15 August 2011

Pornographic Divination

by Phil Johnson

NOTE: (added 11 May 2012):
A rather persistent critic has questioned the accuracy of this blogpost's title, and he has been spamming multiple forums with his complaint—which is based on some artifically narrow definitions. The following definitions are from The Oxford English Dictionary:
  • porn o graph’ ic adj. pertaining to or of the nature of pornography; dealing in the obscene
  • por nog’ raph y n. The explicit description or exhibition of sexual subjects or activity in literature, painting, films, etc., in a manner intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic feelings; literature etc. containing this
  • div i na’ tion n. The action or practice of divining; an act of divining; insight into or discovery of the unknown or the future by supernatural or magical means; (an) augury, (a) prophecy.

n a post last week, I pointed out that the preposterous claims, unhinged behavior, and spiritual quackery that are so prominent at the charismatic movement's lunatic fringe are by no means limited to the outer edges. Goofiness and gullibility are necessary byproducts of a belief system that fails to take seriously the principle of sola Scriptura and its ramifications (i.e., the authority and sufficiency of Scripture). Here's a sample of the kind of thing I was referring to: The video below features Mark Driscoll, claiming the Holy Spirit regularly gives him graphic visions showing acts of rape, fornicators in flagrante delicto, and sexual child molesters in the very act. WARNING: This is an extremely disturbing video, for multiple reasons:

  • This is bad teaching. The biblical "Gift of discernment" has nothing to do with soothsaying and everything to do with maturity, clear understanding, the ability to make wise and careful distinctions, and (especially) skill in differentiating between holy and profane, clean and unclean, truth and falsehood (Ezekiel 44:23; Hebrews 5:14).
  • The counsel Driscoll gives is bad counsel. If by his own admission Driscoll's divinations are not "a hundred percent always right," he has no business accusing people of serious sins—including felony crimes—based on what he "sees" in his own imagination. Much less should he encourage his congregants to dream that they have such an ability and urge them to "use that gift."
  • The salacious details he recounts are totally unnecessary. They serve only to reinforce the concern some of us have raised: Why does Driscoll have such a fixation with obscene subject matter, ribald stories, and racy talk? The smutty particulars regarding a counselee's tryst in a cheap hotel are not merely unnecessary; "it is disgraceful even to speak of [such] things" (Ephesians 5:12).
  • For that same reason (among others), these yarns aren't even believable. The Holy Spirit's own eyes are too pure to behold evil, meaning He cannot look on wickedness with approval or aloofness (Habakkuk 1:13). So why would He display pornographic visions to Mark Driscoll, whose mind and mouth are already too lewd anyway?
  • This proves that cessationists' concerns are not far-fetched. Reformed charismatics frequently complain that it's unfair for cessationists not to expressly exempt them when we criticize the eccentricities of the wacko fringe mainstream of the larger charismatic movement. But Reformed charismatics themselves aren't careful to distance themselves from charismatic nuttiness. John Piper was openly intrigued with the Toronto Blessing when it was at its peak. (If he ever denounced it as a fraud, I never heard or read where he stated that fact publicly.) Wayne Grudem to this day endorses Jack Deere's Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, despite the way Deere lionizes Paul Cain. Sam Storms aligned himself with the Kansas City Prophets' cult for almost a decade. I can't imagine how anyone holding Grudem's view of modern prophecy could possibly repudiate what Driscoll insists he has experienced. Does anyone really expect a thoughtful analysis or critique of Driscoll's view of the "gift of discernment" (much less a collective repudiation of this kind of pornographic divination) from Reformed charismatics? I certainly don't.
  • Thus we see that the leaky-canon view leaves the church exposed—not only to the whimsy of hyperactive imaginations, but (as we see here) to the defiling influence of an impure mind as well:

"I see things"—Mark Driscoll
(click title to download .mp3 audio)

This excerpt is from a message titled "Christus Victor," dated 5 Feb 2008. (ht: Mark Lamprecht). Notes from that extended series of sermons have been published in pdf format here. (ht: Betty Taylor)

Some people actually see things. This may be gift of discernment. On occasion, I see things. I see things. Uh, like I was meeting with one person and they—they didn't know this, but they were abused when they were a child. And I said, "When you were a child you were abused. This person did this to you, physically touched you this way."

He said, "How do you know?"

I said, "I don't know. It's like I got a TV right here. I'm seeing it."

He said, "No that never happened."

I said, "Go ask him. Go ask him if they actually did what I think they did and I see that they did."

They went and asked this person, "When I was a little kid did you do this?"

