A Charismatic Primer Part 7 – The Outreach Top 50 (#26-30)

Time for the seventh installment in this series (and my largest post, ever).  So far, we’ve looked at the New Apostolic Reformation, the Outreach Top 50 #1-5, the Outreach Top 50 #6-10, the Outreach Top 50 #11-15, the Outreach Top 50 #16-20, and the Outreach Top 50 #21-25.  We’ll now look at the Outreach Top 50 #26-30, which includes one church of interest, but it’s a whopper (and one I’ve put off looking at, in depth, for quite some time):

26.  First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indianna- Pastored by John Wilkerson.  Considering that these guys are a fundamental baptist church, I’d say that it’s a pretty safe bet that they’re cessationists.

27.  Potential Church of Cooper City, Florida – Pastored by Troy Gramling.  This church is a Southern Baptist church and their doctrinal statement is the Baptist Faith and Message, so it’s a safe bet that they’re practical cessationists, if not committed cessationists.

28.  Mars Hill Church of Seattle Washington – Pastored by Mark Driscoll.

This one has been a long time coming.

Buckle up Buttercup.


In a nutshell, I can see why James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll are friends.  They both portray themselves as charismatics who, upon further inspection, simply aren’t (***read the updates below***).

28a.  Mark Driscoll has a 6 part series on spiritual gifts that is, well, surprising to say the least: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6.  This series is worth paying attention to, since this is where Mark Driscoll says some bizarre stuff.  Here are some points of interest regarding what he says in those sermons with limited interaction from myself in italics (only when I cannot help myself):

In Part 1, he says:

– “The cessationist’s position essentially says that the supernatural gifts like tongues, prophesy, healing, miracles, any of the more supernatural, you know extraordinary gifts, function only in the early church and are not to be practiced today. So there are no tongues today. There’s no prophecies today. There’s no healings today. There’s no miracles today. That was for the early church, not for today.”

– Cessationism basically comes from the early life of Augustine and B.B. Warfield, who “was afraid that if we allowed tongues and prophesy, then we would have revelation that could be in competition with the authority of the Bible. And so he and some others essentially argued for the early Augustinian cessatonist position in an effort to get rid of lesser forms of revelation so that there would be no competition for the Bible.”

(Maybe he heard that from some weirdo that he’s encountered, but I’ve never heard that myself, and I’ve been in a whole lot of cessationist circles.  We actually make arguments based on the exegesis of scripture…)

– “…we believe that things like tongues and prophesy and healings and miracles all do exist today but they’re supposed to be done in a way that is Biblical, not violating the teachings of the Bible…”

(Remember this line.  This will come back to haunt Mark Driscoll a whole lot.)

– The Holy Spirit is evidenced by speaking in tongues, but that’s not the only evidence.

– He defines “spiritual gift” as “a supernatural enablement to do ministry like Jesus”.

– “Some of you will have the ability to have the gift of knowledge and study like crazy…”

– “Some of you have, for example, the gift of administration and you can keep your checkbook balanced, you keep your home in order, maybe you’re a mom and you’ve got everything tidied up at home and you home school and you got it all rolling along well. Some of you are able to run large companies. Some of you are able to run whole franchises of an organization.”

– 1 Corinthians 12:1-2 is about the Lordship of Christ, not speaking in tongues.

– “Here’s the gift of wisdom. I’ll read the definition that I made for you. The gift of wisdom is the ability to have insight into people and situations that is not obvious to the average person, combined with an understanding of what to do and how to do it. Right? You people are intensely practical. Right? You read the Bible? What are you gonna do? I don’t know. Well, let me help ya. Right? You don’t know what to do with your money? Let’s put a plan together. You don’t know how to manage your life? Let’s put a schedule together…It is the ability to not only see, but also apply the principles of God’s word to the practical matters of life by the what Ephesians 1:17 calls the spirit of wisdom. So the Holy Spirit comes in you and he makes you wise. You have wisdom. Now wisdom is the ability to take the principles of God’s word and practically apply them to the decisions of life. It’s knowing what to do, how to live your life.”

– “In addition, it says that there is the gift of knowledge in 1 Corinthians 12:8. This is one of my primary gifts. This is the geek gift. If you’re a geek for Jesus, this is you, right? Here’s the definition of the, the gift of knowledge. The gift of knowledge is the ability to research, remember, and make effective use a variety of information on a number of diverse subjects. You are an information freak. You love websites and books and magazine and more books and more magazines and more websites and information in classes and you love to study and you love to learn things and when the Amazon.com guy shows up, you weep because you’re so happy. ‘He’s here again. Ah, Jesus loves me. That’s another book.’ If you get a book by a dead guy, you dance a jig. ‘It’s a dead guy book. It’s a dead guy book.’ You love the books by the dead guys. If you get a out-of-print book, you show all your friends, right? ‘It’s a out-of-print book. You can’t even get this one.’ Now they think you’re crazy, and you are, but you’re happy because you got a out-of-print book. ‘Got a out-of-print book. I love books. I don’t even believe in the rapture, but if it does happen, I’m gonna grab my bookshelves and take ‘em with me. That’s how much I love my books. I love books.’ I – you know – and how many of you are just information geeks?”

In Part 2, he says:

– “The first one is faith. Here is my working definition of the gift, and as I read this, I want you to think, “Do I have this gift? Has God given me this ability? Is this something that is part of my ministry, if I am a Christian?” The gift of faith is the ability to envision what needs to be done and to trust God to accomplish it, even though it seems impossible to most people, okay? Some people look at something and say, “That’ll never happen. That’s impossible.” People with the gift of faith, they’re like, “Oh, God could do that, totally.” The – people with the gift of faith continually have the theme from Rocky rattling around in their head, right? “It can happen! We can do anything. God is big. God is in charge. Go, God! Yay, God!” These are the cheerleaders for Jesus. These people trust. They have faith. They believe and they have hope. These are people who have hope, man. When it looks bad, it doesn’t matter. God could still show up. These people live with hope.”

– Jesus had every spiritual gift.

(Well, of course right?  How could Jesus not have every spiritual gift?  Who’s going to argue with that?  Oh wait…did he have the gift of craftsmanship?  Apostleship?  Tongues?  Er…Um…NEXT SUBJECT!)

– “Okay, second one, gift of healing. Here we go. Here we go. You’re all thinking, “Oh, that guy in a white suit’s got that gift.” No. That’s not necessarily the evidence of the gift is a white suit and a jet. The definition of the gift of healing is the ability to call on God to heal the sick through supernatural means for the purpose of revealing God. So that means that you pray for somebody and God heals them. You don’t heal them, right, but God heals them and you are the person who gets the blessing of interceding and prayer for them and it’s interesting because people do believe in healing and even Time Magazine did a feature cover article on healing a few years ago. Said, “Science finds God,” because all these doctors are saying, “We don’t know. People are getting healed. Prayer seems to do something. We can’t understand or explain it and we do believe in healing.” And sometimes, doctors don’t know what to do with it, so they make up words like, “spontaneous remission.” Which means, “I don’t know. He’s all better. I don’t know, you know? They’re fine. Co-pay’s gone but praise God.” You know, I mean, it – that, that God heals people. Okay?”

– “Furthermore, people with this gift don’t see someone healed every time they ask God. I’ve got some verses there, but healing is what God decides to do. Someone with the gift of healing can’t just run around healing everybody. They can ask and God answers and sometimes he answers affirmatively and he, in fact, does heal. How about Jesus’ ministry? Did he have a healing ministry? He really did. I’ll read some verses. Matthew 4:23 through 24 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness,” I mean that’s a gift right there. Every disease and sickness. There was nothing that was not – under the lordship and the authority of Jesus insofar as sickness and injury and illness was concerned. “News about him spread all over Syria,” right, word got out – this guy heals people, “and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.” He healed them. Right, blind people saw. Lame people walked. Deaf people heard. Dying people were restored. A few dead people came back. That’s a healing gift and Jesus had it. Matthew 9:35 says it this way, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” Every disease and sickness. Jesus had a ministry of healing. As Christians, some of us will have a ministry of healing.”

(I’m wondering if Driscoll realized that he utterly contradicted himself.  Spiritual gifts allow us to do ministry “just like Jesus”, except that we don’t actually do what he did in the way he did it…?!?)

– “Some say that healings ceased in the first century; that they didn’t exist thereafter; that this happened in the early church and it’s not for us. Well, we say God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God doesn’t change. People’s needs don’t change and additionally, there’s nowhere in Scripture that says that healing will stop, right? They infer it from one section in 1 Corinthians 13, we’ll get to in a few weeks, but there is no evidence in Scripture that healing was just for, you know, 70 years or 100 years. There’s no evidence of that whatsoever. Furthermore, it doesn’t hold up, historically because church fathers in the second and third century attest to people with healing ministries and people who were healed. So that position that healing stopped – it doesn’t hold up Biblically, it doesn’t hold up historically, it’s not a tenable position.”

