Mark Driscoll Isn’t the Problem

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30 Responses

  1. The only way to deal with a narcissist is to depart from the narcissist. Yet, the manipulative ways of the narcissist are like a web that somehow dulls the common sense of people. I pray that people at Trinity will gain clarity of vision about what’s going on and the courage to walk away.

  2. Steven says:

    Amen! And I’ll name them…..Dan Duffus, Bill Smead and Jon Phelps. Driscoll’s 3 biggest donors from Seattle who still support him and fund him in Phoenix. May they come into the light and be known for supporting spiritual abuse.

  3. pstrmike says:

    I have said for years that people get what they want, and they deserve what they get.

    I think it is hard to realize when you are in a cultic environment, particularly when you agree with the theology that is being preached. It’s the ultimate cognitive dissonance environment—the gospel is preached, but not lived. It is a dysfunction that becomes an epidemic that spreads. Even after realizing the toxicity of your church environment, there is the internal battle that ensues of rationalization and outrage—the dissonance continues. The only remedy is to leave, but the trauma of the spiritual abuse follows you.

  4. Duane Arnold says:

    Such assemblies are not “Church”… they barely fall under the description of “Christianity”.

  5. Em says:

    Cult…. hmmm
    Veneration of another human, Jesus excepted, is anathema to God ! When they use God as a threat, look out! ! !
    Never met a human that i could venerate 😉
    Some i respect, but venerate? Uggghh

  6. Xenia Moos says:

    I venerate a lot of humans, all of them in heaven.

  7. bob1 says:

    I agree — it’s time to stop just blaming abusive leaders and looking at the folks who still decide to support these people.

    This probably sounds cynical, but it’s the PT Barnum syndrome — they’re born every minute.

    Isn’t Driscoll rather authoritarian and black/white and all-or-nothing in his approach to Xnity?

    Unfortunately, authoritarianism sells, within the church scene and without.

    People want somebody to think for them. Sometimes, at least, IMHO.

  8. Dan from Georgia says:

    Bob1. That’s how I have been thinking about it today. Driscoll is a problem and should in no way be in charge or in ministry above another person. I really wonder about and feel some pity to be honest for those who put themselves under this man. Do they alway’s have to have someone “over” them? Is there a sense of pride in saying “I go to so-and-so’s church”?

  9. Em says:

    Xenia, perhaps, then, it is the definition we assign to the word, “venerate”…. ?

  10. EricL says:

    When I read about the other pastors/leaders who submit themselves to an abusive leader, I wonder how they justify their actions and beliefs. Are some so delusional that they think God is smiling at their enabling of said abuser? Are they so driven for money, that they will do their best to ignore the sin? Are they even believers?

    I pity the pew sitters, many of them are so spiritually emaciated that they are unaware how unhealthy the place is. I’m more upset about the enablers: the assistant pastors and worship leaders and youth directors and children’s pastors and so on. Someone like Driscoll couldn’t offer anything worthwhile without all those others who enable him and offer a veneer of legitimacy to his narcissistic excuse for a church.

  11. bob1 says:

    Venerate: to regard with great respect; revere

  12. bob1 says:

    Everybody venerates someone.

    Protestants venerate Augustine/Luther/Calvin/Wesley, etc.

    It’s not the same as worship, in my understanding.

    A little nuance would clear things up.

  13. Linnea says:

    Driscoll and his followers are like a scratched record–they keep playing the same tune and can’t seem to get out of the rut.

  14. Linn says:

    I don’t want to say people are stupid, but sometimes they just are. Many aren’t aware of certain pastors, and if you don’t pay attention to Christian news, you really might not know. When someone comes up to me and says, “Have you read this great book by_____________(former megachurch pastor who fell from his position due to gross sin)”, I often find out they have never heard of the person. And, as already mentioned here, some want to be “led” (off the cliff with the other lemmings?) and be reassured that they have the best pastor ever. Pastor worship should be the eighth of the seven deadly sins.

  15. BrideofChrist says:

    “American evangelism is in love with success and authority.” Indeed. I think this explains their support of Trump in the face of his carnal sinfulness and general depravity.

  16. Dan from Georgia says:

    Linn, Good point about not knowing what they are getting into.

    I think back at Mars Hill the parishioners were told not to look at the negative news about them online (twitter, Facebook, regular news outlets).

    Um…now that is a HUGE red flag!

  17. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    If Phelps was one of the biggest donors to MHC then couldn’t that have presented a problem of potential or actual conflict of interest in being a member of the Board of Overseers?

    There were four guys who let Driscoll off the hook by refusing to accept the findings of the Board of Elders that Mark was unfit for ministry: Matt Rogers, John Phelps, Larry Osborne, and Michael Van Skaik. Why they decided Driscoll had not been found disqualified from ministry is something only they can answer but to go by the last few years answers won’t be forthcoming. If we’re left only able to speculate Christian celebrity must have a high level of sunk cost fallacy activity.

    Years ago I told a friend from the MHC days that when people defended Mark they weren’t really defending Mark so much as they were defending their investment of themselves in him. The friend objected and said they are TOTALLY defending Mark. That’s true but my point was that WHY they do that has to be addressed. When I realized there was literally nothing that Driscoll and MHC claimed to stand for I couldn’t better find in another church I went and found another church.