And the person said, "Yyyyeah, but you were only like a year or two old. How do you remember that?"

He said, "Well, pastor Mark told me."

I'm not a guru. I'm not a freak. I don't talk about this. If I did talk about it everybody'd want to meet with me and I'd end up like one of those guys on TV. But some of you have this visual ability to see things.

Um, uh, there was one women I dealt with. She never told her husband that she had committed adultery on him early in the relationship. I said, "You know—" (she's sitting there with her husband). I said, "You know I think the root of all this—I think Satan has a foothold in your life because you've never told your husband about that really tall blonde guy that you met at the bar. And then you went back to the hotel. And you laid on your back. And you undressed yourself. And he climbed on top of you. And you had sex with him. And snuggled up with him for a while. And deep down in your heart, even though you had just met him, you desired him because secretly he is the fantasy body type." I said, "You remember that place it was that cheap hotel with that certain-colored bedspread. You did it—you had sex with the light on because you weren't ashamed and you wanted him to see you. And you wanted to see him."

She was just looking at me like—

I said,"You know, it was about ten years ago.

"I see everything."

She says—she looks at her husband. He says, "Is that true?"

She says, "Yeah."

"He was 6'2", blonde hair, blue eyes?"


Some of you when you're counseling you will see things. I mean you will, you will literally gift of discernment see things. I can't explain it. It doesn't happen all the time.

Sometimes your counselee, they will see things. Ye—eh—there's pa— I found this with people—ok, now let me—I'm gonna ask the demon questions. You tell me what they say."

"They don't say anything."

I say, "What do you hear?"

And they say, "Nothing." They say, "But I'm seeing stuff."

"Oh, oh, well tell me. What's that?"

"I'm seeing—you know when I was little my grandpa molested me. I didn't know that."

I said, "Well, let's not assume it's true. Go ask your grandfather."

Grandpa says, "Yyyeah, when you were little I molested you." Grandpa was assuming they'd be too young to remember. So he'd only molest grand kids up to a certain age. But they saw it.

It's the supernatural. It's, it's, it's the whole other realm. It's like the Matrix. You can take the blue pill, you take the red pill. You go into this whole other world. And, and, and that's the way it works.

So I say—tell me everything you hear, tell me everything you see. And sometimes I see things too. I see things too. I've seen women raped. I've seen children molested. I've seen people abused. I've seen people beaten. I've seen horrible things done. Horrible things done. I've seen children dedicated in occultic groups and demons come upon them as an infant by invitation. And I wasn't present for any of it, but I've seen it visibly.

Upon occasion when I get up to preach I'll see—just like a screen in front of me—I'll see somebody get raped or abused and then I'll track 'em down and say, "Look I had this vision. Let me tell you about it." All true. One I had—I was sitting in my office at the old, uh, Earl Building. This gal walks by. Nice gal, member of the church. This is when the church was small. And it's just like a TV was there and I saw the night before her husband threw her up against the wall, had her by the throat, was physically violent with her.

And she said, "That's it, I'm telling the pastors."

And he said, "If you do I'll kill you." He was a very physically abusive man.

She was walking by and I just saw it. It was like a TV. And I said, "Hey, come here for a second." I said, "Last night did your husband throw you up against the wall and have you by the throat, physically assault you and tell you if you told anyone he would kill you?"

And she just starts bawling. She says, "How did you know?"

I said, "Jesus told me."

I call the guy on the phone: "Hey, I need you to come to the office." Didn't give him any clue.

He comes in and I said, "Dude, what'd you do to your wife last night? Why'd you do this? Why'd you throw her up against the wall?"

And he gets very angry. They're sitting on the couch and he says, "Why did you tell him?"

I said, "She didn't. Jesus did. Jesus did."

. . . And there are some people that have real gift of discernment, and I'm not saying I'm a hundred percent always right with it, but some of you are going to have gift of discernment, and you need to—you need to learn to grow in the use of that gift. And sometimes people will hear things. Sometimes people will see things.

Phil's signature


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Beyond Zaphon said...

I have never been a big fan of Driscol. There is more to Christianity than the Doctrines of Grace.(which are critical) Looking forward to you speaking at my church's men's retreat this fall regarding discernment. Whatever he was talking about, it was certainly not discernment.

Call to Die said...

Take 2:

It's surprising to me that so many of the Reformed Charismatics are such ardent defenders of biblical complimentarianism. Because it seems that the continuationist position is a product of the hyper-egalitarian spirit of the age (in the sense that, since the prophets and apostles were able to experience revelation in this way, it would be unfair or make us second-class if we could not receive the sign gifts as well: which seems to speak against the complementarian understanding of giftedness within the body).

Call to Die said...

Take 3:

[On a lighter note:]

Re, Driscoll: "I don't talk about this."

-Maybe he thought the people sitting in front of him were part of some kind of vision.

Unknown said...

Wow, that took a long time to read through all of the comments.

It is amazing how loudly the defenders of Pastor Mark make Phil's point. It is incredibly sad that someone can preach so giftedly(?) on propitiation and then the next week punch holes in its credibility by going all extra-biblical.

Unfortunately, the stories he tells do not disturb me that much. That is not a defense; it is a lament.

Hazakim1 said...

The reliance upon such "visions" is presumptuous at best - damnable at worst. I must say however that many of the contentions of this article are also presumptuous. I don't know anything about Driscoll (though this vid tells me enough) but the arguement that anything considered "lewd" cannot come from God is not based on Scripture. What do you do with Ezekiel 23???? Cut it out or "reformize" by hyperallegorizing it to the point that it no longer means what it means? Let's be consistent. - Tony

Coram Deo said...

Driscoll isn't above reproach, and therefore he should step down from the pulpit, or be removed.

I'm sure there are ways he can continue to serve in the church, but he's disqualified himself from the office of a teaching elder/pastor repeatedly.

It's way past time to go, Mark.

In Christ,

Sir Brass said...

CD, the question needs to be asked if his church an even function without him there as pastor.

Anonymous said...

While I am considering whether or not Driscoll really Sees Things!, there is precedent for this kind of "stuff" in the Bible. The most prominent, and pertinent example I can think of is Ezekiel's vision in chapter 8. He "Sees Things," he sees gross immorality of the sort that Driscoll describes in his video.

Anyway, I don't take Ezekiel's experiences to be normative ones; but then again, neither does Driscoll, according to his video. I am still considering Driscoll's claims; thanks for pointing this out, Phil. I generally, do not agree with Driscoll theologically; and this maybe just another point that I disagree with him on. But I need to really consider this.

FX Turk said...



Anonymous said...


Couldn't that question be asked about a particular church in Sun Valley, CA as well? Or how about any and most American Evangelical churches with high profile pastors; hasn't the personality cult taken over?

FX Turk said...

Oh man -- what a day to be swamped at work. What a great thread! It stands as its own monument to what Phil was talking about, to DJP's extraordinary moderation and wit in brevity, and to the deafening silence of those who are in MD's "camp" or "tribe".

And 209 comments on the first day! I can't wait to see what Tuesday brings here -- but darn it! I am again out of pocket!!

donsands said...


Martin was good, but Lancaster was exceptional, I thought.

Thanks for sharing.

Rachael Starke said...

And Jerry Wragg -

That Grudem story sounds like the making of the perfect joke - "So this cessationist runs into this continuationist at a coffee shop...."

FX Turk said...


Oh you sly dog -- so because John MacArthur has been faithful for 40 years and has a church that can't possibly find enough parking at the one location they have, it's a fair criticism to say he's like the man on the satellite dish who drives remote locations via video?

I love that. MD is just like MacArthur. I think I did see on YouTube, so it must be a prophecy.

Family Blogs said...

I've tried my best to read most of the 215 comments (so far) here, but if I'm just repeating someone else's point then please ignore me.

Where does the concept of cover begin and end? Men whom I admire and respect, whose ministry has been hugely informative to my own, and who exposition of Scripture has influenced a generation and beyond may also lend validity to the Reformed Charismatic movement. I love what God has done through John MacArthur, but does his presence at Together for the Gospel alongside prominent Reformed Charismatics mean he is providing cover for them too?

Its an honest question, and one that troubles me. I've never been able to fully square what I read in Charismatic Chaos 17 years ago with what has happened in the past five years in terms of alignment of individuals whose theology seems to be at odds with one another.

Rachael Starke said...

@DJP - All I was trying to do was offer up a dramatic story from my own personal experience as irrefutable proof of my point.

Here - I'll add more drama (and more shame to myself). The dream was of the two people in question talking in a way that showed they were committing adultery with one another.

Now is my story authoritative?

(Important caveat - the dream was decidedly not graphic, thank God. But on reflection, maybe that should have been my sign I was wrong??)

Anonymous said...

@Frank the Turk,

What ;-) me a sly dog . . . you jest. hehe

I didn't say Mac and MD are on the same page; instead, my point was that personality cults aren't limited to the Pacific Northwest. They are rampant throughout American Evangelicalism; you aren't suggesting that MacArthur doesn't have a cultic like following are you? I am not suggesting that that is MacArthur's (or any of these guys') fault, per se; just that this is probably the reality for many Evangelical churches with high profile pastors. This is more of an indictment on the people than the pastor (in most cases). And more innocently, it is simply a matter of sociological reality (although I've never done any studies on that, but that seems to be a reasonable observation).

Anyway, carry on my good man :-)!

Brandi said...

How is this "discernment?" Isn't Driscoll confusing categories, here?

Sir Brass said...

"Couldn't that question be asked about a particular church in Sun Valley, CA as well? Or how about any and most American Evangelical churches with high profile pastors; hasn't the personality cult taken over?"

Considering that (correct me I'm wrong on my facts here, y'all) JM was called to the church and wasn't the founding personality, I'd say the two are in two different categories.

Now, just because some folks turn John MacArthur into a personality cult icon doesn't mean that that is what his ministry and what the church he pastors is founded upon.

Now, honest non-rhetorical question: Can the same be said for Mark Driscoll's church?

My question previous was an honest one.

Sharon said...

@Sir Brass, Yes, that is correct. GCC was founded in 1956, and two pastors later, in 1969 John was called to serve as senior pastor.

100 Mile Pants said...

Jerry Wragg - That is the funniest thing I have read in ages! Total laugh-out-loud funny!

100 Mile Pants said...


I went to my first shepherds' conference this March and the one that impressed me most about everything I saw there was the realisation that if the Lord took Johnny Mac tomorrow, the church there would continue exactly as before. Sure, people around the world who listen to him would no longer have him to listen to, but though it would be a loss to the universal church, that local church will do just fine.
Prior to going I'd have thought exactly the same as you.

John said...

Can MD now ever criticize a PoMo guy who is driven by his feelings or experience?

Anonymous said...

How tragic and frightening! One can only be heartbroken over how many people will be hurt by this type of spiritual abuse. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

MCC said...

So a Christian claims visual revelation... which is perfectly Biblical... even promised (Acts 2:17) and you use it as a basis to slander your brother.

A Christian claims the Spirit ministers to convict of sin as in John 16:8ff, and you use it to slander your brother.

A Christian claims prophetic knowledge of sexual sin, and though our own Lord did the same (John 4), you slander your brother for it.

A Christian claims visions with significant detail, including sexual acts--which of course the Holy Spirit could never bring--despite inspiring Gen. 19 for example. And you slander your brother for it.

A Christian admits occasional errors in prophetic ministry, which is just what 1 Thes 5:19-20 and 1 Cor. 14:29 indicates, but rather than believe the Bible you slander your brother for it.

A Christian demonstrates remarkable accuracy in details of prophetic vision, and rather than believe the Bible, and in particular the Lord Jesus (John 14:12), you slander your brother in suggesting the demonic or trickery.

I can read my Bible and see Who is behind conviction of sin and prophetic ministry. I can also read my Bible and see who is behind slandering one's brother.

Unknown said...

Wow. If only everyone on this board would spend the time writing comments on witnessing to unbelievers about Jesus.

Mike Riccardi said...

Wow indeed. Frank, any way to bring "clowning" to Blogger? These last two comments make me long for the sad face and rainbow hair.

jozzyboy116 said...


"Goofiness and GULLIBILITY are necessary byproducts of a belief system that fails to take seriously the principle of sola Scriptura and its ramifications (i.e., the authority and sufficiency of Scripture)."

A christian can "claim" anything.

"A Christian demonstrates remarkable accuracy in details of prophetic vision,..."

Just like psychics can...right?

Being an ex AoG pentocostal for 20 years of my 23 year old life, whos been to countless sunday night services featuring countless "prophets" who say, "The LORD is showing me a pregnant woman... is anyone pregnant?? mid to late 20s?.. you? yes, it is you! come down here. GOD'S got a word for you!"

And goes on to say that the childs gonna be a prophet or pastor or whatever. The Mom starts weeping because of course who wouldnt want to hear that their child is gonna do things for God. People hear the accuracy because they are GULLIBLE!!! And if you're not then you are limiting the spirit or grieving Him. It creates a culture of fear...group thought.

In fact, I am glad that the Lakeland revival happened when it did because God used it to show me the whole "cover The Movement" thing. I brought up my concerns to my old pastor and he told me to not criticize "God's anointed". Anyone could see through that charade yet I was stifled. why? As I keep telling my mom (who refuses to get out of the movement), "If it really is true, that you can have a second infilling of the H.S. and be more surrendered to Him causing a greater spirituality, then why are the LEAST discerning Christians, those in the Pento/Charis movement??? Logically, more H.S. leads to more discernment. But, that is not what happens.

