The return of Mark Driscoll


The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports…

“Mark Driscoll hardly caught his breath after quitting as lead pastor at Mars Hill Church, as the Seattle-based mega church imploded in multiple scandals, before launching his own web site and once more appearing at evangelical conferences.

On Sunday, Driscoll delivered his first Seattle-area reappearance since last August at the big, box-like Gold Creek Community Church in Mill Creek.  He was  greeted with a standing ovation, with more than 100 people lining up to greet him after the 9 a.m. service.

Driscoll was also greeted by a dozen pickets on the street outside.  “He has re-purposed his ministry without reconciling with thousands of persons who were abused,” said Van Rue, one of the protesters, who has attended both the Mars Hill and Gold Creek churches.

Inside, lead pastor Dan Kellogg brought on Driscoll with the words:  “He’s in the middle of re-purposing his life.”  Kellogg claimed Driscoll was “unfairly treated by former staff and the media,” and exclaimed:  “He’s baptized 10,000 people who found Christ.”

“I would like to talk about Jesus instead of me:  It would be much more pleasant and helpful,” Driscoll began.

In his familiar attire of blue jeans and vest, backed up by a message screen, Driscoll quickly intoned:  “Faith in anyone other than Jesus Christ is faith in vain.  Faith in anyone other than Jesus Christ is inviting destruction into your life and drowning in eternity.”

Driscoll built the Mars Hill Church, which he co-founded, into a mega church which eventually had 15 “campuses” in five states, and an estimated regular attendance of 13,000.

It came crashing down last year, amidst plagiarism accusations, questions about where “church planting” donations designated for Ethiopia and India were really spent, and multiple accusations of threats, intimidation and “shunning” of followers and ex-followers.

In a famous message to pastors and church planters, Driscoll declared:  “I am all about blessed subtraction.  There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus and by God’s grace it will be a mountain by the time we’re done. You either get on the bus or you get run over by the bus.  Those are the options; but the bus ain’t gonna stop.”

The climax came with formal charges brought by 20 former pastors and elders.  “We concluded that Pastor Mark has, at times, been guilty of arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff in a domineering manner,” Mars Hill’s Board of Overseers said in a statement on October 15, 2014.  Driscoll resigned the same day.

The fallen pastor has picked himself up, with none of the mea culpas or public soul searching seen from his former top aides.

Driscoll paid a quick tribute Sunday to the “wonderful, amazing, delightful people” he worked with at Mars Hill.  As for himself, said Driscoll, “I’m still in the middle of it.  Lord, what do you have for me?”

Driscoll, who was paid a six-figure salary and apparently received like severance, added:  “I don’t know if I’m going to pay my bills.”

The sermon’s message:  Trust in the Lord is what it’s all about.   “There is a judgment coming on the Earth,” Driscoll said.  The path to deliverance is to “walk with God” in which case, Driscoll declared:  “You can be spared from judgment.”

Driscoll is a charismatic speaker.  He prayed over members of the congregation, some holding up their hands, that they will come to “walk with Jesus” and asked:  “Are you praying to Jesus?”  Many lined up to hug the former Mars Hill pastor.

Actually, Driscoll waited less than a week to reappear.  He went briefly on stage October 20, 2014, at the Gateway Conference at a big Dallas Fort Worth-area church, which he had been scheduled to keynote.  He talked of persecution and news helicopters circling overhead, and said: “I’ve cried a lot lately.  It’s been a rough time on my family.”

He started marketing videos of his sermons as Mars Hill was dissolving on New Year’s Eve. (The church’s congregations were left with the choice of making it on their own, combining with another church, or formally dissolving.)

Driscoll spoke last month to a mega church-sponsored Thrive Leadership Conference in California.  He crosses two oceans this summer at Hillsong Conferences in London and Sydney.

In introducing Driscoll, Kellogg voiced hope that the former Mars Hill pastor would “plant” a new church in another state.

As Driscoll was given the layout and stage instructions before preaching, one staff at Gold Creek Church asked:  “Do they throw things at you?”

