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Why James River Church is threatening to cut ties with Mark Driscoll

James River Church pastor John Lindell threatened to cut ties with pastor Mark Driscoll if he does not “repent” for his actions following the Stronger Men’s Conference last weekend.

He discussed it during the prayer service on Wednesday evening.

Here’s what you need to know.

What happened at the James River Church Stronger Men’s Conference?

Alex Magala, who has performed on several Got Talent shows including America’s Got Talent, had opened the church’s annual conference with a sword swallowing act while performing acrobatics on a vertical metal pole. In a later session, Driscoll compared the act to a stripper, calling it a demonstration of the “Jezebel spirit of seducing men.”

Lindell called Driscoll off the stage, but the two later met for a public discussion. Social media followers called the public discussion a reconciliation, something Lindell refuted in his prayer service on Wednesday night, saying Driscoll did not apologize for his actions.

More: ‘Jesus Wept’: Pastor Leaves Stage After Remarks at James River Church Men’s Conference

What happened after the conference?

During the service on Wednesday, Lindell shared text messages, voicemails and phone calls that Driscoll said he sent him and his son David Lindell over the weekend. He claims Driscoll fueled media coverage of Magala’s past as a nightclub performer to generate sales and engagement.

John Lindell also said that during phone conversations with David Lindell, Driscoll accused his other son, Brandon Lindell, who is also a pastor at James River, “of a list of dark sins” and said “there was something evil at work” at James River . Church.

John Lindell said at the service that the church received so many violent threats and disturbing phone calls that they had to turn off their switchboard “for the first time ever.” Ozark Police Chief Justin Arnold said police had not received any reports of threatening calls.

“What Mark had done at that moment was so egregious: trying to bring down the leader of the church, creating friction between brothers, creating discord between father and son,” John Lindell said. “It seems demonic to me and honestly makes me very concerned about Mark.”

Why is John Lindell threatening to cut ties with Mark Driscoll?

Lindell said he has followed Matthew 18:15, a portion of the Bible that provides guidance for dealing with situations where someone has wronged you: First, approach the person privately. If that doesn’t work, seek mediation. If that doesn’t work either, tell the church, and if they refuse to listen to the church, “treat them like a heathen or a tax collector.”

During the service, Lindell said he sought the help of Jimmy Evans, a pastor and co-founder of Marriage Today, in mediating with Driscoll.

“If he doesn’t listen to tonight’s rebuke, every person of faith should have nothing to do with Mark Driscoll,” Lindell said. “I get absolutely no joy or pleasure from doing this with someone I’ve called a friend. Mark, as you listen to this message, we love you and with heavy hearts we call on you to repent.”

Lindell also said that those spreading the “misinformation” they have bought into should repent and share the correct information with their followers as well.

Why does John Lindell want Mark Driscoll to convert?

There are five things Lindell wants Driscoll to repent of:

  • Slandering Magala, a born-again Christian;
  • Attempts to sow division in the James River Church;
  • Making false and defamatory accusations against Brandon Lindell;
  • Trying to sow division in the Lindell family;
  • Trying to destroy the James River Church by attacking its leadership.

Who is Mark Driscoll?

Driscoll is an evangelical pastor who co-founded Seattle’s Mars Hill Church, which dissolved after “allegations that he bullied members, threatened opponents, lied and oversaw the mismanagement of church funds,” according to a Seattle Times article.

In 2016, he founded Real Faith with his wife and daughter in Scottsdale, Arizona.

At the time of publication, Driscoll’s request for comment was not returned.

Susan Szuch reports on health and food for the Springfield News-Leader. Follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @szuchsm. Story idea? Email her at [email protected].