Driscoll’s Friends and Supporters
One of the reasons for the apparent ‘success’ of Mark Driscoll’s ministry is that he has received enormous support and encouragement from a number of evangelical leaders in the USA and in the UK. In the USA, Driscoll is a regular speaker at large evangelical conferences, such as the Gospel Coalition and the Desiring God Conference. In the UK, he has been invited to speak at the London Men’s Convention in the prestigious Royal Albert Hall to 4,000 men.
John Piper’s support
Perhaps the greatest supporter of Mark Driscoll’s ministry is John Piper of Desiring God ministries. In 2006, Piper invited Driscoll to preach at the national Desiring God Conference on “The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World”. At the 2008 Conference, Driscoll’s subject was “How Sharp the Edge? Christ, Controversy, and Cutting Words.” Piper explained that he invited Driscoll because he loved Driscoll’s theology, and because he liked to hang around with Driscoll.
John Piper has taken on a mentoring role, providing advice for Driscoll on his ministry. Piper says he helps Driscoll like a father helps his son. At the 2009 Basics Conference, John Piper was given the opportunity to respond to John MacArthur’s fierce criticism of Mark Driscoll’s outrageous sermon on The Song of Solomon preached inScotland.
In his critique John MacArthur, pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley,California, said that Driscoll’s method of preaching The Song of Solomon “is spiritually tantamount to an act of rape. It tears the beautiful poetic dress off Song of Solomon, strips that portion of Scripture of its dignity, and holds it up to be laughed at and leered at in a carnal way. Mark Driscoll has boldly led the parade down this carnal path. He is by far the best-known and most prolific popular proponent of handling the Song of Solomon that way. He has said repeatedly that this is his favourite passage of Scripture…” (Part 1)
John Piper’s response has been transcribed from an audio recording of the Basics Conference. Piper said: “I’m right in the thick of it… Everybody knows that I’ve been friendly with Mark Driscoll, because he’s been at two of our conferences and I’ll be with him in two weeks… John MacArthur spent four blog posts criticising Mark Driscoll two weeks ago, and Mark has stuck his foot in his mouth quite a few times. I would encourage nobody to become course, filthy, ugly, trashy… I know how easy it is to create an effect, and with a certain young crowd it’s hip, it’s cool… I don’t think your mouth needs to be dirty in order to relate to 20 somethings inSeattle, and I think Mark knows that… I count him as a good friend; I spent an hour two weeks ago, at the Gospel Coalition, talking about these things. The difference between me and MacArthur is that I’m not drawing the line that John has drawn from the imperfections of Mark’s ministry to his unfitness for ministry. That seems to be where John has gone, he says it’s over, Mark should resign, nobody should go to his church. I’m not going there, not at this point anyway. I’m going to Mark directly, I’m getting in his face and I’ve got more issues than language that I’m talking about in his face… I’m old enough to be your dad and I’m saying, ‘Look come, on clean this up’. Let’s get really specific for a minute, when I was sent the Song of Solomon Sermon [preached inScotland] that John critiqued, I listened to it, and I thought it was horrible. I got on my internet and wrote a three page letter to Mark Driscoll—this is horrible… within one hour that was off the resurgence website… that’s significant, that was a son’s like response to this fatherly—’Come on! That’s over the top’.
Now he preached on Song of Solomon in 2008, and what he did with his church was way more mellow, and way more acceptable, which simply says to me, Mark is growing… he is rock solid doctrinally and he is accomplishing things in Seattle which nobody else is accomplishing…”
Observe the video of Mark Driscoll expressing his profound admiration for his friend John Piper.
The Gospel Coalition
Significantly Driscoll has preached at the annual Gospel Coalition Conference most years since 2008. In 2009, the titled of Driscoll’s sermon was ‘Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth’. Driscoll started his sermon: “I what to thank Dr Carson, whom I love and appreciate very much, and Dr Tim Keller for bringing us all together… what holds us together is theological conviction and that’s really what matters most…” In 2011 Driscoll preached on “The Spirit-Filled Missional Ministry of Jesus”, promoting his Act 29 version of ministry. The Gospel Coalition has not only fully endorsed Driscoll’s ministry, but has made him a council member.
Mark Driscoll now has so much influence at the Gospel Coalition that at the 2011 national Conference he was part of a panel discussion dealing with the issue of “Training the Next Generation of Pastors and Other Christian Leaders”. The Panel was chaired by Don Carson, with Mark Driscoll comfortably seated in the middle of some of the biggest names in the evangelical world, namely, Albert Mohler, David Helm, and Ligon Duncan.
Cathy Mickells letter to the Gospel Coalition
“Why is Mark Driscoll a keynote speaker this coming April 21-23 at The Gospel Coalition’s National Conference inChicago? With all due respect to the men who are leading this organization, it is a mockery of the Christian faith to have Mark Driscoll speak on the topic of ‘Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth’. According to MacArthur’s Study Bible, rightly dividing the word of truth means ‘cutting it straight – a reference to the exactness demanded by such trades as carpentry, masonry… Precision and accuracy are required in biblical interpretation.’ Why? Because when we are handling the holy Word of God, nothing less is acceptable.
What comes out of the mouth of Mark Driscoll, and how he handles Scripture is not only shameful, but also an embarrassment to the Body of Christ. Regardless of Mark Driscoll’s ability to deliver a serious presentation of the gospel message, and draw people in off the streets ofSeattle, something is spiritually unhealthy and wrong with this ministry. Based on the concerns raised by others and the questions raised in this memo, it is all the more confusing that evangelical leaders are excusing the conduct and teachings of Mark Driscoll.
It is the opinion of this writer that there needs to be a close examination of this ministry. Mark Driscoll is undermining biblical and historical Christianity, and lacks the wisdom, discernment and maturity to lead. If the church cannot see it, we are further down the downgrade than we think.”
The London Men’s Convention
As we show on this website, the organising committee of the London Men’s Convention, (made up of evangelicals like Richard Coekin, of Dundonald Church Wimbledon, and Tim Thornborough of The Good Book Company), provided a platform for Mark Driscoll to preach in London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall in May 2011. Driscoll writes on his blog: “The London Men’s Convention has been going on since 2002, and I am honored by the opportunity to come and serve them this year. Seeing 4,000 men in the historic Royal Albert Hall singing to Jesus should be quite a sight. This year’s theme is “Faithful,” and I will be covering the topics “Faithful at Home” and “Faithful inMission.”Pastor Richard Coekin interviews Mark Driscoll
While in the UK Driscoll held a number of seminars on church planting. He writes: “I’ve been excited to see the growth of the Acts 29 church-planting movement into Great Britain and Western Europe under the direction of my friend Steve Timmis. This event will be an exciting opportunity to see some of what’s happening over there firsthand. I will be giving two talks: “A Church for All Seasons: The Nature of a Church Plant” and “A Word for All Seasons: The Message of a Church Planter,” in addition to an extended Q&A time.” One of Driscoll’s seminars was held in Richard Coekin’s evangelical Anglican church in Raynes Park, called The Factory.
Good Book Company
The Good Book Company in the UKis another friend and supporter of Mark Driscoll. Chief executive of the Good Book Company, Tim Thornborough, was a member of the organising committee of the London Men’s Convention that invited Mark Driscoll to preach at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in May 2011. Although the Good Book Company has a reputation for promoting sound evangelical literature, they have consistently promoted Driscoll’s books in the UK. Despite the furore surrounding the publication of Real Marriage (January, 2012), the Good Book Company promoted the book, and posted Mark Driscoll’s promotional video on their website.
Here is the Good Book Company’s promotional material.
“In Real Marriage, Pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife, Grace, share how they have struggled and how they have found healing through the power of the only reliable source: the Bible. They believe friendship is fundamental to marriage but not easy to maintain. So they offer practical advice on how to make your spouse your best friend – and keep it that way. And they know from experience that sex-related issues need to be addressed directly.
Five chapters are dedicated to answering questions like:
•Should I confess my pre-marital sexual sin to my spouse?
•Is it okay to have a “work spouse”?
•What does the Bible say about masturbation and oral sex?
Stunningly honest and vulnerable, Real Marriage is like a personal counselling session with a couple you cannot surprise, you cannot shock into silence, who will respond to every question with wisdom, humility, and realism. If you want to have a long-lasting, fulfilling marriage you should read this book. Wrestle with this book. Pray over this book. Share this book. And discover how God can use it to change your life.”
In June 2012 The Good Book Company stopped promoting Real Marriage.
Pastor Tim Challies comments:
‘Having read the book through two times, I’ve found myself wondering how to best measure or evaluate it, but perhaps these criteria are useful: Would I want to read it with my wife or would I encourage her to read it on her own? Would I recommend it to the people in my church? In both cases the answer is no.’
Professor Denny Burk, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies atBoyceCollege, comments:
‘Yet the Driscolls give explicit instructions to wives about how they might sodomize their husbands in a pleasurable way (p. 188). Yet where in the Bible is such an activity ever commended? The Bible only contemplates such activities in the context of homosexual relationships. The Bible condemns the “unnatural” use of bodies between persons of the same-sex (Rom. 1:26-27). Why would Christian couples emulate that unnatural use in the marital bed?’
The Burk review continues:
‘I can think of a whole range of other pastoral problems that might be provoked by chapter 10. Is sexual holiness really upheld while engaging in cybersex with one’s spouse over the internet (p. 184)? Does anyone really think it wise for Christians to upload digital, sexual images of themselves to the internet even if it is only intended for a spouse?
Or what about the endorsement of “Sex Toys”? The Driscolls recommend purchasing them “from one of the more discreet Web sites” (p. 193), but this seems to me a precarious proposition. How does a Christian go about finding a “discreet” seller of sex toys? The authors give no specific vendor for such objects. Specific rather than vague guidance might be better here, since a search for “sex toys” is just as likely to connect Christians to pornography as it is to “discreet Web sites.”