Wow, I'm rambling.

MAIN POINT: To be charismatic, is to be, by nature, gullible. And MCC proved it.

Anyways thanks to Johnny Mac for writing "Charismatic Chaos". Tell him personally would ya, Phil? :)

Aaron said...

These anonymous people always show up to claim that so and so has been slandered because he has "demonstrated remarkeable accuracy." Driscoll hasn't demonstrated anything exccept that he can tell a great story.

In the transcript as presented here there is zero mention of repentance, restitution, restoration, or a presentation of the gospel to unbelievers (such as Grandpa). Furthermore, I could not think of a worse approach to counseling than to blurt out that one spouse cheated on another. Nor would I advise a victim of molestation to simply confront their abuser in such a casual manner.

In short, Driscoll's visions are unbiblical and the manner in which he counsels people is not only unbiblical but downright dangerous.

FX Turk said...

SIng it with me Tweeps:


Anonymous said...

@Sir Brass,

I don't really see how one being the founder and the other not, would change the principle of my point (which is tangential, pretty much to this post, but not yours); or make my point a category mistake.

But I was being serious myself. As far as your question about Driscoll's church; I don't think his church would fold with him not there. He has a whole network of churches, right (Acts 29)?, that are in place if Driscoll for some reason was no longer present. It would certainly change the shape and dynamic of his particular church in Seattle, but I honestly don't think it would just go away. Same for Grace Community; I don't believe GCC will go away until Jesus comes back, but w/o Mac there it will definitely change the shape and dynamic of the church there. I think with both churches, there are people therein who are only there because Driscoll and/or MacArthur are present, respectively; and at the same time, I am sure that there is a core group of people (may be very large) who would stay at these churches no matter what.


See my response to Sir Brass. I don't think, honestly, that GCC would "fold" w/o Mac; but I do think that he has a personality cult following (this blog helps to illustrate that). Also, see my response to Frank Turk.


**As far as what I think about Driscoll and this clip; I think he is out of line, and that even if Driscoll did receive visions from the Lord (which I doubt, but I'm not willing to be dogmatic on that -- to clarify, I'm not penecostal or charismatic in the Azusa St./3rd wave sense anyway); as Paul says: 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. I Cor 14.32, so Driscoll should keep his mouth shut. But I think Sir Aaron has a good point on Driscoll. I think if the Lord gave Driscoll these visions, then the Lord would have also given Driscoll the wisdom to handle these things in a better way; I wonder what the husband did to the wife after Driscoll told him that Jesus told him about what he had done to his wife? Anyway, I think Driscoll, in Christian love, is out to lunch on multiple doctrinal fronts!

David Rudd said...

Clearly Matt Chandler and Mark Driscoll are regarded differently, and rightly so...

Why, though, is Chandler never grouped with the "leaky canon" apologizers?

Caleb Senneker said...

I want to lay one main point before I start: can Cessationists and Continuatists both be devoted believers? I would say yes. I see nothing in scripture that makes the two positions exclusive.

It grieves me to see the hostility some of the commenters have towards others. Please remember that we are brothers and sisters with a common Lord. (Eph 4:29, Eph 4:32)

I will lay out two scenarios that I would like you to all consider:

1. (Best case scenario) Mark Driscoll is sincere in what he said, he is actually receiving visions from God, and he is telling the truth. In this case he seems to be following biblical guidelines for "testing the spirits": when he sees or hears "things" he asks the people in question whether it is true; if his counsellees see things he tells them "Don't assume it's true, double check first." In all of these cases a confrontation with a person of specific sins led to repentance in Christ. As far as the lewdness and graphic nature of these visions, I believe that a person would more readily admit to an accusation of adultery with very specific details that no earthly person should know than a vague accusation of adultery. As far as the origin of his visions, why would Satan give visions of things that lead people to repent and turn to Christ? (Matt 12:26)By the way, nothing in the transcript or video infers that Driscoll's visions were less than 100% accurate, except perhaps for his prefix "I think" which is quite vague and inconclusive.

