Mark Driscoll Crashes the Strange Fire Conference and Then Lies About What Happened

October 24, 2013 at 10:36 AM 4 comments

Mark Driscoll (back to camera) crashes the Strange Fire Conference

Mark Driscoll (back to camera) crashes the Strange Fire Conference

The “Strange Fire” Conference was recently held at John MacArthur’s church in Los Angeles. Most may know that Dr. MacArthur is no fan of the Charismatic Movement. Since the conference, critics have labeled MacArthur as being divisive and unloving.

Discussing the Charismatic Movement or issues related to it like tongues, healings, etc., is always divisive because people have strong emotional responses to the subject one way or the other.

As one who used to be involved in the Charismatic Movement, I have learned something that works for me. I don’t go out of my way to discuss it. I no longer believe that tongues are available for believers today, yet some do. To their credit, they do their best to follow the Scriptural passages that outline how and when tongues should be used. I applaud them for their discretion.

However, even these folks will readily admit that there are major areas of misuse of tongues and other gifts. In many cases, these types of unseemly displays have become no better than a circus. It’s embarrassing that these people do the things they do in God’s Name.

MacArthur has published books on the subject of the Charismatic Movement, attempting to show that it is not Scriptural. He has been vilified for doing that. With this Strange Fire Conference, once again, people are castigating him for his position.

MacArthur has a right to publicize his position. Those opposed to his position have a right to publicize their position as well. What no one has a right to do is cast aspersions on another for disagreeing with their position.

What makes issues like the Charismatic Movement so intense is solely because of the level of emotion involved in it. When our emotions get involved, people do and say things that are wrong. Such is the case with Mark Driscoll.

Because of the conference, Driscoll took it upon himself to literally crash the event. I know for a fact that there was a waiting list of at least 400 people to get into that conference. Due to the lack of space, many were denied and only the original 2,800 had seats for the conference. For Driscoll to simply crash the event is something that I don’t believe glorified Christ. Of course, he would likely argue that he did not believe the event itself brought glory to God so that gave him the right to crash it. He even tweeted to his followers that he would be there soon, as a heads up.

Moreover, it wasn’t enough for him to crash the event. He also brought his own books (A Call to Resurgence) to the event to pass out. Vendors paid for their spots and like the Shepherd’s Conference (which I’ve attended), many vendors gave out samples. But in order for the privilege of doing that, they had to purchase a vending spot. Driscoll hadn’t done that.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there either. Driscoll stated in an Instagram that “Security confiscated my books.” From that point on, things went downhill with people taking sides either with Driscoll or MacArthur.

Were the books confiscated? According to a good friend of mine, who is actually head of security at Grace Community Church where MacArthur is Senior Pastor, here is what actually happened.

“We tried to get him to take his books to his car. He insisted on giving the books as a ‘gift’. Instead of further efforts to have him take his books to his car, we accepted his ‘gift’ and ended ‘that issue’. He was not requested to leave.

“He left on his own, and the misrepresentations started online.”

In essence then, Driscoll wanted to give his books away, so security accepted the books after first trying to get him to take the books to his car. As noted, Driscoll was not asked to leave. Technically, he could have been arrested.

Instead of reporting the truth, Driscoll decided to go online and stir the pot. Even “Justin Dean, a Mars Hill Church deacon who oversees public relations, social media and communications for the Seattle, Wash., megachurch, told The Christian Post Tuesday that the video supports Pastor Driscoll’s statement that ‘security confiscated my books’.”

At one point, Driscoll simply walked into the conference area, found a vacant table, placed his books on it and began meeting and talking with people. He also signed books as he gave them away. Yet, all the other vendors had to pay for a space.

What happened at the conference is not the impression that Driscoll painted online.

I think, at the very least, there are problems with Driscoll’s posts online following his attempt to pass out his own books. He says one thing (noted on video, but since removed), and is heard by others present, but then reports a completely different version of the events online. Is that what Christ would do?

Here is an open letter from Darren Wiebe about the event of which he witnessed and even spoke with Driscoll. You can decide for yourself what to believe, but clearly, things were not done in a right way, that brought glory to God. In many ways, Driscoll’s appearance at Grace Community Church was very much like some stupid publicity stunt. Jesus wasn’t into those, but maybe Mark Driscoll is?

The most important question we can ask is this: what does this type of situation say to the lost of this world? What should they think?

It will simply confirm their suspicions that Christians are just like everyone else. It will possibly deepen their resolve to avoid Christians in the future.

God needs to be glorified in all we do and say…and “tweet.” When we make mistakes, we need to be quick to own up to them.

Let’s pray that God is glorified in spite of human error and subterfuge in this episode.

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation.

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  • 1. rich dyer  |  October 26, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Fred , You’re absolutely right on. I worked security at Grace & know the head guy. I’ve seen the video & sadly Driscoll is twisting the truth. The folks at Mars Hill deserve better. It’s pretty sad when the shepherd of the flock resorts to lies. Did you notice that MacArthur has stayed above the fray? I’m also saddened that James McDonald decided to be the driver for Mr. Driscoll. Apparently he approves of this behavior. I won’t be listening to him on the radio any longer.

    • 2. modres  |  October 26, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      Thanks for your comments, Rich. The visible church is being splintered but not the INVISIBLE Church! 😉

  • 3. jannab17  |  October 25, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Wow, Fred, this is a good one. This is unbelievable. Discord is wreaking havoc in the Church as it is everywhere else in society. But what’s worse is that there people who have been burned by the Charismatic movement. Do we not have a right to not agree with the movement? Everyone is entitled to believe a certain way on this.

    But what Driscoll did is out of line here. John MacArthur’s book “Charismatic Chaos” is superb. I’m just so upset that this is what it’s come to in the church. That a respected pastor like MacArthur cannot have a conference and say what he believes without being attacked and villified by a fellow Christian. God help us if this is what it’s come to. But this is a sign of the times. 100 percent discord.

    • 4. modres  |  October 25, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      Thanks for your comments, Janna. I have read “Charismatic Chaos” and I tend to agree with MacArthur. As I say, I was involved in the Charismatic Movement at one point.

      I also agree that people have every right to disagree with MacArthur, but they don’t have the right to create their own publicity stunt and then lie about things to further their own ends while calling themselves a Christian.

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