot of any new attenders would be coming to see the carnival. At least that is my hope, but we should still keep after him so no one else gets sucked into his black hole and be torn apart.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bill…we need to keep people away. A bad spiritual burn job is toxic. I am coming to the conclusion that some people from some of these organizations who are fried can have more in common with an Iraq or Afghan war vet. The trauma can be that intense.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. One other thing: I’ve heard basically nothing from his wife except what has appeared to me so far to be a loving, patient and godly response. I respect Driscoll’s wife for that.

    Like

  3. America and her churches have been ruled by dickheads for so long, what would be the harm in having her guided by a benevolent vagina-ethos for awhile?
    Keep up the good work in exposing the Driscolls, the Morris(s), and the whoevers, hopefully you and others will make it too hard for them to operate with impunity.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wonder if there would be a way to set up some sort of venture capital institution to do church startups, kind of like tech start ups. Get it started, get paid, move on, repeat. I could see it being somewhat like investing in tech startups, this would just be what, entertainment/community startups?

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think it’s a business opportunity man. Investor gets their payout, pastors get a job with excellent benefits, and new churches get planted. Everybody wins! ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

    • “I wonder if there would be a way to set up some sort of venture capital institution to do church startups, kind of like tech start ups. Get it started, get paid, move on, repeat. I could see it being somewhat like investing in tech startups, this would just be what, entertainment/community startups?”

      There is a variation of that with the SBC NAMB. They use SBC cooperative dollars to help fund Acts 29 plants and also help fund salaries of the YRR taking over existing churches. They also fund Baptist 21 churches which is another Calvinist group started by the Akin sons. Akin is a seminary president. Sojourn is another planting group that gets funded by the SBC. They view Evangelicalism as planting a cool church with a pimply faced 20 something fresh seminary grad and his buddy elders. They can’t live on less than 50 grand starting out. They need the latest technology, too. And plenty of Starbucks cards. Just like Paul.

      What do they get in return? Loyal followers who attend conferences and promote books.

      Like

      • Brilliant. I wonder if you’d have to have it organized up at the SBC level or if you could do it in a much more discrete and small level. Not have to be invested as much in the long term for ROI.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m mortified that Driscoll was at a church (Trinity Baptist) that is within a reasonable walking distance of my house! Wow, that was pretty secret.

    I’ve lived in the Phoenix area for 15 years and Driscoll is not welcome here. He’s got too much crazy behind him and you’ve touched on a lot of it, Eagle. I’ve said it in other places, but I’ll say it here. Driscoll is not about presenting Jesus to the unchurched. He’s going to poach from other churches in the area. Who gets hit depends on where Driscoll chooses to plant.

    I plan on letting Driscoll know how I feel as soon as he sets up shop. A t-shirt saying NOPE and a sign with an appropriate URL on it will let people know up front that they’re dealing with a guy who should have STAY AWAY printed on his forehead. (I almost said “tattooed,” but he could change his ways, and getting a tattoo removed is expensive and painful.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “I honestly think he’d be better off spending some time working a non-clergy job for a few years first, and learning what it means to have a humble attitude and genuine love for people.”

    He cannot do anything else that does not have a stage/platform or followers. It is all he knows. He exhibits sociopathic NPD behaviors.

    Grace is either an enabler or so beat down she cannot think.

    Liked by 1 person

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