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John Lindell vs Mark Driscoll

John Lindell vs Mark Driscoll: Charismatic Civil War

The aftermath of Mark Driscoll calling out the sword-swallowing pole dance routine at John Lindell’s men’s conference at James River Church continued as John Lindell called a special service at his church to invoke Matthew 18 against Mark Driscoll. Apparently, the struggle session was not enough. John Lindell denied that Mark Driscoll apologized for what he did, only that he apologized for not confronting him first before doing it. Thus John Lindell moved forward to apply church discipline on Mark Driscoll before the congregation unilaterally.

Sword Swallower With A Past

John Lindell charges Mark Driscoll with the sin of attacking Alex Magala, the performer, by using his past against him. Lindell brings up his compassion for Mark Driscoll after Mar’s Hill as a point about not using someone’s past against them. However, the evidence that Lindell would bring forward, which included divulging private text messages and voicemail transcripts, showcased how Mark Driscoll did not agree that Alex Magala had a credible profession of faith and that Mark Driscoll had evidence contrary. Yet despite having this evidence, Mark Driscoll said he would not go public with this information and remained true to his word on that.

Someone engaged in New Age or Eastern pagan practices within the last three months despite professing faith for a decade raises a lot of red flags. Therefore it is not categorically sinful to doubt his profession of faith, especially in light of a pole dancing sword-swallowing performance.

Matthew 18 Misapplied

John Lindell claimed that he was following Matthew 18. He claims Mark Driscoll sinned by publicly criticizing the performance as demonic. Despite how Matthew 18 does not apply to public error, Lindell proceeded to tell the audience how he brought in a mentor Jimmy Evans to confront Mark Driscoll and tell him to repent claiming that this was the second step in the process. But it’s not that Mark Driscoll did not listen to John Lindell et al. It’s that he disagreed with them. Jesus taught that the escalation was for not listening, not mere disagreement. It’s worth noting that two of the sin charges against Mark Driscoll were “sowing division” and publicly attacking James River Church. Yet Mark Driscoll has not yet publicly attacked the church, and Magala’s performance sowed the division, not Driscoll.

So despite Mark Driscoll’s absence, John Lindell, in his enflamed ego, is endeavoring to bind the universal church to treat Mark Driscoll as a tax collector because he pronounced him guilty of five sins.

Charismatic Civil War

This is creating a lot of division in the more charismatic vein of theology. Despite hosting a prominent men’s conference, John Lindell is entirely effeminate, as expected for a pastor who embraces female pastors. Mark Driscoll, in contrast, is known for bravado and does not embrace female pastors. Driscoll isn’t throwing this friendship away over publicity. Rather, John Lindell is trying to do damage control within his cult at James River Church. Lindell teaches that he can’t be criticized because he has the anointing of God and further compels all believers to excommunicate Driscoll.

John Lindell is the pastor of the flagship church in the Assemblies of God, but he is risking his influence with this power play. The sermon which is back up on YouTube is massively ratioed (currently 10:1 dislike to like), denoting that the public is siding with Mark Driscoll. Meanwhile, Mark Driscoll promoted his book which he was giving away for free as though he was the marketer for Canon Press. But otherwise, Driscoll hasn’t spoken out publicly against Lindell. John Lindell has self-immolated and boosted Mark Driscoll’s influence in the process.

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3 Responses

  1. Meanwhile we have some discernment ministries trying to paint Magala as just an acrobat and sword swallower, intentionally ignoring the fact that he danced to the front of the stage and made a show of stripping off his shirt as if it were a strip tease.

    Nobody involved is worth a hoot. They don’t come close to understanding Matt 18. First and foremost is the fact that Jesus didn’t say “apologize”, He said REPENT, which is far more than just apologizing. Repentance is not only to confess, but to reject and turn away from the sin.

    Driscoll was right to publicly rebuke, but his error was to falsely accuse them of conducting a pagan ritual. No, the sin didn’t have anything to do with Asherah poles. The primary sin, in making a show of ripping off his shirt and so one, was licentiousness/debauchery/sensuality, which Jesus condemns in Mark 7:22. Since it was done at a men’s conference, in front of an audience of men, there is also an element of homosexuality.

    Neither one of them can even specifically name the sins. If Matt 18 applied, and it doesn’t because the sins were public in front of the church and against everyone in attendance, they still wouldn’t yet be at step one in the process, because they haven’t yet named a specific sin described in God’s word.

    Magala’s sin: aselgeia (and borderline porneia)

    Lindell’s sin: Defending Magala’s’ sin – Justifying wickedness and condemning righteousness, perverting the grace of God into a license to sin

    Driscoll’s sin: bearing false witness. (not in calling out the sin, but in going into a bunch of other charismatic mess about asherah poles and whatnot)

    This is just what comes to mind this morning. There are probably more.

  2. Lindell can’t even properly quote Matt 18:15-17.

    He uses the word “offend” – if your brother “offends” you …

    That’s not what the scripture says. It says “SIN” – every major translations translates it as “sin”

    How does he think he’s appealing to Matt. 18 when he can’t even properly quote it?

    It doesn’t say anything about hurting your feelings, bruising your ego, or any of that sort of nonsense. Jesus said “if your brother SINS against you”

    When Jesus rebuked the pharisees and lawyers for their sins, they said to Him “you insult us” (Luke 11:45). Did Jesus apologize? No, He rebuked them even further, for their sins.

    These men, Lindell and Driscoll, both need to pick up a Bible and read it. Quit all the charismatic, gnosticism, as if the Lord told them all they need to know while they were sitting on the blasted toilet that morning, and READ HIS WORD. If it conflicts with His word, then it is not of the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit did not compel Lindell to wrongly quote Matt 18. Lindell did that all by his lonesome.

    1. Lindell has since correctly quoted Matt 18, but when he first went onto the stage to confront Driscoll, he said “Matt 18 … if your brother offends you ..”

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