Mark Driscoll’s The Trinity Church is Hosting Larry Osborne on January 16, 2018. Does the EFCA Take the Issue of Spiritual Abuse Seriously?

Mark Driscoll is hosting Larry Osborne at the Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 16, 2018. This is a quick post asking if the EFCA understands spiritual abuse. What happened in Seattle with Mars Hill was a disaster, and what is taking place in Scottsdale, Arizona is profoundly troubling. This post has been emailed to the EFCA West District leadership in Turlock, California. 

“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.

Martin Luther 

“Your silence will not protect you.”

Audre Lorde

For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!

2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NLT

The EFCA’s Larry Obsorne

Mark Driscoll

Mark Driscoll announces Larry Osborne at 2:08 

This afternoon I was stunned when I saw my email. I learned that well known EFCA pastor Larry Osborne is going to be speaking at Mark Driscoll’s The Trinity Church on January 16, 2018. I have a lot going on and an Acts 29 story that I am working on for next week, but this is something that needs to be addressed. First let’s look at the email that The Trinity Church emailed out this afternoon.  


What Larry Osborne Is Sanctioning 

Mars Hill Seattle imploded several years ago now. The church was called by Paul Trip, “The most abusive, coercive ministry culture I have been involved with.”  There are many people who are still dealing with PTSD and psychological trauma from their times in that organization. Mars Hill was believed by many in the city of Seattle to be a cult. The issues that came out of Mars Hill were many.

  • You had issues with RSI and plagiarism. In addition you also had disappearing money from the Global Fund which was raised for churches in Ethiopia that disappeared. 
  • You also had the spiritual abuse of Ron Wheeler which to my belief is still unresolved. 
  • There was the questionable trial of Paul Petry and Bent Meyer. 
  • You had all the questionable and outrageous sex talk. Mark taught that Esther was a slut. He shamed his wife for having sex young. Then he also said that a repentant woman gets down on her knees and gives a “Gospel Centered Blowjob.” Plus he also called women penis homes

Against all those issues and much more Larry Osborne has been Mark Driscoll’s lifeline in many ways. He gives him credibility, which he needs for his church in Scottsdale, Arizona. He also serves on his “wise counsel.” Part of the reason why Mark Driscoll is re-branding and relaunching today is due to Larry Osborne’s support. Because of all this I believe that Larry Osborne has failed as a pastor. He has neglected the broken, and psychologically devastated people in Seattle. In the process he has also  helped Mark Driscoll relaunch in Arizona. We had countless blogs dealing with abuse from Mars Hill. I am waiting for blogs from The Trinity Church to stand up and start to report on issues from that racket. This could all be prevented and in many ways is unnecessary. For me its deeply troubling that this is playing out. 


Why Does the EFCA Stays Silent on this Topic? The EFCA is Becoming an Enabler to this Problem

Against everything that has transpired you have the ongoing silence of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). Yes I write about the organization and I am aware that it is congregational from floor to ceiling. However there are still many things that EFCA can do. They can at least pull Larry Osborne to the side and ask him “what are you doing?” They can issues a statement from Steve Highfill’s EFCA West office in Turlock, California and express their concerns for the organization in Scottsdale, Arizona. After all remember what Martin Luther once said about communication. Communication isn’t always what is said, but importantly what is not said. The quote is up above. I have written about these issues about Larry Osborne and Mark Driscoll in, “Why is the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) Silent on Larry Osborne’s Strong Support for Mark Driscoll and The Trinity Church? Does the EFCA Also Believe Women are Penis Homes?” The longer the EFCA stays silent on this issue the more implicated it is in this situation. Silence enables and silence empowers. Why does an outsider to the EFCA care more about this issue than those in the EFCA West District office? Are they afraid of tipping the apple cart? Is it because of the money that comes in from North Coast Church in Vista, California that the EFCA depends upon, and they don’t want to tick off their lead pastor? Does this show the flaw in the congregational model? Or does it comes down to the fact that the EFCA just doesn’t care about spiritual abuse? Steve Highfill and the EFCA West leadership just does not care about what happened in Seattle, and they are indifferent to a disaster occurring in Arizona that mirrors what took place in Seattle? Or does it go back to the title of my post from well over a year ago, does the EFCA agree with what Mark Driscoll taught about women? That they are penis homes and and that is what the Christian faith is about. I really hope the EFCA will stir to this issue and start to address it. From the EFCA West leadership in Turlock, California to Greg Strand in Minneapolis. I think the EFCA has a lot of potential but its situations like the Larry Obsorne and Mark Driscoll that will reveal how healthy the organization can be. A healthy organization can deal with their problems. And even if the congregational method prevents them from doing anything Steve Highfill can sit down at his desk and say, “we grieve for what happened in Seattle and we are concerned about that duplicating itself in Scottsdale, Arizona…” All it takes is courage, which takes quite a bit. I want to go on record as writing that this post has been emailed to the EFCA West office in California. That’s it for the day, know that I love you guys. Yes that includes the staff and leadership at EFCA West.