While fans and critics heatedly debate whether Mar’s Hill is a church or a cult, there can be little doubt that the brand relies heavily on a cult of personality. Every Sunday Driscoll appears on stage not only in person at his primary location but on life-sized screens at others. He opens at times with a rock band that one secular detractor confessed was “the best indie music I’ve heard all year” and that Driscoll himself has said will “melt your face off.” …
Quoting, further on, one of Driscoll’s former servants:
The reputation Driscoll got for being the cussing pastor simply because he used harsh language from the pulpit was nothing compared to the swearing and abusive language he used daily with staff. When people asked me how I liked working at Mars Hill, I would simply say, “It is a great church to attend, but I wouldn’t recommend working here.” It was well known with the staff that what was preached on Sunday was not lived out Monday morning with the staff.
And in conclusion
All of this is propagated via highly polished print and electronic media, with the congregation members functioning ( as they do in many evangelical organizations) as a lay sales force. This sales force includes trained “campus missionaries” and community leaders who reach out to the Mars Hill target audience of college students and young professionals. The whole operation is managed by a team of professional staff with business acumen to rival any comparably successful for-profit franchise. At a time when mainline Christian denominations and many Evangelicals are fretting over the loss of their young people, Mars Hill’s model on the surface looks like something to envy—or to emulate.
But given the carnage, one can’t help but wonder if the model itself is the problem.
Go, read the whole essay. Driscoll is the leader of a money making cult and the reason his toadies comb the web and attempt to counteract any negative press is because Driscoll’s cult can’t afford bad publicity because bad publicity affects the bottom line.
Mars Hill Corporation is marketing itself as a church, but it isn’t. It ceased long ago to be a church. Now, it’s nothing more than a business. One selling an incredibly defective product.