Mars Hill Church Board of Elders: Mark Driscoll Resigned Instead of Entering a Restoration Plan

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Bert Perry's picture

Pretty sad.  Will be interesting to see what he does next--I am guessing, per Jim Peet, that he's going to pop up somewhere.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

http://www.religionnews.com/2014/10/21/mark-driscoll-back-offers-spontan...

The controversial founder of Mars Hill Church who stepped down last week offered a brief address at the Gateway Conference on Monday (Oct. 20). Initially, he and conference organizers agreed he would step down from giving a formal address at the conference.

But Robert Morris, pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas, said Driscoll requested to come to the conference as an attendee. “That was big of him to just come and be ministered to,” Morris said.

"We could crucify him, but since someone’s already been crucified for him…” he trailed off. “It’s very sad that in the church, we’re the only army that shoots at our wounded. And I’d like you to stop it.”

Conference attendees gave Driscoll a standing ovation as he took the microphone.

Here's part of what he had to say

Um, (laughter) and um, and for those of you, I would say don’t overlook your family as first ministry. Uhmm. And for me we’re just really appreciate your prayer for our family. We’ve got five kids, three boys, two girls, ages 8 to 17 and uh we’ve moved three times now for safety issues. Uhm. People arrested at our home, death threats, uh address posted on-line, all kinds of things and uh more recently it’s gotten very severe. We came home from break. There was rusty nails all over the driveway. We uh, we uh we had a night where the kids wanted to sleep out in the tent and uh I got a call that um my uh address was posted on-line by the media and um so, we, we, we went out of town for a few days, came back uh the kids said ‘no, we gotta sleep in the tent so I didn’t sleep. But we, we were in the tent all night and uh, woke up in the morning about 6:30or so and huge rocks about the size of baseballs come flying at my kids uh 8, 10 and 12 years of age. Call the police. Flee into the house for their safety. Uh a few days later. I think it was, I don’t remember, the media flies overhead with a helicopter and is trying to flush us out for a story. And uh that night uh we’re hiding in the house, my 8 year old son comes down and he’s wearing a military jacket, he’s loading up his Air Soft rifle (laughter)and he uh (MD chuckles) he looks at me and he says ‘hey dad is this uh is this jacket bullet proof? (soft laughter)and I just started crying and said, ‘why’s that little buddy?’ and he said, ‘Well it’s bad guys in the helicopter coming to shoot the family, right?’ He didn’t have any concept of, of media coverage, he thought it was bad guys coming to kill his family and he was gonna defend his sister (faint laughter) and so uh praise God he’s finally sleeping in his bed again, but it’s been a while to get him to do that with night terrors and so, there’s just a lot going on for our family, I appreciate Pastor Robert and the team here.

To which I say..."Seriously, Mark?  You're the innocent victim in all this, and now you prop your family up in front of you like a shield?"

"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

Bert Perry's picture

Jay, to be fair, it's not clear he's getting pay for all this, no?

But his discussion of the threats reminds me of a time when people at a place I used to work complimented me on my delivery when I was presenting some things to them--apparently, unlike the HR director, I was able, like, um, you know, to get through a sentence without, um, verbalizing my pauses.  

I was sobered when I thought of the ramifications of my response:  "Well, some people verbalize their pauses because they've never been taught to stop doing so.  I'm grateful to Mrs. Robbins for telling me to stop.  And then others verbalize their pauses because they really don't believe what they're saying."

I want to be nice to Driscoll in all this, but the fact of the matter is that he's been a great public speaker for close to two decades.  He's met Mrs. Robbins, so to speak.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

WilliamD's picture

Jay wrote:

To which I say..."Seriously, Mark?  You're the innocent victim in all this, and now you prop your family up in front of you like a shield?"

Nobody deserves to be treated this way, especially their wife and kids. The kind of abuse he is now receiving is horrible and wrong. Sure, he brought it upon himself by making enemies due to his own abusive behavior, but c'mon! I feel for his poor kids who have to endure this! It's not fair to them.  

Bert Perry's picture

William--agreed completely if it's true,those who did so are wrong and deserve to be punished.  That said, call my cynical, but.....show me the police reports, Mark.  To build on what I said before, the rate at which he's verbalizing his pauses suggests something interesting is going on.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

WilliamD wrote:

Jay wrote:

To which I say..."Seriously, Mark?  You're the innocent victim in all this, and now you prop your family up in front of you like a shield?"

Nobody deserves to be treated this way, especially their wife and kids. The kind of abuse he is now receiving is horrible and wrong. Sure, he brought it upon himself by making enemies due to his own abusive behavior, but c'mon! I feel for his poor kids who have to endure this! It's not fair to them.  

William,

All well and good.  I would be inclined to back off a little, but at this point...after all the stuff that has come out and is still coming out...No, Driscoll doesn't get that luxury.  This is more of the same evasion / doubletalk / sleight of hand that he's been using since I started paying attention with the Elephant Room 2 or Pornographic Divination blogpost on Pyromaniacs.  

This is a guy who has shown absolutely no remorse for his sins (Possibly crimes?  We're still learning about the MH mishandling of money and the plagiarism in his books).  This is a guy who ramrodded the revamp of the elder board at MH to the Board of Advisors to stack the deck with his guys, then told his deacons to be quiet because he was going to make the changes he wanted without their say so since he'd changed the policy to give himself the room to do that.  This is a guy that has specialized and prided himself on his pugnacious and profane tongue since as long as I can remember?  This is a guy who freely confesses to all his wife's issues in a book on marriage but then doesn't own his own faults.  And finally, this is a guy who resigned from his own church rather than go through the restoration process that his own hand picked men wanted to put him through.

It stops now.  Mark is old enough and experienced enough that it's long past time for him to own his problems, and part of that is for him to stop dragging his innocent kids into cesspools of his own making.  They are not his "shield" to use.  It was bad enough that he dragged his wife through the mud in his book.  I'm glad he's out of the ministry with his track record and hope he never falls into another pulpit for a very, very, very long time.  I said it in 2009, and I'm not backing down one iota five years later.

If he had come out one time and actually confessed to his sins as sins and acted like he meant to fix even one of his issues without being goaded by everyone in the galaxy, then I'd cut him a break.  But not anymore.  Let's see some fruit keeping in repentance 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

Bert Perry's picture

Another way of viewing Driscoll's claims of violence and threats thereof:

1.  They are true (and he'll provide police reports, again, to prove this), and they demonstrate that Driscoll successfully inculcated a pugnacious spirit in his congregants.  

2.  They are false and Driscoll is mounting a false flag operation to divert us from his real issues.

In neither case does Driscoll come out smelling like a rose, of course.  And per Jay's initial comment, he had the podium.  Sans restoration, he's back like Dave Hyles.  Which, along with the "verbalized pauses", is why I (and Jay I presume) are skeptical.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

ChristyM's picture

MD's resignation and the circus preceding it made the headlines and evening news.  I am awfully sure these threats or actual violence would have also made the news IF TRUE.  No such reports. Just sayin'.
 

Greg Long's picture

Regardless of what we think of Driscoll, obviously no one would want his family to be physically threatened or attacked, but this whole thing with the physical threats and violence is very confusing to me.

  • Driscoll has talked about threats before, so his focus on this issue now--are we to believe one of the primary reasons for his resignation is that the threats/attacks have escalated to the point where he can't take it anymore?
  • When threats were brought up before, I took it to mean that they were from people in the community who were opposed to Mars Hill's Gospel work and stand on social issues. So now--doesn't it seem that Mark is making a connection between what's going on in his church and the latest violence? Why would people in the community start escalating violence against his family based on internal church conflict? Aren't we left with the logical conclusion that Mark is implying people in his church are responsible for this violence? Or possibly other Christians who are out to get him? That just seems so bizarre to me.

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

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Wayne Wilson's picture

Mark seems to have a bunch of these stories. You'd think with a half-million dollar salary, he could hire his own security.

My two younger kids asked, “Dad, is it safe to go out and play today, or are the people who hate you coming over?” The fact that my little kids have to worry about harm invading their own yard is something I grieve. 

http://theresurgence.com/2013/10/26/the-hardest-part-of-ministry

This is all before the recent kerfuffle. It could be all true, and he's just the most persecuted preacher in America...but I kinda doubt it.  

Bert Perry's picture

It strikes me, per Wayne's link, that Driscoll is alleging a degree of harassment and persecution that quite frankly the Secret Service could associate with.  When I see articles about actors and such being harassed, it strikes me that theirs is "onesie twosie" kind of things, while Driscoll's appears much more consistent--perhaps not quite what a President faces, but definitely ahead of that faced by actors and athletes, and probably at least on a par with controversial Senators and Governors.

If it's true (again, police reports please, redacted is OK), it could again suggest he's been too successful at inculcating a hyper-masculine pugnacious spirit, and/or celebrity for its own sake to draw the nutcases.  It also would suggest that maybe, just maybe, he should have considered a gated community for his home.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

It strikes me that I don't even remember stories like this coming out around Fred Phelps, who was surely more reviled than Driscoll. While every charge must be taken seriously, particularly when innocents like the children are involved, Driscoll stretches the boundaries of credulity. I find it hard to sympathize with someone who is suffering the consequences (whether natural or supernatural, whether the perpetrator is also sinning or is just) of his own actions. If a person or people have actually done the things Driscoll claims, they should face the full force of the law, but I still will not sympathize with Driscoll. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Steve Newman's picture

It seems clear that Driscoll is attempting to paint himself as a sympathetic figure. It troubles me that he is at this conference,,,,and is getting universal applause! It seems there are many believers who don't think he did anything wrong. He certainly needed a "restoration plan", seems he is on his own PR "restoration plan".

If you look at the qualifications for a pastor in 1 Tim. 3:1-7, he certainly fails in a number of areas: blameless (among believers and unbelievers), violent and greedy. He has fallen into both pride (v.6) and reproach (v.7).

dmicah's picture

Narcissistic manipulators ALWAYS play the victim when someone pushes back on them. It's really their only move once intimidation no longer works. They refuse to address the substantive nature of issues raised and accusations, so they go for the sympathy play. Read the text of Driscoll's six week break announcement and his resignation carefully. Both were self-aggrandizing and subtle manipulation via this victimization technique. It seems "Christian" leaders who are narcissists consistently employ their family in their victimization narrative. This latest stunt is simply a textbook move from a self-absorbed, spoiled, pathological liar. Perhaps the hardest part to grasp is that he believes himself. You shake your head that he won't listen to his hand selected elders in their restoration plan. That's because he thinks he's right, has always been right and anyone opposing him or offering a contrary view or opinion is wrong, including friends, family or fellow ministry leaders. This is the delusional world of a full blown narcissist.

Bert Perry's picture

I tend to agree with Steve and Dmicah that narcissism is probably the best explanation for Driscoll's behavior, and I'd also add that he is not "apt to teach" when I consider some of the things he's done--for example, some of the strange exegesis he does of the Song of Songs in "Real Marriage".  That said, I think there's a simple way of drawing him out and revealing his delusion to him:

"Show me the redacted police reports, Mark.  Tell me where the investigations went."

He's slick, but he's pointed to some cases where he ought to be able to provide incontrovertible evidence.  Feet to the fire.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Julie Anne's picture

Why in the world is he at a "leaders" conference when he resigned after his own church leaders called him into a restoration plan?  Mars Hill church is a 9Marks church, and Mark Driscoll should be under church discipline for failing to follow his elders' instructions.  If Mark was treated the way others have been treated, they'd be in church discipline and shunned.  But Driscoll is so special he gets to have a one-year severance package.  Oh, did y'all here he made $650K p/ year?  What a circus.

And the deal with his kids - - humble and repentant pastors would have fallen on their faces and apologized to their kids for creating such chaos.  Instead, he wants us to pull out our violins.  There would have been no rock-throwing incident if Driscoll had behaved himself.  

Greg Long's picture

Julie, what do you mean that "Mars Hill church is a 9Marks church"? I don't believe Mars Hill is or has ever been associated with 9Marks. The kind of leadership structure put into place at Mars Hills is very different than the kind Dever argues for and practices at CHBC/9Marks.

