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Opinion: Charismatic Film ‘The Domino Revival’ Platforms Disgraced Pastor Mark Driscoll

By Josh Shepherd
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Mark Driscoll (left) and Mike Signorelli appear in 'The Domino Revival' (Courtesy Photos)

A film that purports to reveal “the true Jesus” instead features a TikTok-style montage of ecstatic worship concerts, evangelistic sermons, and evidence-free stories of supposed miracles—with disgraced megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll in a cameo role. 

The Domino Revival, in theaters today as a one-night-only event, comes via charismatic pastor Mike Signorelli, who is director, executive producer, and star of the film. He and his wife, Julie, are lead pastors of V1 Church in New York City. In the film, their multi-site megachurch is called “the fastest growing church in America for three years in a row” by Jeff Shortridge of Injoy Stewardship Solutions, a church consultancy founded by leadership guru John Maxwell.

What’s billed as a documentary includes a dozen itinerant ministers affiliated with the American charismatic movement, and Driscoll—once popular in evangelical-Reformed theology circles. Driscoll, who has had allegations of spiritual abuse and bullying follow him from his once-thriving Seattle megachurch to his current church in Arizona, is featured in a segment promoting his new book on spiritual warfare.

In the film, Driscoll references pagan deities such as Baal and Ashtoreth as bringing about “division, anger, depression, and suicide” in unsuspecting souls today. “As you study (demons) in the Bible, you realize the things they were encouraging and doing in ancient days are things that are happening in present days,” he said. “New days but old demons.”

The promotional trailer includes a series of questions that comment on the movie’s central premise. On-screen text asks: “Is this True Revival or Sensationalism? Is This Just Emotion Or The Next Great Awakening? Can We Sustain It?”

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“This film is trying to show people the true Jesus,” said Signorelli in a recent interview. “And when you introduce people to Jesus, addictions are broken, demons are cast out, I believe they can be healed physically in their body.” 

He also says in the trailer: “Society is attempting to redefine right and wrong.”

Christian apologist Carson Weitnauer told The Roys Report (TRR) he agrees with Signorelli’s assertion. But he adds, noting the low moral character of Driscoll: “Ironically, this is the exact reason why discerning Christians should vigilantly warn each other to stay far away from this movie.” 

Arizona pastor Driscoll recently reciprocated his inclusion in The Domino Revival, inviting Signorelli on The Mark Driscoll Podcast to promote the film.

In the podcast intro, Driscoll joked about “triggering woke joke folks.” Such intentional nods to far-right politics are also present in the movie. 

Several featured speakers in The Domino Revival frame the COVID pandemic as a “spiritual attack” rather than a health crisis that claimed millions of lives. 

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Isaiah Saldivar appears in ‘The Domino Revival’ (Courtesy Photo)

Popular podcast host Isaiah Saldivar states in a 2019 clip, that he received a message from God. “I’m getting ready to invade peoples’ living rooms,” Saldivar recounts. “My word will be viral.” 

Then he relays a 2020 conversation with his wife. “When the pandemic broke out, I told my wife: ‘This is the word of the Lord. Honey, everybody is stuck in their living rooms, everybody is online. This is why God told me to go online.’” 

Another itinerant charismatic ministry couple, Parker and Jessi Green of SALT Church, recount their story of moving from New York to Orange County, California in 2016. Four years later—at the height of COVID-related concerns—their religious community, called Saturate OC, hosted mass baptism events at Huntington Beach. 

“Without anyone telling them, they just ran into the water to be baptized,” says Jessi Green. “And people just started turning around and baptizing the person behind them.” The group received citations from local authorities but persisted with additional outdoor meetings. 

‘Not one of those cringey Christian influencers’

To start the film, Signorelli recounts his personal testimony of growing up on the south side of Chicago. He says he was the eldest of five children raised by a single mom who received government assistance. 

At age 15, Signorelli says he had a prophetic dream that led him to speaking in tongues, and seeing “miracles, signs, and wonders” at youth meetings where he preached. “This was more than emotionalism; this was the power of God on display,” says Signorelli. The film shows some grainy footage of past religious meetings but not any stories of changed lives from this period. 

The church-produced film proceeds to show the growth of Signorelli’s ministry. His church in New York City met in various theaters for several years. He says the multi-site congregation’s growth had been “unstoppable” with “standing room only” services, until the pandemic hit. 

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Mike Signorelli appears in ‘The Domino Revival’ (Courtesy Photo)

In a reenactment that film director-star Signorelli staged with his wife, Julie, he is seen watching a television in their Queens apartment as U.S. authorities announce in-person, COVID-related gathering restrictions. “I feel like people are hurting, and they’re disconnected,” he tells his wife. 

