Apprising Ministries is doing what we can to help alert you to the 1 Peter 4:17 judgments now coming upon the church visible in large part rooted in the foolish decision by mainstream evangelical leaders to not purge the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church from its ranks. [1]

In recent articles like Acts 29 Network And Reformed Counter Reformation Spirituality and John Piper, Rick Warren & Foster-Willardism I’ve also expressed concern about so-called New Calvinism, which itself appears to be a postmodern form of Calvinism embracing both Reformation theology and the spurious spirituality of Counter Reformation Roman Catholicism. [2]

The other day, just before another DOS attack by enemy forces temporarily crashed AM and its sister outreach Christian Research Network, I pointed you to Grow Up. Settle Down. Keep Reforming. Advice For The Young, Restless, Reformed by Dr. John MacArthur.

Even if we don’t necessarily agree with everything MacArthur teaches, it’s still beyond question that he’s among the elder statesmen in the church visible. For that reason, regardless of what our differences may or may not be, MacArthur is worthy of our respect and he should be listened to carefully.

In the case of the above piece he gave some very good advice to a movement whose leaders are without a doubt involved in some questionable spiritual teaching. One of these in particular is Mark Driscoll, who just might be the Christian version of the mouth that roars.

He seemed to have fired back at John MacArthur in the form of the posting of a:

talk at the Resurgence conference in Orlando, Florida earlier this year.

In this talk, he addresses the four theological distinctives of the current global movement in Christianity: Reformed theology, complementarian relationships, Spirit-filled lives, and missional churches. (Online source)

Unfortunately, in this talk he made some logical category errors and painted history with way too broad a brush, which took him well off-track. Driscoll ended up misrepresenting the cessationist position and equating it with deism and worldliness. As you might imagine this has caused a bit of a stir.

This brings me to Mark Driscoll On Prophetic Dreams and Seeing the Future over at Here I Blog where we find some disturbing information concerning the head of the Acts 29 church planting network. Now this isn’t hearsay or merely someone’s opinion about what Mark Driscoll would supposedly have taught.

No, the audio and the video is right there in that post for you to examine for yourself as to what would appear to be the beginning of a drift in Driscoll’s theology. For example, he tells us, “I start getting prophetic dreams. God’s showing me the future.” But then he turns around and says:

I did not know what to do with any of this because in my theology I’m a cessasionist. [sic] That means that I believe the supernatural essentially ceased in the early church. So we don’t have charasmatic [sic] gifts today and the demonic activity isn’t real, especially, for believers. (Online source)

Leaving aside his misstatement concerning cessationist demonology, we’re told that the above comes from a 2008 message called Introduction to Spiritual Warfare. So it seems in 2008 Mark Driscoll still considered himself a cessationist; but apparently, these “prophetic dreams” contributed to changing that.

We shouldn’t really be surprised considering this from his bio:

At age nineteen, while in college, Driscoll had a life-changing experience reading the book of Romans in the Bible and he became a Christian.

Shortly thereafter, God spoke audibly to him while at a men’s retreat for a church, telling him to marry Grace (his girlfriend since age seventeen), preach the Bible, train men, and plant churches. And that’s precisely what he’s been doing ever since. (Online source)

You’ll hear him recount this aound the 5:10 mark of the video from the Mars Hill Church website below. Driscoll also says in part 3 of the series on spiritual warfare under discussion:

On occasion, I see things. I see things. Uh, like I was meeting with one person and they..they didn’t know this, but they were abused when they were a child. And I said, “When you were a child you were abused. This person did this to you, physically touched you this way.”

He said, “How do you know?” I said, “I don’t know. It’s like I got a TV right here. I’m seeing it.” He said, “No that never happened.” I said, “Go ask him. Go ask him if they actually did what I think they did and I see that they did.” They went and asked this person – when I was a little kid did you do this?

And the person said, “Yeah, but you were only like a year or two old. How do you remember that?” He said, “Well, pastor Mark told me.”

I’m not a guru. I’m not a freak. I don’t talk about this. If I did talk about it everybody would want to meet with me and I’d end up like one of those guys on TV. (Online source)

Then Driscoll continues talking about this and goes on to tell us how his extra-biblical vision actually enabled him to confess someone else’s sin for them as he says:

there was one women I dealt with. She never told her husband that she had committed adultery on him early in the relationship. I said, “You know.” She’s sitting there with her husband.

I said, “You know I think the root of all this..I think Satan has a foothold in your life because you’ve never told your husband about that really tall blonde guy that you met at the bar. And then you went back to the hotel… (Online source)

As he is wont to do Driscoll becomes rather graphic while he puts this woman in a pretty unenviable position. He also tells us:

I see things too. I’ve seen women raped. I’ve seen children molested. I’ve seen people abused. I’ve seen people beaten. I’ve seen horrible things done. Horrible things done. I’ve seen children dedicated in occultic groups and demons come upon them as an infant by invitation. And I wasn’t present for any of it, but I’ve seen it visibly.

Upon occasion when I get up to preach I’ll see just like a screen in front of me. I’ll see somebody get raped or abused and then I’ll track ‘em down and say, “Look I had this vision. Let me tell you about it.” All true. (Online source)

Well, I guess if he says so. Mark Driscoll goes on to inform us that Jesus personally reveals things to him. He tells us about, “This gal” who walked by his office, “Nice gal, member of the church.” God then apparently gave Driscoll a vision “just like a TV was there” and he watched a program of her life the night before:

I saw the night before her husband threw her up against the wall, had her by the throat, was physically violent with her. And she said, “That’s it, I’m telling the pastors.” And he said, “If you do I’ll kill you.” He was a very physically abusive man.

She was walking by and I just saw it. It was like a TV. And I said, “Hey, come here for a second.” I said, “Last night did your husband throw you up against the wall and have you by the throat, physically assault you and tell you if you told anyone he would kill you?” And she just starts balling. She says, “How did you know?” I said, “Jesus told me.”

I called the guy on the phone,”Hey, I need you to come to the office.” I didn’t give him any clue. He comes in and I said, “Dude, what’d you do to your wife last night? Why’d you do this? Why’d you throw her up against the wall?” And he gets very angry. They’re sitting on the couch and he says, “Why did you tell him?” I said,”She didn’t Jesus did. Jesus did.” (Online source)

That’s a pretty convincing case of Mark Driscoll claiming to have prophetic dreams and visions. It also seems to be among the contributing factors as to his move away from cessationism. I can also tell you from monitoring Intel along the Internet Front that there is a growing move within the Reformed sectors away from sola Scriptura.

What we’ll end up with though is actually the duel authority system we see in the charismatic/Pentecostal movements; the Bible plus continuing revelation. I know because I was saved in a charismatic church and later was involved with the Pentecostal movement as well. What inevitably ends up happening is a two-fold authority structure.

The critical issue here is, if we aren’t adhering to the proper Christian spirituality of sola Scriptura then we really will find ourselves with something quite similar to the Roman Catholic Church. There will be the Bible plus personal revelation, which essentially ends up having to act like Rome’s teaching magisterium for “interpretation of what Scripture really means.”

It’s something to watch carefully because personal revelation always ends up trumping Holy Scripture.

End Notes:

Back to note 1 — For example, this is why EC rock star pastor Rob Bell can argue for the heresy of Christian Universalism in his Love Wins mythology and still be considered an evangelical.

Back to note 2 — The corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), a repackaged Roman Catholic mysticism, taught by the dubious duo of Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, along with his spiritual twin Dallas Willard, is openly recommended in that camp; often referred to as so-called Spiritual Formation.

HT: Wretched

See also: