Home Christian News ‘I Take Full Responsibility’—John Lindell Apologizes for Inviting Mark Driscoll and Alex...

‘I Take Full Responsibility’—John Lindell Apologizes for Inviting Mark Driscoll and Alex Magala to Stronger Men’s Conference

John Lindell James River Church
Screengrab via Facebook @James River Church

On Sunday (April 21), Pastor John Lindell of James River Church once again addressed the controversy that took place at the Stronger Men’s Conference involving Pastor Mark Driscoll and sword swallower Alex Magala.

“Before we jump into the message, let me just say this about the events of this past week,” Lindell said. “I want to say two things—first of all, I want to thank you for your overwhelming response on Wednesday night. What happened was both biblical and necessary and the Lord was present and for that we’re grateful.”

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

Lindell was referring to James River Church’s prayer service on Wednesday (April 17), when he publicly called Driscoll to repent. Addressing his words to Mark Driscoll, Lindell said on Wednesday,

We are calling you to publicly repent for refusing to stop the spread of lies regarding Alex Magala, a Christian brother. Mark, we are calling you to publicly repent for sowing disunity in the body of Christ. Mark, we are calling you to publicly repent for covertly trying to divide brothers and making false and slanderous accusations against Brandon Lindell. Mark, we are calling you to publicly repent for trying to create division in the Lindell family, all the while saying you love us. Mark, we are calling you to publicly repent for trying to destroy James River Church through attacking its leadership.

Lindell told James River Church on Sunday, “At the same time, I want to be clear, and I want to apologize and let you know, I take full responsibility for the decision that was made to invite Mark Driscoll and Alex Magala to the Stronger Men’s Conference.”

“I am deeply saddened by the division that our invitation has brought to the body of Christ,” he added. “That was never our intent. Stronger Men’s Conference is about reaching men for Jesus Christ, and it will continue to be about reaching men for Jesus Christ.”

RELATED: Mark Driscoll Kicked Off Stage for Calling Out ‘Strip Club’-Like Performance at Stronger Men’s Conference

Driscoll’s years in ministry have been plagued with controversy. In 2014, he resigned in disgrace from Mars Hill Church, a multisite megachurch he founded in Seattle, after he was accused of being an abusive leader. Two years later, he founded The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he has also been accused of being an abusive leader.

According to Lindell, after the Strong Men’s Conference, Driscoll referred to Magala as a “gay porn, stripper, Jezebel” whose performance was “completely demonic” in text messages to Lindell’s son.

Also following the conference, Magala explained in a video and to ChurchLeaders that he isn’t a stripper and never worked as a stripper. Rather, he worked as a go-go dancer shortly after moving to the Los Angeles in order to make ends meet while he worked on his craft as a sword swallower.