August 11, 2014

Cue the Challies lecture on Driscoll. (Janet Mefferd)

Challies has commented on the Character problem of Mark Driscoll.   Read if you feel so compelled.

Well, I remember when Tim went out on a limb and called Brian Mclaren a heretic, got a bunch of flack, and then recanted.  Then a couple years later, recanted his recantation.  Way to demonstrate discernment there Tim.  Likewise with Driscoll.  Better late than never I guess, except...

Janet Mefferd has had a thing or two to say about it (note, the link is bad, she fixes it in a subsequent tweet.)
Janet Mefferd discussed this with Warren Throckmorton today on her show.

(Yes we all know he's liberal, I don't endorse his theology but he has been indispensable in following this story.  If only the Evangelical talking heads would take this stuff as seriously.)

Then I came across Ingrid Schlueter's EXCELLENT take.  Reposted with permission:
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.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln