During a recent sermon about Nehemiah and “the best way to deal with cruel enemies,” Pastor Mark Driscoll describes a “trap” allegedly set for him at his previous congregation. In 2014, he resigned from Seattle-based Mars Hill amid allegations of bullying and abusive leadership.
Driscoll, now at The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, said that God told him to resign because “a trap is set.” Later, while meeting with former friends and staff from Mars Hill, which he founded, Driscoll inquired about the possible existence of a trap. Their response, he says, was “the nuclear option was that we were going to accuse you of adultery.” Driscoll indicates being shocked by such a tactic, saying he adores Grace, his wife of almost 30 years, and has always been faithful to her.
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Mark Driscoll: ‘Evil People Tells Lies About Wise People’
The goal of that plot, Mark Driscoll says, was to get him out of the pulpit, at least during what would have been a lengthy investigation. He says other Mars Hill leaders hoped to wrest control of the church from him—something they have denied. As ChurchLeaders has reported, last year Mars Hill leaders urged Driscoll to resign from Trinity, alleging he was continuing “a pattern of sinful actions toward staff members and congregants.”
In his sermon, Driscoll spoke about various biblical figures facing false accusations, from Joseph in Genesis to Jesus in the New Testament. “If you can’t disqualify someone because of character, if you can’t divert them from their mission, you try to destroy them with a lie,” he says. “Evil people tell lies about wise people, and then foolish people in the middle have to decide who they’re going to trust.”
Driscoll describes the psychological concept of projection, when people in denial are “blind” to their own sin. “Guilty people accuse innocent people of their wrongdoing,” he says. For example, Nehemiah’s enemies accuse him of being a false prophet but then hire false prophets of their own.
Interacting with certain people is like playing tennis with a grenade, Driscoll adds, so you shouldn’t even engage with them. “Don’t meet with your enemies but do meet with your God,” he advises.
‘I’ll Always Tell You the Truth,’ Says Mark Driscoll
Mark Driscoll, who says he’s been “canceled by whole countries,” admits that Nehemiah 6 “brings up a certain amount of oppression on me.” That prophet, he says, was “a very godly man, more godly than me, and he’s being attacked and accused.” All “high-profile” Christian leaders land in the same situation as Nehemiah, adds Driscoll, with enemies trying to take you down.