Recently Mark Driscoll gave a talk in which he described how he left Seattle, and without naming it Mars Hill Church. The embattled and controversial pastor described how much he and his family had suffered and how he was attacked and slandered. But he spoke recently about how the Lord told him that he still had his anointing to do ministry. In this context Mark Driscoll will never own the abuse from Mars Hill Seattle. In the view of this blog this is an individual who needs to see a psychologist for mental help.
“No psychologist should pretend to understand what he does not understand… Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.”
Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”
Psalm 105:15 NIV
Mark Driscoll on when you have lost everything.
Mark Driscoll gave a talk the other day which raised my eyebrows. It is a part of his “Ask Pastor Mark” series. Its part of a sermon series he is doing at The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. The name of the sermon series that started on July 26, 2020 called, “Pray for the Best and Prepare for the Worst.” This section is called, “What Should You Do When You Feel Like You’ve Lost Everything.” Before I get into the talk let’s revisit the brief history of Mars Hill Seattle and remember the scandals that took place under Mark Driscoll’s leadership.
Remembering the Mess of Mars Hill Seattle
Mars Hill was established in Mark Driscoll’s rental house with about thirty students from Antioch Bible Church in 1996. Three key leaders who founded Mars Hill in addition to Mark Driscoll is Leif Moi and mike Gunn. The church moved into a renovated hardware store at Ballard in 2003 and grew to several locations in the Seattle area. Mars Hill was considered one of the most influential evangelical churches to watch. Eventually they became a multi site church with locations in Portland, Oregon as well as Southern California and Albuquerque, New Mexico. And then a series of scandals and problems led to an implosion and eventual shutdown in the end of 2014. In order to understand why Mars Hill closed you need to consider the scandals that took place. In the view of this blog these are some of the key scandals that took place.
- 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. You can also read the following blog post which dives into this issue in, “Reflecting on a Controversial Mark Driscoll Sermon About how a Repentant Woman Gets on Her Knees and Performs Oral Sex.”
- 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 Arizona on his thesis?
Despite all these issues Mark Driscoll has a different take that he preached the other day.
Mark Driscoll On When You Lose Everything
The talk Mark Driscoll gives describes a period of his life that could be either late 2014 or 2015. Its a seven minute clip you can watch above. It describes the end of his time at Mars Hill Seattle. Driscoll said that he was slandered, and his family attacked and they experienced unprecedented sorrow. They had suffered like they had not suffered previously. Driscoll characterized this season of his life as the worst period of his life. In his talk he says that God spoke to him through 1 Peter and instead of being combative he was to bless those who revile him and not to respond to insults. Mark Driscoll says that he quit his job (from Mars Hill I am calculating) and moved his family to Arizona in July. This could have been July of 2015 as he resigned from Mars Hill in October of 2014. Down in Arizona he moved his family into a camp house that stunk and had smells. Driscoll said that during this time he had no friends. Then what happened apparently is that on his house in Seattle which was on the market a tree collapsed through it. You can see a picture in the video of Mark Driscoll’s talk. Mark flew back to Seattle and hopped his fence and with his Android flashlight was looking at that situation. This incident threatened his equity which became an issue from buying another house in Arizona. Mark said the situation was overwhelming and that he felt like he lost everything. It was during that moment that 1 Peter 4 came to Mark Driscoll’s mind, which he attributes from God. In an alleged engagement with God Mark Driscoll tells the Lord that he lost everything. And God said to Mark what matters is that you have my anointing and you have not lost that at all.
Mark Driscoll Will Never Own the Abuse He Created at Mars Hill Seattle..But Hey He’s Still Anointed!
This clip revealed to me that Mark Driscoll is an ongoing fraud and that he will never own the abuse that he put others through at Mars Hill Seattle. All the bullying, the attacking, anger, and estranged and destroyed families and friendships Mark Driscoll has no remorse over. Instead his response is to say, “poor me…look at how I have suffered.” Will he ever approach Ron Wheeler his once closest friend and ask for forgiveness? Has he grieved and wept over all the pain that he has caused and the broken and stuck lives which exist in the Seattle area after all these years? No. Mark Driscoll is incapable of that approach. Instead he is the one who suffered.
My response to all this is as follows. Don’t fall for it. Mark Driscoll created his own problems and he alone is responsible for his fall from power. It was his abuse, anger, mismanagement of church money, plagiarism, and other fraud that he alone is responsible for doing. Don’t shed a tear for Mark Driscoll as this bastard does not deserve it. Don’t fall victim to what he is saying. In the process the controversial pastor does not even know scripture except how to twist it. What happened to the teaching of Jesus that you reap what you sow? Could Mark Driscoll have reaped what he sowed when he abused all those people and then flew? That is a possibility. For me the take away is that after all these years Mark Driscoll view himself as the victim. What a fraud. And after all that he still considers himself anointed bu God. Mark Driscoll will never own his abuse and that is due most likely to a personality disorder. I am not a psychologist but I wonder what one would say after watching that clip up above. If you find this post and you are in the Scottsdale area heed this warning. Don’t get involved in The Trinity Church. Stay away and avoid it.