“Actually, it’s been a few years since that’s happened, but it’s happened,” Driscoll replied.

The demonstrators delivered a different message on leaflets entitled “Mark Driscoll –Unfit for any Pulpit” — contrition.  “We believe restoration is possible and we pray regularly for Mark.  Putting Mark back in the pulpit as a leader in the Church now is not biblical.  It is neither loving to him or to those with whom he has not reconciled.”



43 thoughts on “The return of Mark Driscoll

  1. I agree Q that going to the media to bring down others is not good. Swaggart and Gorman were a special case of personal war between them and not a good example of what has happened with Hillsong and Driscoll

    And as Bones says if anyone in authority publicly attack others and do similar things themselves they they are certainly fair game.

    These preachers fall because they are empire building for themselves and ought not be claiming they are ministers of God. They attack others to appear more “holy” and to divert attention from their own profiteering off God fleecing the flock. They may start out with good intentions, but the “fame” quickly unravels that and the success turns into lusts for wealth and fame.


  2. If I saw the local pastor at a brothel it wouldn’t worry me too much. What people do in their personal life is none of my business. Had Christian friends go through divorce and have affairs. That’s their life. I actually prefer mercy over judgement.

    When however they become the public face of moral crusades condemning others then yeah they’re fair game. And that’s Swaggart, Driscoll, Pell….

    And it’s no surprise that their kingdoms are falling.

    Someone once wrote “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

    The same would apply for liberal Christians preaching inclusion yet making homophobic or racist comments. It wouldn’t bother me if Desmond Tutu went to a gay brothel though I would be appalled if he made homophobic comments.

    “That’s the irony of it all.
    So, I feel like I’m watching the church disintegrate in front of my eyes. Just dumb. It’s like Hitler invading Poland and having Scotland and England fight to the death over kilts.”

    No, it’s good. It SHOULD teach us that the church is bigger than personalities and names. But if you want a church based on personalities don’t be surprised when it disintegrates. There should be no sorrow for Driscoll being an arsehole.


  3. So if I saw Bones car outside a brothel I wouldn’t call the media.
    Even a gay brothel.
    Even one that catered to footballer fetishises.


  4. My point is not whether it’s a group or an individual, My point is that I don’t understand individuals or groups going to a newspaper or TV show to exact revenge on or attack someone.

    So Swaggart did the wrong thing imo in trying to take Gorman down. And then he didn’t live by his own standards. But not many people do.

    “he masturbated”

    That’s what she said.


  5. Actually the media got the story from the 2 preachers themselves, the women and the cops. Until the stories had well and truly broken did the media get other christian’s views/comments.

    So it was not really a case of a group of christians trying to bring another down, but rather the story of Swaggart bringing down Gorman (plus others) and then Gorman showing Swaggart for what he really was.


  6. Wazza, I know. That was my point.
    The media got hold of all those Gorman, Bakke, Swaggart stories from Christians themselves. Swaggart is a tragic story. But he can’t complain about the media because HE was the one who went to newspapers about the other guys.

    Btw, I hope your marriage and family are ok. And I mean that.

    That’s the irony of it all.
    So, I feel like I’m watching the church disintegrate in front of my eyes. Just dumb. It’s like Hitler invading Poland and having Scotland and England fight to the death over kilts.


  7. Swaggart? He brought someone else down (Marvin Gorman) then he brought himself down. Then he got back up again and then he brought himself down again. Other Christians had nothing to do with it.

    Yes its the same old story, gullible people ever willing to forgive and to give. Swaggart used to say that Christians shouldnt go to the movies “Because they’re LEWD!” . When he was caught with his pants down for the second time Swaggart said “The Lord told me its flat none of your business”. Atheists just shake their heads and wonder.

    And yet if you are an ordinary parishoner and you do something really serious like join another church, stop believing or have a marriage breakup and form a relationship with someone else – there is no forgiveness for that. You are cast into the utter darkness.


