Nine current Mars Hill pastors have signed a letter to Mark Driscoll, requesting their leader to resign from his job as pastor and all other ministry responsibilities. And then, former Mars Hill pastor, Bent Meyer, released this.
According to Seattle news, one of those pastors was terminated yesterday for being “rebellious.”
I cannot imagine what mental, spiritual, and emotional hoops those nine men had to jump/crawl over and/or through in order to muster up the courage to send that letter. I commend those brave souls for taking that risk and standing up for the health and well-being of the members of Mars Hill Church.
While the letter is worth reading in its entirety, the paragraph that stood out to me was this one:
Where there is nothing to hide, there is no fear of being exposed. But, rather than seeking clarity, we have cloaked ourselves in non-disclosure agreements. We have become masters of spin in how we communicate the transition of a high volume of people off staff. We have taken refuge behind official statements that might not technically be lies on the surface, but in truth are deeply misleading.
The pastors’s letter as well as a multitude of other recent stories, testimonies, and letters from countless former Mars Hill staff members offer such vivid and personal proof of what a handful of bloggers (me included) have been saying and writing for years: Mark Driscoll should not be a pastor. Mark Driscoll should not being doing ministry. Mark Driscoll should be fired immediately!
May God give the people who are making those decisions wisdom.
Yesterday, I received two emails regarding my blog coverage of Mark Driscoll. In one of those emails, the writer called me a “viper.” He went on to say that I “was only using Driscoll to sell books.” His email was rather tame compared to some of the other emails, comments, and messages I’ve received from Driscoll apologists. Recently, many of Mark’s supporters has started adding one phrase at the beginning of their defenses: I’m no Mark Driscoll fan but… Or I think Mark Driscoll is a terrible pastor but… Or I believe Mark Driscoll has made some awful mistakes but… After the “buts” they write long paragraphs about how I’m worse than Mark or just like him or how I’ll one day be judged for “shaming a man of God.”
While that kind of criticism never feels good, I’ve learned not take it to heart. I’ve learned from those harsh critiques. Sometimes I’ve prayed for them. And sometimes their letters have caused me to pray about my own heart, motives, etc. And in a way, I understand why they’re angry. It’s hard reading stories of ugly and abusive behavior about somebody you admire.
Several of the harshest critics have sent me second letters, messages of apology for lashing out at me.
But I get why people get angry and emotional. Because there’s nothing fun or pretty about what’s happened and still happening at Mars Hill.
The other message I received yesterday said this: MPT, as I read the letter from the 9 current pastors today I wept with a renewed belief in God’s sovereignty. You are a part of that and I am thankful to God for you. Had you not broke the story of Andrew last year, I doubt things could have reached the tipping point where we are today. Thank you.
While the notes of gratitude haven’t shown up nearly as often as the angry emails have, every “Thank You” spoke to me, encouraged me, and challenged me.
This is my last blog post about Mark Driscoll.
Why? Because I no longer need to blog about Mark. People far better fit to tell the story are now doing just that–they’re speaking up! And thank God they are. May they be heard.
Three years ago, only a small number of us were willing to tell the story. But that’s no longer the case.
I don’t know what will happen to Mars Hill. And I don’t know what Mark will decide to do. I hope he humbly resigns. I think that’s the best possible scenario for Mars Hill’s people/members.
But most of all, I hope we The Church learn from this experience. I hope that we learn to listen to the stories of those who cry out for help! I hope we stop ignoring the voices of victims in effort to cover up the sins of a pastor. I hope we learn to put truth before celebrity, power, and money. I hope what’s happening at Mars Hill will teach all of us what can happen when the story of God is misused, abused, and used for our own glory.
If we learn anything from this mess, may we learn that! God is not a manipulating device. God is not a platform for powerful men to use for their own good and others bad. God is not a shield for abusers to hide behind.
Let’s be wise in how we share God’s story. Let’s be humble. Let’s blanket our words and actions with love and mercy. But in our pursuit of grace, let’s not destroy the lives of victims and ignore their stories in order to protect the careers/stories of powerful men.
May God have mercy on Mark Driscoll. May God surround his wife, Grace, and their kids with love and mercy.
May God show grace and give wisdom to those who are making the decisions at Mars Hill.
May God elevate the stories of the victims, the broken, and heal their lives/souls with hope.
And may God help the rest of us learn from this narrative.
May God use this as a mirror for us to examine our own stories/actions.