Saturday, November 20, 2021

Borrowed Credentials (NPD)

 This title is taken from a quote from WanatcheeTheHatchet's latest commentary on The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill Podcast and drawing from his extensive knowledge of the history of Mars Hill.

The full sentence from Wanatchee's post goes like this:

"Driscoll has certainly fisked people out there for "borrowed faith" but the stories of all the men who have come and gone from Mark Driscoll's life of whom he at one point said "He's my pastor, you know" suggests that Driscoll has spent his entire ministry career running on the borrowed credentials of people who, at one point, believed in him. "

This sentence appears near the end of the post. But everything written before it soundly supports this statement.

I almost left a comment but decided against it as it would have been merely stating the obvious and was using a word that Wanatchee has been actively avoiding for good reason. The comment I was going to make was something along the lines of, Yes, this is typical Narcissistic Personality Disorder behavior.

I understand that there are many reasons why someone like Wenactchee would want to avoid mentioning the word "Narcissist". It is both a very charged word and a word that some people simple tune out for one reason or another. Also, when one uses the word one runs the risk of being accused of trying to armchair diagnose people.

So rather than use the word, Wanatchee simply lays things out with more than enough evidence. And I look at it and think, "Just another example of raging Narcissism that male church leaders have admired, given a pass, defended, given a platform."

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Critical Review of The Rise and Fall Podcast

 No, I'm not writing a critical review. I just found one that I want to keep track of. So I'm going to link it here, for now.

Sharing Many of the Same Flaws as It's Subject "The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill" Podcast puts the Blame Anywhere But Where It Belongs 

I agree with much of her assessment. I was always so frustrated with all the Evangelical leaders who promoted and gave Driscoll a platform and a pass.

Monday, October 18, 2021

The ESV Translation Is Dishonest

 And it has a particualar agenda. And the (scare quotes) "Translators" were not afraid to change the very meaning of the Holy Writ in order to MAKE THEIR BIBLE CONFORM TO THEIR PERSONAL DOCTRINE. I'm really surprised by the lack of the fear of God among the ESV translators. Do they really think that God won't call them into account for tweaking His Word to make it say what they want?

This has been said here before. It will most likely be said again. 

Deconstructing the ESV

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Well Played, Cosper

 Episode 8 of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast finally dropped on Friday. Demon Hunting looked into the weird world of Mark Driscoll's Narcissistic Personality Disorder brand of deliverance ministry.

As a side note, Cosper announced in this episode that these Podcasts will begin to come out every two weeks rather than every week. One reason given was that people who initially didn't want to be interviewed for this have been changing their minds, so they are coming forward and wanting their voices to be included in this massive undertaking.

Over all, I suppose that this is good. However, I see this as a potentially detrimental turn in one area.

Apparently there are those who are mad at Cosper for giving feminists and egalitarians too much voice in the fifth episode of the podcast. You know that podcast that I mentioned in my Mars Hill and Consumerism (NPD) post called The Things We Do to Women.

In "The Things We Do to Women" Cosper includes the voices of feminists and actually went as far as addressing the Rape Culture at Mars Hill. He didn't hit it hard. In fact, there are many of us who felt he let Driscoll and Mars Hill off easy rather than giving this issue the full attention that it deserves.

But as is common among Evangelical men, there was an outcry and one star reviews about Cosper giving voice to those filthy feminists. (gasp!!! entities far worse than pedophile pastors and repeat sex offenders that riddle the SBC.)

So in this episode, Episode Eight, Demon Hunting, Cosper again addresses the blatant misogyny of Driscoll and the Mars Hill community. But this time, he brings a Complementarian in to point it out so that the screeching Patriarchy couldn't just poo poo what was being said. The Comp dude was concerned with and opposed to the woman-demeaning culture that Mark had created, including the misogyny perpetuated in his teachings on deliverance.

This can be both good and bad. I do feel that Cosper did well to bring in that pro-woman Complementarian voice. This is why the title of this post includes "well played" in it. However, now I am worried that the egalitarian voice and the voices of trauma informed counselors might be set aside for the rest of the podcast series.

Make no mistake, what Mark taught men and women about sex and the purpose of women was spiritual and sexual abuse. And his warped teachings did, in fact, lead to a rape culture. Women were traumatized. And while it was going on, Evangelical men did not care. This fact should not be minimized or glossed over. And I hope Cosper keeps this in mind and doesn't just throw women under the "keep the peace with the patriarchy" bus.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Narcissistic Pastors 2

 I didn't expect to write a part 2 blog post on Narcissistic Pastors.

But listening to The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast put up by Christianity Today is really stirring up memories of my time in a church led by a Narcissist back in the Eighties. So humor me, if you will.

My humble little blog is, by no means, a Watchdog Blog. Even back when I was blogging a lot more, during the fall of Mars Hill, this blog was more about discussing, refuting, and perhaps some reflection.

Those of us who have studied the Word for a few years could see right through Driscoll's Scripture twisting. One of my commenters back in the day stated that Driscoll Uses the Bible as a Sock Puppet That Always Agrees with Him. Back then, it was nice to find someone else that saw this and spoke up against the torrent of people claiming that Driscoll was a brilliant Bible Teacher.

Was Driscoll a brilliant Bible Teacher? Some interviewees in the Mars Hill Podcast still claim that he is. I would counter that with this. No, he's a terrible Bible teacher. Because a true Bible teacher is more concerned with rightly dividing the Word of Truth. Driscoll was far more interested in something else. I repeat, he's a terrible Bible teacher. But, I will say this for him. He is a brilliant propogandist, able to use the Bible as a tool to manipulate, bully, and beat people up as expressed in Episode Seven of the Christianity Today series "State of Emergency".

In Episode Seven, Cosper goes into more detail about how Driscoll used the Book of Nehemiah, from the pulpit, against two elders. Cosper also brought up other ways that Driscoll used the Bible for personal benefit, to built his own kingdom while claiming he was building the Kingdom of God.

Listening to the "State of Emergency" podcast put me into remembrance of my old Eighties pastor, He is referred to in a previous post as Pastor Fred (not his real name).

Pastor Fred used to do the State of Emergency tactic all the time. He used war and battle reference and preached on Joshua and Nehemiah. He was very interested in numbers and getting people saved and plugged into our church. And the indication was that our church was the church in town that had it going on far and above any other church.

As an example of his war/battling for Jesus rhetoric, he one time said something about, sure, new converts were babies in Christ. But they were still in a war and were going to need camouflaged pampers.

One of Pastor Fred's favorite Bible verses was Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.

He would say that it was the more aggressive ones who were able to make things happen and build the Kingdom of God. Later, thinking back, I thought a better description would be that violent men like Pastor Fred and Mark Driscoll would be the ones who were trying to take over the Kingdom of God and make it their own using bullying tactics and figurative buses to run people over. It seemed that Pastor Fred was using this verse to excuse his bad behavior just like Driscoll used Nehemiah to justify his bad behavior toward innocent and upstanding elders.

Neither view of the above mentioned verse is correct, however. Here is a link to a better explanation Matthew 11:12.

Moving on...

Episode Seven goes into the story of the bullying and maligning two elders, Brent Meyer and Paul Petry. Hearing again how badly Driscoll mistreated these two men and its relationship to his "Mars Hill Bus" and the mountain of bodies behind it quote reminded me of what Pastor Fred did to a young father in his church.

The man's name was Scott*. He was a friendly, outgoing, and charismatic person. Pastor Fred started feeling 'led of the Lord' that Scott should become an assistant pastor and would say so from the pulpit. I didn't know it at the time, but pastor Fred was publicly love bombing Scott and drawing him in. Scott fell for it, like we all did, and became an assistant pastor.

But shortly afterward, Pastor Fred began to publicly indicate that Scott wasn't working out. Scott had fallen from favor somehow and now Pastor Fred did whatever he could to get rid of Scott. Again, at the time I didn't know that Scott was going through the devaluing and discarding phase of the relationship with the narcissist. But what I did wonder was how Pastor Fred could indicate that he was "Led of the Lord" and next thing you know, whatever he felt led to do he was able to flippantly go back on. And I began to suspect that Fred was being led by something else. And now I know that something else was heavily influenced by his personality disorder.

