Well, That Didn't Take Long: Mark Driscoll's Comeback Tour Began Last Night


"in the church we are the only army that shoots at wounded."

It appears that the dude has not heard of politics. Or seen an episode of Ru Paul's Drag Race.
These people are psychopaths.
"I'm in a season of just healin' up, praying." and "a very trying season". SEASONS? Driscoll seems to be treating all of this like a losing sporting event...which is kind of what Mars Hill appeared to me - some kind of jock rally for God.

I am not shocked to see this at all. I am surprised it wasn't a few days earlier...and I thought it was going to be in Florida.
Seems you CAN fool some of the people all of the time.
Wow, that was a remarkably quick turnaround. I mean, of course they're going to take his dick back in their asses but I figured they'd wait at least a year to give people long enough to forget that he robbed them blind. I guess they have shorter memories than I realized.
Do they take Visa?
Nobody in the audience had "forgiveness" on their mind. They care as little about Driscoll's critics as he does.
Wow...he has "cried a lot lately." I guess we really do live in a "pussified nation."

What a worthless douche-bag. Please fade into meaningless obscurity as quickly as possible.
Grifters gotta grift.
Accepting responsibility for your mistakes and vowing to change them is so pussified, right Mark?

Jesus Christ what an asshole.
He's so very obviously self-absorbed. I suppose you have to be in order to believe in the delusion that God is talking to you, personally.
@3: I think they're secretly role playing. In World of Warcraft, roleplayers refer to their level as their "season". "Oh, I've reached my 80th season at last!" So Driscoll presumably thinks he's roleplaying his life here. It's like Kierkegaard said, you make the motion of faith.
I'm sure someday soon, Mars Hill will finally sort their way through their accounting maze and find out how much money he's siphoned off into his personal bank account.

There will be hell to pay at that point.

He's simply another power-drunk asshole that thinks he can get away with anything. Including stealing from his own church. Power corrupts the mind...his was already on it's way out when he started.
These people believe what Driscoll believes. He is perfectly suited to be the face of this movement. He never did anything they wouldn't have done. I'm glad he's back so the world can see them clearly for what they are, and not hide behind some cleaned-up spokesmodel.
"We have two choices" when it comes to Driscoll, Morris told his audience. "One, we could crucify him, but since somebody's already been crucified for him...""

Smug human garbage.
That final quote about not believing something you read about someone you've never met is a pretty song argument against believing in Jesus and reading the Bible. I don't think he's thought through what he's saying very much.
THANK YOU, Stranger for staying on the story. TRULY.

guessing Driscoll is going to pop up in places without much alternative press... so it continues to be up to you.
"One, we could crucify him, but since somebody's already been crucified for him..."

LOLing. Were they literally going to crucify him, or are they implying Jesus was figuratively crucified? By the time I got to the part about the attempted stoning of his children, my stomach hurt from laughing.

Also, where's the money guys?
What a drama queen. Conservatism in general, and religious fundamentalism in particular, is all about projection, victim hood, blaming others, and - above all - not taking responsibility for your bad decisions. This guy fits right in.
Of course this happened in Texas. Rumor is that Driscoll and his PR advisory team ran the numbers and realized that Texas was the best place to restart his campaign - tons of rubes and a fair amount of cash to be had.
I meant to ad that anyone who has had experience with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder will recognize Driscoll's actions. He's the classic severe narcissist.

From the Mayo Clinc:
"Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet.
Behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism."
As long as his comeback tour keeps him the fuck out of Seattle, I'm fine with it. Maybe be can just stay down in Texas with the other wingnut martyrs?
What @22 said

But I hope he stays away from San Antonio too

I'm with @22.
So he all but destroyed Mars Hill through his arrogance and douchebaggery, flounce-quit with nary an apology when it was time to face the consequences, left everyone else to clean up his mess, and started up his comeback tour right away with no contrition or humility whatsoever. What a monumental piece of selfish shit.
Since he founded the tax-exempt organization that he would later go on to bilk, and all the money it takes in are through donations that they don't have to declare and no laws govern how they spend it... is he actually at risk of being arrested for anything? I mean, this seems like a feature of the system, not a bug.
I don't agree with Mark on a lot of stuff but the amount of judgement and hate that is being spitted by so many people here is sad.

"Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at (him)." - Jesus

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

Even if you make Mark to be your enemy....Jesus command is to love him. The comments here are way more than disagreeing with him, they are pure hatred.
Great. Now the troll's found religion.....
@27 - Take your bible and your Jesus and shove them both up your ass.
In the capitalist, corporate christian church, the rich man who can still draw a crowd that will empty their wallets is easily forgiven any and all transgressions.

"First of all, I want you to know that everything you read [hear and see] on the internet is not true,"

Also applies to...

