The supersonic resurrection of Mark Driscoll

"The Supersonic Resurrection of Mark Driscoll" by nakedpastor David Hayward
“The Supersonic Resurrection of Mark Driscoll” by nakedpastor David Hayward

I know by posting this cartoon and reflection I’m inviting judgment. I know people will say,

“Just leave him alone! You’re being judgmental! Stop accusing the brethren! Give him a break! You’re the problem! Why are you being so cruelly persistent at wanting to see the downfall of a brother? You’re full of bitterness, anger and hate!”

I get this all the time.

This is why I’m addressing this issue yet again:

Mark Driscoll and his supporters still do not get it! They do not understand abuse, nor do they care for the abused. In fact, I’m beginning to believe that not only do they just don’t get it, they intentionally refuse to admit their abusiveness but see it as a valid ministry style. There are a lot of people caring for Driscoll, but there seem to be fewer caring for his victims.

I also view conferences like this, and ministries like Morris’ and Driscoll’s, as a kind of gauge for the health of the general church. There were a lot of pastors and leaders there, and countless times more who wish they could’ve been, and even countless more who admire this kind of ministry and desire to emulate it.

Driscoll attended the Gateway Conference. He was welcomed by Robert Morris. In that welcome, Morris revealed how he and those supporting Driscoll view this whole issue. It’s so consistent with the story so far that I believe this has become the official spin of the Driscoll team. You can see the short video here.

Here’s the gist of what was said:

  • This is just a short difficulty that Mark is going through.
  • Driscoll is humble, proven by the fact that he came to this event.
  • This is all the media’s fault.
  • He’s being handled by his peers.
  • He did make some mistakes.
  • Jesus already died for him, so stop crucifying him.
  • We are shooting our own wounded.
  • His mistakes were things like he worked too hard.
  • The media is a joke.
  • If you don’t know Mark you have no right to address the issue.

These were the things that were said.

Let’s dissect the video to hear what Morris is really saying. This is the subliminal message:

  1. You’re naive if you believe everything you read. If you’re not in our inner circle where the true information rests then you have no right to talk or even think about this. We’ll handle it. And to those who are writing about it, this makes you even worse because you are attacking my friend with lies.
  2. Shame on you for wanting justice for Driscoll’s abusive behavior. This is not a sin like adultery, theft, or heresy. This is just a difficulty. A mistake. It has nothing to do with character. So he resigned, thereby escaping accountability to his church. Now he’s in the better and more qualified hands of leaders like me who will protect him and get him back in the game. To those who have been hurt and to those who speak up for them: stop your whining. It’s not working.
  3. We are completely insensitive to the wounds the abused suffered at his hands. Even though Mark’s main means of bullying was through the microphone, we are going to put it right back in his hands right now to manipulate your emotions all over again just days after his resignation. Isn’t this fun?
  4. We only care for the pastors, leaders, and our ministries. I never once mentioned the countless victims of Driscoll’s abusive ministry because, frankly, I don’t care. They aren’t even on my radar except as an irritant. The people I care about are my friends like Mark Driscoll and Steven Furtick.
  5. We are claiming abuse, bullying, shaming and taunting of our people as a valid qualification and standard of ministry. Just to prove it, I’m going to shame you right now in front of all these people and get applauded for it. Then just watch how happy all these pastors and leaders get when I introduce him to the stage already! Mark is going to be back into the game and I’m putting him back in immediately.
  6. We mock your press because it only make us coalesce. It makes us stronger! See how we laugh and shake each other’s hands and hug in celebration?! We are a team! We do not take your critiques seriously. Anything you say will be used against you. We are like cats and will always land on our feet. We are unstoppable!
  7. Even though we will correct you, you cannot correct us. Even though we will shame you, you cannot shame us. Even though we will abuse you, you cannot abuse us. Even though we will hold you accountable, you cannot hold us accountable. We are untouchable and invincible.

I think this is a fair assessment.

First of all, I’m sad for Mark and his family. They are going through a rough time, obviously. But he’s refusing to get the real help he really needs.

Secondly, I’m sad that it seems to be be cool to be these kinds of leaders and that you can be rewarded with large churches, infinite funding and limitless protection.

Finally, I’m sad for the church. And when I say the church I mean the people. Being abused, bullied, taunted and shamed is in our future.

Calling all good pastors!


18 Replies to “The supersonic resurrection of Mark Driscoll”

  1. Hey, it’s been three days! He’s just following Jesus in his redemption & transformation model! (Too soon for joking?)

    As I think about stories that are centered on people like Mark Driscoll I have to keep repeating this mantra to myself: gift more grace rather than justify more judgment.

    If we really do believe in the transformative power in gifting grace, then we must choose to double down on that grace, especially, when it’s hardest and we have every right to judge.

    That doesn’t mean we must allow the murderer to have a job in the gun shop, or the child abuser to have a job in a daycare. We don’t. We have an obligation to protect others from such harm. There should be a clear difference between healthy judgment and unhealthy judgment. To allow him to continue to have a forum for spiritual abuse would be wrong at this point. Anyone who has had to go through a time of re-centering understands that the greatest revealer of truth, understanding and wisdom around this is time.

    Mr. Driscoll, I choose to give you a gift of grace. Now go invest in getting yourself healthy and then choose something else vocationally. Here’s a suggestion, why not try something that is redemptive in helping people who are harmed through spiritual abuse. Maybe there’s an opening with nakedpastor…

    Healthy judgment needs little justification. Gifting grace is a healthier faith story to journey in.

  2. Nothing new under the sun. The “religious leaders” back in Jesus’ day choked on gnats and swallowed camels. When my husband was minister of music back in the 70’s, he was called into the pastor’s office to answer for something his wayward wife (me) had done. Was it adultery, immodest clothing, drinking, smoking pot, gossiping? No………. I had ridden my horse to church, bringing a little girl on her horse to get her to church. Today in Texas there are cowboy churches everywhere.