I had a chance to reconnect with Scott and his wife sometime in the Nineties. They were going to a church  that was full of people who had been wounded in other churches and going through their own form of deconstruction. When Scott spoke about the situation, he still really didn't understand what happened. We still didn't have terms available to us in the mainstream like Narcissistic Personality Disorder. But we did have a book called, "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" which was widely circulated among all of us who were hurt by Pastor Fred.

I am glad that we have better understanding of personality disorders today. And I'm glad Cosper is taking on this subject. The more information and resources we can get out there concerning Narcissism in the church, the better equipped people will be to recognize what is going on and avoid train wrecks like Mars Hill and violent, self-serving bus drivers like Driscoll.

*Scott is his real name. I use his real name out of respect and solidarity.

Edited to add a link to this newly discovered YouTube video: Is love bombing just a process of grooming?

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Narcissistic Pastors

 I have been talking here, more specifically, about Mark Driscoll. I also occasionally refer to my ex who was also Narcissistic and a pastor and relate it to my understanding of the Driscoll debacle. But I haven't really spoken about the pastor I had back in the mid-eighties who was also Narcissistic.

Yes, clear back in the eighties. That was when I graduated from high school and college, got married and gave birth to my first child. My ex and I met in a church where the pastor was a narcissist. And like the people of Mars Hill, we didn't know he was a Narcissist. In addition, we didn't know that NPD was a thing, an actual diagnose-able personality disorder.

We'll call this Eighties pastor of mine Fred. Anyway, Pastor Fred started off looking okay just like my ex and Mark Driscoll. But as time went on, and he amassed more power and influence, it became clear that something wasn't right. Pretty soon we could see that he was more about building his own kingdom rather than God's. Before we left the state in 1989 for my then-spouse to go to Bible College, Pastor Fred was yelling at his congregation more often. He'd yell at the ones that attended Sunday night service about the absence of those who weren't there. He yelled about people not giving enough money, etc. My parents continued to attend Pastor Fred's church while we were gone. My dad continued to serve on the board. So I got to hear how things continued to spiral downwards.

You see, Pastor Fred was not nearly as smart, savvy, or decent looking as Mark Driscoll. This was also before the internet age, so he couldn't bypass the cultural gate keepers referred to in The Brand episode of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcasts. So, luckily, the damage he inflicted was a lot smaller and more localized than what Driscoll has been guilty of. But that doesn't mean the people hurt were not damaged as much as the people wounded by Driscoll at Mars Hill.

Hearing the latest shenanigans of Pastor Fred from my parents in the early Nineties took its toll on me and I soon I needed to talk to someone. I was provided the opportunity to sit down with the Dean of the Bible College's wife. She listened very empathetically. But when I had laid it all out before her, the words she spoke were hard to hear. She said something along the the lines of, "You have no idea how often we hear about this situation." And she basically said that what I thought was a rare occurrence was really way more common than people knew. What she told me was devastating. It rocked my world and forced me out of my naivety.

Long before I ever heard of Driscoll, I found out the hard way that Pastors like Fred were very common. So when Driscoll appeared on my radar, I already knew that he was one of those pastors. And later I learned about NPD and knew that it applied to Pastor Fred and Pastor Driscoll and so many others.

On discussion boards, I would interact with young, naïve Driscoll lovers who didn't want to hear me bash their idol. They ascribed to me all manner of sin rather than listen to the place of experience that I had come from. They accused me of being jealous of his intelligence or popularity saying that I was too old fashioned and not hip enough to get Driscoll. They accused me of being ignorant, unteachable, prudish, and of trying to be the "bedroom police". The list goes on.

I could convince them of nothing. The Mars Hill Bus had to crash, burn, and go down in flames before they could see the truth.

And still, even after everything that went on in Seattle, ignorance and naivety concerning Narcissistic Pastors abounded in the Church. Mark was able to go to Scottsdale Arizona and set up shop again. He now pastors Trinity Church. And lo and behold, the same things are happening in Scottsdale that happened in Seattle, only worse. There seems to be an endless supply of naïve Christians willing to give Narcissistic Pastors more chances to steal money, kill souls, and destroy lives.