1. YouTube videos

2. New York Times Bestsellers List

3. Religious authority (the original oxymoron?)

4. Hate-filled religious diatribes and malicious, stereotyping sensationalized gossip and slander against women & LGBTQ people

5. Apologies made by liars, crooks & thieves, especially those made by religious entertainers, charlatans and cult leaders.

Tax fraud.

If he took money in "compensation" and used it for purposes apart from his role as cult leader, especially investments in for profit ventures, and hid those capital gains under the magical legal and tax shield of the church, he is guilty of tax fraud.

Most, probably all, mega church leaders are guilty of this crime; however, as the first cousins of secular politicians these religious politicians are rarely prosecuted except when massive defrauding of donors results in multiple complaints being filed by those affected donors or members with state and federal authorities.

hey guess what, jesus didn't exist, so, i guess that it's all. fuck you.
so yeah. he's getting away with it. leaving a mess behind. and apparently he isn't going to be held accountable for anything, but continue to preach. great.
Good gawd, Catalina. I wish there was a love button on slog sometimes.
This is like The Handmaid's Tale.
forgiveness. those of you who are reading these comments and cringing at the judgmental anger and wrath, know that life without the good new of God's grace is filled with this kind of hate. so thankful for people in my life and family who believe in forgiveness.
I watched a little of that video. Driscoll reminds me of Flinthead, the leader of the Wendle empire in the Borribles. Cold expressionless eyes in a greenish pie face, gazing arrogantly over the crowd. How anyone can feel any warmth toward that guy is amazing to me. He's pure concentrated evil.
The crucified argument makes me furious. If the church doesn't encourage leaders to accept consequences for theft & fraud, how dare they try to present any moral authority. You can forgive someone without putting yourself in the situation where they can harm you all over again.
I refuse to have that man's face taint my morning, so won't watch the video. But I have to wonder ... just HOW MUCH MONEY did Driscoll offer Morris for the welcome and gushing intro?

As for the religious trolls who have popped up, here's my reply about the judging bit and how we should all simply be forgiving instead. Is Driscoll repentent? Has he admitted wrong-doing? Apparently not, as he claims it was all a "bad season". What about resolving to sin no more? I remember reading how Jesus called out hypocrites. Even if this new congregation is just a(nother) bunch of sheep waiting in rapturous adulation to be fleeced, we're merely posting the danger signs.
I knew Mark would be back like Arnie and all the other professional preachers who fall and get back on their ass ASAP. It's sad and it's sick and does NOTHING for the teaching of the Nazarene. No wonder I quit church, having worked for one like Mars Hill, back in the 80s. This leadership game thing is endemic.
I think there should be consequences and accountability. It is the name calling and hatred that is "judgmental". "Religious trolls", "bunch of sheep" "pure evil". How easily we throw out verdicts and names. The Christian church does so much for the poor and needy in this world. Look it up, find out who is behind so many of the disaster relief, orphanages, child sponsorship... Yes, men and women fail, but I hope people will have perspective on the church as a whole and not let this situation (and yes there have been others) form your entire opinion of Christians.
A douche. A rich thief.
Even when out of the state Mr. Driscoll can't escape Little Paulie Constant obsession with him.

So- prepared to admit this whole thing is about anti Christian bigotry and not concern for the effects on Seattle yet, Paulie?
@41 & 43...

Are these dumb fucks related? or the same person?
Oh Seattleblahs, you really are a drip. There's ideology and there's being a knee-jerk reactionary. Are you really trying to say that exposing and reporting on a clerical fraud is "anti-Christian"? If so, could you please explain your personal theology?
@41 -- I don't think you're secretly Seattleblues -- you sound sincere to me, so I'm going to tell you sincerely, that my low opinion of the modern evangelical church and the "Christians" one can expect to find there is entirely based on having been raised within the church myself.

People like Driscoll are WHY I left -- it was obvious that the church wanted people like him (anti-feminist, right wing, anti-gay bigots, anti-science) more than it wanted gay-friendly feminist liberals like me. This caused me to think deeply about what I wanted more -- to go to church, largely at that point to please my family, or to sleep in on Sundays. Wow, what a hard choice.

There was a time in my life when I believed sincerely in the message of Jesus, when I first heard it coming from a liberal church concerned with social justice. Later on, though, I still believed that message, but I didn't hear anything like it coming from the new right wing socially conservative church.

I can still respect Christians who are really following the teachings of Jesus, and I know a few of those. But Mark Driscoll and the men he's preaching to here are not those people, and they are, by their own design, the face of modern Christianity.

If you want the people around here to have a higher opinion of Christians, there's only one way to do that: reform the church. Drive out people like Driscoll. Embrace people like "Slacktivist" Fred Clark. Renounce right wing politics. Give up your anti-gay bigotry, your misogyny, your opposition to legal birth control and abortion.

Of course, you won't be able to do it all on your own. But you could start out by recognizing the evil that is in Mark Driscoll and the evil he's brought to the church. And if you're more concerned with tone-policing the people here, than in denouncing Driscoll, then you are part of the problem.

Ah. Well, alleged clerical fraud has been reported (as fact not allegation) by the hacks that call themselves journalists here. Mission accomplished, dozens of times over.

But this was never about reporting clerical fraud. After all, why would anyone on the Stranger care? They're certainly none of them Christian so it isn't that. Despite the crocodile tears politically Mars Hill (and any sensible person or position) has no influence in Seattle, so no reason for worry there. Mone of the drunks, addicts and deviants that make up the Stranger staff and their acquaintances go to this church or ever did, so that's not the problem.

Could it be simple bigoted hatred of Christianity which won't treat their perversions as normal? Well, yeah it could be and is the reason for the obsession with Mark Driscoll here.
@36: "forgiveness. those of you who are reading these comments and cringing at the judgmental anger and wrath, know that life without the good new of God's grace is filled with this kind of hate"

Demanding forgiveness while not changing your patterns of hate? You and Driscoll are uncompromising hatemongers.

Passive aggressive, shallow, and with sharp teeth, looking for suckers.
i know he's telling the stories about fearing for his family's safety and having to call to police to generate sympathy, and to reinforce the idea that he's a victim, but his teaching has done much the same to so many others. preaching misogyny and homophobia has long given a sort-of endorsement to violent and abusive behavior. and these stones are likely coming from former mars hill people. people he trained; the sheep of his flock. or what's the expression, "chickens come home to roost?" it's not right, of course -- throwing rocks at people under these circumstances is not okay -- if it happened. is it wrong of me to question whether these incidents really happened or not? can the police reports be obtained to verify?
oh jeez this guy:
Addressing a conference of pastors and church staff, he said: "Every pastor needs a pastor. You pastors, your family needs you to be their pastor."
He did not end that like I thought he would.
I agree that the whole thing seemed contrived and planned to put Mark on the stage when he claimed to just come as a listener. I also despise the extremist buttering up pastors say to each other as it reeks of human vanity and flattery. What he said felt manipulative and designed to give both the impression that he is being accountable despite his choice to resign rather than accept the consequences of his actions, AND to portray himself as a victim rather than a victimizer. Not to mention, he says all this stuff about crying a lot, death threats and people throwing huge rocks at his children with absolutely NO emotion whatsoever! I would have more respect for him if he had not resigned and chose the more humble and harder road of true repentance and accountable restoration advised by his own board of elders. Not to mention, he basically abandoned the people in his congregation that he claims to love and left them to clean up the mess he made. He chooses not to submit to any godly authority or act like a real man, even though he has spent the last 18 years preaching about how men need to stop being "pussified". Apparently his actions & choices are speaking much louder than all of his sermons ever did.
"And the Oscar for best 'unplanned' PR stunt goes to..." (To read what the critics thought of his public relations performance, Google "Mars Hill Patheos" and get the back story.)

In a classic case of misdirection, Mark attempted to engender sympathy from the Christian community at large who might not be familiar with his recent body of work in Seattle, namely:
• Secretly collecting a salary of at least $650,000 and a $200,000 housing allowance despite mass appeals that the church had to come up with more money for overseas missions
• Diverting >$200,000 of church funds for his own personal gain in an attempt to buy his way onto the NY Times bestseller list for one week
• Diverting the majority of money raised for Ethiopia and India and using it instead for use in Washington State
• Plagiarizing others in each of his books
• Publicly lying and defaming innocent people by crashing a Christian conference in California to promote his book, then doubling down rather than apologize
• Changing the church bylaws to consolidate power to himself and a small circle of hand-selected confederates
• Firing and shunning subordinate pastors who questioned the above church coup

These are just some of the issues he attempted to obscure by the choreographed 'impromptu ' address to the crowd. Most amazingly, his own church had attempted to bring him under Biblical church discipline, but rather than submit, he simply resigned, something which he did not allow fellow church members to do.

So many in Mars Hill Church and beyond are grieved that those at the Gateway Conference would fall for (or assist) this deception. Likewise, Mars Hill's present leadership has yet to be transparent and open its financial books so people can be held responsible, all the while making new calls for members to give.

Hopefully this puts Mark Driscoll's recent PR stunt in clearer light. The Bible mandates true repentance (and in this case, restitution) so reconciliation and restoration may occur. While Mark Driscoll doesn't seem to care anymore and wants the world to believe he's back and 'open for business' again, the leaders who remain at Mars Hill Church have a chance to forge a new direction. Unfortunately, they are picking up Mark's old playbook. They need to know they continue the financial misdealings. There can be no moving forward until the remaining leadership opens up Mars Hill's books from the beginning.