(So if God is the same yesterday, today and forever, do Christians need to still keep the law?  Has Jesus always been incarnate?  Do people still live to 969 years of age?  The whole “God doesn’t change therefore his activity doesn’t change” argument is self-defeating and invalid.  The sheer fact that God is unchanging in his essential nature doesn’t mean that he cannot do things with a purpose, have the purpose met and fulfilled, cease whatever it was he was doing, and then start doing something else for a new a different purpose.)

– Regarding “healing” and doctors, Mark Driscoll says “All right, so here’s what we believe. Go to your doctor and pray to the great physician, right? Do both. Right, we believe in doctors. Sometimes God works through doctors. We believe that and God also sometimes does the supernatural as the great physician and just works divinely and heals you and we’re – praise be to God for that, too. Whatever God decides to do, we’re down with that and we support that. Go to a doctor. Don’t be so silly as to think you don’t need a doctor. There was a case in the news just in the last week or two where a kid died of a common illness that coulda been cured from an antibiotic but his parents wouldn’t take him to the doctor because they thought in so doing, they wouldn’t be demonstrating faith in Jesus. What? No, go see the doctor. Go see the doctor.”

– “And some say if you love God and you’re filled with the Holy Ghost, you’ll never get sick, right? And it comes under and usually, too, they’ll also say you’re gonna be rich. Right, so we call it prosperity doctrine. Name it, claim it. Blab it, grab it. You know health and wealth, right? These are the banners that this junk flies under. And they’ll say things like, “If you’re filled with the Holy Ghost and you really trust the Lord, you’ll never get sick. Your faith will make you well.” That’s a disgusting doctrine. It’s despicable. I knew one meathead, his wife got cancer. He taught this doctrine. If you get sick, it’s because you don’t have enough faith, you have unbelief. You’re a godless person because godly people don’t get sick. And then his wife got diagnosed with cancer and this guy had a choice. He had a choice to either change his doctrine, which was horrible, or rebuke his wife on her deathbed as a godless woman who lacked the faith to be healed. And he rebuked his wife.”

(And praise the Lord that Mark Driscoll has the wisdom and spine to see the prosperity gospel for what it is and call it despicable!)

– “Now let me say this – I’ve seen people healed. I’ve seen people who had demonic affliction, that gave them physical injury and when we dealt with the demonic oppression, then they were healed, right? Their panic attacks went away, their mood changed, their multiple personality disorder went away, their – they changed, right? What they had was demonic oppression. Sometimes it’s supernatural imposing itself in a negative way on the physical. We’ve also seen people who have been healed.”

– (Where did Jesus “heal” people panic attacks?  Bad moods?  MPD?  Driscoll talks all about how “we do ministry like Jesus did”, but most of his examples either are the opposite of what Jesus did or don’t look anything like what Jesus did!)

– “Third gift – miracles. This one gets funky, too. The gift of miracles is in 1 Corinthians 12:9 and is the ability to call on God to do supernatural acts to reveal his power. Miracles are where God shows up in some extraordinary way and you can’t account for it, it’s just God. And I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I’ve never seen one.” That’s because they don’t happen very often. Miracles are, by definition, things that don’t happen very often.”

– “People with the gift of miracles see God show up in extraordinary ways, from little daily events, to major public displays. Examples from the Bible include seeing demons cast out of people. That’s a supernatural act of power. Nature obeying God’s authority and the dead being raised. Some of you say, “Do you believe dead people could be raised?” Sure I do. Not a lot. Right, Jesus rose and what does it say? That other people rose, too. It can happen. It does. Have I seen it? I don’t think so but it could happen.”

 (Interesting how, of his 2 examples, the first isn’t a miracle and he admits that he hasn’t even seen the second occur…)

– “Some say, “Well, I’ve never seen a miracle.” I tell you what. I’ve seen some. I’ve seen unbelievable acts of God, but I tell you one of the coolest miracles – and maybe you don’t agree with me – but I think Mars Hill’s a miracle. I mean we’re in the least churched city in America. There’s more dogs than Christians, right? There’s nowhere to park. You know? And you’re here. It’s crazy. And it’s hot. It’s really hot. Like I shoulda preached on hell and used this as an illustration. It’s hot in here all summer, right? And everybody said, “It can’t be done and people won’t come to church,” and you know what? People are becoming Christians. Last week, 63 people got baptized at Mars Hill. Sixty-three. You know what it is, 63 miracles, that’s what that is.”

(Interesting how he uses “miracle” in 2 different sense and never gives a hint to his audience that he’s changing the sense.  Sure, salvation is a “miraculous” display of God’s power, but it’s not categorically the same as restoring the sight of a man born blind…)

– “Fourth one, discernment. Last gift we’ll look at. So 1 Corinthians 12:10. This is one of my gifts. I don’t talk about it a lot, because it freaks people out. The spiritual gift of discernment is the ability to quickly perceive whether people, things, ideas, events are from God or Satan. You’re the person something happens, they’ll be like, “Oh my gosh! That was a supernatural event,” and you’re like, “Was that God or Satan?” Right? Was that God or – you don’t just immediately go to joy. You go to test and approve, right? I’m there with you, man.”

– (Giving examples of his “discernment”) “I’ll give you some weird examples. I, I love this gift but I’ll be honest with you, this gift is exceedingly hard at times because sometimes God will give me discernment to see beyond what’s visible, to know what’s going on behind the scenes, spiritually and sometimes, for me, God speaks to me. Sometimes I get visions and I see things. I don’t talk about this a lot. I’ll give you some examples. There was a gal I was talking to, I was hearing voices. She was under demonic oppression. “You’re fat. You’re stupid. You’re an idiot. God doesn’t love you. Your husband doesn’t love you. You should kill yourself. You should die.” She’s hearing all of this in third person. So it’s accusation. Revelation 12:10, “Satan is the accuser of the children of God. He accuses them day and night.” She’s getting all these accusations and she’s suicidal. They put her on multiple different medications, saying it’s physical, hormonal. I meet with her. I think it’s definitely spiritual. So I say, “Well, I don’t know what’s going on. Let me pray for you.” She’s with her husband. She’s a nice gal, loves Jesus, loves her husband. They have a good marriage. I couldn’t understand where this was all coming from. Where are these voices coming from. It’s not Jesus and it’s not her, so it must be the enemy because only the enemy wants to come to kill and steal and destroy and Jesus comes to give life. So I start praying for her and I pray with my eyes open and it’s like I’m watching a film. It’s literally as I’m watching a film. And I see her on the changing table as about a two-year-old little girl and her dad is changing her diaper and sexually assaults her as a little girl. And some evil spirit that was connected to her father then transferred to her and has been on her since and then came to her as a comforting spirit, as an invisible friend as a little girl and had been with her all this time.”

– (Uh, that sounds a lot like a generational curse…and my “discernment meter” is pinging in the red zone like mad…)

– (another example of his “discernment”) – “I had it on another occasion where I’m talking to a gal and she was struggling with depression and voices and demonic attack and I, I prayed for her with my eyes open and I saw her out on a date with a guy and I saw how tall he was and the color of his hair and his necklace and his coat and his clothing and he bought her a drink and he slipped something in her drink and he took her home and I could see the room, the colors of the wall and where the bed was and the décor and the necklace he was wearing and he raped her, repeatedly, and the guy was demonized and something evil came upon her and had been tormenting her other – ever since. And I said, “Did you go out with this guy? Did he look like this and was his bedroom like this and were the color of the walls like this and was he wearing a necklace like this and he took off his black leather jacket,” and I see the whole thing. I said, “Because I just watched you get raped. Did that happen?” “Yeah.” “Well that’s where your problems started.” “How did you know?” “Look, I don’t know.” That’s discernment. You know, you tell me what happened and then I see what caused it and now we can deal with that.”

– (And here we have more “demonic transference/generational curses” and an example of his notorious “porno vision” where God forces him [prophetically] to watch acts of sexual sin.   My “discernment meter” just exploded.  God doesn’t force you to watch pornography in the form of a real life rape scene.)