This is why we need podcasts like The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. It may not be perfect. It may not go nearly far enough in dealing with Mark's horrid teachings on Gender and Marriage. But thank God, people are waking up to the problem of Narcissistic Pastors. Thank God this very real, serious, and way too common problem is being looked at and analyzed in earnest.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Narcissistic Love

 Can those suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder love?

It depends.

First off, what kind of love are we talking about? Agape unconditional love? Or just the love one feels at the beginning of a new conquest, chasing after a shiny new target?

Love bombing is another term used to describe what Narcissists do. Love Bombing is usually part of the initial phase of a new relationship. It is also used by cults to draw in new converts. I suppose another way to look at it is grooming as Kyle Howard describes. If love bombing and grooming are not one in the same, they are definitely closely related.

Love bombing and grooming are used by Narcissists and Predators to lure and trap their prey. By prey, I mean a new source of Narcissistic Supply.

There is some question as to whether Narcissists know what they are doing. And I understand this. I understand it towards Mark Driscoll and towards my ex husband. Perhaps I am/was deceived, but I felt like my spouse was all in and wanted to do church and marriage right in the early years. And from what many say about Driscoll, especially in the early years, he also appeared to desire to do church and marriage(s) right, as is mentioned in I Am Jack's Raging Bile Duct podcast from The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill series.

So what happened to my spouse? What happened to Mark Driscoll? Or, perhaps we should ask, what was always wrong, but became worse and more evident with time?

Well, for me, personally, a few years into my relationship with the Narcissist, we entered into a Devaluing stage.(Devaluing and Discarding). It was slow and gradual but unrelenting.

I suppose the covert Spectrum of Trust ratings that Driscoll does at his new church in Arizona is a sophisticated and thought out expression of the Devaluing process. This Spectrum of Trust is described in Inside the Driscoll "Cult" part II podcast starting at the 22:58 mark for those who are curious about such things. But Driscoll mixes up Trust with Narcissistic Supply. When someone no longer panders to him and props up his ego, their "Trust" points go down. So the Spectrum of Trust is in reality the Spectrum of Narcissistic Supply.

Remember the Karen Shaffer story from You Read Your Bible Ringo mentioned in my Mars Hill and How To Become a Tyrant post? Karen's loyalty came into question when she casually mentioned that a very young Driscoll could have used some older, wiser men around him. I used her story in the Tyrant post as an example of Driscoll's Narcissistic Rage. But the full story is also an example of Driscoll's need for Narcissistic Supply and The Narcissistic Devaluing and Discarding process.

When Karen failed to prop up Driscoll as he desired, she was not giving him the Narcissistic Supply he felt entitled to. And the moment he caught wind of her perceived "disloyalty" she was devalued from a trusted administrative assistant clear down to a heretic. Her devaluation was breath taking in speed and scope. Der Fuhrer had nothing on Driscoll and his Blitz Krieg against Karen.

Driscoll has since refined and finetuned his process of managing who is qualified to be a worthy vessel of Narcissistic Supply. That is his Spectrum of Trust rating system. 

So, can a Narcissist love? Sure, as long as his underlings give his ego the supply he requires.

After about a decade of being married to a Narcissist and being devalued by him, I began to get a warped sense of what love was. Around that time, I began meditations on The Song of Songs which was oil and wine for my wounded soul and spirit. It became a healing ointment against the subtle but consistent Narcissistic abuse I was being subject to. This is why I flipped-the-heck-out when I stumbled upon Driscoll and his abuse of women through his Narcissistic twisting and manipulating of The Songs.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Driscoll Unqualified to Teach (NPD)

Big news rolling through the blogsphere. Big news, not new news.

Apparently Former Mars Hill Elders are saying he is still unfit to pastor and that he should step down. 

He's not gonna.

By the way, I know the news is "He's not fit to pastor" and not "He's not fit to teach." I know there is a difference in the eyes of some. But I'm sticking with my "Unqualified to Teach" because he is, in spite of stories claiming otherwise.

