Aug 272014
 

daddydriscollIt’s probably just a coincidence that Mark Driscoll is following the crisis management model that Skip Heitzig employed in 2006 in Albuquerque.

I don’t think it is (for reasons I won’t disclose) and if it is you can expect the following “talk track” and events to commence immediately.

I strongly suggest that those involved read the articles from Christianity Today and the Albuquerque Journal that are posted here.

 

The first thing you have to understand is that the PR firm is in charge right now…and they will make their presence felt.

Driscoll will say little or nothing for the next few weeks…prominent friends will be recruited to speak highly of Driscoll publicly during his absence.

Negative information about those who have spoken against Driscoll will be leaked in such a measure as to poison the well against their accusations.

Anything that can be used to cast suspicion on them will be employed…and it will get vicious.

Online critics better gird their loins…hackers and trolls will be out in full force.

Critics will be framed as ‘jealous’, “bitter”, “hateful”, “unforgiving” and opposed to the work of Christ himself.

During the years of 2003-7 we were the primary online voice speaking on the Heitzig scandal…and our biggest challenge was simply to keep the site up.

If you’re going to speak out now, count the cost…there is nothing sacred to the people involved including your job and your family.

Understand that you’ve already lost, barring some new heinous disclosure.

People preparing to repent and resign do not hire public relations firms to assist them…they already have an Advocate.

The “investigation” will show that Driscoll has a poor “management style” and correctives to that will be suggested.

There will be promises made of new attitudes and transparent disclosure…that will last until the seas have calmed.

The report will go to greater lengths to show “what God has done” through Driscoll and the holy necessity for him to continue that great work.

He will return to the pulpit to great acclaim, declare the matter settled, and make sure the show is the best it’s ever been for the following year.

The last thing that will happen is that this trial will make Driscoll bulletproof.

If he survives this (and I think he will) there will be a subconscious acceptance of his followers of his faults and sins…and they will refuse to hear about them any more.

During the height of the Heitzig scandal I received dozens, sometimes hundreds of emails every day from concerned people.

When I reported last year that Heitzig was trying to leave again to take Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, there was not a single inquiry from ABQ.

No, not one.

History has a way of repeating itself…especially when you follow the template and advice of those who made history before.

On the other hand, history is His story… and maybe He’ll write a different ending to this chapter.

  83 Responses to “The Next Chapter In the Driscoll Saga”

  1. Pretty intense take Michael

  2. I’ve already lived it once…and it was a hell of a lot more intense than what I just wrote.

  3. “People preparing to repent and resign do not hire public relations firms to assist them…they already have an Advocate.”

    Exactly!!! They are not spending thousands of dollars on a PR firm to have Mark exit gracefully.

  4. Michael, is it confirmed that a PR firm has been hired by Mars Hill and has been or will be paid for services rendered? I know from previous reading that this DeMoss guy was present at the service announcing Driscoll’s temporary leave, but has he or others been officially hired?

  5. In one day, I was called a soulless jackal, vitriolic, hate filled and a gossip. Not bad for a day’s work. Warren Throckmorton is getting hammered with far more and far worse than that.

  6. Elders handle church discipline, PR firms handle image problems.
    Elders hear and resolve conflicts, PR examine and resolve information flow
    Elders care about the flock, PR firms care about the client
    Elders listen to the heart of God for the people, PR listen to the feedback for strategies
    Elders teach the word, PR firms shape the narrative
    Elders protect the flock from predators, PR firms assess the market for profit-takers
    Elders love the church as Christ did, PR firms love the institution that pays

    You get the idea…

    Will elders or marketeers carry the day?

  7. Maybe I’m the only one who is not upset that a PR firm has been hired. Sometimes they’re also known as “crisis management” or “management consultants”, The reason this doesn’t bother me is that often times organizations have made very public mistakes, and often dig themselves in deeper trying to resolve the issues. There is nothing inherently evil in bringing in consultants who can help untangle the mess and get things back on the right track.

    Yes, I recognize the concerns that a PR firm’s methods can include spinning the information and “image” control. I get that. Still, not upset that a group that is in trouble is bringing in outside help. It can be a smart thing to do. It doesn’t necessarily negate any apologies.

  8. Who better to teach MD people management skills than a PR firm?
    If he went to a Dale Carnegie class you would say it was for some evil end.

    If you feel that the end game is how you see it – why keep going on this?
    As I continually say – until blood is dripping from his wrists – some people will not be satisfied.

    Everyone has been saying, he needs to get out of the pulpit and get counseling. he is doing exactly that and everyone is still bit**ing.

    I don’t get it.

  9. “On the other hand, history is His story… and maybe He’ll right a different ending to this chapter”

    Michael – did you mean to “write right” that way? 🙂

    I suppose it doesn’t matter what Driscoll does as there will be people who will follow him no matter what happens. It happened to Skip, it will happen to Mark, unless He steps in and does a work.

  10. MLD,

    Yes you do.

  11. Rob, in my opinion, yes and no.

    If a mega church with a multi-million dollar budget, responsibilities for employee salaries that are supporting families, missionary support, ministry to the poor – found itself without the pastor because of the pastor’s disqualifying sin – meaning he was gone….for good.

    Then yes, the remaining elder board hiring professionals for advice to go forward in the best interest of the church makes a lot of sense. Just like on occasion a church needs legal, insurance, or financial counsel.

    For the future good of the church, the good of the people who both worship and are supported by the church.

    Not sure that is the case here though….

  12. Dee,

    I fear the fun is just beginning…”gossip” is the favorite term when facts are reported.

  13. BD,

    #6 is gold…

  14. “…did someone say “bitter”?”
    -PhxP classic quotes

  15. Babs,
    Michael continually says that MD is answerable to his own congregation. He say if they keep supporting him, then MD has a home and they have the pastor they want.
    He has put it to his congregation – they seem satisfied with what he is doing.

    Now why does anyone outside those 4 walls care?

    Those on the outside do not need to have anything to do with him
    they don’t have to affiliate with him (Acts 29)
    They don’t have to publish him
    They don’t have to carry is books (Lifeway)

    Perhaps this is all too obvious for there to be anything to get.

  16. “Mark DeMoss, an Atlanta public relations consultant and former adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, has been brought in to work with the congregation.

    DeMoss, who represented the late Jerry Falwell Sr. and now Franklin Graham, said he attended the services in Seattle today on his own expense as Driscoll’s friend.

    “I think he’s a gifted, biblical communicator who has done effective church work in an unchurched part of the country,” DeMoss said. “I like him, I believe in him, and if I only worked with ministry leaders who were faultless, I would be out of business tonight.”

    – Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/mark-driscoll-to-step-down-while-mars-hill-reviews-charges/2014/08/24/c35e048a-2bd4-11e4-be9e-60cc44c01e7f_story.html

    Notice the shift, from “brought in to work with the congregation” to “attended the services in Seattle today on his own expense as Driscoll’s friend. “I like him, I believe in him”.

    Mark De Moss Bio from his company website:

    “Since founding DeMoss in 1991, Mark DeMoss has served many of the world’s most prominent and effective Christian ministries and enterprises. Mark has been involved in shaping some of the largest Christian events and campaigns over the past decade while simultaneously overseeing the growth of his firm. He has extensive media relations experience with both religious and secular media and provides particular expertise to clients in crisis/issues management and communications. Mark provides primary public relations counsel and strategic planning for DeMoss. His first book, The Little Red Book of Wisdom, was original published in 2007; a revised edition was published in 2011. Mark served as a senior advisor for Mitt Romney’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. He earned a political science degree from Liberty University, where he serves on the board of trustees.”

    And the WP article states that he’s a PR for Franklin Graham, who spoke for none other than Skip when the time was right.

