Mar 122014
 

While Warren Cole Smith, Warren Throckmorton, Janet Mefferd, Wenatchee the Hatchet and others in media have done excellent, well documented exposes of Mark Driscoll and the mess on Mars Hill, one Christian Post reporter isn’t happy about their work.

Alex Murashko tweeted this out last night;

Screenshot 2014-03-12 07.01.02

That tweet was linked to this puff piece (complete with video provided by Mars Hill) where Driscoll is “taking an apologetic tone” about unspecified offenses at unspecified times against unspecified people committed when he was “younger”.

There was no mention of plagiarizing books or sermons or abusing authority now that he’s “older”.

I responded to Muraskos tweet with a question:

Screenshot 2014-03-12 09.25.16

That question is still unanswered .

Make your own application…

  40 Responses to “Christian Post Reporter Rips Driscoll Critics”

  1. Basically you think the reporter is saying that if you are apologetic you do not have to deal with issues.

  2. He’s also saying that if you are “apologetic” you don’t have to confess or repent of anything specific.
    He is being less than straightforward on Twitter…

  3. Sorry I’m late to the story here and I haven’t read all the artifacts. I have seen allegations that Driscoll profited personally from the sale of the book, which complicates matters somewhat. Is this actually a documented fact? Or just an allegation.

  4. Thanks. I had heard it was a big round number, which made me wonder. The blogger at that link has updated his number to $444k, but as best I could tell he doesn’t actually show the money, whatever the amount is, ended up in Driscoll’s pocket. Does he?

  5. But the assertion I saw said the money went to the church. Is that not so?

  6. I think the application, or assertion here is that the church and Driscoll are one and the same. Not a bad investment if this “report” can be believed. They doubled their money, right? Not an easy feat in this economy.

    Does anyone have any actual proof of where this incredibly savvy investment wound up?

  7. Phil, since Driscoll is legal president of Mars Hill Church and founded the company On Mission LLC that owns the copyright to Real Marriage that equation is more than understandable. What made the book a bit unusual was it was possibly the first one where Driscoll set up a side company to manage royalties for Real marriage before the book was published. He also apparently set up Future Hope Revocable Living Trust around that time. In the past, though he owned the copyright to most of his books, he had not set up a side company to manage royalties for those.

  8. Hey!

    I’m not defending Driscoll but you still haven’t answered the question so I’ll try again;

    Do or does anyone have any actual proof of where this incredibly savvy investment wound up?

  9. If the book came from his sermons, who owns the intellectual property? If he was paid to do the sermons don’t the sermons belong to the church?

    I realize Driscoll and the church are one and the same, but for argument, let’s assume we are talking about a Christian organization. ;-)

  10. Babs, who owns your sermons?

  11. MLD!

    My favorite Dodger fan! How are ya friend?

    I find it hard to believe a Christian organization would allow a known plagiarist to continue to lead it so when it comes to that crew I stopped assuming they were ;-)

  12. Phil, I’m not sure how many people even inside MH could even answer that question. On Mission LLC’s registered agent is V William Moritz, though. Not sure anyone who ever comes here could actually answer your question, I’m afraid. So if Driscoll won’t talk maybe someone can ask Moritz where the money ended up?

  13. Wenatchee,

    Maybe the ones making the assumptions should ask him before they go public?

  14. MLD – You’re whole “work product” comments over the years has gotten me thinking and researching stuff. I appreciate it.

    Thought you might find this of interest.

    http://yates2.com/blog/2011/07/who-owns-the-pastors-sermons-part-2/

    Make sure you read into the comments for a dissenting opinion that is likely more right on than the original article (IMO)

  15. and note that Driscoll is listed as a client. Interesting.

    In other news, it looks like MH has pulled every single sermon from the series in Nehemiah, Phillipians, and 1 Corinthians. That’s pulling at least a year’s worth of sermons, isn’t it?

  16. Phil, are you the Phil Naessens from the sports show?

    (Sorry…off topic)

  17. Phil wears many hats… ;-)

  18. Re: the Driscoll thing. It just seems that, ethically, there is a point when if a pastor is more about speaking and writing, he ought come to terms that its time to leave the pastorate. But some feel they need the crutch of holding on to a pulpit.

  19. Ha! I like his interviews with Amar on the SLC Dunk blog.

  20. In other words, if you view yourself as a national (or international) influencer, then leave the local work to someone willing to remain local.

  21. Phil is a great friend to the PhxP and to me…love him.

  22. Driscoll is disqualified.
    He needs to go home.

  23. Right now the question is in the hands of the MH leadership. Their cajones are being tested.

  24. Steve, good article on the intellectual property. I see it like the dissenter does. Hired as an employee or a contractor the product produced belongs to the employer. A guy designing the Mustang for Ford does not own the design and does not get to take it with him when he leaves to take a job with GM.

    My point for the question was, if you pay me to preach for a year, can I just turn that into book material and collect the $1 million?

    Now, I have no problem with it if it is negotiated.

    Way back in the day when folks like Neil Sedaka and Carol King and a whole bunch of other songwriter worked for a music publishing writing songs, they earned a wage and did not own the songs. They got their name on the credits and a pay check

  25. Concerning who gets the money, please notice the very careful wording in the puff piece that Michael linked to at the top:

    “and to be clear, all of the books purchased through this campaign have been given away or sold through normal channels.

    “All monies from the sale of Pastor Mark’s books at Mars Hill bookstores have always gone to the church and Pastor Mark did not profit from the Real Marriage books sold either at the church or through the Result Source marketing campaign.”