– “I was brought as a consultant for some ministry leaders and pastors – this was some years ago – and we’re sitting in a living room of this well-known author’s house. There’s maybe 20 or 30 of us and this is the opening session and they’re asking me questions and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, this is fun. This is fine. No problem. Cool, I’ll answer your questions.’ First question, a guy that I don’t know asks me—I’d heard about this guy, but I never met him – and I met this guy at this thing and we’re talking and so then, he asks this question. He says, ‘You know, you got a lotta young people going to Mars Hill. How can I get young people to come to our church? What do you think the secret is?’ And I looked at him and I said, ‘I won’t tell you because you’re a false teacher and you’re a false prophet and you’re committing adultery on your wife and you’re an alcoholic and you don’t love the Lord and you don’t know the Lord is gonna judge you. He’s gonna take down your ministry and the last thing he wants me to do is help you get more people.’ Okay? And I was like, ‘I hope that was the Lord. I hope that was the Lord.’

This is like the first 15 minutes of the meeting. I’m supposed to be there for three days. ‘Next question?’ You know? Everybody’s like, ‘No, that’s cool. We’re fine. No more questions,’ you know? And this guy got all angry and just bowed up and cussed me out and you know what, within a year, he’d been exposed for having ongoing, multi-year sexual adulterous relationship with his secretary. He was an alcoholic. Got checked into a multi-month rehab stint and is no longer in ministry. I go, I don’t know. Right, I mean, I don’t know how this always works to be honest with you and sometimes you can come off as mean-spirited, judgmental. ‘You just met that person, how do you know what they’re like?’ Look. I’m not telling you I’m batting 1,000 but I’m telling you, I see something you don’t see and I think I know where this is gonna go. And this is one of the painful parts of my ministry. Right, I don’t wanna see kids get molested. I don’t wanna see women get raped and beaten. I don’t – I don’t wanna see guys sleeping with their secretary but sometimes, like a film, I get to see stuff and I believe that is one of the expressions of the gift of discernment.

(The first paragraph is just another example of Driscoll’s “gift of discernment”…which is actually “prophesy” if you look at what actions he’s doing and classify them biblically.  The second paragraph is more examples of his “porno vision”.  One other thing that my smart wife picked out: you’d think that a guy with the spiritual gift of discernment wouldn’t have to be saying to himself “I hope that was the Lord. I hope that was the Lord”.  You’d think he’d be able to discern whether or not it was the Lord…)

In Part 3, he says:

– “So I’ll tell you about the office of the apostle first. First of all, these were 12 men, hand selected by Jesus, and that number 12 was set and established, not to be added to in any way. That’s why, throughout the Gospels and in the book of Revelation, it keeps saying the 12, the 12, the 12, the 12, the 12. This number 12 is established, just like the 12 tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, there are the 12 disciples or apostles in the New Testament…So let me ask you this. Do apostles, in that sense therefore, exist today? Well, the answer’s no. It was set number of 12. None of us was hand-picked by Jesus. None of us was alive when he was alive to see his life, death, burial. None of us was there for his resurrection, and we don’t have the same the signs, wonders, and miracles accompanying us as they did, their handkerchiefs healing people and such, and also, none of us gets to write a book of the Bible because – we’re not authors of the Bible because we weren’t eyewitnesses. So, in that sense, there is no apostle today but there is a gift of apostle. That’s why other people in the New Testament are called apostles, like Barnabas, in Acts 14, Apollos, 1 Corinthians 4 Andronicus and Junias, Romans 16, James Galatians 1, Silas and Timothy in 1 Thessalonians 1 and 2…An apostle literally means one who is sent on a mission. So when I say somebody is sent on a mission, what immediately comes to mind? A missionary. That’s exactly what we’re talking about. An apostle simply means one who is sent on a mission. It’s by definition, the missionary.)

– “The gift of teaching is the ability to understand and communicate Biblical truth in a clear and relevant manner so that there is understanding and application.”

– “Next gift, helps or service. I put these together. I don’t think some of the gifts are totally different. I think some of them are so close that, that they’re essentially, you know, related. So you help people by serving them. 1 Peter 4 says that some of us serve and do our ministry with our mouths of teaching encouragement. Some of us use our hands. Those are the gifts of helps and service. They’re the people who like to use their hands, right? They think of ministry, they don’t, they don’t wanna speak, they wanna serve. They wanna serve. And so, here is the definition. The gift of helps or service is the ability to joyfully – the key is joyfully.”

– “The next one, then is administrators and administration because if there are all these people who wanna help, somebody’s gotta organize the thing. Here’s the gift of administration: the God-given ability to give direction, to make decisions for efficient operation, accomplishment and goals. It is a natural talent. It’s also a supernatural gift and here is the bottom line of those of you who have the gift of administration. You’re probably diagnosed mild obsessive-compulsive disorder. You love highlighters and sticky notes and files and you are a bit of neatnik and your favorite verse is 1 Corinthians 14:40 where everything is to be done in an orderly fashion. You love that. That’s your life verse. You have that tattooed on your calf and occasionally you look at it when you’re sitting in your cubicle.”

– He gives several examples from the OT of “Spiritual Gifts” (i.e. Joseph had the gift of administration).

– “The next gift is evangelism these are people who do most of their work outside of the church. These are people who sometimes don’t even like the church. They’re like, ‘Why go to church?’ They already are all Christians. ‘I’m gonna be stuck with them forever in heaven. I’m going to Hemp Fest and I’m going to talk to those people.’ The gift of evangelism is the desired ability to speak clearly and effectively about Jesus to non-Christians.”

(So the Spirit gives the gift of evangelism to people who don’t like church for the purpose of building up the church?  Excuse me?)

– “And then once people do become Christians, you know what they need? They need a pastor. They need somebody to disciple them, mentor them, hold them accountable, teach them the Bible, help them overcome sin, help them grow in their faith. That’s the next gift.  Pastor. Biblical counseling. Shepherding. We’ll use all of those words in conjunction and again, I would make a distinction, like apostles, between an office and a gift. Now the office, 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, again, get the leadership booklet on the way out, are the qualified men whom God appoints to be pastors in the church. So, in addition to the office, which is held by a handful of men, there is the gift that is poured out on a multitude of men and women who do shepherding, counseling, Biblical counseling, pastoral work, pastoring work. Much like the office and gift of apostle, there is the office and the gift, I certainly believe, of pastor or shepherd or Biblical counselor…That is the gift. It’s a deep love for people. It’s an empathy and a compassion. It’s a Biblical knowledge. It’s an encouragement ability to meet with people and to help them become more like Jesus.

(Where exactly does he get this difference between “office” and “gift”?  Like almost every one of his definitions, he’s simply pulling ideas out of thin air or knitting together a bunch of non-related cross references…)

In Part 4, he says:

– “First one is the gift of the encouragement. It’s in Romans Chapter 12, Verse 8, the gift of encouragement. Everybody loves the person with the gift of encouragement. They’re super nice and they’re usually positive and they love you and they’re there for you and they wanna support you. They’re enthusiastic. They are much help. The gift of encouragement, also called the gift of exhortation, involves motivating, encouraging, consoling others so that they mature in their walk with Christ. Christians with this gift have an unusual sensitivity for, and attracted to people who are struggling or discouraged.”

– “Second gift we’ll look at and Romans 12:8 is the gift of giving. The gift of giving – and we know this is a gift because people tend not to just give their money away, right? This takes a miracle for people to say, “I have extra money. I need to give that away.” And this is what the people with the gift of giving do. They view themselves as stewards. This is the mindset of someone with a spiritual gift of giving. They realize that all of their money, all of their possessions, all of their insight, wisdom, talent, time, treasure, whatever they got – that it belongs to Jesus – and that Jesus has given it to them and they are to steward it. That they are to distribute it. So when they give money, or they give their possessions or they give away such things, they don’t feel bad. They say, “It wasn’t mine in the first place. Jesus gave it to me to share he. To distribute. To give and so I get delight in giving and being the steward who gives away what Jesus has entrusted to my care.” That’s how these people view themselves.”

– “The third gift is one I actually do have and that’s the gift of leadership. It’s in Romans 12:8. This is someone who has a clear, compelling vision that God has given them. Something needs to be done things need to be changed. People need to be reached. Lives need to be affected, and then they can articulate that can a winsome way, so that other people want to follow that vision and to be a leader means that there are people behind you. A great old preacher from LA who’s a great guy, he passed away, E.V. Hill, he said, “Any guy who thinks he’s a leader that doesn’t have people following him is just a dude out for a walk.” Right, which is a great line. I love that line. I’ve had 20-year-old guys walk in, “I’m a leader.” “Where’s your peeps?” “I don’t have any.” “You’re not a leader. You’re just another white guy.” You’re not a leader, right? You’re not a leader. Leaders have people. Right people follow leaders. That is, by definition, what it means to be a leader.”

