Mark Driscoll and 1st Timothy 5:19-20


1st Timothy 5:19-20Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

For all those Driscollites who will come here from various search engines and come across posts like this or like this or like this, and who will be tempted to spew out the tired old, “Well, has anyone gone to Mark personally about this?”–DON’T. That subject has been addressed ad nauseum here. Phil Johnson (an elder at Grace Community Church, under the direction of John MacArthur) has indeed communicated with Driscoll personally and got nowhere. As have several others.

But here’s the problem with the tired old, “Well, has anyone gone to Mark personally about this?” argument. Because Driscoll is an elder at his goat ranch church, we can see from the above-referenced Scripture, an elder who continues to sin is to be rebuked OPENLY–that is, in the sight of the whole church. And don’t try to say that his language isn’t sinful. If it causes a brother or sister to stumble, then it is an offense. If not, then why are there so many admonitions and warnings about what comes out of our mouths? That said, many have addressed Driscoll’s language, and he has still not changed. Therefore, we are called to rebuke him publicly, in the sight of the whole church.

I hope this lays to rest the debate about whether we should be openly rebuking a man whose language would need a step ladder to reach up to the gutter.

10 thoughts on “Mark Driscoll and 1st Timothy 5:19-20

  1. Amen.

    Ken Sande’s book, “The Peacemaker” does a good job reviewing the Biblical instructions for reconciling. He points out that ignoring conflict is NOT a Biblical position, noting that many people think it’s right to “turn the other cheek” – taking that phrase – as well – out of context.

    When I critiqued Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven” books years ago, an elder of my church (a friend of Warren) asked me if I had gone to Warren personally before writing up critiques of his books. He did not recognize that public statements can be rightly critiqued publicly; he later demonstrated his fear of man taking priority over Scripture when – after a fellow elder had to be removed for a Gov Sanford offense – he basically swept the affair (pun intended) aside rather than follow Matthew 18, 1 Timothy 5, 1 Corinthians 5, etc.

    This shallow, non-comprehension of Scripture by “elders” is an all-to-common situation, but one that should not be tolerated. I rejoice in belonging to a church with elders who are – as best we can know – qualified for the office!


  2. Hey, not cool. I go to Mars Hill. Don’t call it a Goat Ranch. That is extremely disrespectful. You don’t know me, your beef is with Driscoll not with the other people who go to MH to worship Jesus. MH is not about Driscoll, it’s about Jesus, so just because you have issues with Driscoll doesn’t mean you get to take cheap shots at the church. I take offence at that comment. Here’s a tip, if you want to show people that Driscoll is sinning, the way to do that is not by sinning yourself, but to show the Truth of Christ thru humbly showing his faults and calling him to repentance.


  3. by the way –
    john mac has received a response from driscoll
    and I understand they are working at things

    good news


  4. trudat,

    I’m sure there may very well be some sheep among those that go to listen to Driscoll. However, since a pastor is representative of his congregation, and a man cannot remain a pastor without people to follow him, it makes me wonder what kind of people support a man who speaks in such a vile and vulgar manner, and how many of those people that show up to hear him speak are there to hear the truth, and how many are there to have their ears tickled.

    The axiom we use here contains not a little truth–“What you win them with is what you win them to.” If someone were to approach Driscoll and told him they were having a problem with lust, I dare say he would probably not think much of it. I don’t say that out of spite, or a grudge. I say that based on an exchange he had with a congregant, quoted by Driscoll himself in one of his books (You can read the entire exchange here):

    [The congregant] said, “Tonight I watched a porno and I mastur*****.”

    “Is the porno over?” I asked.

    “Yes,” he said.

    “Was it a good porno?” I asked.

    He did not reply.

    “Well, you’ve already watched the whole porno and [mastur*****], so what am I supposed to do?” I asked.

    “I don’t know,” he said. “You are my pastor, so I thought that maybe you could pray for me.”

    To be honest, I did not want to pray, so I just said the first thing that came to mind. “Jesus, thank you for not killing him for being a pervert. Amen,” I prayed.

    The proper response, biblically, is in 1st Timothy 2:24-25–“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient…” From what Driscoll said about that exchange, he does not seem to think he did anything wrong. I shudder to think that this is representative of the kind of counseling people get there.


  5. Mark Driscoll Defense Tip #37:

    When someone writes something critical about Mark, his books, his sermons, or his church, pull out the “offense” card.

    Of course, be careful when using this one because you may be asked why you take offense at that and not anything that Driscoll says. And let’s be honest, that is a very good question.


  6. Defense Tip #14:

    When you don’t like the truth, pull out your two favorite verses: “Touch not the Lord’s anointed” and “Judge not so you won’t be judged”

    Don’t worry that neither verse actually applies to the context of this situation!


  7. Brett,

    We can only say that Mark Driscoll professes Christ, the same as any else who professes Him. Among those who profess Christ we can’t know for certain in an ultimate sense who truly is, or isn’t, “born-again”, because such knowledge belongs only to God Himself; however in His wisdom God has given us tools in His Word whereby we may test the spirits and reach reliable conclusions about the spiritual condition of professing believers based upon the conversation of their lives, and the fruit they bear. Still God may snatch men’s souls from the fire, as He did the thief on the cross, yet such “deathbed conversions” are a rarity in the scriptures, and in most cases the true Christian experience is lived out in the real world in the mundane, daily tasks of life. It’s in our daily battles with sin, temptation, human frailty, and the flesh that true believers are sanctified and conformed into the image of Christ from grace to grace.

    Where evidences of grace are lacking, and professing believers are interested in blurring the lines between the profane and the sacred, between the flesh and the spirit, between the world and the church, then we ought to lovingly exhort such foolish people to examine themselves to see if they are truly in the faith, lest they be found unwarned and condemned on the last day.

    In Christ,


  8. We ought not to Matthew 18 tweets, blogs, videos, FB posts, or sermonic material, as these are public arenas. Matt 18 is for private sins, with expanding circle as recalcitrance is apparent.

    1 Timothy 5:19f applies if there be public sin.

    The jury is out, but Driscoll does appear to be spiraling.

    See not only Pyromaniacs reports, but also the God’s Hammer blog, “Charismatic Visions,” Pts 1 & 2.

    Driscoll teaches with MacDonald, Piper, Warren, Wilson, TGC, and runs the Acts29 training program, influencing 100s if not 1000s of pastor/ elders. He will have much to answer for if he doesn’t move back toward truth, fast.

    Like the fatally tragic P-51 crash in Reno yesterday (9/16/11), M.D. appears to be having trouble controlling his aircraft, and is diving toward the grandstands.


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