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Natalia Collins from the UK writes,
Remove Mark Driscoll from the Hillsong Europe Conference
After approaching Hillsong privately (in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17) to ask them to reconsider and change their their decision to have Mark Driscoll as a key note speaker at their Europe conference 22-24 July 2015), “Speak, We’re Listening” they have chosen to still have Mark Driscoll appear at the conference, in an interview format with his wife Grace.
This is both disappointing and of great concern to many across the UK and internationally. Mark Driscoll resigned from leadership after many leaders and other within his church raised issues about unethical and abusive behaviour including:
- Ex-leaders of Mars Hill Church repenting of their collusion with Mark Driscoll
- Ex-members of Mars Hill reporting they have experienced spiritual abuse from Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll, including controlling and manipulative behaviour
- Evidence of plagiarism in at least one book he has written
- Misuse of tithes by Mars Hill Church
- Unethical actions taken to ensure Grace and Mark Driscoll’s book was featured on a bestselling book list
- Mark Driscoll’s public statements against women in leadership over the last two decades which have greatly undermined the Gospel message of women as leaders, evangelists and full members of the Body of Christ
Alongside these are revelations of Mark Driscoll’s communications from 2000 written under a pseudonym, which state that we are living in a “pussified nation” with “men being raised by bitter penis envying burned feministed single mothers”. The language used within these communications can be accurately described as hate speech and needs to be treated as such. Although the statements are 14 years old, his more recent messages about “feminised men” and women’s roles being solely within the home suggest his views have not changed, although his language may have. Mark Driscoll has apologised for his communications in 2000, but his apology does not extend to the views he expressed or his ongoing negative attitudes towards women, gender non-conforming men and gay people.
We fully believe that people can be restored and redeemed and that forgiveness is a fundamental part of Jesus’ teaching. Mark Driscoll has never fully acknowledged or repented of the pain he has caused many ex-leaders and members of Mars Hill alongside the women and men he has hurt with his comments about leadership, gender and sexuality. It has been only six months since Mark Driscoll resigned and to give him such a platform as the O2 arena does not represent the Gospel of repentance and forgiveness, but that of cheap grace.
By inviting Mark Driscoll to speak on the Hillsong platform, Hillsong are both endorsing and legitimising Mark’s messages about women and ignoring the concerns being repeated by many across the US and UK about his abusive behaviour, which has been corroborated by ex-members and ex-leaders of Mars Hill Church.
We ask that Hillsong remove Mark Driscoll from their line up of speakers at the Hillsong Conference 2015.
Further details of the issues can be found here:
Overview of the issues: http://crosscut.com/2014/07/16/religion/121033/inside-mars-hills-big-meltdown/?page=single
Mars Hill Refuge: http://marshillrefuge.blogspot.co.uk
We Love Mars Hill: http://welovemarshill.com
Source: By Natalie Collins, Remove Mark Driscoll from the Hillsong Europe Conference, change.org, https://www.change.org/p/hillsong-remove-mark-driscoll-from-hillsong-europe-conference. (Accessed 16/04/2014.)