Media respond to Houston dropping hot potato “pastor” Driscoll from Hillsong Conference 2015

This article will be continually collecting media responses of Houston rejecting Mark Driscoll to speak at Hillsong Conference 2015.

Houston bends knee to critics and media (Part 1): Lateline
Houston bends knee to critics and media (Part 2): Sunrise Interview
Houston bends knee to critics and media (Part 3): Driscollified to speak at Hillsong

The Guardian reports,

Hillsong to review decision to invite controversial US pastor as speaker

The head of Pentecostal mega-church Hillsong will review a decision to invite to the church’s Australian conference a controversial US preacher who once compared women to “penis-houses”.

Brian Houston told Channel Seven he would be speaking with the former head of Seattle’s Mars Hill church, Mark Driscoll, later on Sunday to “work out where to go from here”.

“I am going to be talking to him later on today and we’ll talk about the different possibilities,” Houston said.

Nearly 3,000 people have signed an online petition against Hillsong’s plans to host Driscoll at its Australian conference in Sydney this month, which is expected to attract around 30,000 people.

Mark Driscoll, the former pastor of Mars Hill church in Seattle, who was invited to speak at the 2015 Hillsong conference.
Mark Driscoll, the former pastor of Mars Hill church in Seattle, who was invited to speak at the 2015 Hillsong conference. Photograph: ABC News
Driscoll resigned from the Mars Hill church in October after its board 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”.

There were also allegations that donations allocated for outreach to India and Ethiopia were spent instead on growing the church’s online presence.

“Ultimately, God created you and it is His penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while,” Driscoll said in one sermon, part of what he called a “testosterone gospel”.

“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,” he said.

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“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.”

Activist groups online have suggested Driscoll should be denied entry into the country over his attitudes to women, as in the case of serial domestic abuser and athlete Floyd Mayweather and so-called “pick-up artist” Julien Blanc.

Driscoll has apologised for the way he treated members of the church but not repudiated his views on the roles of men and women.

In a statement on the Hillsong website on Friday, Houston said he and Driscoll “stand poles apart on women, their place in society, and their role in the church”.

He said he wanted to hold an “open interview” with Driscoll and his wife, Grace, because there were “lessons to be learned” from his story.

“We come from different backgrounds, theological positions, and church expressions. I genuinely want to know,” he said.

“Did he really say those things? Does he believe those things? Does he have any regrets? Has he been misrepresented? What has he learned and what can we all learn? And where to from here?

“I’m looking forward to asking the questions and hearing from Mark directly. Will we agree afterwards or agree to disagree? Time will tell. I doubt we will agree on everything, but everyone deserves an opportunity to be heard.”

Source: By Michael Safi, Hillsong to review decision to invite controversial US pastor as speaker, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/07/hillsong-defends-invitation-to-us-pastor-criticised-for-comments-about-women, 07/06/2015. (Accessed 08/06/2015.)

Later the Guardian reported,

Hillsong church drops controversial US preacher Mark Driscoll from conferences

The head of Pentecostal mega-church Hillsong has dropped US preacher Mark Driscoll from the lineup of the church’s 2015 Australian and UK conferences, saying furore around his controversial sermons – including some describing women as “penis houses” – would be an “unnecessary distraction”.

Brian Houston said on Sunday after “personal interaction” with Driscoll he had decided to rescind his invitation to the events, the Australian version of which is expected to draw 30,000 this month.

Driscoll resigned from Seattle’s Mars Hill church in October after its board 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”.
Hillsong to review decision to invite controversial US pastor as speaker
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But uproar in recent days has focused on the content of his so-called “testosterone gospel”, including one sermon in which he told churchgoers: “Ultimately, God created you and it is His penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while.

“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,” he said.

In pseudonymous posts on an online forum in 2000 Driscoll also wrote the US had become a “pussified nation” where boys were being raised by “bitter penis-envying burned feministed single mothers”.

A petition against his appearance at the church’s conferences in Australia and the UK had drawn nearly 3,000 signatures, and an online activist group in Australia had suggested Driscoll be barred entry into the country, as was serial domestic abuser and boxer Floyd Mayweather.

Houston said Driscoll “held some views and made some statements that cannot be defended” and that his 30-minute scheduled appearance “had the potential to divert attention from the real purpose” of the five-day event.

“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,” he said.

“The teachings of Christ are based on love and forgiveness, and 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.

“However, I do not want unnecessary distractions during our conference,” he said.

Source: By Michael Safi, Hillsong church drops controversial US preacher Mark Driscoll from conferences, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/07/hillsong-church-drops-controversial-us-preacher-mark-driscoll-from-conferences, Published 07/06/2015. (Accessed 08/06/2015.)

News.com reports,

Controversial pastor Mark Driscoll not coming to Hillsong Australia

AFTER personal interaction with Mark Driscoll earlier today, Hillsong founder Brian Houston has decided to drop the shamed pastor from his scheduled appearance at the Church’s upcoming conference in Australia.

“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,” he said in statement released by the Church.

While Mr Houston admits this was the best decision for the conference, he has been careful not to condemn the infamous pastor on a personal level.

“The teachings of Christ are based on love and forgiveness, and 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 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.”

EARLIER: Hillsong founder Brian Houston said he would have a long discussion with shamed pastor Mark Driscoll ahead of Mr Driscoll’s trip to Australia where he is set to address thousands.

“I am going to be talking to him later on today and we’ll talk about the different possibilities,” he told Channel Seven’s Sunrise.

Mr Houston said he needed Mr Driscoll to clarify some of the allegations made against him before he could be interviewed at Hillsong’s national conference in Sydney this month.

The infamous Pastor is no stranger to controversy having seen his own Seattle church fall apart late last year.

He was already under fire by the congregation after an internal review found him to be abusive, manipulative and controlling.

But he will appear on the main stage at Hillsong Nations Conference at Homebush where 10,000 people are expected to attend.

His comments about women being “penis houses” were made in 2000 in an online forum which he later said sorry for.

But other speeches he made since then were just as controversial.

In one Mr Driscoll branded the US as a “pussified nation” because men were being reared by “bitter penis-envying burned feministed [sic] single mothers”.

He also delivered a sermon where he instructed women to serve men.

A change.org petition was launched by people angry about news of his arrival but Hillsong has defended the move.

In a statement, Hillsong Church Pastor Brian Houston said he and Mark Driscoll stood “poles apart on women, their place in society, and their role in the Church”.

“So why am I using our platform to interview Mark? We come from different backgrounds, theological positions, and church expressions. I genuinely want to know … Did he really say those things? Does he believe those things? Does he have any regrets? Has he been misrepresented? What has he learned and what can we all learn? And where to from here?”

Mr Houston said there were lessons to be learned. “I’m looking forward to asking the questions and hearing from Mark directly.”

Lead pastor Joel A’bell told Lateline the Church wanted to learn from Mr Driscoll’s “life lessons” and mistakes.

“Look, it’s obvious Mark has had some opinions and comments and thoughts and maybe even some long-held beliefs about women and the value of women and we could not be any different,” he told the program.

Source: By Staffwriters, Controversial pastor Mark Driscoll not coming to Hillsong Australia, News.com, http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/controversial-pastor-mark-driscoll-not-coming-to-hillsong-australia/story-fnixwvgh-1227386077554, Published 07/06/2015. (Accessed 08/06/2015.)



Categories: Hillsong, Mars Hill

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