  8. And Driscoll is a believer in reformed theology anyway!!

    I guess you have to believe pretty perfectly.

    Oh the irony of the Calvinists and the gays, atheists and feminists holding hands and dancing around.


  9. Not at all Wazza. The National media weren’t interested in it.
    Until the people who hate Driscoll contacted them. It’s the same with whenever Hillsong or anyone hits the news.

    Some angry Christians with an axe to grind contact the media about some church or ministry. Media attacks the group and has a field day.

    This story is as old as the Swaggart days. Whenever media lashes onto something, it’s usually because Christian A wants to bring down Christian B.

    But they don’t get it.

    It’s like the Hyper Calvinists over at churchwatcher feeding the atheist world with every bit of dirt they can about Hillsong. They start orgasming saying See, everyone hates Hillsong. They just don’t realise that after everyones had fun kicking Hillsong – nobody really thinks the Crazy Calvinists are much better.

    So right now the Calvinists are rejoicing at Driscoll getting beaten down on TV. Yeah, they showed em!!

    If only they had them on TV and asked her about predestination, hell and women keeping silent in church etc.

    Wait, did I get my pronouns mixed up?


    Prediction. Driscoll will just be able to sell more books and get more TV interviews in the future. If they honestly think Driscoll is going to fade away and get a job in a cafeteria somewhere,

    HOnestly, these same people would have been cheering when their hero calvin was burning people.


  10. Send Mark Driscoll to preach to ISIS.

    He can afford it after his fee from Brian.

    That can be Hillsong’s contribution as well.

    Then he might know what persecution is….

    (Oh don’t criticise Mark because look there’s ISIS and the dollar is going down…)


  11. Apparently while Christians are being tortured by ISIS, Hillsong’s going to interview Mark Driscoll in recognition of this persecution at their Conference and give him a pretty good fee for doing that.

    Way to go, Hillsong.


  12. What’s Hillsong doing about ISIS again?

    Well nothing. That’s not their ministry.

    Apparently that’s something the plebs have to deal with.

    If Q really gave a sh*t about Christians persecuted by ISIS there’s plenty of charities doing that.

    But not Hillsong.

    Or Mark Driscoll. (Although somehow I’m supposed to go over there and be all Rambo like. Which would be illegal according to our own government)

    (And congrats to all those who supported Bush’s illegal war.

    Look what lovely fruit you’ve born)



  13. What’s Hillsong doing about ISIS again?

    Well nothing. That’s not their ministry.

    Apparently that’s something the plebs have to deal with.

    If Q really gave a sh*t about Christians persecuted by ISIS there’s plenty of charities doing that.

    But not Hillsong.

    Or Mark Driscoll. (Although somehow I’m supposed to go over there and be all Rambo like. Which would be illegal according to our own government)

    (And congrats to all those who supported Bush’s illegal war.

    Look what lovely fruit you’ve born)



  14. @Wazza

    btw re your “Why does it bother me? ” And I’ll be serious.

    Okay, here’s what I’d like to see.
    We know that like you said in many cases the good news testimonies just weren’t true. Otherwise the high profile guys wouldn’t have had affairs, been separated from their wives then divorced then remarried, gone to prostitutes, molested kids etc. (got caught doing the things that nobody ever thought they’d even think about)

    I’m all for mega churches. And I’m all for music that’s good. And messages that are inspiring, and encouraging are great. I listen to them all the time. Just that they aren’t usually done by preachers.

    Here’s my suggestions
    1. Honestly. If you’re a pastor – whether famous or not, talk to a friend about the problems you’re going through BEFORE you crash and burn.
    2. Sex ed. Explain to people that we are sexual beings, that it’s normal to want to think about sex, and want it. And many times you’ll want it at the wrong time with the wrong person. But, MOST of us are in the same boat. Do what you can to avoid it. And if you are attracted to kids -GO GET HELP IMMEDIATELY.
    3. Most ministers could just get normal jobs. Don’t encourage young people that if they really love God the best is for them to leave their jobs and go to bible college etc. Go study, make money, build your life with your family. It doesn’t HAVE to revolve around a church. Maybe go visit your relatives, hang out with people at work, clean up the city, start a blog, get a Phd, write a book, find the cure for cancer etc.
    4. Stop talking about money. Forget tithing. Stop the Kingdom Building nonsense (its really just the pastors kingdom building). And live in a house as normal as anyone else. Then you’ll cut down 80% of the criticism that its all about money.