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

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Is it possible Julie has confused 9Marks with Acts 29?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Julie Anne's picture

Hi Greg, 

I had read someone's comment just yesterday (whom I respect and is usually spot on) that Mars Hill was part of 9Marks. but when I just checked the 9Marks church listings and you are right, they are not listed. From what I understand, Mars Hill leadership structure does look like 9Marks in appearance, but fails in function (ie, elders are yes men).  They also share the same emphasis on congregants becoming members and signing membership covenants.

Regardless, his elders had a plan for restoration and and he bolted rather than submitting to the elders. That's the part of the leadership structure I was referring to - - there was a leadership structure in place, set up by Driscoll, and he completely disregarded it.  I've seen this identical pattern with another leader, Doug Phillips.  

Bert Perry's picture

Well, they do have elders, but a few of them are "super-elders" who are (were) at least 1000 miles away, so good luck with actually "overseeing" the church from that distance.

Where I am in agreement with Julie Anne: I have no doubt that Driscoll's pay was very high, and this does (as does the pay/house/acceptance of prosperity theology of his buddy MacDonald) raise the question of whether he is a "lover of money".  The mis-treatment of elders and others, and his bolting rather than face restoration processes, would indicate that he is to a degree self-willed.  I would also agree that his examples of being threatened, no matter what the truth is, cast his aptness to teach Biblical gentleness into doubt--not to mention any number of his sermons.

Question; with all that money, it says something that he always looks to me like he just got out of the homeless shelter.  I know we're trying to be "relevant", but just sayin'.  Pendleton, Filson, both NW companies.....make some nice stuff, doncha know?

Where I might disagree, and where my assessment is probably even harsher than hers; I am not persuaded that I believe the threats are real until I see a few police reports, and especially if they have been substantiated by evidence.  

As some noted in the thread about Jack Schaap, let's pray for him in this, because there are a lot of questions out there about what is really going on, and a good portion of the witness to the Seattle area has to do with Mars Hill even now.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Julie Anne's picture

Bert, I may not have said it here, but I have certainly said it elsewhere:  I'll believe the rock pelting at Driscoll's children when I see the police reports. Part of my to-do list today is to send Warren Throckmorton a note to see if he's looked into this. He's been covering the Driscoll story with amazing precision and providing source material.  I've been impressed with his work. I'm going to tweet him now.

Julie Anne's picture

No, Chip - I'm aware of his (former) connection with Acts 29/Chandler group. I really did mean 9Marks (Mark Dever, Leeman, etc).  I wish I could remember where I saw the comment.  

I've been getting more info on the structure at Mars Hill and it is very odd.

There is a Board of Accountability (BOAA) - independent group but Matt Rogers is the chairman and he's a current elder. James MacDonald and Paul Tripp quit this group, 2 others resigned. My understanding is that Driscoll selected this group.

Board of Overseers, was described as a subset of BoAA

​There is also a Board of Elders who report to BOAA.  

 

 

 

 

 

Bert Perry's picture

JA, nothing terribly complicated about Mars Hill's structure; it's simply the imposition of a corporate executive team in authority over the elected elders, which is really the big place it diverges from the 9 Marks argument for eldership.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Julie Anne's picture

It's complicated in that integrity is lacking all around as far as responsibility and accountability - as if James MacDonald could hold him accounatble from afar.  What a joke.  Mars Hill sounds more and more like a business than a church.

Bert Perry's picture

Let's just say that I would be immensely grateful at a sovereign outpouring of God's grace if it were only Mars Hill that was functioning as a business, if you catch my drift.  :^)

Seriously, having been around business for over two decades, and around churches a bit longer, the hardest thing to do in any board--or hey for any family--is to keep your eyes on the prize, that which is most important.  Gospel believing churches get caught up in works righteousness, boards get caught up in their own personal agendas, boards get caught up in a lesser agenda than the one given them.  It tends to happen whenever you have at least one self-willed individual with a bit of charisma on the board.  Hence big churches (and big corporations) with more rewards for dominant personalities tend to suffer worse.

Having been on a deacon's board myself, I can vouch for the fact that it is incredibly hard to stay on task.  I remember times we discussed an issue for a long time before asking the pastor "OK, what is the Biblical guidance on this sort of thing?"  We'd discussed it for an hour, but after getting a touch of Scripture on the matter, we decided unanimously in five minutes.  

(sheepish look)

 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.