Do you know how I expected to spend my weekend? Moving furniture around my house and watching WAY too much Doctor Who. That's all I wanted -- maybe a nice visit with our prospective new Family pastor at church, a decent morning of worship on Sunday, and a couple of walks with my dog.
Instead, due entirely to my own fault, I am writing blog posts.
What I am actually trying to do is to show some solidarity and good will to a long-time friend of this blog, Janet Mefferd. Janet is a radio host out of Dallas, and has been a fan of fellow Pyro Dan Phillips, for years. Up until Friday, Janet was a well-respected broadcast personality -- but then she had the audacity to be less than submissive toward Mark Driscoll on her radio show. We can all guess how that went.
Anyway, I intended to do one blog post about that interview, but that turned into quite a ride -- and may have been unreadable in one sitting. You can imagine how long it was to say that here. So here's the agenda for today:
YESTERDAY, I gave credit where credit is due to Steve Cha, who provided the raw video which is featured below in today's post.
THIS POST TODAY is about that video vis a vis the other account floating around the internet, which happens to be Pastor Mark's account.
THE NEXT POST will be about Janet's interview with Mark because she has received a good deal of flack for it -- and most of that criticism is, frankly, worthy of the dung heap. More on that next time.
As always with Pastor Mark, it's a gripping tale in which he is the hero:
Quite an account, yes? You would think that there was nearly a street fight the way he tells it. The reason he has to say anything about it, of course, is because this is how he summarized it on Twitter:
Right? I mean: the story we find ourselves in here started with Driscoll's tweet on 18 October that GCC security took his books, and it's paired with a photo of a fellow who, frankly, looks like security. To that end, I'm sure it's right of Mark to let everybody know that, in spite of rough treatment, he's OK -- in fact, in spite of rough treatment, he's actually coming back with a kind and brotherly spirit.
Which is a great story -- if any of it is true.
If only we had a way to check the story. If only we had ... Steve Cha's video.
Now, a few caveats:
 Yes: Steve's video is only 4 minutes, and Driscoll was on the campus about 30-45 minutes, so this is at-best a 10% sample of the whole visit.
 Yes, some of the audio isn't great.
But I think these 4 minutes of video do tell us something. Let's watch:
Oh wait -- no, that's a frame from this video with three guys not Tom Hatter called out for reference. This one is from Driscoll's Instagram:
These photos are snapped within moments of each other, and plainly: this segment of the video shows there's no confiscation going on. So the Tweet wasn't quite a historical account. Wouldn't it be great if Driscoll actually said, "I was wrong to say the books were confiscated. I apologize as I made it sound like your people were out to get me. Please forgive me?" I think it would.
But let's ask ourselves: how about the blog post? Is the blog post any better than the tweet?
Well, of the 30-45 minutes he was there, we can admit that most of it is missing. Most was not recorded. But let's be fair to all parties: the sort of confusion and tense situations Driscoll describes also seems absent.
It could be that the fix was in, and Steve Cha was only recording nice stuff. It could have been a set-up by the GCC staff, right? See: that makes sense if somehow they invited Driscoll or intended for him to be there. But somehow, since Driscoll's tweet is transparently false based on the video evidence, how much stock should we put in his blog post? "the Next level"? What is this - an off-broadway production of Roadhouse?
My only purpose in rehearsing this clown show is this: the experience at GCC was for publicity only, and of course Mark played it for the cheap seats. The phony tweet, the obsequious blog post, the phony invitation to his conference -- all of it entry-level stunts.
After all these, he appears on the Janet Mefferd Show. As he says, he does Janet a favor.
And that's the subject of the next blog post.