Driscoll is not an abusive husband, but he is an abusive spiritual teacher – one who seems to keep repeating the same mistakes. For the many young (and not so young) men who have benefited from his ministry in the past – we feel the pain, but we must not be sucked into his orbit again. We don’t need charismatic (in the non-theological sense of the word) entertaining self-promoters. We need Christ.
Mark Driscoll is back. For some that sentence speaks of a nightmare. For others it is something to be welcomed. Others will ask ‘Mark who?’ – thus demonstrating that celebrity pastors can have as short a fame lifespan as reality TV stars.
I met Mark in 2008, in my first stint as editor of the Record. He was the rising star of the New Calvinism and one of the first to be perceived as a celebrity pastor. A superb communicator, he offered hope and encouragement to those of us who wanted to see the presence of a robust but contemporary Reformed theology in the market place – although his unhealthy obsession with Song of Solomon (which he seemed to perceive as a sex manual) and his reputation as the ‘cussin’ pastor, did cause some concerns.
His fall was spectacular…accused of bullying and plagarism, as well as using church money to promote his book onto the bestsellers list, he was removed from Acts 29 (which has gone on to thrive) and his Seattle Mars Hill megachurch collapsed. He resigned in 2014. Pride went before his fall. However, he has moved to Arizona where he is the founding pastor of Trinity Church. He now has Mark Driscoll ministries where you can ‘Ask Pastor Mark’, get daily devotions from ‘Pastor Mark’ and even more amazingly get lessons in leadership from ‘Pastor Mark’, the failed leader. You can also give to Mark Driscoll ministries and buy Mark Driscoll books.
But now Driscoll, as he seeks a new tribe, seems to have turned against his old one; the ‘young, restless and reformed’. In a recent interview he scornfully declared, “I don’t hold with the five points of Calvinism – I think its garbage.”
“Reformed theology is I have a dad who is powerful, in charge, not relational, he lives far away, and don’t get him mad because he can hurt you”
“Then they pick dead mentors, Spurgeon, Calvin and Luther – these are little boys with father wounds who are looking for spiritual fathers so they pick dead guys who are not going to get to know them or correct them”.
It’s deeply saddening to read such language from any Christian pastor, let alone one who considers himself to be a teacher of others and a father figure.