A Package For Satan
“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.”
(1 Peter 5:1–3 ESV)
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 5:1–5 ESV)
“For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 5:3–5 ESV)
“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.””
(1 Corinthians 5:12–13 ESV)
Mark Driscoll is making headlines again.
Bloggers are blogging about Mark Driscoll again.
Social media is full of comments and memes about Mark Driscoll again.
The point to all the posts, tweets, and blogs is that Mark Driscoll is a dangerous religious tyrant.
This is not new news…people have been proving Driscoll unfit for ministry for over 15 years.
The question is no longer about whether Driscoll is fit for ministry, but if anyone in his “church” is a Christian.
Before we proceed, let’s do a little Bible 101.
What we call the “books” of the New Testament were actually letters to congregations. These letters would be circulated among the churches and read out loud to the assembly.
They were not sent to leadership alone marked “for your eyes only”.
The first letter to the Corinthian church would have been read out loud to them, much to their dismay when they got to the paragraph I’ve noted above.
Evidently, they had different sort of public louse in the building and they were tolerating, yea, even supporting him in his sin.
Paul said to throw him out….purge him…deliver him to Satan.
Paul said nothing about blogging in hopes that someone else would do what they were supposed to do.
The sin may have been different but the principle is the same.
The people who comprise Trinity Church are responsible unto God and each other to spiritually package Driscoll and sent him straight to hell for spiritual therapy.
One of the reasons for this is that if left unchecked , the sin will spread through the church.
Thus, disciplining Driscoll is loving him and each other and protecting the Body.
Now, we all know that none of this is going to happen.
The question we must ask is why it won’t happen.
The reasons begin with the fact that people who gravitate to churches with “celebrity” leaders also gravitate to idolatry and no one likes their idols toppled.
The reasons continue with the fact that these churches are centered on the celebrity, not the assembly or Christ and the assembly likes it that way.
We have lost the idea of corporate responsibility for the church… it is all about the individual and no cares about the abused until they are abused themselves.
In truth, the assembly will cast out the abused before they will deal with the abusive.
At some point we need to find a different name for these gatherings because they bear no resemblance to the Body of Christ or the lordship of Jesus.
The idolatry, abuse, and love for authoritarians has permeated American evangelicalism and it’s a stench in the nostrils of God.
Come out from among them…and Mark…go to hell.
Michael, tell us how you really feel. 🙂
I’ll take a nap and try again… 🙂
I don’t know why people are so attracted to Driscoll, given all that has been written about him. But, I didn’t understand why people followed Jim Jones to Guyana, either (I was still living in San Francisco when stuff about JJ began to hit the papers. None of it was good, and then Jonestown followed a couple years later). However, I did choose to not attend a local church in my area that had a celebrity pastor for a number of years (he has a popular radio show) because too many things seem to happen with these “celebrities.”
Linn @ 9:46
There may be a good reason for Jesus calling us sheep ? ? ?
I like Michael’s point that what we call “books” were actually letters intended for the WHOLE congregation… A good teacher doesn’t edit the Bible… IMHO
I fully expect the cult followers of Mark Driscoll at some point to go down the same path as The Peoples’ Temple and Jim Jones. But in the Arizona desert…..
I don’t expect anything of the sort.
A few will leave, the noise will quiet, and he’ll go on just as he is.
Is there any precedent among early Church teachings of a person being turned over to Satan by others outside the local Church?
The early church understood this as being excommunication or exclusion from the body of the faithful. We find it in Tertullian for example and even later in the Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia. One of the longest passages is in Chrysostom (below). That being said, the early church had a structure of bishops, presbyters (priests) and deacons, so there was an authority both local and regional already existing which worked with a local body of believers.
“Then lest he [Paul] should be thought too authoritative and his speech sound rather self-willed, mark how he makes them also partners in the sentence. For having said, “I have judged,” he adds, “concerning him that hath so wrought this thing, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, ye being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan. Now what means, “In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ?” “According to God;” “not possessed with any human prejudice.” Some, however, read thus, “Him that hath so wrought this thing in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and putting a stop there or a break, then subjoin what follows, saying, “When you are gathered together and my spirit to deliver such an one unto Satan:” and they assert that the sense of this reading is as follows, “Him that hath done this thing in the Name of Christ,” saith St. Paul, “deliver ye unto Satan;” that is, “him that hath done insult unto the Name of Christ, him that, after he had become a believer and was called after that appellation, hath dared to do such things, deliver ye unto Satan.” But to me the former exposition (ἐκδοσις. It seems to mean “enunciation.”) appears the truer.”
I had a college friend who lost several of her high school classmates in Jonestown. She was from Ukiah where JJ had one of his churches before he went to San Francisco. She was devastated, and I was devastated for her.
I read the letter. It’s disturbing on so many levels.
Theological question? What is meant by delivering a member to Satan for “destruction of the flesh” so their spirit may be saved? The latter implies to be OSAS. I’m not sure what the destruction of the flesh means. Expunge a drug user or alcoholic? A sexually immoral person to die of STDs? A thief or child abuser to go to prison?
