BREAKING: Mark Driscoll resigns from Mars Hill Church

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Bert Perry's picture

He was accused of bullying, and he's leaving his pulpit because he feels it is not safe to minister anymore.   I don't condone making threats, but there is irony and poetic justice in this....

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Wayne Wilson's picture

Mr. Driscoll has a history of exaggerating personal danger.  It may be true, but it strikes me as a pastor who cried wolf situation.  Actually, he has some wolfish tendencies himself.

jimfrank's picture

Most of the younger pastors in our Fellowship like Mark Driscoll, but many of the older pastors think he's a fraud or worse. A former youth pastor posted "I still like Mark Driscoll" on his Facebook page in response to the news of his resignation.  We will see Mark Driscoll again because he has too many fawning followers.

Ron Bean's picture

jimfrank wrote:

Most of the younger pastors in our Fellowship like Mark Driscoll, but many of the older pastors think he's a fraud or worse. A former youth pastor posted "I still like Mark Driscoll" on his Facebook page in response to the news of his resignation.  We will see Mark Driscoll again because he has too many fawning followers.

Maybe they can find some of those old "I Support Hyles 100%" pins and change the name.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Bert Perry's picture

Per Wayne's comment, perhaps Proverbs 28:1 ought  to come to mind.  But I'd still say, whether there's truth or not, that it would be ironic if someone accused of bullying was himself driven out by bullies.  Again, not that I condone that behavior, or for that matter making things up.

And I would not say he's a fraud, but rather that his bullying (including his stunt with James MacDonald at the Strange Fire conference) indicates self-will, his coddling of T.D. Jakes and his promotion of his own book using church funds indicates both self-will and probably a degree of love of money, and some of the.....interesting theology of Song of Songs presented in "Real Marriage" (my wife is obligated to do what because of what?) does indicate that he's got a problem with discipline in his hermeneutic--he's not quite apt to teach.

The trouble with calling him a fraud, even if it's true, is that it doesn't fit the list of qualifications Paul gives in 1 Timothy and Titus.  Specific allegations, friends.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture

I think Mark Driscoll has a future. I think he is redeemable and not permanently disqualified. 

He could, in my view, benefit from some coaching from a veteran pastor. 

He will be pastoring again ... probably in a large C/E church (but not a multi-campus church). He will surface again in 6-12 months

 

Jay's picture

Jim, I think you're right and that he'll land in some church within the year.

I hope that he's resigning for all the right reasons and he will work to deal with the character deficiencies and issues that have already been noted.  I hope he can be restored eventually.  But it's going to take a long time and a lot of work before I'd even consider interviewing him for a pastoral role.  We'll see if he's doing this for the right reasons or not eventually.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

jimfrank's picture

Mark Driscoll doesn't have to go to another church.  An Evangelical seminary could hire him as "Visiting Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Church Growth," and their enrollment would triple overnight.  Teaching at a seminary could also serve as a "rehab assignment."

Sean Fericks's picture

I am happy to see that he, his family, and his church are working toward repentance and restoration.  I am sure it will be messy, and I am sure that (like me) his intentions are laced with sinful remnants of selfishness.  But no reason to kick a man when he is down, especially when he has chosen to step down in repentance.  God loves restoration, and I pray that God's name will be glorified through the successes and failures of our imperfect brother, Mark Driscoll.

Jim's picture

jimfrank wrote:

Mark Driscoll doesn't have to go to another church.  An Evangelical seminary could hire him as "Visiting Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Church Growth," and their enrollment would triple overnight.  Teaching at a seminary could also serve as a "rehab assignment."

 

Wayne Wilson's picture

Sean Fericks wrote:

I am happy to see that he, his family, and his church are working toward repentance and restoration.  I am sure it will be messy, and I am sure that (like me) his intentions are laced with sinful remnants of selfishness.  But no reason to kick a man when he is down, especially when he has chosen to step down in repentance.  God loves restoration, and I pray that God's name will be glorified through the successes and failures of our imperfect brother, Mark Driscoll.

Very gracious thoughts here, brother, and a worthy prayer. But Driscoll has been mentored, corrected and repented for years. Repentance (of a sort) is how he plays. But according to the elders he's destroyed professionally and personally, he makes public apologies all the time, but never comes to those he's wronged. How many chances does a guy get before he should do something else for a living?  Some folks just aren't qualified, and the man's in his forties. He's had every chance to "grow up."  

DavidO's picture

 But Driscoll has been mentored, corrected and repented for years. Repentance (of a sort) is how he plays. But according to the elders he's destroyed professionally and personally, he makes public apologies all the time, but never comes to those he's wronged. How many chances does a guy get before he should do something else for a living? Some folks just aren't qualified, and the man's in his forties. He's had every chance to "grow up."

