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Has Popular Megachurch 'Deleted' Six Minutes of Its Pastor's Controversial Sermon on Jesus?


"What I’m going to tell you now might be a heresy."

Pastor Mark Driscoll (Image source: Twitter)

Psychology professor and blogger Warren Throckmorton is accusing Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, of deleting "questionable sermon material" from a recent message delivered by Pastor Mark Driscoll.

Pastor Mark Driscoll (Image source: Twitter) Pastor Mark Driscoll (Image source: Twitter)

The May 4 sermon, titled, "Empowered By the Spirit to Fail," runs nearly 57 minutes in length, but Throckmorton claims that the church intentionally axed an additional 6 minutes of content about sin, mistakes and actions Jesus Christ took in his own life, presenting a lightly scrubbed video and transcript.

"A segment of nearly six minutes was deleted from the sermon after discussion internally and some questions were raised externally," Throckmorton wrote. "I have obtained a copy of the original sermon."

The focus of the missing content is the difference Driscoll drew between "sin and mistakes" as they pertain to Jesus. The pastor essentially argued that Christ might not have done everything correctly on the first try (i.e. Jesus potentially made mistakes, though he never sinned).

This contention reportedly led to worries among church leaders and the subsequent removal of that segment of the sermon. Here's a portion of the transcript of the missing footage that apparently created so much concern:

"What I’m going to tell you now might be a heresy. I’m not sure. We’ll see. Ok, um, I’ll just say that, so that if it is, I have an out, ok? So, what I’m going to say now is uh, ok I’ll just say it. Jesus never sinned, will you give me that, He never sinned, true? Good, you’ve been well taught, I think. Ok, so never sinned, never violated any command of the Bible, but question, question, here goes, brain explode, ready? Here we go, is it possible that he made some mistakes?

Meaning; when he was a little kid, when Joseph sat him on his bike, he needed no training wheels, didn’t wobble, just rolled around Jerusalem. When he played Little League, if he played Little League, every time he got up, it was like, ‘Ahhh, walk ‘em! Do not throw the ball to Jesus cause he hits a home run every time! Every time he hits a home run.’ Do you think he ever hit a single? He ever hit a double? Do you think he would’ve ever swung and missed? If the ball was on the outside corner and it was a strike, maybe one time, hypothetically possibly, he didn’t swing at it."

Driscoll went on to give other examples as well, relating Jesus' experience as a human to the trial and error that parishioners go through on a daily basis.

The preacher noted that in the book of Luke it says that Christ "grew in wisdom and stature and favor with men and God" and that this meant that Jesus needed to learn and process how to do things.

"You’re going to need to learn how to do things. One of the ways we learn how to do things is we don’t get it right the first time," Driscoll continued. "We fail. So then we learn from it and we figure out how to do it, that’s how we do things, right?"

The pastor then noted that Christ maybe didn't always get everything right on the first try either (read the entire transcript that was axed here).

"Some of you are paralyzed by religious perfectionism. I need to get it all right, I need to get it all right the first time," Driscoll said. "You’re not Jesus. And you know what? Jesus may have had to learn how to do things by figuring it out, maybe not always getting it a 100 percent right the first time."

Watch the clip that Throckmorton shows the deleted portion below:

The full transcript and the video available on the Mars Hill website leave out this portion of the transcript (read the missing text here). Driscoll's missing comments as shown in the above video would have purportedly taken place at the 30:11 mark in the full sermon embedded on the Mars Hill website.

The arrow on the below screenshot from the transcript published by the church delineates where the missing text and video would be.

The arrow indicates where the missing portion of the sermon would be (Image source: Mars Hill Church) The arrow indicates where the missing portion of the sermon would be (Image source: Mars Hill Church)

Throckmorton raised some of the controversies Driscoll has faced of late and wondered whether the pastor was "making an analogy to himself" when he discussed sin and mistakes.

The academic also noted that former Mars Hill Pastor Dave Kraft, who apparently left the church under "difficult circumstances," seemingly also took aim at Driscoll's sermon.

A phone call and email to a Mars Hill representative have not been returned to TheBlaze. It is unclear how Throckmorton obtained the footage.

The removal aside, what do you think about the notion that Jesus could have potentially made "mistakes"? Let us know in the comments section below.

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