Share

Should we petition Hillsong to drop Driscoll?

Natalie Collins has created a petition asking Hillsong to remove Mark Driscoll from the schedule of Hillsong’s London conference this July. Should Christians back the campaign?

Yes says Natalie Collins (@god_loves_women)

As a church leader with a global platform Mark Driscoll’s influence was huge, with him benefiting in every way from the recognition, power and prestige that came with his role. His global reach and leadership of a mega-church means that his spiritual abuse, aggression, hate speech and misuse of funds has hurt thousands of people. 

As Christians we believe in the redemptive power of Jesus. We are called to love one another and in that way, Jesus will be known to the world. Some would argue that love requires we wipe clean Mark Driscoll’s slate. But how does that show love to the thousands of people Driscoll has hurt?

I set up a petition calling for Hillsong to remove Mark Driscoll from their conference because I care about those Mark Driscoll has hurt. I care about those who have experienced spiritual abuse and have been ignored and I want to stand with them and say his behaviour was unacceptable, to declare that his ongoing choice to not apologise to his victims or step away from the platform for a prolonged period is not okay.

Mark Driscoll could have chosen to reject the Hillsong platform, to be willing to step away from that opportunity. But he hasn’t. Hillsong could choose to ask Driscoll hard questions during the conference, they could also choose to not have him on the platform. To stand in solidarity with those without a voice, the hurting, the broken, those without power.  And yet they haven’t.  So I will. 

No says Carl Beech (Christian Vision for Men)

I’m not a 'conference line up watcher' so I wasn't aware that Driscoll had been invited to speak at the Hillsong conference until people started complaining. 

Having been on the end of very minor critique and complaint, I can't comprehend how painful it must be to keep seeing your name out there globally in a negative light, especially over things you did over 13 years ago.

Must be tough for his family too. That's why I struggle so much with petitions and social media campaigns. Its all a bit shouty and ranty. Its like organised gang attacks and usually from the same direction over similar issues.

Unleash the hounds!  Make loads of noise! Get emotive! Make the person an Orwellian style Goldstein we can direct our corporate hate against. 

I’ve even seen tweets describing the anti Driscoll petition as a 'movement'. Come on now! Don't make him a brand that people can direct their angst against. He’s a human being Jesus loves.

I don't personally think he should speak. Its too soon for one thing.

I also think there are one or two others that shouldn't be speaking this year for various controversial reasons.  Why single out Mark?

Perhaps just vote with your feet and don't go? That feels more Christ like? I suspect many who are complaining wouldn't go to a Hillsong conference anyway, which is slightly ironic.  And let's remember he has a wife and kids too before you post something harsh on twitter. 

Hillsong's response

'Hillsong is aware of the petition. The whole point of keeping Mark (and Grace) Driscoll on the conference program is so Brian Houston can interview them about events of the past year.' Hillsong spokesman Mark DeMoss told Warren Throckmorton.

To receive a free copy of Premier Christianity Magazine click here

About this blog

Opinions on the latest trends, topics, news and culture from a Christian perspective.

Weekly Newsletter
You may also like...

After an interview with the controversial pastor Mark Driscoll... More

What began as a single Sydney congregation is now a global church... More

Hillsong has hit back after an Australian TV investigative programme... More

As this week brings the return of the annual Hillsong Conference... More