If Mark Driscoll is a pathological narcissist and a bully (as many have alleged), then he and his closest elders are probably never going to empathize with those he has hurt through the documented abuse at Mars Hill Church.
Former Mars Hill Church Board of Advisors and Accountability member Paul Tripp stated that Mars Hill Church was the most abusive and coercive ministry that he has ever been involved with (link). 21 ex-elders have accused Mark Driscoll of being a bully (link).
It seems that even in their quest to investigate the charges against Mark Driscoll, the various boards involved fail to understand that ex-members who have been shunned or discarded are in deep pain – many in crisis. While there may be a growing desire to honestly investigate the charges of abuse or understand the abusive culture at Mars Hill Church, there seems to be no desire to understand the level of pain endured by those who have been abused.
In trying to understand how there can be a heightened sense that something is wrong, and that what is wrong is not the fault of “negative media attention” but rather the result of the sinful and abusive culture within Mars Hill church, the elders, to one degree or another, are reflecting the same lack of empathy as their leader.
The pathology of a narcissist is that he cannot feel anyone’s pain but his own. I was always stunned when watching a bully beat up a weaker kid at school, and once the kid was crying and hurt, the bully walked off snickering. Stand up to that bully and give him a bloody nose, and then he starts to cry and call for his mother.
At no point does the bully feel the pain of the kid he just beat up. Sadly, that pathology only allows the bully to feel his own pain – to feel sorry for himself when he is hurt.
If Sutton Turner, in his leaked internal memo (link) is correct, Mars Hill Church’s top leaders set the culture, and so elders and staff reflect the problems that cascade down from the top. This would at least help to understand why, despite the many stories at websites like www.welovemarshill.com of wounded ex-members, the current elders simply do not care very much.
They are reflecting the norm of the classic narcissistic bully.
Perhaps this is why Mark Driscoll can talk about beating up members of the church (link) and talk about breaking the noses of his fellow pastors (link), and members of his audience chuckle and find it amusing (link).
Perhaps once there is a clean slate of executive elders, they will begin to show a shepherd’s heart to the scattered sheep that have been thrown under the bus (link).
4 thoughts on “Bullies and their cohorts laugh at the pain of others.”
Wow! That is good!
Reblogged this on When Church Hurts and commented:
The description in this blog post of how a bully can dish it out but can’t take it so reminds me of the senior pastor’s brother at my former church. He has a reputation for beating up on people with no conscience. That’s because his role is to mete out judgment and condemnation on people for the senior pastor. Yet the senior pastor is just as much a bully at heart. He simply has the wisdom to have someone else be the bully so that he can play the part of gentle shepherd.
On the road to Damascus, Saul heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” Jesus replied, ” I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.”
All the hurt and pain inflicted on Christians is felt by Christ Jesus our Lord. In this specific case of Mars Hill, it is the Body of Christ under that bus.
Mr. Driscoll did not even have the guts to come talk to the media, when confronted. I still laugh and cry about that.