We have been emailed information about a certain event planned to take place at Hillsong Conference 2015.
We would like to make it clear:
Mark Driscoll does NOT represent Fundamentalist Christianity but rather that of a cult leader. Although it appeared he began as a “fundamental Christian”, it was fundamental Christianity sounding the alarm of Mark Driscoll’s Emergent/Liberal progression. Not only does he still dabble in their liberal “tribal” notions and obfuscation games, Driscoll is firmly planted in the Purpose-Driven movement and had no problem espousing their vision casting and leadership-centered doctrines.
Mark Driscoll has run from discipline and now associates himself with Prosperity and Word of Faith churches such as Robert Morris’ Gateway Church, Brian Houston’s Hillsong and Joseph Prince’s New Creation Church. In fact, Mark Driscoll is now being discipled by the Word of Faith proponent Robert Morris of Gateway Church.
Even though Driscoll has marketed himself as fundamentally conservative, other conservative Christian leaders have stated, “It’s over. Marks [sic] should resign. Nobody should go to his church. He’s unqualified for ministry“.
We ask, is he switching camps to escape responsibility, accountability and discipline for his actions? Should we be surprised that Brian Houston has no problem with the ethical integrity of this man, by asking him to speak at Hillsong? This issue is not Fundamentalism – we are dealing with cult leaders abusing their positions and thus getting away with abusing people.
We hope Christians from all denominations speak out against the cult-like behaviour of Mark Driscoll and its apparent acceptance by Brian Houston.
Information about the Protest:
Press release: Planned Protest against Hillsong Conference guest speaker Mark Driscoll at Hillsong’s Waterloo Campus in Sydney, 9:15 AM on Sunday May 31st
(for questions please contact Benjamin Ady on 0400048195 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
People Against Fundamentalism are calling for a protest against Sydney’s Hillsong church’s invitation to former mega-church pastor Mark Driscoll, often accused of being a misogynist and a bully, to speak at their Sydney conference this winter. An online petition against Driscoll’s presence at Hillsong’s conference has gathered nearly 1,000 signatures (1)
People Against Fundamentalism have watched Mark Driscoll ongoingly hurt many people, especially women, in Seattle, with his misogyny, bullying, and hardline complementarian teaching.
Last year Mars Hill, the 14,000 member megachurch Driscoll founded and led in Seattle, went down in flames because of his bad behaviour (2). The former church is currently facing a lawsuit for racketeering alleging misuse of funds designated for church planting in Ethiopia and India, including the use of those same funds to pay an agency US$210,000 to game the New York Times bestseller list to get Driscoll’s latest book, Real Marriage, on top (3, 4)
Brian Houston, Hillsong’s senior pastor, is himself potentially under investigation and facing legal repercussions for failing to report his own father and previous Hillsong pastor Frank Houston’s sexual abuse of minors. (5) Jim Henderson, one of the leaders of the protest that brought down Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church last year, and author of the book “Question Mark” about Driscoll and bullying in the church, said “Given Houston’s precarious position with the Royal Commission it seems a risk not worth taking to bring someone else on stage who is similarly under investigation for racketeering charges- What if some of the protesters begin linking the two of them together and accuse Brian of either attempting to divert attention away from his own legal allegations by focusing on Driscoll’s or of processing his own guilt in public using Driscoll as a surrogate”
Rachel Held Evans, a popular Christian blogger and author, says that Driscoll has an “alarming preoccupation with sex and masculinity”, and characterised his most recent book, “Real Marriage” as promoting the idea that “real marriage is to be based on a hierarchical pattern of submission” and as suggesting that it is “sinful” for a wife to withhold sex from her husband. (6)
Paul Tripp, executive director of the Centre for Pastoral Life and Care, and former board member at Mars Hill said of the culture created at by Mark at Mars Hill “This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.” (7)
Throughout his pastoral career at Mars Hill Church in Seattle Driscoll consistently generated controversy by speaking of women and the feminine with near contempt, referring to the church as “chickified”, saying the church needs dudes, saying dudes are and must be the leaders and denigrating “chicks” as being of no consequence. (8) Mark has ongoingly embraced and taught complementarianism, the doctrine that God gave men and women different roles, with men as the leaders and women as the followers. As such, women were precluded from the ranks of leadership at Mars Hill.
