There are many, many reasons I could list why Mark Driscoll scares me.
I could talk about the outlandish things he’s said from the pulpit or the gross things he’s said online. I could link to all the different blogs and articles that point out his awful views toward women, toward gays (or even effeminate men), toward God and the people God hates, toward movies like Avatar (the most demonic movie ever, by the way), toward books like The Shack, etc. I could outline why I think he is so entrenched in the power and influence he has garnered over the past 15 years of leading Mars Hill in Seattle, and how it is slowly destroying him and will eventually significantly damage the 10,000 person community he has created.
And maybe someday I will. If for no other reason than to demonstrate that I have real, valid reasons for my concerns. They are not just baseless claims, jumping on the anti-Driscoll band wagon.
But at the moment, let me share this with you.
There is a site that was recently created called JoyfulExiles.com, and it exists to help the public see just a glimpse of how off track Driscoll and his church have gotten. It’s created by a pastor who was fired from there a couple years back, and it documents his strange journey of what led to his firing. And if you have time, I implore you to read the narrative account written by his wife. It is incredible. And because of my own experience, I believe every word of it. (Don’t misread me and think that The Grove is like Mars Hill. It’s not.)
Perhaps you’ve heard about or read other such stories coming out lately.
And it scares me.
It should scare you, too.
Why anybody continues to follow this guy, or look up to him, or for heaven’s sake MODEL THEIR church after his, is beyond me.
That being said, I’m reminded of Paul’s words to the Philippian church, wherein he acknowledged that some people where preaching Christ out of envy, or rivalry, or selfish ambition. And what was Paul’s take? “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.” (Phil 1:18)
Hmmm… It makes me wonder, then, what Paul’s take would be on a guy like Driscoll. A guy who, in my opinion, has done significant damage to the message of the Gospel, the message of Christ, and the good news about the Love of God. Are people still coming to know Christ through his ministry? It would appear so (even if the “Christ” they are coming to know might ultimately be a distorted version… but couldn’t that be said for many of us, myself included?)
I don’t know. Maybe I’m way too judgmental on Driscoll. Maybe sites like joyfulexiles.com are unhelpful (although I do love one of the quotes on their page, “If you don’t say it’s wrong, then that says it’s right”). Maybe we should all just stop criticizing pastors like Driscoll for what they say and what they do.
I don’t know.
What do you think?
Do you think it’s okay, or good, or needed, to call out influential people like this, and to raise awareness when you think they are totally in error? Or do you think it’s mean and should not be done? (I know some people feel this way about me. They feel the need to tell me and tell others that I am wrong. Meh… doesn’t bother me if they want to do that).