    I long for the day when you see a mega church charismatic pastor who really DOES heal the sick, preach the gospel, be like Jesus and then have everyone scratching their heads wondering why he still lives in a normal house and travels economy.

    See – I agree with you about some things. But Driscoll at Hillsong? Just doesn’t bug me that much.

    PS If the Royal Commission has taught me anything its how ridiculous it is for the RC church to still tell its followers that something like masturbation is sin, the charismatics are still having altar calls for it, but then all the while the leader of the AOG couldn’t stop himself from modesting boys, an RC priest abused every kid in his school, and almost every high profile leader seems to have had marriage problems – visited prostitutes, had affairs etc.

    I’ll stop before I start sounding like one of you guys.


  15. “But yeah it’s probably because they’re Muslims.”

    “About 550 young women, some as young as 13, have already travelled to Islamic State-controlled territory, ……. the young women who are travelling to Syria see themselves as something more: pilgrims embarking on a mission to develop the region into an Islamic utopia.”

    “Many of the young women observed said they felt socially and culturally isolated in secular Western society, and saw the region controlled by Islamic State as “a safe haven for those who wish to fully embrace and protect Islam,”

    “yeah it’s probably because they’re Muslims.”


  16. “Btw I’d say there’s more to ISIS than meets the eye.”

    Yeah, they are just good old boys who are being used by Zionists right?
    Isis could rape every woman in Queensland and Bones would chaining himself to the amp at the Hillsong Conference protesting Driscoll.

    “But yeah it’s probably because they’re Muslims.”

    You don’t say?

    Interesting on this very website, every sin from every group connecting to Christianity no matter how rejected by Christians is trumpeted giving Bones and friends cause to jump up and down and say “See I told ya. Christians are evil. They have no right to say anything about anything in the public sphere”.

    On the other hand, you have a Muslim leader establishing a Muslim state, calling for support from the Muslim world, killing Christians and Jews and forcing conversion to Islam , getting support from all over the world, and even getting followers who have converted to Islam in western countries and of course British clerics rejoicing at the establishment of Sharia law…..but oh on……nononononono. Islam is a religion of peace. Don’t got there! Stop it! Forget the continual rape, bombings, beheadings, sexual slavery, burning people alive, terrorist activity ….the REAL problem in the world is the ultimate evil alliance. A preacher who was kicked out of his church for calling people “pussies” being interviewed after some woefully ineloquent old Dude, after some happy go lucky Christians got excited singing U2 inspired pop christian music.

    Nah. I still don’t get the rage.

    Sep when you probably haven’t been to Hillsong.

    Are you secretly worried that Hillsong will go to Rockie,and . eh….some people will leave your church and start drinking Gloria Jeans coffee?


  17. If Hillsong had Isis over to speak I’d be surprised.
    Unfathomable to me that people could equate Driscoll to Isis but perhaps not because to some liberal “christians” and gay activists Driscoll is more of a threat than Isis. Amazing.

    As for Mr Bones?
    First he’s incensed that Hillsong has Driscoll to their conference that he isn’t attending. Now he’s mad they aren’t doing anything about Isis. And the churchwatchers are mad because women are allowed to speak and they don’t sing hymns.


    What next?
    They don’t have condom vending machines? Starbucks should have equal share of the after church coffee market? They should use the Helvetica font?

    Girls….please join the board of your own churches and annoy your own vicar..


  18. Hillsong are having ISIS over for the 2016 Conference, not to speak of course but just to answer a few light questions.

    Q was quoted as saying “What are you all worried about? Nothing to see here, move on, these are not the droids you are looking for”


  19. What’s Hillsong doing about ISIS?

    Let me guess making another album.