    They do NOT say that the money goes exclusively to MHC for sales through other bookstores, Amazon, his seminars, etc. They only mention sales through the MHC bookstore and from that specific marketing campaign. You have to read very carefully when dealing with certain folks. Unless they specifically state otherwise, I think we have to assume that Driscoll is indeed profiting handsomely from this scam.

    It angers me as a writer to see such a crooked scheme- at least the marketing part was. We will have to wait for more about the rest, I guess.

  26. There may be some other forces driving the industry that is Mars Hill and it may well have started out that way. It is now an division of the corporation. Let me make this clear, I will never fault how someone makes a living as long as it is legal, ethics and morality are sort of passe and when they are detrimental to brand building / protecting, and revenue they should be ignored. Pastor Driscoll leveraged what he had to help create a variety of revenue streams, good on him, all those people under the bus are merely canon fodder and that is being nice.

    Of course I dont believe any of this, just goes to show what a clown I am. I read his book on marriage, I will admit I cried, for his wife. I felt really awful for her. I know I am not much of a man but I could not do that to someone I love. Just my opinion.

  27. Clearly there’s something adrift in my thinking and I should go analyze myself. For some reason I don’t care whether it was the church or Driscoll who profited financially. I’m hung up on thoughts of what size of ego would be required to presume a by-any-means entitlement to ‘bestseller’ status for the kind of literary toilet paper that Driscoll routinely produces, as well as ongoing questions about plagiarism, unanswered questions about the sewer that Driscoll’s mind appears to have been steeped in, and indeed some of us think that such shameless pursuit of celebrity in a ‘Christian’ leader is an immediate disqualifier of Pauline proportions.

    Even more disturbing that such a large number of pastors – young and old – are so fixated on church growth methodology that they give Driscoll a continual carte blanche to perpetuate his corruption, terrified that they’ll lose a leader, miss out on snatching at the hem of his garment, or miss having some of his fairy dust brush off onto them. So sad that they are so lacking in theological heroes and this plastic manufactured forgery is the best they can muster.

    I’m constantly nauseated these days by the pass given to megachurch leaders and celebrity pastors and authors whose followers andbfans seek to reassure us that all the fruits of selfishness, pride and sinful rebellion are the tools of the Holy Spirit ‘in the name of furthering the Gospel.’ Whatever happened to those who are called to shepherd setting the standard of holiness as a matter of conviction. Oh… Forgot… I know what happened to it. It’s the difference between ‘called’ and ‘chose to do it for their own satisfaction.’

    /rant over

  28. Regarding who owns the sermons, it has been years since I was a senior pastor, but for the 22 years that I was, I was never given a W-2. I was looked upon as self-employed, thus I filed a Schedule C. The church would give me the amount that I was paid including housing allowance. I was audited once, and the IRS agent explained that pastors are to be considered self-employed. Again, this was 30 years ago.

    So, MLD my sermons belong to me. You want to buy some? :wink:

  29. The self-employed status is for payroll taxes, Bob. Legally we are employees of the church.(not independent contractors) if in fact one is employed by a church I think that article touches on this too…

  30. Steve, understood. As I previously stated, my audit was 30+ years ago and that is what the IRS agent told me. Do you receive a W-2 from your church? I do now, but never did before.

  31. Bob,
    As I said earlier, if Ford hires a contractor (1099) to design a new Mustang – who does the design belong to? Does he later get to take his design to GM?

    I thought one point the defense made was funny. If the pastor didn’t own his own sermons, when he left and went to a new church, he would have no sermons to preach. LOL :-)

  32. Bob, it is weird. I’m just this year getting a taxable salary from the church. In some of the past years I did receive a housing allowance only. So follow this.

    On the one hand, housing is not income, so no W-2. However, it is subject to payroll taxes at the self-employed (double) rate. I need the church to withhold that money and pay those taxes, but to do so they then have to declare the money they withhold as wages – then show it 100% withheld. They can’t withhold and pay taxes on what is not “income” and yet those taxes for payroll are still owed!! So I get a W-2 and the ‘wages’ shown is the same amount shown withheld and paid in full for my taxes – and all along that money is supposed to be housing allowance!

    As an aside, I am convinced this double the rate for payroll taxes is a key reason why many pastors have opted out of Social Security – though that is not a legal reason to do so. It stings to have to pay personally both the employer and employee portion on all income, including housing.

  33. Pineapple Head!

    Yep, that’s me! Thanks for listening! Isn’t Amar great? He’s on my show every Tuesday whether he informs you or not :-) You can catch him every Tuesday at htttp://www.phillipnaessens.wordpress.com

    Michael,

    Thanks man! Love you too my friend!!

  34. “It stings to have to pay personally both the employer and employee portion on all income, including housing.”

    It’s not that bad. I paid the 2 sides of the payroll tax for me AND my wife for 15yrs as self employed people. But the tax benefits of being self employed are unending. :-)

    Besides, as a staunch conservative, why do you want to tax employers so you can have a job?

  35. MLD – I spoke only in the context of motivating pastors to opt out. I was not giving you my thoughts on the social security system or how it is funded. :)

    I paid both sides as an insurance guy for 20+ years too.

  36. Steve,

    It might not surprise you, but I know of pastors whose churches pay 1/2 of their social security.

  37. After the last few years, Bob, nothing surprises me when it comes to pastors.

  38. Hey, did anybody hear MD is a real bad player? I know this thread is about intellectual property and the finer points of how governments bleeds the citizenry, but wow, Mark is a seriously flawed “pastor”

  39. Michael, you are too cute! Trying to get a Wolf to repent!

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