Did Mark Driscoll Get Me Kicked Off Patheos? (UPDATED)

On May 21 2018, I received an email from COO of Patheos Jeremy McGee that I no longer met the “strategic objectives” of Patheos and therefore would be removed as a blogger from the site. Recently I learned from more than one former staff member of The Trinity Church  about a possible reason why I was evicted without a reason given.  If Mark Driscoll’s bragging is correct, Patheos management decided they would rather have Mark Driscoll’s traffic over mine.  According to the story that I have been told from two sources independently, Mark Driscoll told Patheos that he would not bring his substantial social media traffic to Patheos if I was allowed to stay on the site. In effect, he bragged, he got me kicked off the site.

At the time, the “favored advertiser theory” was one which made some sense. Obviously publishing is a business and if an advertiser/blogger promised to bring in lots of ad money and traffic (more than I was bringing in), then a management mainly in it for the profit would have to consider that. I could never get confirmation of the theory or prove who would be vindictive enough to actually pursue that gangster move.

As far as who might consider such a move, I thought of several candidates. Driscoll’s name did come up. After all, he told Tim Gaydos if Tim moved away from Mars Hill and planted his own church, Driscoll would tear it down brick by brick. You can hear that quote from Gaydos in the opener of every Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast episode. However, at the time, I could only speculate. Now, I have more than one reliable source with the same story of Driscoll bragging about getting me kicked off the site.

Not only was I told I had to stop blogging, my blog  was taken down so that all links throughout the web which pointed to my Patheos address no longer work. In effect, there was an effort to silence the writing.

Let it sink in a minute: Mark Driscoll met Patheos’ “strategic objectives” while I did not.

At the time, no reason was given beyond my blog no longer met their “strategic objectives.” I was given my blog content and allowed to host it on a friend’s server. That is the arrangement to this day. There are still numerous weblinks pointing to Patheos.com/wthrockmorton which are dead and lead to “410 Gone” on their site. I don’t get any reporting of the page views, but I would sure like to know how many views they have forfeited.

The irony is that Driscoll hasn’t posted on Patheos since July 2020. Forgive me for laughng about that.

I contacted Phil Fox Rose who was one of the Patheos editors at the time and who communicated to other Patheos bloggers about the decision. He is no longer with Patheos, however he wouldn’t tell me anything except he didn’t talk to Driscoll personally. That doesn’t mean much since he wasn’t a decision maker. He must have signed a non-disclosure agreement since he said he can’t talk about anything else at Patheos.

I also wrote the former COO of Patheos McGee to see if he could confirm or deny Driscoll’s bragg. I waited several days but haven’t heard anything.

So I am just putting this out there. I don’t know if it is true or not but this is the story Driscoll has told according to some of his former staff.

PS – If anybody else knows anything about any of this, my DMs are open so to speak.

UPDATE: Just talked to someone today who spoke to Grace Driscoll as The Trinity Church was opening during the summer of 2016. According to my source, Driscoll said her husband was trying to get Patheos to kick me off the platform back then. It took him a year but he made it on the site by late 2017. I was gone by May 2018.


42 thoughts on “Did Mark Driscoll Get Me Kicked Off Patheos? (UPDATED)”

  1. This seems like an appropriate old thread to post this observation.
    I still look at a couple of blogs on Patheos Evangelical, and in the past week or two I have noticed a new advertiser popping up there:
    Yes, the Twitter substitute for white supremacists, anti-Semites, and treasonists is fishing for Christians, with ads appealing to Christian nationalism (referencing bringing America back “under God”). And Patheos is apparently happy to take their money.

  2. Patheos is an organization that implemented a “spam” filter which did not permit people commenting on the blogs there to use words like Muslim, Mohammad, Islam. Which could have been a mistake, but several years later *it’s still there.* Hosting the global conversation on religion, indeed! (You can’t mention Hell or the Book of Job either. And heaven help you if you just try to have an ordinary conversation, because you can’t say “target”, “pot”, “kill”, “monster,” or “breast” either. The list goes on.)

    They have more recently imposed things like protecting the article text so that you can’t cut and paste a quote from it in your discussion.

    There is no response whatsoever to complaints.

    I think you are well out of there, actually. I wish the blogger I follow there would leave as well. Until then, I read via Disqus redirect and avoid giving any hits to the site, and use an ad-blocker.