Finally, I question the wisdom of addressing sexual topics in such explicit detail… there are perversions that even I have never heard of before reading about them in chapter 10 of Pastor Driscoll’s book. It seems to me that there is something wrong with that.’
This is the outrageous book that the Good Book Company is promoting in the UK
The danger of false teaching
The purpose of this page is to show the danger of evangelical leaders associating with false teaching. On this website we provide clear evidence of Driscoll’s false teaching, which is summarised below:
- Mark Driscoll mocks Scripture. In his book Radical Reformission (2004), he writes of Adam and Eve: “The Bible could end right there [in Genesis], after only two chapters, with the man and woman naked, eating fruit, and trying to fill the earth all by their happy, horny, holy selves… God also works through a cowardly old man named Abraham, who is happy to whore out his loving and beautiful antique of a wife to avoid conflict. God also chooses to work through a guy name Jacob, even through he’s a trickster and a con man. Later God raised up a stuttering murderer named Moses to lead his people.” (p28-29) In Vintage Jesus Driscoll expresses his thoughts about Mary, the mother of Jesus: “Jesus’ mom was a poor, unwed teenage girl who was mocked for claiming she conceived via the Holy Spirit. Most people thought she concocted a crazy story to cover the ‘fact’ she was knocking boots with some guy in the backseat of a car at the prom.” (p11) Driscoll comments on Jesus in the gospel of Mark: “In chapter 11, he has one of his guys take a donkey without asking like some kleptomaniac donkey lifter, proceeds to curse and kill a fig tree, which really upset the environmental activists who were promoting justification by recycling, and goes on to loot some small businesses and whip some small business leaders who were decent, taxpaying Republicans.” (pp43-44)
- Mark Driscoll promotes sexual licentiousness in the church. He discusses issues that are offensive and deeply offensive, with a warning that the explicit nature of the discussions makes them unsuitable for children. His church website has links to two pornographic website. Dr. Judith Reisman commented on Driscoll’s websites: ‘Well, this is, at best, tragic. I don’t know if it is worse to think that these are phony church sites put out by pornographers or that they are real church sites put out by pornified churches. Words cannot describe the ignorance, arrogance and flagrant homoeroticism of these sites.’ JA Reisman, PhD”
- Mark Driscoll promotes worldly, flippant behaviour in the church. He wears flippant T-shirts in the pulpit. In one sermon he said: ‘The t-shirt I’m wearing is an example of drag Queen Jesus. You’ll notice he has very long hair beautiful curly and nice feature a bit of rouse on his cheeks. He didn’t look like that, and it also says that Jesus watches you down load porn which is theological correct and actually true. [much laughter from the audience, and Driscoll smiles and chuckles in apparent delight]. This is one of my favourite t-shirts, actually.”
- Mark Driscoll promoted tattoos in the church. The issue is discussed on the Mars Hill Downtown Campus under the headline: Jesus Loves Tattoos. Driscoll has no objection to Christians receiving tattoos. His advice is to get a new covenant tattoo if that’s what you would like to do. Yet this advice is in direct opposition to God’s word in Leviticus. Moreover, the association between tattoos and pagan and occult practices is well documented.
- Mark Driscoll promotes punk rock music in the church. The culture of Mars Hill church is grounded in punk-rock and all the wickedness, rebellion and lusts of the flesh associated with this depraved scene. He writes in Confessions of a Reformission Rev (2006): “I envisioned a large church that hosted concerts for non-Christian bands and fans on a phat sound system…” (Confessions, p40) He stated on his Facebook page, 29 November 2010: “It’s a Jay-Z soundtrack kind of day. Watched his NY show this weekend – I know he says bowling words but man the guy is a genius.”
- Mark Driscoll claims the ability to see things. He presents himself as a pastor who has a God-given ability to see things that occur in other people’s lives. He says that Jesus shows him things, like on a TV screen. In a church seminar he relates, in careful detail, his vision of a married woman committing adultery in a hotel room. He says that Jesus shows him visions of horrible things that happen to members of his congregation. He says: “I see things…”
Leading evangelical Christians have endorsed and supported the false ministry of Mark Driscoll. John Piper has supported Driscoll’s false ministry, declaring that he is solid doctrinally. By his action Piper is misleading millions of young Christians who look to him for advice. As Piper says elsewhere, he just loves Mark Driscoll’s theology. In effect, John Piper is openly supporting and even encouraging false teaching in the Church.
The Gospel Coalition, led by Don Carson and Tim Keller, has provided a national platform for Driscoll to spread his false teaching. In the UK, the London Men’s Convention, led by Richard Coekin, has made the ministry of Mark Driscoll acceptable to thousands of men from evangelical churches.
Scripture is clear that true believers must separate from false teachers. False teachers, who introduce heretical beliefs and immoral conduct, are so dangerous that they must be exposed and put out of the Church. The flock of Christ must be protected against ravenous wolves. Our Lord warned: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:15-20)
The apostle Paul warned: “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16.17-18)