I was made aware of Mark Driscoll back in June of 2009 and made a post about him called SOS in the Hands of the Perverted. SOS is an acronym for The Song of Songs. I knew then and there that Driscoll was unqualified to teach on this subject. I could see, readily, that 'rightly dividing the word of truth' was the last thing on his mind. It was clear to me from the start that he had an agenda that was completely different and diametrically opposed to the Spirit behind the Song of Songs.

I will link one more post written back in the day as an example of how much Driscoll was disqualified to preach in SOS. Manipulating Scripture for Personal Benefit. This concerns Driscoll's mishandling a one specific verse (out of soooo many) in The Songs.

Back then I looked at Driscoll's misuse of Scripture as evidence of him being unqualified to teach. This was before I knew about his Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) symptoms and his Narcissistic Rage and his need for Narcissistic Supply. This was before I was even aware that NPD was a thing and before I knew the fact that my husband, at that time, also suffered from NPD symptoms (besides other things that I did know about.)

In The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcasts, Mark self-reports that, as a man of Irish decent, he has two moods. Pissed off and asleep. He gets a laugh out of that. Of all the negative things I point at in him, I appreciate his self-awareness on this, even though he uses it as an excuse to rage at his underlings. I appreciate it because Narcissists are notoriously un-self-aware.

But having said this, if Mark knew he had this much anger inside, as a Christian, and especially as a Pastor, he should have done what he needed to do to overcome this. He hasn't. And even more concerning, he hasn't seen this as a need within himself nor understood that this anger disqualifies him from preaching and teaching the Bible to others. 

His anger disqualifies him from teaching any part of the Bible and, exponentially, disqualifies him from teaching anything from The Songs.

Here is why. In the very first chapter of The Songs we have this verse.

Songs 1:6 "Do not stare at me because I am swarthy, For the sun has burned me, My mother's sons were angry with me; They made me caretaker of the vineyards, But I have not taken care of my own vineyard." (NAS)

This verse talks about angry brothers and their oppression of the beloved. They basically enslaved their sister and forced her to work out in the family vineyard rather than treat her like the nobleman's daughter that she was.

Even though Driscoll would like to identify as the lover in this story, and his wife as the beloved, in truth, he is far more like the angry brothers in verse 6.

Driscoll used his anger and the Bible to command women to become sex slaves, taking care of the vineyard of the sexual whims and pornographic gluttony of his manly men. He did this to build his church. And he burned and traumatized them with his words and teaching like the sun burned the beloved in Songs 1:6.

I am not using the term sex slaves lightly. Mark Driscoll groomed and trafficked the women of Mars Hill Church as Kyle Howard so aptly points out and explains. Driscoll bullied the women of Mars Hill, pressing them down to lower than the position of harlots. At least harlots receive wages for their work. Driscoll got the benefit of the sexual work of his Mars Hill women, using them as building blocks for his church/kingdom for free. It cost him nothing but propped up the machine of his empire so well. And the women got used and burned like the beloved working out in the sun in a vineyard, not her own.

Because Driscoll takes the stance of an angry, entitled taskmaster, he embodies the villains in Songs 1:6 and will therefore interpret the rest of the book through that lens. His "Good Bits" are a villainous and oppressive interpretation of a book doing violence to the actual spirit behind it. The true spirit behind is is liberating to women and anyone else who is willing to dig deeper.

You think I'm joking about the liberating aspect of the Songs? You have seen the state of the beloved in chapter 1 verse 6. Look at her now at the end of the book, after her time spent with the true lover of her soul and compare. Here she speaks again:

Songs 8:12 "My very own vineyard is at my disposal. The thousand shekels are for you Solomon, and two hundred for those who take care of it's fruit." (NAS)

In this verse, the beloved is in now in charge of her own vineyard and she decides what to do with the money made from it. Instead of being the one working in it, she has workers that she manages and pays. And she has profited so well from her own vineyard, she is able to give a substantial amount of money away.