  17. MLD,

    I have said this a bunch of times. I find much about MD appealing. I like the bravado. I like that he connects with men. I like that he reaches lots of people. I actually thought Janet Mefferd was unfair with him and wouldn’t let him find a humble way out. Then I realized that all she did was use his methods on him. And he was not up for the task so he hung up. Janet got in trouble and all she did was show Mark what it was like to be under the bus for a minute.

    MLD, you get it. The former pastors, former assistants, and his own Acts 29 network all say the man is a problem. Those who were closest to him found him abusive and unresponsive to reason. So he stands up and makes an apology, to no one in particular for nothing in particular. It was a crafted scene. Every public person knows the drill and anyone who has watched tv does as well. He stepped away for 6 weeks under his own terms. A PR firm was front and center to manage the whole thing. People are suspicious and you think they want to drink his blood.

    You get it… of course you get it. And no one on this blog finds MD problematic than you. You don’t even think his crowd is a church…

    Martin’s disciple understands this stuff very well. Driscoll probably resembles Luther temperamentally than any other leader in church history. Maybe that’s why you are cutting him a break…

  18. So in a nutshell, the congregation is paying for a PR guy, but he’s already stated that he’s Driscolls friend. So whoever is left from the congregation when Mark returns will get what they paid for – a carefully crafted leader of men.

    “Ah blee blee, That’s all folks.”

    You outta take a look at the DeMoss list of clients… http://demoss.com/clients

  19. Babs,
    You missed by a mile – I don’t care a thing about MD – I have never found him to be effective at all in pastoral ministry. I am not cutting him slack at all. What did I say yesterday – he could die of ebola and I don’t care.

    My point is why does anyone else care since he has left the pulpit and is seeking counseling … just as everyone has demanded.

    I think you guys are giving MD much more reverence and credit than he deserves. You seem to find him relevant and you obviously think he has more standing in the christian community than I do.

  20. A genuinely repentant person realizes the depth of his sinfulness and when he confesses, he tells the absolute worst about himself without excuses and w/o self-serving pious talk.

    There was a case a few years ago where a monastery in California schismed from main Orthodoxy and wrote a rather scurrilous book about their former bishop. Eventually, this monastery rejoined canonical Orthodoxy and recently invited all the offended people to come for a day of reconciliation. I read the abbot’s speech and it was a model of humility for us all. No excuses were offered. They didn’t blame others. The abbot said “Am I am to blame the most of all because ….” and he listed, without excuses, his faults in the matter: “I did this. I did that.” (I know a bit about this case and believe me, it wasn’t all his fault yet he took the blame.) There was no “If we offended anyone, we are sorry” or “Everyone’s a sinner, us included” or “We were deceived by so and so and it’s really their fault” or “Even though we had this lapse in judgment we have done so much to advance the cause of Christ” or “I am such a busy person doing God’s work that I can’t keep track of everything that goes on around here.” etc. No, it was “I sinned, I was wrong, it was my fault, please forgive me brothers and sisters.”

    The first book was removed and a new book was written. If you ask them why, they tell you exactly why without obfuscation.

    ^^^^This is the type of public repentance I have come to expect.

  21. Xenia,

    That is biblical repentance.

  22. MLD,

    Well actually my last comment indicates that I did not miss you by a mile about MD.

    Your redressing of the blogging community after all these years is strange as addressing these kinds of matters is actually on the list of reasons as to why this is here.

    Frankly we indeed should care in the same way that the Catholics cared about Luther’s revolt and the way Luther cared about the radical’s revolt.

    We who name the name of Jesus have to care even about stuff that is not our own problem. This stuff has outcomes.

    True, this is a gnat on an elephants arse but it is the gnat of the day.

    Soup Dread

  23. MLD,

    You are not an evangelical, so Driscoll has little influence on your Christian experience.
    In mainstream American evangelicalism Driscoll is a giant…and in non denominational circles this train wreck is being watched very closely.

  24. A wise man once told me that is you need an example of what to do and what not to do, just look at Jesus. Seriously, we need to remember that. Did He need to hire a PR firm to help Him maneuver out of His troubles, even though He offended a large part of the world in which He lived? Nope.

    This may be too simplistic for some here but that is the only red flag you need. The man has hired a firm so that he will stay put. The end product of his staying put is that he will now have convinced himself that he is justified and no longer in need of growth or change and his ministry will stagnate. Many have trod this road ahead of him.

    I read this letter yesterday and when I was done, I knew this story was not finished:
    http://welovemarshill.com/post/95725540360/karen-schaeffer-a-letter-to-mark-driscoll?utm_content=bufferba86e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Any man who chooses to see a call to accountability as heresy has got a bigger reckoning coming with the Lord.

    As disheartening as all this is, I believe unwaveringly that this will not be the end Driscoll and his supporters believe they can convince the Lord to sign off on.

  25. Xenia – Amen to your #20.

    Someone from my church was indicted in court on federal charges yesterday and pled not guilty to them. He is expected back in court in a couple of weeks. The charges could cost him 20 years and 250K in fines – for each count.

    This man is a deacon in the church. I hope…..that he is truly not guilty. But more than that, I hope that the church will take him off the roster as a deacon, at least until this is passed and he is proven innocent, if that be the truth.

  26. I made a typo that might change the meaning of my sentence up there. I wrote:

    >>>The abbot said “Am I am to blame the most of all because.<<<

    Which sounds like it might be a question: Am I to blame?

    What I meant to write was "AND I am to blame….."

    Sorry. I know it's a little annoying to make a post about typos but I felt this one needed clarification.

  27. Baba,
    If you ever check the history of this blog – I have never made negative comments about living individuals – not Skip – not Chuck – not even Bill Johnson. Comments at best are about their wayward theologies. So Mark Driscoll to me is not an exception.

    Probably the closest I ever came to a negative comment about a person’s person was Ted Haggard – but even then I left it at I had the interview from shortly before his fall where he said he doesn’t sin.

    But you still have not addressed that he has left the pulpit – turned it over to others to make a decision about him and he is seeking counseling – and in the couple of days since he has been criticized for doing so – for doing exactly what people demanded.

    So you can see – you have placed him in a no win situation. It may be for this very reason that he felt the need to be represented.

  28. MLD,

    I don’t believe he’s left anything or that the decisions haven’t already been made.
    This is all theatre to calm down the crisis…it will be business as usual soon.

  29. I am not an evangelical either so I try to stay away from the particulars of these stories but I do find value in examining the bigger picture, asking questions that we should all ask ourselves, in this case, what is true repentance? When we ourselves sin and need to come clean, do we make excuses? Look for loopholes? Shift the blame? Minimize our involvement? Say in an offended tone I SAID I was sorry! And my [least] favorite, do I tell a sanitized version of the story and compare myself to a beloved Old Testament character?

    AI few weeks ago we discussed the virtue of “simplicity” in the Christian life. Simplicity was demonstrated by that abbot’s “I did this, it was wrong, please forgive me” directed to the very people he harmed. And then taking measures to fix the wrong by removing all the offending books.

  30. he has left the pulpit – turned it over to others to make a decision about him
    —————————————————————-
    Sincere question. Is that what is happening here?

    Is there an official investigation that is going to be followed by a vote in six weeks as to whether he continues as the pastor or not.

  31. Xenia,
    ” When we ourselves sin and need to come clean, do we make excuses? Look for loopholes? Shift the blame? Minimize our involvement? Say in an offended tone I SAID I was sorry! And my [least] favorite, do I tell a sanitized version of the story and compare myself to a beloved Old Testament character?”

    I will admit that I do from time to time – more times than I should. This is why I still need Jesus.

  32. “Is there an official investigation that is going to be followed by a vote in six weeks as to whether he continues as the pastor or not.”

    Yes – but Michael thinks it is a sham.

  33. And if a repentance involves tears, the tears should be for the people one harmed, not for oneself for getting called out and realizing that one’s life is going to change for the worse as a result of getting caught. That’s how you know if you are truly repentant- if you feel worse for the person you hurt than you do for yourself.

  34. I believe it’s a complete, blasphemous sham.
    None of the pastors, elders, or congregants who have come forward have been contacted.
    There has been no admission to the plagiarism issues, not have the financial issues been addressed.
    No specific charge has been dealt with…it’s been all about style.
    It’s bull…

  35. Michael,
    Is it possible that all of the things you just listed will be addressed during the investigation? Are there no meanings to words? What does the word investigate mean to you?

  36. “What does the word investigate mean to you?”
    In American celebrity evangelicalism where the “investigators” are hand picked by the “investigated” it means stonewall and coverup assisted by public relations experts paid with tithe money.

  37. I should back away, if for no other reason I don’t care if he stays or gets fired. I will leave the conversation to those who care.

  38. OK, this will be the last comment – American Evangelicalism – especially independant churches revere as holy the right to hand pick a board. How many of the people here go to churches with member chosen and voted on boards.

    If you don’t you too contribute to this problem.

  39. MLD,

    We finally agree @38…

  40. MLD, I doubt the Seattle Times has an ax to grind on this. Here is what I read in the headline. “Mark Driscoll, controversial founder of Mars Hill Church, told his flock Sunday he is stepping away from the pulpit for six weeks, and will consult a group of advisers about what to do next.”

    The article details match the headline. http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024380355_marshillxml.html

    I think your earlier comment was simply wrong. (The one I asked about) I don’t see where his future is in anyone’s hands but his own.

    As I have written here often and spoken in public – any accountability plan for a church should clearly spell out in writing the process by which the pastor can be fired.

    Step by step..

  41. Steve,
    You may want to watch the video.
    If there is no “investigative” group – then where is the sham? The advisory / accountability board said they were opening an investigation.

  42. One last thing before I go do productive things…they will get lawyered up and let everyone know it.
    Out for a while.

  43. That board serves at Driscoll’s pleasure according to the by laws…

  44. Right now, Trey is “investigating” whether I have the time and money to take him to the skatepark and lunch.
    The outcome of this investigation was determined previously… 🙂

  45. Mars Hill is irrelevant to me. However, the doctrines and practices are being carried out in 1000’s of other churches.

    How many of us have heard countless admonitions on “submission”? How many people are enduring abuse in one form or another from their church? There needs to be a clear cut message that these behaviors are unacceptable. Their needs to be a clear cut rescue plan for such church members (although, I don’t think what is playing out currently really demonstrates a clear action plan for people in other churches.)

    We could go on and on about issues of integrity, finances, treatment of women etc. IMO, which is my reason for being interested, is that lots of people are being taken advantage of in these areas. I’d like to see churches take these current events, and convert them to teaching opportunities.

    If a local pastor is willing to preach a sermon on “Why You Shouldn’t Submit to Your Pastor”, I hope he/she posts a link here. 🙂

    What I’m struggling to say is…how do we get the message out to other church members who are putting up with the same tactics because they think they are obeying the Lord?

    PS. BD, loved that comment about Luther. MLD, after years in charismatic/evangelical/fundamental churches, I certainly thought about embracing the relative sanity of Lutheranism.

  46. “Ah blee blee, That’s all folks.” papiaslogia: Outstanding!!!

  47. I fear you are right, Michael. The heat is only beginning. I think first will come the love bombing by those who stand by him and then the attack on those who don’t. If ever I have seen a separation and calling out, this is it. I guess we’ll have to take our blows.

  48. Michael: Let me also say that I admire your love of truth and your continued fight for what is right. I know you take a lot of crap over it and I know more is to come. I’ve been reading this board for several years now and I’ve watched the impact of it on the church. There is a movement among God’s people these days. I think you are helping it. He’s building his remnant, sometimes away and out of the institutional church, sometimes inside, as He’s always done. But this new move of God really speaks to the corruption within the American church, church structure, and government. People are waking up. They’re beginning to understand what the Biblical model is. Even 10 years ago, that wasn’t happening. It’s no wonder you’re struggling with a job and other issues. The Devil doesn’t like you at all because you are exposing darkness. I’m awed by your courage, I really am. I want to be fierce in Jesus myself and I’m kind of a wimp sometimes. I want to be single minded about the truth.

  49. MLD,

    I haven’t asked Driscoll to do anything. I have commented on processes and commented a bit about him. I have actually advocated restoration pretty consistently, though I think he is a bully with a pulpit and probably should just be a bully.

    You claim people want to do extreme things to the man and I know you are intentionally baiting and not actually defending him… but no one wants to harm him just to have him stop harming others.

    And oh by the way I defended you on Things I Think the other day.

  50. For the record, members do not vote on the board in my church either. There is no Biblical warrant for such and it does not insure that things will be done righteously. What is necessary is that no leader have a system in which he/she cannot be told NO by people who can make it stick. People can vote for disastrous leadership just as it can be appointed. Anyone heard of Hamas?

  51. Babs,
    The claim was that it was a hand selected board – I offered an alternative.

    If hand selected boards are fine, then one cannot argue that no justice will be done because it is a hand selected board.

    O darn, I wasn’t suppose to answer on this thread. 🙂

  52. MLD,

    I get it but I have a process that is hand selected but in which I can indeed be removed. You mentioned Haggard. He had a similar board and it had no trouble removing him.

    Matters of sex are pretty clear and most churches act severely on them. CChapels seemed to be an exception but even Bob Coy.

    Matters of money and power are seldom handled in these processes.

    There is no failsafe human governance but being clear with the people that you have people around you that have the power to remove you is helpful.

    Election centered processes are no guarantee because personalities always control elective processes. IMO

    A genuine submission to God covers all the problems. Note the word genuine…real.

  53. Oh and MLD,

    No one banned you but yourself… such governance is always suspect 😉

  54. If we are going to go by what is in the bible and what isn’t (voting for boards) I don’t think I see any cases of pastors being restored in the NT.

  55. MLD,

    I agree but it is primarily a case of silence. We do see an apostle restored.

  56. In addition, there is a huge difference between a board that serves at the will of the pastor (which MLD was the actual claim made earlier) – and a board that, while “hand selected” is still chosen for a set term and the pastor can’t remove someone midterm just because that person is not going along with the pastor’s desires.

    (And Dread, actually sexual sin is a pretty consistent removal for the senior pastor in most any Calvary Chapel – the list is fairly long. The problem is when such men either go down the street and start a new non-Calvary church (with half the people following them in the name of grace and “great teacher”) or when a good-old-boy friend of the fallen pastor puts the guy back on staff at his church in a different location as an assistant.

  57. I don’t think I see any cases of pastors being restored in the NT.
    ——————————————————-
    Sometimes MLD writes something I agree with that is not Dodger-related. 🙂

  58. Babs,
    “We do see an apostle restored.”
    You see an actual apostle who was defrocked as an apostle then being restored to an apostle?

    Steve,
    I wasn’t making a case for a better board – only against the claim of whitewash by a hand selected board.

  59. Kershaw tonight – Go Blue! 😉

  60. My apologies Steve but the anecdotal evidence and MN’s testimony and my experience have told me otherwise I will trust your corrective.

  61. MLD,

    We are going to surely end up parsing terms and eras and such but Peter’s restoration stands pretty powerfully. Denial of Jesus would seem to qualify as self-defrocking. I am not sure how an apostle was frocked to begin with.

  62. That was before the Church, before he was a pastor and before he was an apostle.

    Restoration of a disciple, a follower of Christ to discipleship is ordinary to the Christian faith.

  63. Don’t get me wrong, Dread. The damage done to the church typically dwarfs any reprecussions on the future ministry prospects for the adulterous pastor in what often is a very-near future…..

    But they usually can’t (don’t) stay at the place where they were serving at the time.

    Your larger point about matters of money and power rarely being dealt with is 100% spot-on.

  64. That was before the Church
    ———————————
    AMEN! Glad to see MLD coming around finally. 🙂

  65. Steve,
    I knew I had to talk in evangelical terms to make my point -and I knew you would comment. 🙂

    But it still works, as I have always said – “the people of God, once called Israel now called the Church.”

  66. Judy,

    Thank you for the kind words…I do believe something is stirring from the margins.

  67. Personally I think MD will be back in six weeks unless one awful horrible thing happens, MD’s ROI. If MH continues to lose money and products I mean parishioners. He will get the boot, that is for sure. Interrupting the revenue stream is a sin that cannot and never will be forgiven.

  68. “the people of God, once called Israel now called the Church
    —————————————————–
    I’ve never said otherwise. Each has an initiation, and each has a termination….

    In all seriousness, I think the lacking of the Holy Spirit upon Peter at the time of the denial compared to his ministry after the ascension is the key to the issue….and that is why I can’t see Peter as an example of restoration for a pastor…though he does serve as a great example for all Christians when it comes to the fact that our failings are not final

    But we have to admit that our earthly sins often have earthly consequences…and thus I think pastoral removal is one of those consequences for men who act in a disqualifying way (which includes but is not limited to sexual adultery)

  69. “Feed my sheep” constitutes a charge to pastor the flock, IMO. Thus, to me, Jesus’ restoration of Peter was Apostolic in nature and has to do with not mere discipleship but ministry. The way I see it, what more could Jesus have done to demonstrate grace to the minister of the Gospel as well as the sheep of the flock than His fireside conversation with His wayward friend.

  70. (insert vacuous silence here…)

    this is me unable to care less about MD. I say treat him like an apostate/heretic, kick his a$$ out of the church and lock the door. let God deal with him as an unbeliever.
    -mike

  71. Neo,
    John 21 may be Peter’s commission to the pastorate but he did not fall as a pastor – so it was not the restoration of a pastor..

  72. Technically, Peter wasn’t a pastor yet. So that is true. But the spirit behind it…

  73. How about Paul when he sent for mark after the disagreement with barnabas in the book of acts. Would one call that a restoration of a pastor?

  74. I would be willing to put my position forward in the presence of Jesus that Peter’s restoration cannot be discounted by all of our qualifications. We do so much damage by all of our parsing. Love is love, forgiveness is forgiveness… grace is grace. I don’t think anything afterwards formalized Peter’s position as to make his qualifications matter.

    Unless of course we are suggesting that receiving the Spirit prevents the gross and disqualifying sins… NO

    I think Peter’s restoration is intentionally given to us for our own hope when we are caught in a trespass. I know this none of us can produce conclusive evidence from scripture that a disqualified man cannot be re-qualified as he repents and is restored by God.

  75. On the same grounds I will make the case that the people voted for their deacons – which is given to us by extension to have voter approved leadership boards.

    Babs, I can stretch it also. 😉

  76. I think Peter’s restoration is intentionally given to us for our own hope when we are caught in a trespass.
    —————————————————-
    That’s basically what I said earlier in #69….for the Christian who sins.

    I know of a pastor who left his wife for another woman, after of course his repeated adultery was found out. Divorce ensued and the pastor married the adulteress. They are off serving the Lord together and I am sure most of the people they contact do not know that literally months earlier this was all taking place and there is a destroyed woman left in this guy’s wake…

    So in such a case, for those who believe in restoration (and Peter’s was immediate we notice), why would that pastor not be immediately eligible for the pulpit once he remarried? And if not, how can one possibly pick an acceptable time for the marriage to exist before eligibility ensued. A year, 2, 3, more?