– “The fourth one is the gift of mercy, which I do not have. I asked my lovely wife, Grace. I said, “Honey, I’m teaching on the gifts. Do you think I have the gift of mercy?” and she laughed, which, to me indicates that I do not have that gift. The person with the gift of mercy is generally the one who is exceedingly compassionate and has a profound heart for hurting and suffering people. They feel and express unusual compassion and sympathy for those in difficult a crisis situations and provide them with the necessary help to support them through tough times. They can walk in the shoes of another person. They can feel their pain, carry their burdens and they’d love to make a difference in the lives of hurting people.”

– “Fifth gift, gift of hospitality. Oh, the gift of hospitality. Don’t you love people with the gift of hospitality? My wife has the gift of hospitality. Last night, I ate blackberry cobbler. This morning, she got up and make me ham and eggs. I love pork products.  It puts me in the mood to talk about Jesus and this afternoon, she made French toast with cinnamon bread. It has cinnamon in the middle. It’s the most brilliant thing I’ve ever seen and my wife has the gift of hospitality. Some of you have it – now if you’re a single guy who lives with camping furniture and eats with a spork, food cooked by a high school kid a uniform, you do not have the gift of hospitality, and I would encourage you to marry a woman who does. That would be my recommendation to use single men. That is in fact what I have done.”

In Part 5, he says:

– “So we’ll start with tongues and when your Bible uses the word “tongues,” it means, literally, languages. The Greek word – I won’t get into all of the different Greek words that I’ll be using tonight but this Greek word that’s translated “tongues” in the English translation actually means languages – and so there are various languages, right? If you go to Mexico, people speak Spanish. If you go to Korea, people speak Korean. If you go to Quebec, they’re speaking French. If you go to Texas, they’re speaking redneck. If you go to, you go to, you know, South Central, they’re speaking Snoop shizzle. If you go to Heaven, there’s apparently, as well, a Heavenly language that God and the angels use to communicate and there’s a Heavenly language there as well.”

– (Notice that he now has 2 types of tongues, the 2nd being some sort of non-earthly language…i.e. ecstatic speech.)

– “And so when we’re speaking of tongues, we’re speaking of languages – various earthly languages, as well as the Heavenly language spoken by God and the angels – and when it comes to the gift of tongues, the first thing I wanna say is that we reject two extreme positions. One is the Pentecostal position, which essentially states that everyone can and should speak in tongues. We reject that because not everyone can or should speak in tongues. It says in Romans 12:6 that we each have different gifts. So not everybody’s gonna have the same gift – we have different gifts…Now, the other extreme position is called the cessationist position. The cessationist position says that no one should speak in tongues and that tongues are essentially not for today. We reject both of these. One saying that God can’t have anybody speak in tongues and one saying that God must let every Christian speak in tongues and we believe that tongues, like all other gifts, are given to some people but not all people.”

– “And so, when it comes to tongues, the three perspectives, the three expressions that I want you to be aware of are these. The first expression of the gift of tongues is simply this. It is a prayer language, right? And again, I don’t have this gift. I’ve never manifested this gift, but those who do and love Jesus that are friends of mine tell me that they’ll be, for example, at home praying and they’ll be praying in English and then they will slip into the Heavenly language. The language, apparently, of God and the angels and they’re praying in that language. It’s a language that is unknown to them and it’s a miraculous, supernatural capacity that God gives them to speak in the Heavenly language, to have a private prayer time, that connects them to the Lord in a very powerful way, from what they have told me, so that they have this prayer ministry of intercession….”

– Mark Driscoll takes Paul’s mention of “praying in tongues” in 1 Corinthians 14:14 as a declarative statement; Paul is actually saying “I do this”.

– “The second expression of the gift (of tongues) is a missionary gift where you meet someone and you don’t speak their language and they don’t speak yours and God wants you to tell them about Jesus and then God gives you the supernatural ability to speak their language, right? And again, I’ll have to use an example from someone that I know who does love the Lord and is very mature and so I trust them. They said that they went on a mission trip to a country where they didn’t speak the language, which to me in the first place, that sorta – I don’t know why you’d go on a mission trip if you can’t speak the language. I mean, that’s like, I’m the lifeguard who can’t swim. Like, well, couldn’t somebody else do that? They went to this country and they didn’t speak the language and they met some people and they were trying to tell them about Jesus and the people didn’t speak English and they didn’t speak their language and they were very frustrated. They tried to explain it in English and then they started speaking those people’s native language and those people got saved and gave their lives to Jesus. That is the missionary ability to speak a known earthly language, not the heavenly language, otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to communicate with them.”

– Mark Driscoll claims that Acts 2 is an example of the “missionary language” (i.e. earthly languages).

– “And then the third (type of tongues) is a revelatory language. Okay, let me explain this to you. Let’s say there is a king in another kingdom and he doesn’t speak our language and we don’t speak his but he wants to say something to us. So he sends an ambassador to speak on his behalf and then we would need to get a translator or an interpreter to translate or interpret what the ambassador said so that we, in English, could understand what the king from the other nation had to say to us. This is exactly what happens, for example, at a United Nations meeting, right? A king sends a delegate and then there’s an interpreter or translator to make it known to others who are there that don’t share the language.  Well, God is a king and in his kingdom, he speaks Heavenese, or whatever it is. He’s got his own language there and so when he wants to speak to us, we don’t speak Heavenese and so what God does, he chooses a Christian to be that ambassador with the gift of tongues and then they speak the Heavenly language – but now we need an interpreter or a translator; someone with that gift that’s listed in 1 Corinthians 12:10, the gift of interpretation or translation to then translate that into English so then we know what, you know, the King Jesus has to say to us, his loyal subjects.”

(So now there’s three types of tongues, and type 1 and 3 look basically the same; they’re apparently both manifestations of “Heavenese”…)

– “And those are the multiperspectival views of tongues. It’s a private prayer language. It’s also the ability sometimes to speak to someone in a known earthly language and sometimes it’s the ability to speak the Heavenly language, oftentimes accompanied with the gift of interpretation so that that can be made known in a known earthly language so we, who are listening, then know what is being said. That’s tongues. That’s just the definition.”

– “I believe that there is the Old Testament office of Prophet, which is limited to a handful and closed, and then there is the ongoing spiritual giftedness and ministry of prophecy that is subservient to and under, nonetheless like, though, the Old Testament gift of the prophet.”

– “When we’re talking Old Testament prophet, we’re talking a two-fold ministry. One, they hear from God; God reveals his truth to them, speaks to them, and then their second ministry is to communicate that to the masses. Some were speaking prophets. Some were writing prophets and some were both and when we think of Old Testament prophets, we’re talking Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel. We’re talking about the guys who gave us the Old Testament and these are, literally, the spokesmen, the amplifiers, the mouthpieces as it were, for God and God wants to speak and he speaks through them to the masses. And when they speak, they speak with the highest authority.”

– Mark Driscoll then refers to Deuteronomy 13 and 18 (in a rather long explanation) and rightly teaches that false prophets were in the OT, that they could perform false miracles, that they pointed people to false gods, that their revelations were to be tested against existing revelation, that they were supposed 100% correct all the time, and that they were to be killed when they were wrong.

– Mark Driscoll then refers to Ephesians 2:20 and the “foundation of the prophets and apostles”, talks about how they wrote scripture and now the canon is closed, and then responds to his own statement by saying “How does this work with prophecy? Well, what that means is that the New Testament gift of prophecy is less authoritative than the Old Testament prophets were because we take what is said by potential prophets today and we test it by the Bible because they are under the Bible.”

–  Mark Driscoll then suggests that 1 Thessalonians 5 teaches that believers shouldn’t mock people who claim to have prophecies.  He then explains and says “If you’ve been around an abuse of prophecy, you might treat prophecies with contempt. Like, ‘All right, look. I’ve had enough. Enough of that.’ He says, don’t treat prophecies with contempt but here’s what he does say. Test all things. Reject that which is evil. Cling to that which is good. Meaning if somebody says they got a prophecy? Test it. Now that’s different than the Old Testament prophets because they were highest authority, thus sayeth the Lord. New Testament, the gift of prophecy is under the authority of the Old Testament prophets and we check it, we test it by the Bible.”

– He further comments on prophecy and says “Paul says the same thing in 1 Corinthians 14. We’ll look at it next week. The second half of the chapter, he says, if someone has a prophecy, they don’t automatically get to go up in front of the church and get a mic and say, ‘I prophesy the end of the world! I prophesy this, that and the other thing’. What they do is they meet with the leaders of the church – here it would be the elders, the pastors – they tell us what their prophecy is. We check it. If it’s true, then we share it with you. If not, then we don’t.”

(Question.  How do the elders confirm a prophecy about the end of the world if?  If it’s general, they need to simply follow the scripture and if it’s specific, they need to wait for it to occur…but there’s a biblical safeguard against this from happening, and I really doubt that Mark Driscoll knows what it is…)

– “We’ve had all kinds of people who had prophecies. So far, we haven’t had any of them that we thought were Biblical. That’s why you don’t hear about them.”

(So in around 10 years, with thousands of people involved in Mars Hill, Mars Hill hasn’t had a single authentic prophecy occur from someone in the congregation?  That’s cessationist talk!)

– “So, what is prophecy then? Well, I believe, like tongues, there are three expressions of prophecy that the New Testament speaks of. The first is proclaiming the word of God. It is essentially preaching. It’s what I do for a living…The second use of the gift is where it gets a little more controversial and that is foretelling the future and when I say, ‘prophecy,’ most of you probably think that….”

– Then Mark Driscoll actually says, with regards to predictive prophecy, the following:

“Now, I’m hesitant to tell you that I’ve got this gift because most people who say that are total wingnuts, which maybe I am, which would explain a ton. And when I say that, I know I have the prophetic teaching, preaching proclamation aspect, but there are times in my ministry where I’ve had this future revelation knowledge thing going on – where I know the future and proclaim it to a group of people. I’ll tell you one. It was the weirdest day. It was years ago. I was at a young pastors’ conference and they bring out the speakers and bring you out on the stage and everybody gets a chance to teach and there’s like, I don’t know, maybe a thousand young pastors. This big organization, led by this prominent young teacher, preacher guy, and I was supposed to speak at lunch, which is not the best slot. Everybody’s eating. This is not, you know, you’re the third opening band before the headliner, that kinda gig and so I’m like, ‘Oh great. I get to teach the Bible while everyone is eating. I’m sure this will be, just be life-changing for everyone over dessert.’ And so I got up and I was planning on teaching the book of Ephesians on the reconciling power of the Gospel to bring diverse people groups together in Jesus Christ, and I went to do my teaching up front. I thought, ‘Well, I better open in prayer,’ so I start praying, ‘Dear Jesus,’ next thing I know, I start prophesying. Unexpectedly, over lunch, at a pastor’s conference and God told me that some of the key leaders in this conference that was hosting me and paid for my hotel and flight and honorarium had ongoing, unrepentant sexual sin. That the other leaders in the ministry knew of it and wouldn’t do anything about it and that God was frustrated because there was a disqualified leader leading the thing and he wanted me to publicly declare it and repent for him in public on the stage, during lunch, in my prayer time, at a pastor’s conference with the guys who write the check.

So, I start praying and I’m like, ‘God and I’m sorry that, you know, I’m sorry that there’s sexual sin and perversion and disqualification – that the leaders will not address this issue and I know judgment is against the organization and I know you will expose the evildo-‘ I go off. I kept my eyes closed, because I’m thinking, ‘If they chuck stuff, I don’t even wanna see it coming,’ you know? I’m like, ‘Oh, man! Where is this coming from?’ and I’m flowing and going and I’m like, ‘Oh, man. I hope this is the Ghost. I hope this is real.’ So I’m going with this. I go for about 15, 20 minutes in a prayer, right? And I finally open my eyes, ‘Amen,’ everybody’s still got their food on their fork, like – at first they’re like, ‘This is a weird skit,’ and then they’re like, ‘This is really weird,’ you know? And a pastor’s magazine wrote it up as a prophetic moment. I said, ‘Amen,’ and I just didn’t know what to do, so I just walked away. I just left. Yeah. See you later. So I just leave. I walk off the stage and the guy who’s on the stage side, who runs the ministry – he’s the headliner, he’s the emcee, this is his organization. I just was like, ‘I’m sorry, dude. You know, I didn’t,’ – and he gets the mic and he comes out and he’s trying to pick up the mess, because they got, like a half-hour left on the schedule they gotta fill. So he’s like, ‘Blah, blah, blah.’ He sounds like the teacher from Peanuts. He’s not saying anything. He doesn’t know what to say. Less than a year later, it gets exposed that he was the guy who was an absolute sex addict, out of control, disqualified from ministry. People knew and weren’t doing anything about it. I prophesied against that guy and then he got fired and he got exposed and I haven’t gotten any invitations back, but I felt like that was a prophetic moment, that I wasn’t looking for.”

(All right.  I cannot sit silent on this.  (1) In a room full of young pastors, Mark Driscoll prophesies that some of them have unrepentant sexual sin in their lives, others know about it and are covering it up, and one of them will be exposed in the coming year.  Notice how he never says that he named names.  He just declared that someone, in a room full of young men, was given over to sexual sin…right…that’s unquestionable prediction of the future.  I could do that in any room full of young men in  any setting and be declared a prophet within 12 months.  (2) What was that about God wanting Mark to “repent for him in public”?  Since when can I repent for someone else’s sin, on their behalf?  That directly and overtly contradicts scripture! (3) Mark Driscoll doesn’t keep his own rules on prophecy.  He says he grabbed the mic and just started going, completely out of control, hoping that it was the Holy Ghost.  He didn’t check the prophesy with anyone.  In this case, the spirit of the prophet was apparently not subject to the prophet.  They didn’t check it against scripture.  He does the very thing he condemns, not moments previous, and uses that as an example of how he’s a real prophet.  It appears that Mark Driscoll, by his own proud admission, is not a prophet.  This whole example earns the coveted “Clarkson Facepalm”)


– Mark Driscoll then gives another example of how he’s a prophet when he speaks of a guy who called in on a radio show and Mark Driscoll rebuked him (prophetically) for cheating on his wife, and the guy was amazed at how Mark knew that (big shocker).  Mark Driscoll then gives a third example of how he’s a prophet when he speaks of an Asian family that shows up needing “a word from a prophet” and Driscoll tells them that the church they attend (in Canada) has unrepentant, sinful leaders and the Asian fellow (who’s a pastor) needs to leave working at that church and find somewhere new to minister.

(Let’s just say that calling out any man for sexual sin is a call where you have around an 90% chance of being right.  And telling someone from Canada that they attend a church with bad leadership?  I live in Canada and I can count, on a single hand, how many churches I know that I would confidently suggest have biblically qualified and upstanding leadership.  Almost every person I know of who was in ministry 15 years ago is no longer in ministry, and a whole lot of them have left due to disqualification [sexual immorality or otherwise], or simply abandoning the faith.)

– Then, Mark Driscoll addresses 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 and says “‘For we know in part, we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.’ Hugely debated verse. Those who hold what is called cessationism that says that certain supernatural, miraculous gifts – tongues, prophecy, healing, miracles, and such – only existed in the early church and they ceased when the perfect came. And they will tell you that the perfect is what? The Bible. Now that we have the Bible, we don’t need tongues, prophecy or knowledge, they have ceased….But is that the perfect that is being spoken of here? It’s not…Everything here is imperfect and one day, our imperfect ministries will go away and in the meantime, we want to mature and grow and do the best we can at the ministries that God has apportioned to us but one day, our imperfect ministries go away and the perfect comes, what’s the perfect? He just told us. We’ll know when the perfect comes because we’ll see him face-to-face. What’s that? It’s the second coming of Jesus.

– He then talks about the priority of prophecy in 1 Cor. 14:2-4 and says “He goes on, ‘But everyone who prophesies,’ speaks the Bible, proclaims the truth of God’s word. ‘Everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.’ So he’s distinguishing here about when we all get together. Tongues isn’t a bad thing but it’s not good for the corporate gathering. Preaching, however, is a good thing for the corporate gathering…He goes on, ‘He who speaks,’ Verse 4, ‘He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.’ Bible preaching benefits the whole church. Speaking in tongues may make you happy but the rest of us are just totally in the dark.”

– He continues on the same track and comments on 1 Corinthians 14:4, saying “‘I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.’ So preaching is above tongues. That’s why the majority of our time is spent preaching the Bible and we don’t get together and have a tongue-athon, you know? We don’t do that.”

– But, then in a typical ‘Driscolism” that I like so much, he also says “Now, I know some of you have been to churches where everybody comes in, speaks in tongues, you know, I mean they are screaming, shouting, yelling, sweating, hankies flying. Praise banners, tambourines, you know, I mean it’s nuts. You know, Icy Hot for the pulled hamstrings. It’s just, I mean it’s, you know, it’s a good time and you feel weird because everybody’s speaking in tongues but you don’t know what’s going on and I’m telling you, those are immature, Corinthianesque selfish, childish worship services.”

(Interesting how Mark Driscoll calls a large component of the Charismatic movement immature. Church far bigger than Mars Hill do that sort of stuff, and I’d totally agree with him here!)

– He then move on and discusses 1 Corinthians 14:20-21 and says “If everybody’s speaking in tongues, is that a guarantee that the Holy Spirit is there in power? It’s not. I’ll prove it to you. Verse 20, “Brothers, stop thinking like children.” Stop being immature. ‘In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. In the Law it is written.’ He quotes Isaiah 28:11 and 12. “’Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me,’ says the Lord.” Here’s what he says. He says, just because people are speaking in tongues, that doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit has dropped in full power, force and authority and that God is super excited and you’re varsity. What it may mean is that God is judging you and you’re all immature and he’s unhappy and the tongues are a sign of judgment. The error of Pentecostal theology is thinking that every time tongues are spoken it’s evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it’s evidence of the conviction of the Holy Spirit that the judgment on God’s people. He quotes Isaiah 28 to illustrate this. In that day, God’s people all spoke Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, in the days of Isaiah. And they would be in their city, speaking their language. What he says is this. Isaiah 28. You’re hard-hearted. You’re rebellious. You’re sinning against me. You’re doing wicked. I’m going to send another nation of people who don’t know me and they don’t love me and I’m going to use them like a rod in my hand to discipline you and to judge you. I think it was the Assyrians and then they pull into town and they take over the city and then they’re walking through the streets speaking a foreign language which means God has judged us. What he’s saying is this, just because you hear tongues doesn’t necessarily prove that the Holy Spirit is at work. Sometimes tongues are evidence of God’s judgment on the immature, sinful, and self-righteous. You will not hear that at a lot of Pentecostal churches.”

(Close, but not quite.)

– He then comments on 1 Corinthians 14:22 and says “He goes on – I will close as quickly as I can – ‘Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers;’ the missionary gift, to tell them about Jesus.”

(So Paul is now talking about a different type of tongues in the same paragraph?  And why do you need ‘missionary tongues’ in the local worship service that you attend and everyone speaks the same language?  Were there all sorts of non-Greek speaking foreigners in regular worship services in Corinth?)

In Part 6, he says:

– Speaking about 1 Corinthians 14:27, Mark Driscoll says “If it says two or three, and the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Bible, which he did, then we’re not limiting the Holy Spirit by obeying the Holy Spirit. We’re just following the Holy Spirit, assuming that he will work within the constraints that he, himself, has put upon the speaking of tongues.”

(Again, he’s talking like a cessationist.)

–  Talking about 1 Corinthians 14:29 and the testing of prophecies, Mark Driscoll says “And so what he says is, you know, if somebody comes in and says, ‘I got a word from God. I have a prophecy. I’m a prophet. The end of the world is coming, thus sayeth the Lord,’ you’re like, ‘Eh, we’ll see. We’re gonna take a look at it. We’re gonna pray about it. We’re gonna check it by Scripture. We’ll see if it comes to pass. We’re gonna investigate your doctrine. We’re gonna look at your character and then we’ll see.’ Okay, that’s one of the criteria.”

(Weigh his examples of how he’s a prophet, given in part 5, against this standard…)

– Speaking of 1 Corinthians 14:31, he says “He says, as well, fourth point, ‘that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.’ Again, it’s not just about what works for me, what makes me feel good, my needs were met. My issues were addressed. My emotional desires were satisfied. It’s about us, not just about me. It’s about him, it’s about us. And if we do this well, then everybody is blessed and benefited.”

(The “everyone” is the church body; prophecy is an activity for the benefit of the church.  Every one of Driscolls examples of how he’s a prophet happened outside a church setting, and most of them were simply private prophecies that edified Mark Driscoll and the other listener.  Again, Driscoll doesn’t follow the rules that he himself teaches from the scripture.)

– And in his commenting on 1 Corinthians 14:32, Driscoll says “And he goes on in Verse 32, his fifth point on prophets is that ‘The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.’ And again, this is another line of reasoning by which the New Testament ministry of prophecy is less superior to the Old Testament ministry of the prophets who gave us the Bible. In the Old Testament, the prophets say that they can’t help but proclaim the word of God. Here, he says that if a – if the requirements are not met, two or three have already spoken. If, you know, it’s not the right time, all these kinds of criteria are not met, then the prophet should speak to no one; that they instead should just remain silent. What that means is is that it is different than the Old Testament prophet because in the Old Testament, guys like Jeremiah would say, ‘God’s word is like a fire in my bones and I can’t contain it.’ They can’t help but speak. Here, they are told there are not always occasions for you to speak, so you must learn to occasionally restrain yourself. Again, it’s a difference. It’s a difference between the Old Testament function.”

(So in the New Testament, nobody gets up to pray, all of a sudden starts prophesying, cannot restrain themselves, and simply says in their head “I hope this is the Ghost!”  Driscoll’s previous examples of how he’s a prophet suggest that he either thinks he’s actually and Old Testament prophet, or that he’s got a whole lot of category confusion happening in his head, or that he’s actually not a prophet.)

– Addressing 1 Corinthians 14:33, he says “And he goes on in Verse 33 and he essentially summarizes much of the book of Corinthians, particularly this passage and he says, ‘For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.’ Some of your translations will say that our God is not a God of chaos, he is a God of order. Let me explain this to you. God is a God who creates order and peace and harmony and unity…And so what Paul is saying is this. He’s saying that when we get together for worship as a church, if someone walks in and it’s just totally disorganized, chaotic, selfish, people talking nonsense, prophesying, yelling, screaming, nobody knows what’s going on. Speaking in tongues. Dishonoring one another, total chaos – they’ll walk in and say, “You know what, Jesus must be disorganized, crazy, nuts. He must be chaotic. He must be a God who makes a mess of things because look at this. When people gather to worship him, it’s insane.” What he says is we don’t want to give that impression of Jesus. We don’t want people to walk in and think, ‘Jesus is nuts. Jesus makes a mess of things. Jesus brings chaos. Jesus brings disorder. Jesus brings selfishness. Jesus brings immaturity. Jesus brings division.’ That’s nothing that we believe about Jesus and that’s nothing that we want to portray of Jesus.  So he says, God is not a God of disorder or chaos, but he’s a God of peace. And when we gather together for worship, we must be mindful that we are sending that message with how we conduct ourselves.”

(See all my previous comments along the lines of Mark Driscoll not meeting his own standards for prophecy.  He apparently knows that the context of rules for prophecy, and the regular manifestation of prophecy, isn’t a pastors convention or a private prayer meeting or a radio show…)

Now due to the gigantic nature of this post I won’t respond in depth here, but I will give an exceedingly brief response to his definitions of spiritual gifts and his various claims about things like being a prophet and having “porno vision”:


28b.  In his current Acts series, he does an extended Q & A on tongues, talks about Tongues as a prayer language, and talks about the use of tongues in evangelism.  He doesn’t say anything there that wasn’t said years before.

28c.  Here’s Doug Wilson interviewing Mark Driscoll on the issue of cessationism in 2011 (It’s worth watching just for the quote about how cessationists treat the scriptures like homosexuals.  Yup.  We don’t twist the scriptures; we simply ignore the passages we don’t like…like homosexuals.  Did someone ever accuse Driscoll of speaking his mind?)

There’s NO shortage of stuff out there from Driscoll.  I’d include more, but those links are a good serving that tell you where he’s at.

General Idea – Driscoll is the most outspoken “Reformed Charismatic” out there, and probably one of the guys most worth addressing on an exegetical level if one is talking about the Charismatic movement in serious theological/reformed circles.  Driscoll uses totally incorrect definitions of most the gifts (and completely confuses categories when defining them; haphazardly using Old Testament passages to define New Testament gifts, performing continual word study fallacies, etc.), but his serious teaching on the subject is followed by tens of thousands of people who look to him…and I can understand why.

Mark Driscoll is a great speaker, he’s a funny guy, and he does love Jesus…but he’s not an exegete.  His mouth writes cheques upon which his Bible stamps “void”. 

Mark Driscoll is a practical cessationist.

He’s not charismatic. Not even close.

He claims to have charismatic theology, but when he talks about his experiences with the spiritual gifts in question (tongues, healing, prophecy) his stories uniformly show that his experiences are cessationist…and he possibly has some demonic activity in his life that he confuses with “the Ghost”.  I’d say that Mark Driscoll is one of the best examples of the claim that made people so mad; the claim that charismatics attribute the works of Satan to the Spirit.

I know that confuses and likely angers many people who read this, but I’m also not suggesting that Mark Driscoll is any sort of unbeliever.  Being wrong and being unregenerate are not the same thing, at all.

I’ll attempt, at some point, to explain this all more fully in a future post (probably after the Strange Fire conference).

***Update as of Jan 16, 2015 – 14 months after this post came out, Mark Driscoll was run out of Mars Hill and fired from the Acts29 Network on the basis of some rather serious (and possibly criminal) charges.  He was guilty of plagiarism, misappropriation of church funds for the purpose of manipulating book sales standing (another link), and basically being a domineering, loud-mouthed, angry bully that people were actually afraid of.

Mark Driscoll has currently abandoned all his previous theological convictions and has gone over to the dark side.  He’s going to the one circle where moral failure doesn’t matter: the prosperity preachers.  He’s recently been loudly embraced by Robert Morris (the shameless prosperity preacher) and has his own para-church ministry running.  He apparently is about as unteachable as they come.

It’s blisteringly clear that Driscoll is, and always was, an immoral, shameless, and biblically-unqualified profiteer; namely a false teacher.  That doesn’t mean that everything he’s ever said was bad or wrong, but that he should not be in ministry and nobody should listen to him or buy his books anymore.  Until he publicly acknowledge his sins (not “mistakes”) and repents from them (i.e. returning the $210,000 he took from his church…which is difficult since the entire operation folded weeks after he left with a rather ironic final ringing of the gong), he should never be given a pulpit anywhere.***

29.  12Stone Church of Lawrenceville, Georgia – Pastored by Kevin Myers.  This church is a Wesleyan church that is part of the Willow Creek association, and their doctrinal statement is amazingly bland.  I’d bet the orphan Annie’s dog that they’re practical cessationists.

30.  The Rock Church of San Diego CA – Pastored by Miles McPherson. This church doesn’t have a lot of content on their website about spiritual gifts or sign gifts, but their doctrinal statement definitely sounds like they’re practical cessationists, their spiritual gifts test doesn’t even include tongues or healing as gift options, and their definition of prophecy (pg. 5 of the spiritual gifts test) basically is “a guy who knows the Bible really well, has discernment, and is a good preacher”.  There is little doubt that they’re anything but practical cessationists.

32 thoughts on “A Charismatic Primer Part 7 – The Outreach Top 50 (#26-30)

  1. Thanks for all the time and research you take to lay it all out there. I have loads of respect for your knowledge, and theological understanding. I, as you know, am a part of a really great Acts 29 church. It’s actually the first time we’ve been a part of a church that does have a really solid, genuine, upstanding…and biblically qualified pastor (which as you know is hard to find in Canada…especially in smaller centres). What a different good leadership makes! I think to most people the Acts 29 network and it’s churches (which are denominationally diverse) wouldn’t even be on the radar as charasmatic…especially to charasmatics. I used to attend a charasmatic church and the difference is huge…but I totally see how it’s theologically closer to the charasmatic end of the spectrum (if there is a spectrum). I have listened to Mark for years, and have a close relative who is active in one of the Mars hill churches It’s not a perfect church, and no fallible leader should ever be idolized or held up on a pedestal…but like you said he does love Jesus, he teaches the Bible, and God is working his purposes even through frail humans. What are you views on Matt Chandler (president of Acts 29)? Have you listened to him much? He’s one of my favorite ipod preachers. He recently did a series “The Dearest Place on Earth” talking about The Church, eldership,etc. http://www.thevillagechurch.net/resources/sermons/#series-sort_the-dearest-place-on-earth I thought it was really good. He wouldn’t be a cessationist though…but I have lots of respect for teachers on both sides of that little fence. I think what you said about being a practical cessationist kind of stuck in my head, in all practical, functional aspects there are far more similarities in these two reformed tribes than differences…at least from what I’ve witnessed. Thanks for not shying away from these types of posts, I find them very informative, even if we hang out in two neighbouring tribes. I really like it that brothers can debate and challenge brothers..and yet still realize they’re part of the same family. Too many Christians are too easily offended and more worried about being “nice” and “tolerant” than they are about learning, challenging, and growing. There should be no teacher/ preacher that is a sacred cow that cannot be questioned, challenged, or even run out of town if the manure pile gets too high.

    • Carla,

      Thanks for the good comments.

      I honestly have no bones to pick with Acts 29, and your church is openly cessationist (at least, last time I looked). Has that changed? From what I know of Murray, he’s a good guy and is likely a tremendous blessing to the prairies.

      I also do have a lot of respect for Mark Driscoll, and I have no reason to toss him under the bus.

      Matt Chandler is #45 on the top 50. You’ll have to wait for that one!

      It’s interesting that you picked up on the practical cessationist point. That basically means that Driscoll and I have (more or less) a relatively similar experience (cessationist) that we describe in two different ways (charismatic vs. cessationist). Driscoll says that apostleship is simply being a missionary, so he says that missionaries all have the spiritual gift of being “apostles”. I’ve written at length on that one term, and I would confidently say that Driscoll simply is incorrect (not stupid, not unregenerate, just incorrect) on the definition of the word “apostle”. We both agree that missionaries are great, and we both believe that Christians are given the great commission, and we both agree that some people feel a pull to go overseas and share the gospel with unreached people groups.

      I call those people “missionaries” and would suggest that what makes them missionaries is that God has divinely orchestrated those people, and the events of their lives, to both give them those desires and lead them to that end. It’s an outworking of providence.

      Driscoll calls those people “missionaries” and would suggest that what makes them missionaries is that God has given them the spiritual gift of “apostleship”, as well as those things that I also said. He’d say that it’s an outworking of both providence and the specific spiritual gift of “apostleship”.

      We both see the same situation and agree on what we’re seeing, but we both describe it differently.

      The significant differences come with tongues, prophecy and his gift of discernment talk.

      I’d suggest that some of those stories he tells are actually him being deceived by demonic forces for whatever purpose they have in mind (stunting his spiritual growth, leading him away from some other place he should be going, spiritual pride, etc.). That would be where we’d really cross swords.

      Again though, sinning and believing demonic lies don’t make someone and unbeliever; every Christian does that stuff. We just want to see it for what it is, repent, and change.

  2. Thanks for doing all the heavy lifting. I’m guessing that this close look at Droscoll’s teaching is going to raise both eye brows, and ire.

    • Yeah, I’d expect that his claims to predict the future without error might raise some eyebrows…and of course his generational curse talk…and porno vision (though that’s already widely known about)…

      • I am sure I asked this question before, but I can’t find where, so bear with me as I ask again. Do you think JM will tackle the base issue of whether or not the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a second separate work, or will he be satisfied with just dealing with the teachers that are way out in left field?

      • I’m guessing, from what I know of what’s coming, that it will be mentioned in passing, at best.

        I’ve heard some inside information from friends down there and I’m guessing that the Strange Fire conference is going to take an angle that many people don’t see coming…but I’m not really at liberty to divulge behind the scenes information.

  3. Where did Jesus “heal” people panic attacks? Yes He does. Of course He does! I am glad that I believe in an all powerful God and by the power of Jesus name we are healed!

    • I fear you misunderstand me. Where does Jesus do that in the Scriptures? All his healings were of outwardly manifest physical infirmities.

      I don’t challenge that God can give believers the spiritual resources to deal with any and all issues, including panic attacks…but dealing with panic attacks isn’t what Jesus did when he healed people.

  4. Thanks so much for the reply Lyndon. I totally agree with you. I am really knew to this cessationist stuff and seeing beyond what I thought it was is tricky sometimes. Actually the same goes for reformed theology in general…not what I had grown up being taught that it was. Sometimes we reject something based on words used, or categories rather than actual content. “We both see the same situation and agree on what we’re seeing, but we both describe it differently.”

  5. You said, “…And telling someone from Canada that they attend a church with bad leadership? I live in Canada and I can count, on a single hand, how many churches I know that I would confidently suggest have biblically qualified and upstanding leadership. Almost every person I know of who was in ministry 15 years ago is no longer in ministry, and a whole lot of them have left due to disqualification [sexual immorality or otherwise], or simply abandoning the faith.)”

    I also live in Canada and although I haven’t attended many churches I can, sadly, strongly agree with your statement. You hear about the state of the church all the time and don’t realize how wide spread it is until you move your family to a place and discover that most are basically a Sunday morning social gathering with a short 10 minute, maybe 20 minute, devotional.

    Thanks for the posts.

    • Curt, I feel your pain.

      If I had a dime for every 20 minute sermon that missed the point of the text…I’d have a lot more than 1 dime. Feel free to pray for me as I hunt for a church, as not only are there a bunch of mediocre pastors out there, but it’s next to impossible to find a church to work in if you have any sort of articulate theology or disagree with any number of unwritten rules among persons in ministry (i.e. “anyone who takes a firm position on end times stuff is arrogant and unteachable” or “church discipline is a nice idea but if you actually DO it, you’ll ruin churches”).

      • I don’t know if the saying, “Misery loves company.”, is a good thing in this particular situation or not, but there is a strange relief to know I’m not alone. We are currently attending a small church where actual Bible teaching takes up the majority of the service time…and we are VERY thankful to the Lord for this!