She suggests that he preach using social media livestream. He replies: “I’m just not one of those Christian influencers, you know, one of those really cringey ones that need a ton of attention?”

The film jump-cuts to Mike Signorelli walking the streets of Queens, on an Instagram Live video. “What’s up everybody?” he says. “Welcome to live at lunch . . . God got this message to you on divine appointment.” 

While this rare bit of self-effacing humor reveals the charismatic appeal of Signorelli, it also reflects the contradictions inherent in The Domino Revival as a film. 

Signorelli says the Gospel is not about celebrities or influencers or “seminary-trained professional ministers.”

Yet his celebrity status—measured by social media success and ability to draw crowds—is presented as evidence of a revival. For instance, the film features about eight scenes where a livestream video is “recreated” with on-screen animation, showing social likes snowballing to thousands. 

Similarly, the purported success of recent charismatic-fundamentalist film, Come Out in Jesus’ Name, produced by controversial Tennessee preacher Greg Locke, is noted for its spiritual impact. 

“By now, you have heard of the super spiritual success of Come Out in Jesus’ Name, number four at the national box office,” says Locke about the film he produced and starred in. “Tens of thousands of people have been saved, healed, and delivered—not in a church but in a movie theater.” 

Signorelli has often been featured in Charisma Magazine, a publication that has for decades chronicled key figures and trends in the charismatic movement. The Domino Revival has also garnered uncritical coverage from several popular religious media outlets.

Tough topics, inept handling

The film recounts how, during the pandemic, Signorelli connects with Saldivar and two other itinerant ministers. The four men produce dramatic livestream videos together and become known as the “Demon Slayers,” casting out demons of sickness, among other spirits. 

“My inbox is flooded with reports of medically verifiable miracles.” says Signorelli. Yet the film does not present any medical evidence related to any claims of supernatural healing. 

The film also addresses difficult topics such as substance abuse and suicide—not with subject matter expertise, but merely sermons urging people to just say no.

“In order to step in, you might have to give up some pills that are hiding in your purse right now,” Signorelli preaches. “You might have to give up some weed. you might have to give up some heroin. . . . I’m giving you some time to determine if you really want to come into the kingdom or if you just want to be a Christian by title.” 

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Mike Signorelli appears in ‘The Domino Revival’ (Courtesy Photo)

Similarly, the film flashes a statistic on-screen that, in 2021, 1.7 million Americans attempted suicide. 

Then, the film shows young adults and teenagers standing at the front of church auditoriums, confessing suicidal ideation by raising their hands.

“You are about to see suicides cancelled right now,” says Signorelli to the crowd, then turns to the youth at the altar. “Suicide, come out of him now! You cannot have him.” 

But the film’s re-platforming of Driscoll, whose bullying and controlling behavior has led to painful separation even from his own family members, according to their accounts, may be its most egregious misstep.

TRR reached out to Signorelli through a spokesperson for comment but did not hear back. 

Weitnauer, a former director at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) who left RZIM in protest of the ministry’s treatment of abuse victims, has been a frequent online critic of Driscoll. 

“In Acts 20, the Apostle Paul commanded the leaders of God’s church to identify savage wolves who deceptively lure disciples into following them,” said Weitnauer in a statement to TRR. “So look into it for yourself: are these speakers known for their goodness and honesty—or bullying, financial mismanagement, and lies?” 

Currently playing in theaters, The Domino Revival is expected to be released for at-home streaming in the coming weeks. 

Freelance journalist Josh Shepherd writes on faith, culture, and public policy for several media outlets. He and his family live in the Washington, D.C. area.

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5 Responses

  1. Mark Driscoll is only disgraced with the mainstream evangelical crowd, he has no issues with non denominational, charismatic or Pentecostal Christian and that’s who’s hanging out with in this movie

  2. I read nothing that would turn me away from watching. And the comments about steering away is a little too self righteous. Never fear anything that may help you obtain knowledge you don’t know about.

  3. Let’s take some time to appreciate the grammar in Greg Locke’s movie title, “Come Out In Jesus Name”.

    Though Josh graciously includes an apostrophe when quoting Locke, that apostrophe was nowhere to be found on the movie’s marketing materials.

    Perhaps the spiritual power of the movie title exorcised the apostrophe, proving beyond a doubt that this little squiggle is, indeed, demonic.

    1. I do try to take cues from President Lincoln even in grammar: “With malice toward none, with charity for all…”

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