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James River pastor John Lindell. Photo: video.

John Lindell, Mark Driscoll reconcile but comments spark further controversy

The Stronger Men’s Conference in Springfield last weekend made national headlines when speaker Mark Driscoll rebuked what he called the “Jezebel spirit.” Although John Lindell, pastor of conference sponsor James River Church, told him he was “out of line” and removed him from the platform, he later invited him back.

Social media commentators and pastors continue to speak out after reviewing the videos.

Critics of the event have been quick to point out flaws and accountability issues.

“What @johnlindell said after he invited Driscoll back on stage at the Stronger Men’s Conference is FAR worse than the sword-swallowing performance,” posted Jon Root on Twitter. “The fact thousands of men clapped and cheered at this false teaching breaks my heart.”

READ: Springfield men’s conference kicks out Mark Driscoll for criticizing “stripper” pole


READ: Questions remain over ‘Jezebel spirit’ at men’s conference


As the two appeared on stage, Lindell said “You have to be careful that you do not criticize people who have the anointing of God on their lives.”  The remark drew applause and gasps from the audience as Lindell continued. “Better to say nothing. Because what happens is once you begin to criticize someone who has the anointing on them, you’re in the flesh.”

See the full comments in the below video.

Lindell then argued that Driscoll should have addressed his concerns privately with him before airing his grievances on the main platform according to video later posted to social media.

But before that, Lindell also sparked further controversy when he stated no one should fellowship with Driscoll until he repented. In a video posted online, Lindel also said that people should not criticize “anointed” leaders. That remark sparked outrage among many who believe there should be more, not less, accountability within church leadership.

Later, in a follow-up appearance, Driscoll apologized to Lindell for his handling of the situation.

“I love this guy; l believe in this guy,” Lindell said of Driscoll. “Let me tell you what I said to my sons as we were sitting over there as Mark was talking: ‘You want to know what John the Baptist was like? Mark’s a prophetic voice to our generation.’ Nothing about what was said changes that.”

He went on to say he and Driscoll spoke privately after the incident and reaffirmed their friendship. Lindell then called Driscoll “a gift to the Kingdom” and “a gift to James River.”

After thanking Lindell for having “such a great heart for men” and leading what he described as “the greatest men’s event in the country right now,” Driscoll acknowledged the James River pastor’s “spiritual authority” over the conference, admitting he was wrong in how he addressed his concerns.

“I believe what I should have done, since I had another session, I was thinking about it,” he said. “It wasn’t in my notes; I didn’t intend to go there. I was up late praying for the men. I should have, between sessions, talked to you rather than just verbal processing on the stage. And as the father and the head of this house, you could’ve given me a thumbs up or thumbs down, and I need to honor that as spiritual authority. And I honor your spiritual authority — always have.

“So I apologize to you for not going that route, which would have led us away from the most awkward moment in the history of any men’s event. And if I were you, I wouldn’t let me speak again. That’s something you should worry about.”

Lindell then allowed Driscoll to present his planned message.

The church posted a video (below) to social media commending a successful men’s event but the sword-swallowing event and pole were not included in the images.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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