In 2011, Driscoll posted this status update to his facebook page “So, what story do you have about the most effeminate anatomically male worship leader you’ve ever personally witnessed?” (9)
Mark Driscoll has bragged about his bullying and casting aside of anyone who disagreed with him “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 get run over by the bus.” (10)
The worldwide church-planting network (over 500 churches) which Mark Driscoll founded, Acts 29, kicked him AND his church Mars Hill out of their network last year, citing “ungodly and disqualifying behaviour”. They asked Mark to step down from ministry for an extended period of time and seek help. (11)
Mark has been accused by many of the pastors/elders of his own church of
Lack of self control
Verbally assaulting people
Creating a culture of fear
Being verbally abusive
Being arrogant (12)
The board of Elders who investigated these charges found that Mark Driscoll had a pattern of “persistent sin”, and they intended to rebuke him and ask him to enter a restoration process that would eventually lead to his restoration to leadership. The church’s elders were “deeply grieved” when Driscoll surprised them by resigning, thereby circumventing that process. This was followed very quickly by the dissolution of the megachurch he started. (13, 14)
Hillsong–please: don’t give this misogynistic, abusive, ex pastor a platform. Recently, a mere 4 months after the events culminating in his resignation and the dissolution of Mars Hill, Mark Driscoll has relaunched his ministry, still calling himself a “pastor”, and bragging that he’s speaking at Hillsong conference in Sydney this year. We don’t need or want his abusive version of Christianity in Australia.
Hey Church Watch:
Thank you so much for helping get the word out about our protest! Just to be really clear, we are definitely planning to be gracious and peaceful in our protest. We’ll be there holding up signs asking Hillsong to uninvite Driscoll from Hillsong Conference, and hopefully engaging people from Hillsong in meaningful conversations about why Mark Driscoll should not be given a platform.
See you Sunday Morning May 31st near the entrance to Waterloo Campus in Sydney! Please feel free to call or email me if you have any further questions.
If you don’t mind, can you let us know if you’re coming from a Christian or from any other spiritual viewpoint e.g. agnostic, Catholic etc?
Oh–if you have any questions, please email me on email@example.com
sure =). I was raised as a Christian in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church from about the age of 9 until my mid twenties in ~1998. Then for a period of 7 or 8 years I was involved in a variety of other Christian denominations. Then from about 2007-2008 I’ve considered myself a (weak) atheist, and simultaneously a Pastafarian.
It should be noted that others who are coming to the protest are Christians, including my lovely wife, Megs, who was brought up Anglican and is still very much a Christian. I also note I know of at least a couple Hillsong insiders/members who are quite strongly supportive of getting Driscoll uninvited from conference, although I’m certainly not going to reveal their names. My guess is a lot of Hillsong members/insiders are strongly supportive of getting Driscoll uninvited from conference.
Hope that answers your question. Thanks for asking. There’s a bit more here about why I personally care about it here http://peopleagainstfundamentalism.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/why-this-matters-to-me.html
Just a comment: if you want Hillsong members to join in the protest of Driscoll’s appearance, wouldn’t it seem best not to insult/deride their pastor? (Save that for another day?) They are well aware of his father’s sins. . . . and don’t seem to think it is significant.
(BTW, Hillsong canceled Driscoll as a “speaker” and instead Houston plans to interview him on stage – perfect opportunity to present himself as the victim!)
@ Diane – thanks for commenting. We knew about the change from keynote speaker to “victim” (because that’s how he’s doing interviews these days). We recommend these articles demonstrating his trajectory:
yes. that makes a lot of sense to me. thank you for pointing it out.
The key word in the title is “Staged”.
One narcissist protesting another narcissist is quite like observing two dogs copulate in public. In this case, it’s a yapping mini poodle trying to mount a Saint Bernard.
That’s a fun image =) woof woof. I definitely don’t meet criterion A1, as I tend to fall a bit on the other end of the spectrum, not being super fussed about what others think of me. Those close to me could verify this for you =). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder
Just to be really clear, my goals/thoughts are around preventing Mark Driscoll from further harming others, as he’s left a long string of people in Seattle terribly hurt with his abusive ways, which are extensively documented.
Hello again everyone. Just some further details about the protest this Sunday. I look forward to meeting many of you there! =) http://peopleagainstfundamentalism.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/details-for-folks-joining-driscoll.html