Home Christian News John Lindell Calls Mark Driscoll To Repent for ‘Trying To Destroy James...

John Lindell Calls Mark Driscoll To Repent for ‘Trying To Destroy James River Church’ and ‘Sow Disunity’ in the Lindell Family

John Lindell Mark Driscoll
Screengrab via James River Church

During an evening service on Wednesday (April 17), Pastor John Lindell of James River Church in Ozark, Missouri, accused controversial Pastor Mark Driscoll of attempting to sow division in the Lindell family. According to Lindell, Driscoll even encouraged Lindell’s son to seize control of the church. 

“I get absolutely no joy or delight out of doing this to someone I’ve called a friend,” Lindell said during an emotional address. “Mark, if you are listening to this message, we love you and it’s with a heavy heart that we are calling you to repent.” 

Lindell’s call for Driscoll to repent is the latest in a series of strange events that began over the weekend, when Lindell and Driscoll publicly feuded and then apparently reconciled at James River Church’s Stronger Men’s Conference. 

To open the conference, two-time Guinness World Record holder Alexandr Magala performed a death defying act in which he swallowed a sword before ascending and then rapidly descending a large vertical pole. 

Magala, who has reportedly performed as a pole dancer at women’s and gay nightclubs in the past, told ChurchLeaders that he has since come to faith in Jesus and hopes his act inspires audiences “to reach new heights of what’s possible in their lives.”

During his message on Wednesday, Lindell reported that Magala could even be seen sharing his faith at the airport after the Stronger Men’s Conference. 

Following Magala’s performance, however, Driscoll told attendees that a “Jezebel spirit opened our event.” He then compared the conference opener to both an erotic dance and ancient pagan worship. Before Driscoll could continue his diatribe, he was shouted down by Lindell and promptly left the stage. 

Later, the two men returned to the stage, and Driscoll acknowledged that he should have addressed his concerns with Lindell privately. The two discussed their long friendship, and Lindell recounted sitting with Driscoll after Driscoll resigned in disgrace from Mars Hill Church. 

Driscoll founded Mars Hill Church in Seattle in 1996 but was forced to resign in 2014 amid allegations of controlling and abusive behavior. The church dissolved shortly after his resignation. In 2016, Driscoll founded The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he has again been accused of being an abusive leader. 

During his onstage appearance with Lindell, Driscoll said that Lindell and his wife, Debbie, “have been some of the greatest friends to me and my family through the hardest seasons of our life.” In turn, Lindell praised Driscoll for his “prophetic voice,” comparing him to John the Baptist. 

To conference attendees and online onlookers, it appeared that the two men had reconciled. On Wednesday evening, Lindell told his church that he and Driscoll even posed for a picture that Driscoll posted on social media to celebrate their reconciliation. However, Lindell said, Driscoll subsequently took the post down.