Her relationship with her lover builds her up, enriches her, and sets her free. This is the opposite of Driscoll and the angry brothers of the first chapter. Angry brothers tear women down, steal from them, and enslave them.

Jesus said that you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Driscoll's version of the truth does not do this. His version steals, destroys, enslaves, and rapes.

For way more evidence of Driscoll's horrible teachings about women and sex see WenatcheeTheHatchet's supplemental reading post on the topic. It is nothing short of ghastly.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Mars Hill and Consumerism (NPD)

In this post we are looking at Episodes 4 and 5 of Christianity Today's Podcast on "The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill" and it's relationship to Mark Driscoll's Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) symptoms.

Episode 4  is  "I Am Jack's Raging Bile Duct". We reference to this one in the post below.  This episode takes on Driscoll's teaching on masculinity.

And Episode 5 is "The Things We Do to Women" which is almost like Episode 4b to me. It is concerning Mark's teaching on womanhood and sex. Episodes 4 & 5 go hand in hand when talking about the toxic teaching on marriage and sex at Mars Hill..

And I do want to address how this relates to Consumerism. But first I must link to a Youtube video from a trauma informed counselor, Kyle Howard, who reflects on the connection between 4 & 5 and the bad theology presented at Mars Hill concerning gender and sex.

Thanks to Ava Aaronson and her comment at The Wartburg Watch that has alerted me to the video. Hers is the third comment down on Why Do People Attend Mark Driscoll's Church. She lists several points brought up by the linked Youtube video above. And her list is better than anything I can put together after watching only the video once.

Now, onto Consumerism.

I've heard Mark preach to men about the need to stop being consumers and to start being producers. I wish I could find a good link to an example, but I haven't been able to. Episode 4 talks about this without using the word "consumer". Mark defines masculinity as being a producer. That is, getting a job, marrying and supporting a wife, having children, supporting the church. This, according to the podcast, was what some men needed.

But, in Episode 5, concerning his teaching about women, he basically commands women to be consumed sexually and hierarchal-ly by men.

In other words, while commanding men to be producers, he enables men to be sexual consumers of their wives by teaching a rape and porn culture version of Scripture. The term "rape culture" is mentioned once in Episode 5. But Kyle Howard goes into more detail about how truly wicked and abusive the teaching at Mars Hill was.

Furthermore, Kyle Howard goes on to point out that Driscoll, through twisting scripture, commands women, in the name of God/Jesus to be porn slaves, always available, and making every part of their bodies available to be consumed by their husbands no matter how they feel spiritually, emotionally, or physically.

Writing that last sentence reminds me of some of the angry rants I made on this blog back in the day when I was speaking out against Driscoll and his false use of scripture. It reminds me of all the times I complained about him misusing the Bible to make wives submit to every whim of their husbands. Deja vu anyone else?

Anyway, I prefer Kyle's term "grooming". This is what abusers do. Also, Abusers don't just groom victims for their own personal use. They can groom victims to be used by other predatory consumers. Kyle gives several examples of this in his video.

So, in the end, I find it both ironic and the height of hypocrisy than Driscoll instructs men to not be consumers while instructing them to be sexual consumers of their wives.

You know what else is ironic and the height of hypocrisy? Driscoll is the biggest consumer of them all. As a Narcissist, he is in need of a continual Narcissistic Supply. He feeds on his inflated image of himself, the accolades given to him by those he manipulates, and the self-righteous rage he unleashes on the unsuspecting from time to time.

Relating it back to my marriage to a Narcissist, I remember how needy and demanding my ex was in so many areas. He was never satisfied, no matter how hard I tried to please him. Eventually I came to see him as a needy bottomless pit. In the end he basically used me up.

And do you know what Narcissists do when you are no longer able to give them Narcissistic Supply? They discard you like an empty wrapper.

Or, in the case of Driscoll, he runs you over with the infamous Mars Hill Bus

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Putting this here for safe keeping.

 May incorporate this into a coherent post later. But for now, I just don't want to lose this since I do not Twitter.

Kyle J. Howard's Tweet Thread concerning frustration with Episode 4 of the Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.