    Beyond telling members to not read negative news or blogs, MHC leadership was astonishingly fast at purging and redacting materials. In the 2013-2014 period I found it was commonplace for me to publish X on date 123 and then a week later X would be gone. There are post-MHC versions of sermons that are fifty minutes shorter than the versions he originally preached at Mars Hill. He used to say he just preached the Bible but “Christians Gone Wild” has some sermons where spent so much time bragging about real estate acquisitions the actual discussion of the biblical text might amount to no more than 20 minutes of an 80 minute sermon.

    It’s a lot harder to find out the facts about what was said by whom when and why if people keep purging and redacting media materials. The folks at The Trinity Church have probably been told to never visit or any of “those blogs”. They may have been told that they can’t trust anyone at “The People’s Republic of Seattle” who actually knew him when he was here. The halo effect works in two directions. I know first-hand that a few folks at The Wartburg Watch presumed the worst about me until former members vouched for me and said I could be trusted.

    That we live vicariously through celebrities should probably creep us out way more than it does.

  18. DH says:

    All people are evil… some people are just gullible.

  19. CM says:


    Mark Driscoll may end up pissing off the wrong person (or their family) in Arizona. If that happens, he and his rent-a-cop security detail may end up disappearing in the Arizona desert only for their sun-bleached bones to be discovered years later.

  20. UnCCed says:

    This may sound strange, but the irony of Mark, the Skipper, and others, is they serve a very effective warning who might fall into their steps, hopefully acknowledged early.
    As my name implies I was neck-deep in training of the Caesar-model of “church” gov. I wouldn’t have believed if anyone had tried to warn me I might become like them, but now THANK GOD nothing worked-out for me because I have an intimate understanding of the pressures, weaknesses, and enabling that produce these situations.
    In short, I’m not glad Mark became what he did, but God has used him in my life as sort of “now do you understand my son?”
    I was too puffed-up to see it and didn’t yet have the pressures (idols) still too taboo in the church to discuss (though David Platt has), but anyone who thinks they couldn’t become Mark isn’t paying attention.

  21. UnCCed says:

    By the way, most of my “the Lord told me”s haven’t come to pass…THANK GOD!
    I’m not being devotional, my Forrest Gump life used to be funny (to me), now I’m stupefied.
    I can even see how changes in my life a year before the pandemic we’re in preparation for that most people couldn’t imagine.

  22. Outsider says:

    I pray for these deceived sheep. I put more blame on Driscoll than the average congregant. I know for myself I’ve be at times been impressed with charismatic figures but when I hear things like 24/7 surveillance, I start to be more rational. I used to like Driscoll but I know better now. Not everyone is reading these blog posts and not everyone understands that this kind of abuse is in the church. Some give the leaders the benefit of the doubt which they shouldn’t. It’s deceptive. It’s hard to convince a deceived person The leaders and teachers should be held to a higher standard because they can do more harm because they are the real deceivers. Best we can do for the sheep is to pray for them.

  23. Angel 7 says:

    It does seem that Jesus went after the religious rulers much harder than the sheep. Our once mega church is now a mini church! People overall quietly left when the new pastor took over. Pastor was friends with Driscoll, Ravi Z., Gospel for Asia and many others exposed on this site.
    Pastor wrongly defended his buddies either because of the inside money that few know or talk about in the inner circles.
    What really was troubling is that after (well over) 10,000 regulars left (maybe 400 attend today) that the board has left pastor in place! Certainly lends credibility from former staff that the board is in on the action. More disconcerting is that any real pastor and man of God with any conviction would have removed himself from that pulpit after running the people off and draining the coffers. Pastor has no discernment on the wolves probably because he is one!

  24. Muff Potter says:

    God forbid that Driscoll completely jump the train tracks and we see a repeat of the tragedy in Guyana under Jim Jones (1978).

  25. Outsider says:

    Pastor was friends with Driscoll, Ravi Z., Gospel for Asia and many others exposed on this site………. has no discernment on the wolves probably because he is one!

    Angel 7 well said. My ex CC pastor threw me out of his family business (I mean church) was the best thing ever to happen to me. He was friends with these folks plus many others including the Mudd Man potters field guy, who he would host every year and Bob Coy who he admired and is still trying to emulate with his multi-campus approach today. Maybe not buddies with Driscoll because Driscoll was reformed really wasn’t tolerated well in CC untill somehow they were able to host Alistair Begg. Not sure why Alistair got involved with CC. I would say his credibility took when he did.

  26. Corby says:

    The disconnect here is that people don’t do due diligence. Everytime I hear people talk about the church that they go to and what they like about it, the criteria are how good the preacher is and how good the band is. Most people don’t do a background check on the pastor of a church. If they like what they say, how they say it, if the music is engaging, God must be there and it must be a good place, especially if they have friends who go there or any kind of community there. “Surely, a pastor would not be in chagre of a church if there was any kind of problem with them.” That’s the mindset of most people (and don’t call me Shirley.)

  27. Outsider says:

    Corby, you are exactly right. Driscoll it’s easy now to do a Google search and you can find posts like this. Other abusive pastor’s are under the radar and not as easy to detect. This is why I look at the form of church polity. The traditional Moses model in CC is made for abusive narcissist pastors who treat Gods sheep at best like stock holders in their businesses and at worst like ants to be crushed.

  28. Michael says:


    I agree in part.
    However, the spiritual crimes of Driscoll are well documented and known far and wide.
    This current wickedness won’t cost him either…

  29. CM says:


    Naw…they are just giving units (aka revenue sources)….

    Get enough butts in the seats and the concert and entertainment pays for itself.

  30. Joel says:

    Looking at Driscoll’s website reminds me of what we heard about Bob Caldwell: surrounded by young people, most without formal education, who are unlikely to naysay him

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