The “Original” Cussing Preacher, Hybels vs. Driscoll, Suing Your Pastor Over Prayer, and More!

Orginally published on Monday, April 30, 2007 at 8:08 AM
by Todd Rhoades

OK... a few things on my mind this morning... including the 'original' cussing preacher, the Elvis impersonator pastor, Hybels vs. Driscoll, and a unique case of the woman who is suing her pastor and church over a prayer injury. You must read on...

The “Original” Cussing Preacher
We’ve talked her quite a lot about Mark Driscoll and the stigma he has had ever since Donald Miller called him ‘the cussing preacher’ in a book a few years ago.  Well… I think that title really should go to the ‘now in eternity’ TV preacher Dr. Gene Scott.  Some of you will remember Scott from his late night tirades on local television stations across the country.  While Dr. Scott didn’t necessarily fit into rigid evangelical territory (to say the least), it would be hard to say that Driscoll has anything on him.  You can see the example here (a word of caution, it is hard to understand some of this preacher’s sentences because he his ‘bleeped’ so much.  I think this puts the whole ‘cussing preacher’ think in perspective.  QUESTION:  Have you ever said anything from the pulpit that should’ve been bleeped? (HT:  Smart Christian)

Hybels vs. Driscoll
Speaking of Mark Driscoll, there’s a lot being blogged today about Bill Hybel’s ‘rebuke’ of Mark Driscoll at the National New Church Conference last week.  I’d be kind of out of the loop if I didn’t mention it somewhere here.  Tall Skinny Kiwi has a little about it here.  Mark Driscoll gives his perspective here.  I find myself in a somewhat awkward position.  Of course, I work for Leadership Network, and we were a sponsor for this year’s National New Church Conference (which was great, by the way).  I’m also working with Mars Hill on a project; and we’ve worked closely with Willow as well.  I also worked closely with the promoters of the conference this year.  It’s always difficult when different worlds collide.  QUESTION:  Were any of you there for that last session at NNCC?  What was your read on the Hybels comment or the Driscoll video?

Suing Your Pastor Over Prayer
According to the Lansing State Journal, A woman who struck her head while praying fervently at Mount Hope Church in 2002 will pursue her case against Pastor Dave Williams and the church.  In a July 2005 complaint, Judith Dadd claims she answered a call to the altar, where church members often “are overcome by the Spirit of the Lord” - they sway, move or collapse to the floor while praying.  Dadd claims that on previous altar calls, trained ushers were available to catch those who fell to the ground. When she fell in 2002, she says, no one caught her.  Dadd also claims in the suit that immediately after her injury, Williams and the church, where she was a 12-year member and involved in the women’s ministry, ignored her need for first aid, comfort from the trauma and shock and spiritual support and fellowship.  Kokomo Bokomo, talk about a ferverent prayer!  QUESTION:  Have you ever injured yourself while praying?  Is there a pending lawsuit?

As if we need to lose more credibility… Michigan ‘Minister’ Performs Marriages Dressed as Elvis
Breitbart.com reports, “You don’t need to go to Las Vegas any more to get hitched in an Elvis-themed wedding chapel. There’s a minister in Michigan taking that act on the road. “We bring a little of the Vegas experience to them,” says Greg Jaqua, an Elvis tribute artist.  Jaqua was ordained through the Universal Life Church a number of years ago, but recently renewed his licence after realizing he could combine his talents to serve a niche market.  “A couple of years ago, someone told me he and his fiancee wanted to go to Las Vegas and be married by Elvis, but they couldn’t go,” he said. “I got the idea for this several years ago and started doing weddings last year.” Jaqua said he has performed three Elvis weddings in his mobile wedding chapel so far… When he was casting about for ways to supplement his income, the wedding chapel seemed like a natural way to do it.” Thanks, Universal Life Church… your mail-order pastor licenses make us all look great.  QUESTION:  I know a few people who’ve ordered the Universal Life ministerial license, just for fun.  Anyone here want to confess to having a ‘supplimentary’ license from the Universal Life Church?

OK… that’s enough for today.  Don’t want to contribute to pastoral ‘brain drain’!

This post has been viewed 6981 times so far.

  There are 34 Comments:

  • Posted by

    Mark’s video was excellent.  They really prevented their people receiving a good word by not distributing this at the conference.

  • I was there… They gave me three copies of the video as I left the auditorium. My staff got the same.

  • Posted by

    I guess when you’re Bill Hybels, you don’t have to follow Matt 18 by starting with a private conversation instead of being in front of the whole conference. Does success breed immunity?

    Maybe Hybels meant it more gently than reported, Driscoll’s views on women have been widely blogged, flogged, and dogged, so what did he do or say in the video that surprised you? I had a bigger problem with how Driscolll used the word, “bang.”

    I guess even though you are smart enough to work with Todd Rhodes, you may not be wise enough to know that when you bring Mark Driscoll on board you can expect certain viewpoints to be expressed.  Driscoll didn’t express anything that was out of character for him.

  • Posted by LayGuy

    I have shared about this event on my site, http://www.layguy.com.

    In a nutshell, Driscoll attracts massive reactions cause he is looked down upon by many camps. In my view that might be a good thing cause the Good Book says that most likewise people were also looked down upon to the point of murder.

    My only concern is that we as the Body, stop spending so much time looking at this issue and focus on what’s really important.

  • Posted by

    I was at the conference as well.  Driscoll’s comments implied that women really have no place in leadership in God’s church.  My concern was not with his view or implication, but with the placement of the video at the conference.  We expected it to be some sort of greeting or pep talk from Driscroll and it was an 8 minute teaching video right before Hybels took the stage… that was a bad decision on the part of the event organizers.  Hybels’ comments were simply his position on women in ministry… NOT… a rebuke of Driscoll.  The event, overall, was awesome!  Let’s get on with building God’s Kingdom.

  • Posted by Tye

    Who is the sax player in the graphic? (dumb question, I know.)

  • Posted by Todd Rhoades

    The man in the picture is Dr. Gene Scott; the ‘cussing’ preacher in question.

  • Posted by Tye

    OK, I guess it is Gene Scott. What a tragedy to even mention this guy. And wonder why some poeple think Christianity is a hoax.

  • Posted by

    you know what’s funny? this was supposed to be a leadership conference, and there must be 50 or so posts on here about 2 “boys” getting into a catfight.
    dont’ get me wrong. i’m a big hybles fan. have been for years. but it was a bit tacky.
    the biggest issue here is we’ve never learned to agree to dissagree. so what, driscoll hates women. so what hybles hates men! who freaking CARES!

    this is like the church’s version of DONALD TRUMP VS. ROSIE O’DONNEL.
    i would have much rathered heard more about the leadership principles, than the classic “OOHHHH, THE CHURCH STINKS, WERE ALL GOING TO BE EXTINCT IN 10 MINUTES” video’s,
    or the

    we get all that. GIVE ME FOOD!

    i mean it would have been better to hear about that, or i don’t know?????

    but please, please please, we must fill our our version of ENQUIRER, with this VERY URGENT WRITTINGS.

    come on christian!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Todd - great to find your blog here. you are correct - the conference was superb and far above expectation.  Well done!!!!

    This issue has blown up far bigger than it should have and i hope my blog comments did not aggrevate it. I was just blogging what was being said and did not know much more than what i saw,

    i am stopping my comments on that post and will refer people over here.

    but for the record, i thought having a broad scope of ministry and theological insight was a strength of the conference and you did a great job in selecting the speakers. PEACE!

  • Posted by David Foster

    I attended the session.  Here is my take.  Marks 8 minute video had something’s good to say, but did not fit the context.  Also Mark is always heavily slanted toward men, this was no exception.

    Hybels, who was already rushed for time, balanced the scale.  In context, Mark’s comments were good.  In context Hybels comments were refreshing.  The problem I had is is this; why were we watched 8 minutes of video while we had the real deal there ready to engage?  The video was out of context added nothing to the conversation.

    Hybels gave a great talk, but I had to leave before it was over, because he got up late and I had to go the airport.

    I liked Hybels courage.  I don’t think he was attacking Mark, only giving a much welcomed balance to the slanted presentation we had just scene.

    David Foster

  • Posted by carole

    Is anyone really suprised by this from Driscoll? He is KNOWN for his anti- women slant on everything No matter how many times he says he isn’t being negative against women, all you have to do is read his words and you will see a very distinct pattern.

  • Posted by

    I think Gene Scott is dead.  So that’s a dead issue so to speak.

    Personally, I think Hybels has a great point.  YOu do not have to put women in thier “place” to build up men.  If a man thinks he needs to be king to feel power over a woman then he isn’t a man and has some problems.


  • Posted by Todd Rhoades

    Thanks, Andrew…

    A couple of clarifications:

    1.  Leadership Network was ONE of the sponsors of the National New Church Conference; but the conference was really headed up by Todd Wilson and Dave Ferguson and their team.  Don’t want to take any credit where credit isn’t due.

    2.  I wanted to make a clarification in my original post.  When I said that it was kind of an awkward position for me, I didn’t want to sound pompous in the fact that I work with many of those people and/or organizations involved in all this hubub.  That certainly is not the case.  I do, however, by virtue of my position with Leadership Network work with most of these folks.  And I can say, they are all great, God-loving people.

    3.  I do think this has been blown way out of proportion.  Mark Driscoll has been pretty clear on his view of women in ministry; and we all know Bill Hybel’s view on women in ministry.  My only point would be that I didn’t view Mark’s video (as some did) as being a afront on women.  To me, it was almost more a call for men to get their act together.

    4.  I think, in retrospect; if Mark’s video would’ve been shown in another session rather than right before Hybel’s address, then not one person would’ve picked up on this story.  As Andrew said, one of the strengths of this conference was the multi-model approach to church planting.

    OK… I think that’s it on the clarifications.  “Mark Driscoll” made the top ten searches on Technorati this morning, so it IS getting alot of blog space.  Be careful though; I’ve seen some posts by people who are quoting people who are quoting people who weren’t there; people who are commenting about the video that haven’t seen it; and/or posting thoughts on previous comments by both Hybels and Driscoll that have nothing to do with this interaction.


  • Posted by Todd Rhoades

    Carole and Al,

    Great case in point.  Have you watched the video that was presented by Driscoll?  I dont’ think anywhere in there did Driscoll put women in their ‘place’ or take an ‘anit-woman slant’.  His point, I think, was that reaching men has a great impact on our society.

    No one diminishes that influence that fathers have in family situations and in how children mature and develop.  Why should we think differently about the influence of men when it comes to the church?

    I didn’t hear Driscoll say anything about women pastors; or even about women in ministry in this video.  (I’ll have to re-watch it, I guess).  So, what he’s really being pegged on are 1.  his reputation in this area; and 2.  his previous spoken words on women in ministry.  This video had little or nothing to do with either.

    Overall, this is just coming down as an “I like Driscoll” or “Driscoll is disgusting” view.  Whatever you thought of the guy before, you’ll probably be reinforced in that thinking.

    My only thought is that that is not entirely fair in this situation.


  • Posted by

    I’m a huge Driscoll fan, even though I disagree with him on lots of issues (like the role of women in ministry), and it would seem to me that the video is exactly what I would have expected from Mark Driscoll.  That is his take on things based on his interpretation of scripture, and he’s not alone on this point.  If they wanted something to encourage women to become church planters I’m sure they could have found someone else to put together an excellent video for that.  Maybe Hybels? 

    I wasn’t there but the somewhat veiled criticism from Hybels seems out of place, and it is in keeping with what we’re seeing more and more of these days; Christians attacking each other for their differences.

  • Posted by


    Fair enough.  I have not seen the video, and I should have started my comments about the role of men in another paragraph.  I don’t know much about Mark, just what I have read here or there, so my comment was more general then specific on him.  Sorry for the confusion.


