Hill$ong cancels Mark Driscoll – updated*

 

 

The ABC reports…

“Hillsong has canned the appearance of controversial US pastor Mark Driscoll, who once likened women to “penis homes”, with the church founder labelling his past comments “outrageous”.

In a statement, Hillsong founder Brian Houston said he had heard of some of Mr Driscoll’s statements for the first time in the past week.

“After personal interaction with Mark Driscoll today, we have agreed that he will no longer be coming to Australia or the UK to attend Hillsong Conference,” he said.

“It is my hope that Mark and I will be able to speak in person in the coming weeks to discuss some of the issues that have been raised, what – if anything – he has learned, and for me to understand better how he is progressing in both his personal and professional life.”

Mr Houston said the teachings of Christ were based on “love and forgiveness”, but that he did not want “unnecessary distractions” during the conference later this month.

“I will not write off Mark as a person simply because of the things that people have said about him, a small minority of people signing a petition or statements he has made many years ago for which he has since repeatedly apologised,” he said.

“It was clear to me that Mark’s attendance had the potential to divert attention from the real purpose of Hillsong Conference, which is to see people leave encouraged in their own spiritual journey.

“Clearly Mark has held some views and made some statements that cannot be defended.

“One or two of the more outrageous things he is purported to have said, I have heard for the first time through the media exposure over the past week.”

Mr Driscoll was forced to resign as pastor of Seattle’s Mars Hills Church in October last year after staff protests and an internal church review found him guilty of arrogance, “responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner”.

Two weeks later, Mars Hill Church was effectively dissolved.

Mr Driscoll had also invited criticism for remarks he made about homosexuals and women, some in a blog and some under a pseudonym in an online forum.

In what was dubbed the “Testosterone Gospel”, he preached of a muscular, angry Jesus and told men to take responsibility and stop being “wusses” and told women to serve men.

But it was the more extreme of his remarks that upset some of his female parishioners, in particular when he referred to women as homes for a penis.

“Ultimately, God created you and it is His penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while,” he said.

“While His penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wandering the streets looking for a house to live in.

“Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife. And when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home.”

An online petition was launched protesting Mr Driscoll’s appearance in Australia.

So far it has attracted more than 3,000 signatures.”

From http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-07/controversial-pastor-no-longer-attending-hillsong/6528482

 

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6 thoughts on “Hill$ong cancels Mark Driscoll – updated*

  1. Hey RP, what a blast from the past. Glad you are doing well.

    I would say “less power to you” because power corrupts everyone. Power over other people I mean. Its unfortunately human nature to form into heirarchies – Top, middle and low, and the problem is that people become incredibly irrational in their efforts to maintain or ascend the ladders. As Upton Sinclair said “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” . So in your case although it can be a plain and obvious fact that the speaker is a charlatan , the heirarchy will genuinely not be able to understand this. You can lay out the facts till the cows come home but still it will escape comprehension. Bums on seats trumps almost any theological or ethical quibbles unless there is an outcry in the media as happened with Driscoll.

    This I fear is the basic problem with all organised religion – the irrationality and greediness of man will transform it into a club which benefits the top and oppresses the bottom while spinning fables designed to lure the unwary.

    Of course it happens in all organisations, but it is most stark in religion because it espouses values the opposite of its eventual actions.

    The exception may be the ‘dead’ denominations – small village churches and the like which are engaged with the community. There is less to gain so there is less politics and less ladder climbing. They know they cant transform the world so they are happy to potter along helping a few people here and there. But there are a whole lot of small organisations like this and they are what make up the fabric of society, not the rock-star preachers with the record or book deals.

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  2. Been a while… but I saw Driscoll on the front page of the SMH and wondered if I’d see some kind of reaction here. Most amusing – except for having been in the kind of church congregation that makes me aware of the damage people like Driscoll can do. Kind of comforting to hear he finally got chucked out from his church. I remember when he was flavour of the month in some circles.

    The way I see it, BH just doesn’t like bad publicity, therefore Driscoll had to be cancelled. Very pragmatic. I doubt it has as much to do with what Driscoll has said in the past as it does with the bad PR for anyone who invites him to speak.

    Before I left my church, I asked the leadership how they could endorse a visiting speaker at a conference who was clearly a charlatan, promising answered prayer for vast sums of money. They were so besotted with the leader of our denomination who’d hired the guy, they said they’d support anyone he hired, no matter what.

    BH is slightly better.

    I haven’t attended a church for over five years now, and I am so content with that. My world has not fallen apart. I love my free Sundays. I enjoy having friends without feeling any need to try to invite them to a service. I enjoy the extra time, the new friends, my new interests, the freedom from a whole lot of subtle pressures. I enjoy the honesty of not making excuses about the poor behaviour of some of these places, and the freedom to talk and listen without a personal agenda to people with their own experiences. I would find it very difficult (distasteful) to set foot inside a church again. Having said that, I know there are good people in there. But power often corrupts the leadership, even in small doses.

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  3. What worries me is that Brian H didn’t know about some of the things Driscoll said until these last couple of weeks when they were published in the papers.

    How do Hillsong screen their speakers for their conferences then? If you type ‘Driscoll’ into a search engine you can find out all of the stupid things he’s done or said in about 10 minutes. If I was paying $70+ for a conference I would want to make sure that there was some editing or screening of the speakers, if I wanted to listen to someone just raving about whatever bugs them straight off the top of their head I would go down to the local Pentecostal church.

    I hope they do some better screening of their Pastors, otherwise they could be harbouring a Paedophile.

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  4. The world will be full of Bones’s. Rationality always wins out. We’ll see in 10 years that gay marriage isn’t the end of civilisation we thought it was. And the religious hucksters will be retired or dead, their offspring picking over the scraps.

    The vast majority of people in Australia don’t have a clue who you’re talking about, that’s how inconsequential they are. And they just help the public perception of churches being after your money and control. They’re actually helping the rationalists out.

    I wouldn’t even know who Driscoll was if not for this site and SP02.

    But his theology is destructive and he destroyed himself and those around him.

    So well done all round.

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  5. Wow, Bones and the Churchwatchers hate Driscoll that much they’re calling TV shows about it?

    In 10 years all that will be left are Muslims, Gays and Calvinists.
    They’ll all get on just fine!

    What about Bones and his ilk? Where do they fit in you ask?

    They’ll ether be gay or Muslim.

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