January 31, 2012

Mark Driscoll's idea of Church Discipline (spiritual abuse/coercion)

This is a two parter. The second part is linked at the bottom of this article:

The church discipline contract alone (outside of the browbeating behavior of the leaders) is alarming enough:
Plan of Discipline:
Andrew will attend XXX's CG and meet with XXX on a regular basis (define)
Andrew will not be involved in serving at MH
Andrew will not pursue or date any woman inside or outside of MH
Andrew will write out in detail his sexual and emotional attachment history with women and share it with XXX.
Andrew will write out in detail the chronology of events and sexual/emotional sin with K and share it with XXX and Pastor X.
Andrew will write out a list of all people he has sinned against during this timeframe, either by sexual/emotional sin, lying or deceiving, share it with XXX and develop a plan to confess sin and ask for forgiveness.
i.e. YOU are going to entrust me with your deepest darkest emotional and sexual secrets right NOW, and write it down for record keeping, or you are being unsubmissive and you are OUT of here.

That's very trust-inspiring isn't it?

Also, if you didn't, please view at least some of the video linked at bottom of part one here where it says:
Everybody knows how much Mark Driscoll loves disciplining church people.

In it he speaks about Gossip: at 17:45 in the video
"Many things in Scripture speak of this:  Proverbs 16:28, 2 Cor 12:20-21, Proverb 20:19 says 'A gossip betrays a confidence so avoid a man who talks too much.'  What needs to happen for those who are prone to gossip, it needs to be pointed out to them, those who are offended, those who have been gossipped about need to practice Matthew 18 and say "You know I thought you were a friend and I confided in you something that I'm struggling with, and next thing I know it's on the church email chain.  You know?  I came to you for accountability and for love and support and you're a gossip."

Is that not exactly what happened here?  He has gone through and explained how we try to sanctify gossip with a cloak of asking for prayer, and here he is shown to have sanctified it with a cloak of church discipline.

Right off the bat however he says (at 1:08)
"Within the church there are leaders and those leaders are given, by God, authority. And then, he says, that those people who are under their authority are to submit to their authority. And I always like to say that it's not really submission until you disagree. Up until that point, two people can agree and there is no such thing as submission, there's agreement. Submission is required when there is disagreement. That is when it is required."

So let me get this straight... Mark Driscoll says that submission does not occur until there is resistance. So if you are willingly submitting to them in the church discipline process, they must keep harassing you until they find something you won't submit to, and then MAKE you submit or kick you out via Matthew 18?

Isn't there also submission and authority in the Godhead? Is there disagreement there?

Mark goes on to say: (1:21) "They, meaning the leaders, keep watch over you as men who must give an account. And for those who call themselves leaders in the church, those who are elders, those who are deacons, they carry the additional burden of standing before the Lord Jesus Christ at the final judgement, and giving an account not just for themselves and their family but those in their church and ministries that they led, and how well they led them. And so there is this great responsibility that God places upon us as leaders. And he says to obey them so that their work will be a joy and not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you, and what he essentially says is this, that as a leader, if people respect your authority and follow your leadership, then they are joyous people, it makes things so much easier, and life is happy in the church."

But... you... just... said... that that means they aren't submitting... they're just agreeing. I'm confused.

This is cultic, spirit breaking behavior. 1 Peter 5:3 says church leadership is not to domineer over the flock entrusted to their care. It is ironic that Driscoll actually refers to it in the video. He also talks about self discipline, and how it is important for us to be following the Holy Spirit. So this guy was, because his conscience was pricking him, demonstrating a willingness to deal with his own sin, and ask for help... in return the whole church goes crazy.  It is atrocious... it seems as though their understanding of church discipline is to take a repentant sinner and give him, essentially, some sort of figurative colonoscopy to make sure he isn't hiding something ELSE? And to badger him until he admits to SOMETHING?  Well then what ?  Suppose he then submits to what you require for  that?   Is he then not submitting because he is properly submitting?  This idea is completely untenable.  Where does it stop?  Even pressing people to ONE incident of breaking  is wrong.  Suppose it is someone whose only blatant offense toward someone in the church is that one they've already confessed to?

I pray this young man finds or has found a real church in which to fellowship.

Maranatha! Come Quickly Lord.