  3. “Pastors” like Mark Driscoll frighten the hell out of me.
    I have personally witnessed the starry eyed adoration of an impressionable teenager under the influence of Mark Driscoll. As others have pointed out before me, it is so scary to see a charismatic, narcissistic, abusive, power-monger who emotionally manipulates people given the opportunity to be back on a stage, with an audience and a microphone. Thank you so much for capturing all of that in your cartoon.

  4. The biggest issue with his quick resurrection is that it is obvious they do not recognize any of his behavior as abuse, therefore do not accept that anyone was abused by him and even approve of it. As such they cannot be expected do anything different as workaholism isn’t much of an offence.

  5. Great post.
    “Jesus already died for him, so stop crucifying him.”
    Yes, it is a shame we don’t extend that sentiment to everyone. How about we also stop crucifying gays, women, those facing economic hardship, immigrants, etc. Such compassion for Mark, so little for everyone else.

  6. Excellent analysis, David. That video almost made me physically ill. These leaders live in an alternate reality, protected from any criticism or accountability by their money, masses of adoring fans, and ability to spin and manipulate everything and everyone to make themselves the victims. Absolutely disgusting.

  7. I am so ok with so many things. At this time in my thinking, I am ok with a person questioning their church board, and their authority. I am ok with someone being gay and believing, or being hetero and believing. I am ok with one-man-one-woman and group marriages. Really… I am pretty relaxed.

    I see the NT First Century Culture and their amazing pluralism, and realize what the Apostles were saying in light of that culture.

    So, in some ways, I am ok with Mark Driscoll. Hang with me. You see, I am beginning to realize that the church is a dungeon.

    Abusing people is part of the institutionalized church’s culture. It is part of what you sign up for. Mark Driscoll has 21 pastors signing a paper showing 25 counts of documented abuse – damn, that man is good at what he does.

    Let’s see….. You need to be reminded of your sinfulness, so you sign up for it and become a ‘member’ of the club. You need to be reminded to conform to the Holy Spirit because of your evil heart, so you come each Sunday and are tied up with all sorts of apologetics.

    You need your wife to be verbally flogged again, so that you are the dominant male by the will of God.

    You need an emotional beating, so you attend, and rejoice as the preacher rakes his words over your guilt and leaves you collapsed begging for prayer. Later, you watch as the preacher devastates other lifestyles and somehow let’s you throw verbal stones on their crying bodies as well… after all, this confirms you are a good submissive that obeys him.

    And, you pay good money for this pain.

    And then, you worship a God of love and peace.

    You see? This is not hypocrisy… this is no different than paying the lady in black leather down the street to beat you. It is a service you crave and are willing to pay for. The worship is just the build-up to the whipping session and torture…. or, the after-care for the submissive that was punished (as he craved).

    And Mark Driscoll is one of the most notorious Ladies-In-Black with spiked boots that you can find.

    Of course, he is highly employable. I am surprised it took him 2 days to find good employment.

    Any leather dungeon would welcome him. And… when you get down to facts… the leather dungeon is consensual…. so, maybe Mark has to learn to have the submissive sign a release form before the beating….

    And… maybe a corset might help his figure…. but otherwise, he is perfect.

    Gosh… this makes perfect sense now to me…. doesn’t it?

  8. Don’t forget, “I am the real victim. The people who oppose me scare my children and do terrible things like throw rocks at children. This shows who is really the righteous one in this dispute–ME!”

  9. Every believer is called to be a minister of reconciliation. I don’t think Driscoll should be excluded from that ministry. Spiritual abusers and their victims are all victims of a vicious system that brings out the very worst in people, but especially the very worst in people with influential giftings. Do I think he should be a pastor? No. Absolutely not. But then again, I don’t think anyone should be a pastor. We have one Shepherd, Jesus Christ. So I say err on the side of grace when it comes to the man (the real Driscoll-in-Christ), but scrutinize and tear down Driscoll the Pastor (the false Driscoll-in-Adam). I appreciate and agree with Jonn McDaniel’s comment above.

  10. This was my situation but in less known circumstances. This story is a repeat of what my husband and I dealt with.. I actually can’t bring myself to watch the video because it would be too much of a trigger. Our abusive boss/pastor got off scott free with all the love and support in the world, a new position. We lost our jobs, lost our friends, and have been isolated from the church and people we used to be close to. I has been almost 2 years and finally getting to the place where I actually feel like living again, but you ask our Pastor he was the victim, victimized by those who decided that they couldn’t handle it any longer. Others ignorance of our hurt and support for our abuser while we were left to suffer alone was as bad as the abuse.. So I do not sympathize in any way with Driscoll. He is using the forgiveness card as a way to manipulate the facts and keep on abusing. He is a wolf, STAY AWAY!!! To those who have been abused in any way shape or form by MD or other religious leaders…please know that you are not alone, and I as well as others support you, hang in there, you are a warrior..Someday soon we will fight this giant together and get back our Churches for Christ!!! For anyone reading this, if you want to do something productive, find the names of his victims and write them a letter of support that will help them through. What they are going through is torture! Just so you know I have forgiven my boss but will not make myself prey ever again.

  11. The Mark Driscolls of the corporate church world are the reason I will never, ever again step foot in an evangelical church again. I remember when I did leave many years ago. I was serving in a church at the time in a missionary context in South Korea. The church leadership was so utterly toxic that I left and took up work in the corporate world. Here’s the thing: at the moment, I was struck by my impression that leaders in the world had more integrity than “leaders” in the church.

    Some things never change.

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