Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mark Driscoll, Tim Challies, and the Rest of the Reformers: we told you so

Challies has written a piece called "Character is King" regarding Driscoll and the mess in Seattle. I've been restraining myself from commenting on the Driscoll debacle for several days, but today, a few thoughts. Challies writes, "As the situation comes into focus through scandal after scandal, it becomes increasingly clear that there are, and always have been, systemic issues at Mars Hill. Many of those issues are directly related to the sins and weaknesses of the church’s founder and leader."
When I and others warned about Driscoll back in 2004 on our blogs and in my case, on the radio show I hosted, we were roundly sneered at by the Reformed Club of Bloggers and the Driscoll fan club. It took about one tenth of a teaspoonful of discernment to see what Driscoll was in 2004. He reeked of anger, immaturity and pride, and the fact that he early on earned the label the "cussing pastor" spoke for itself. So now, in 2014, as countless victims have limped away from the spiritual abuse Driscoll engaged in, their families and faith damaged, Challies and company have decided that it is now, "increasingly clear that there are, and always have been, systemic issues at Mars Hill...many of those issues are directly related to the sins and weaknesses of the church's founder and leader." Mr. Challies, I have one word for you and the others who failed to speak out on Driscoll. Duh.
To those calling for an end to public discussion of Driscoll's collapse, I have a word for you. Driscoll wasn't just a pastor of a local church, minding his own business with his own authority (!) structure in place to deal with any problems. He was promoted and touted as an international celebrity of the Reformed world, and he made millions from the books, conferences, etc. that were marketed to the masses. The swaggering, swashbuckling poster boy for the Young, Restless and Reformed crowd, the one who would take Calvinism to a new generation. This is why it is all of our business. If you want to live on the Internet, on social media, and at internationally promoted conferences attended by tens of thousands who have nothing to do with your church in Seattle, you can expect to have your behavior addressed by the same. It amuses and disgusts me to hear claims of, "Oh, this is a private, in house church issue" when the issue is a celebrity pastor run amok. If these men wanted to be just local pastors they had no business selling themselves, their books, t-shirts, mouse pads, key chains, coffee mugs, conference tickets and life sized cutouts to the masses. You cannot have it both ways.
I have also seen urgent requests for prayer for Mark and his family. At risk of being redundant, let me urge prayer for his victims, as well, while you're on your knees. The ones with their faith nearly destroyed, the ones who were bullied, who spent years in that church thinking they were serving God, only to be shunned and discarded by the personality cult leader at Mars Hill. They are the ones I am concerned about. Mark has made enough money in one year to do just fine for the rest of his life. Those whose testimonies fill the Mars Hill abuse blogs are the ones on my heart, and those are the ones who deserve our prayer.
As for Challies and the Reformed Club of Bloggers who enabled Driscoll by their silence and delicate, nuanced criticisms (if they existed at all), I say, shame on you. We were right all along. And none of you will have the testosterone to admit it.

She said it better than I did, but we said the same thing. I put the blame for Driscoll's popularity in large part at the feet of the Reformed crowd who told people like us we're just catty, cackling, discerning women bloggers who OBVIOUSLY didn't know what we were talking about---"screetching" about something so inoculous as a dear brother, Mark Driscoll. Wait and see they said. Wait and let Piper mentor him. Yes, indeed that's what they did and low and behold, not only did Driscoll NOT improve with time, not only did Driscoll influence millions, but even his beloved mentor has ended up being the one learning and mimicking from the unholy wretched man himself--not the other way around. Bad company corrupts good morals, Scripture states. Indeed it does. The doctrine of separation (and rejection) is a command for a reason. A "little" leaven (much less a LOT OF leaven) leavens the whole loaf.

No comments: