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Dissing Driscoll – some lessons from the rise and fall of Pastor Mark

Christian Today asked me to reflect upon the explusion of Mark Driscoll from Acts 29 – it is something I was reluctant to do but here are some thoughts anyway. Its been interesting and sad to see just how obsessed some people are with Mark – for me the whole situation is one of sorrow. Having tweeted Janet Mefferd – a radio host who has been running a very personal and bitter campaign against Driscoll, I received a number of interesting replies – not least one that compared the situation with Driscoll, with ISIS and Hamas! The comparison shows the level of unreality that sometimes pervades Christian circles. Hope you enjoy the article – as usual, all comments welcome!


  1. Thanks for the article. I presume you already know about this, but in case not, PD Tripp’s Book, Dangerous Calling has some very helpful things to say to help each of us avoid falling into Driscoll’s mistakes in our own less-publicised but still dangerous ways. Joseph

    Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:12:14 +0000 To:

  2. Sorry to say this David but your article has been taken completely out of context by a group who may have invented the term schadenfreude, The Wartburg Watch. In their latest online post about Mr Driscoll, they make a number of references (taken out of context) to what you say and conclude that you are one of his acolytes.

    The daft thing is, I was going to refer you to their website regarding your article about Chuck O ‘Neil because they have frequently “called him out”. Now they are doing the same to you!

    Gavin White

  3. An excellent and informative article, David. I know of quite a number who have been blessed by Mark Driscoll’s articles and sermons over the years and it comes as a disappointment to hear of what has been going on at Mars Hill. It shows us that the best of men are but men at their best! I do see the danger in Independency within church circles as you say, but there is the same inherent danger in Presbyterianism when one individual can become the “Pope”. Having had personal experience within Scottish Presbyterianism of confronting one of these “Popes” I have witnessed power being misused within a church resulting in the destruction of a viable fellowship. When one individual becomes the sole arbitrer for all decisions then that church has lost it’s moorings and is on a pretty unsteady course.

    1. Thanks Calum – I don’t dispute that sometimes you can get presbyterian ‘popes’ but by definition that is not presbyterianism….the point of which is to prevent one individual ruling the church. Much as I might want to get my way on everything in St Petes…thats not how it happens! We have collective leadership…and above that we have a Presbytery if anything goes wrong…

  4. Yes David, that is the way Presbyterianism should operate. However the reality in some cases is the opposite. Scottish Presbyterianism’s history over the years shows that individuals with powerful personalities have in fact been instrumental in causing much damage within these denominations. The old adage is alas true in many denominations, particularly smaller ones, that ” for evil to prevail it only needs good men to keep silent.” This has often happened in church courts where the will of one seems to prevail above the collective will of others and where the procedures and standards on which the church is founded is ignored so that the opinion of one can prevail. I’m sure there are exceptions where Presbyterianism has worked and is still working!

  5. Thank you for your analysis and bringing additional attention to the blog of disaffection known as the wartbug watch. Initially they had something, possibly, to offer. But their accelerated degradation and becoming the very poison against which they crusade has led to the needed exposure as to how injurious they are and the example of what not to be. No doubt you will now get a long list of self-justifications and how you just don’t understand them, haven’t read them enough or just don’t see the light.

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