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If the Top Men take over, who will ask the hard questions?

The same is true in the celebritydrome of the evangelical subculture.   Driscoll is a classic case in point. For example, he has claimed that God gives him explicit images of the sexual sins of other people.  He has embraced prosperity teacher and denier of the Trinity, T. D. Jakes, as a brother. He has written an explicit book on sex. Most recently, he engaged in a cringe-inducing publicity stunt unworthy of a spoiled teenager. For most of us, any one of these things would have ended in church discipline and (in the Jakes’ case) removal from office.  Yet in all of this, the fan base and those with a vested interest in capitalizing on his success grant him free pass after free pass. 

So the fall-out from The Janet Mefferd Show has been interesting even as it has been entirely predictable.  The fan base and those with a vested interest in Driscoll’s reputation rally around their hero while excoriating Janet Mefferd.   In so doing, they ironically demonstrate why shows such as Janet Mefferd’s can be so very important: if the conservative evangelical world continues to be increasingly dominated by one or two huge media-style organizations, the conversation will be corralled and controlled, the hard questions will not be asked, and the leaders of such organizations and those over whom they choose to extend their patronage will not be held to account.

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Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

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