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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!