    Maybe Mark Driscoll can go over there and bust a few caps int heir arses seeing how he’s such a big man. Or maybe he could see real persecution instead of being found out to be a prick.

    Btw I’d say there’s more to ISIS than meets the eye. It’s in certain countries’ regional interest to have them attacking Syria and the Shiite alliance.

    But yeah it’s probably because they’re Muslims.


  20. “I wonder when John Spong gets his Hillsong invitation.”

    I doubt he’d get one. That outrages you? Quick let’s hold a demo!

    You should spend more time wondering about how we can help the poor people fleeing from Isis after being raped and tortured.

    btw, Franklin Graham probably won’t get an invitation to the Jehovah’s Witnesses convention this year either.

    Man, still can’t understand why people who don’t belong to Hillsong, and have spent years hating on them are so concerned about who speaks at a convention..

    Is this convention that big a deal? If it’s that important maybe I should attend….?

    Attendance at this convention is not compulsory….you guys know that right?

    With all this free publicity from all you unrelated people, the Hillsong convention guys will have to looking for a bigger venue soon! lol

    Maybe I should google
    “HIllsong Convention Guest Speaker Selection Compulsive Obsession Disorder”. Maybe it’s treatable.


    Guys – why don’t you hold your own convention?
    Of course there would be free admission, and Margot Churchwatcher would make sure no females spoke ….although ironically, she’ll be the one deciding everything behind the scenes!

    Keep going guys. The more you attack the bigger Hillsong gets!


  21. Giving people a platform doesn’t mean approval of their theology.
    Otherwise Christians will never be able to work together.
    But if you go on what someone did a year ago then nobody will be able to speak.

    I don’t think all of us know all of the facts about his leadership.

    I guess we differ on how bad a person has to have been before we object to letting them speak at some conference.

    And if it weren’t for liberal and Calvinist Christians going to the media to attack Houston most Australians wouldn’t have ever known what a Hillsong was.

    Even if someone told me that John Piper was completely overbearing and taught that some people were predestined to hell – there is no way I would be concerned that he was being interview at a John Mscarthur conference or even if he had a guest blog spot at the prestigious church watchers site,

    But maybe I am too tolerant. I’m amazed people talk about Clinton and Lewinski still.

    But the real issue seems to me that people hate Driscoll and want to shut him up – and who are they? Hyper Calvinists on one hand and then those who hate his theology re gays and women.

    So who’s going to be at the demo anyway? Probably a handful of churcheatchers all wearing Pirate radio T-shirts, some Tanya chick flogging books, and a couple of Irish gays still drunk from the referendum who got on the wrong plane!

    And maybe some bald guy on a motorbike. ..


  22. You’re too accepting of other peoples flaws Q…a bit like a guy I keep hearing Mark Driscoll refer too but never seemed to actually emulate. Driscoll really needs to be out of the limelight for sometime before he has anything of value to say to the church. Why was I upset at the idea of Mark Driscoll getting a platform to speak from? Because if you give him a platform you are approving his theology and his manner of leadership – Hillsong seem to actually listened to people who spoke to them, they withdrew his speaking gig – but they also didn’t just dump his arse (which is nice – very Q like) – they’ve given him a voice (not sure about that) and hopefully they’l ask the tough questions of him, and hopefully Mark will be honest in his appraisal of himself and in his answers.


  23. @ Wazza. Good answer old son. Jolly good. And yes you have the right to comment. I think the day of idolising preachers is over though isn’t it? Everyone I ever idolized turned out to be doing worse things than I beat myself up over.

    But Driscoll has already been kicked out of his church and the Acts thing. And maybe he’s going to be telling people in depth about where he went wrong, and what he’s learned.

    He always did come across as a pretty narcissistic bully to me. But, he did a pretty good job of getting males to church in a difficult city. People who do big things often tend to be pretty flawed individuals.

    You don’t think he’s paid enough already?

    and btw, have you given up completely on pentecostal churches?