    I on the other hand, think such a man should never occupy the pastorate, and I would hold myself to that standard (and do so by demanding my elders hold me to it- and write public stuff like that here so all of you can call me out if I ever got so hardened)

    Given the immediacy of Peter’s restoration, I have a hard time finding it relevant for pastoral ministry but I think it is a great example of the grace of God to immediately restore us to His service as His child.

  77. There was a time when it was acceptable for a husband to hit his wife from time to time. Even in some cultures right now, it’s not uncommon. That’s called physical abuse, and around here you go to jail. Rightly so.

    In these contexts where the abusive pattern is more acceptable, the people standing in certain positions must preserve the societal status quo.

    “Why these are business partners, community leaders, important men…..” Or, “we need to just make this go away, it’s not that bad, he’s a good guy that just got a little carried away. It won’t happen again.” That’s called spin, and around you get paid for it.

    Mean while in this saga, there is a poor beat up woman coping with the pain and horror of her abuser. But now, completely undone by the injustice of the system. The latter is a continued stream of salt in a deep wound that practically overshadows original offense.

    It doesn’t take much thought or imagination to see this scene played out in a movie from another time or place.

    An over-the-top example to make a simple point.

    PR firms are in business because they work. People are talking and a professional is needed to feed the masses alternative language to deescalate the consequence of someone’s infraction.

    Meanwhile, never mind the poor lady nursing her black eye.

  78. Michael: This situation is being used to stir the edges and, really, even five years ago, those edges were hard and people did not see. I believe God is doing what He wants to do. MD is reaping what he sowed and he is getting his glory here, as he seems to love so much. But the remnant is coming to the front. They are fed up with institutional Christianity, Church/Corporation/Business model that isn’t Biblical and all that goes with it. I really do believe you’re getting hammered because you’re being used by God to get this message out.

    If we looked at Christianity in areas where people are persecuted, such as China, we’d see a whole other kind of church. Nothing that looks like anything we see here.

  79. something worth noting about the last year’s worth of scandal connected to MD and MH is that there had to be a lot of moles within MH at nearly every level of leadership leaking content to bloggers and journalists. It’s not like just any old person at MH could leak the Result Source contract.

  80. I am becoming less and less bothered by all the bad stuff happening in Evangelical America. It just doesn’t phase me like it used to. God has a work for me to accomplish and worrying about Driscoll is distracting at best. Maybe I am finally seeing it for what it is. However, my heart goes out to the victims. My thoughts on Driscoll is that he should spend a lifetime apologizing and making amends to all the folks he threw under the bus over the years. These are real people that have been hurt big time. This could be a full time ministry in serving those he ran over. If Driscoll is restored to ministry I would think a healing ministry to these folks would be the most appropriate ministry for him to return to. Anything less I believe is un Christian.

  81. I hope this is appropriate you know I saw Driscoll on a video online I think and I watched about ten minutes. I thought the guy was a tool from day one. Some of my family moved to Washington state near where the first church was being planted. Me, being the religious asked me what I thought, I said the guy was a clown, it’s cheaper to go to the circus. They did not get my cryptic comment. I am weird that way. I may have the time frame messed up I admit this. My personal opinion, I would love to see Pastor Mark appear in the pulpit with the fired elders and others, they are restored and after a some time off he comes back to the pulpit a restored pastor and a shining star of the Gospel. Of course that is crap and I am a heretic, one who truly follows the Gospel goes for nothing but blood, lots of blood, and twice on Sunday. Kill kill kill, take them out, Driscoll practiced that edic and made bank, that makes any thing he did Holy. Trust me it does.

    I am a pathetic piece of crap, I get that, but I feel deeply for driscoll. I often pray for me, goes to show what a piece of blank I am. I would love to see one “hero” restored and all involved healed this side of the grave, that is heresy if not apostasy I get that. God wants results, quick results. But I still pray for him and his church, that makes me a dork and pathetic. I get that to. I have said this before, but its not very good news, it never has been, ever. Someone help me with this.

  82. Me = him trust me I do not pray for me ever.

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