As for the last, my friend is an elder at a tiny AoG church. One of the worship singers molested an underage girl. They rightly reported it and the woman spent a few years in prison. Strangley, they welcomed her back (with boundaries). He couldn’t share details.
the letter brought back a lot of memories, like how the new has roots in the old
I do cut a small amount of slack to people who would want to look up stuff but a) don’t know where to look and b) can’t find the evidence for the new behaviors in the old statements because A29 and TGC purged so much Driscoll stuff that could have let more people know that “spectrum of trust” stuff was out in the open as far back as 2011. That said, part of the reason the blog has new pages and tags is to make it easier for people to trawl through all the material I’ve compiled that Team Driscoll was busy purging circa 2013-2014. If it’s all about Jesus then a sermon shouldn’t go from 70 minutes to 27 minutes after excising Mark’s bragging about kick-ass real estate deals for the former Mars Hill. 🙂
“Theological question? What is meant by delivering a member to Satan for “destruction of the flesh” so their spirit may be saved?”
What Paul is directing the Corinthian Church to do in concrete terms is to publicly excommunicate the individual, “Let him who has done this be removed from among you,” and “When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan….”
There is no middle ground for Paul. One is either in the body of Christ, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread,” or he is in Satan’s kingdom. Removal from the assembly of Christ removes the individual from participating in Holy Communion (ex-communicate, remove from the communion table), receiving the forgiveness of sins, and the communion of the saints. Outside the body of Christ, the individual is back under Satan’s dominion.
Excommunication both protects the assembly from the evil leaven which threatens to leaven the whole lump, but it is a restorative use of God’s law that through God’s judgment, which the assembly speaks to the unrepentant sinner, there is the hope and the ultimate goal of the repentance and restoration of the fallen individual.
Many, if not most, scholars read 2 Cor. 2:5-11 as speaking of the restoration of the individual who slept with his father’s wife.
Thanks Duane. I’ll go back to the writings you mentioned.
It’s sort of an intriguing question, regarding precedent laid down in Roman or Byzantium Ekklesia, and application in modern Evangelicalism, with it’s lack of formal structure.
Also, various Presbyterian, Continental Reformed, etc. have a Book of Church Order which covers the procedures and the like regarding excommunication of a church member as Paul instructed.
Does Job 2 apply here?
I graduated from Ukiah High in 78’ …Stephen Jones (son of JJ) was in my P.E. class. He survived because he was on their Church basketball team, and had been playing at an away game.
The key attribute that I will always choose to remember of my deceased classmates, whom were congregants at The People’s Temple; was what appeared to be genuine, colorblind racial integration …long before anyone was striving to score Social Justice points for good P.R.
The idea of the Assembly purging the evil from among them should directly influence church polity and one reason I favor a more congregational authority. Even Presbyterian type churches with elder boards can have a good ole boys club mentality where the elders can protect each other at the expense of a congregant. CC is the potentially the most abusive form of church government where the Pastor personally picks his own board members. No one has the power to hand any one over to Satan or for that matter Hell. The apostle Paul may have had that authority as an apostle but I don’t believe in that authority now. However, I do believe the principal is valid where the flock should protect it’s members collectively. Mark Driscoll is an embarrassment but he is also a great example of how NOT to lead. He unknowingly serves a great purpose to the greater body of Christ. I see a silver lining.
To The New Victor,
My church has an older woman who was found guilty of sex crimes against a child a couple of decades ago. She is also has mental health issues. She is an active participant in the church, but not allowed anywhere near children. She has “minders.” Restoration did not mean putting her in the line of temptation, or anyone else in danger. Only those of us who need to know are informed. I believe the elders did a good job on this one. (I do not know if the incident occurred in the church, or somewhere else).
Yes, color-blind racial integration while Jones worked on his power-grabbing and brainwashing techniques. I was a high schooler in San Francisco when all of the controversy about Jones hit the fan (misuse of funds that were supposed to go to help the poor, if I remember correctly). He had been held up as a model of how to help the poor succeed, rather like Cecil Williams. But, as the newspapers probed, it got uglier and uglier. (Williams is the pastor emeritus of Glide Memorial Church-unorthodox theology from a traditional Christian viewpoint, but very forward thinking in helping the needy).
I am retired from working the Med Device Industry 40 years. I never wanted to be in Management or climb a ladder (not my personality). Organizationally, I just loved to work in the field with Accounts. During this time, I would say that most (not all), of Upper Management, Sales Directors, CEO’s, CFO’s, etc.; were a blend of Narcissistic, Authoritarian, and Egocentric. It was always about themselves. I remember speaking to a friend once about the Sociopathic behaviors these individuals exhibit. His response, “Business is certainly not biblical Christianity”. After reading parts of this article, I could easily substitute the aforementioned observations to MD and his Cronies. This is beyond far worse, as these Empire Builders are supposed to be held to a significantly higher standard. This is such a rancid representation of Christ. Michael, I know it is always about the parishioners who are enthralled with a personality, that keeps this machine running. Thank you for standing in the gap and exposing these who do harm to the journey of those who desire to follow Christ. I am stunned as to these behaviors.