Mark Driscoll and John Lindell

Megachurch Scandal Erupts at Iconic Gathering


James River Church stirred up quite the controversy at their men’s conference that took place late last week.

This happened during the Stronger Men’s Conference at James River Church after a performance by a swordsman prompted prominent ministry leader Mark Driscoll to make a statement about spiritual entities plaguing the church.

The swordsman performance by Alex Magala stirred up this controversy after he removed his shirt and ascended up a pole for his performance, sword in mouth.

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When it was time for Mark Driscoll to take up the platform, he said, “The Jezebel spirit opened up our event. There was a platform. It was a high place. On it was a pole, an Asherah pole, the same thing that’s used in a strip club for women who have the Jezebel spirit to seduce men.”

This statement led to James River’s John Lindell to ask Mark Driscoll to come off of the stage.

“You’re out of line, Mark,” Lindell said.

As Driscoll continued to speak, Lindell finally told him that he was done, and Driscoll came off of the platform.

This led to Lindell’s explanation that he and Driscoll spoke privately for a half hour before Driscoll came up to speak. He says that according to Matthew 18, this should have been a private discussion between the two of them.

“If Mark wanted to say that, he should have said it to me,” Lindell said. “He didn’t. Matthew 18. If your brother offends you, go to him privately.”

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Matthew 18:15-16 says, “Now if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, then take with you one or two others, that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”

Verse 17 also states that if someone still will not listen in private after bringing in the witnesses, this is then the time to tell it to the church.

In this scenario, from what Lindell said, the topic of the swordsman performance was not discussed between the two of them in private before Driscoll made his statement.

On the site for the Stronger Men’s conference, past conference entertainment listed includes “professional bull riding, motocross / BMX competition, professional boxing, and much more.”

In the Facebook stream of James River’s latest church service, it was announced that thousands of men came to the event with 576 deciding to make Christ their Lord and Savior. {eoa}

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Abby Trivett is a marketing copywriter and coordinator for Charisma Media.


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