Driscoll’s New Church

A remarkable thing has happened in the world of American evangelicalism.  Pastor Mark Driscoll, the disgraced former pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, who resigned in October 2014 because of his abusive and aggressive behaviour, is attempting to reinvent himself.  His conduct was so unacceptable that Acts29, the church planting organisation he founded, expelled him for ungodly conduct.  Other charges included plagiarism and using church funds to promote the sale of his books.  Yet just a few years after being expelled from Mars Hill, he has set up a new church in Scottsdale, Arizona—Trinity Church—with the apparent support of many in the evangelical world.

Driscoll has advertised himself on the Trinity Church website as, ‘a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor. He’s grateful to be a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody.’  Here we note the irony of this proud man, who boasted of throwing members of his former congregation under the Mars Hill bus, presenting himself as a humble nobody.

The Trinity website tells us: ‘Mark and Grace were married at the age of 21, and by 25 were planting their first church in the living room of their home while they both worked full-time jobs.’  Here Driscoll explains his formula for church grow:

‘I assumed the students and singles were all pretty horny, so I went out on a limb and preached through the Song of Solomon … Each week, I extolled the virtues of marriage, foreplay, oral sex, sacred stripping and sex outdoors… This helped us a lot because apparently a pastor using words like “penis” and “oral sex” is unusual; and before you could say “aluminum pole in the bedroom”, attendance began to climb steadily to more than two hundred people a week.’ (Confessions of a Reformission Rev. pp 94, 96) Driscoll’s fame has been achieved largely through his explicit sexual messages from the pulpit.

The website goes on; ‘Pastor Mark is the author of numerous books, including; Who Do You Think You Are, and Real Marriage. He has also written for CNN, Fox News, and The Washington Post.’ It is surprising that Driscoll should mention his Real Marriage (2012) book, which gives explicit details about what he teaches about sex.

‘Mark Driscoll asserts that a catalogue of unnatural sexual acts are biblically permissible in marriage. He writes: ‘Legally and biblically anal sex is permissible for a married couple as Scripture does not forbid it.’ He presents an argument claiming to show that ‘anal sex within marriage is not sodomy, is not inherently sinful, and is permissible.’ He endorses sexual role-play in marriage: ‘role playing is when one or both spouses assume roles to act out in character as part of their flirtation and lovemaking…’  He goes on to discuss a range of other deviant sexual acts which he says are biblically permissible in marriage, including the use of sex toys, oral sex, sexual medication, and cyber sex.

And more:  ‘With a skillful mix of bold presentation, accessible teaching, and unrelenting compassion for those who are hurting the most—particularly women who are victims of sexual and physical abuse and assault—Pastor Mark has taken biblical Christianity into cultural corners rarely explored by evangelicals.  Driscoll must surely have realised that the above comments would remind some readers of his ‘I seeing things’ video.

In his ‘I see things’ outburst, Driscoll gives a graphic account of a woman in his congregation committing adultery in a hotel room, describing the sex act in graphic detail. Driscoll’s obsession with salacious sex is again brought into the open. The sex scene in Driscoll’s imagination is so explicit that he even claims to know the colour of the bedspread and the height of the adulterer. We are asked to believe that the God of Scripture, who is ‘of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness’ (Habakkuk 1.13), reveals to the pastor of Mars Hill church salacious events in the lives of his congregation. To even suggest that his pornographic vision is from God is to impugn the holy character of God.

The blurb then rehearses all the celebrities that Driscoll has met. We are reminded that our humble ‘nobody’ is actually a somebody who is very important:  ‘He has been grilled by Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters on The View, gone head-to-head with Piers Morgan on CNN, debated the existence of evil with Deepak Chopra on ABC’s Nightline, bantered with the gang on Fox and Friends, and explained biblical sexuality on Loveline with Dr. Drew. Preaching magazine also named him one of the 25 most influential pastors of the past 25 years.

The final misleading comment: ‘Pastor Mark is very honored and excited to plant The Trinity Church, and draw from more than twenty years of ministry experience during which time over 10,000 people were baptized.’  And we must ask, How  many were thrown under the Mars Hill bus?

Here Driscoll is treating his readers and prospective new church members with contempt, assuming that they are completely ignorant of his record of abusive ungodly behaviour.  He makes no mention of the many people who were profoundly damaged by his abusive Mars Hill regime.  He has airbrushed his shameful conduct out of his CV.  There is not a word of repentance.

To learn more about Driscoll’s new church see this article by Todd Wilhelm   https://thouarttheman.org/2016/07/13/4493/