2. Mark Driscoll is looking for power and influence over his congregation and is using "I see everything" as a motivator for people to follow him. He is using lewdness as an attention grabber. He will only continue to become more charismaniac. But there is light in this scenario: pick any of Driscoll's Sunday sermons, listen to the whole thing and ask yourself if the true gospel of Jesus Christ and his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead was clearly proclaimed. I have heard several of his sermons and have yet to hear one of his Sunday messages where the gospel was not clearly proclaimed. So maybe he is a little off-base on his other doctrines, but I must reiterate what Paul has said,
"15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice." (Phil 1:15-18)

So perhaps both are wrong, perhaps Driscoll is sincere, perhaps he is power-hungry, but let us rejoice that Christ is preached. I know when I get to Heaven I shall have to apologize for many wrong doctrines and views I have held on earth. Let us consider carefully what he has said, let us give him the benefit of the doubt,let us not judge him only on this short excerpt of his sermon, and let us pray seriously over every matter of doctrine, that we may not be judged as "quick to quarrel" or one who "sows discord among brothers". (Prov 20:3, Prov 6:19)

Let me leave you all with this passage: Philippians 1:9-11

Until that day when we shall no longer see through a glass darkly,

Aaron said...


Driscoll doesn't tell us whether these revelations led to repentance or faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, we are startling short on details on what the end results were. For all we know, the admission of adulterly led to divorce and the revelation of molestation led to nothing.

Secondly, yes, a person might be more likely to confess to something if you catch them red handed. But the purpose of counseling isn't to force a confession. The purpose is to get a person to realize their sinfulness, confess their sins to God, and then move towards restitution and restoration. If a person will only admit to sin because you have all the intimate details (as if you need to see the play by play in order to have enough details) then you don't have repentance.

Driscol's counseling practices are as bad as his charismatic chaos type theology.

Jeri Tanner said...

Wow. The nail in the coffin.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

You know, let’s put Mark Driscoll aside for a moment, because we all get our defenses up when his name is mentioned, but this way of thinking and preaching is really scary stuff, and is taking hold in many churches that Mark has noting to do with.

We need to be vigilant on this topic. Not just when the insane videos and transcripts are offered up as tokens of proof of his lunacy. This movement is everywhere lately, and is not necessarily marked by any particular ostentatious, flashy guru, although they will more than likely get their fifteen minutes of fame, sooner or later.

And that is what makes this movement so insidious. A movement without a high profile name is more likely to take root because it does not come under rapid fire as readily as say Mark’s does. So it has the ability to spread like cancer faster than we can put pen to paper and rebukes to blog space.

There are so many little pockets throughout the entire world, nooks and crannies, where satan works inconspicuously, and goes quietly about his chief work of total destruction. So the clarion call is to take action and speak from the rooftops, if need be, because this theology is downright evil.

Remember, there are millions of people who have never even heard the name Mark Driscoll, and so many more people, who in spite of this fact, still fall victim to the chief artifices of satan. If we are just looking for the high profilers, we may be missing the little, insignificant prophets, who do irreparable damage in obscure anononimity. These guys are just as deadly. They, too, need to be ferreted out and put to an open shame and strong rebuke.

"And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, HERE is the Christ'; or, 'Behold, He is THERE'; do not believe him; for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect (Matt 13:21-22).”

trogdor said...

I don't know whether or not I have a "gift of discernment", but I do have a nose. And my nose believes you could fertilize the state of Iowa with this story.

Coram Deo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coram Deo said...

I'm "seeing" a Sixth Sense tie in here:

Mark Driscoll: Wanna play a game? It's a mind-reading game. Here's how it works. I read your mind. If what I say is right, you take one step towards the chair. If what I say is wrong, you take one step back... towards the doorway. If you reach the chair, you sit down. If you reach the door, you can go. Wanna play?
[Cole nods]
Mark Driscoll: O.K... When your mother and father were first divorced, your mom went to see a preacher like me, and he didn't help her. So you think I'm not going to be able to help you.
[Cole takes a step forward]
Mark Driscoll: You're worried that she said she told him things - things she couldn't tell anyone else... Secrets.
[Cole takes another step forward]
Mark Driscoll: You have a secret, but you don't want to tell me.
[Cole takes another step forward]
Mark Driscoll: [looking at Cole's watch] Your dad gave you that watch as a present just before he went away.
[Cole takes a step back]
Cole Sear: He forgot it in a drawer. Doesn't work.
Mark Driscoll: You keep pretty quiet in school, but... you're a good student, you've never really been in any serious trouble.
[Cole takes another step back]
Cole Sear: We were supposed to draw a picture. Anything we wanted. I drew a man. He got hurt in the neck by another man with a screwdriver.
Mark Driscoll: You saw that on TV, Cole?
[Cole steps back again]
Cole Sear: Everyone got upset. They had a meeting. Mom started crying. I don't draw like that anymore.
Mark Driscoll: How do you draw now?
Cole Sear: I draw... people smiling, dogs running, rainbows. They don't have meetings about rainbows.
Mark Driscoll: No. I guess they don't.
Cole Sear: What am I thinking now?
Mark Driscoll: I don't know what you're thinking now.
[Cole takes his last step back towards the door]
Cole Sear: I was thinking... you're nice, and hip, and cool, and relevant, and I really like your Mickey Mouse t-shirt, but you can't help me.
[walks away]

Fast forward...