Kyle feels the podcast doesn't take the Macsulinity teaching of Driscoll (at Mars Hill) to task, like it should have. He feels that the men interviewed also looked back at their time there with too much bittersweet nostalgia rather than calling it what it was, bad teaching.

Kyle might like WenatcheeTheHatchet's views on Episode 4.

Mars Hill and How to Become a Tyrant (NPD)

 I haven't written much here. And I expect there is presently little to no traffic through here. And I'm okay with that. I have moved beyond my initial anger (and sometimes rage) over how broken, dysfunctional and misogynistic the modern evangelical church had become. Don't get me wrong. It is still all of these things. But now it is being exposed more and more. And hopefully it will be soundly dealt with.

We have Sheila Gregoire battling the warped and destructive sex teaching coming from Evangelical teachers.

We have The Wartburg Watch continuing to call out Disfunction and Abuse across the board.

Shirley Taylor continues to sound the alarm against the flagrant abuses of the SBC.

And WenatcheeTheHatchet keeps us abreast of any news concerning Mark Driscoll present and what is coming out concerning the former Mars Hill.

Listening to The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill at this point is just a look back at a time when I couldn't believe that people actually thought that Mark Driscoll's teaching on the Songs was inspire by the Holy Spirit rather than his personal perspective that is highly influenced by our porn culture.

Yes, I was outraged back then that he was looked upon as a balanced, educated, and wise source on married sex. But there were other things at play within me during this time. And looking back with some distance and perspective I am able to see more now than I could then.

For one thing, I am finally (as of February) divorced from my ex who displayed Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) symptoms. I was married to him for over thirty years and was the target of his narcissistic rage all the time. I've been separated from him for nearly three years but am still healing from the CPSTD of living with his personality disorder and tip-toeing around his hair trigger rage.

Initially, looking back by means of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcasts, I found, their opening, where Mark is screaming "HOW DARE YOU!" and "WHO. DO. YOU.THINK. YOU. ARE.!?" to be triggering. It is becoming easier to put distance between Mark's narcissistic rage and my soul destroying marriage. I consider this to be a good step towards the inner healing that I have been pursuing. 

Long and short, it appears that another reason Mark rubbed me the wrong way was because he was displaying similar behaviors to those that I was living with. And it was easier to focus on Mark's bad behavior and narcissistic symptoms that to deal with those of my then husband.

Concerning "How to Become a Tyrant". I just started watching this Netflix series. The little blurb given about this says, "Ruling with an iron fist requires an aspiring dictator to know the playbook for absolute power, as histories despots prove in this sardonic docuseries." One thing that keeps coming up is the Narcissistic nature of the likes of Stalin and Hitler. Seeing this while also listening to The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill really magnifies how much of a religious despot Mark Driscoll truly is. There are more overlaps than differences between religious despots and political ones. Okay, so sure, the bodies behind the Mars Hill bus are figurative rather than literal. But there is still a glee in Mark Driscoll about the "bodies" that he leaves behind.

Tying this into The Rise and Fall Podcasts, it was the third podcast "You Read Your Bible, Ringo?" that gave an example of an early display of narcissistic rage in Mark Driscoll. It is the story of Karen Schaeffer who was accused of heresy for suggesting that Mark could use the guidance of older, wiser men. If you are familiar with the story, there is no need to go into it. If you are not familiar, it starts at the 40:15 mark and finishes up at the 47:28 point of the Read You Bible Ringo episode. And within this seven minute segment, Mike Cosper mentions a book by Chuck DeGroat called "When Narcissism Comes to Church" and includes a blurb from Chuck concerning the hero/martyr/victim aspect of Narcissism which is important in understanding the mind and abuses of the Narcissist.

But what really stood out to me concerning Karen's story was the rage that Mark had toward her. She said that she had never dealt with such rage against her in all of her life. She also describes how jarring and disorienting it was to her entire being to be subject to such intense rage and hated from a trusted pastor.

As mentioned above, this post (and possible future posts on this subject) is merely a vehicle to reflect on and perhaps bring closure to my time spent married to a narcissist and ,my time watching the church being taken in by the Narcissism of Mark Driscoll.