        Regarding “articulate theology”…that almost seems to be a swear word. When I would mention sound doctrine there was almost a look…like Dracula drawing up his cape to ward off garlic. It is a very serious thing as the church abandons the Word to follow after the culture.

  6. Wow. And Wow. I hadn’t heard of “Strange Fire” until reading about it here. Thank you for all the work (and time!) you have put into researching this!

    This article does scratch at a question that I have been wrestling with a bit.

    It is clear there are some very wrong teachings coming from Driscoll, yet his love of Jesus is admitted. At what point does a Christian “draw the line” with another teacher/preacher?

    If a teacher/preacher is right on some things, but wrong on others, is it wise to just listen/pass along the “right” things?

    I am not writing this in defense of Driscoll (I honestly hadn’t heard of him before now) but I am struggling with this concerning other teachers that are being promoted in my church.

    Upon closer examination it would seem there is some shaky theology in what is being promoted, yet when I voiced my questions/concerns I was told that he loves Jesus, this particular such-and-such isn’t unBiblical etc.

    I am trying not to throw the theological baby out with the bathwater, but I am having a very difficult time supporting this (well known and popular) teacher/preacher.

    This also has me questioning myself. “Am I being too picky?” “Am I not looking at the right sources?” etc.

    I suppose this all boils down to the question of, At what point must we (Christians) say “No” to a certain teacher/preacher?

    • Honestly Abby, I think the line is a hard one to draw. Basically, it’s a bit of a personal thing and you may not stomach some things that I would, or vice versa. I’d suggest that it boils down to whether or not the person clearly submits themselves to scripture, but even that is a judgment that is left to God and not to you (i.e. Romans 14). Go to a church that has biblically qualified leadership that shepherds and loves the sheep over which God has placed them. Go to a church where the congregation is marked by love for one another (not backstabbing and gossip). Go to a church where they do their best to read the Bible and do what it says.

      Ignore everyone else who doesn’t, and don’t let the internet whip you into a tizzy about some goofball 3 time-zones away.

      I ultimately don’t care about Mark Driscoll as he’s a pastor in another country, but I only engage his public offerings on these issues because so many people in my immediate circles DO listen to and emulate him.

      With questions of teaching in your church, I’d simply say the following:

      1, Anyone who claims that “so and so loves Jesus” is simply confused and lying. For example, you may THINK that I love Jesus, but you don’t really know me. You don’t see my life behind closed doors and you don’t see my heart. Nobody has ANY idea as to whether or not someone really loves Jesus, and just the last 30 years are FILLED with people who were surrounded by thousands of people who thought that their beloved pastor “loved Jesus” but was a total fraud for years (i.e. Jimmy Baker, Jimmy Swaggart, David Hocking, Ted Haggard, Earl Paulk, Clarence McClendon, Eddie Long, Frank Huston, Joe Barron, Jack Schaap, George Alan Rekers, Lonnie Latham, Douglas Goodman, Coy Privette, Michael Reid, etc.)

      The judge of my orthodoxy isn’t whether or not I “love Jesus” but rather whether I teach what’s in line with scripture.

      2. If there’s a question of teaching, ask for someone to explain it to you. Ask what the book/topic/whatever is about and why it’s being used in your church.

      Ask if you can read the material, and if you have concerns as if you can share them privately.

      When you share them, it’s really important to prepare what you’re going to say and pick 1 or 2 of the most important issues and then do your best to ask your questions clearly and concisely. Don’t do the shotgun approach with 39 questions, and make sure to have a biblical case for why you object to what’s being said (i.e. nothing annoys a pastor more than someone having a problem with something because it’s “worldly” or “unbiblical” or whatever,)

      Be clear. Have clear scripture to back up your concerns. Be concise. Don’t pick fights that you don’t have to.

      What you want to do is submit to your leadership (Hebrews 13:7, 13:17) and in an encounter like this, you want to punch through all the underbrush and point out, as clearly as you can, why something is contrary to (insert chapter and verse and implication/interpretation of passage).

      If you’re tender with your pastor, and patient (don’t expect change in a day or a week), and ask for follow up meetings to allow him to come back at you with clarifications/etc. You’ll find out if he understands the concerns, and whether or not he really is willing to submit to scripture. If he doesn’t, you don’t get mad at him or judge him (because his orthodoxy is about God, not you); but you do need to know.

      If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to find out where he sits on an issue (and why) with little to no bad blood coming up between you when you disagree, and if you can actually get your pastor to say something like “I agree with you that the Bible teaches that, but it wouldn’t be loving to do that” (something I have heard, verbatim…no joke), then you can kindly and quietly back out with no mess and go church shopping.

      A process like that, and arriving at a decision like that, should take a few months and four or more meetings though, and you should do your very best to seek to understand your pastor and the reasoning behind why he’s inviting in whatever speaker/material.

      Even if your pastor is a total heretic and unregenerate wretch, you still have binding commands on how you’re supposed to act towards him (and don’t get a “pass” because someone ELSE has bad doctrine/practice).

      A bad shepherd doesn’t excuse a disobedient sheep. Be as good a sheep as you can, and do your best to care for your shepherd; give him grace, patience, ample opportunity to explain himself, and don’t demand his time (he probably has dozens of people wanting to monopolize his time). Bring him food, and lavish love on him. That makes the sting of taking correction a little more bearable.

      • Thank you for this thoughtful and wise response. Alot to chew on and apply. Thank you for the reminder that I am still responsible for obedience as a sheep as well. There is so much going on at my church that has me concerned that we are stepping (or really, have already stepped away) from the Bible. I love this body of believers and I don’t want to see error creep in any more.

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  9. The conversation between Abby and you has me somewhat confused. What is the difference between following a pastor who is a heretic and unregenerate wretch and the “touch not the Lord’s anointed” that kept many of us Word of Faith followers in line? If a “pastor” is that bad, should he be faithfully supported while he continues to lead the unsuspecting astray?

    • I don’t want to speak on Lyndon’s behalf, but as for me, the advice is not to blindly follow the pastor, but to test him through Scripture. If what the pastor is teaching or introducing into the congregation is not Biblical to then lovingly confront the issue and try to understand where the Pastor is coming from. If then, the Pastor still does not change and continues to lead in an unBiblical manner to then remove from his congregation.

      The advice Lyndon provided, to me, ensured the proper way to handle this kind of situation, instead of just leaving a church at the drop of a hat.

      I do not believe Lyndon is trying to say that the Pastor is “untouchable”, but rather, to give the Pastor a chance to repent and change, if that happens to be the case. Pastors, or anyone in leadership, are not perfect- so we at least need to give them the chance at correction, if they are in error.

      That is just my .02 cents, I will gladly let Lyndon weigh in on the matter.

  10. I understand where you’re coming from, and have been communicating with Lyndon long enough that I was quite sure that blind allegiance was not what he was advocating. You’ve stated your position clearly enough; mine, however, is somewhat different. In our church, I function kind of like an elder, although we really don’t have the type of eldership prescribed by the Apostle Paul. I’m not convinced that simply leaving would be an option for me because of what I see as a responsibility to protect the congregation in whatever capacity I might be able. And how long would one even in a pseudo-elder position keep trying to correct issues behind closed doors before finally making those issues public, especially when it could be perceived that the whole of leadership is in agreement? The other thing that got me thinking was the description of heretical and unregenerate. Are we bound to treat such a one with pastoral respect simply because he holds a titled position? I haven’t had time to do any kind of real search on such commands. The only ones that come to mind seem to assume that the leader is trustworthy and serving the church from a pure heart.

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  13. Wow! So much biting sarcasm towards Mark Driscoll! So much hatred for so many denominations and churches! AND I am still waiting for a Bible verse to show where the gifts ended. And I have plenty to show that they didn’t! And I have modern-day testimonies to show how they operate today! Interested?

    • Am I interested?


      Good luck with that. I’m sure you’ll put me in my place with some zinger verses. I’m sure that you’ll provide some wonderful insights that haven’t been provided by any of the 100 or so charismatic scholars that I’ve read on the various issues.

      Nobody that I take serious is such a simpleton that they think there’s one clincher verse that shows that the gifts ceased…but I haven’t posted any sort of positive affirmation of cessationism so, well, you don’t have a clue what I think about this all.

      Feel free to pontificate none the less.

      I’m not a prophet, but if history is any teacher I predict you’ll try your best, miss what I’m saying, and then condemn me and leave.

      Let’s find out.

  14. It would be extremely rewarding if Mr. Black would lay out a biblical, exegetical argument here, and I say that with absolutely no snark implied. I would seriously love to hear the continuationist case laid out clearly and entirely from the scriptures so that a real, honest, and cordial discussion could take place – the kind from which all might benefit, and from which unbelievers who should happen to be following might respond with, “Say, these Christians do in fact love each other.”

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