Cole Sear: I see dead people.
Mark Driscoll: In your dreams?
[Cole shakes his head no]
Mark Driscoll: While you're awake?
[Cole nods]
Mark Driscoll: Dead people like, in graves? In coffins?
Cole Sear: Walking around like regular people. They go to church. They preach sermons. They think they're born-again. They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're spiritually dead.
Mark Driscoll: How often do you see them?
Cole Sear: All the time. They're everywhere.

And cut! That's a wrap, folks!


WORD VERIFICATION: "fatorc" (I kid you not!)

donsands said...

"They don't know they're spiritually dead."-CD

It's amazing when you think a dead sinner like me, who mocked Christ, and loved sin, and whose heart was as hard as granite, was shown mercy by a God, whose righteous holy wrath should have been my deserved reward.

"Why should I gain from His reward,
I can not give an answer,
But this I know with all my heart,
His wounds have paid my ransome."


FX Turk said...

OK, after my few short sharp shocks thru yesterday's thread, I have 15 minutes this morning to tidy up.

growrag said this:
you aren't suggesting that MacArthur doesn't have a cultic like following are you?

I am suggesting that, in the very least, Dr. MacArthur's followers have a well-known reputation for even internal disputation, and that no stone goes unturned in TMS/TMC circles -- whereas it's common to find that all criticism of MD is rounded up under the rubrick "divisive/worldly/unkind". If you follow the THS/TMC crowd at all, the last thing you can say about them is that they are slavish followers. They are more like Bereans from Missouri.

This is more of an indictment on the people than the pastor (in most cases).

It's a good thing you said "in most cases". I am not talking about "in most cases," but in two particular cases. I think you should spend 4 sundays at GCC and then 4 sundays at any branch of Mars Hill and then ask yourself: which fellow is using his personality to build his organization.

And to Young Caleb who is worried we are tearing the church apart:

Young man, if it is actually tearing down to get serious about spiritual quackery and self-aggrandizing boasts about supernatural gift, then let me be the bunker-buster bomb. Let me be the blog tsunami. Let me be the cat-5 hurricane. There is nothing necessary to the Gospel to the claims in the video Phil is showing here, but there is much which detracts from it and will deceive others in it.

It's ugly in a way that pastors should never be ugly -- and if you class calling that out as "divisive", please re-read Titus 1 & 2 before going forward.

Robert said...

For all of those who refer to MD's good teachings, I'd like to offer up the example of Harold Camping. I have seen many comments from people who said his teaching was pretty solid early in his ministry. I wonder if y'all are ready to defend him as well...

FX Turk said...



greglong said...

Caleb says:

By the way, nothing in the transcript or video infers that Driscoll's visions were less than 100% accurate, except perhaps for his prefix "I think" which is quite vague and inconclusive.

Go back and read the transcript again, Caleb. Mark Driscoll said:

...I'm not saying I'm a hundred percent always right with it...

Robert Warren said...

Jeff: If only everyone on this board would spend the time writing comments on witnessing to unbelievers about Jesus.

!!! Missed Irony Alert !!!

Robert said...

I also wonder if any of the people defending MD ever thought about how Paul said that there are some things that people do that we shouldn't even mention...and wouldn't these details about the woman doing what she did and the position of her and the guy fall into this type of category.

"Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret." Ephesians 5:11-12

wv: pitie

Brad Williams said...

I'm so late to the party, but I 'feel' compelled to go on record as a pastor.

The idea that a couple could come to a pastor for marriage counsel and him say, "Now, occasionally I'm wrong, but right now I'm seeing a vision from the Holy Spirit of your wife in a certain sexual position with another guy.." makes me physically nauseous.

The insanity of insisting, confessing even, that you are "sometimes wrong", and then having the audacity to tell someone that their grandpa molested them when they were too young to remember is so appalling I cannot believe that anyone would entertain the idea of defending that type of lunacy.

Think of it this way: If someday, in your old age, one of your beloved grandchildren came to you and asked you if you molested them when they were too young to remember, and then they said that their pastor said he saw it in a vision...are you seriously trying to tell me you'd just shrug, pat them on the head and say, "Oh child, he probably just got his message confused. Tell him I said to keep preaching the gospel and don't worry about the occasional false prophecy."