How many chances for forgiveness or re-qualification?  For forgiveness, we know the answer.  For re-qualification?  Well, if genuine repentance over these things bears consistent fruit for a period of time as determined by the elder/congregation to which he submits himself, then they are the ones to determine that, no?

Jay's picture

Jim wrote:

jimfrank wrote:

Mark Driscoll doesn't have to go to another church.  An Evangelical seminary could hire him as "Visiting Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Church Growth," and their enrollment would triple overnight.  Teaching at a seminary could also serve as a "rehab assignment."

I don't see the photo, but...boy, that's an interesting thought.  We thought the Northland thing was bad...I can't imagine the online madness if Driscoll became President at Central.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Wayne Wilson's picture

DavidO wrote:

 But Driscoll has been mentored, corrected and repented for years. Repentance (of a sort) is how he plays. But according to the elders he's destroyed professionally and personally, he makes public apologies all the time, but never comes to those he's wronged. How many chances does a guy get before he should do something else for a living? Some folks just aren't qualified, and the man's in his forties. He's had every chance to "grow up."

How many chances for forgiveness or re-qualification?  For forgiveness, we know the answer.  For re-qualification?  Well, if genuine repentance over these things bears consistent fruit for a period of time as determined by the elder/congregation to which he submits himself, then they are the ones to determine that, no?

Yes, but when you create a system of governance to specifically remove yourself from elder accountability, and show the door to elders who speak against that system...what then? That's what happened at Mars Hill. Driscoll removed himself from elder accountability, choosing to be accountable to hand-picked outsiders, one of whom, Paul Tripp, now says, "But it became clear to me that a distant, external accountability board can never work well because it isn't a firsthand witness to the ongoing life and ministry of the church. Such a board at best can provide financial accountability, but it will find it very difficult to provide the kind of hands-on spiritual direction and protection that every Christian pastor needs. Unwittingly, what happens is that the external accountability board becomes an inadequate replacement for a biblically functioning internal elder board that is the way God designed his church to be lead and pastors to be guided and protected." 

That was his public statement. According to nine Mars Hill pastors who wrote Driscoll a letter on Aug. 22, Tripp told them in a phone conversation, "I am not worried at all at burning my integrity for the real deal, but I won’t burn it for something that’s not the real deal. I don’t think even now that there is the recognition of the depth of what Mars Hill Church and Mark is actually dealing with. This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.” ​

That is the ministry culture created by the mature Mark Driscoll.  These are deep-seated character flaws. Oh, yes, and the pastor's that wrote the letter? They got fired.  That's less than two months ago.

http://www.religionnews.com/2014/08/28/step-full-text-mars-hill-pastors-letter-mark-driscoll/

 

Bert Perry's picture

I can only imagine the interactions between Dr. Bauder & Mr. Driscoll if he were to become president at Central.  It would not be pretty and would not last long.  Or, more accurately, I think he and the rest of the faculty would resign in protest if Driscoll were hired.  And I respect them for that.

OK, levity aside, if there is one good thing that can come out of this series of disasters, it is what Wayne hints it; tells us that any church that would honor God needs to have robust accountability structures.  That means a board that is independent of the "main guy" and has the freedom to confront the main guy without fear of repercussion, and it means that as we choose churches, outside teachers, and the like, we automatically eliminate those that do not have robust accountability structures in place.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Sean Fericks's picture

Those of us who are distant from the situation should be hopeful and pray for God's best for the church and brother Driscoll.  Those who are involved in the situation should be careful, wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Greg Long's picture

I find it interesting he used the resignation letter to accuse the elders of wrongdoing on his way out the door.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Bert Perry's picture

I can disagree with Mr. Driscoll on any number of issues and note what appears to be some (at least temporarily) disqualifying character on his part, but yes, they were the big thing going for the Gospel in Seattle, and we need to pray that whoever comes next (and whoever is already nearby in terms of Bible-believing churches) are able to pick up the pieces.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

Wayne Wilson wrote:

Helpful thoughts. One take-away line...and held accountable when they abuse their position of authority."

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2014/10/16/the-mars-hill-postmortem/

Now let's see TGC put some feet to the talk by getting Justin Taylor to apologize for his misuse of authority as Crossway VP to damage her radio show by encouraging all Christian book publishers to avoid it.  Or....does that only apply in select circumstances that TGC has to approve?

The #tgcblockedparty hashtag gives us the answer to that question.

PS - I'd attach the image, but can't get it to work.  Does it have to be hosted online somewhere first?

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells