1. says

    Personally, I’m a fan of the next chapter, particularly this section:
    “If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.”

    And this part:

    “If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.”


  2. Hutch says

    Mr. Turner.You have had many posts i have thoroughly enjoyed reading in the past. I subscribe to your blog, twitter, and i’m pretty sure facebook, but i could be wrong. But this last week of posts regarding church discipline, and the “situation” with andrew and mars hill has really gotten on my nerves.
    I don’t believe you are helping the cause of Christ with these posts. I am in no way affiliated with mars hill, nor am i one of their super-fans. But i will say in this particular case i agree with some of their process of church discipline and most of the actions they took. Some are lacking but again i am only hearing your/and andrews side of the story. And as we know, there are 2 sides to every story. But, what i am a Super-Fan of is the institution of the church, as well as the Body of the church. And your posts are stirring up strife towards a brother in Christ. You may call it Mars Hill a machine, but it is actually a body. Just like the Body you belong to (assuming you are enjoined, engaged, involved with local believers) and by posting the things you are posting, the biting comments, the down right, it seems from what i have read, Hatred for Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill, YOU sir are causing Division in the catholic (pertaining to the whole Christian body or church) Church. Because in the end, whether you agree with Mr. Driscoll or not, He sir is your brother in Christ, and that should be enough for us to bring it to prayer, because bringing all this public in the way you have is doing a greater disservice than it is helping anything. Do you not believe the Lord knows exactly what is going on at Mars Hill and will Correct and Discipline them, just as he disciplines you in your life. I urge you sir, to use your platform here on this website to bring Glory to the Lord, and abstain from this division you have been spewing

    • says

      Thanks Hutch for reading.
      I’m gonna respectfully disagree here. I feel my blog posts about Mars Hill were exactly what I was supposed to do. And I would do them again in a heartbeat.

      In my opinion, Mark Driscoll is a detriment to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

      • James says

        Thank you so much for these articles. Are you going to address their response in a full article. I found statements such as

        If someone under discipline begins attending another church, we notify the leaders of that church that they are unrepentant and have been removed from fellowship in our church. We ask that they also deny that person fellowship in their church so that we can continue working to bring the sinning one to repentance in a holy fashion.”

        and their list of reasons for discipline being:

        “When a Christian sins against another Christian, and it cannot be overlooked in love.

        When a Christian who professes faith lives in sin without repentance.

        When a Christian continually blasphemes God.

        When someone encourages or promotes false doctrine.

        When a Christian is a habitual doctrine debater.

        When a Christian will heed only false teachers.

        When a Christian is sincere but deceived.

        When a teacher is in moral sin or doctrinal error.

        When an elder is in moral sin or doctrinal error.

        When a Christian appoints himself or herself to leadership.

        When a Christian is divisive.

        When a Christian is an idle busybody.

        When a Christian promotes legalism.

        When a Christian refuses to obey civil laws.

        When an alleged offended Christian seeks legal recourse.

        When a Christian has repeatedly rejected counsel by a church elder.

        When a Christian is not consistently in community.

        When a Christian leaves the church to pursue sin or heresy.

        Thank you again for what you do.

        • Leanne says

          Wow, they contact the other church the person is going to and ask them to deny fellowship?!?!?
          Because if they can’t reach them and help them, no church can?

          That is incredibly sad.

        • KatR says

          “When an alleged offended Christian seeks legal recourse”.
          So, lets say a female member of your church gets raped by a male member of your church. If she reported it to the police, would your church consider that sin?

          • kisekileia says

            You’re allowed to report crimes, BUT Mars Hill uses the issue of reporting crimes as a justification for not providing any right of confidentiality to people who are disciplined or seek counseling from Mars Hill. Not only that, whenever they refer to an outside counselor, they request that a waiver be signed allowing the counselor to disclose the content of the sessions to Mars Hill. This basically guarantees that no counselor at Mars Hill, and no counselor to whom Mars Hill refers, practices according to basic ethical guidelines that are essential for client protection.

      • Hutch says

        Thanks for responding. And also for not assuming anything about my church background. All I am saying is you never know how far your influence will go. Or which way someone will run with it. Is all this worth it if the negativity turns someone away from Christ? If you believe that freeing the oppressed church member is worth the risk.

          • says

            That, exactly, Jeannette. I grew up in a Christian home, majored in theology in college, and spend a lot of time discussing theology. I still identify as Christian, but there are a lot of days I don’t want to. In my experience, the things pushing me away from the faith are not the “draw of the world” or what have you, but watching Christian brothers and sisters cover up abuse, cover up and shame victims, and exact harsh punishments on those who dare to speak up, who dare to question church authority. THAT is more damaging than any “negativity.”

    • Dave says

      HutchI strongly disagree with your position. What purpose is served by keeping quiet about the “abuse” that Andrew was subjected to? Whether it occurred as Andrew stated or not, something happened. Who does more damage to Christ and His church than those abusive ministries and their lackeys? You obviously have never been in a church where this kind of abuse occurs. I have, and the only thing that grows in the darkness and secrecy you believe in is evil. When we and others were subjected to the unbiblical “discipline’ at our former church, there were those like you that knew it was wrong and yet said and did nothing. Prayer is an important part of any church life, but standing by and watching abuse take place without doing anything, as you apparently believe, makes you culpable too. YOU Mister Hutch are apparently okay with standing by and letting this abuse take place because it is “divisive”. We got the same thing from our “leader” when we dared to question his actions and urged him to provide scriptural verification for his actions. They, like you and me will have to answer for what we have done and what we have not done.
      Any one can call themselves a christian and refer to anyone else as a brother in Christ. Do you refer to Fred Phelps as brother in Christ too. Once you have experienced church discipline like Andrews then see if you feel the same

      • Hutch says

        I love how you assume so much about me. You must think my experience wit the church has been nothing but butterflies and rainbows of happiness. I promise you, you can’t imagine the pain the church and some of its leadership have put me through. And I am sure you would say the same thing to me. And I don’t claim to know what you have been through.

    • Melody says

      Ah, nothing like a little passive-aggressive rebuking to try to repress the truth about church hypocrisy. You say this like we haven’t heard it a million times from other passive-aggressive or just plain aggressive men in the pulpit. Thanks for playing, don’t try again.

    • WenatcheeTheHatchet says

      Hutch as a former MH member who did not renew my membership in 2007, all of the events that have transpired are sad to read about. When I did not renew my membership one of the reasons was because I was concerned about the practical consequences of the by-laws that have since been in place. I shared with leadership on my way out (I left and was in good standing with no disciplinary action on me) that I had grown worried that the practical hamartiology of Mars Hill seemed dangerously truncated. Defining as sin against God/appointed authority motivated by pride is a dangerously simplified basis from which to enact any church discipline.
      I also came to be concerned about the lack of consistent disciplinary precedent owing to a number of high profile cases I will not discuss in detail that Mh pastors know about. My concern was that there was a huge risk that over time church discipline within MH could come across as both punitive and arbitrary. I had seen enough disciplinary cases go awry four and five years ago that I was concerned that if there was no basis for an appeal and no set of corrections on the implications of Mars Hill leaders’ hamartiology that a disaster could happen–a member might find disciplinary actions so punitive or arbitrary he/she would feel a need to go public about the situation.

      To frame this in terms of a statement Mark has used over the years, don’t look at this story as though there are good guys and bad guys. There are only bad guys, except for Jesus.

  3. says

    you cannot reason with a fundamentalist, nor can you argue with one, for all a fundamentalist knows is scripture, and a literal interpretation of it.
    often, all you can do is demonstrate the scriptural error of the fundy’s reasoning by offering him example after example of instances where he has clearly overlooked scripture elsewhere, and how that his interpretation is simply not compatible with a consistent hermeneutic. remember, a fundy’s pride rests in his understanding of scripture. therefore, scripture must be employed in arguments against the fundy. (unless you can demonstrate a scenario so egregious that even the fundy is forced to acknowledge this his interpretation is beyond good measure, but this is rare.)

    this is probably why you see so many scholar/bloggers chiming in on driscoll. they have formal knowledge of the scriptures in all their original languages, and understand the threat of the neo-fundamentalism to otherwise good people. the franchised cult that driscoll has established (and let us remember, he himself is the one who is quick to throw this word around to anyone who disagrees with him theologically: can only be exposed if responsible and capable scholar/bloggers shine light on his myopic understanding of the bible and its application.

    this is why what mpt has done is such a valuable service to those who want to see genuine christianity succeed: without throwing a physical punch, he has shed both light and heat using words alone upon a man and his growing million-dollar enterprise ( to such an extent that he in beginning to feel the need to respond regularly.

    driscoll demands submission and accountability from all who follow him, and yet he has taken great strides to eliminate any accountability (god forbid dissension) that might slow him down (READ THIS: therefore, the scholarly/blogger community (those of us who are religious/biblical studies professors at universities around the nation) who also blog and are concerned about the social well being of others are now providing driscoll with unsolicited accountability.

    matthew paul turner is doing the right thing. i shall continue to support and assist him in exposing the tragedy that is mark driscoll.

    robert cargill /

  4. Dave says

    MPT & Hutch,
    Mark Driscoll has chosen by his actions and words to place himself very much into the public realm and should be held accountable for his actions publicly. People like him ultimately cause incredible damage to the Gospel of Christ by abusing their own church members and providing more fodder for atheists who already view Christians as fools who follow a judgmental, angry, and hateful god.

    I’m glad Driscoll’s actions, which he has tried to keep secret, are being brought to light. Ultimately, this will lead to more and more people getting free from his control and hopefully receiving healing from what has happened to them. Surely and sadly Andrew is not the only one. Unless someone from the inside, like Andrew, has the courage to speak publicly and expose what is happening, change is unlikely to occur.

    Besides, if Driscoll or anyone else from Mars Hill’s leadership wants to respond, they can do so and clarify the whole mess. It’s not as if they are helpless to tell their side since it’s all out in the open now anyway.

  5. Leanne says

    The value of speaking out on spiritual abuse like that which seems to be happening under the reign/ the pastoral leadership of Driscoll lies in the support, help, hope, consolation, and validation it gives to the victims. When you have been abused, it is easy to believe the lies that it is all your fault, you deserved this, you’re over reaction. To hear from others that what has happened is wrong, helps move you to a place you can begin to find healing.
    As for this post on the Deuteronomy passage, it really is a comment on how we pick and choose–all of us–the parts of the Bible which are culturally bound and the parts of the Bible which are “universal”. We need to be a bit more gracious. But the fundies (my autocorrect wants to correct this to fun dies–valid correction) would see grace as compromise. And you cannot actually argue with them. They are the only ones who know which parts are culturally bound and which are not. May God have mercy on all of us.

    • kisekileia says

      Terrific comment, especially the first sentence. Speaking out about spiritual abuse is necessary to help the victims.

  6. says

    To Hutch: I think your concerns are valid but, to a point, controlling how people take MPT’s voice on the situation is out of his power. We can’t chose who reads our blogs, we can however try to make our points as clear as possible. As with most people following this sting of events it has brought the best and the worst out of a lot of other Christians. “Spiritual Abuse,” happens, and in Andrew’s case I think it did. Why? Because the leadership at Mars Hill assumed Andrew’s unrepentant even though it was he who came to the church leadership to confess what he had done. They pegged him as a sinner much like the Puritans did with the scarlet letter. Honestly, “Church Discipline” isn’t the real issue here, it’s the lack of mercy on behalf of the leadership, and the need for control they exerted.
    As you said, Mars Hill is a body, it’s part of OUR body and as such voicing the issues (abuses) of it’s members and power is actually our responsibility. Taking ownership in the Church means also voicing what’s going wrong. Like any open, and healthy, relationship speaking out and having an opinion is only a right of it’s members. I mean, a family might have frank discussions that their house guest doesn’t have a right to.

    Spiritual abuse it an obvious trigger, we’ve all been there…or at least most of us have. I don’t mean to invalidate other’s experience in saying this shouldn’t be taken as an opportunity to simply rant. I really, really, don’t mean to dismiss the pain that can and does occur far more than we know. What I do mean is that this is about Andrew, and by his words, he’s not bitter. Jumping on a bandwagon of “yeah we hate him/it/church/god/the machine too” it’s helping anyone. IT’s not healthy, and to be honest it completely overshadows Andrew. Andrew’s story should make us take a step back. We should examine our beliefs and our practices in the church, with love. Being angry is natural, it’s not exactly helpful, and long term it’s unhealthy.

    MPT asks a serious question, “What if this was your church.” For some, especially those who have been hurt, or who have never lived in a close-knit church, this question simply makes your blood boil and you scream “HOW DARE THEY?!!!” But for others it isn’t easy. Try to imagine Church, not your painful/horrible church experience, Church. The messy, the broken, the blood-sweat-tears, children raised in community, BBQs at you house all summer, Church. Perhaps it’s a house church, or a small town church, it’s a fairly large church you’ve been in love with for years, but imagine this church enacting church discipline. First, I don’t think it would look like this; the humiliation of one of it’s own, the change of tone while falling from grace, the heavy handed demands. Secondly, wouldn’t you accept “discipline” from Your Church? People who love you, pastors who are leading you, wouldn’t you want their help in resolving an issue in your life?

    Perhaps we need to start thinking of how Church should handle this stuff, not debating those who are trying to figure it out themselves.

  7. Sean says

    Wow so its ok to be sarcastic about the Bible in order to make fun of Pastors/churches? We sure see Jesus doing alot of that. Lost alot of respect for the bloggers here.

  8. WenatcheeTheHatchet says

    What if this was my church? I’d point out that unless both my dad AND my mom think I’m guilty of a capital crime they haven’t made a good enough of a case yet.

  9. WenatcheeTheHatchet says

    Just to be clear, wasn’t being sarcastic there as I actually spent a chunk of the last year reading Frank Crusemann’s treatise on the literary development of the Pentateuch. He remarked that requiring both the mother as well as the father to bring formal charges of a son compromising the family inheritance meant just an angry patriarch wouldn’t fit tthe requirements of the case law as we see it.

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