    (I wouldn’t fit in well in an Australian mega new generation church anyway)

    I just don’t think they’re the worst things in the world. And I don’t think Driscoll has committed the unpardonable sin either.


  24. Heh..Heh Q… I loved the references to the UN and Bono…

    Why does it bother me? Well I grew up in Pentecostal churches – some very good but some tending towards the mega-church leader idolisation model we are increasingly seeing today. These leaders are often promoted as having something more, more life, more influence, more money, more sex, more joy, more manliness, more beautiful wives who love sex as much as they do… etc.. And the reason they have all these things is because they have more faith in Jesus – they are people to be emulated.

    Which is all fine as far as it goes, but they seem to have it both ways – ie. when the whole thing crumbles down to the ground they can go to another country and still be given a prominent platform to talk about how hard it all was. Meanwhile the ordinary people, the people who had an ordinary amount of sex, money, influence – the ones who never had a platform but still worked hard to build one for the leader have to sit there and listen to the sob-story.

    The Hillsong conference is a public conference – anyone can go as long as they can stump up the money. And therefore since its in the public domain, I am allowed to comment on it – or is free speech only protected when it is critical of Islam? Hillsong would never have gotten as popular as it has without using the brand-name of Jesus – this name has been much abused over 2000 years but still has tremendous cachet and is our heritage as Christians. So we are all entitled to make comment where we see His name being used to promote ideas which He seemed to speak against.

    The theme of the Conference this year is ‘Speak, We’re listening’. I hope Hillsong are listening to the message that Mark Driscoll still dosent appear to have heard.


  25. “Then why dont they get the entire congregation up to be interviewed”

    Great idea…
    Since you’re paying so much to attend the conference why don’t you put it in the suggestion box.
    Or hold your own conference and you guys can get up and interview each other about how you overcame the unbearable tribulation of ……
    hearing that some big bully pastor who was fired last year from a church you hated in another country was asked questions by someone in a conference somewhere.

    Yeah, I’m sure conference attenders could relate to that emotional pain.

    Really, why the freaking heck does this bother you guys?


  26. Hitler???

    Yeah and if we don’t stop Mark Driscoll and Brian Houston soon …. They’ll behead Christians. No that’s Isis.
    They’ll invade Poland?
    No, Not cool enough.

    They’ll terrorise bakeries and put them out of business?
    No that’s the gays.

    Yeah I got it. The women who attend the conference will all start to love sex and reenact the Song of Solomons on their husbands and start playing the latest Hillsong United praise songs on their iPhones
    Oh how awful!! We’ve got to do something!!!

    Let’s organise a demonstration!!
    Get the UN involved Wazza!
    Maybe even Bono could intervene…,


  27. Surprised so many internet Christians are upset about someone they don’t listen to, speaking at a conference they won’t attend which is run by a man they don’t listen to.


  28. Widgets have magically appeared at the bottom of posts.

    Try those on for size (maximum 2 widgets in the dressing room)


  29. “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant…”.

    Maybe Mark should face some real trials and go minister to ISIS.

    As for his heart, well I think that’s been revealed by the people left lying on the road as the Driscoll Star blew through.

    Poor Mark, I’ve been through trials too…..


  30. I am looking forward to having this opportunity to speak openly with the Driscolls about life and ministry, as well as recent events and lessons they’ve learned through personal and ministry trials during the past year. My aim is to have an in-depth conversation that gives insight into their hearts.

    … Brian Houston

    It would be good to have a series of these interviews, also talking to people like Bruce Hills formerly of Hillsong Brisbane and Geoff Bullock. Many of these people have gone through trials in ministry and would have a lot to say on the topic. In fact if the only qualification to speak is that you have gone through trials, then why dont they get the entire congregation up to be interviewed


  31. That has been confirmed to me by an insider – both Grace and Mark will be onstage being interviewed – he will not be preaching. Either way, it’s tacit approval of his return to ministry in an offensively short amount of time that has not seemed to produce a bit of remorse.


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