Rumor has it that Mark Driscoll will be right back in ministry soon, this time in California or, if that doesn’t work out, Texas.
I’m not surprised. Actually, I wonder if he ever really left ministry. It wasn’t long after his resignation that he was right back on stage with a mic to glean sympathy from his listeners.
I’ve worked for charismatic Christian leaders before, all of whom were without any accountability whatsoever. Any so-called “accountability” they claimed they had was their friends, employees or groupies who functioned as yes-men. They could basically do what they wanted. I’ve suffered and watched others suffer at their hands. If things went too wrong they could quickly recover, even if it meant moving plus gathering and hiring new people. It’s just a blip on their screen that they interpret as a test from God or a trial of Satan or both.
The thing is, it’s a mutual agreement between these leaders and their followers. I know because I have been a follower. I got sucked into their orbits, and willingly. I know what I’m talking about, not just from the observation of others, but mostly from the observation of my own unhealthy attraction to charismatic leadership.
Here’s why I think people will follow Driscoll again soon:
- I was looking for a spiritual father figure.
- I loved the excitement around their ministries.
- I craved the attention they promised.
- I felt like my life had destiny.
- I interpreted their abuse as God’s discipline to improve me.
- I enjoyed the immediacy of their God.
- I believed their meaning of life was the best and only one.
- I misconstrued their anger as righteous.
- I delighted in the magical world of prophecy, healing, prayer, miracle, etc.
- I found their teaching mesmerizing.
- I discovered a family of people who were just like me in numbers 1-10.
Driscoll undoubtedly will pop up again soon. Because he can. And because he knows he will attract followers. Followers like I was for years. People like me are everywhere.
So it’s not all Driscoll’s fault. It’s not all his followers’ fault. From my own personal observations of my own life, there is a symbiotic relationship between charismatic leaders and their followers that is complex and subtle.
This is why I feel it is important to not only challenge such religious leaders like Mark Driscoll, but also to inform ourselves of the dangers involved in forming relationships with them and especially becoming dependent on them. It should be examined critically.
There are many members of The Lasting Supper who know exactly what I’m talking about. Do you? Come join us. It’ll be good for you! CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT.
PS: All of my art is 35% OFF with coupon “wowza”! Get my cartoon, or Sophia, or painting, that you’ve always wanted. SHOP NOW!