  3. The irony is that Driscoll hasn’t posted on Patheos since July 2020. Forgive me for laughing about that.

    Nothing to forgive, Warren. Laughing right along with you.

  4. Mark Driscoll kicking you off Patheos? How about thrown under the bus and by God’s grace it will be a mountain when he’s through.

      1. It’s the other way round if someone is vulnerable; then the bite is very poisonous.

        1. I think you are misunderstanding me, I’m not saying Driscoll hasn’t harmed people, he has harmed far to many of them.

          I’m saying that for people who stand up to Driscoll, his “threats” are little more than impotent rage.

          1. No, I didn’t misunderstand you. You are in effect saying that MD is a bully, and so am I.

  5. Warren, I don’t consider the photo above as being very appropriate.

    You’re much more attractive than Driscoll, in my eyes. 😉

    1. Indeed! Kind eyes (and what they say about a person) – whether belonging to the beholder or the beheld – count for very great deal!

  6. “He must have signed a non-disclosure agreement since he said he can’t talk about anything else at Patheos.”

    I don’t care if you’re supposed to make money – if you’re a religious organization and insisting on NDAs, you’re doing it wrong. Either conduct your business in a manner that makes NDAs unnecessary, or stop pretending that you’re religious.

  7. From what I’ve read about Mark Driscoll, here and elsewhere, it certainly sounds plausible that he wanted you gone from Patheos, whether or not he was entirely responsible.. The loss is all on Patheos, though, especially since Driscoll hasn’t posted there for more than a year. I actually laughed out loud when I read that. Keep up the good work, Dr. Throckmorton! I have a feeling that Trinity isn’t going to end any better than Mars Hill.

  8. It’s a little disappointing (though not surprising – when it comes to humans’ capacity to be awful, little surprises me these days) that Patheos turned out to value money far more than integrity.

  9. Mark Driscoll has clearly been an Ezekiel 34 bad shepherd for a couple of decades. The false apostolic-prophetic movement has enthusiastically embraced him and promoted him with Charisma publications leading the way. Their only goal is influence and gathering as many folks as possible. Unwittingly in support of the enemy’s deception and delusion upon the body of Christ.

  10. When you were fired from Patheos, I’m guessing they weren’t expecting the right-wing conservative branch of the evangelical movement to get quite so crazy. They’re probably wondering where they go from here.

  11. So Driscoll was “bragging” about how scared of you he was ;). And the whole trying to silence you didn’t so well work either.

  12. Didn’t Gospel For Asia begin a blog on Patheos at around the same time as Driscoll? Whether or not Driscoll on his own really did wield the alleged amount of traffic influence (and used it explicitly in that way), there must have been at least someone (or some number) within the Patheos decision-making hierarchy who felt that working with profitable grifters was a better idea than indulging someone who exposes grifters for what they are.

      1. At the time you speculated about KP. But now he is getting a boat load of trouble from the Indian version of the I.R.S.

        1. Just a word of caution re. the Indian Government: while I am sure there are good reasons for KP being ‘scrutinized’ carefully, it is the case that there is something of an anti-Christian drive going on in India right now, to which the religious-nationalistic government of Narendra Modi (who is a little like Trump in some of his ways, I think) appears at least to be acquiescing.



        2. Just a word of caution re. the Indian Government: while I am sure there are good reasons for KP being ‘scrutinized’ carefully, it is the case that there is something of an anti-Christian drive going on in India right now, to which the religious-nationalistic government of Narendra Modi (who is a little like Trump in some of his ways, I think) appears at least to be acquiescing.



          1. I use to work for and volunteer for an organization that claimed to help persecuted Christians around the world. What I learned is that it is a great way to raise Mammon while having absolutely zero accountability. KP was constantly using this card and yet was not ever able to show sure proof of it happening. Voice of the Martyrs and GFA are both scamming people with this line. I would not recommend anyone rely on what these orgs are saying. I do not doubt that persecution is real in some places, like Afghanistan, but a church has existed in India since the 1st century. After realizing that Tom White was using donations to go overseas and molest children, it opened my eyes. My sources inside India have not been sure how much of the persecution is real or how severe it really is. So I count this political crap blaming Modi as a bunch of hot air.

          2. I’m sure you are right that there are individuals and organizations that abuse people’s trust in the way you suggest, but I do believe that there are Christians (and Muslims) who are not having an easy time in India. Of course, one thing (especially common in the US) that does not help those who are genuinely persecuted, or indeed the reputations of organizations like Open Doors and the Barnabas Fund, is the pathetic bleating of, for example, trumpvangelicals who claim that they are being presecuted because they are not getting absolutely everything their own way.

            I also agree that we should not ‘[blame] Modi’ personally (unpleasant though he is in the eyes of many) – in any country there is a host of historical, political and cultural issues at play; I think you might have become a little overexcited when you read my comment above, hence your use of slightly bad language in your last sentence!

          3. There are Christians everywhere who are not having an easy time of things. The persecution of the first generation Christians far exceeded that. But even my source in India in a online debate with a native online asked the question if you are verbally mocked is that persecution? Also many Christians are corrupt in that country. The ones that work for KP and know what he is certainly are. So if you have an affair with a Hindu’s wife or try to cheat them in a business deal and they come back with thugs they hired and beat you up over it, is that persecution? This kind of thing happens over there all the time even between people of the same religion. Some rich men even will easily bribe the police and send them off to arrest and harass on false charges. Is this persecution or just normal third world corruption? A person living there and working all across the country could not answer these questions.

          4. I do understand your point; often things that happen to Christians (or Muslims) in India are not really about their religion, and people play the ‘persecution card’. But I don’t accept that there is no problem of religious persecution at all in India.

          5. From what I have been able to tell however much is hard to prove. You cannot prove a big negative like it never happens, but proving that it does and it is not criminal activity of sorts that cares not about the religion is also hard. I came to the conclusion that only God knows for sure plus whatever individuals are actually receiving it because of religious biases. Just do not donate money to causes claiming this.

          6. I am very clear about who/what I donate money to, thank you!

            It should indeed be recognized that the problems faced by Muslims and Christians are partly the result of their social position in that particular culture, and it can be asked to what extent any persecution is purely about religion.

          7. The caste system has its own kind of racism or whatever you want to call it. And it should be noted that it is also a problem elsewhere even in Great Britain. The reality is that there are many kinds of biases that could fit under a Racism with capital R banner. We use many different ways to discriminate against others just because they are not like us. In the modern age with this social media people are even making up new ones based on criteria that brings together people of like minds and hearts that are tiny minorities geographically. This is surely a problem and it is rooted in pride. It is also a problem of not seeing all humans as being made in the image of God.

          8. True – racism is a problem the world over; the issue is how societies attempt to deal with it. In the UK, there are laws such as the Racial and Religious Hatred Act (2006), and, in the US, the Constitution, which – properly understood and applied through specific legislation – effectively outlaws promoting hatred on grounds of race or religion. As we know only too well, these legal instruments often do not ‘work’, but they do show an attempt to address unjust discrimination, and, especially in the UK, are enforced when possible. (Article 25 of the Indian Constitution does guarantee freedom of conscience, but people’s practical circumstances can impinge on their ability to enjoy that right.)

            Social media, and the ways it can cause people to ‘live in ghettos’ with only those who agree with them, is a real problem. One of the things I have working on in the church I attend and minister in is to give people space to discuss their differences of viewpoint. I think that’s very important for all concerned.

            But, in the end, as you suggest, it is a matter of ‘hearts and minds’. I might quote from my own homily last Sunday: “to suggest that someone is somehow less than human because of their ethnicity is to spit in God’s Face.” That’s what we all need to understand if we are to make real progress against the scourge of racism.

          9. No, I’m not! But I do think that Catholic theology has much going for it. Not so keen on some of the ‘church order’ stuff: I prefer a less authoritarian structure. I like Pope Francis a lot – very thoughtful and engaging in my opinion.

          10. “I prefer a less authoritarian structure.” On this I agree. Although I prefer action to talk. When I see a Pope that addresses the idolatry of the office as something that has to change then I will listen. Until then I just see a lot of different people from different sects talking about things they never do…

  13. A question really … What do Patheos say are their “strategic objectives”? Or is what was told to you just one of those meaningless forms of words that folk use when they simply want you to go away?

    I suspect that you were treated as you were because blow the whistle when it needs to be blown, and people find whistle-blowers make them uncomfortable – which is, in the end, their problem, of course. Perhaps Patheos is looking for contributions that play to a well-defined gallery (having a go at ‘one of usual targets’) or that are soft, fluffy and anodyne?

    1. Or is what was told to you just one of those meaningless forms of words that folk use when they simply want you to go away

      Got it in one. It’s corporate speak, like saying you have been “resource actioned” (fired).

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