  • Posted by Tye

    Todd - good clarification. Men’s Fraternity (http://www.mensfraternity.com) has done a lot to shape my view of what biblical manhood looks like. I agree. Mark’s comments were not slanted against women but merely a call for men to step up and be men. The problem here is that this generation is very coinfused about what a biblical man looks like, hence the comments by Carole. Men need to (1) reject passivity, (2) accept responsibility, (3) lead courageously, (4) expect a greater reward, God’s reward. This does not say anything about, or against women. It simply says that men need to step up and be the leaders God has called us to be. And, I thought Mark did exactly that.

  • Posted by

    Todd - like your postings in general, but brother - on this one I must respectfully and gracefully disagree -

    I did watch the video, and in my humble opinion, this is just another cleverly disguised theological offensive by Rev. Driscoll to divide the body of Christ over secondary issues. 

    I attended the conference last year, and was dismayed to hear Rev. Driscoll 1) slam women in his church planters “boot camp” (several women who attended that event were visibly affected after his presentation on male/female roles), and 2) “scream” his message from the stage during his public presentation.  This sounds harsh, but if you’re going to attack others on theological positions on a regular basis (which he does), then don’t be suprised when others hold you accountable for it, which is exactly what Bill Hybels seemed to do grin

  • Posted by Todd Rhoades

    Hey Pat,

    Believe it or not, you’re not the first person to disagree with me here.  smile

    Actually, that’s kinda funny that you think Mark’s videa was a ‘cleverly disguised’ theological offensive.  One thing about Mark is that he doesn’t ‘disguise’ anything.  That’s why he gets so much press.  He usually speaks his mind… that’s what gets him in trouble.

    I’ve heard quite a few messages by Driscoll, but never heard him ‘scream’ like you said he did.  I’ll have to try to get a copy of that one.  If I do, I’ll post the tirade here.

    Again, I think people who like Driscoll will like him all the more after all this; and those who despise him, the same.

    I do know that the NNCC invited him back this year, even after his address from last year; and that attendance was up from 800 to over 1700 this year. 


  • Posted by

    Gene Scott Rocks

  • Posted by

    What bothered me most about his video is that he demanded that church planters conform to a list of requirements, none of which were in evidence in the first church planters, the apostles. I thought that you didn’t require a special skill set to be used by God, but that willingness and obedience were the primary requirements. The militaristic language, while I accept Paul used it in his letters, I find very uncomfortable but I can see how it might inspire an American audience who has deep reverence for the military. As a foreigner, I find American militarism, albeit in Christian terms, deeply frightening.

  • Posted by Josh R

    As a huge Driscoll fan, I was a little disappointed with the video when I saw it.  I think it was not right for the context in which it was presented..  Driscoll spoke on the same subject at a conference in Canada a few weeks ago, and I think he did a much better job. 


    Usually when he speaks, he does an excellent job of laying the groundwork and presenting a pretty tight case.  I don’t think he could do this in 8 minutes.  The video would have been fine within the Acts 29 network where most folks are on the same page..

    Also for a guy who is tired of being called the “cussing pastor”, using the acronym “B.S.” certainly isn’t going to help your reputation much.

  • Posted by Jeff

    Anyone actually know someone who believes that Jesus is a gay hippy in a dress?  Just curious.

  • Posted by Henry Judy

    Let me set the record straight about this once and for all. I was a volunteer at the conference and worked with Scott from Acts 29 all week on the logistics of handling the video out. We also had 1800 Acts 29 brochures that did not arrive in time to be put in the bags at the beginning of the conference. As the conference was winding down we made a decision to hand the videos and brochures out via tables and volunteers at the 3 main doors and not each door to the sanctuary. We just did not have the people to do this nor was it feasible due to exit strategy. In no way, and I know first hand as I was in on the conversation, was their EVER any discussion by anyone associated with the conference that I know of NOT to hand out the video due to Bill Hybels remarks. What was quoted above IS THE QUOTE he said. You will be able to see for yourself when the main session videos are available on the conference website.
    These rumors about the video being pulled from being given out are just NOT true. I know first hand what happened and now the record should be straight.

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