More likely scenario:

Old Man Beats Up Pastor With His Walking Stick

If anyone complained, you could just say that God told you to do it.

DJP said...

Thank you, Brad. Exactly right, undeniably right.

May I tag-team one more on yours?

Add to everything you said that the speaker in question then turns to 1900 years of his Christian betters and tells them they're worldly, materialists, and next-door neighbors to atheists and deists, if they don't believe and practice the same thing.


Coram Deo said...

Jerry Wragg,

Thanks for your outstanding comments in this meta, and for the fantastic resource you provided from TMS.

It's re-post worthy material.

In Christ,

Rhology said...

Go do some like ministry.

Call to Die said...

... like MINISTRY!

FX Turk said...



Thank you -g'night!

Solameanie said...

Phil: "(See John MacArthur's articles on "The Rape of Solomon's Song" for an answer to the argument I think you are groping for here.)"

Whether that was an intentional choice of words or not, it's appropriate. I hope it doesn't bode ill for another round of fun and games with TSA. ;)

Nash Equilibrium said...

Where are the Elders at Mars Hill? Why don't they do something about this guy?

ARE THERE Elders at Mars Hill?

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

So, will this blog post also be posted on The Gospel Coalition's website? Where is Justin Taylor and Kevin DeYoung at a time such as now?

Eric said...


Must every insightful blog post be cross posted? Is TGC somehow morally, ethically, institutionally, Biblically or otherwise compelled to also blog about this topic at this time? I suspect that Kevin DeYoung and Justin Taylor are continuing to minister as they always do "at such a time as now". Are you suggesting that they are somehow derelict because they have not blogged on this topic simultaneously with Phil?

DJP said...

LOL, I'll have to appeal that last to Frank.

It may be our first "Like Ministry" bank-shot.

Robert said...

Well, seeing as Driscoll is part of TGC I'd actually expect a response to this. Either own it or rebuke it. I have to say that I respect many of the people in TGC and read a lot of stuff over there, but I also recognize that they chose to have him partner up in their group.

Dave said...

Thank you. If this from 3+ years ago, why wasn't this made known earlier? Has Driscoll been confronted about this? If so, what was his response?

royalpriest said...

Thanks for posting this, sad and troubling though it is. For more on MD related issues/disturbances please take the time to check driscollcontroversy.com

Mr. Hernandez said...

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV (13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Josh Morrison said...

To everyone that is defending Driscoll's visions, how do you defend the ones he gets wrong? He freely admits that he isn't 100% right with these visions. What happens those times he isn't accurate? What happens those times he is only 95% accurate? Is he messing up the 5% or is the Holy Spirit suddenly capable of errors? Since we all know that the Holy Spirit would never lead anyone into error, isn't it safe to assume that Driscoll is the one getting these things wrong? If his visions are wrong part of the time, how can anyone take the rest of his visions as true? I will say that anyone claiming to speak directly for God, whether through dreams, visions, or audible messages, and this person gets the tiniest detail wrong, we can completely write them off as a liar. Nowhere in scripture do we see a true prophet of God getting any prophecy less than 100% right.

Unknown Poster said...
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Unknown Poster said...
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MCC said...

Add to everything you said that the speaker in question then turns to 1900 years of his Christian betters and tells them they're worldly, materialists, and next-door neighbors to atheists and deists, if they don't believe and practice the same thing.

Yep, that's what this is about.

jennifer said...

So all these accounts come from MD about things he's "seen". My question is - is there anywhere even ONE person who is willing to come forward and verify they were one of the people Mark spoke about?

Dakota said...

Just to clear some things up, I wasn't paid to say anthing. I believe Mark Driscol is a false prophet, so don't accuse me of defending him.

I fear that many of you are doing the spiritual equivalent of denouncing politics as a whole simply because many politicians are corrupt. Some men overemphasize the gifts of the Spirit, and you thus forsake them entirely. Doesn't that sound unreasonable?

Don't give me links to your pastors sermons or refer me to extrabiblical literature. If you have to refer to something other than the Bible to prove me wrong then perhaps it's time you reevaluate your beliefs.

In Christ,

Mark 7:7

Alex said...

Gotta agree on this one. Well presented argument against Driscoll's recent "Gift". I had the Gift of Pornographic Hallucination once...turns out it was sin that I needed to be confess and repent of. Not buyin' what Driscoll is selling. He's like Psychic Friends Hotline...if you guess enough times and with enough vaguery, you're going to be "right" once in awhile.

FX Turk said...

If anyone asks, I deleted AnonYMousse's posts, and I closed the thread. The useful comments have been made. No sense collecting the absurd ones here as well.

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